The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 55, July 1951 - April, 1952 Page: 326
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
most of his professional years-from 1849 to 1884-in Victoria.
Outward signs of his existence are scarce in Texas today. A piece
of stone in Victoria attests his work and his faith. A livelier
memorial there-Goodwin Avenue-suggests his part in the early
years of the place. A few older Texans still remember Goodwin's
Remedies. The Goodwin library, collected with advice from men
like R. L. Dabney, Swante Palm, and Stephen Elliott, has long
since been moved to Ohio. So far as I can discover, the journals
discussed here have never been quoted or widely read.
Despite this evaporation of his outward life, something inward
in Sherman Goodwin that can be described most simply as his
devotion to science represented Texas at its enduring best. That
devotion followed no fashion of the butterfly- and rock-collectors
of his time. It had none of the jumpy-mindedness of eager seekers
who were never quite sure whether to profane God or to doubt
the evidence of earth. Nor was the man himself dramatic in his
believing,'like the more self-conscious of Thomas Huxley's fol-
lowers who announced "conversions" to biology and geology. He
was simply consumed with a desire to learn the nature, relation,
and uses of things. In short, he thought that scientific inquiry
was not at all a danger or a burden and not even a mere duty
but rather a pleasure and a privilege.
Just as surely as he believed in science, however, Sherman
Goodwin believed in God. Almost as surely he believed in Satan.
His belief in God merged in his belief in science; from this
distance the two seem inseparable. About Satan, of course, he
held opinions much more immediate, personal, and terrible than
those which modern theology devises. Nor was the Devil, to use
the more common Texas name, confined to controversy or con-
signed once a week to some distant current Hell or some con-
venient Hereafter. The Devil walked Victoria's streets, vivid. El
Diablo was constantly in the talk of some patients to whom the
doctor ministered; the Debbil was a real person to another group.
Among still other patients and his closest friends, Old Nick was
a constant fact throughout the week, becoming on Sunday a
somewhat more horrific Satan drawn from etchings out of family
In brief, there was a real diabolism of folklore, idiom, and
Here’s what’s next.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 55, July 1951 - April, 1952, periodical, 1952; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101139/m1/398/: accessed July 25, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.