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Wikipedia Summary for Christopher Columbus

Christopher Columbus (born between 25 August and 31 October 1451, died 20 May 1506) was an Italian explorer and navigator who completed four voyages across the Atlantic Ocean, opening the way for the widespread European exploration and colonization of the Americas. His expeditions, sponsored by the Catholic Monarchs of Spain, were the first European contact with the Caribbean, Central America, and South America.

The name Christopher Columbus is the Anglicisation of the Latin Christophorus Columbus. Scholars generally agree that Columbus was born in the Republic of Genoa and spoke a dialect of Ligurian as his first language. He went to sea at a young age and travelled widely, as far north as the British Isles and as far south as what is now Ghana. He married Portuguese noblewoman Filipa Moniz Perestrelo and was based in Lisbon for several years, but later took a Castilian mistress; he had one son with each woman. Largely self-educated, Columbus was widely read in geography, astronomy, and history. He formulated a plan to seek a western sea passage to the East Indies, hoping to profit from the lucrative spice trade. Following Columbus's persistent lobbying to multiple kingdoms, Catholic Monarchs Queen Isabella I and King Ferdinand II agreed to sponsor a journey west. Columbus left Castile in August 1492 with three ships and made landfall in the Americas on 12 October (ending the period of human habitation in the Americas now referred to as the pre-Columbian era). His landing place was an island in the Bahamas, known by its native inhabitants as Guanahani. Columbus subsequently visited the islands now known as Cuba and Hispaniola, establishing a colony in what is now Haiti. Columbus returned to Castile in early 1493, bringing a number of captured natives with him. Word of his voyages soon spread throughout Europe.

Columbus made three further voyages to the Americas, exploring the Lesser Antilles in 1493, Trinidad and the northern coast of South America in 1498, and the eastern coast of Central America in 1502. Many of the names he gave to geographical features—particularly islands—are still in use. He also gave the name indios ("Indians") to the indigenous peoples he encountered. The extent to which he was aware that the Americas were a wholly separate landmass is uncertain; he never clearly renounced his belief that he had reached the Far East. As a colonial governor, Columbus was accused by his contemporaries of significant brutality and was soon removed from the post. Columbus's strained relationship with the Crown of Castile and its appointed colonial administrators in America led to his arrest and removal from Hispaniola in 1500, and later to protracted litigation over the benefits that he and his heirs claimed were owed to them by the crown. Columbus's expeditions inaugurated a period of exploration, conquest, and colonization that lasted for centuries, helping create the modern Western world. The transfers between the Old World and New World that followed his first voyage are known as the Columbian exchange.

Columbus was widely venerated in the centuries after his death, but public perception has fractured in recent decades as scholars have given greater attention to the harms committed under his governance, particularly the beginning of the depopulation of Hispaniola's indigenous Taínos from mistreatment and European diseases, as well as their enslavement. Proponents of the Black Legend theory of history claim that Columbus has been unfairly maligned as part of a wider anti-Catholic sentiment. Many places in the Western Hemisphere bear his name, including the country of Colombia, the District of Columbia, and British Columbia.

The sea will grant each man new hope.

--Christopher Columbus

By preserving over all obstacles and distractions, one may unfailingly arrive at his chosen goal or destination.

--Christopher Columbus

You can never cross the ocean unless you have the courage to lose sight of the shore.

--Christopher Columbus

It is easy to discover what another has discovered before.

--Christopher Columbus

It is hoped that by God's assistance, some of the continents in the Ocean will be discovered ... for the Glory of God.

--Christopher Columbus

Thus the eternal God, our Lord, gives victory to those who follow His way over apparent impossibilities.

--Christopher Columbus

The two Christians met on the way many people who were going to their towns, women and men, with a firebrand in the hand, herbs to drink the smoke thereof, as they are accustomed.

--Christopher Columbus

Thanks be to God, the air is soft as in April in Seville, and it is a pleasure to be in it, so fragrant it is.

--Christopher Columbus

Dynamic, rapidly expanding European monarchy seeks a can-do visionary to head up its South American divisions.Our ideal candidate will have at least five years' experience in New World colonization and be willing to accept shift work. Fluency in Spanish an asset.Some travel involved.

--Christopher Columbus

Your Highnesses have an Other World here, by which our holy faith can be so greatly advanced and from which such great wealth can be drawn.

--Christopher Columbus

A hundred castellanoes are as easily obtained for a woman as for a farm, and it is very general and there are plenty of dealers who go about looking for girls; those from nine to ten (years old) are now in demand.

--Christopher Columbus

An old man came on board my boat; the others, both men and women cried with loud voices: Come and see the men who have come from the sky. Bring them victuals and drink.

--Christopher Columbus


I went to sea from the most tender age and have continued in a sea life to this day. Whoever gives himself up to this art wants to know the secrets of Nature here below. It is more than forty years that I have been thus engaged. Wherever any one has sailed, there I have sailed.

--Christopher Columbus


Nothing that results in human progress is achieved with unanimous consent. Those that are enlightened before the others are condemned to pursue that light in spite of the others.

--Christopher Columbus

3 is prime, 5 is prime, 7 is prime. According to some ancient manuscripts 9 is not a prime number, but beyond the distant horizon of the oceans, in the New World that I am going to discover, there are surely lots of them.

--Christopher Columbus

The crew of the caravel Nina also saw signs of land, and a small branch covered with berries. Everyone breathed afresh and rejoiced at these signs.

--Christopher Columbus

And your Highnesses, as Catholic Christians and Princes, devoted to the holy Christian faith and the propagation thereof -- and enemies of the sect of Mohammet and of all idolatries and heresies, resolved to send me, Christopher Columbus, to the said.

--Christopher Columbus

Gold is the most precious of all commodities; gold constitutes treasure, and he who possesses it has all he needs in the world, as also the means of rescuing souls from purgatory, and restoring them to the enjoyment of paradise.

--Christopher Columbus

The Admiral says that he never beheld so fair a thing: trees all along the river, beautiful and green, and different from ours, with flowers and fruits each according to their kind, many birds and little birds which sing very sweetly.

--Christopher Columbus

I came to serve you at the age of 28 and now I have not a hair on me that is not white, and my body is infirm and exhausted. All that was left to me and my brothers has been taken away and sold, even to the cloak that I wore, without hearing or trial, to my great dishonor.

--Christopher Columbus

The sea will grant each man new hope, and sleep will bring dreams of home.

--Christopher Columbus

I ordered each man to be presented with something, as strings of ten or a dozen glass beads apiece, and thongs of leather, all which they estimated highly; those which came on board I directed should be fed with molasses.

--Christopher Columbus

I found that part of it towards San Salvador extending from north to south five leagues, and the other side which we coasted along, ran from east to west more than ten leagues.

--Christopher Columbus

After having dispatched a meal, I went ashore, and found no habitation save a single house, and that without an occupant; we had no doubt that the people had fled in terror at our approach, as the house was completely furnished.

--Christopher Columbus

For this purpose I determined to keep an account of the voyage, and to write down punctually every thing we performed or saw from day to day, as will hereafter appear.

--Christopher Columbus

I propose to construct a new chart for navigating, on which I shall delineate all the sea and lands of the Ocean in their proper positions under their bearings; and further, I propose to prepare a book, and to put down all as it were in a picture, by latitude from the equator, and western longitude.

--Christopher Columbus

I am not solicitous to examine particularly everything here, which indeed could not be done in fifty years, because my desire is to make all possible discoveries, and return to your Highnesses, if it please our Lord, in April.

--Christopher Columbus

Their houses are all built in the shape of tents, with very high chimneys.

--Christopher Columbus

Sailed this day nineteen leagues, and determined to count less than the true number, that the crew might not be dismayed if the voyage should prove long.

--Christopher Columbus

I am a most noteworthy sinner, but I have cried out to the Lord for grace and mercy, and they have covered me completely. I have found the sweetest consolation since I made it my whole purpose to enjoy His marvellous Presence.

--Christopher Columbus

Each day we understand better what the Indians say, and they us, so that very often we are intelligible to each other.

--Christopher Columbus

Gold is a treasure, and he who possesses it does all he wishes to in this world, and succeeds in helping souls into paradise.

--Christopher Columbus

Riches don't make a man rich, they only make him busier.

--Christopher Columbus

I have come to believe that this is a mighty continent which was hitherto unknown.

--Christopher Columbus

For the execution of the voyage to the Indies, I did not make use of intelligence, mathematics or maps.

--Christopher Columbus

Stood off and on during the night, determining not to come to anchor till morning, fearing to meet with shoals; continued our course in the morning; and as the island was found to be six or seven leagues distant, and the tide was against us, it was noon when we arrived there.

--Christopher Columbus

My desire was not to pass any island without taking possession, so that, one having been taken, the same may be said of all.

--Christopher Columbus

These people are very unskilled in arms... with 50 men they could all be subjected and made to do all that one wished.

--Christopher Columbus

Tomorrow morning before we depart, I intend to land and see what can be found in the neighborhood.

--Christopher Columbus

I saw a boy of the crew purchasing javelins of them with bits of platters and broken glass.

--Christopher Columbus

The air soft as that of Seville in April, and so fragrant that it was delicious to breathe it.

--Christopher Columbus

No one should fear to undertake any task in the name of our Saviour, if it is just and if the intention is purely for His holy service.

--Christopher Columbus

Following the light of the sun, we left the Old World.

--Christopher Columbus

But in truth, should I meet with gold or spices in great quantity, I shall remain till I collect as much as possible, and for this purpose I am proceeding solely in quest of them.

--Christopher Columbus

By prevailing over all obstacles and distractions, one may unfailingly arrive at his chosen goal or destination.

--Christopher Columbus

There are trees of a thousand sorts, and all have their several fruits; and I feel the most unhappy man in the world not to know them, for I am well assured that they are all valuable. I bring home specimens of them, and also of the land.

--Christopher Columbus

I believe that there are many herbs and many trees that are worth much in Europe for dyes and for medicines; but I do not know, and this causes me great sorrow. Arriving at this cape, I found the smell of the trees and flowers so delicious that it seemed the pleasantest thing in the world.

--Christopher Columbus

He who has gold makes and accomplishes whatever he wishes in the world and finally uses it to send souls to paradise.

--Christopher Columbus

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