Amerigo Vespucci ( Part 4)

Karishma Mishra
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First voyage

First voyage. Modern place names in black, Columbus's place names in blue

On the evening of 3 August 1492, Columbus departed from Palos de la Frontera with three ships. The largest was a carrack (Spanish: nao), the Santa María ex-Gallega ("Galician")[further explanation needed]. The other two were smaller caravels. The name of one is lost: it is known today only by the nickname Pinta, which in Castilian of the time meant "painted one".[50] The Santa Clara was nicknamed affectionately the Niña ("the little one"), a pun on the name of her owner, Juan Niño of Moguer.[51] The monarchs forced the citizens of Palos to contribute to the expedition. The Santa María was owned by Juan de la Cosa and captained by Columbus. The Pinta and the Niña were piloted by the Pinzón brothers (Martín Alonso and Vicente Yáñez).[32]

Columbus first sailed to the Canary Islands, which belonged to Castile. He restocked provisions and made repairs in Gran Canaria, then departed from San Sebastián de La Gomera on 6 September, for what turned out to be a five-week voyage across the ocean. At about 2:00 in the morning of 12 October, a lookout on the PintaRodrigo de Triana (also known as Juan Rodríguez Bermeo), spotted land, and immediately alerted the rest of the crew with a shout. Thereupon, the captain of the Pinta, Martín Alonso Pinzón, verified the sight of land and alerted Columbus by firing a lombard.[52] Columbus later maintained that he himself had already seen a light on the land a few hours earlier, thereby claiming for himself the lifetime pension promised by Ferdinand and Isabella to the first person to sight land.[32][53]

Columbus called the island (in what is now the BahamasSan Salvador (meaning "Holy Savior"); the natives called it Guanahani. Exactly which island in the Bahamas this corresponds to is unresolved. Based on primary accounts and the geographic positions of the islands given Columbus's course, the prime candidates are San Salvador Island (so named in 1925 on the theory that it was Columbus's San Salvador),[54] Samana Cay, and Plana Cays.[32]

Landing of Columbus (12 October 1492), painting by John Vanderlyn
 
The return of Christopher Columbus; his audience before King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella, painting by Eugène Delacroix
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Second voyage

Columbus's second voyage

Columbus left the port of Cádiz on 24 September 1493, with a fleet of 17 ships carrying 1,200 men and the supplies to establish permanent colonies in the New World. The passengers included priests, farmers, and soldiers, who would be the new colonists. This reflected the new policy of creating not just "colonies of exploitation", but also "colonies of settlement" from which to launch missions dedicated to converting the natives to Christianity.[69] Modern studies suggest that "crew members may have included free black Africans who arrived in the New World about a decade before the slave trade began".[70]

As in the first voyage, the fleet stopped at the Canary Islands, from which it departed on 13 October, following a more southerly course than on the previous expedition. On 3 November, Columbus sighted a rugged island that he named Dominica (Latin for Sunday); later that day, he landed at Marie-Galante, which he named Santa María la Galante. After sailing past Les Saintes (Los Santos, "The Saints"), he arrived at the island of Guadeloupe, which he named Santa María de Guadalupe de Extremadura, after the image of the Virgin Mary venerated at the Spanish monastery of Villuercas, in Guadalupe, Cáceres, Spain. He explored that island from 4 to 10 November.

Michele da Cuneo, Columbus's childhood friend from Savona, sailed with Columbus during the second voyage and wrote: "In my opinion, since Genoa was Genoa, there was never born a man so well equipped and expert in the art of navigation as the said lord Admiral."[71] Columbus named the small island of "Saona ... to honor Michele da Cuneo, his friend from Savona."[72]

The same childhood friend reported in a letter that Columbus had provided one of the captured indigenous women to him. He wrote, "While I was in the boat, I captured a very beautiful Carib woman, whom the said Lord Admiral gave to me. When I had taken her to my cabin she was naked—as was their custom. I was filled with a desire to take my pleasure with her and attempted to satisfy my desire. She was unwilling, and so treated me with her nails that I wished I had never begun. But—to cut a long story short—I then took a piece of rope and whipped her soundly, and she let forth such incredible screams that you would not have believed your ears. Eventually we came to such terms, I assure you, that you would have thought that she had been brought up in a school for whores."[73]

The Inspiration of Christopher Columbus by José María Obregón, 1856

Pedro de las Casas, father of the priest Bartolomé de las Casas, also accompanied Columbus on this voyage.[

Karishma Mishra
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