The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 72, July 1968 - April, 1969 Page: 486
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
was carried on. This was largely, although by no means simply, a pre-
scientific view. It was also a view controlled by the data of Christian
revelation and burdened by ancient authority. On the other hand,
it was generally attentive to and respectful of experience which re-
quired a revision of authoritative material. All of these points are
clearly made in Huddleston's study.
Interestingly enough, the sense of a need to explain how men came
to America grew rather slowly. Columbus, thinking he had come
to Cathay, was of course not surprised that he found human beings.
Others of the first generation after discovery were similarly untroubled
as far as the literature of this stage reveals their thought. Only as
the isolation and otherness of the American continent dawned upon
Europeans did they begin to consider how it came to be populated.
There was the master principle of faith that all men were descended
from Adam. Moreover, all animal life, not merely human life, was
supposed to be traceable to the pairs preserved in Noah's Ark. So,
as speculation went on, writers proposed numerous theories of emi-
gration-by Jews, by Carthaginians, by Spaniards, by Chinese, or by
still other groups.
Surveying an extensive literature of Indian origins, Huddleston
skillfully indicates the varying speculations offered, their progress and
their relationships. His separate treatments of the Spanish and the
northern European writers bring out not only the wide interest in
a great debate, but also confirm the fact of a common world view
among Europeans. A key finding is that an inadequate methodology
hindered most of them. They sought to find resemblances between
the Indians and one Old World group or another and then to imagine
how an emigration occurred. This left the whole thing very much a
matter of opinion, in what Huddleston calls the Garcian tradition after
Gregoria Garcia, who in 1607 produced a great summary of all the
opinions he could find.
It was with Joseph de Acosta's Historia natural y moral de las In-
dias (1590), however, that a tendency toward a more scientific meth-
odology had emerged. Acosta's merit was to postulate what an objective
consideration of the origins problem required. Thus he arrived at
the notion of gradual immigration over land bridges or narrow straits
in the far north or south. The immigrants would then have under-
gone an independent cultural development. Huddleston concludes
that Acosta's promising approach was bound to be rejected until the
methodological tools of archaeology, anthropology, and related sciences
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 72, July 1968 - April, 1969, periodical, 1969; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117146/m1/320/: accessed June 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.