Mostrando las entradas de febrero 10, 2009


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


The war for Granada ended, Santangel and others of his converts at court secured Columbus an interview with Isabella, but his demands seeming to her arrogant, he was dismissed. Nothing daunted, the hero had started for France, there to plead as he had pleaded in Portugal and Spain already, when to his joy a messenger overtook him with orders to come once more before the queen. Fuller thought and argument had convinced this eminent woman that the experiment urged by Columbus ought to be tried and a contract was son concluded, by which, on condition that he should bear one-eighth the expense of the expedition, the public chest of Castile was to furnish the remainder. The story of the crown jewels having been pledged for this purpose is now discredited. If such pledging occurred, it was earlier, in prosecuting the war with the Moors. The whole sum needed for the voyage was about fifty thousand dollars. Columbus was made admiral, also viceroy of whatever lands should be discovered, and h


Reflecting on these things, studying Perestrello's and Correo's charts and accounts of their voyages, corresponding with Toscanelli and other savans, himself an adept in drawing maps and sea-charts, for a time his occupation in Lisbon, cruising here and there, once far northward to Iceland, and talking with navigators from every Atlantic port, Columbus became acquainted with the best geographical science of his time. This had convinced him that India could be reached by sailing westward. The theoretical possibility of so doing was of course admitted by all who held the earth to be a sphere, but most regarded it practically impossible, in the then condition of navigation, to sail the necessary distance. Columbus considered the earth far smaller than was usually thought, a belief which we find hinted at so early as 1447, upon the famous mappe-Monde of the Pitti Palace in Florence, whereon Europe appears projected far round to the northwest. Columbus seems to have viewed this e


From 1470 to 1484 we find him in Portugal, the country most interested and engaged then in ocean-going and discovery. Here he must have known Martin Behem, author of the famous globe, finished in 1492, whereon Asia is exhibited as reaching far into the same hemisphere with Europe. Prince Henry of Portugal earnestly patronized all schemes for exploration and discovery, and the daughter, Philippa, of one of his captains, Perestrello, Columbus married. With her he lived at Porto Santo in the Madeiras, where he became familiar with Correo, her sister's husband, also a distinguished navigator. The islanders fully believed in the existence of lands in the western Atlantic. West winds had brought to them strange woods curiously carved, huge cane-brakes like those of India described by Ptolemy, peculiarly fashioned canoes, and corpses with skin of a hue unknown to Europe or Africa. See also: Enterprise of the Indies