Columbus's First Voyage

On August 4, 1492 Columbus set out from Palos on his first voyage across the Atlantic Ocean with 3 ships. He first stopped at the Canary Islands where he restocked his ships, then continued on a 5 week voyage across the ocean.

Portrait of Christopher

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On October 12, 1492, land was spotted! They landed on a island somewhere in the Bahamas and named it San Salvador, but the natives called it Guanahani.

Exactly which island in the Bahamas they landed on is unknown to this day.

The natives where friendly and peaceful, he wrote in his journal of them, "It appears to me, that the people are ingenious, and would be good servants and I am of opinion that they would very readily become Christians, as they appear to have no religion."

He also wrote of them, two days after landing, "I could conquer the whole of them with 50 men, and govern them as I pleased."

He also explored the northeast coast of Cuba (October 28)and the northern coast of Hispaniola.(December 5) Here, he left 39 men, with permission from the native cacique Guacanagari, and founded the settlement of La Navidad in what is now present-day Haiti.

While heading home for Spain, was forced to stop in Lisbon because of a storm. But after one week in Portugal he was ready to sail again for Spain.

Reaching Spain, the news of his finding new land spread like fire throughout Europe.

His report to the royal court in Madrid was extravagant, he insisted he had reached Asia (it was Cuba) and an island off the coast of China (Hispaniola).

Read more of Sarah's pages after Columbus.

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