Friday, March 14, 2008

Delano Riker, in memoriam

I depart from my regular posts on flora and fauna to report the death of Delano Riker Teles de Menezes, 60, vice-mayor of Santarém on March 13, 2008. Delano was much more than a politician in his life. He was a cattle rancher on the Amazon River floodplain; he was a pilot and owner of a regional airline; and Riker was a blood descendant of the American Confederates, called Confederados here. The patriarch was Robert Henry Riker, who ventured off from South Carolina to Santarém with his whole family in 1867. I understand that he was president of a railroad in South Carolina prior to the Civil War and that he was much better off economically than other Confederados coming to Santarém. His American wife, Sarah Elizabeth Hapoldt, died 10 years after arriving in the Amazon. Their six children born in the United States included David Bowman Riker, the last Confederate to die in the Amazon. Robert Riker married again and fathered several more children born here in Santarém. More coming up in the next blog post. Image, Delano Riker's coffin leaving the Baptist Church of Santarém.

5 comments:

Sandpiper said...

Fascinating history. I lived in Charleston, SC for nearly 10 years. I tried to Google him to see where in South Carolina, but didn't find anything.

Steven Alexander said...

Sandpiper, thanks for the comments. Robert Riker was from Charleston, S.C. Somewhere, there's history waiting for us.

Sandpiper said...

Thanks, Steven. I'll have to remember to ask my husband if he remembers reading anything about Riker. You're right about history waiting for us. It's right there to discover.

briker said...

I am the first cousin of Delano Riker, Bonnie Riker Ramshaw, born in the US to Mayflower's brother, Octavio. He is deceased now 32 years and have visited Brazil and became acquainted with Delano and family. I truly love Brazil and I currently reside in Albuquerque, NM. I plan to visit again and perhaps spend part of the year there when I retire.

Aris Muffin said...

I currently live in Charleston, and have been researching properties in the area that have been traced back to Robert & David Riker. Together, and with others, they made up a number of partnerships, including Riker & Riker, Riker & Lythgoe, and Hacker & Riker. One of their partners, George B. Lythgoe was in fact heavily involved in the Railroad, but I've found no evidence that either Riker was involved. Rather, they are described as Real Estate Developers, and I also believe that they were bondsmen (mortgagers). They each owned a number of properties in the City of Charleston, but primarily in the Charleston Neck, which was known in the late 1800s as "Rikersville." (The area North of Heriot Street and South of Monrovia.) Deeds for properties in the area from that time period read, "in the Village of Rikersville, Charleston County, State of South Carolina." The fact that there was an established "village" named for the Rikers is indicative of their influence. Yesterday I located deeds from 1869 that refer to R.H. Riker as "formerly of the City of Charleston, now a resident of the Empire of Brazil." That's how I arrived at this blog. :) I was under the impression that David & Robert were brothers... It seems as though I may have been wrong about that. I have learned a great deal about the Charleston Rikers, and I thank you for filling in a few of the voids for me! Please contact me if you'd like for me to share any of the additional information that I've gathered. (klhydrick-at-gmail.com)