document reveals Columbus as
tyrant of the
2006 rediscovery of evidence
gathered by Bobadilla reported by guardian.co.uk
Columbus My Enemy the Taino
"Destruction of the Taino"
by William F. Keegan
in "Archaeology" (January/February 1992, pp. 51-56)
The Life and Voyages
Christopher Columbus in 1828, the
Granada a year later, and, the
Voyages of the Companions of Columbus in 1831, by
Suggests Columbus Remains in Spain",
Discovery News, October 6, 2004. Retrieved on
2006-10-11. (in English)
One point of
agreement among all interpretations is that the voyages of
Columbus marked turning points in history
|Oct 12th remains a National Holiday
although increasing less to celebrate the American or Italian
Día de la Raza
is a holiday celebrated in many countries in the Americas,
commemorating the date of
Christopher Columbus's arrival in the
New World on October 12, 1492.
In 1917 Argentina became the
first nation in Latin America to celebrate what became known as
the Día de la Raza or day of the race which commemorates the
fusion of European and New World peoples and cultures into a new
culture and new national identities. Venezuela followed in 1921,
newly-renamed (as of 2002)
Día de la Resistencia
Indígena (Day of Indigenous
Resistance) in Venezuela, Chile in 1923 and Mexico in 1928 in
celebrating October 12th as Día de la Raza.
In the Bahamas, where Columbus
first landed, the holiday is known as Discovery Day.
Similar holidays, celebrated as
Día de la Raza (Day of the Race) in many countries in
Latin America, Día de las Culturas (Day of the Cultures)
in Costa Rica, Discovery Day in the Bahamas,
Hispanic Day in Spain, and the commemorate the same
first human rights crusader
How much damage,
how many calamities, disruptions and devastations of kingdoms
have there been? How many souls have perished in the West Indies
over the years and how unjustly? How many unforgivable sins have
been committed? ... What we committed in the West Indies stands
out among the most unpardonable offenses ever committed against
God and mankind....
Bartolomé de Las Casas,
Historia de las Indias, c. 1527
years he was bishop of Chiapas in southern Mexico; he then
returned to Spain for the last time in 1547, becoming a
permanent resident of the monastery of San Gregorio in
Valladolid. He began his Historia de las
Indias in 1527, while he was still on Espanola, but did
not complete it until thirty years later. He had become well
acquainted with Diego, Columbus’ legitimate son and his
successor as Admiral of the Indies, and with Diego’s highborn
wife, Maria de Toledo, niece of the duke of Alba. They placed
all of Columbus’ papers at his disposal, including a copy of the
Journal of the First Voyage. Las
Casas made an abstract of the latter for his own use, and it
remains the only detailed record of the historic voyage. The
original of the journal has been lost.
Chronology Age of
Caribbean Islands discovered by Christopher
Columbus. He returns there on 2nd voyage in
John Cabot discovers Newfoundland
1498: Vasco da Gama leads the
expedition that would discover the route to the Indian Ocean
that rounded the southern tip of Africa, the Cape of Good Hope.
This new route marked the beginning of a new era of direct
contact between Europe and Asia. During his reign King Manuel
was the ruler of the greatest empire of his time and benefited
from a growing African trade and the golden harvest of the
1500: Brazil by Pedro Álvares
Thus the easternmost part of current Brazil, when it was
discovered in 1500 by
Pedro Álvares Cabral, was granted to Portugal and not Spain
who had sent 3 expeditions to explore
Tierra Firme or
a continent of dry land - Columbus
who went as far south as the Orinoco River,
along a north-south meridian 370 leagues (1550 km) west of the
Cape Verde islands.
1510: First African slaves taken to America.
1513: Vasco Nunez de Balboa reaches Pacific Ocean overland from the
1519-1521: Portuguese under Ferdinand Magellan first to sail around the
world (Magellan dies during the journey, killed in the
Philippines in 1521 by local people, but his crew completes the
1519-1521: Hernan Cortes conquers the Aztecs.
Uniting the Pan
October 12 - is
the Day the Americas is celebrated
We remember the past Amerindians, thank the heroes, and seek a
better tomorrow for those who will follow
the popular discovery of the continent unfolded in Trinidad,
Venezuela & Brazil in 1499
Also in 1499:
Spain's Queen Isabella learns of "The
Curse of Columbus" and an Italian named Americo gets credit for discovering
the New World.
In 1498, Columbus was running low on drinking water. He
followed the island around to the Gulf entrance and gathered water at the
He gratefully named the land
‘La Trinite’ or Trinidad.
Columbus is reported to have promised to name the next land
he discovered for the
and considered it a miracle when the first land he sighted
showed him the
three peaks of the Trinity Hills
smiling as he put in to gather water.
"he [Columbus the
"Admiral"] wishes to see what was the idea of King Don Juan of Portugal,
who said that there was mainland
to the south: and because of this, he says that he had a contention with
the Sovereigns of Castile, and finally the Admiral says that it was
concluded that the King of Portugal should have 370 leagues to the west
from the islands of the Azores[326-1] and Cape Verde, from north to
south, from pole to pole. And the Admiral says further that the said
King Don Juan was certain that within those limits famous lands and
must be found.
Treaty_of_Tordesillas [executed in
Spain), June 7, 1494] divided the world outside of Europe
between the Spanish and the Portuguese and ignored by other
When word of Columbus' discoveries reached Portugal its king
King John II
charged the Spanish with encroachment into the Portuguese realm.
The Spanish monarchs, Ferdinand and Isabella then appealed to the Pope in Rome, who
was in origin a Spaniard. In 1493 the Pope issued a proclamation
(a Bull) which assigned all lands which were more than 100
leagues (345 miles) west of the Cape Verde Islands to Spain and
the land east of that line to Portugual. King John [Don Juan
João II] of
Portugal was not satisfied so he negotiated a treaty with
Ferdinand and Isabella 270 leagues (930 miles) farther to the
west. This was called the Treaty of Tordesilla.
Shortly after the conclusion of the Treaty of Tordesilla,
King João II died in 1495 from pneumonia. His cousin, King
Manuel the Fortunate, assumed the throne and continued to
support the search for a seaway to the Indies.
"He that is
Three and One guides me by His
pity and mercy that I may serve Him and give great pleasure to
Highnesses and to all Christianity, as was done in the discovery
Indies which resounded throughout all the world."
Columbus at beginning of 3rd
three is a magic number
Creative power; growth. Three is a
moving forward of energy, overcoming duality, expression,
manifestation and synthesis. Three is the first number to which
the meaning "all" was given. It is The Triad, being the number
of the whole as it contains the beginning, a middle and an end.
The power of three is universal and is the tripartide nature of
the world as heaven, earth, and waters. It is human as body,
soul and spirit. Three is birth, life, death. It is the
beginning, middle and end. Three is a complete cycle unto
itself. It is past, present, future. Three is the heavenly
number, representing soul, as four represents body. Together the
two equal seven (3+4=7 ) and form the sacred hebdomad. The
3x4=12 representing the signs of the Zodiac and months of the
His plan had been to keep nearer to the
Equator. The launch of the 3rd voyage of
Columbus had made ready to set sail at a glacially slow pace following the
disappointing results of the
2nd voyage which had concluded in 1495.
While Columbus has been grandly successful in marketing his
heretofore unknown lands as the golden land of
to the 2nd voyage investors, come the 3rd voyage, the
resulting outcome for the early takers had been too disappointing.
Investors had not make promised returns and Columbus all too readily
added first transatlantic slave trader to impressive list of firsts.
Now the monarchs of Spain,
Ferdinand and Isabella
interested in knowing more about the supposed great continent they had
agreed to split with
King Juan of Portugal.
Tuesday, August 7, 1498 Columbus 3rd voyage. Encounter with natives at
which Columbus has named Island of Grace. The teenager Las Casas
registers his first doubts about the moral certainty of the
Las Casas's history of the 3rd voyage
Wednesday, August 8, a canoe came with 12 men to the caravel and
took them all, and brought them to the ship of the Admiral, and
he chose six and sent the others to land. From this it appears
that the Admiral did it without scruple as he did many other
times in the first
navigation, it not appearing to him that it was an injustice and
an offence against God and his neighbor to take free men against
their will, separating fathers from their sons and wives from
their husbands and [not reflecting] that according to natural
law they were married, and that other men could not take these
women, or those men other women, without sin and perhaps a
mortal sin of which the Admiral was the efficient cause-- and
there was the further circumstance that these people came to the
ships under tacit security and promised confidence which should
have been observed toward them; and beyond this, the scandal and
the hatred of the Christians not only there, but in all the
earth and among the peoples
that should hear of this.
a scholarly book compiling and translating source material originally published in 1906 and made available
by Project Gutenburg
On May 30, 1498, Columbus set sail
with six ships from
from Sanlucar, Spain.
The crew included
the young writer Bartolomé de Las Casas,
(1474-1566), who would go on to become
the bishop of Chiapas
and the chief early defender of the Amerindian's rights, preaching
treating the Indian fairly was in Spain's best interests to
prevent divine retribution as well as writing important
Leaving the Canary Islands on June 19,
the fleet split
into two squadrons: three ships to sail directly for
with supplies for the colonists, and the other
Esperanza, the San Sebastian and the San Martin
to explore further south closer to the equator. The fleet
was becalmed in the
an area off the coast of
notorious for its lack of winds and heat, for eight days and
arrived in the West Indies short of fresh water.
The quiet beach
Bay is said
to be the point at which Christopher
Columbus landed after gathering fresh water at
The beach is surrounded by miles of coconut plantations and
"Three Sisters" (3 tiny islands) protrude just off the shoreline.
Columbus Bay is where the
controversial central figure of the New World lost his anchor which is now
on display at the
Trinidad National Museum.
Evidence of fishing by some of the 35,000 Indians then living on the
island was evident. The next day, Columbus sailed west to
anchored and was approached by 25 Indians in a large canoe. Columbus ordered a
tamborine to be played and his young boys to dance in a friendly gesture. The Indians had not
come to dance and set loose a barrage of
arrows on the ship. They eventually exchanged gifts. That night the ship was badly shaken by swirling currents and
anchor broke loose.
Dominican Republic &
Haiti are the two countries that comprise Hispaniola. Home of the
first colonies, founded by Columbus where it is considered bad luck to
say "Columbus" more. Home of the Caribbean's highest peak, the first
nation formed from a slave revolt and a strong Carnaval tradition every
February. Haiti's is pre-lenten while most large large cities in the
Dominican Republic have parades and fairs around independence day
It was clearly time to move on, he sailed into the
Gulf of Paria
and up the
He name the southern entrance to the Gulf of Paria-the Serpent's Mouth
The Orinco River's volume of
water, the 3rd greatest in the world, impressed Columbus. He realized that no island could produce such a
prodigious volume of water.
"I have come to believe that this is a mighty continent
which was hitherto unknown. I am greatly supported in this view by reason of
this great river, and by this sea which is fresh."
wrote Columbus in his
On August 4, 1498, Columbus became the first European to set
foot on the South American mainland when he went ashore at the
Venezuelan City closest to Trinidad,
The natives were not interested in exchanging for European
trinkets but paid generously in gold and pearls for brass and hawks bells. They
spoke of other traders from the East in the past as well.
Paria Peninsula the finger of
Venezuela pointing towards
Trinidad, still remains largely unpopulated long after Columbus made his
The only part of the continent Columbus
would land upon would be here at Macuro. The natives kept pointing West, and so
Columbus endeavored to
explore further the coast of Venezuela. He mistakenly named
Paria Peninsula the Isle of Grace.
Trying to leave the Gulf his ships experienced
problems and he put in at
still unpopulated today
now that the leper colony
has departed. This is the part of Trinidad closest to Venezuela's Paria
Peninsula. After overnighting and claiming the island for Spain he
sailed through the
Grand Boca, it was at this point that he
in the distance and named it
well as Grenada, naming it
He called the place Boca del Drago, or Dragon's
3rd voyage of Columbus was the first time the
Admiral reached the continent but he relinquished his dubious right to
claim he discovered it by insisting it was connected to India.
Mouth because of the way the
waters were churned up.
Columbus modified his belief in a round earth
when his navigational readings detected the bulge in the
earth at the equator.
He proposed that the earth was shaped
like a pear with a rise "like a woman's breast" on which
rested the "Terrestrial Paradise" or Garden of Eden, to
which no man could sail without the permission of God.
the Lost Soul of the New World as we countdown to 2012.
Chains in Transit: a taste of his own medicine
|Gift-slaves of colony's
inhabitants and revolt against rule by 3 Columbus brothers
in Haiti/Dominican Republic sends Columbus home in chains.
|Columbus was obsessed with the
idea of finding a new route to the Far East, which would provide
him with enough wealth to pay for the liberation of the Holy
Land from Islamic rule. His enterprise of the Indies was also
responsible to investors and had to turn a profit if Columbus
was going to realize his ambitions.
Ongoing warfare between
Christianity and Islam produced thousands of slave laborers, who
were put to work in heavy agriculture in Italy, southern France,
eastern Spain, Sicily, and eastern Europe near the Black Sea.
Most slaves in this area were "white"--either Arabs or natives
of Russia and eastern Europe. But by the mid-fifteenth century,
the expansion of the Ottoman empire cut off the supply of white
slaves. It was during the mid-fifteenth century that Portugal
established trading relations along the West African coast, and
discovered that it was able to purchase huge numbers of black
slaves at a low cost.
On the morning of the 13th, the fleet sailed out of the Gulf of Paria at its
northern entrance and coasted west along the mainland for the next three days,
spotting the island of Margarita on the 15th of August. Here he found the natives fishing for pearls,
of which he obtained three bags by bartering with gay china and bells. The
Indians thought that the pale Spaniards with their shiny armaments must be their
"brothers of the sun" and that their arrival meant the beginning of a large and
Columbus's health was poor at this time, and he now ordered the fleet to sail
for Hispaniola on a northwest by north course. They arrived off southern
Hispaniola on August 19, 1498.
Christopher Columbus believed
that Indians would serve as a slave labor force for Europeans,
especially on the sugar cane plantations off the western coast
of north Africa and he likely had this plan in mind as he set
off on his 2nd voyage since he would soon thereafter deliver his
first cargo for the slave markets of Seville to his business
agent there. Beginning with 1600, he transported 500 to Spain in
1495 with some 200 dying in transit. Thus Columbus initiated the
African slave trade, which originally moved from the New World
to the Old, rather than the reverse. He did this despite
instructions from Queen Isabella to assist in the conversion of
the inhabitants to Christianity. He instructed his lieutenant in
charge of the cargo to explain the course of action as necessary
manner to deal with cannibals, prisoners of war and those unable
to be converted because they could not learn the language.
Columbus earlier had begun by demanding gold or cotton every
three months from all Amerindian inhabitants of Hispania. As
Washington Irving, the figure who has as much to do with
creating the archetypal historical figure as anyone except the explorer himself said in 1828:
"Columbus In this way was the yoke of servitude fixed upon
the island and its thralldom effectually insured. Deep despair
now fell on the natives when they found a perpetual task
inflicted upon them. … Weak and indolent by nature, unused to
labor of any kind and brought up in the untasked idleness of
their soft climate and their fruitful groves, death itself
seemed preferable to a life of toil and anxiety. They saw no end
to this harassing evil which had so suddenly fallen upon them."
resolution of events that were to engulf Columbus in their
tragic wake was not long in coming. His letter to the sovereigns
proposing exportation and sale of four thousand slaves went with
the fleet of five ships that left Santo Domingo on October 18,
1498. In the same fleet were several hundred colonists returning
to Spain and six hundred enslaved Indians. Each returning
colonist had been presented with a slave by Columbus as a token
of his good will. Two hundred more had been allotted to the
masters of the ships to cover the cost of their transportation.
arrival of the fleet and Columbus’ letter to the sovereigns
could not have come at a worse time for him. Complaints of the
chaotic and harsh rule of the three Italian brothers—the admiral
and Diego had been joined in Santo Domingo by their brother
Bartolomé—had been pouring into the royal court with increasing
urgency. And indeed, as the historian Angel de Altolaguirre
remarked, “the state of misery which reigned in Espanola was
demonstrated by the fact that Columbus, for his own profit, and
to meet the expenses of the colony, found no other means than to
sell its inhabitants.”
sixteenth-century historian Antonio de Herrera y Tordesillas—also
a great admirer of Columbus—wrote that among the many charges
brought by the white residents of Espanola against the admiral
was one that
“he would not consent to baptism of the Indians whom the friars wished to
baptize because he wanted more slaves than Christians; that he
made war against the Indians unjustly and made many slaves to be
sent to Castile.”
And four Catholic missionaries, in separate
Cardinal Cisneros, the archbishop of Toledo,
Columbus and his brothers of actively hindering the efforts of
the missionaries to convert the natives to Christianity and
furthermore asserted that their cruelty to the Indians was a
continual frustration to the friars’ labors in the Lord’s
|Aragon was an empire in decline while
Castile's star was just beginning to rise under its energetic
young Queen. Isabella was a devout Christian and this
religious conviction motivated her fanatic campaign to expel the
Moors and Jews from Iberian and spread Christianity to the rest
of the world. Christopher Columbus would often appear before her
wearing Franciscan robes. Her strength came from her port cities
Columbus’ proposal for wholesale enslavement of the natives to
meet the economic needs of the new colony not only confirmed the
reports the sovereigns had received from other sources but also
awakened them for the first time to the real character of his
traffic in human beings. And with the awakening came a royal
what authority does the Admiral give my
vassals to anyone?” Queen Isabella exclaimed angrily
when she learned of the arrival of the returning colonists with
their “gift” slaves. She ordered that it be publicly cried in Granada
and Seville, where the court then was in residence, that all those who
had brought Indians to Castile as a result of
Columbus’ largesse return them to freedom in Espanola on pain of
death. Las Casas soberly reports that his own father was one of
those compelled to surrender slaves.
not know what prompted the Queen with so much anger and severity
to order those 300 Indians whom the Admiral had given as slaves,
returned,” Las Casas wrote. “… I found no other reason but that,
until this latest arrival, I believe the Queen, because of
erroneous information which the Admiral sent to the Sovereigns,
supposed they were taken in a just war. "
---Much of the content regarding Columbus and slavery was
researched in Spain was originally
published in 1975 by Edward T. Stone in an article called
Columbus and Genocide
Arriving at the new city of
Columbus discovered that disgruntled colonists had staged a revolt against his
rule as administered by his brother. In 1497, Francisco Roldan, mayor of
La Isabela, led a
revolt against the Columbus government. A year later 300
colonists, disenchanted with living conditions and the absence of
regular wages, left Hispaniola for Spain. The loyalties of those
who remained were divided equally between Columbus, who
controlled the center of the island, and the rebel force headed
by Roldan in the west.
Columbus negotiated a peace with Roldan on terms determined by Roldan. This
included land grants and the rights to control their own Indian Taino
Not a particularly adept administrator, Columbus'
presence seemed to have the effect of making things even worse, and his attempt
to restore some semblance of order through punishments that did not sit well
with much of the island's population. Many Spaniards did not see gold in their
future but rather a tough frontier life and 300 elected to return to Spain. In due course, the Spanish crown's rulers, Ferdinand and Isabela appointed
a knight commander named Francisco de Bobadilla with plenary powers to take over
the administration of Espanola. At the same time, they summarily dismissed
Columbus from his high estate of viceroy and governor.
When Bobadilla, arrived in Santo Domingo, he immediately had Columbus
arrested for the hanging he personally observed of two Spaniards. Bodilla took evidence from 23 foes and supporters and compiled a 48
page report which was only rediscovered in 2005 in the Spanish city of
|Her crime was to suggest the Columbus family was of
low birth in Santo Domingo. What was the family's
Among the atrocities documented; One man caught stealing corn had his nose
and ears cut off, was placed in shackles and was then auctioned off as a slave. A
woman who dared to suggest that Columbus was of lowly birth was punished by his
brother Bartolomé, who had also travelled to the Caribbean. She was stripped
naked and paraded around the colony on the back of a mule. Bartolomé ordered
that her tongue be cut out and Christopher Columbus congratulated him for
defending the family.
In October of 1500
the Admiral and his brothers were sent home to
Spain in shackles. They would indulge him with a fourth voyage on the
condition he not visit the Dominican Republic island. Columbus returned
to the New World in April 1502, only to be shipwrecked in Jamaica from
June 1503 to March 1504.
In April 1502, Nicholas de Ovando
replaced Bobadilla as governor. Ovando arrived with a large group of over
2,000 Spaniards. They imposed new stresses on
population making them work long hours in the gold mines on a diet of only
Many Spaniards and Indians died from the unhealthy environment which
encouraged the spread of diseases.
Ovando also was no longer interested in maintaining peace with the Taino leaders
and had 84 caciques burned and hanged, including Anacaona, the paramount
cacica (female chief). All the natives were then assigned to either the crown or
individual Spaniards. The Crown's instructions that Taino were vassals entitled
to rights, including proper care and wages were largely ignored.
As an observer of the wanton destruction of human life, Now the priest in the
colony Fray Bartolome de Las
Casas, the first priest ordained in the new World and later known as the
"Protector of the Indians, could no longer sit idly by as the Taino were
wantonly destroyed . He came forward as the defender of the Taino,and castigated
his countrymen for their harsh treatment of them.
Columbus died in 1506 believing, to the end, that he'd discovered and
colonized part of India.
Ovando, who had managed to reduce the Taino population from 500,000 to
60,000 was recalled to Spain in 1509 by King Ferdinand, who was keeping
a promise that he had made to Queen Isabella on her death-bed. He was
succeeded by Diego Columbus, the son of Christopher.
The Spaniards did not bring their women to the Americas. They
took Amerindian wives in civil marriages, and had mestizo children.
Their first exploitation of the mainland began in soon close to the
pearl beds of Margarita Island.
The Portuguese Crown also favored sending noblemen who were allowed
greater license in developing the vast landscape. They quickly turned to
the massive importation of African slaves miscegenation.
Like all holidays October 12th can be whatever you wish it to be but
increasingly it will be known as something other than Columbus day, but it will
always be a great day for a parade celebrating who we are today as the people of
In 2011 the Americas finest
athletes will gather in Guadalajara, Mexico for the hemisphere's
In1499, just a year after Columbus 3rd voyage, was led by Alfonso
de Ojeda and the Florentine, Amerigo Vespucci. They
sailed westward along the coast of Tierra Firme (as the concept
of a large land mass beyond the Caribbean Islands was then
known) as far as Lago de Maracaibo. There, native huts built on
piles above the lake reminded Vespucci of Venice, thus leading
him to name the discovery Venezuela, or Little Venice.
Amerigo Vespucci (March 9, 1454 - February 22, 1512) was
an Italian merchant, explorer and cartographer whose
name became attached to
the New World. It was not his map that
used the name but he was the first to publish an account
of the existence of the unknown continent. He
assisted greatly in the popularization by his writing
which was widely distributed. For ths he used a
latinised form of his name, Americus Vespucius, in his
Latin writings from his original Alberigo..
In 1507,a German cartographer, Martin Waldseemüller,
published a map along with a Latin translation of
Amerigo's account. On the map he changed
Vespucci's first name to the feminine to
give credit to Amerigo. The name took hold.
In 2001 the US library of Congress acquired the only
surviving copy of this historic map.
|1st Map of America -1507
discovered Brazil before Cabral?
|The claim that the Portuguese
explorer and navigator
Pedro Álvares Cabral was the first European to discover
Brazil, on April 22, 1500, is contested. This is partly due to
the strict enforcement of secrecy by Portugal to
maintaining their lucrative trade monopolies while
more powerful ambitious sea powers at bay. Still, with the
priority of completing the navigation around Africa's Horn of
Plenty to the India Ocean, not completed till 1498 it is
doubtful that the knowledge that Portugal's King Juan used to
insist on the Treaty of Tordesillas
to give it rights to Brazil ahead of Spanish claims was based on more than
intelligence gleaned from its domination of the harbors off
which had up until recently maintained regular small-time trade
across the prior sea powers of the Phoenicians, Romans,
Chinese, Greeks, Moors,
many millennia maintaining local knowledge on the powerful
currents and trade winds across the Atlantic. Columbus brought
back a gold tipped spear on his 2nd expedition given to him on
Haiti which tested as a complex alloy only found in Guinea,
Also the cotton patterns used, lack of interest in glass beads,
desire for brass and communication that previous traders were
distance of more than 800 leagues" was
all recorded by by
Las Casas on Columbus 3rd voyage.
The academic version which still maintains that with few
exceptions, the Amerindians came over the Bering Strait at the
ice age, 13000 years ago. We spend some time on this phenoneon.
from the African perspective
here the African view
Gama returned to Portugal in 1499 with news about the extent
of Muslim gold trading on the east African coast, King Manuel
became determined to send a strong armada to take advantage of
these discoveries. The fleet, under the command of Admiral
Pedro Alvares Cabral, included a squadron of four caravels
Bartholomew Diaz,, who
had been selected to found a fortress-factory at the
gold-exporting port of Sofala on the east coast. On 9
March 1500, the armada set out on the Atlantic and turned
south-westward to take advantage of the south-east trade winds.
Cabral may well have been secretly instructed to explore the
western area allotted to Portugal under the Treaty of
Tordesillas of 1494. Sailing westward, the fleet came upon the
bulge of South America. Dias thus became an active participant
in the first discovery of Brazil. In order to test the mood of
the local inhabitants Dias was ordered to land a longboat at an
anchorage they named
Porto Seguro (the present Baia Cabralia).
As the natives proved friendly and attractive, the Portuguese
went ashore and danced and made merry with them, visited their
village, and afterwards celebrated mass on the beach.
|On the web
are sketchy details of a letter in the Vatican, written at the
time of King Afonso IV, around 1341-1343 reporting on a
Brandao sailing in the Atlantic and finding a land with many
naked men. Also supposedly some English documents from
the 1370's mention a "Brazil of Portugal"
|Two of the more unproven
claims are that in 1498
Duarte Pacheco Pereira arrived in
Maranhão, on the northeastern coast of Brazil, in 1498 arriving in
Maranhão, Brazil. In addition there is a 4th or 1st
voyage of Amerigo Vespucci that may have arrived in Brazil in
1497 but this is doubtful.
|1499: Amerigo_Vespucci After hitting
land at the coast of what is now Guyana, Vespucci sailed
southward, discovering the mouth of the Amazon River and
reaching 6°S, before turning around and seeing Trinidad
and the Orinoco River and returning to Spain by way of
Hispaniola. On return to Lisbon, Vespucci wrote in a
letter to de' Medici that the land masses they explored
were much larger than anticipated and unlike the Asia described
by earlier Europeans and, therefore, must be a New World, that
is, a previously unknown fourth continent, after Europe, Asia,
Vicente Yáñez Pinzón (c. 1460 - after 1523) was a
Spanish navigator, who captained one of the 3 ships with
his older brother Martin Alonzo Pinzón,and Christopher
Columbus on the first voyage to the New
World in 1492, In 1499 he sighted the Amazon River and
ascended to a point about fifty metres from the sea. He called
it the "Río Santa María de la Mar Dulce", thus becoming the
first explorer to discover an estuary of the Amazon River.
Pinzón is considered the discoverer of the
Early in Brazil
from the wreck of a Roman ship was two intact from
the bottom of Guanabara Bay in 1975 .
Dr. Elizabeth Lyding Will
identified the jars as
similar in shape to jars
produced in kilns at Kouass, on the west coast
of Morocco. The Rio jars look to be late
versions of those jars, perhaps datable to the
third century A.D. In 1981
archeologist Robert Marx discovered thousands of
pottery fragments in the same locality,
including 200 necks from amphorae. The find
became political when Italians said the claim
proved their right to immigrate to Brazil should
be treated like Portuguese and it is alleged
that the government has since hidden the
archaeological site under sand. [more]
This rock is in Tijuca forest is claimed to be a marker by a
600B.C Phoenician ruler
A circle of some 130 granite blocks in the Brazilian state of Amapa was
hailed as a possible 2,000-year-old winter solstice marker.
It took until 1592 for the Spanish to
establish their first settlement, San Josef, just east of
the present-day capital of Port of Spain. Over the next two
centuries, Spanish colonizers made efforts to establish tobacco and
cacao plantations but crop failures and a lack of support
from Spain left the island only lightly settled.
|A year after that the Spanish
established their first settlement, at Nueva Cadiz, on the
island of Cubagua near Margarita Island in 1528. It did not have
a fresh water source but did have lots of rich pearl beds. It
ruins today are notorious for not only being wiped out
completely by a tsunami but also for the first record of a
resource being managed to extinction in the New World.
The City shares an ignoble history with
two of the great known tsunamis in history when its
cataclysmic tidal wave occurred on Christmas in 1540. It's pearl
beds played out, it was never restored.
Settlements in Brazil
|It would be 25 years from
Cabral's discovery in 1500 before the Portuguese would establish
a colony in Brazil. The discovery of Brazil wood, the source of
red dye, much in demand by the European textile industry, was
incentive for founding the colony and provided its name. The
fear that Brazil might fall into French hands accelerated
settlement efforts by the Portuguese Crown. Early efforts were
led by private individuals who were granted land and much leeway
in their administration.
In 1549 the Crown sent an expedition to establish a royal
government in Brazil. This expedition included six Jesuits, the
first of the regular Catholic orders in Brazil. It eventually
became clear the natives were ill-suited for the labor necessary
to produce crops and the importation of African slaves to work
sugar plantations by 1600 was firmly established.