Fourth voyage of Christopher Columbus
The letter sent by Columbus to announce his arrival to what he believed to be the Indies in 1492, gave him great recognition, and also earned him the title of Admiral of the Ocean Sea. This recognition, together with the arrival of royal patronage, allowed him to lead three more expeditions in the Caribbean before his death in 1506. On his second voyage, which left Cadiz in 1493, Columbus set sail with 17 ships filled with soldiers, farmers, artisans and priests to establish the first permanent colony in the Americas.
First came the conquest of the Aztec empire, led by Hernán Cortés. Shortly after their arrival in Mexico in 1519, Cortes and his men defeated the Tobasco people, for which they were presented with 20 women. Among them was a native woman named Malintzin (later baptized Marina), who soon became the conquistador’s mistress. She served as his interpreter and advisor, and played an important role in Cortés’ victory over the Aztecs. In addition, she bore him a son who was named Martin and who was believed to be the first Mexican mestizo (although this was not actually the case).
Where Christopher Columbus reached on his first voyage
Reconstruction of the itinerary of the first of the four voyages that Columbus made to America, because the Indies were on the right but Columbus went the other way based on the data of the Diary attributed to Columbus.
Asia was the silk route. The most coveted product from Asia in the West was spices, for use in cooking, and they were extremely expensive. Christopher Columbus owned a copy of Marco Polo’s Voyages and had it full of annotations, especially the part about distances, products and riches of Asia. However, cartographic knowledge about the Orient was extremely incomplete and some maps only reliably identified the Mediterranean area. In the 15th century European cuisine consumed saffron, ginger, cinnamon and cloves. A pound of these products was sold in the Renaissance for several gold pesos. The Asian islands were rich in saffron, ginger, cinnamon and cloves.
The Asian islands were rich in valuable spices needed by Europe, such as cloves and nutmeg, which were obtained from the Moluccas in the South Sea. The way to the Indies was a westward route through the European continent and then through the Middle East to India or China. The Ottoman Turks were gaining strength in Constantinople, and the greater their power in the Middle East, the more difficult and expensive it was to bring in Oriental goods. The Ottoman Turks had to be able to bring in the Indies.
First voyage of Christopher Columbus summary
Moreover, the Admiral kept two records of the distances traveled day by day. On the 10th, for example, Columbus told his men that they had sailed 44 leagues [about 245 kilometers], when in fact the journey that day had been 59 leagues [almost 329 kilometers], the greatest distance covered in one day’s sailing during the entire voyage. The purpose of this double counting was not to frighten the crew too much, a tactic that almost failed that October 10. The voyage continued in a tense atmosphere.
Second voyage of Christopher Columbus
Thus, Columbus’ passion did not wait to emerge from the depths of his helpless waiting, except for the messenger of the kings, who came to him on the road to Palos and ordered him to go immediately to Santa Fe. In January 1492 Isabella had said “no”. On April 27 she said “yes”. The capitulations were signed. Columbus sailed on August 3, 1492 from the port of Palos.
But, above all, he knew how to return, for he knew what not to do to advance towards his goal: he should not go to the Azores, since the prevailing winds in these latitudes are contrary, while, conversely, in the Cananas the prevailing winds push westward. It would therefore go down to the Canaries and when it needed to return, it would go up a few degrees to the north to dock in the Azores. If there is a “secret of Columbus”, this is surely it: had he guessed the wind system, had he been well informed among the sailors, did he have an inspired pilot? We will never know. Let us grant that he knew how to observe, imagine or borrow.