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April 1938

Who Gave the World Syphilis? The Haitian Myth

Arch Derm Syphilol. 1938;37(4):735-736. doi:10.1001/archderm.1938.01480100188017

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In this book Capt. Richmond C. Holcomb, Medical Corps, United States Navy, takes exception to the theory of the American origin of syphilis. After securing a photostat from the single copy in the United States, owned by the Huntington Library in San Marino, Calif., of the celebrated work of Ruiz Diaz de Isla, the principal authority on the Haitian origin of syphilis, he carefully analyzes the work. He states that it reveals many contradictions. The evidence does not support the prevailing view that the book was written before 1520. Also fallacious is the statement that Columbus sailed his two surviving caravels to Barcelona, Spain, on his return from the first voyage of discovery. The facts attest that he landed at Palos de la Frontera, Spain, on March 15, 1493, and went overland to Barcelona to make his report to the king and queen. He did not take any of his

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