National Geographic : 1891 Mar 28
Vast Volume of the Amazon. Many great rivers run into the Amazon from the north and the south, most of them navigable, for many hundred miles. The Madeira, its greatest tributary, after running 2000 miles, empties into the king of rivers, without making any perceptible difference in its width or depth. This mighty current, rushing into the ocean, meets the equa torial current and for over one hundred miles keeps on nearly a straight course, when the stronger and mightier oceanic current deflects it to the north. At from 200 to 300 miles from land, the sea is strongly tinged, and in April and May has nearly the clay yellow hue of the Amazon. And even further north, about 400 miles from its mouth, the naturalist on the Amazon tells us, "we passed numerous patches of floating grass mingled with tree trunks and withered foliage; among these I espied many fruits of the Amazonian palm. And this was the last I saw of the Amazon." The Rio de la Plata. The La Plata, the outlet of the waters of central South America, is formed by the union of the Uruguay and Parana, about 150 miles from the ocean; a little lower down, at Monte video, it is 62 miles wide and widens rapidly to the Atlantic, where it discharges more water than all the rivers of Europe. The tributaries of the Parana are fan-shaped. Its most eastern branches rise in the mountains of Brazil, within seventy miles of the Atlantic ocean; and 1500 miles away, on the other side of the continent, its most western tributaries rise only 125 miles from the Pacific. Steamers ascend the Parana, Paraguay and Cuyaba, 2100 miles to Cuyaba, and the river with its branches is navigable for 5000 miles. The San Francisco. The San Francisco, about 1800 miles long, rises near Rio de Janeiro and flows north about 1200 miles between parallel ranges of mountains, then 'turns east and forces its way through the coast range to the Atlantic ocean. It runs through the gold and diamond regions of Brazil, and has a considerable population along its banks. It has many falls and rapids, and considerable slack-water navigation.
1891 Apr 1