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Christopher Columbus Biography

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Essay title: Christopher Columbus Biography

Christopher Columbus was the oldest son of Domenico Colombo and Susanna Fontanarossa. Christopher was born between August and October 1451, in Genoa, Italy. Christopher also had two younger brothers, Bartholomew and Diego. Christopher received little formal education and was a largely self-taught man, later learning to read Latin and Write Castilian.

Columbus began on the sea early making his first voyage, to the Aegean Island of Chios, in 1475. One year later he survived a Shipwreck off cape St. Vincent in which he had to swim ashore. In 1477 Columbus sailed to England and Ireland with Portuguese marine, he also bought sugar in Madeira for a Genoese firm.

In 1479 Christopher Married Felipa Perestello e Moniz from a impoverished noble Portuguese family. Their son, Diego was born in 1480. Felipa died in 1485, and Columbus later began a relationship with Beatriz Enriquez de Harana of Cordabo, with whom Christopher had his second son, Ferdinand. Columbus and Enriquez never married, but Columbus supported her.

In the mid-1480's Christopher had become focused on his plans of discovery. His biggest dream was to find a westward route to Asia. In 1484 he had asked king John the II of Portugal to back his voyage west, but was refused. The next year he set out to Spain with his son, Diego to seek aid of Queen Elizabeth of Castile and her husband, King Ferdinand of Aragon. Even though the Spanish monarchs first rejected Christopher's request, they gave him a small annuity to live on, and he remained determend to convince them. In January of 1492 Christopher obtained the support of Elizabeth and Ferdinand, after being rejected twice.

On August 3rdthefleet of three ships-Nina, Pinta, and the Santa Maria-Set forth from Palos, on the Tinto river in southern Spain. The first sight of land came at dawn on October 12th from the Pinta Ship. The place of the first Caribbean landfall was most likely modern, San Salvador, or Waitling Island, in the Bahamas.

Thinking he has reached the east Indies, Columbus referred to the native inhabitants of the Island as "Indians," a term often used to identify indigenous people of the New World. The three ships sailed along other Bahama Islands and landed in Cuba, which Columbus falsely called Mainland of Cathay (China). There was little gold there and his exploration continued by sea to Ayti on December 6th, which Columbus renamed La Isla Espanola, or Hispaniola. He seemed to have thought Hispaniola was Japan, but in any case the land was rich in gold and other natural resources, and allowed Columbus to return to Spain in the spring of 1493 with riches enough to convince his sovereigns of his success.


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