Sunday, July 05, 2020

Christopher Columbus

Christopher Columbus was born in this beautiful city of Genoa in the year 1446, at number 27 Ponticello Street.

Christopher Columbus was the oldest son of Dominico Colombo and Suzanna Fontanarossa. His father was a wool weaver. He helped his father with the weaving, but he always wanted to sail the seas. His father was not a rich man, but he was able to send Christopher, as a boy, to the University of Pavia, and here he studied grammar, geometry, geography and navigation, astronomy and the Latin language.

Then at the age of 14 he began longer trips with merchants who traded their goods at various ports along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea. Between voyages he studied mapmaking and geography.

Exploring by sea was very expensive and he tried for eight years to convince King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain to supply him with ships and money. They finally agreed to provide three ships for the expedition. They also promised to make him viceroy (governor) of any new lands he might acquire and pay him 10% of any riches he brought back to Spain. Columbus prepared the three ships ready to sail- the Santa Maria and two smaller ships, the Pinta and the Nina.

On August 3, 1492 he started sailed across the Atlantic Ocean from Spain, hoping to find a route to India (in order to trade for spices). On October 12, more than two months later, Columbus landed on an island in the Bahamas that he called San Salvador; the natives called it Guanahani.

For nearly five months, Columbus explored the Caribbean, particularly the islands of Juana (Cuba) and Hispaniola (San Domingo), before returning to Spain. He left thirty-nine men to build a settlement called La Navidad in present-day Haiti. He also kidnapped several Native Americans (between ten and twenty-five) to take back to Spain—only eight survived. Columbus brought back small amounts of gold as well as native birds and plants to show the richness of the continent he believed to be India.

He made a total of four trips to the Caribbean and South America during the years 1492-1504. He died on 20 May 1506  at Valladolid, Castile.
Christopher Columbus

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