The Discursive Encounter of Spain and America: The Authority of Eyewitness Testimony in the Writing of History

Rolena Adorno, The Discursive Encounter of Spain and America: The Authority of Eyewitness Testimony in the Writing of History, The William and Mary Quarterly, Third Series, Vol. 49, No, 2 (Apr,, 1992), pp. 210-228

This article focuses on interpretations of the firsthand accounts of the Conquistadores and other early explorers in Latin America. Early historians relied on second-hand accounts of leaders or other famous persons, but over time the focus shifted to the accounts of the soldiers and explorers with firsthand experiences. Even so, historians like Las Casas faced problems interpreting face-to-face encounters with the Native American as well as many conflicting eyewitness accounts.

For genealogists, this article helps frame the problems with the histories of Latin America, especially the discrepancies and ulterior motives that shaped the narratives over time.

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