Early American History Project Christopher Columbus Christopher Columbus (1451 – 1506) • Columbus was an explorer. • He later lived in Lisbon where he worked as a trader. He learned how to make maps and navigate a ship. • Wanted to find better route to Asia but needed money –Asked Spain for money and ships! –So he took off and landed… • In 1492, he sailed from Europe to America. He and his sailors crossed the Atlantic Ocean, not knowing where they would land. • It was a voyage into the unknown. After Columbus, other Europeans began to explore and settle in America. On his first trip, Colon needed 3 crew ships, food supply for 1 year and someone to finance his trip. Columbus spent years trying to convince someone to pay for his trip. He first tried to make King Juan II of Portugal pay for his trip, but the king was not interested. Finally, he was able to convince Queen Elizabeth and King Ferdinand of Spain to pay for the trip. Travels of Cristopher Columbus He set sail on August 3, 1492 with three ships called Nina, Pinta and Santa María. The trip was long and difficult. At one point his men threatened to mutiny and wanted to return. Columbus promised them that he would return in two days if they could not find land. However, in his diary, he wrote that he had no intention of returning. Travels of Cristopher Columbus • At the end of the 15th century, it was nearly impossible to reach Asia from Europe by land. Portuguese explorers solved this problem by taking to the sea.But Columbus had a different idea: Why not sail west across the Atlantic instead of around the massive African continent? • He presented his plan to officials in Portugal and England, but it was not until 1492 that he found a sympathetic audience: the Spanish monarchs Ferdinand of Aragon and Isabella of Castile. • Columbus wanted fame and fortune. Ferdinand and Isabella wanted the same, along with the opportunity to export Catholicism to lands across the globe. (Columbus, a devout Catholic, was equally enthusiastic about this possibility.) • Columbus’ contract with the Spanish rulers promised that he could keep 10 percent of whatever riches he found, along with a noble title and the governorship of any lands he should encounter. THE CRISTÓBAL COLÓN TRIPS • On his first trip (1492-1493) Columbus reached several Caribbean islands: Guanahaní (San Salvador), Cuba (Juana) and Santo Domingo (La Española). In La Españolachocó his best ship, the "Santa María", and with his wood a fortínllamado "La Navidad" was built. Columbus returned to Spain in the caravel "La Niña". • On his second trip (1496-1496) Columbus discovered the Lesser Antilles (Dominica and Guadalupe), passed through Puerto Rico (San Juan Bautista) and arrived in Hispaniola where he found the destroyed Christmas fort. Very close, he founded his first city which he named as La Isabela. Then he explored Cuba and sailing south discovered Jamaica (Santiago). THE CRISTÓBAL COLÓN TRIPS • On his third trip (1498-1500) Columbus discovered Trinidad Island and the mouth of the Orinoco River in Venezuela (Tierra de Gracia). Around Hispaniola he was taken prisoner for the complaints of the dissatisfied Spaniards with his command. He returned chained to Spain, where Lareina Isabel released him. • On his fourth trip (1502-1504) Columbus explored the coasts of Central America (Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama).