Christopher Columbus' Last Voyage

Christopher Columbus' Last Voyage

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1492: An Ongoing Voyage Christopher Columbus: Man and Myth

After five centuries, Columbus remains a mysterious and controversial figure who has been variously described as one of the greatest mariners in history, a visionary genius, a mystic, a national hero, a failed administrator, a naive entrepreneur, and a ruthless and greedy imperialist.

Columbus' enterprise to find a westward route to Asia grew out of the practical experience of a long and varied maritime career, as well as out of his considerable reading in geographical and theological literature. He settled for a time in Portugal, where he tried unsuccessfully to enlist support for his project, before moving to Spain. After many difficulties, through a combination of good luck and persuasiveness, he gained the support of the Catholic monarchs, Isabel and Fernando.

The widely published report of his voyage of 1492 made Columbus famous throughout Europe and secured for him the title of Admiral of the Ocean Sea and further royal patronage. Columbus, who never abandoned the belief that he had reached Asia, led three more expeditions to the Caribbean. But intrigue and his own administrative failings brought disappointment and political obscurity to his final years.

In Search and Defense of Privileges

Queen Isabel and King Fernando had agreed to Columbus' lavish demands if he succeeded on his first voyage: he would be knighted, appointed Admiral of the Ocean Sea, made the viceroy of any new lands, and awarded ten percent of any new wealth. By 1502, however, Columbus had every reason to fear for the security of his position. He had been charged with maladministration in the Indies.

The Library's vellum copy of the Book of Privileges is one of four that Columbus commissioned in 1502 to record his agreements with the Spanish crown. It is unique in preserving an unofficial transcription of a Papal Bull of September 26, 1493 in which Pope Alexander VI extended Spain's rights to the New World.

Much concerned with social status, Columbus was granted a coat of arms in 1493. By 1502, he had added several new elements, such as an emerging continent next to islands and five golden anchors to represent the office of the Admiral of the Ocean Sea.

As a reward for his successful voyage of discovery, the Spanish sovereigns granted Columbus the right to a coat of arms. According to the blazon specified in letters patent dated May 20, 1493, Columbus was to bear in the first and the second quarters the royal charges of Castile and Léon&mdashthe castle and the lion&mdashbut with different tinctures or colors. In the third quarter would be islands in a wavy sea, and in the fourth, the customary arms of his family.

The earliest graphic representation of Columbus' arms is found in his Book of Privileges and shows the significant modifications Columbus ordered by his own authority. In addition to the royal charges that were authorized in the top quarters, Columbus adopted the royal colors as well, added a continent among the islands in the third quarter, and for the fourth quarter borrowed five anchors in fess from the blazon of the Admiral of Castille. Columbus' bold usurpation of the royal arms, as well as his choice of additional symbols, help to define his personality and his sense of the significance of his service to the Spanish monarchs.

Columbus' Coat of Arms in Christopher Columbus, His Book of Privileges, 1502. Facsimile. London, 1893. Harisse Collection, Rare Book and Special Collections Division , Library of Congress

The Book of Privileges is a collection of agreements between Columbus and the crowns of Spain prepared in Seville in 1502 before his 4th and final voyage to America. The compilation of documents includes the 1497 confirmation of the rights to titles and profits granted to the Admiral by the 1492 Contract of Santa Fé and augmented in 1493 and 1494, as well as routine instructions and authorizations related to his third voyage. We know that four copies of his Book of Privileges existed in 1502, three written on vellum and one on paper.

All three vellum copies have thirty-six documents in common, including the Papal Bull Inter caetera of May 4, 1493, defining the line of demarcation of future Spanish and Portuguese explorations, and specifically acknowledging Columbus' contributions. The bull is the first document on vellum in the Library's copy and the thirty-sixth document in the Genoa and the Paris codices. The Library copy does not have the elaborate rubricated title page, the vividly colored Columbus coat of arms, or the authenticating notarial signatures contained in the other copies. The Library's copy, however, does have a unique transcription of the Papal Bull Dudum siquidem of September 26, 1493, extending the Spanish donation. The bull is folded and addressed to the Spanish sovereigns.

This intriguing Library copy is the only major compilation of Columbus' privileges that has not received modern documentary editing. Comprehensive textual analysis and careful comparison with other known copies is essential to establishing its definitive place in Columbus scholarship.

Book of Privileges in [Christopher Columbus], [Códice Diplomatico Columbo-Americano], Vellum. [Seville, ca. 1502]. Manuscript Division, Library of Congress

The Last Voyage of Columbus: Being the Epic Tale of the Great Captain's Fourth Expedition, Including Accounts of Mutiny, Shipwreck, and Discovery

The Year is 1500. Christopher Columbus, stripped of his title Admiral of the Ocean Seas, waits in chains in a Caribbean prison built under his orders, looking out at the colony that he founded, nurtured, and ruled for eight years. Less than a decade after discovering the New World, he has fallen into disgrace, accused by the royal court of being a liar, a secret Jew, and a The Year is 1500. Christopher Columbus, stripped of his title Admiral of the Ocean Seas, waits in chains in a Caribbean prison built under his orders, looking out at the colony that he founded, nurtured, and ruled for eight years. Less than a decade after discovering the New World, he has fallen into disgrace, accused by the royal court of being a liar, a secret Jew, and a foreigner who sought to steal the riches of the New World for himself.

The tall, freckled explorer with the aquiline nose, whose flaming red hair long ago turned gray, passes his days in prayer and rumination, trying to ignore the waterfront gallows that are all too visible from his cell. And he plots for one great escape, one last voyage to the ends of the earth, one final chance to prove himself. What follows is one of history's most epic -- and forgotten -- adventures. Columbus himself would later claim that his fourth voyage was his greatest. It was without doubt his most treacherous. Of the four ships he led into the unknown, none returned. Columbus would face the worst storms a European explorer had ever encountered. He would battle to survive amid mutiny, war, and a shipwreck that left him stranded on a desert isle for almost a year.

On his tail were his enemies, sent from Europe to track him down. In front of him: the unknown. Martin Dugard's thrilling account of this final voyage brings Columbus to life as never before-adventurer, businessman, father, lover, tyrant, and hero. . more

Let Your Kid Learn A Fun History Lesson Watching ‘Christopher Columbus: The Last Journey’

The discoverer of America made history by voyaging across the Atlantic Ocean four times. Watch the story of his last voyage only on ZEE5 KIDS!

With a large number of animated educational and informative movies, ZEE5 KIDS makes India’s largest OTT platform the ultimate entertainment destination for your children as well! Your entire family can enjoy and spend quality time with each other during the Coronavirus #Lockdown period. Adding to your non-stop BachFUN, we are taking you on Christopher Columbus: The Last Journey, embarking with you on his ship that voyaged across the Atlantic ocean, discovered America, and became immortal in history!

Watch the full animated movie here:

The legendary Christopher Columbus travels back to Spain after his first great expedition to be awarded by the royal family. At that time, his wife, Filipa Moniz Perestrelo had died of a prolonged illness, leaving him to take care of his young and only son Diego. Owing to his hunger to explore more, Columbus leaves for new adventures in search of lands and resources across the world. He founded what is now often referred to as the New World!

Inspired by his works, it was one of the names used for the majority of Earth’s Western Hemisphere, specifically the Americas. The term originated in the early 16th century after Columbus, along with other Europeans, made landfall in what would later be called the Americas in the Age of Discovery, expanding the horizon of classical geographers, who had thought of the world as consisting of Africa, Europe and Asia only, now referred to collectively as the Old World.

A still from Christopher Columbus – The Last Journey

This movie focuses on Columbus’ last voyage to the ends of the earth. The crusade was his final chance to prove himself and thus become the first man ever to circumnavigate the world! Undoubtedly, the goal was full of struggles. He went to find a westward passage through Central America and reach the Maluku Islands, also known as the Spice Islands. His project turned into one of history’s most epic and unforgotten adventures. Columbus later claimed that his fourth voyage was his greatest by far.

It was, without question, his riskiest and most challenging venture. Out of the four ships, he led into the unknown, none returned. Columbus had faced the worst storms a European explorer had ever encountered! He battled to survive amid mutiny, war, and a shipwreck that left him stranded on the desert isle of Jamaica for almost a year. On his tail were his enemies sent from Europe to track him down. The account of this final voyage brings Columbus to life as never before adventurer, businessman, father, and hero!

To witness the unfolding of history and legacy, watch the full animated movie Christopher Columbus: The Last Journey, streaming on ZEE5 KIDS now!

You can get Live Updates on Coronavirus Outbreak on ZEE5 News section, streaming now.

45 x Christopher Columbus Clip Art images colour - Voyage & Discovery history

This set contains 45 High-Resolution the history of Christopher Columbus' voyage, and discovery of American continent.
The set is perfect for middle to High school education purposes, as the images are realistic depicting certain events.

I have attempted to remain unbiased in my representation of the images, allowing teachers the freedom to represent the material as applicable to their curriculum.

The set includes:
45 Color images with, some full colour pages, and some with transparent backgrounds in PNG file type.

All images are at least 8” in length or width .

Quality Images for commercial use:
Images are high resulotion, at 300 ppi, and can easily be increased or decreased.
The images can be used for personal and commercial purposes in presentations, worksheets, and assignments by the buyer. That means you can use it for illustrative purposes when creating works with text for reselling.

You may however not redistribute or sell the images themselves, individually or as a part of a set. (Not for publishing books).

This set includes the following images:

Set 1: Columbus Colour Images

2. Blessing of the Voyage.png

3. Caravelles Passing Volcano.png

5. Columbus Day Title 1.png

6. Columbus Explaining Plans.png

7. Columbus holding the Spanish flag on Hispaniola.png

8. Columbus on Santa-Maria.png

9. Columbus Pointing at Fire.jpg

11. Columbus Stepping on Land.jpg

12. Columbus Talking to Men.png

14. Columbus with Scroll template.png

15. Columbus with Telescope colour..png

17. Indigenous men looking at Ships.jpg

18. Indigenous person & Spaniard.jpg

20. Indigenous man Rolling Tobacco.jpg

21. King Ferdinand & Isabella.jpg

22. Man Repairing the Pinta 1.jpg

23. Man Repairing the Pinta 2.jpg

26. Sailor Talking to Indigenous man.jpg

27. Scouts Entering Island.jpg

28. Ship & Falling Meteorite.jpg

30. Spaniard & Indigenous man Bartering.jpg

31. Spaniard & Indigenous man Fighting.jpg

32. Spaniard Capturing Indigenous man.jpg

33. Spaniard Tasting Tobacco.jpg

34. Spaniard Watching Nina Sail.jpg

36. Spanish flag symbols.png

37. Spanish Historical Flag 1492.jpg

41. Indigenous man Showing Tobacco.jpg

44. Ocean and sky Background.jpg

45. Ships with transparent background.png

Please have a look at the sample images previews.

If you have any comments or problems, please let me know, and I will be more than happy to help.

Christopher Columbus, Failure

No matter how widely he was hailed as a hero fourteen years earlier, Christopher Columbus was all washed up by the time he died in 1506 (511 years ago this May 20).

A sentimental imagining of the explorer's deathbed.

Crowds from across Spain lined the streets of Seville in 1493 to welcome him home from his first voyage to the Americas, but he already hadn’t found what he was looking for, a seaway to India’s spice-trade ports. He never would, though the search consumed the rest of his life. A little genocide here, some slavery there, several mutinies, and multiple executions of crew members later, and Columbus fell out of favor with the Spanish crown and the public. When he died he was surrounded by family and by the trappings of his substantial income. But he went to his grave with the gouging sense of injustice he couldn’t forgive and of failure he couldn’t explain.

His reputation began to sour during his second expedition. Flush with the success of 1492, he had been named viceroy and governor of all the islands he discovered. Some 1,400 men jostled for berths on his 17 ships bound for the gold-studded heaven on earth in the west. But the large crew was difficult to feed, and the work to be done—digging canals, searching for gold—was backbreaking. Instead of entering paradise, the Spanish settlers found hell on earth, complete with an inept governor. At the helm of a ship, Columbus’s navigational instinct, supreme confidence, and unflagging ambition made him an excellent admiral. But his leadership skills disappeared as soon as he set foot ashore. When he returned to Spain in June 1496 with 500 Indian slaves—much to the chagrin of Queen Isabella, who deplored slavery—he plunged into a cauldron of accusations from sick, embittered crew members, among them a priest he had denied rations to after he chastised Columbus for whipping recalcitrant settlers.

Read more in American Heritage:

King Ferdinand, for his part, was worried about competition with the Portuguese for claim to the new territory. The king of Portugal theorized that further lands lay south of Cuba. Columbus promised to find them for Spain. He persuaded the religious Isabella to back him by observing that any gold he might discover could fund a crusade to reclaim Jerusalem from the infidels.

On May 30, 1498, six caravels sailed west from Sanlcar de Barrameda, three on the usual passage for Hispaniola, where Columbus had left his brother Bartholomew in charge, and three in untested waters along the equator. But after a month of travel on the new course, Columbus and his crew found themselves becalmed for eight days under a blazing sun that putrefied their food and, they feared, might ignite the ships. When a breeze finally rescued them, Columbus steered toward familiar channels in the north, forsaking the route that would have brought him to the Amazon basin.

His men still managed to become the first Europeans to see South America. Lookouts spotted the forested hills of Venezuela’s Paria peninsula in August, but the sailors, conditioned by the Caribbean’s intricate beadwork of archipelagos, assumed this was just one more island. Weeks of staring into the sun to navigate had left Columbus’s eyes weepy, swollen, and bloodshot, and he simply couldn’t see the clues that Paria might be part of something larger. When his crewmen went ashore, on August 5, the first Europeans to walk on the American mainland, he stayed in bed. But when those same men returned, on August 11, with tales of an immense fresh-water delta—so big it must issue from a river longer than any island could hold—they planted the first seeds of doubt in Columbus’s mind. And as his attempts to circumnavigate Paria revealed more and more coastline, he floundered in confusion.

Geographical wisdom dating back to the ancients presumed only three continents. No one in Europe, the Islamic Middle East, China, or India had heard of a fourth. Could the thinkers of Greece, the authors of the Bible, and the leading modern cosmographers all be wrong? Columbus groped for another explanation. The Scriptures tell us that in the Earthly Paradise grows the tree of life, he wrote on August 15, and that from it flows the source that gives rise to the four great rivers, the Ganges, the Tigris, the Euphrates, and the Nile. The Earthly Paradise, which no one can reach except by the will of God, lies at the end of the Orient, and that is where we are. Explorers accepted the idea that the Garden of Eden was a physical place on earth until the mid-1500s. Nonetheless, Columbus hedged. If this river does not flow from Paradise, it must come from an immense land to the south, whereof no one till now has had any knowledge, he added. I believe that this is a most extensive mainland, which no one knew about until today.

But given the fine line between cosmography and theology, he had to challenge nothing less than church doctrine to assert that opinion, and doing so could earn him a heresy charge. The safest explanation, which he seems to have swallowed eagerly, was that this was just an uncharted province of China. With that settled, history’s most famous explorer made an uncharacteristic move: He decided he didn’t want to explore anything that might upset common knowledge. Jilting fate, he abandoned Venezuela to check up on his brother in Hispaniola. Thus the biggest discovery in geography passed completely unheralded by its discoverer. His whole life, Columbus had believed that God had destined him for glory. But once left behind, destiny seemed never to be on Columbus’s side again.

For starters, gory chaos greeted him on Hispaniola. Abused by the Spanish colonists, the Indians had struck back with violent uprisings. Disease and hunger, exacerbated by Bartholomew’s mismanagement, had split the settlers into two warring bands. A hundred men led by the colony’s chief justice, Francisco Roldan, were rebelling against those still loyal to Bartholomew. Columbus immediately recognized the mutiny as potentially fatal to both his colony and his authority as viceroy. The son of a plebeian Genoese merchant, he had risen to command the favor of the Spanish crown he got there with a concentrated lust for power and prestige. But with only 70 faithful, he couldn’t fight back against Roldon. So he eventually caved to all the rebels demands: Exempt from punishment, they could return to Spain or claim free land on Hispaniola they would be paid back wages and Roldon was promoted.

In a letter to the Spanish monarchs explaining the situation, Columbus requested 50 more men and an administrator of justice. Ferdinand and Isabella were not about to commit more subjects to this troublesome, seemingly pointless colony, but the administrator sounded like a good idea. Considering Hispaniola’s importance as a stopover in further exploration of the west, the monarchs realized they had granted Columbus too much power. They hoped Francisco Bobadilla, an officer of the crown, could get him to return home peacefully.

Bobadilla’s first sight upon landing on Hispaniola was a gibbet hung with the corpses of six rebellious Spanish settlers. Columbus and Bartholomew were on an expedition inland, but when Bobadilla questioned their brother, Diego, he found out that more settlers were scheduled to be hanged the next day. Bobadilla forbade the executions, but Diego replied that he only took orders from the viceroy. At that, Bobadilla jailed Diego and took over Columbus’s house, possessions, and job. When Columbus and Bartholomew returned, Columbus furiously challenged Bobadilla’s authority—so Bobadilla threw him and Bartholomew in prison too. There the three Columbus brothers waited for two months, until Bobadilla realized an inquest would be too much work and returned them to Spain for trial. As Christopher Columbus was led in chains from his cell in early October 1500, he thought he was about to be executed.

Instead, an equerry ushered him and his brothers onto a ship heading home. As soon they left port, the captain offered to remove Columbus’s restraints. I have been placed in chains by the order of the sovereigns, Columbus replied, and I shall wear them until the sovereigns themselves should order them removed. True to his word, he dragged his bonds with an ostentatious rattle through the streets of Cadiz and Seville. Ferdinand and Isabella ordered him freed as soon as the news reached them. They had wanted him removed from power, not humiliated.

But their long-unwavering confidence in him had vanished. He begged to be reinstated as viceroy they refused. To a man who believed he had been appointed by God to discover and rule the Indies, this felt like a perversion of destiny. He could continue to draw his duties on Spain’s profits from the New World, an income that would have allowed him to retire in luxury. But the 49-year-old explorer, nearly blind and crippled from arthritis, could never keep his eyes from the western horizon.

He sensed he was losing his influence to new explorers. Under the Portuguese flag in 1498, Vasco de Gama had reached India by sailing east around Cape Horn. The Portuguese had beaten Columbus. But if Columbus found a shorter route via the west, maybe he could win his governorship back. From Marco Polo, Europeans had learned about the only sea route between China and India—the Strait of Malacca, separating Sumatra and Malaysia. If Columbus had found the Asian continent on his last trip, the passage had to be nearby. Of course, his conception of Asian geography was a little off. He had no idea of the size of the continent and assumed that China and India were squished together with the Indies just offshore. But Ferdinand and Isabella were no better informed. They approved his expedition on March 14, 1502, with two caveats: He would send back no slaves, and he would not stop on Hispaniola except in an emergency.

So, with four rickety ships and 150 men, he set out across the Atlantic for one last shot in the dark. He made the crossing in record time—16 days—and headed straight for Hispaniola. The new governor refused to let him land and ignored his warnings of a coming hurricane. What man ever born, not excepting Job, would not have died of despair when in such weather, seeking safety for my son, brother, shipmates and myself, we were forbidden the land and the harbors that I, by Gods will and sweating blood, had won for Spain? As he found a safe inlet west of Santo Domingo, the governor dispatched 30 ships bound for Spain, 25 of which sank in the storm Columbus foresaw. Both Roldon and Bobadilla drowned. Four ships were forced to turn back, and only one reached Spain— the one transporting Columbus’s share of the New World gold.

When the sky cleared, Columbus and his crew journeyed west to an area of the Caribbean they had never explored. They reached what is now Honduras on July 31. There Bartholomew met a canoe full of Indians transporting the fruits of an advanced civilization: copper razors and knives, wooden swords set with flint, colorful cotton shirts, and beer. They were Chontal Mayans, traveling from Campeche Bay to the trading ports of Central America. Had Columbus followed them back to the Yucatan, he would have discovered the pyramids and monuments of Mexican civilization. But he had no time to divert from the search for the passage. After all, this was Asia how unusual should it be to find advanced Chinese? In a letter to Ferdinand and Isabella, he wrote two lines about the Mayans and devoted four times as much space to a fight between a boar and a spider monkey. At yet another crossroads, Columbus, thinking he was choosing the path to discovery and accolades, again chose the route to pain and regret.

Traveling south against the wind and current, his ships moved only six miles a day for the next month along the east coast of Central America. What with the heat and dampness, his son Fernando wrote, our ship biscuit had become so wormy that, God help me, I saw many who waited for darkness to eat the porridge made of it, that they might not see the maggots. But Columbus, aware that this might be his last voyage, refused to give up. Finally the Spanish arrived in Panamas Chiriqui Lagoon in early October, where natives told them it was just a nine-day hike across the isthmus to another ocean. This must be the place. From here, Columbus calculated, it would be a ten-day sail to the Ganges. His men explored every inlet of the lagoon in search of the strait, but to no avail. Joyful anticipation turned to desperation, and desperation to bitter disappointment. After three days, Columbus returned to the open sea, his hopes suffocated, his only goal now the acquisition of wealth.

Low tide beached him until April at the gold fields of Panama, where his men waged bloody war with Indians. He himself caught malaria. When the waters finally rose, termite-like worms had made lace of the ships hulls. With only three viable caravels, he headed for Hispaniola one last time. He made it as far as Jamaica. From there, he sent an emissary by canoe the 105 miles to Santo Domingo to ask for transportation home. The governor of Hispaniola waited nine months to answer the request, nine months in which the starved, disease-ridden Spanish on Jamaica staged one last failed rebellion against their sickly captain. Finally, on September 12, 1504, a relief expedition left for Seville with Columbus on board. He would never again lay eyes on the land he had claimed for Spain 12 years earlier.

His previous returns home had been buoyed by triumph or righteous martyrdom, but when he reached Seville on November 8, he was weighted by failure. Prone to fevered deliriums, he continued to demand the offices of viceroy and governor of the Indies. Ferdinand refused, but he offered Columbus the title of admiral of the ocean sea as consolation. For the first time, Columbus registered the defeat. Immobilized by gout and arthritis at just 53, he retreated to bed.

In a few years, cartographers would name the vast lands of the Western Hemisphere after Amerigo Vespucci, the Florentine explorer who first recognized South America as its own continent, and Ferdinand Magellan would find a passage to the Pacific in the west by looking south of the equator. By then the man who had opened the door for those advances—but balked at walking through—was no longer around to jockey for credit. On May 20, 1506, in Valladolid, Spain, with his two brothers and two sons at his side, Columbus uttered his last words: In manus tuas, Domine, commendo spiritum meum (Into your hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit).

He died in the comfort of wealth—his descendants would live off his money for generations—and the silence of obscurity. But just a few miles away, King Ferdinand didn’t even receive word that Columbus was ill. The final journey of the explorer who reorganized the globe, a funeral procession through the city streets, passed unnoticed even by the residents of Valladolid.

Christopher Columbus' Last Voyage - HISTORY

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Detail - 1502

May 11, 1502 - Christopher Columbus left Spain on his fourth voyage to the New World, landing back on the islands of Martinique and Jamaica in June. This voyage would take him to Central America, but not to North America.

After the difficulty and imprisonment of his Third Voyage, Christopher Columbus was no longer governor of the Spanish colony, but had been released by King Ferdinand and effectively absolved from his crimes. Columbus wanted to return the King agreed, funding a Fourth Voyage. The Admiral would now return with knowledge of two facts the Portuguese with Vasco de Gama had found the East Indies by sailing east around Africa and he would not be welcome in the land that he had once governed.

However, Columbus had strict orders from the King and Queen. His mission was to find a path to India, the Maluku Islands of Indonesia, the Spice Islands, by sailing west, through the hoped for straits of Central America, and to circumnavigate the world. He was not supposed to visit Hispaniola at all. With one hundred and forty-seven men, Columbus left Santa Catalina, Spain on May 11, 1502. He was accompanied by his son Fernando, thirteen years old, and captained four ships Capitana, Gallega, Vizcaina, and the Santiago de Palos. On June 29, 1502, Columbus disobeyed the King's orders, attempting to port in Santo Domingo, Hispaniola, prompted by an anticipated hurricane. He was denied entry the governor did not believe him, having sent a homeward bound fleet of treasure ships back to Spain at the same time against the advice of the Admiral. Twenty of those ships were lost at sea.

Columbus arrived off the coast of today's Honduras on July 30, 1502. He reached the San Juan River in Nicaragua by September 17. Over two and one half months, the ships of the fourth voyage plied the coast from Honduras to Panama, looking for passage. He was often told of the riches of gold by the natives. The tribes of the region of Panama also told Columbus that another ocean was only a few days march west, convincing Columbus that he was near the Orient. At the head of the Belen River, a garrison was established at the beginning of 1503. It was attacked through the spring until Columbus decided to return to Hispaniola in April, but was beached in Jamaica by June. Columbus wrote a letter from Jamaica back to the King of Spain on July 3, 1503, about the same time as he decided to send a canoe to Hispaniola for a ship to rescue them. Two canoes were dispatched, but upon arrival, current Governor Nicolas de Ovando y Caceres refused. For one year, Columbus and his remaining men were stranded with a mutiny engaged, then defeated. Finally, on June 29, 1504 (Fernando dates leaving the island as June 28), a rescue caravel, purchased by Diego Mendez (a member of the canoe party) with the Admiral's money, from Hispaniola arrived. At the time, there were one hundred and ten men left of the Fourth Voyage.

Columbus returned to Spain, leaving Hispaniola on September 11, 1504, and arriving on November 7, 1504.

Below are three excerpts about the fourth voyage by Ferdinand Columbus, the Admiral's son. These passages, predominantly transposed with the punctuation used at the time, indicate much about the goals and privations of the trip. They also, in many ways, modify the perceptions of the legacy of Columbus. While neither exempting or glorifying these adventures, the words of one passenger, albeit his son, do assist in explaining what went on. Use your own judgement to what that means, in both negative and positive tones.

Arrival in Hispaniola, June 29, 1502

From the "The Life and Times of Christopher Columbus by His Son," Ferdinand Columbus.

The Knight Commander of Lares, governor of the island, who had been sent by the Catholic Sovereigns to hold an inquest into Bobadilla's administration, took no notice of our unexpected arrival on Wednesday, June 29th Havmg come to off the harbor, the Admiral sent Captain Pedro de Terreros, captain of one of the ships, to explain to the Knight Commander that because he had to replace one of his ships and also because he expected a great storm, he wished to take shelter in port The Admiral also advised him not to permit the homeward-bound fleet to sail for eight days because of the great danger The Knight Commander, however, would not permit the Admiral to enter the port, much less would he detain the fleet that was homeward bound for Castile This fleet, consisting of twenty-eight ships, earned the Knight Commander Bobaddilla, who had made prisoners the Admiral and his brothers, Francisco Roldan, and all the other rebels who had done the Admiral so much hurt God was pleased to close the eyes and minds of all those men so that they did not heed the Admirals good advice. I am certain that this was Divine Providence, for had they arrived in Castile, they would never have been punished as their crimes deserved, on the contrary, as protege of Bishop Fonseca, they would have received many favors and thanks But their departure from that port for Castile prevented this On reaching the eastern end of Espaniola the storm assailed them with such fury that the flagship carrying Bobadilla and most of the rebels went down, and it did such havoc among the rest that only three or four out of the twenty-eight weathered the tempest.

This happened on Thursday, the last day of June, and the Admiral bemg forbidden the harbor, anchored as close as he could under the land in order to save himself This caused much grief and chagrin to the ships' crews, who on account of being with the Admiral were denied the hospitality that should be accorded to foreigners, and all the more to men of the same nation, they also feared that if some disaster should befall, they could expect no aid from ashore Inwardly the Admiral felt the same grief and bitterness, especially when he reflected that m a time of mortal danger he was being demed refuge in the land that he had given to Spain for its honor and exaltation.

By his skill and good judgment he managed to keep the fleet together till the next day, when, as the storm gained in intensity and night came on with deep darkness, three ships were torn from their anchorages, each going its own way, and though all ran the same danger, each thought the others had gone down The worst sufferers were the men on the Santo, who to save their boat, in which Captain Teneros had gone ashore, dragged it astern by cables, until they were forced to cut it loose in order to save themselves.

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Searching for the Strait, July-August, 1502

From the "The Life and Times of Christopher Columbus by His Son," Ferdinand Columbus.

The find of that canoe and its contents made the Admiral aware of the great wealth, civilization, and industry of the peoples of the western part of New Spain Reflecting, however, that as these lands were to the leeward, he could sail thither from Cuba whenever he wished, he decided to continue with his search for a strait across the mainland that would Open a way to the South Sea and the Lands of Spices. So, like one groping in the darkness, he sailed eastward toward Veragua and Nombre de Dios, believing the strait must be there, and so it was But his mistake consisted in conceiving it to be a channel running from sea to sea instead of a neck of land or isthmus, as others did. This error may have arisen from a misunderstanding, for being told the strait was in Veragua and Nombre de Dios, and the word "strait" meaning either a land or water strait, he understood it in the latter sense, as the most common and as signifying what he fervently sought for. Be that as it may, that land strait proved to be the doorway through which Spain entered upon the dominion of many seas, and one by means of which great treasure has been discovered and conveyed to Spain. So It was through the finding of that canoe that the existence of New Spain was first made known, for God was pleased that this great end should be achieved in that way and no other.

As there was nothing of importance in those Guanaja Islands, he did not tarry there but made for a point of the mainland that he called Caxinas Point, from the name of a tree that grew there, this tree produces fruit resembhng wrinkled ohves with a spongy core that are good to eat, especially when cooked, the Indians of Espaniola call these fruit "caxmas" As this country contained nothing worthy of mention, the Admiral lost no time in exploring a large bay that he found there but held on his course eastward along the coast that runs to Cape Gracias a Dios, this coast is very low and open all the way. The Indians in the vicinity of Point Caxmas were dressed like those in the canoe, in dyed shirts and breechclouts, they also had thick quilted cotton jerkins like breastplates that were sufficient protection against their darts and even withstood some blows from our swords. But the people who live farther east, as far as Cape Gracias a Dios, are almost black in color, ugly in aspect, wear no clothes, and are very wild in all respects. According to the Indian who was our prisoner they eat human flesh and raw fish, and pierce holes m their ears large enough to insert hen's eggs, that is why the Admiral named that country Costa de las Orejas.

On Sunday morning, August 14, 1502, accompamed by the captains and many of the fleet's people, the Adelantado went ashore with his banners displayed to hear Mass The Wednesday following, when boats were sent ashore to take formal possession of the land in the name of the Catholic Sovereigns, more than a hundred Indians bearing food came down to the shore, as soon as the boats had beached they presented these gifts to the Adelantado and went some distance off without saying a word. The Adelantado ordered them repaid with hawk's bells, beads, and other trifles He also asked them about the resources of the region by signs and with the aid of the Indian interpreter But this interpreter, having been but a short time with us, did not imderstand the Christians because of the distance - short though it is - separating his country from Espanola, where many of the ship's people had learned the Indians' language, nor did he understand the Indians of that locality These Indians being pleased with what had been given them, next day more than two hundred others came to the same spot bringing food of various kinds. chickens that were better-tastmg than ours, geese, roast fish, red and white beans resembling kidney beans, and other commodities like those of Espanola The land though flat was verdant and lovely, with many pines and evergreen oaks, myrobalans of the kind called hobos in Espanola, and almost aU the other frmts and foods found in Espanola There were also many pumas, stags, and roe deer, and many of the fish found in Espanola but not in Spam.

Stranded in Jamaica, 1503

From the "The Life and Times of Christopher Columbus by His Son," Ferdinand Columbus.

Monday, May 1, 1503, we stood to the northward with winds and currents easterly, always endeavoring to sail as close to the wind as possible All the pilots insisted that we had passed eastward of the Canbbee Islands, but the Admiral feared he would not be able to fetch Espanola So it turned out, because Wednesday, May 10th, we sighted two very small low islands full of turtles (as was all the sea thereabout, so that it seemed to be full of little rocks), that is why these islands were called Las Tortugas. Passing northward by them, we arrived on Friday afternoon at the Jardin de la Rema, which is a great number of small islands on the south side of Cuba.

As we lay here at anchor, ten leagues from Cuba, suffering greatly from hunger because we had nothmg to eat but biscuit and a little oil and vinegar, and exhausted by working three pumps day and night to keep the vessels afloat (for they were ready to sink from the multitude of holes made by the shipworm), there came on at night a great storm in which the Bermuda, being unable to ride It out, fouled us and broke our stem, nor did she get off whole, but smashed her stem almost to the helm With great labor on account of the heavy rain and high wind, by God's favor the ships got clear of each other, and although we let go all the cables and anchors we had, none held but the ship's sheet anchor. The next morning we found intact but one strand of her cable, which must have parted if the night had lasted one hour longer, and since that place was full of rocks we could not have avoided running on some of those astern of us But it pleased God to deliver us then as He had delivered us from many other dangers.

Departing from there with much labor, we put in an Indian village on the coast of Cuba, called Macaca, and having obtained some refreshment there, we stood over toward Jamaica because the easterly winds and the strong westward-running currents would have never let us make Espanola - especially since the ships were so riddled by the shipworm that day and mght we never ceased workmg three pumps in each of them, and if any broke down, we had to supply its place while it was being patched up. For all our efforts, the eve of St John's Day the water in our ship rose so high that it was almost up to the deck With great toil we continued in this state until daybreak when we made a harbor in Jamaica named Puerto Bueno. This harbor was well protected but had no source of fresh water, nor was there any Indian village in the vicinity. So, keepmg afloat as well as we could, the next day we sailed eastward to another harbor, named Santa Glona, that was enclosed with reefs Having got in, since were no longer able to keep the ships afloat, we ran them ashore as far as we could, grounding them close together board and board, and shoring them up on both sides so they could not budge, and the ships bemg in this position the tide rose almost to the decks Upon these and the fore and stemcastles we built cabins where the people could lodge, making our position as strong as possible so the Indians could do us no harm, for at that time the island was not yet inhabited or subdued by the Christians.

When we were thus fortified in the ships as strong as we could be, a crossbow shot from land, the Indians of that country, who proved to be kind and gentle people, presently came in canoes to barter their wares and provisions for our truck That the trade might be on an equal basis and neither side gain more than was just, the Admiral placed two men in charge of the traffic, and it was agreed that whatever the ship's people obtamed by trade would be divided among all inshares By that time we had nothing aboard to eat, for we had aheady consumed the greater part of our provisions, much had spoiled, and as much again had been lost in the haste and disorder of the embarkation from Belen.

We being in such straits, God was pleased to bring us to an island abounding in eatables and densely inhabited by Indians eager to trade with us, so that they came from all directions For this reason, and that his people might not disperse throughout the island, the Admiral preferred to fortify himself aboard and not ashore Our people bemg by nature disrespectful, no punishment or order could have stopped them from running about the country and into the Indians' huts to steal what they found and commit outrages on their wives and children, whence would have arisen disputes and quarrels that would have made enemies of them, and if we had taken then food from them by force, we would later have suffered great need and privations But this did not happen, for the men were confined in the ships and no one could go ashore without gettmg permission and signing out. The Indians were so grateful for this that they freely brought all we needed in exchange for our things For one or two hutias we gave them a lacepomt, for a large cake of cassava bread, which is made from grated roots, we gave two or three strmgs of green or yellow beads, and for a large quantity of anythmg a hawk's bell, with an occasional gift of a mirror, red cap, or a pair of scissors to the caciques or nobility to keep them happy By these means we were assured of a plentiful supply of provisions, and the Indians were glad to have us as neighbors.

As some means had to he found of returrung to Castile, the Admiral held several meetmgs of his captains and other leadmg men to discuss how this might be done It was idle to hope that some ship might come that way, and there was no possibility of building a new vessel, for we had neither the implements nor the artisans needed for the task, unless we allowed ourselves a long time - and even then such a makeshift vessel would not do, considering the westward-running winds and currents among those islands, so it would only be a loss of time and cause our total rum instead of averting it.

After many conferences the Admiral determmed to send messengers to Espanola with the news that he was marooned on Jamaica and the request that a rescue ship laden with provisions and ammunition be sent to him For this mission he chose two reliable and courageous men Certainly courage was required to make that crossing in the only way it could be done, that is, in Indian canoes made by hollowmg out a large log, when heavily loaded, these dugouts are three fourths under water Moreover, the crossing had to be made in medium-sized canoes, for the smaller ones were too dangerous and thee larger ones too slow and cumbrous for such a long voyage.

In July, 1503, having found two suitable canoes, the Admiral ordered Diego Mendez de Segura, chief clerk of the fleet, to sail in one, and Bartolomeo Fieschi, a Genoese gentleman, to sail in the other, each takmg a crew of six Christians and ten Indian paddlers. On reaching Espanola, Diego Mendez should proceed to Santo Dommgo, and Fieschi should return to Jamaica with news of Mendez's safe arrival in order to spare us worry and fear that he might have perished This could easily happen with such flimsy craft if the sea turned at all rough, Indians do not run such great risk, for they can right a capsized canoe while swimming in the sea and get back in. However, honor and necessity incite men to face the greatest risks, so Mendez and Fieschi set out down the coast of Jamaica toward the east end of the island, which the Indians call Aomaqmque after the cacique of that province, this end was thirty-three leagues from Maima, the place where we had beached our ships. The distance from Jamaica to Espanola being thirty leagues, with only one little island or rock along the whole course, and that some eight leagues from Espanola, they had to wait for a perfect caln before startmg to cross that great space in such frail craft By God's favor this calm soon came.

Christopher Columbus' Last Voyage - HISTORY

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Pre-Revolution Timeline - The 1400s

A decade when the men who discovered the New World began the exploration and colonization of the Americas, even if they weren't the firsts they thought they were.

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Columbus Expeditions

Above: Explorer John Cabot. Image courtesy Wikipedia Commons. Right: Painting Christopher Columbus taking possession of San Salvador, Watling Island by L Prang and Co., 1893. Images courtesy Library of Congress.

Pre-Revolution Timeline - The 1400s

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1498 - Detail

May 30, 1498 - The third voyage of Columbus began in the Spanish city of Sanlucar. During this voyage, he explored the islands of the Caribbean again as well as the South American territories of what is now Venezuela. Upon visiting the previously established settlements, he found much discontent among those left behind to colonize the region.

Columbus had been back in Spain since 1496 when a new mission arrived. There had been Portuguese reports that a large mainland existed below the islands of the Indies which Columbus had discovered on his first and second voyages. They were purported to be southwest of the Cape Verde Islands. Columbus sailed from Sanlucar with six ships in his fleet, departing on May 30, 1498. Accompanying him was Bartolome de las Casas, the eventual Bishop of Chiapas. The Admiral led three of them directly toward the supposed continent, the Santa Maria de Guia, the Vaquenos, and the Correo, founding Trinidad on July 31. There are reports that the other three ships, according to Bartolome de las Casas, were sent directly toward Hispaniola.

For eight days in early August, Columbus and his three ships explored the Gulf of Paria between Trinidad and today's Venezuela. His exploration continued on the mainland with forays into the region of the Orinoco River. Back on sea, Columbus encountered the islands of Margarita, Chacachacare, Tobago, and Grenada.

Arrival in South America

From the "The Life and Times of Christopher Columbus by His Son," Ferdinand Columbus.

Tuesday, the last day of July, 1498, having sailed westward so many days, the Admiral concluded the Cannibales (Caribe) Islands must be to the north of him. He therefore decided not to hold on that course any longer but to make for Espanola, not only because he was in great want of water but also because all his provisions were spoiling. He also feared that in his absence some mutiny or disorder might take place among the people he had left there, as had actually happened. He therefore altered his course from the west and stood north, thinking that on the way he might strike one of the Cannibales (Caribe), where the sailors could rest and the ships take on wood and water, of which they were very short. One day at noon a sailor from Huelva by the name of Alonso Perez Nizardo, climbing to the crow's nest, saw land some fifteen leagues to the westward. It had the appearance of three mountains joined at the base, a htde (sp) later they perceived that this land extended northwestward as far as the eye could reach. So, after all had given many thanks to God and recited the Hail Mary and other devout prayers that sailors are accustomed to say in tune of rejoicing as in adversity, the Admiral gave that island the name of Trinidad, both because he had intended to give that name to the first land he should find and because he wished to show his gratitude to God, Who had shown him those three mountains all together. He then sailed due west toward a cape which lay to the south and cruised along the southern shore of that island till he came to anchor five leagues beyond a point that he called Cabo de la Galera, from a nearby rock that from a distance looked like a galley under sail. As he now had only one cask of water for all his ship's crew and the other ships were in the same plight, and there was no good watering place there, he continued on Wednesday morning on his course west and anchored at another point that he named Punta de la Playa. The sailors went ashore with much merriment and took water from a pleasant brook, they encountered no people or village in the vicinity, though all along that coast they had seen many huts and villages. They did find signs of fishermen who had fled, leaving their fishing tackle behind, also they found many footprints of animals that seemed to be goats and the skeleton of a hornless animal that they judged to be a macaque or small monkey. They later knew this opinion to be true, from the many animals of that kind they saw in Paria.

That same day (August 1st), sailing southward between Cabo de la Galera and Punta de la Playa, they saw the continent on their left, twenty-five leagues away, but they thought it was another island and the Admiral named it Isla Santa. The coast of Trinidad extends thirty leagues from one point to the other, unbroken by a single harbor its entire length. The whole country was very lovely, with woods reaching down to the water's edge and many villages and huts. They covered this distance in a very short time, because the sea current set so strongly westward that it looked like an impetuous river, both day and night and at all hours, although the tide on this shore rises and falls more than sixty feet, this happens at Sanlucar de Barrameda, whose waters rise and fall with the tide, yet never cease to flow out to sea.

Columbus Meets the Natives of South America

From the "The Life and Times of Christopher Columbus by His Son," Ferdinand Columbus.

As they had no opportunity to speak with the natives of the country at the Punta de la Playa, and there was no good watering place there, or one in which they could repair their ships or obtain provisions, the Admiral proceeded the next day, August 2d, to another point that seemed to be the western end of that island and named it Punta del Arenal. There he anchored, thinking it offered better protection from the east wind that blew in that region and hindered the boats in coming and going ashore. As they sailed toward this point a canoe with twenty-five persons began to follow them, a lombard shot away the Indians stopped paddling and called out to them. Our people did not understand a word they said, but the Indians were probably asking what sort of men the Spaniards were and whence they came, as the Indians are accustomed to do. Since words could not persuade the Indians to come nearer, our men tried to coax them by showing brass pots, mirrors, and other things of which Indians are usually very fond. This brought them a little closer, but from time to time they stopped as if in doubt. Then the Admiral tried to lure them by staging a show, with a pipe-and-tabor player mounting the prow, while another sang and played a kettle-drum and some grummets did a dance. At this the Indians assumed a waihke (sp) posture, taking up their shields and beginning to shoot arrows at the entertainers, who promptly stopped their performance. Unwilling to let this insolence go unpunished lest they feel contempt for the Christians, the Admiral ordered some crossbowmen to shoot at the Indians, who, finding it difficult to retreat, paddled over to the Vaquena without sign of fear or hesitation. The Vaquenas pilot entered their canoe and gave them some trifles that pleased them greatly, they said that if the Christians came ashore, they would bring them bread from their houses. Then they left for shore, and the ship's people did not detain any for fear of displeasing the Admiral. They said these Indians were of very handsome appearance and had lighter skins than those on the other islands, that they wore their hair long, like women, tied in the back with small strings, and that they covered their private parts wnth breechclouts.

Return to Espaniola (Hispaniola)

Columbus returned to Santo Domingo on August 31, 1498 from his exploration of the northern coast of South America and the islands in between in ill health. The settlements had not fared well in his several year absence. At first, thinking Columbus would return with increased provisions, they remained in peace. However, after a year, this halted, and Columbus returned to a city and island rife with struggle. There had been a revolt led by the Alcade Mayor Francisco Roldan, whom Columbus had appointed. On November 21, 1498, an agreement was made between Columbus and Roldan to provide the rebels safe harbor back to Spain, however, that agreement did not go into place, with a separate agreement coming to fore one year later on November 5th, that would lead to Roldan continuing in his post as Mayor.

Columbus continued to govern, but with his health, had decided that a return to Spain would be better than remaining as Governor of the Indies, and requested that a replacement be appointed. His seven year reign in that post had not gone particulary well, with mistreatment of the natives by the Admiral and his brothers, as well as unrest. On August 23, 1500, Francisco de Babadilla arrived from Spain to take over as governor, appointed on May 21, 1499 and given expanded powers. He arrested Columbus, removed the Admiral from his posts, and shipped he and his brothers back to Spain on October 1, 1500. They were imprisoned for six weeks, before King Ferdinand had them released. The King and Queen agreed with the contention of Columbus that those who had conspired against him were doing so for their own benefit he would be given back his wealth, but not the governorship. Columbus would return to the Americas for his fourth journey on March 14, 1502.

Did Christopher Columbus discover the Bahamas?

The Bahamas is a country steeped in the fascinating tales of Christopher Columbus history. Though the country’s story began centuries earlier, the arrival of Columbus in the Bahamas on 12 th October 1492 marked an important point in history which at the time was known to Europeans as the discovery of the ‘New World’.

Monuments, museums, and statues can be found throughout the Bahamas, each telling their own section of Christopher Columbus history. While you really can find these historical attractions on a large number of the islands, there are a few that stand out as having played an immensely significant role in Christopher Columbus history. The very first place to start your tour of Columbus history should be San Salvador, where his story in the Bahamas began.

The 3 ships sailed by Christopher Columbus in search of the New World


Irving was invited to Madrid to translate Spanish-language source material on Columbus into English. Irving decided instead to use the sources to write his own four-volume biography and history. Irving was a fiction writer and employed his talent to create an hyperbolic story of Christopher Columbus. [1]

During the research, he worked closely with Alexander von Humboldt, who had recently returned from his own South American trip, and could provide deep knowledge of the geography and science of the Americas and together they charted the route and first landing of Columbus in the Americas. [5] Humboldt praised the biography after its release, which Walls, a biographer of Humboldt, partially attributes to Irving's willingness to pursue a wide-ranging scope of topics within the work, paralleling Humboldt's own effort, Examen Critique. [5]

Historians have noted Irving's "active imagination" [3] and called some aspects of his work "fanciful and sentimental". [1] Literary critics have noted that Irving "saw American history as a useful means of establishing patriotism in his readers, and while his language tended to be more general, his avowed intention toward Columbus was thoroughly nationalist". [4] From Irving's preface to the work, however, a contradictory intent emerges, that of the desire to write an accurate history: "In the execution of this work I have avoided indulging in mere speculations or general reflections, excepting such as rose naturally out of the subject, preferring to give a minute and circumstantial narrative, omitting no particular that appeared characteristic of the persons, the events, or the times and endeavoring to place every fact in such a point of view, that the reader might perceive its merits, and draw his own maxims and conclusions" (I, 12-13). The critic William L. Hedges, in "Irving's Columbus: The Problem of Romantic Biography", argues: "To a large extent [Irving] may have been unconscious of his approach to history. And consciously he could not formulate his intentions except in stock phrases." [6]

One glaring weakness, then, of the work as a historical biography, is the enduring mythic assertion that it was only the voyages of Columbus that finally convinced Europeans of his time that the Earth is not flat. [7] In truth, no educated or influential member of medieval society believed the Earth to be flat. The idea of a spherical Earth had long been espoused in the classical tradition and was inherited by medieval academics.

From the perspective of constructivist literary critique: "Most of the critics who react this way, however, attack the work with counterevidence that is already present in Irving's text. The problem with the biography, therefore, is not that Irving presented only a partial portrait but rather that, in his ambivalence about the character of his hero and the imperialism that established the American colonies, as well as in his confusion about the function of historical writing, he created two portraits of Columbus". [4]

Watch the video: CHRISTOPHER COLUMBUS: Χριστόφορος Κολόμβος ENG SUB with FREDRIC MARCH-Derek Bond, 1949, FULL