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Featured Books

Featured Books

El Diario De Cristobal Colon: An AdaptationSummary and Reviews of El Diario De Cristobal Colon: An Adaptation
The Four Voyages of Christopher ColumbusSummary and Reviews of The Four Voyages of Christopher Columbus
First Voyage to America: From the Log of the "Santa Maria"Summary and Reviews of First Voyage to America: From the Log of the "Santa Maria"
The Voyage of Christopher ColumbusSummary and Reviews of The Voyage of Christopher Columbus: Columbus' Own Journal of Discovery Newly Restored and Translated
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Christopher Columbus

Click the banner or the individual items listed to buy and read Columbus' voyages in Journals, letters, and dispatches to his benefactors.

Christopher Columbus (1451-1506) was an Italian explorer who sailed mostly under the funding and commission of the Spanish flag.  Columbus' four voyages to America are legendary and have been part of the popular history of America for many decades.  More recently, groups of people who believe that Columbus exploited the Native Americans he encountered and began a long chain of exploitation by later explorers and settlers question the positive effects of these voyages that Americans have traditionally believed.  In reaction, some historians label this a revisionist view of the events of Columbus' life.  They realize that the popular notion that Columbus "discovered" America, tamed the savages, and set a precedent for inevitable and peaceful co-existence with the natives of the "New World" oversimplifies these events.  However, they also say that revisionist historians take it too far in asserting that the Europeans should have left the Natives alone and their exploration of America had no positive effects on the world.

Columbus first arrived in America on October 12, 1492 and claimed San Salvador for Spain.  He also became the first European to land on the Bahamas, Cuba and Hispaniola.  The journal of this first voyage is not extant, but Bartolome de Las Casas' summary of it is and is available for historians to review in published form.  Columbus set sail again in September 1493, thinking he was going back to the Indies where he thought he had landed before.  On this second voyage, he visited Puerto Rico, Jamaica, Cuba, the Virgin Islands, and the Lesser Antilles.  Michele de Cuneo produced the only extant record of this voyage, in which Columbus was again unable to find the silver, gold and enchanted cities he was trying to find in the Indies.  While Columbus was convinced he had reached his goal of landing in the Indies with these legendary treasures told of by Marco Polo, he never actually made it to these legendary places but did land on Trinidad, the Spanish Main and the South American continent.

Columbus eventually realized that he had not found a faster path to the Indies, but he imagined he had discovered the Garden of Eden told of in the Bible.  He was able to convince himself of this because of malfunctions of his navigational equipment combined with the "scientific knowledge" and religious views of his time.  He returned to Spain after his fourth voyage to live the rest of his days in disillusionment.

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