Christopher Columbus and the New World of His Discovery — Complete eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 476 pages of information about Christopher Columbus and the New World of His Discovery Complete.

He sailed thence for Palos, and reached home in September 1500, having added no inconsiderable share to the mass of new geographical knowledge that was being accumulated.  In later years he took a high place in the maritime world of Spain.

And finally, to complete the account of the chief minor discoveries of these two busy years, we must mention Pedro Alvarez Cabral of Portugal, who was despatched in March 1, 1500 from Lisbon to verify the discoveries of Da Gama.  He reached Calicut six months later, losing on the voyage four of his caravels and most of his company.  Among the lost was Bartholomew Diaz, the first discoverer of the Cape of Good Hope, who was on this voyage in a subordinate capacity, and whose bones were left to dissolve in the stormy waters that beat round the Cape whose barrier he was the first to pass.  The chief event of this voyage, however, was not the reaching of Calicut nor the drowning of Diaz (which was chiefly of importance to himself, poor soul!) but the discovery of Brazil, which Cabral made in following the southerly course too far to the west.  He landed there, in the Bay of Porto Seguro, on May 1, 1500, and took formal possession of the land for the Crown of Portugal, naming it Vera Cruz, or the Land of the True Cross.

In the assumption of Columbus and his contemporaries all these doings were held to detract from the glory of his own achievements, and were the subject of endless affidavits, depositions, quarrels, arguments, proofs and claims in the great lawsuit that was in after years carried on between the Crown of Spain and the heirs of Columbus concerning his titles and revenues.  We, however, may take a different view.  With the exception of the discoveries of the Cape of Good Hope and the coast of Brazil all these enterprises were directly traceable to Columbus’s own achievements and were inspired by his example.  The things that a man can do in his own person are limited by the laws of time and space; it is only example and influence that are infinite and illimitable, and in which the spirit of any achievement can find true immortality.

CHAPTER VII

The third voyage-(continued)

It may perhaps be wearisome to the reader to return to the tangled and depressing situation in Espanola, but it cannot be half so wearisome as it was for Columbus, whom we left enveloped in that dark cloud of error and surrender in which he sacrificed his dignity and good faith to the impudent demands of a mutinous servant.  To his other troubles in San Domingo the presence of this Roldan was now added; and the reinstated Alcalde was not long in making use of the victory he had gained.  He bore himself with intolerable arrogance and insolence, discharging one of Columbus’s personal bodyguard on the ground that no one should hold any office on the island except with his consent.  He demanded grants of land for himself and his followers, which

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Christopher Columbus and the New World of His Discovery — Complete from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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