Christopher Columbus (before 31 October 1451 – 20 May 1506) was an explorer, navigator, and colonizer, born in the Republic of Genoa, in what is today northwestern Italy. Under the auspices of the Catholic Monarchs of Spain, he completed four voyages across the Atlantic Ocean that led to general European awareness of the American continents. Those voyages, and his efforts to establish permanent settlements on the island of Hispaniola, initiated the Spanish colonization of the New World.
In the context of emerging western imperialism and economic competition between European kingdoms seeking wealth through the establishment of trade routes and colonies, Columbus’s speculative proposal, to reach the East Indies by sailing westward, eventually received the support of the Spanish crown, which saw in it a promise, however remote, of gaining the upper hand over rival powers in the contest for the lucrative spice trade with Asia.
1. RICHES DON’T MAKE A MAN RICH, THEY ONLY MAKE HIM BUSIER.
2. I AM A MOST NOTEWORTHY SINNER, BUT I HAVE CRIED OUT TO THE LORD FOR GRACE AND MERCY, AND THEY HAVE COVERED ME COMPLETELY. I HAVE FOUND THE SWEETEST CONSOLATION SINCE I MADE IT MY WHOLE PURPOSE TO ENJOY HIS MARVELLOUS PRESENCE.
3. GOLD IS A TREASURE, AND HE WHO POSSESSES IT DOES ALL HE WISHES TO IN THIS WORLD, AND SUCCEEDS IN HELPING SOULS INTO PARADISE.
4. FOR THIS PURPOSE I DETERMINED TO KEEP AN ACCOUNT OF THE VOYAGE, AND TO WRITE DOWN PUNCTUALLY EVERY THING WE PERFORMED OR SAW FROM DAY TO DAY, AS WILL HEREAFTER APPEAR.
5. I ORDERED EACH MAN TO BE PRESENTED WITH SOMETHING, AS STRINGS OF TEN OR A DOZEN GLASS BEADS APIECE, AND THONGS OF LEATHER, ALL WHICH THEY ESTIMATED HIGHLY; THOSE WHICH CAME ON BOARD I DIRECTED SHOULD BE FED WITH MOLASSES.
6. THE AIR SOFT AS THAT OF SEVILLE IN APRIL, AND SO FRAGRANT THAT IT WAS DELICIOUS TO BREATHE IT.
7. TOMORROW MORNING BEFORE WE DEPART, I INTEND TO LAND AND SEE WHAT CAN BE FOUND IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD.
8. BY PREVAILING OVER ALL OBSTACLES AND DISTRACTIONS, ONE MAY UNFAILINGLY ARRIVE AT HIS CHOSEN GOAL OR DESTINATION.
9. FOR THE EXECUTION OF THE VOYAGE TO THE INDIES, I DID NOT MAKE USE OF INTELLIGENCE, MATHEMATICS OR MAPS.
10. I SAW A BOY OF THE CREW PURCHASING JAVELINS OF THEM WITH BITS OF PLATTERS AND BROKEN GLASS.
11. BUT IN TRUTH, SHOULD I MEET WITH GOLD OR SPICES IN GREAT QUANTITY, I SHALL REMAIN TILL I COLLECT AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE, AND FOR THIS PURPOSE I AM PROCEEDING SOLELY IN QUEST OF THEM.
12. I AM NOT SOLICITOUS TO EXAMINE PARTICULARLY EVERYTHING HERE, WHICH INDEED COULD NOT BE DONE IN FIFTY YEARS, BECAUSE MY DESIRE IS TO MAKE ALL POSSIBLE DISCOVERIES, AND RETURN TO YOUR HIGHNESSES, IF IT PLEASE OUR LORD, IN APRIL.
13. FOLLOWING THE LIGHT OF THE SUN, WE LEFT THE OLD WORLD.
14. THESE PEOPLE ARE VERY UNSKILLED IN ARMS… WITH 50 MEN THEY COULD ALL BE SUBJECTED AND MADE TO DO ALL THAT ONE WISHED.