1493-1500

The admiral having failed to note its latitude and longitude, it is not known which of the Bahamas was the San Salvador of Columbus, whether Grand Turk Island, Cat (the present San Salvador), Watling, Mariguana, Acklin, or Samana, though the last named well corresponds with his description. Mr. Justin Winsor, however, and with him a majority of the latest critics, believes that Watling's Island was the place. Before returning to Spain, Columbus discovered Cuba, and also Hayti or Espagnola (Hispaniola), on the latter of which islands he built a fort.

In a second voyage, from Cadiz, 1493-1496, the great explorer discovered the Lesser Antilles and Jamaica. In a third, 1498-1500, he came upon Trinidad and the mainland of South America, at the mouth of the Orinoco.
This was later by thirteen months and a week than the Cabots' landfall at Labrador or Nova Scotia, though a year before Amerigo Vespucci saw the coast of Brazil. It was during this third absence that Columbus, hated as an Italian and for his undeniable greed, was superseded by Bobadilla, who sent him and his brother home in chains. Soon free again, he sets off in 1502 upon a fourth cruise, in which he reaches the coast of Honduras.

To the day of his death, however, the discoverer of America never suspected that he had brought to light a new continent. Even during this his last expedition he maintained that the coast he had touched was that of Mangi, contiguous to Cathay, and that nineteen days of travel overland would have taken him to the Ganges. He arrived in Spain on September 12, 1504, and died at Segovia on May 20th of the next year.
His bones are believed to rest in the cathedral at Santo Domingo, transported thither in 1541, the Columbus-remains till recently at Havana being those of his son Diego. The latter, under the belief that they were the father's, were transferred to Genoa in 1887, and deposited there on July 2d of that year with the utmost ecclesiastical pomp.
See also: 1484-1492

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