“By a diligent and reverent study of theology, and careful researches in archaeology, ancient and modern history, and every department of natural science, I was convinced that [the races of mankind] all descended from one original pair of parents.”
Using his own unique blend of the Bible, nineteenth-century natural science, and personal observation, Rev. Edward Fontaine presents his theory on how mankind populated the earth. First published in 1872, the book outlines Fontaine’s beliefs on the true nature of the world and the evolution of human beings.
Through a series of lectures in which he raises and discusses objections to the unity of the human race, Fontaine attempts to classify and examine various races of people and their places in society. His main focus lies in expounding on the question of whether all of these races developed from a single Adam and Eve or from separate sets of parents; he argues for the former.
In an added chapter, Fontaine delves into early contributions of “mound-builders,” the origins of levees, and deadly sawyers, which made up the Mississippi River. He presents a diverse history of people and natural phenomena, which include monsoons, typhoons, and other deadly occurrences which have formed Louisiana.
Interesting for its historical value and the way in which Fontaine’s thesis conflicts with much of twenty-first-century philosophy, How the World Was Peopled represents one man’s attempt, from a nineteenth-century perspective, to assimilate the stories of the Christian Bible with the study of natural history.