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Joaquín Acosta

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A native of Colombia in South America, who served in the Colombian army and in 1834 attempted a scientific survey of the country between Socorro and the Magdalena River. Seven years later he explored western Colombia from Antioquia to Ancerma studying its topography, its natural history and the traces of its aboriginal inhabitants. In 1845 he went to Spain to examine such documentary material concerning Colombia and its colonial history as was then accessible, and three years later he published his "Compendio", a work on the discovery and colonization of New Granada (Colombia). The map accompanying this work, now out of date, was very fair for the time, and the work itself is still valuable for its abundant bibliographic references and biographic notes. What he says in it of the writings of Quesada the conqueror of New Granada, is very incomplete and in many ways erroneous, but his biographies of the ecclesiastics to whom, following upon Quesada, our knowledge of the country, its colonization, is due, remain a guide to the student of Spanish-American history. Without him, we might yet be ignorant of the fundamental works of Zamora, Fresle, and of the linguistic labours of Lugo. One year after the "Compendio", the "Semenario" appeared at Paris, embodying the botanical papers of Caldas.


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