Christopher Columbus – interesting facts

October 10, 2010 | In: Famous Explorers

Christopher Columbus was born in 1451. He was raised in one of the greatest ports of Genoa, Italy. Instead of being a weaver like his father, he followed his dreams of becoming a sailor. At fourteen years of age he got his first job on a ship, as a mate. Christopher Columbus’ life almost ended when he was twenty-four years old, when Portugal mistook his merchant ship for a war ship. But he managed to get to shore.

Columbus moved to his brother’s home in Lisbon . There he learned how to read, write, do mathematics, shipbuilding and navigate by stars. After he studied sailing in Lisbon, he was positive the world was round, not flat like most others believed. Columbus wanted to prove his plan, that the world was round, by sailing west to the Indies.

In 1484 Columbus asked the King of Portugal to buy ships and supplies to prove his plan. The geographers told the King that Columbus’ figures were wrong regarding the distance to Asia, and that no boat could travel that distance. The King turned Columbus down. Columbus then asked King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain if they would help him. At first they said no, because they needed all of their money for a war. Columbus was disappointed, but six years later Queen Isabella finally agreed.

In 1492 Columbus set sail on his first voyage with the Spanish ships: the Nina, the Pinta, and the Santa Maria. He had a small crew of 90 men. They set sail in August and did not see land until October 12. Columbus named the new land San Salvador which means “Holy Savior” in Spanish.

Columbus met the dark skinned Arawak natives. He named them Indians, because he thought he was in the Indies, but he was mistaken. He had landed on a island not far from Florida. Columbus was disappointed, because he did not reach the rich lands. The Indians had food, cotton, and spears to give, not gold, silver, spices, or silk like the Indies.

To prove to Queen Isabella he had reached the another land, he brought back cinnamon, tobacco, coconuts, ornaments, parrots, and six Indians to Spain. The Queen provided 17 ships and 1500 men for the second voyage, so that he could start a settlement in a new land. After he left the men on the island, he looked for the Indies but he never reached it. The Queen was disappointed. After the third voyage the Queen gave up on Columbus’ plan. Columbus died in 1506 before he realized he had discovered a new land. Was Columbus one of you’re favorite explorers?

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