The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 16, July 1912 - April, 1913

Reviews and Notices

The Leading Facts of New Al exican HIistory.1 By Ralph Emerson
Twitchell. Volume I. (Cedar Rapids, Iowa: The Torch Press.
1911. Pp. xxi, 506.)
With its elaborate footnotes, bibliographies, and facsimiles of
manuscripts, this beautifully printed and bound book conveys at
first sight the impression that it is the result of much original in-
vestigation, and as such it has been represented by uncritical review-
ers. But closer examination shows that it is nothing of the sort.
The book is, as a matter of fact, purely a compilation, and of the
simpler kind, most of the text being either a close paraphrase or
a direct copy of two works. If the borrowing had been duly ac-
knowledged, the book would have been welcomed and judged on its
merits as a compilation; but it is unfortunately the case that the
compiler, while making much show of citation and quotation of
supplementary matter in the footnotes, has, either in igorance or
flagrant disregard of literary ethics, in the main concealed the
sources from which he copied or paraphrased the text, and much
of the footnote matter as well, thus creating an impression of
independent work which he did not perform. Nor is he relieved
of this charge in any important measure by his prefatory remark
that "a great deal of the work . . . may best be termed edit-
ing," or by an occasional observance of the proprieties, which only
serves to further mislead.
Such a statement as this can not be made without at least an in-
dication of the evidence on which it rests, and to. this end most of
my space will be devoted. Chapters II, III and IV of the book in
question deal with the early Spanish exploration of New Mexico.
On reading the footnotes and bibliographies one misses references
to Lowery's very pertinent work, Th.e. Spanish Settlements within
the. Present Limits of the United States, 1513-1561. A more
careful reading, however, shows that Mr. Twitchell has by no
means overlooked it. Indeed, the greater portion of the text of
the one hundred ninety-nine pages comprised in these chapters is
taken almost bodily from Book II, Chapters III, V and VI of
1Reprinted from The American Historical Review, April, 1912.

Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 16, July 1912 - April, 1913. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. Accessed May 5, 2015.