The Life of Columbus; in his own words eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 196 pages of information about The Life of Columbus; in his own words.


—­The natives and their neighbors—­search for gold—­Cuba
discovered—­Columbus coasts along its shores.

It was on Friday, the twelfth of October, that they saw this island, which was an island of the Lucayos group, called, says Las Casas, “in the tongue of the Indians, Guanahani.”  Soon they saw people naked, and the Admiral went ashore in the armed boat, with Martin Alonzo Pinzon and, Vicente Yanez, his brother, who was captain of the Nina.  The Admiral unfurled the Royal Standard, and the captain’s two standards of the Greek Cross, which the Admiral raised on all the ships as a sign, with an F. and a Y.; over each letter a crown; one on one side of the {"iron cross symbol”} and the other on the other.  When they were ashore they saw very green trees and much water, and fruits of different kinds.

“The Admiral called the two captains and the others who went ashore, and Rodrigo Descovedo, Notary of the whole fleet, and Rodrigo Sanchez of Segovia, and he said that they must give him their faith and witness how he took possession before all others, as in fact he did take possession of the said island for the king and the queen, his lord and lady. . . .  Soon many people of the island assembled.  These which follow are the very words of the Admiral, in his book of his first navigation and discovery of these Indies.”

October 11-12.  “So that they may feel great friendship for us, and because I knew that they were a people who would be better delivered and converted to our Holy Faith by love than by force, I gave to some of them red caps and glass bells which they put round their necks, and many other things of little value, in which they took much pleasure, and they remained so friendly to us that it was wonderful.

“Afterwards they came swimming to the ship’s boats where we were.  And they brought us parrots and cotton-thread in skeins, and javelins and many other things.  And they bartered them with us for other things, which we gave them, such as little glass beads and little bells.  In short, they took everything, and gave of what they had with good will.  But it seemed to me that they were a people very destitute of everything.

“They all went as naked as their mothers bore them, and the women as well, although I only saw one who was really young.  And all the men I saw were young, for I saw none more than thirty years of age; very well made, with very handsome persons, and very good faces; their hair thick like the hairs of horses’ tails, and cut short.  They bring their hair above their eyebrows, except a little behind, which they wear long, and never cut.  Some of them paint themselves blackish (and they are of the color of the inhabitants of the Canaries, neither black nor white), and some paint themselves white, and some red, and some with whatever they can get.  And some of them paint their faces, and some all their bodies, and some only the eyes, and some only the nose.

Project Gutenberg
The Life of Columbus; in his own words from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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