Building the Madeira and Mamore Railway, in the Valley of the Madeira River, Brazil and Bolivia, as recorded in a collection of five pamphlets, two broadsides, and a map, all bound together, and described individually below

VP, vd. Very Good. Contemporary three-quarter leather (scuffed) and brown cloth, gilt rules and title on spine. (#4388). Item #57215

(1) Explorations Made in the Valley of the River Madeira, from 1749 to 1868, by George Earl Church. [London: Published for the National Bolivian Navigation Co., 1875]. 8vo. viii, 355 pp. Includes Jose and Francisco Keller's report on the exploration of the river, prepared for the Brazilian government, and William L. Herndon and Lardner Gibbon's report on the rapids of the river (taken from their 1854 "Exploration").
(2) Folding broadside, 9 3/4 x 7 3/4 inches, "Notice. / On the 1st of July, 1873, a meeting of Bolivian Bondholders was held at the Cannon / Street Hotel, London ...," wherein Col. Church, speaking on behalf of the M&M Railway Co., and the National Bolivian Navigation Co., accuses the Public Works Construction Co. of refusing to employ a good labor force, properly survey the railway line for completion, or provide engineering estimates. OCLC locates one copy (British Library).
(3) Papers and Documents Relating to the Bolivian Loan, the National Bolivian Navigation Co., Limited; Including I. Paper on "Bolivia and Brazil in the Amazon Valley." II. Various Engineering Reports. III. Loan Documents, etc. [London: Dunlop & Co., 1873]. 8vo. 158 pp. OCLC locates six copies (Cornell, New York Public, Wisconsin, Brown, Texas-Austin, British Library).
(4) Report to the Directors of the Madeira and Mamore Railway Co., Limited ... Upon His Return from Brazil and Bolivia in 1875, by Edward D. Mathews. [London: Waterlow & Sons, 1875]. 8vo. 90 pp. OCLC locates six copies (Stanford, California-Berkeley, Brown, Providence Athenaeum, British Library, Staats & Univ. Hamburg).
(5) Concessions Granted by the Government of Brazil, to Colonel George E. Church, for the Madeira and Mamore Railway Company. [NY: Union Printing House, 1870]. 8vo. 17 pp. Text in Portuguese and English, facing each other. OCLC locates one copy (Indiana State Library).
(6) Mappa Topographico Valle do Rio Madeira. [Rio de Janeiro: Secretaria da Agricultura, 1869]. Folding, hand-colored map, 9 1/2 x 20 inches; contemporary ink annotations in a neat hand. Charts the route of the railroad through the valley. OCLC locates two copies (California-Berkeley, Brown).
(7) The National Bolivian Navigation Company. [NY: John W. Amerman, printer, nd, circa 1870]. 8vo. 74 pp. Included is the "Act to Incorporate the National Bolivian Navigation Company," from the publications of the 41st Congress of the United States, 1869, the two government concessions to Col. Church, one from Brazil and one from Bolivia, by-laws, a preliminary report on the railway by George Church, and a report on "Bolivia and Brazil in the Amazon Valley" from the "Fortnightly Review." OCLC locates three copies (Illinois, Brown, British Library), all calling for the map, bound here as "f" above.
(8) Folding broadside, 14 1/4 x 9 1/4 inches, South America. / Brazil-Bolivia. / Madeira and Mamore Railroad ... by Dr. Isaac T. Coates. [Np, ca. 1879?]. Coates presents a history of Col. Church's efforts to construct the railway and the British government's failure to continue funding for the enterprise. His prediction, in a postscript to his article, states that "the railroad is a desideratum, and it will not be long before American energy, enterprise, and capital, will construct it." Apparently not recorded on OCLC.
This sammelband, containing the eight items described above, belonged to Othneil F. Nichols, resident engineer and official representative of the Madeira and Mamore Railway Company in 1878 (his signature on the front endpaper and at the head of three of the pamphlets). Two news articles, both from the early 20th-century, regarding the history of the company, are tipped to the front pastedown. The Madeira and Mamore Railway Company was originally created to forge a rail line around the falls of the Madeira River, the largest tributary of the Amazon. Its purpose was to aid in the development of a market for Bolivia and Brazil's rubber industry. A substantial engineering feat, the construction foundered in the impenetrable jungle of the Amazon, sickness and disease taking the laborers, and nature partially reabsorbing the tracks. Though the project lay dormant for several decades, it was finally completed in the mid-1910s.

Price: $3,500.00

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