Christmas Columbus and the New World

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• Part 2: The Long First Voyage
Part 3: The Other Three Voyages

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Part 3: The Other Three Voyages

The Second Voyage
Columbus set sail on his second voyage in September 1493. He had 17 ships this time. They landed in the Lesser Antilles in November. They traveled on to Hispaniola, to Natividad, a colony founded by sailors who had stayed behind when the first voyage had returned home. When Columbus arrived, he found the colony empty. The Spaniards had tried to take over the area and had been killed by the natives. Columbus founded another colony east of Natividad, naming it Isabela. He traveled around Cuba and Jamaica, then decided to return home again. His brother Bartholomew stayed behind on Hispaniola and founded Santo Domingo, the first permanent European settlement in the New World. Columbus arrived back in Spain in 1496.

The Third Voyage
There wasn't much chance of a third voyage until Portugal's Vasco da Gama landed in India in 1497. Spain quickly wanted to catch up, so it sent Columbus back to the New World with six ships. They arrived on the island of Trinidad in July 1498 and then traveled on to the mainland, discovering South America. Columbus sailed back to Santo Domingo and found more trouble with Spaniards left behind. A royal commissioner from Spain soon arrived, blamed Christopher and Bartholomew Columbus for the trouble, and had them both arrested and put in chains and then sent home in disgrace.

The Fourth Voyage
The king and queen freed him and even gave him money and ships for a fourth voyage. This one left Spain in 1502 and sailed to the island of Martinique and then to Honduras, in Central America. After more exploring in the Caribbean, Columbus returned home to Spain, in 1504. He died two years later, still believing he had reached Asia.

Sadly, Columbus never reached his goal. He did, however, prove several things:

  • You could get to the East by sailing west. Ferdinand Magellan's voyage proved it several years later.
  • You could sail to the New World and back. Columbus did it four times himself.
  • The New World was full of vast new lands for Europeans to explore.

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