domingo, 15 de febrero de 2015

February 15: Christopher Columbus writes an open letter on his findings when he goes back on board the caravel "La Niña", in 1493.

Route of Columbus's first voyage.

The Open Letter of Columbus on his first voyage to the New World becomes the first ostensible document, written by Christopher Columbus himself describing the inauguration of a series of islands "At the edge of the Indian Ocean" in Asia.

Portrait of a Man, Said to be Christopher Columbus by Sebastian del Piombo, 1519.

Columbus described Cuba with exaggeration of its geography and wealth. He also hinted that Chinese mainland could be near those islands he first saw in today Caribean Sea, and called the natives “Arawak” as if they were Indians, from India.

Replicas of the Niña, Pinta and Santa Maria in the North River, New York.

Even before departing back, made a stop in Samana Peninsula, today Dominican Republic, where he found the natives "Ciguayos" whom he considered hostile and aggressive because they did not want to sell the amount of bows and arrows that Columbus wanted. Columbus subdued them and immediately two natives were shot to death by Spanish soldiers. Because of that incident, Columbus called the site "Bay of Arrows", Rincon Bay today, in Dominican Republic.

Illustrative woodcut from the Latin edition of Columbus's letter printed in Basel in 1494

Christopher Columbus kidnapped 25 natives to take them as a sign of their discovery and possession in the name of Ferdinand and Isabella. But only six or seven came to Seville alive to astonish the admired Spaniards.

Hispaniola: Today HAiti and Dominican Republic

Actually, Columbus arrived in Lisbon for a detour caused by storms. It seems that there came two copies of his letter, which were sent to the Spanish court, as he sailed to Spain with his valuable commodity. In February 15, 1493 The Charter was written asking the Kings for more money too return on a second trip because he had to leave settlers from the two ships he lost (La Pinta and La Santamaría) who built a fortress in the island Hispaniola.