The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 5, July 1901 - April, 1902

Books and Rev iews and Notices.

353

to Don Melchor de Peramas two other letters, one from Fray Juan
Crespi, at Monterey; the other from Fray Francisco Palou, biog-
rapher of the great missionary, Fray Junipero Serra. The March
number prints a part of Serra's diary of his journey made in 1769
from the Mission of Loreto, Lower California, to San Diego. On
page 280 is a clear fac simile of a page from the diary. Both of
these documents are from the Ramirez collection in the library of
Mr. Edward E. Ayer, of Chicago.
Cardcter de la Conquista Espafola en America y in Mxico segun
los textos de los Historiadores Primitivos. Por Genaro Garcia.
(M6xico: Oficina Tipografica de la Secretaria de Fomento. 1901.
Pp. 456.)
It would scarcely be extravagant to say that the industry, the
conscientious and critical use of documents, and the boldness of
thought apparent in this work make it highly creditable to the his-
torical scholarship of Mexico.
The aim of the author is to give a true conception of the nature
of the conquest, first by correcting the point of view, and second by
carefully examining the sources. As to the point of view, he begins
his introduction with the statement that 'from far back it was be-
lieved in Spain that there was nothing more meritorious before the
people and before God than the slaughter of infidels,' and asserts
that 'these ideas could not be extirpated by the scythe of civilization.'
Then, touching briefly on the way in which they worked themselves
out in the persecution of heretics, and especially of Jews and Moors,
he concludes that 'given such antecedents, without entering into
other considerations, it was to be predicted at the time of the dis-
covery of America that the conduct of the Spanish conquerors,
whenever they encountered face to face an idolatrous population,
would be inhuman.' While it cannot be said that this is by any
means a new suggestion, Sefior Garcia's use of it is distinguished by
a peculiarly high degree of logical consistency.
As to the documents, Sefior Garcia claims that most of those sent
to Spain by the conquistadores themselves were falsified by the
senders in their own interest; and that, while some truthful repre-
sentations of the facts did reach the Peninsula, they were rigor-
ously kept secret for fear of decreasing the Spanish prestige, of
rousing passion, and of sowing discord between the Spaniards in

Texas State Historical Association. The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 5, July 1901 - April, 1902. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101021/. Accessed July 6, 2015.