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UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA
AT LOS ANGELES




\^' UT^



^be Modb'6 (Brcat jByplorere
anD Bjplorations.

Edited by J. Scott Keltik, Assistant Secretary, Royal Geographical
Society; H. J. Mackindek, M.A., Reader in Geography at the
University of Oxford ; and E. G. Ravenstein, F.R.G.S.



CHEISTOPHEK COLUMBUS,



6 3 9 5 2



The World's Great Explorers and Explorations.



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(IIUISTUI'IIEI; COLL.MBLS.

l-niiii the Portrait formerly in the Oallei-j' of Paolo Giovio.
(I'riiited hij jwriiiixxion uf the owner, Sobile A. De Orchi of Coiiio.)



LIFE



CHRISTOPHER COLUMBUS.



CLEMENTS R. MARKHAM, C.B.



LONDON:
GEORGE PHILIP & SON, 32 FLEET STREET

UVERPOOL : 45 to 51 SOUTH CASTLE STREET.
1892.

50999



AO-iO.VfMlJ



2 ore



\ \ \

CONTENTS.



CHAP. PATiF

I. THE HOMK AT GENOA . I



Notes.

1. The birthplace ....

2. Date of birth .....

3. .Student at Pavia ....

4. Story of swimming on shore in Portugal



II. OOLUMBUS IN PORTUGAL ....

Azotes.

1. The marriage of Columbus in Portugal and the

fables based on it . . . . . .36

2. Early use of the compass ..... 38

3. Expression in a letter as to leaving his wife and

children 38

III. COLUMBUS IN SPAIN . . . . . . -39

N^otcis.

1. Question of the marriage of Beatriz Enriquez . 60

2. Question respecting the voyage of Bartolome

Diaz ........ 62

3. The visits to La Rabida ..... 63

IV. THE FIRST VOYAGE 64

Note.
I. The reward for sighting the land ... 87

V. THE LANDFALL 89

VI. DISCOVERT OF THE NEW WORLD I08

Note.
I. The first letter announcing the discovery of the

New World i^i



CONTENTS.



CHAP.
VII.



RECKPTIOX OK THE NEWS

Note,
I. Discovery that Columbus wrote ti) Toscanell
on his return .....

THE SECONM> VOYAGE OF DISCOVKl! V. .\NI) THE SETTLE
MEXT OK ESPAKOL.V

THE THIBI) VOVAflE OF I)Is(0\hll\, ANI> TROVBLKS IN
E.SPANOLA

THE FOl'BTH VOYAGE OF DISCOVEUV, AND I'AflFICATION
OF THE COLONY



XI. COLLMBIS IN CHAINS



NoU



I. The supposed preservation of the irons

XII. VOYAGES TO THE WE.STWAHD CONSEQUENT ON THE
ACHIEVEMENT OF COLl'MBCS. I.CABOT. 2. CORTEREAL.

3. COMPANIONS OF COLUMBUS

Not OK.

1. The coa.st-line of North America on the Cantino

map ........

2. On the statement of Navarrete that Ojeda

found Englishmen at Coquivacoa

XIII. THE LAST VOyA(;K OF niSCOVERY ....

XIV. AHANKONEI) AT .lAMAICA

Xotr.
I. Date of the Yucatan voyage of Pinzon and Solis

XV. HEATH OK THE ADMIRAL

NotCK.

1. The will of Columbus

2. C^iiestion of the removal of the .Admiral's body

3. Note on the alleged inaccuracies of Columbus .

XVI THE admiral's .SONS. I. DIEGO AND HIS DESCENDANTS

XVII. THE admiral's SONS. 2. FERNANDO AND THE OTHER

AUTHORITIES FnR THE LIFE OF COLUMBUS

XVIII. AVERIiiO Vf>il'UC(I AND THK NAME OF AMERICA .

Index



PAOE

«33



147
148

1S5
202



226



247

24S
250
269

2S4
286

301
302
302

304



344
357



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.



PORTRAITS OF COLUMBUS.

1. From a Painting formerly in the Gallery of Paolo

Giovio Frontispiece

2. From a Painting in the possession of the Family, en-

graved in 1791 to face 2Mye 6cj

3. From Thevet's " Vies des Hommes Illustres " . . pa<ic i^i

4. From " Elogia Virorum lUustrium," Basel, 1575 . . ,, 211

5. From Th. de Bry's " Grands Voyages," 1595 . . . „ 294



16.



17.



Home of the Father of Columbus

House of Columbus at Genoa .

Portrait of Las Casas ....

Oceanica Classis (Leandro de Cosco, 1493)

Landfall of Columbus, 1493

Arms of Columbus .....

Gold Washers (from Oviedo) .

Facsimile of a Letter of Columbus, April :

The Triumph of Columbus

House at Valladolid in which Columbus died

Ruins of the Palace built by Diego Columbus at San

Domingo (from Guillermin's Voyage)
Facsimile from the " Cosmographise Introductio," 1507



1502



2mijc 2

„ S
to face paijc 33
patjc 67
,, 82
„ 138
,, ^77
,, 217



291



307
352



LIST OF MAPS.



* PRIXTED L\ COLOURS.

•The Four Voyages of Columbus .... to face patjc \

Froul Huelva to Cadiz . . , page ^o

•(luanahani or San Salvador .... to face page 106

Uuanahani to Cuba ........ page 106

•The West Indies ...... to face page 109

•KsjKifiola and the Columbine Fort.s ....,,,, 1.49

The IJulf of I'aria ........ page 189

Veni^jua and ('a.«tilla <lel Oro ......,, 260



*Fra Mauro"s Map of the World, 1457. . . tu face page i8
Western I'art of the Catalan Map, 1275 .... page 19
•Ptolemy's Map of tlie World, 150 .... to face page n
•Bchaim's Globe, 1492 . . . • >» o 73
•The Wot Indie.", by Herrera, iboi • ,, ,, 9~
I'art of Juan du la Co.sii'.s Map, 1500 ..... /lage 130
Hydrit^'r.iphia sive Charta Marina I'ortugalensium, c. 1504. ,, 236
Portion of the West Indies, from the "Weimar Map'' . ,, 323
.America, by Hylacomylus, 1507 , 353



LIFE OF
CHEISTOPHEE COLUMBUS.



CHAPTEE I.

THE HOME AT GENOA.

The city of Genoa was still a mighty power in the
Mediterranean when the great discoverer, Christopher
Columbus, was born, towards the middle of the fifteenth
century. Its highest state of prosperity passed away
with the fall of Constantinople, when its factories in
the Crimea, at Pera, and in the Levant were lost or
weakened. But the Republic, though forced to seek
protection alternately from France and Milan, continued
to be powerful by reason of the enterprise and maritime
skill of her sailors, the ability of her merchants, and
the credit of her bank of St, George. Less formidable
and less independent than in the previous two centuries,
the beautiful city was still the chief centre of Mediter-
ranean trade, and was never more full of intellectual
activity. But since 142 1 the Republic had been under
the protection of the Duke of Milan. The Genoese were
thus drawn into the contest for the succession of Naples,
Milan and the Pope supporting Louis of Anjou against



2 THE HOME AT TERRAROSSA.

King Alfonso of Arngon. Genoa fringes the sea, and
the gi-een Ligurian Alps, cleft by narrow fertile valleys,
rise up beliiiul tho palaces and churches of the city.
The lU'piiMic derived its strength not only from the
citizens, and the sjiiloi-s whose homes were in the sea-
jKjrts of the Hivicra, hut also from the sturdy farmers
and artisans in the valleys of the maritime Alps.

In one of these valleys, to the eastward of Genoa,




IIUMK 1>K THfc KA'IHKK vf LULL.MbLa AT ifcUliAhi.»?.\.

called Font.inabuona, there lived a farmer name 1 Gio-
\anni ('olond)o, with his son Domcnico, in the hamlet
of Ternirossa, near Moconesi. They moved to a little
fi.shing village, called Quinto al Mare, about four miles
east of Genoa, where Domenico adopted the trade of
a cloth -weaver. He had a brother, Antonio, and a
sistor, r.attistin:i, married to one Fritallo ; all settled
at Qtiinto. Antonio had three .sons, named Giovanni



THE VALLEY OF THE BISAGNO. 3

Antonio, Mateo, and Amiglietto, of whom we shall hear
again in the course of the story. Domenico throve so
well that in the year 1439 we find him established as
a citizen of Genoa, and engaging an appi'entice named
Antonio de Levei'ono. A few years afterwards he was
in a position to marry and support a family.

Domenico Colombo sought a wife in the valley of the
Bisagno, a stream which finds its way to the sea close
to the eastern wall of the city. The long valley through
which the Bisagno flows is very fertile, and is gemmed
with hamlets, villas, and gardens. The peasantiy of
the Val di Bisagno were loyal subjects of Genoa, but
they clung to their local liberties. Every yeai-, on
Christmas Eve, they elected their new " Abbot " or
Governor. The people assembled on the banks of the
river, and two large stones were placed close to one
another. The retiring Abbot, attired in his toga and
beretta, stood on one, the newly-appointed Abbot on the
the other. Then the latter received from his prede-
cessor the standard of St. George. In the evening the
Abbot and peojile proceeded to (ienoa to pay their
respects to the Doge in his palace. In the midst of
the procession was a cart dragged by a yoke of oxen,
containing a huge tree hung with wreaths of flowers.
The tree was dragged into the courtyard of the palace,
and the Abbot of Bisagno went up to pay his respects to
the Doge, and make this customary oflPering. He and his
people went home rejoicing, with a present of money ;
and in the night the Doge and his courtiers made a
bonfire of the tree, and poured wine into the flames.*

Among these inhabitants of the Val di Bisagno, there
was a silk-weaver living in the village of Quezzi, named
* Bent's Genoa, p. 12.



4 THE HOME IX GENOA.

(lifloomo ili Fontanarossa, whu had two sons, Goagnino
and (Jugli.'lmo, and a daughter, Susanna. Thither came
the voung cloth -weaver, l^omenico Coloml)0 ; and in due
time Susanna became hi.s wife, with a dowry consisting
of money, and some land in the neighbouring hamlet
of CJinestnito.

The young couple naturally took up their abode in
the weavei-s' quarter at Genoa, outside the old gate of
San Andrea. The monks of San Stefano held a consider-
able extent of land outside this gate, divided into lots,
which wei-e let out to weavei-s, carders, and fullers.
Domenico held two small houses under them, one near
the Porto dell Olivella, and the other, where he lived
with his wife, between the gate of San Andrea and the
lane or Vico di Mulcento. The walls of Genoa were
built in 1 155 as a defence against the Emperor Frederick
Barbai-ossa, and the gate of San Andrea was flanked by
two round towei-s. Thence a street called Vico Dritto di
Ponticello led to the church of San Stefano, and the Vico
di Mulcento branched from it, parallel to the city walls.
The house of Domenico Colombo was in the Vico Dritto,
between the gate of San Andrea and the Vico di Mul-
cento, on the left hand .side, coming from the gate. It
is now No. 37, and was bonglit by the municipality of
Genoa in 1887, who have placed an inscription on its
wall. The neighbours were Antonio Rondi on one side,
and Giovanni Pallavonia on the other. The ground
floor was occupied by the loom where Domenico and his
appientices worked, and behind thei-e was a garden
extending to the city wall.><.

The first child of Domenico Colombo and Susanna
Fontanaros-sa was bom at Genoa,(') almost certainly in
this hou.se, in the year 1446 or early in i447,(-) when



THE HOME IN GENOA.



Raffaele Adorno was Doge of Genoa. He was named
Cristoforo. The next child was probably born in 1448,




HOUSE OF COLUMBUS AT GENOA.



and was named Giovanni Pellegrino. Bartolomeo was
born in 1450. Then there was an interval. The only




EDUCATION.

sister, Hlancliiiietn, \vn.s horn in i4f>4, ;inil the younge.st
child, (tiaoomo, in 1468. The place of Itaptism of the
chiKhi'n of J-)ouienico Coluuibo was the church of San
Stefano, at the end of the Yico Dritto, where the weavers
hail their special altar. Founded in 1258, it had a
picturesfjue campanile, and a marble farade in alternate
white and l)lafk co\n-ses, a mode of building only per-
mitted for churches, and for the palaces of a few of the
chief noble families.
N The Vico Dritto endin<x near the church of San
Stefano, the old gate of San A.ndrea with its flanking
tower.>j, and the gai-den bounded b}- the city walls, weiv
the first things that became familiar to the eyes of little
Cristoforo Coloml)0 and his l)rothers. The weaA'ers
established special schools for their children in the San
Andreii quarter, and in one of these Cristoforo received
his finst lessons in writing, arithmetic, and geography.
He was then apprenticed to his father, ami his chief
work for many years was the carding of wool and the
weaving of cloth. ]}ut the boy from a very early age
\- indulged in day di*eams, and his young mind was lilled
with thoughts which took him far from the work of his
trade. llis aspirations could not be restrained. He
lii-st went to sea at the ago of fourteen, and voyages to
all parts of the Mediterranean ])roke the course of his
or<linary life as a cloth-weaver in his father's workshop.

When Cristoforo pas.sed into the city, through the
gate of San Andrea, he was within a few minutes' walk
of the busy harljour. Standing under the shadow of the
stately edifice occupied by the bank of St. George, he
fcji.sted his eyes on the ships ami war galleys in the har-
Ijour ; and if he ascended the heights of Sarzano or
Carignano, he could watch them until they became tiny



A WAR GALLEY. 7

white specks on the horizon. "When he was ten years
old, Genoa was placed under the protection of the King
of France, and the expedition of the gallant young John
of Calabria, son of King Rene, was fitted out in the
harbour, and sailed for the recovery of Naples on the
4th of October 1459. Crist of oro was then a red-haired
boy of twelve, with bright blue eyes and florid complexion.
How eagerly he must have gazed at the ten stately war
galleys, forming the fleet of the French adventurer, as
they lay at anchor with all their flags and pennons
fluttering in the breeze. How he must have longed to be
taken on board one of them, and how his young heart
must have beat with excitement, as he saw them sail
away. We may still, with the aid of Sanutus and
Colonel Yule, picture to ourselves what Cristoforo saw.
These war galleys were 120 feet long and very narrow,
not more than 15^ feet beam, but the width was in-
creased by an outrigger deck projecting beyond the ship's
side, and supported by timber brackets, to give room for
the fighting men. A castle rose up amidships, and the
battery was in the bows. There were from twenty-two to
twenty-eight benches for rowers on each side, placed dia-
gonally, so that each rower could handle a separate oar,
while using the same portella or rowlock; and along the
centre line of the deck, fore and aft, there was a raised
gangway, called corsia, to afford a passage clear of the
oars. The galleys were built for war purposes and for
speed, but they were very low and could not keep the
sea in rough weather. Even with a smooth sea the toil
of rowing was excessive, yet the work was performed by
freely enlisted men, galeotti assoldati, and it was not until
the following century that slaves were employed, several
tugging at a single large oar. The Genoese merchant



S EAIU.Y SEAFARING LIP'E.

ships were of a very dilYerent build, with much more
beam in propoilion to their length, and supplied with
masts and sails.

Columbus himself tells us that he first went to sea at
the age of fourteen, that is in the year 1461, but whether
in a merchant ship or in a war g:illey is left to conjecture.
In March of the same year the Genoese rose against the
French, killed many in the streets, and forced the rest to
take refuge in the castle of Casteletto, which was sur-
rendered in the following July. The Doge, Prospero
Adorno, defeated a French invasion ; but the Fregosi,
who succeeded, found that the Jlepublic was too weak to
stand alone, and placed it under the protection of Fran-
cesco Sforza, Duke of Milan, in 1464. It was during
thase stirring times that the future discoverer made his
fii-st voyage out of Genoa, and he continued to lead a
seafaring life luvtll he became a thorough sailor, while
he worked at his father's trade during the intervals on
shoi-e. \Ve have scarcely any details of these voyages,
but he must have visited all parts of the Mediteiranean,
and we know that he was at the island of Chios, and in
Sicily.*

Young Crlstoforo did not content himself with a know-
ledge of practical seamanship. He must have been a
zealous student of cosmography and history, for it is
certain that he acquired his knowledge in these early
yeai-s, as well as his remarkable skill as a penman and a
draughtsman. In tho.se days there was no better place in
the world for such studies than Genoa. Forzio had written
the history of the Chioggian war with Venice, Bracelli
had narrated the naval victory over Alfonso of Aragon
in a style which was compared with tSallust, and at
• Navarrete, i. 41.



CARTOGRAPHY AT GENOA. 9

least two members of the ducal family of Fregoso were
authors and poets as well as statesmen. Above all,
Andalone di Negro, the poet, mathematician, and astro-
nomer, and the master of Boccaccio, lived well into the
fifteenth century, and wrote a treatise on the use of the
astrolabe, which was printed at the very time when
Columbus was completing his studies, before finally
leaving his home. Genoa also rivalled Venice and
Ancona at this time in the production of portokmi, or "
beautifully executed sea-charts of the Mediterranean and
western coasts of Europe and Africa. The Portolano
Mediceo, now at Florence, was executed a century
earlier; but Grazioso Benincasa was in the height of
his fame as a draughtsman at Genoa during the youth
of Columbus. He was a native of Ancona, but he was
working at Genoa when Columbus began his sea life,
and it is more than probable that the quick-witted and
talented boy found employment in the workroom of the
great draughtsman. There he would see delineated the
"Insula del legnana," Antilla and Brasill far out in the
western ocean, and thus the first germ of his mighty
thought would be implanted in his young mind. The
planisphere of Bartolomeo Pareto, drawn at Genoa in
1455, which shows St. Brandan, Antilla, and Royllo on
the verge of the unknown, might also have been familiar
to him. Over a score of the maps of Benincasa are still
in existence, two or three in the British Museum ; and
as we admire their beautiful workmanship, we may reflect
that the boy Cristoforo may well have gazed upon them
too, while his teeming brain indulged in a day dream,
which the maturity of his genius would convert into a
reality.

These conjectures respecting the training of Columbus



M HKMOVAL TO SAVONA.

uiiinot be lar from the truth, because we liud in him
such matureil knowledge so soon after his depai'tui'e
from Italy, that it oin only have been acquired by long
''study, and in Genoa. Las Casas tells us that Columbus
j^/receive«l pait of his education at the university of Pavia,(-*)
He would not have gone there to study any subject
I (Caring on the seaman's art, for Genoa would be the
place for that ; but a knowledge of Latin was needful
for him in the perusal of works on the sphere, and it is
not at all unlikely that, as a young man, he may have
gone to Pavia to acquire latinity. It is clear from the
knowledge shown by Bartolomeo afterwards, that his
younger brother was the companion of Cristoforo in his
studies. It is most probable tliat the grand idea of
Columbus had found a birth in his mind, and impelled
him onwards to his destiny, before he finally left his
home.

-^ In 1470, when Cristoforo had attained the age of
twentj'-three years, the aifaii-s of home called for a
clo.ser attention to business on the part of all the sons
of Domenico Colomlx). The industrious weaver had
thriven and become a substantial citizen. He resolved
to move to Savona, and to extend his business in various
ways, while still retaining his house in the Vico iJritto.
He was e\idently a man of an enterprising spirit and
more than average capacity. In order to proWde cjipital
for his new venture, he sold the little property at Gine-
strato in .Septeml>er 1470. The consent of his wife
Susanna to this sale was necessary, and as all the sons
wei-e under age, her brothers and other relations were
simimoned to give formal Siinction to her consent,
which wius registered in the following May. Meanwhile
Domenico Colomlio had established himself at Savona



REMOVAL TO 8AV0NA. 11

not only as a weaver ("Textor pannorum "), but also as
a tavern-keeper (" Tabernarius"); and in March 1470 he
engaged an appi-entice from his native valley of Fontana-
buona, named Bartolomeo Castagneti. In this vmder-
taking Domenico needed all the help that, his three
grown up sons could give him. Manj^ and many a time
must Cristoforo and his two brothers, now stalwart
voung men almost of legal age, have walked over the
distance of twenty-six miles from Genoa to Savona
while the change of abode was proceeding. The road
skirts the seashore, and Cristoforo must have cast
many a longing glance over the deep blue sea to the
white sails on the distant horizon, while engaged on this
work of piety. In 1469 he was witness to the will of a
young comrade named Nicolo Monleone at Genoa. In
1472 and 1473 his father was buying wool on credit,
and by a deed dated Savona, August 16, 1472, Cristoforo
guaranteed one of his father's debts. More capital was
needed, and Domenico Colombo sold his house at Genoa,
near the Porta dell Olivella. The consent of his wife
Susanna was again necessary, to be given with the
sanction of her nearest relations of legal age. Her
two eldest sons had now attained their majority, and
the document was signed by Cristoforo and Giovanni
Pellegrino Colombo, on the 7 th of August 1473. This
is the last time that Cristoforo Colombo appears as
wool-weaver (" Lanerio "), and the last piece of evidence
of his presence in Italy.

Cristoforo had seen his family comfortably established
at Savona. He had zealously and efficiently assisted his
father in all the business involved in the change. He was
now free to follow his own great destiny. By his own /V'
exertions and talent he had become not only an ex-



Lll

is /



12 DEPARTURE TO LISBON.

^ cellent jn-actical seaman, but also a cosmographer and a
<lraiightsinan. He had acquii*ed this knowledge subject
to long intorniptions, and while following the trade of a
weaver. Tiie difficulties in his way must have been such
only a youth of extraordinary genius and strength
)f will could have overcome. He wa.s deeply imbued

>*' with the religious spirit of his age and country. From
\ a child he had belonged to one of the religious guilds,
and all the acts of his life were tinged with devotional
feeling. I cannot doubt that, even at this early period,



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