5. It shall be lawful for the said D. C. Columbus, whenever any ships are fitted out for the aforesaid trade, to contribute the eighth part of the cargo, and accordingly to receive the eighth part of all the produce in return.
These articles were signed in the city of Santa Fe, in the plain of Granada; with which, and with the before-mentioned sum of money, he departed from that place on the 12th of May, and leaving his sons at school in Cordova, he went himself to the port of Palos, in order to expedite the preparations for his voyage, very few of the persons at court believing that he would perform what he had promised. Their Catholic majesties having strictly enjoined him not to touch at Guinea, nor to come within an hundred leagues of the Portuguese conquests, gave him letters patent to all kings and princes in the world, requiring them to receive, honour, and relieve him as their admiral. He chose Palos, as a place where there were many experienced seamen, and because he had friends among them; as also for the sake of John Perez de Marchena, who greatly assisted him in this affair, by disposing the minds of the seamen to accompany him, as they were very unwilling to venture upon an unknown voyage. He had orders for the town of Palos to furnish him with two caravels, with which that place was obliged to serve the crown during three months of every year. He fitted out a third vessel as admiral, which he called the St Mary. The second was named the Pinta, commanded by Martin Alonso Pinzon, having his brother, Francis Martinez Pinzon as master or pilot; and the third, La Vinna, which had latine or triangular sails, was commanded by Vincent Yanez Pinzon, who was both captain and pilot. This person advanced half a million of maravedies, for the eighth part of the charges of the expedition, the family of the Pinzons being of the first rank in Palos, very wealthy, and excellent sailors; the common mariners, through their example and influence, became willing to engage in the voyage, which at first they were much averse from.
The vessels being ready for sea, were supplied with provisions for one year, and took on board a complement of ninety men, most of whom were inhabitants of Palos, except some friends of Columbus, and a few servants of the court. They set sail half an hour before sun-rise on the 3d of August 1492, going over the bar of the river Saltes, on which Palos is situated, and directing their course for the Canaries; the whole crews of all the three vessels, after the example of Columbus, having previously made confession of their sins, and partaken of the holy sacrament. On the very next day, the rudder of the caravel Pinta, which Martin Alonso Pinzon commanded, broke loose; which was suspected to have happened by the contrivance of Gomez Rascon and Christopher Quintero, her owners, and serving as seamen on board, because they went on the voyage against their inclination, and had endeavoured