The Adventures of Christopher Columbus

Timeline of Christopher Columbus' voyage expeditions and life

Christopher Columbus was an explorer who sailed four big voyages to the Americas. http://www.academic-genealogy.com/explorers.gif

Early Life- First Journeys

Christopher Columbus was born October 31, 1451 in Genoa, Italy. As a teenager, starting in 1465, Columbus started sailing the seas.

Personal Life

Columbus almost lost his life on his first voyage into the Atlantic Ocean in 1476. The ship he was sailing on was attacked by French privateers off the coast of Portugal. Columbus had to abandon the burning ship and swim to the Portuguese shore. He eventually settled there and married Felipa Perestrello; they had a son in 1480. Columbus moved to Spain and his wife died shortly after. Columbus then had another son in wedlock in 1488 with Beatriz Enriquez de Arana.

Planning for the First Voyage

Columbus devised a plan to sail west to get to the East. He worked on figuring out the distance; experts disagreed with him on these matters. After making his plan, Columbus goes to look for sponsors (1484). Columbus went to the Portuguese king to ask for a three-ship voyage for the discovery, and was rejected. Columbus also went to Genoa, Venice, and then the Spanish monarchy of Isabella of Castille and Ferdinand of Aragon, and was rejected by all three because their focus was on war with the Muslims.

Start of First Voyage

In January of 1492, after the Spanish army captured the last Muslim stronghold in Granada, the monarchs agreed to finance Columbus on his expedition. Columbus left Spain with three ships, the Santa Maria, Pinta, and Nina, in August of 1942.

First Voyage- Land

After 36 days of their journey, Columbus and several of his crewmen set foot in the Bahamas and claimed it for Spain. There, he met and traded with a friendly group of natives. Columbus and his men continued their journey visiting the islands of Cuba and Hispaniola and meetings with leaders of the native population. In this time, one of the ships, the Santa Maria, was wrecked.

Second Voyage

In the same year Columbus came home, he went on a second voyage to explore more places in the Caribbean Ocean. Returning to Hispaniola, Columbus and his men found that the Navidad settlement had been destroyed and decided to force labor policy over the native population to rebuild the settlement. Columbus left his brothers to rule over the settlement and then left to sail more before going back to Spain.

Third Voyage...ARREST

It wasn't until his third voyage that Columbus finally reached the mainland. Conditions at the Hispaniola settlement had deteriorated with settlers claiming they had been misled by Columbus' claims of riches and complaining about the bad ruling of his brothers. The Spanish Crown sent a royal official who arrested Columbus and took away his authority. He went back to Spain in chains to face the royal court. The charges were later dropped, but Columbus lost his title as governor of the Indies and also lost some of the riches he made from his voyages.

Last Voyage

Convincing King Ferdinand that one more voyage would bring the many riches he had promised, Columbus went on his last voyage in 1502, traveling along the eastern coast of Central America in an unsuccessful search for a route to the Indian Ocean. In this voyage, a storm wrecked one of his ships stranding the captain and his sailors on the island of Cuba.

Ending Life

In the last two years of his life, Columbus struggled to get back his lost title. In May of 1505 Columbus did regain some of his riches, but his titles were never returned. He died May 20, 1506 still believing he had discovered a shorter route to Asia.

Ending the first voyage

Leaving 39 men behind to stay and occupy the settlement, Columbus and the remaining two ships sailed back home. The royal court warmly welcomed back Columbus back into Spain in 1493.

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