11.After sailing for more than two months, one of the sailors spotted land. The ships probably reached Watling Island (San Salvador), Bahamas.
The sailors noticed gold jewellery among the natives. When asked about the origin of the jewellery, the native tribesmen directed the sailors south. Columbus took a new course to the southwest and discovered Cuba on October 28, 1492, and Haiti on December 6, which he chose as his quarters.
12.When the Santa Maria was wrecked and Columbus lost contact with the Pinta in a storm, he decided to use the only surviving ship, the Niña, to bring news of the discovery of a route to America to the royal court.
He left part of the crew, 43 volunteers, at the fortress of Navidad on Hispaniola and set sail for Spain with the rest of the crew. After arriving in the port of Palos, he proceeded to Barcelona to visit the royal court.
13.Columbus' return caused a great stir. He was welcomed by thousands of people, especially since he brought gold and colorful ara parrots as a gift for the king.
In a conversation with the royal couple, Ferdinand of Aragon and Isabella of Castile, Columbus spoke of the riches that would accrue to Spain if a voyage of discovery continued. The result of these illuminating visions was Columbus' second expedition.
14.Columbus' second expedition took place between 1493 and 1494.
It was organized very quickly. While it was difficult to recruit 90 crew members for the first expedition, a selection had to be made because so many people wanted to come on the second one. Eventually, 1500-2500 people were selected and sailed on 15-17 ships (there is no reliable data on the number of people and ships). Among the selected crew were missionaries who wanted to evangelize the inhabitants of the discovered lands.
15.On his second expedition, Columbus chose a more southerly route.
He sailed to the Lesser Antilles, discovered Dominica, Marie-Galante, Guadeloupe, Antigua, and Puerto Rico. He sailed again to Haiti, only to find that none of the first expedition crew survived. They died at the hands of the natives. Sailing along the southern coast of Cuba, he discovered Jamaica.
16.The crew, exhausted by the hardships of the expedition, the high-handed and ruthless behavior of the captain, and disappointed by the absence of the promised riches, began to rebel.
Some broke away from the expedition and searched for treasure on their own, while others returned to Spain with many complaints against Columbus. These complaints were joined by the sailor's opponents, who demanded that the privileges granted to him be revoked. Columbus had no choice in this situation and returned to the country. He succeeded in clearing himself of all charges before the king, obtained confirmation of all the privileges granted to him, and the assurance of a third expedition.
17.He had to wait some time before organizing the third expedition (1498-1500), as it was difficult for him to regain the lost confidence of the people.
He set out for the west with six ships. Three of them he immediately sent back to Haiti, with the others he sailed to the southwest hoping to find the Asian continent.
18.He traveled to the American mainland and reached the coast south of the mouth of the Orinoco.
Continuing along the coast in a westerly direction, the expedition discovered Trinidad. He then returned to Haiti, where in the meantime, the first permanent Spanish settlement had been established at West Indies, Santo Domingo. Relations in this Spanish community, however, did not go well. Columbus was accused of favoring his people, especially his son Diego. The expected economic benefits of the expedition were still not forthcoming, and reports to the Crown against Columbus began again.
19.This time the king responded decisively, sending Francisco Fernandez de Bobadilla west, equipped with far-reaching powers.
Upon arriving in Haiti, Bobadilla had Columbus and his son Diego arrested and sent back to Spain in chains. Once there, Columbus exonerated himself again before the king, returned to favor with the royal couple, and was promised a fourth expedition.
20.The fourth expedition took place between 1502 and 1504 and was Columbus' last voyage to America.
This time he set out with a flotilla of four ships and a crew of 150. He set out to the west because he believed that this route was shorter, more convenient and safer. He intended to find a way to India, so he headed west from Cuba and soon reached the coast of Honduras and the Mosquito Coast in eastern Nicaragua.
26 facts about Christopher Columbus