Christopher Columbus - UC Santa Barbara Geography

Christopher Columbus Columbus Map: circa 1490 workshop of Bartolomeo and Christopher Colombus in Lisbon First Voyage Second voyage 1493-4

Third voyage 1498 Problems with the third voyage In Hispaniola on August 19 many of the Spanish settlers of the new colony were discontented, having been misled by Columbus about the supposedly bountiful riches of the new world. Journal from September 1498 reads, "From here one might send, in the name of the Holy Trinity, as many slaves as could be sold..." A fierce supporter of slavery, Columbus ultimately refused to baptize

the native people of Hispanolia, since Catholic law forbade the enslavement of Christians. Columbus repeatedly had to deal with rebellious settlers and natives. He had some of his crew hanged for disobeying him. A number of returning settlers and sailors lobbied against Columbus at the Spanish court, accusing him and his brothers of gross mismanagement. On his return he was arrested for a period. Consuelo Varela, a Spanish historian, states: "Even those who loved him [Columbus] had to admit the atrocities that had taken place."

Pardoned by the King after 6 weeks, and put in charge of a 4th journey (but relieved of role as Governor) Fourth Voyage 1502-1504 Fourth Journey

Spain to Jamaica, then Columbus sailed to Central America, arriving at Guanaja (Isla de Pinos) in the Bay Islands off the coast of Honduras on July 30. Here Bartolomeo found native merchants

and a large canoe, which was described as "long as a galley" and was filled with cargo. On August 14, he landed on the American mainland at Puerto Castilla, near Trujillo, Honduras. He spent two months exploring the coasts of Honduras, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica, before arriving in Almirante Bay, Panama on October 16. In Panama, Columbus learned from the natives of gold and a strait to another ocean. After much exploration, in January 1503 he established a garrison at the mouth of the Rio Belen. On April 6 one of the ships became stranded in the river. At the same time, the garrison was attacked, and the other ships were damaged. Columbus left for Hispaniola on April 16, heading north. On May 10 he sighted the Cayman

Islands, naming them "Las Tortugas" after the numerous sea turtles there. His ships next sustained more damage in a storm off the coast of Cuba. Unable to travel farther, on June 25, 1503, they were beached in St. Ann's Bay, Jamaica. For a year Columbus and his men remained stranded on Jamaica. A Spaniard, Diego Mendez, and some natives paddled a canoe to get help from Hispaniola. That island's governor detested Columbus and obstructed all efforts to rescue him and his men. Columbus, in a desperate effort to induce the natives to continue provisioning him and his hungry men, successfully intimidated the natives by correctly predicting a lunar eclipse for February 29, 1504, using the Ephemeris of the German astronomer Regiomontanus.

Help finally arrived, no thanks to the governor, on June 29, 1504, and Columbus and his men arrived in Spain on November 7.

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