Monday, 18th of February
Yesterday, after sunset, the Admiral was sailing round the island, to see where he could anchor and open communications. He let go one anchor, which he presently lost, and then stood off and on all night. After sunrise he again reached the north side of the island, where he anchored, and sent the boat on shore. They had speech with the people, and found that it was the island of Santa Maria, one of the Azores. They pointed out the port[244-2] to which the caravel should go. They said that they had never seen such stormy weather as there had been for the last fifteen days, and they wondered how the caravel could have escaped. They gave many thanks to God, and showed great joy at the news that the Admiral had discovered the Indies. The Admiral says that his navigation had been very certain, and that he had laid his route down on the chart. Many thanks were due to our Lord, although there had been some delay. But he was sure that he was in the region of the Azores, and that this was one of them. He pretended to have gone over more ground, to mislead the pilots and mariners who pricked off the charts, in order that he might remain master of that route to the Indies, as, in fact, he did. For none of the others kept an accurate reckoning, so that no one but himself could be sure of the route to the Indies.
Tuesday, 19th of February
After sunset three natives of the island came to the beach and hailed. The Admiral sent the boat, which returned with fowls and fresh bread. It was carnival time, and they brought other things which were sent by the captain of the island, named Juan de Castaneda, saying that he knew the Admiral very well, and that he did not come to see him because it was night but that at dawn he would come with more refreshments, bringing with him three men of the boat's crew, whom he did not send back owing to the great pleasure he derived from hearing their account of the voyage. The Admiral ordered much respect to be shown to the messengers, and that they should be given beds to sleep in that night, because it was late, and the town was far off. As on the previous Thursday, when they were in the midst of the storm, they had made a vow to go in procession to a church of Our Lady as soon as they came to land, the Admiral arranged that half the crew should go to comply with their obligation to a small chapel, like a hermitage, near the shore; and that he would himself go afterwards with the rest. Believing that it was a peaceful land, and confiding in the offers of the captain of the island, and in the peace that existed between Spain and Portugal, he asked the three men to go to the town and arrange for a priest to come and say mass. The half of the crew then went in their shirts, in compliance with their vow. While they were at their prayers, all the people of the town, horse and foot, with the captain at their head, came and took them all prisoners. The Admiral, suspecting nothing, was waiting for the boat to take him and the rest to accomplish the vow. At 11 o'clock, seeing that they did not come back, he feared that they had been detained, or that the boat had been swamped, all the island being surrounded by high rocks. He could not see what had taken place, because the hermitage was round a point. He got up the anchor, and made sail until he was in full view of the hermitage, and he saw many of the horsemen dismount and get into the boat with arms. They came to the caravel to seize the Admiral. The captain stood up in the boat, and asked for an assurance of safety from the Admiral, who replied that he granted it; but, what outrage was this, that he saw none of his people in the boat? The Admiral added that they might come on board, and that he would do all that might be proper. The Admiral tried, with fair words, to get hold of this captain, that he might recover his own people, not considering that he broke faith by giving him security, because he had offered peace and security, and had then broken his word. The captain, as he came with an evil intention, would not come on board. Seeing that he did not come alongside, the Admiral asked that he might be told the reason for the detention of his men, an act which would displease the King of Portugal, because the Portuguese received much honor in the territories of the King of Castile, and were as safe as if they were in Lisbon. He further said that the Sovereigns had given him letters of recommendation to all the Lords and Princes of the world, which he would show the captain if he would come on board; that he was the Admiral of the Ocean Sea, and Viceroy of the Indies, which belonged to their Highnesses,[246-1] and that he would show the commissions signed with their signatures, and attested by their seals, which he held up from a distance. He added that his Sovereigns were in friendship and amity with the King of Portugal, and had ordered that all honor should be shown to ships that came from Portugal. Further, that if the captain did not surrender his people, he would still go on to Castile, as he had quite sufficient to navigate as far as Seville, in which case the captain and his followers would be severely punished for their offence. Then the captain and those with him replied that they did not know the King and Queen of Castile there, nor their letters, nor were they afraid of them, and they would give the Admiral to understand that this was Portugal, almost menacing him. On hearing this the Admiral was much moved, thinking that some cause of disagreement might have arisen between the two kingdoms during his absence, yet he could not endure that they should not be answered reasonably. Afterwards he turned to the captain, and said that he should go to the port with the caravel, and that all that had been done would be reported to the King his Lord. The Admiral made those who were in the caravel bear witness to what he said, calling to the captain and all the others, and promising that he would not leave the caravel until a hundred Portuguese had been taken to Castile, and all that island had been laid waste. He then returned to anchor in the port where he was first, the wind being very unfavorable for doing anything else.
Wednesday, 20th of February
The Admiral ordered the ship to be repaired, and the casks to be filled alongside for ballast. This was a very bad port, and he feared he might have to cut the cables. This was so, and he made sail for the island of San Miguel; but there is no good port in any of the Azores for the weather they then experienced, and there was no other remedy but to go to sea.
Thursday, 21st of February
Yesterday the Admiral left that island of Santa Maria for that of San Miguel, to see if a port could be found to shelter his vessel from the bad weather. There was much wind and a high sea, and he was sailing until night without being able to see either one land or the other, owing to the thick weather caused by wind and sea. The Admiral says he was in much anxiety, because he only had three sailors who knew their business, the rest knowing nothing of seamanship.[247-1] He was lying-to all that night, in great danger and trouble. Our Lord showed him mercy in that the waves came in one direction, for if there had been a cross sea they would have suffered much more. After sunrise the island of San Miguel was not in sight, so the Admiral determined to return to Santa Maria, to see if he could recover his people and boat, and the anchors and cables he had left there.
The Admiral says that he was astonished at the bad weather he encountered in the region of these islands. In the Indies he had navigated throughout the winter without the necessity for anchoring, and always had fine weather, never having seen the sea for a single hour in such a state that it could not be navigated easily. But among these islands he had suffered from such terrible storms. The same had happened in going out as far as the Canary Islands, but as soon as they were passed there was always fine weather, both in sea and air. In concluding these remarks, he observes that the sacred theologians and wise men[248-1] said well when they placed the terrestrial paradise in the Far East, because it is a most temperate region. Hence these lands that he had now discovered must, he says, be in the extreme East.
Friday, 22nd of February
Yesterday the Admiral anchored off Santa Maria, in the place or port where he had first anchored. Presently a man came down to some rocks at the edge of the beach, signalling that they were not to go away. Soon afterwards the boat came with five sailors, two priests, and a scrivener. They asked for safety, and when it was granted by the Admiral, they came on board, and as it was night they slept on board, the Admiral showing them all the civility he could. In the morning they asked to be shown the authority of the Sovereigns of Castile, by which the voyage had been made. The Admiral felt that they did this to give some color of right to what they had done, and to show that they had right on their side. As they were unable to secure the person of the Admiral, whom they intended to get into their power when they came with the boat armed, they now feared that their game might not turn out so well, thinking, with some fear, of what the Admiral had threatened, and which he proposed to put into execution. In order to get his people released, the Admiral displayed the general letter of the Sovereigns to all Princes and Lords, and other documents, and having given them of what he had, the Portuguese went on shore satisfied, and presently released all the crew and the boat. The Admiral heard from them that if he had been captured also, they never would have been released, for the captain said that those were the orders of the King his Lord.
Saturday, 23rd of February
Yesterday the weather began to improve, and the Admiral got under way to seek a better anchorage, where he could take in wood and stones for ballast; but he did not find one until the hour of compline.[249-1]
Sunday, 24th of February
He anchored yesterday in the afternoon, to take in wood and stones, but the sea was so rough that they could not land from the boat, and during the first watch it came on to blow from the west and S.W. He ordered sail to be made, owing to the great danger there is off these islands in being at anchor with a southerly gale, and as the wind was S.W. it would go round to south. As it was a good wind for Castile, he gave up his intention of taking in wood and stones, and shaped an easterly course until sunset, going seven miles an hour for six hours and a half, equal to 45-1/2 miles. After sunset he made six miles an hour, or 66 miles in eleven hours, altogether 111 miles, equal to 28 leagues.
Monday, 25th of February
Yesterday, after sunset, the caravel went at the rate of five miles an hour on an easterly course, and in the eleven hours of the night she made 65 miles, equal to 16-1/4 leagues. From sunrise to sunset they made another 16-1/2 leagues with a smooth sea, thanks be to God. A very large bird, like an eagle, came to the caravel.
Tuesday, 26th of February
Yesterday night the caravel steered her course in a smooth sea, thanks be to God. Most of the time she was going eight miles an hour, and made a hundred miles, equal to 25 leagues. After sunrise there was little wind and some rain-showers. They made about 8 leagues E.N.E.
Wednesday, 27th of February
During the night and day she was off her course, owing to contrary winds and a heavy sea. She was found to be 125 leagues from Cape St. Vincent, and 80 from the island of Madeira, 106 from Santa Maria. It was very troublesome to have such bad weather just when they were at the very door of their home.
Thursday, 28th of February
The same weather during the night, with the wind from south and S.E., sometimes shifting to N.E. and E.N.E., and it was the same all day.
Friday, 1st of March
To-night the course was E.N.E., and they made twelve leagues. During the day, 23-1/2 leagues on the same course.
Saturday, 2nd of March
The course was E.N.E., and distance made good 28 leagues during the night, and 20 in the day.
Sunday, 3rd of March
After sunset the course was east; but a squall came down, split all the sails, and the vessel was in great danger; but God was pleased to deliver them. They drew lots for sending a pilgrim in a shirt to Santa Maria de la Cinta at Huelva, and the lot fell on the Admiral. The whole crew also made a vow to fast on bread and water during the first Saturday after their arrival in port. They had made 60 miles before the sails were split. Afterwards they ran under bare poles, owing to the force of the gale and the heavy sea. They saw signs of the neighborhood of land, finding themselves near Lisbon.
Monday, 4th of March
During the night they were exposed to a terrible storm, expecting to be overwhelmed by the cross-seas, while the wind seemed to raise the caravel into the air, and there was rain and lightning in several directions. The Admiral prayed to our Lord to preserve them, and in the first watch it pleased our Lord to show land, which was reported by the sailors. As it was advisable not to reach it before it was known whether there was any port to which he could run for shelter, the Admiral set the mainsail, as there was no other course but to proceed, though in great danger. Thus God preserved them until daylight, though all the time they were in infinite fear and trouble. When it was light, the Admiral knew the land, which was the rock of Cintra, near the river of Lisbon, and he resolved to run in because there was nothing else to be done. So terrible was the storm, that in the village of Cascaes, at the mouth of the river, the people were praying for the little vessel all that morning. After they were inside, the people came off, looking upon their escape as a miracle. At the third hour they passed Rastelo, within the river of Lisbon, where they were told that such a winter, with so many storms, had never before been known, and that 25 ships had been lost in Flanders, while others had been wind-bound in the river for four months. Presently the Admiral wrote to the king of Portugal, who was then at a distance of nine leagues, to state that the Sovereigns of Castile had ordered him to enter the ports of his Highness, and ask for what he required for payment, and requesting that the king would give permission for the caravel to come to Lisbon, because some ruffians hearing that he had much gold on board, might attempt a robbery in an unfrequented port, knowing that they did not come from Guinea, but from the Indies.[252-1]
Tuesday, 5th of March
To-day the great ship of the King of Portugal was also at anchor off Rastelo, with the best provision of artillery and arms that the Admiral had ever seen. The master of her, named Bartolome Diaz, of Lisbon, came in an armed boat to the caravel, and ordered the Admiral to get into the boat, to go and give an account of himself to the agents of the king and to the captain of that ship. The Admiral replied that he was the Admiral of the Sovereigns of Castile, and that he would not give an account to any such persons, nor would he leave the ship except by force, as he had not the power to resist. The master replied that he must then send the master of the caravel. The Admiral answered that neither the master nor any other person should go except by force, for if he allowed anyone to go, it would be as if he went himself; and that such was the custom of the Admirals of the Sovereigns of Castile, rather to die than to submit, or to let any of their people submit. The master then moderated his tone, and told the Admiral that if that was his determination he might do as he pleased. He, however, requested that he might be shown the letters of the Kings of Castile, if they were on board. The Admiral readily showed them, and the master returned to the ship and reported what had happened to the captain, named Alvaro Dama. That officer, making great festival with trumpets and drums, came to the caravel to visit the Admiral, and offered to do all that he might require.[253-1]
Wednesday, 6th of March
As soon as it was known that the Admiral came from the Indies, it was wonderful how many people came from Lisbon to see him and the Indians, giving thanks to our Lord, and saying that the heavenly Majesty had given all this to the Sovereigns of Castile as a reward for their faith and their great desire to serve God.
Thursday, 7th of March
To-day an immense number of people came to the caravel, including many knights, and amongst them the agents of the king, and all gave infinite thanks to our Lord for so wide an increase of Christianity granted by our Lord to the Sovereigns of Castile; and they said that they received it because their Highnesses had worked and labored for the increase of the religion of Christ.
Friday, 8th of March
To-day the Admiral received a letter from the king of Portugal,[253-2] brought by Don Martin de Norona, asking him to visit him where he was, as the weather was not suitable for the departure of the caravel. He complied, to prevent suspicion, although he did not wish to go, and went to pass the night at Sacanben. The king had given orders to his officers that all that the Admiral, his crew, and the caravel were in need of should be given without payment, and that all the Admiral wanted should be complied with.
Saturday, 9th of March
To-day the Admiral left Sacanben, to go where the king was residing, which was at Valparaiso, nine leagues from Lisbon. Owing to the rain, he did not arrive until night. The king caused him to be received very honorably by the principal officers of his household; and the king himself received the Admiral with great favor, making him sit down, and talking very pleasantly. He offered to give orders that everything should be done for the service of the Sovereigns of Castile, and said that the successful termination of the voyage had given him great pleasure. He said further that he understood that, in the capitulation between the Sovereigns and himself, that conquest belonged to him.[254-1] The Admiral replied that he had not seen the capitulation, nor knew more than that the Sovereigns had ordered him not to go either to La Mina[254-2] or to any other port of Guinea, and that this had been ordered to be proclaimed in all the ports of Andalusia before he sailed. The king graciously replied that he held it for certain that there would be no necessity for any arbitrators. The Admiral was assigned as a guest to the Prior of Clato, who was the principal person in that place, and from whom he received many favors and civilities.
Sunday, 10th of March
To-day, after mass, the king repeated that if the Admiral wanted anything he should have it. He conversed much with the Admiral respecting his voyage, always ordering him to sit down, and treating him with great favor.
Monday, 11th of March
To-day the Admiral took leave of the king, who entrusted him with some messages to the Sovereigns, and always treating him with much friendliness.[255-1] He departed after dinner, Don Martin de Norona being sent with him, and all the knights set out with him, and went with him some distance, to do him honor. Afterwards he came to a monastery of San Antonio, near a place called Villafranca, where the Queen was residing. The Admiral went to do her reverence and to kiss her hand, because she had sent to say that he was not to go without seeing her. The Duke[256-1] and the Marquis were with her, and the Admiral was received with much honor. He departed at night, and went to sleep at Llandra.
Tuesday, 12th of March
To-day, as he was leaving Llandra to return to the caravel, an esquire of the king arrived, with an offer that if he desired to go to Castile by land, that he should be supplied with lodgings, and beasts, and all that was necessary. When the Admiral took leave of him, he ordered a mule to be supplied to him, and another for his pilot, who was with him, and he says that the pilot received a present of twenty espadines.[256-2] He said this that the Sovereigns might know all that was done. He arrived on board the caravel that night.
Wednesday, 13th of March
To-day, at 8 o'clock, with the flood tide, and the wind N.N.W., the Admiral got under way and made sail for Seville.
Thursday, 14th of March
Yesterday, after sunset, a southerly course was steered, and before sunrise they were off Cape St. Vincent, which is in Portugal. Afterwards he shaped a course to the east for Saltes, and went on all day with little wind, "until now that the ship is off Furon."
Friday, 15th of March
Yesterday, after sunset, she went on her course with little wind, and at sunrise she was off Saltes. At noon, with the tide rising, they crossed the bar of Saltes, and reached the port which they had left on the 3rd of August of the year before.[257-1] The Admiral says that so ends this journal, unless it becomes necessary to go to Barcelona by sea, having received news that their Highnesses are in that city, to give an account of all his voyage which our Lord had permitted him to make, and saw fit to set forth in him. For, assuredly, he held with a firm and strong knowledge that His High Majesty made all things good, and that all is good except sin. Nor can he value or think of anything being done without His consent. "I know respecting this voyage," says the Admiral, "that he has miraculously shown his will, as may be seen from this journal, setting forth the numerous miracles that have been displayed in the voyage, and in me who was so long at the court of your Highnesses, working in opposition to and against the opinions of so many chief persons of your household, who were all against me, looking upon this enterprise as folly. But I hope in our Lord, that it will be a great benefit to Christianity, for so it has ever appeared." These are the final words of the Admiral Don Cristoval Colon respecting his first voyage to the Indies and their discovery.
[89-1] The Alhambra.
[89-2] This information Columbus is ordinarily supposed to have derived from Toscanelli's letter which may be found in Fiske, Discovery of America, I. 356 ff. and II. App. The original source of the information, however, is Marco Polo, and Columbus summarized the passage on the margin in his copy of Marco Polo, Lib. I., ch. IV., as follows: "Magnus Kam misit legatos ad pontificem:" Raccolta Colombiana, Part I, Tomo 2, p. 446. That he read and annotated these passages before 1492 seems most probable. See Bourne, Spain in America, pp. 10-15, and Vignaud, Toscanelli and Columbus, p. 284.
[90-1] It is interesting to notice the emphasis of the missionary motive in this preamble. Nothing is said in regard to the search for a new route to the Indies for commercial reasons. Nor is reference made to the expectation of new discoveries which is prominent in the royal patent granted to Columbus, see above p. 78.
[90-2] The edict of expulsion bears the date of March 30.
[91-1] Columbus reckoned in Italian miles, four of which make a league. (Navarrete.)
[93-1] On June 30, 1484, King John II. of Portugal granted to Fernam Domimguez do Arco, "resident in the island of Madeyra, if he finds it, an island which he is now going in search of." Alguns Documentos do Archivo Nacional da Torre do Tombo, p. 56.
[94-1] Tres horas de noche means three hours after sunset.
[94-2] "On this day [Sunday, Sept. 9] they lost sight of land; and many, fearful of not being able to return for a long time to see it, sighed and shed tears. But the admiral, after he had comforted all with big offers of much land and wealth to keep them in hope and to lessen their fear which they had of the long way, when that day the sailors reckoned the distance 18 leagues, said he had counted only 15, having decided to lessen the record so that the crew would not think they were as far from Spain as in fact they were." Historie del Signor Don Fernando Colombo (London ed., 1867), pp. 61-62.
[95-1] Las Casas in his Historia, I. 267, says "on that day at nightfall the needles northwested that is to say the fleur de lis which marks the north was not pointing directly at it but verged somewhat to the left of north and in the morning northeasted that is to say the fleur de lis pointed to right of the north until sunset."
The Historie agrees with the text of the Journal that the needle declined more to the west, instead of shifting to an eastern declination.
The author of the Historie remarks: "This variation no one had ever observed up to this time," p. 62. "Columbus had crossed the point of no variation, which was then near the meridian of Flores, in the Azores, and found the variation no longer easterly, but more than a point westerly. His explanation that the pole-star, by means of which the change was detected, was not itself stationary, is very plausible. For the pole-star really does describe a circle round the pole of the earth, equal in diameter to about six times that of the sun; but this is not equal to the change observed in the direction of the needle." (Markham.)
[96-1] Garjao. This word is not in the Spanish dictionaries that I have consulted. The translator has followed the French translators MM. Chalumeau de Verneuil and de la Roquette who accepted the opinion of the naturalist Cuvier that the Garjao was the hirondelle de mer, the Sterna maxima or royal tern.
[96-2] Rabo de junco, literally, reedtail, is the tropic bird or Phaethon. The name "boatswain-bird" is applied to some other kinds of birds, besides the tropic bird. Cf. Alfred Newton, Dictionary of Birds (London, 1896). Ferdinand Columbus says: rabo di giunco, "a bird so called because it has a long feather in its tail," p. 63.
[96-3] This remark is, of course, not true of the tropic bird or rabo de junco, as was abundantly proved on this voyage.
[97-1] See p. 96, note 2.
[98-1] Alcatraz. The rendering "booby" follows Cuvier's note to the French translation. The "booby" is the "booby gannet." The Spanish dictionaries give pelican as the meaning of Alcatraz. The gannets and the pelicans were formerly classed together. The word Alcatraz was taken over into English and corrupted to Albatros. Alfred Newton, Dictionary of Birds (London, 1896), art. "Albatros."
[98-2] More exactly, "He sailed this day toward the West a quarter northwest and half the division [i.e., west by north and west by one eighth northwest] because of the veering winds and calm that prevailed."
[100-1] The abridger of the original journal missed the point here and his epitome is unintelligible. Las Casas says in his Historia, I. 275: "The Admiral says in this place that the adverseness of the winds and the high sea were very necessary to him since they freed the crew of their erroneous idea that there would be no favorable sea and winds for their return and thereby they received some relief of mind or were not in so great despair, yet even then some objected, saying that that wind would not last, up to the Sunday following, when they had nothing to answer when they saw the sea so high. By which means, Cristobal Colon says here, God dealt with him and with them as he dealt with Moses and the Jews when he drew them from Egypt showing signs to favor and aid him and to their confusion."
[100-2] Las Casas, Historia, I. 275-276, here describes with detail the discontent of the sailors and their plots to put Columbus out of the way. The passage is translated in Thacher, Christopher Columbus, I. 524. The word rendered "sandpipers" is pardelas, petrels. The French translation has petrels tachetes, i.e., "pintado petrels," or cape pigeons.
[101-1] More exactly, "On which it seems the Admiral had painted certain islands." The Spanish reads: "donde segun parece tenia pintadas el Almirante ciertas islas," etc. The question is whether Columbus made the map or had it made. The rendering of the note is supported by the French translators and by Harrisse.
[101-2] Las Casas, I. 279, says: "This map is the one which Paul, the physician, the Florentine, sent, which I have in my possession with other articles which belonged to the Admiral himself who discovered these Indies, and writings in his own hand which came into my possession. In it he depicted many islands and the main land which were the beginning of India and in that region the realms of the Grand Khan," etc. Las Casas does not tell us how he knew that the Toscanelli map which he found in Columbus's papers was the map that the Admiral used on the first voyage. That is the general assumption of scholars, but there is no positive evidence of the fact. The Toscanelli map is no longer extant, and all reconstructions of it are based on the globe of Martin Behaim constructed in 1492. The reconstruction by H. Wagner which may be seen in S. Ruge, Columbus, 2^te aufl. (Berlin, 1902) is now accepted as the most successful.
According to the reckoning of the distances in the Journal, Columbus was now about 550 leagues or 2200 Italian miles west of the Canaries. The Toscanelli map was divided off into spaces each containing 250 miles. Columbus was therefore nine spaces west of the Canaries. No reconstruction of Toscanelli's map puts any islands at nine spaces from the Canaries except so far as the reconstructors insert the island of Antilia on the basis of Behaim's globe. The Antilia of Behaim according to Wagner was eight spaces west of the Canaries. Again Ferdinand Columbus, in his Historie under date of October 7 (p. 72), says the sailors "had been frequently told by him that he did not look for land until they had gone 750 leagues west from the Canaries, at which distance he had told them he would have found Espanola then called Cipango." 750 leagues or 3000 Italian miles would be 12 spaces on the Toscanelli map. But according to the Toscanelli letter Cipango was 10 spaces west of Antilia, and therefore 18 spaces or 4500 miles west of the Canaries. Columbus then seems to have expected to find Cipango some 1500 miles to the east of where it was placed on the Toscanelli map. These considerations justify a very strong doubt whether Columbus was shaping his course and basing his expectations on the data of the Toscanelli letter and map, or whether the fact that Las Casas found what he took to be the Toscanelli map in the Admiral's papers proves that it was that map which he had on his first voyage.
[102-1] Dorado is defined by Stevens as the dory or gilt head.
[103-1] Rabiforcado, Portuguese. The Spanish form is rabihorcado. It means "forked tail." The modern English equivalent is "frigate bird." It is "the Fregata aquila of most ornithologists, the Fregate of French and the Rabihorcado of Spanish mariners." Newton, Dictionary of Birds, art. "Frigate-Bird." Newton says that the name "man-of-war bird" has generally passed out of use in books.
[103-2] Rather, the Guards, the name given to the two brightest stars in the constellation of the Little Bear. The literal translation is: "the Guards, when night comes on, are near the arm on the side to the west, and when dawn breaks they are on the line under the arm to the northeast," etc. What Columbus meant I cannot explain. Neither Navarrete nor the French translators offer any suggestions.
[105-1] Las Casas, I. 282, adds to the foregoing under date of October 3: "He says here that it would not have been good sense to beat about and in that way to be delayed in search of them [i.e., the islands] since he had favorable weather and his chief intention was to go in search of the Indies by way of the west, and this was what he proposed to the King and Queen, and they had sent him for that purpose. Because he would not turn back to beat up and down to find the islands which the pilots believed to be there, particularly Martin Alonzo by the chart which, as was said, Cristobal Colon had sent to his caravel for him to see, and it was their opinion that he ought to turn, they began to stir up a mutiny, and the disagreement would have gone farther if God had not stretched out his arm as he was wont, showing immediately new signs of their being near land since now neither soft words nor entreaties nor prudent reasoning of Cristobal Colon availed to quiet them and to persuade them to persevere." Ferdinand Columbus says simply, "For this reason the crew began to be mutinous, persevering in their complaints and plots," p. 71. See page 108, note 1.
[106-1] A la cuarta del Oueste, a la parte del Sudueste, at the quarter from the west toward the southwest, i.e., west by south.
[106-2] Las Casas, in the Historia de las Indias, I. 283, writes, "That night Martin Alonso said that it would be well to sail west by south for the island of Cipango which the map that Cristobal Colon showed him represented." Cf. page 101, note 2.
[107-1] Las Casas remarks, I. 285, "If he had kept up the direct westerly course and the impatience of the Castilians had not hindered him, there is no doubt that he would have struck the main land of Florida and from there to New Spain, although the difficulties would have been unparalleled and the losses unbearable that they would have met with, and it would have been a divine miracle if he had ever returned to Castile."
[107-2] A remark by the abridger who noted the inconsistency between a total of 48 miles for a day and night and even an occasional 15 miles per hour.
[107-3] Grajaos. The translator assumed this to be the same as garjao; the French translators, on the other hand, took it to be the same as grajos, crows. In Portuguese dictionaries the word grajao is found as the name of "an Indian bird."
[108-1] The trouble with the captains and the sailors is told in greatest detail by Oviedo, Historia de las Indias, lib. II., cap. V. He is the source of the story that the captains finally declared they would go on three days longer and not another hour. Oviedo does not say that Columbus acquiesced in this arrangement. Modern critics have been disposed to reject Oviedo's account, but strictly interpreted, it is not inconsistent with our other sources. Columbus recalls in his Journal, February 14, 1493, the terror of the situation which was evidently more serious than the entry of October 10 would imply. Peter Martyr too says that the sailors plotted to throw Columbus overboard and adds: "After the thirtieth day roused by madness they declared they were going back," but that Columbus pacified them. De Rebus Oceanicis, Dec. lib. I., fol. 2, ed. of 1574. Oviedo says that he derived information from Vicente Yanez Pinzon, "since with him I had a friendship up to the year 1514 when he died." Historia de las Indias, II., cap. XIII.
[108-2] Escaramojos. Wild roses.
[109-1] It was full moon on October 5. On the night of the 11th the moon rose at 11 P.M. and at 2 A.M. on the morning of the 12th it was 39 deg. above the horizon. It would be shining brightly on the sandy shores of an island some miles ahead, being in its third quarter, and a little behind Rodrigo de Triana, when he sighted land at 2 A.M. (Markham.)
[109-2] The high decks fore and aft were called castles. The name survives in the English forecastle. Stevens gives poop alone as the English for Castilla de popa.
[109-3] Oviedo, lib. II., cap. V., says that, as they were sailing along, a sailor, a native of Lepe, cried out, "Light," "Land," but was immediately told that the admiral had already seen it and remarked upon it.
[109-4] Columbus received this award. His claiming or accepting it under the circumstances has been considered discreditable and a breach of faith by many modern writers. Oviedo says the native of Lepe was so indignant at not getting the reward that "he went over into Africa and denied the faith," i.e., became a Mohammedan. Las Casas seems to have seen no impropriety in Columbus' accepting the award. He tells us, I. 289, that this annuity was paid to Columbus throughout his life and was levied from the butcher shops of Seville. A maravedi was equal to two-thirds of a cent.
[110-1] Pronounced originally, according to Las Casas, I. 291, with the accent on the last syllable. Guanahani is now generally accepted to have been Watling Island. See Markham, Christopher Columbus, pp. 89-107, for a lucid discussion of the landfall.
[110-2] Fernando and Ysabel.
[110-3] The royal inspector.
[110-4] Las Casas adds, I. 293, "To which he gave the name Sant Salvador."
[110-5] We have here perhaps the original title of what in its abridged form we now call the Journal.
[113-1] The Portuguese ceitil (pl. ceitis) was a small coin deriving its name from Ceuta, opposite Gibraltar, in Africa, a Portuguese possession. The blanca was one-half a maravedi, or about one-third of a cent.
[113-2] Cipango. Marco Polo's name for Japan.
[115-1] Rather, "I had lain to during the night for fear of reaching the land," etc.
[115-2] These lengths are exaggerated.
[115-3] The word is cargue and means "raised" or "hoisted." The same word seven lines above was translated "made sail." Las Casas in the corresponding passage in his Historia uses alzar.
[115-4] Identified as Rum Cay.
[116-1] A line is missing in the original. The text may be restored as follows, beginning with the end of the preceding sentence, "jumped into the sea and got into the canoe; in the middle of the night before the other threw [himself into the sea and swam off. The boat was lowered] and put after the canoe which escaped since there never was a boat which could have overtaken him, since we were far behind him."
[117-1] Long Island. (Markham.)
[117-2] Possibly a reference to tobacco.
[118-1] It should be "about nine o'clock." The original is a horas de tercia, which means "at the hour of tierce," i.e., the period between nine and twelve.
[119-1] Panizo, literally "panic grass." Here Columbus seems to use the word as descriptive of maize or Indian corn, and later the word came to have this meaning. On the different species of panic grass, see Candolle, Origin of Cultivated Plants (index under panicum.)
[120-1] Rather, "since it is noon."
[120-2] Port Clarence in Long Island. (Markham.)
[121-1] Rather, "beds and hangings." The original is paramentos de cosas, but in the corresponding passage in his Historia, I. 310, Las Casas has paramentos de casa, which is almost certainly the correct reading.
[121-2] "These are called Hamacas in Espanola." Las Casas, I. 310, where will be found an elaborate description of them.
[121-3] For ornament. Las Casas calls them caps or crowns, I. 311.
[121-4] Rather: "mastiffs and beagles." Las Casas, I. 311, says the Admiral called these dogs mastiffs from the report of the sailors. "If he had seen them, he would not have called them so but that they resembled hounds. These and the small ones would never bark but merely a grunt in the throat."
[121-5] The castellano was one-sixth of an ounce. Las Casas, I. 311, remarks: "They were deceived in believing the marks to be letters since those people are wont to work it in their fashion, since never anywhere in all the Indies was there found any trace of money of gold or silver or other metal."
[123-1] Crooked Island (Markham.)
[123-2] Cape Beautiful.
[125-1] "The Indians of this island of Espanola call it iguana." Las Casas I. 314. He gives a minute description of it.
[126-1] The names in the Spanish text are Colba and Bosio, errors in transcription for Cuba and Bohio. Las Casas, I. 315, says in regard to the latter: "To call it Bohio was to misunderstand the interpreters, since throughout all these islands, where the language is practically the same, they call the huts in which they live bohio and this great island Espanola they called Hayti, and they must have said that in Hayti there were great bohios."
[126-2] The name is spelled Quinsay in the Latin text of Marco Polo which Columbus annotated.
[127-1] One or two words are missing in the original.
[128-1] The translation here should be, "raised the anchors at the island of Isabella at Cabo del Isleo, which is on the northern side where I tarried to go to the island of Cuba, which I heard from this people is very great and has gold," etc.
[128-2] These two lines should read, "I believe that it is the island of Cipango of which marvellous things are related."
[128-3] The exact translation is, "On the spheres that I saw and on the paintings of world-maps it is this region." The plural number is used in both cases. Of the globes of this date, i.e., 1492 or earlier, that of Behaim is the only one that has come down to us. Of the world maps Toscanelli's, no longer extant, may have been one, but it is to be noted that Columbus uses the plural.
[129-1] Columbus's conviction that he has reached the Indies is registered by his use from now on of the word "Indians" for the people.
[130-1] This should be, "The mouth of the river is 12 fathoms deep and it is wide enough," etc.
[131-1] Bledos. The French translators give cresson sauvage, wild cress, as the equivalent.
[131-2] Las Casas, I. 320, says Columbus understood "that from these to the mainland would be a sail of ten days by reason of the notion he had derived from the chart or picture which the Florentine sent him."
[131-3] Baracoa (Las Casas); Puerto Naranjo (Markham); Nipe (Navarrete); Nuevitas (Thacher).
[132-1] Punta de Mulas. (Navarrete.)
[132-2] Punta de Cabanas. (Navarrete.)
[132-3] Puerto de Banes. (Navarrete.)
[132-4] Puerto de las Nuevitas del Principe. (Navarrete.)
[132-5] Las Casas, I. 321, has "many heads well carved from wood." Possibly these were totems.
[133-1] Las Casas, I. 321, comments, "These must have been skulls of the manati, a very large fish, like large calves, which has a skin with no scales like a whale and its head is like that of a cow."
[133-2] "I believe that this port was Baracoa, which name Diego Velasquez, the first of the Spaniards to settle Cuba, gave to the harbor of Asumpcion." Las Casas, I. 322.
[133-3] Near Granada in Spain.
[133-4] Nuevitas del Principe. (Navarrete.)
[133-5] "Alto de Juan Danue." (Navarrete.)
[134-1] Rio Maximo. (Navarrete.)
[134-2] See above, p. 91.
[134-3] Rather, "The text here is corrupt." Las Casas, I. 324, gives the same figures and adds, "yet I think the text is erroneous." Navarrete says the quadrants of that period measured the altitude double and so we should take half of forty-two as the real altitude. If so, one wonders why there was no explanation to this effect in the original journal which Las Casas saw or why Las Casas was not familiar with this fact and did not make this explanation. Ruge, Columbus, pp. 144, 145, says there were no such quadrants, and regards these estimates as proofs of Columbus's ignorance as a scientific navigator.
[134-4] In Toscanelli's letter Cathay is a province in one place and a city in another.
[134-5] Boca de Carabelas grandes. (Navarrete.)
[135-1] Punta del Maternillo. (Navarrete.)
[135-2] Las Casas says, I. 326. "I think the Christians did not understand, for the language of all these islands is the same, and in this island of Espanola gold is called caona."
[136-1] The last words should be, "distant from the one and from the other." Las Casas, I. 327, says: "Zayton and Quisay are certain cities or provincias of the mainland which were depicted on the map of Paul the physician as mentioned above." These Chinese cities were known from Marco Polo's description of them. This passage in the Journal is very perplexing if it assumes that Columbus was guided by the Toscanelli letter. Again a few days earlier Columbus was sure that Cuba was Cipango, and now he is equally certain that it is the mainland of Asia asserted by Toscanelli to be 26 spaces or 6500 Italian miles west of Lisbon, but the next day his estimate of his distance from Lisbon is 4568 miles. It would seem as if Columbus attached no importance to the estimate of distances on the Toscanelli map which was the only original information in it.
[137-1] Cf. p. 134, note 3.
[137-2] The true distance was 1105 leagues. (Navarrete.)
[138-1] Contramaestre is boatswain.
[138-2] "Bohio means in their language 'house,' and therefore it is to be supposed that they did not understand the Indians, but that it was Hayti, which is this island of Espanola where they made signs there was gold." Las Casas, I. 329.
[138-3] Columbus understood the natives to say these things because of his strong preconceptions as to what he would find in the islands off the coast of Asia based on his reading of the Book of Sir John Maundeville. Cf. ch. XVIII. of that work, e.g., "a great and fair isle called Nacumera.... And all the men and women have dogs' heads," and ch. XIX., e.g., "In one of these isles are people of great stature, like giants, hideous to look upon; and they have but one eye in the middle of the forehead."
[139-1] Las Casas, I. 329, identifies the mames as ajes and batatas. The batatas, whence our word "potato," is the sweet potato. Mames is more commonly written names or ignames. This is the Guinea Negro name of the Dioscorea sativa, in English "Yam." Ajes is the native West Indies name. See Peschel, Zeitalter der Entdeckungen, p. 139, and Columbus's journal, Dec. 13 and Dec. 16. Faxones are the common haricot kidney beans or string beans, Phaseolus vulgaris. This form of the name seems a confusion of the Spanish fasoles and the Portuguese feijoes. That Columbus, an Italian by birth who had lived and married in Portugal and removed to Spain in middle life, should occasionally make slips in word-forms is not strange. More varieties of this bean are indigenous in America than were known in Europe at the time of the discoveries. Cf. De Candolle, Origin of Cultivated Plants, pp. 338 ff.
[139-2] The word is contramaestre, boatswain.
[141-1] The last line should read, "but that they did not know whether there was any in the place where they were."
[141-2] The last line should read, "with a brand in their hand, [and] herbs to smoke as they are accustomed to do." This is the earliest reference to smoking tobacco. Las Casas, I. 332, describes the process as the natives practised it: "These two Christians found on their way many people, men and women, going to and from their villages and always the men with a brand in their hands and certain herbs to take their smoke, which are dry herbs placed in a certain leaf, also dry like the paper muskets which boys make at Easter time. Having lighted one end of it, they suck at the other end or draw in with the breath that smoke which they make themselves drowsy and as if drunk, and in that way, they say, cease to feel fatigue. These muskets, or whatever we call them, they call tabacos. I knew Spaniards in this island of Espanola who were accustomed to take them, who, when they were rebuked for it as a vice, replied they could not give it up. I do not know what pleasant taste or profit they found in them." Las Casas' last remarks show that smoking was not yet common in his later life in Spain. The paper muskets of Las Casas are blow-pipes. Oviedo, lib. V., cap. II., gives a detailed description of the use of tobacco. He says that the Indians smoked by inserting these tubes in the nostrils and that after two or three inhalations they lost consciousness. He knew some Christians who used it as an anesthetic when in great pain.
[142-1] On this indigenous species of dumb dogs, cf. Oviedo, lib. XII. cap. V. They have long been extinct in the Antilles. Oviedo says there were none in Espanola when he wrote. He left the island in 1546.
[142-2] This last part of this sentence should read, "and is cultivated with mames, kidney beans, other beans, this same panic [i.e., Indian corn], etc." The corresponding passage in the Historie of Ferdinand Columbus reads, "and another grain like panic called by them mahiz of very excellent flavor cooked or roasted or pounded in porridge (polenta)," p. 87.
[142-3] The arroba was 25 pounds and the quintal one hundred weight.
[143-1] In Las Casas, I. 339, Bohio is mentioned with Babeque, and it is in Bohio that the people were reported to gather gold on the beach.
[144-1] I.e., although the Spaniards may be only fooling with them.
[145-1] An interesting forecast of the future which may be compared with John Cabot's; see one of the last pages of this volume.
[145-2] Linaloe. Lignaloes or agallochum, to be distinguished from the medicinal aloes. Both were highly prized articles of mediaeval Oriental trade. Lignaloes is mentioned by Marco Polo as one of the principal commodities exchanged in the market of Zaitun. It is also frequently mentioned in the Bible. Cf. numbers xxiv, 6, or Psalm xlv. 8. The aloes of Columbus were probably the Barbadoes aloes of commerce, and the mastic the produce of the Bursera gummifera. The last did not prove to be a commercial resin like the mastic of Scio. See Encyclopaedia Britannica under Aloes and Mastic, and Heyd, Histoire du Commerce du Levant au Moyen Age, II. 581, 633.
[145-3] The ducat being 9s. 2d. In the seventeenth century the value of the mastic exported from Chios (Scio) was 30,000 ducats. Chios belonged to Genoa from 1346 to 1566. (Markham.)
[146-1] Las Sierras del Cristal and Las Sierras de Moa. (Navarrete.)
[147-1] Puerto de Taxamo, in Cuba. (Navarrete.)
[148-1] Cf. Fra Mauro's Map (1457-1459), Bourne, Spain in America, 14, and Behaim's Globe, Winsor's Columbus, p. 186, or Fiske's Discovery of America, I. 422.
[149-1] Las Casas did not know the meaning of this word. In all probability it is the Italian tasso, badger. Cf. p. 139, note 1. The animal, Cuvier suggested was probably the coati.
[149-2] Cuvier conjectured this to be the trunk fish.
[150-1] The agouti.
[152-1] See p. 134, note 3. The words following "Port of Mares" should be translated "but here he says that he has the quadrant hung up (or not in use) until he reaches land to repair it. Since it seemed to him that this distance," etc. Las Casas omitted to insert the number of degrees in his comment.
[152-2] The sentences omitted are comments of Las Casas on these reflections of Columbus.
[153-1] See p. 138, note 3.
[153-2] A la hora de tercia, about 9 A.M. See p. 118, note 1.
[153-3] Cayo de Moa. (Navarrete.)
[154-1] Rio de Moa. (Navarrete.)
[154-2] Punta del Mangle or del Guarico. (Navarrete.)
[154-3] Sierras de Moa. (Navarrete.)
[154-4] "These must have been margaseta stones which look like gold in streams and of which there is an abundance in the rivers of these islands." Las Casas, I. 346.
[155-1] Madronos. Arbutus unedo or the Strawberry tree. The California Madrona is the Arbutus Menziesii.
[155-2] Rather, "for making sawmills."
[156-1] Among these were the Bay of Yamanique, and the ports of Jaragua, Taco, Cayaganueque, Nava, and Maravi. (Navarrete.)
[156-2] See p. 126, note 1.
[157-1] The original of the words Cannibal and Carib and Caribbean. Cf. also p. 138, note 3.
[157-2] The port of Baracoa. (Navarrete.)
[157-3] Monte del Yunque. (Navarrete.)
[158-1] Port of Maravi. (Navarrete.)
[158-2] Punta de Maici. (Id.)
[158-3] Puerto de Baracoa. (Id.)
[160-1] With these suggestions for a colonial policy cf. Columbus's more detailed programme in his letter to Ferdinand and Isabella, pp. 273-277 below. In the Spanish policy of exclusion of foreigners from the colonies the religious motive, as here, was quite as influential as the spirit of trade monopoly. Las Casas, in making the same quotation from the Journal, remarks, I. 351: "All these are his exact words, although some of them are not perfect Castilian, since that was not the Admiral's mother tongue."
[161-1] The fusta was a long, low boat propelled by oars or a sail. It is represented in earlier English by "foist" and "fuste."
[161-2] Las Casas, I. 353, remarks, "This wax was never made in the island of Cuba, and this cake that was found came from the kingdom and provinces of Yucatan, where there is an immense amount of very good yellow wax." He supposes that it might have come from the wrecks of canoes engaged in trade along the coast of Yucatan.
[162-1] About 70 feet. Las Casas adds the words, "it was most beautiful," and continues, "it is no wonder for there are in that island very thick and very long and tall fragrant red cedars and commonly all their canoes are made from these valuable trees."
[162-2] Puerto de Baracoa. (Navarrete.)
[163-1] This reef actually exists on the S.E. side of the entrance to this port, which is described with great accuracy by Columbus. (Navarrete.)
[163-2] Lombarda is the same as bombarda, bombard, the earliest type of cannon. The name has nothing to do with Lombardy, but is simply the form which was used in Castile in the fifteenth century while bombarda was used elsewhere in the peninsula and in Europe. The average-sized bombard was a twenty-five pounder. Diccionario Enciclopedico Hispano-Americano, art. lombardo, based on Arautegui, Apuntes Historicos sobre la Artilleria Espanola en los Siglos XIV y XV.
[164-1] This line should be, "in which he saw five very large almadias [low, light boats] which the Indians call canoas, like fustas, very beautiful and so well constructed," etc. "Canoe" is one of the few Arawak Indian words to have become familiar English.
[164-2] Rather, "He went up a mountain and then he found it all level and planted with many things of the country and gourds so that it was glorious to see it." De Candolle believes the calabash or gourd to have been introduced into America from Africa. Cf. his Origin of Cultivated Plants, pp. 245 ff. Oviedo, however, in his Historia General y Natural de Indias, lib. VIII., cap. VIII., says that the calabacas of the Indies were the same as those in Spain and were cultivated not to eat but to use the shells as vessels.
[164-3] Rather, "rods."
[166-1] Rio Boma. (Navarrete.)
[166-2] Punta del Fraile. (Id.)
[166-3] Punta de los Azules. (Id.)
[167-1] Las Casas, I. 359, says, "This high and beautiful cape whither he would have liked to go I believe was Point Mayci, which is the extreme end of Cuba toward the east." According to the modern maps of Cuba it must have been one of the capes to the southwest of Point Maici.
[167-2] Cf. note 57. Las Casas, I. 359, remarks, "Its real name was Hayti, the last syllable long and accented." He thinks it possible that the cape first sighted may have been called Bohio.
[167-3] Columbus gave Cuba the name Juana "in memory of Prince Juan the heir of Castile." Historie, p. 83.
[167-4] "In leaving the cape or eastern point of Cuba he gave it the name Alpha and Omega, which means beginning and end, for he believed that this cape was the end of the mainland in the Orient." Las Casas, I. 360.
[168-1] The port of St. Nicholas Mole, in Hayti. (Navarrete.)
[168-2] Cape of St. Nicholas. (Id.)
[168-3] Punta Palmista. (Id.)
[168-4] Puerto Escudo. (Id.)
[168-5] The channel between Tortuga Island and the main.
[169-1] Atalayas, "watchtowers."
[169-2] This method of giving names in honor of the saint on whose day a new cape or river was discovered was very commonly followed during the period of discoveries, and sometimes the date of a discovery, or the direction of a voyage, or other data can be verified by comparing the names given with the calender.
[169-3] This clause should be "It extends in this manner to the south-south-east two leagues."
[169-4] A gap in the manuscript.
[170-1] This is the "Carenero," within the port of St. Nicholas. (Navarrete.)
[171-1] Accepting Navarrete's conjecture of abrezuela or anglezuela for the reading agrezuela of the text.
[171-2] It should be north 11 miles. (Navarrete.)
[171-3] This is an error. It should be 15 miles. (Navarrete.) The direction al Leste cuarta del Sueste is East by South.
[171-4] Puerto Escudo. (Navarrete.)
[172-1] Bahia Mosquito. (Navarrete.)
[172-2] Cuvier notes that neither the nightingale proper nor the Spanish myrtle are found in America.
[172-3] It should be 11 miles. (Navarrete.)
[173-1] I.e., Spanish Isle, not "Little Spain," which is sometimes erroneously given in explanation of the Latin Hispaniola. This last is a Latinized form of Espanola and not a diminutive. Las Casas, I. 367, in the corresponding passage, has "Seeing the greatness and beauty of this island and its resemblance to Spain although much superior and that they had caught fish in it like the fish of Castile and for other similar reasons he decided on December 9 when in the harbor of Concepcion to name this island Spanish Island."
At a period some time later than his first voyage Columbus decided that Espanola and Cipango were the same and also identical with the Ophir of the Bible. Cf. his marginal note to Landino's Italian translation of Pliny's Natural History, "la isola de Feyti, vel de Ofir, vel de Cipango, a la quale habio posto nome Spagnola." Raccolta Colombiana, pt. I., vol. II., p. 472.
[174-1] The distance is 11 miles. (Navarrete.)
[175-2] The proper English equivalents for these names in the original are hard to find. The corbina was a black fish and the name is found in both Spanish and Portuguese. Pampanos is translated "giltheads," but the name is taken over into English as "pompano." It must be remembered that in many cases the names of European species were applied to American species which resembled them but which were really distinct species of the same genus.
[177-1] Rather, "bread of niames." Cf. note, p. 139.
[178-1] Las Casas, I. 373, says that at that season the length of the day in Espanola is somewhat over eleven hours. The correct latitude is 20 deg..
[179-1] Elsewhere called Babeque. (Navarrete.)
[180-1] Paradise Valley.
[180-2] Rather, "There are on the edges or banks of the shore many beautiful stones and it is all suitable for walking." The Spanish text seems to be defective.
[181-1] Diego de Arana of Cordova, a near relation of Beatriz Henriquez, the mother of the Admiral's son Fernando. (Markham.) Alguazil means constable.
[181-2] Ajes. The same as mames. Cf. note, p. 139.
[183-1] This Indian word survives in modern Spanish with the meaning political boss.
[183-2] Diego de Arana.
[184-1] Rodrigo de Escobedo.
[184-2] In Spain in earlier times the Annunciation was celebrated on December 18 to avoid having it come in Lent. When the Roman usage in regard to Annunciation was adopted in Spain they instituted the Feast of our Lady's Expectation on December 18. It was called "The Feast of O because the first of the greater antiphons is said in the vespers of its vigil." Addis and Arnold, Catholic Dictionary, under "Mary." The series of anthems all begin with "O."
[186-1] The excelente was worth two castellanos or about $6 in coin value.
[187-1] El Puerto de la Granja. (Navarrete.)
[187-2] The bay of Puerto Margot. (Id.)
[188-1] Point and Island of Margot. (Navarrete.)
[188-2] Camino for Cabo (?). (Markham.)
[188-3] Mountain over Guarico. (Navarrete.)
[188-4] Cf. p. 178, note.
[188-5] Bahia de Acul. (Navarrete.)
[189-1] This conjecture proved to be wrong. The Peak of Teneriffe is over 12,000 ft. high, while 10,300 ft. (Mt. Tina) is the highest elevation in Santo Domingo.
[189-2] This is one of the passages used to determine the date of Columbus's birth. By combining his statement quoted in the Historie of Ferdinand, ch. IV., that he went to sea at 14, and this assertion that he followed the sea steadily for 23 years, we find that he was 37 years old in 1484 or 1485, when he left Portugal and ceased sea-faring till 1492.
[189-3] A gap of a line and a half in the manuscript.
[189-4] Another gap in the manuscript.
[190-1] The mutilation of the text makes this passage difficult. The third line literally is, "and I saw all the east [or perhaps better the Levant, el Levante] and the west which means the way to England," etc. After the second gap read: "better than the other which I with proper caution tried to describe." After "world," read: "and [is] enclosed so that the oldest cable of the ship would hold it fast."
[190-2] The distance is six miles. (Navarrete.)
[190-3] Acul. (Id.)
[191-1] Gonze avellanada. The interpretation of the French translators is followed. The word gonze is not given in the dictionaries.
[193-1] "This king was a great lord and king Guacanagari, one of the five great kings and lordships of this island." Las Casas, I. 389.
[194-1] "This girdle was of fine jewellery work, like misshapen pearls, made of fish-bones white and colored interspersed, like embroidery, so sewed with a thread of cotton and by such delicate skill that on the reverse side it looked like delicate embroidery, although all white, which it was a pleasure to see." Las Casas, I. 389. From this we learn that wampum belts were in use among the Indians of Espanola.
[196-1] Port of Guarico. (Navarrete.)
[196-2] This estimate was far too great. The island is about one-third the size of Great Britain and one-half the size of England.
[196-4] It is now called San Honorato. (Navarrete.)
[197-1] "The fact is that Cacique was the word for king, and Nitayno for knight and principal lord." Las Casas, I. 394.
[197-2] The similarity between the names and the report of gold made Columbus particularly confident of the identification.
[198-1] Entrance of the Bay of Acul. (Navarrete.)
[198-2] Isla de Ratos. (Id.)
[199-1] Puerto Frances. (Navarrete.)
[199-2] Perhaps better "a young common sailor."
[200-1] The master, who was also the owner, of the Admiral's ship was Juan de la Cosa of Santona, afterwards well known as a draughtsman and Pilot. (Markham.)
[200-2] Rather, "Then the seams opened but not the ship." That is, the ship was not stove. The word translated "seams" is conventos, which Las Casas, I. 398, defines as los vagos que hay entre costillas y costillas. In this passage he is using costillas not in the technical sense of costillas de nao, "ribs," but in the sense of "planks," as in costillas de cuba, "barrel staves."
[202-1] In reality Cibao was a part of Espanola.
[202-2] Made from the manioc roots or ajes. Cassava biscuit can be got to-day at fancy grocery stores. It is rather insipid.
[204-1] In reality, three-quarters the size of Portugal.
[204-2] Juan de la Cosa, the master, was a native of Santona, on the north coast of Spain. There were two other Santona men on board and several from the north coast. (Markham.)
[206-1] "He ordered then all his people to make great haste and the king ordered his vassals to help him and as an immense number joined with the Christians they managed so well and with such diligence that in a matter of ten days our stronghold was well made and as far as could be then constructed. He named it the City of Christmas (Villa de la Navidad) because he had arrived there on that day, and so to-day that harbor is called Navidad, although there is no memory that there even has been a fort or any building there, since it is overgrown with trees as large and tall as if fifty years had passed, and I have seen them." Las Casas, I. 408.
[206-2] These were not islands, but districts whose chiefs were called by the same names. Cf. Las Casas, I. 410.
[207-1] For Yanez. Vincent Yanez Pinzon.
[208-1] Rather, "For now the business appeared to be so great and important that it was wonderful (said the Admiral) and he said he did not wish," etc.
[208-2] The first suggestion of systematic colonization in the New World.
[209-1] See note 2 under Jan. 9, p. 218.
[210-1] The actual number was 44, according to the official list given in a document printed by Navarrete, which is a notice to the next of kin to apply for wages due, dated Burgos, December 20, 1507. Markham reproduces this list in his edition of Columbus's Journal.
[210-2] Las Casas gives the farewell speech of the Admiral to those who were left behind at Navidad, I. 415. It is translated in Thacher's Columbus, I. 632.
[211-1] "It is not known how many he took from this island but I believe he took some, altogether he carried ten or twelve Indians to Castile according to the Portuguese History [Barros] and I saw them in Seville yet I did not notice nor do I recollect that I counted them." Las Casas, I. 419.
[212-1] It is N. 80 deg. E. 70 leagues. (Navarrete.)
[212-2] Los siete Hermanos. (Id.)
[212-3] Bahia de Manzanillo. (Id.)
[212-4] Should be S.W. three leagues.
[212-5] Rio Tapion, in the Bahia de Manzanillo. (Id.)
[212-6] A mistake for three leagues. (Id.)
[212-7] Should be W.S.W. (Id.)
[213-1] Isla Cabra. (Navarrete.)
[213-2] Anchorage of Monte Cristi. (Id.)
[213-3] Punta Rucia. (Id.)
[214-1] Martin Alonso Pinzon had slipped away during the night of November 21.
[215-1] Here probably the island of Iguana Grande.
[215-3] On this myth see below under January 15.
[215-4] It is remarkable that this report, which refers probably to Yucatan and to the relatively high state of culture of the Mayas, drew no further comment from Columbus. From our point of view it ought to have made a much greater impression than we have evidence that it did; from his point of view that he was off Asia it was just what was to be expected and so is recorded without comment.
[216-1] This is the large river Yaqui, which contains much gold in its sand. It was afterwards called the Santiago. (Navarrete.)
[217-1] Afterwards called the Rio de Santiago. (Navarrete.)
[217-2] This should be 8 leagues. (Id.)
[217-3] Las Casas, I. 429, says the distance to the mines was not 4 leagues.
[217-4] Punta Isabelica. (Id.)
[217-5] The distance is 10-1/2 leagues, or 42 of the Italian miles used by Columbus. (Id.)
[218-1] The mermaids [Spanish, "sirens"] of Columbus are the manatis, or sea-cows, of the Caribbean Sea and great South American rivers. They are now scarcely ever seen out at sea. Their resemblance to human beings, when rising in the water, must have been very striking. They have small rounded heads, and cervical vertebrae which form a neck, enabling the animal to turn its head about. The fore limbs also, instead of being pectoral fins, have the character of the arm and hand of the higher mammalia. These peculiarities, and their very human way of suckling their young, holding it by the forearm, which is movable at the elbow-joint, suggested the idea of mermaids. The congener of the manati, which had been seen by Columbus on the coast of Guinea, is the dugong. (Markham.)
[218-2] Las Casas has "on the coast of Guinea where manequeta is gathered" (I. 430). Amomum Melequeta, an herbaceous, reedlike plant, three to five feet high, is found along the coast of Africa, from Sierra Leone to the Congo. Its seeds were called "Grains of Paradise," or maniguetta, and the coast alluded to by Columbus, between Liberia and Cape Palmas, was hence called the Grain Coast. The grains were used as a condiment, like pepper, and in making the spiced wine called hippocras. (Markham.)
[219-1] Rio Chuzona chica. (Navarrete.)
[219-2] Reading broma ("ship worm") for bruma ("mist") in the sentence: sino que tiene mucha bruma. De la Roquette in the French translation gives bruma the meaning of "shipworm," supposing it to be a variant form of broma. The Italian translator of the letter on the fourth voyage took broma to be bruma, translated it pruina e bruma, and consequently had Columbus's ship injured by frost near Panama in April! Cf. Thacher, Christopher Columbus, II. 625, 790.
[220-1] So called because the summit is always covered with white or silver clouds. Las Casas, I. 432. A monastery of Dominicans was afterwards built on Monte de Plata, in which Las Casas began to write his history of the Indies in the year 1527. Las Casas, IV. 254. (Markham.)
[220-2] Puerto de Plata, where a flourishing seaport town was afterwards established; founded by Ovando in 1502. It had fallen to decay in 1606. (Markham.)
[220-3] Punta Macuris. The distance is 3, not 4 leagues. (Navarrete.)
[220-4] Punta Sesua. The distance is only one league. (Id.)
[220-5] Cabo de la Roca. It should be 5, not 6 leagues. (Id.)
[220-6] Bahia Escocesa. (Id.)
[220-7] Las Casas says that none of these names remained even in his time. I. 432.
[221-1] This was the Peninsula of Samana. (Navarrete.)
[221-2] Isla Yazual. (Id.)
[221-3] Cabo Cabron, or Lover's Cape; the extreme N.E. point of the island, rising nearly 2000 feet above the sea. (Markham.)
[221-4] Puerto Yaqueron. (Navarrete.)
[221-5] Cabo Samana; called Cabo de San Theramo afterwards by Columbus (Markham.)[TN-3]
[221-6] The Bay of Samana. (Navarrete.)
[221-7] Cayo de Levantados. (Id.)
[222-1] This should be, "who says that he was very ugly of countenance, more so than the others that he had seen."
[222-2] Las Casas says, I. 433, "Not charcoal but a certain dye they make from a certain fruit."
[222-3] Las Casas, I. 434, says there never were any cannibals in Espanola.
[223-1] Las Casas, I. 434, says that a section in the northeastern part of Espanola "was inhabited by a tribe which called themselves Mazariges and others Ciguayos and that they spoke different languages from the rest of the island. I do not remember if they differed from each other in speech since so many years have passed, and to-day there is no one to inquire of, although I have talked many times with both generations; but more than fifty years have gone by." The Ciguayos, he adds, were called so because they wore their hair long as women do in Castile. This passage shows that Las Casas was writing this part of his history a half-century after he went first to Espanola, which was in 1502, with Ovando.
[223-2] See p. 226, note 4, under Jan. 15.
[223-3] Porto Rico. (Navarrete.)
[223-4] Las Casas, I. 434, says that Guanin was not the name of an island, but the word for a kind of base gold.
[223-5] A gap in the original manuscript.
[224-1] Las Casas, I. 435, has, "and as word of a palm-tree board which is very hard and very heavy, not sharp but blunt, about two fingers thick everywhere, with which as it is hard and heavy like iron, although a man has a helmet on his head they will crush his skull to the brain with one blow."
[224-2] "This was the first fight that there was in all the Indies and when the blood of the Indians was shed." Las Casas, I. 436.
[225-1] Porto Rico. Navarrete says it is certain that the Indians called Porto Rico Isla de Carib.
[225-2] Probably Martinique or Guadeloupe. (Navarrete.)
[226-1] By this calculation the Admiral entered the service of the Catholic Sovereigns on January 20, 1486. (Navarrete.)
[226-2] "What would he have said if he had seen the millions and millions (cuentos y millones) that the sovereigns have received from his labors since his death?" Las Casas, I. 437.
[226-3] Porto Rico.
[226-4] Columbus had read in Marco Polo of the islands of MASCULIA and FEMININA in the Indian Seas and noted the passage in his copy. See ch. XXXIII. of pt. III. of Marco Polo. On the other hand there is evidence for an indigenous Amazon myth in the New World. The earliest sketch of American folk-lore ever made, that of the Friar Ramon Pane in 1497, preserved in Ferdinand Columbus's Historie and in a condensed form in Peter Martyr's De Rebus Oceanicis (Dec. I., lib. IX.), tells the story of the culture-hero Guagugiona, who set forth from the cave, up to that time the home of mankind, "with all the women in search of other lands and he came to Matinino, where at once he left the women and went away to another country," etc., Historie (London ed., 1867), p. 188. Ramon's name is erroneously given as Roman in the Historie. On the Amazons in Venezuela, see Oviedo, lib. XXV., cap. XIV. It may be accepted that the Amazon myth as given by Oviedo, from which the great river derived its name, River of the Amazons, is a composite of an Arawak folk-tale like that preserved by Ramon Pane overlaid with the details of the Marco Polo myth, which in turn derives from the classical myth.
[227-1] Y los mas le ponen alli yerba, "and the most of them put on poison." The description of these arrows corresponds exactly with that given by Sir E. im Thurn of the poisoned arrows of the Indians of Guiana, which still have "adjustable wooden tips smeared with poison, which are inserted in the socket at the end of a reed shaft." Among the Indians of Guiana, p. 242.
[227-2] Capsicum. (Markham.)
[228-1] Gulf of the Arrows. This was the Bay of Samana, into which the river Yuna flows. (Navarrete.)
[228-2] Porto Rico. It would have been distant about 30 leagues. (Navarrete.)
[229-1] "The sons remain with their mothers till the age of fourteen when they go to join their fathers in their separate abode." Marco Polo, pt. III., ch. XXXIII. Cf. p. 226, note 4.
[229-2] Now called Cabod el Engano,[TN-4] the extreme eastern point of Espanola. It had the same name when Las Casas wrote. (Markham.)
[230-1] The almadrabas, or tunny fisheries of Rota, near Cadiz, were inherited by the Duke, as well as those of Conil, a little fishing town 6 leagues east of Cadiz. (Markham.)
[230-2] Un pescado (a fish), called the rabiforcado. For un pescado, we should probably read una ave pescadora, and translate: a fishing bird, called rabiforcado. See entry for September 29 and note.
[230-3] Alcatraces, rabos de juncos, and rabiforcados: boobies, boatswain-birds, and frigate-birds. The translator has not been consistent in selecting English equivalents for these names. In the entry of January 18 rabiforcado is frigate-bird; in that of January 19 rabo de junco is frigate-bird; in that of January 21 rabo de junco is boatswain-bird. September 14 garjao is the tern, while on January 19 the rabiforcado is the tern. On these birds, see notes 11, 12, 13, and 20. See also Oviedo, Historia General y natural de las Indias, lib. XIV., cap. I., for descriptions of these birds.
[231-1] Rabiforcados y pardelas. Las Casas, I. 440, has aves pardelas. Talhausen, Neues Spanisch-deutsches Woerterbuch, defines pardelas as Peters-vogel, i.e., petrel.
[231-2] Rabos de juncos y pardelas. The translator vacillates between sandpipers and terns in rendering pardelas. Cf. January 28 and 31, but as has just been noted "petrels" is the proper word.
[231-3] An error of the transcriber for miles. Each glass being half-an-hour, going six miles an hour, they would have made 33 miles or 8-1/4 leagues in five hours and a half. (Navarrete.)
[233-2] The English equivalent is dory, or gilthead.
[235-1] Vicente Yanez Pinzon.
[235-2] Later a rich citizen of the city of Santo Domingo, Espanola, where he was known as Roldan the pilot. Las Casas, I. 443.
[236-1] The name is also written Peralonso Nino. He made one of the first voyages to the mainland of South America after the third voyage of Columbus. See Irving, Companions of Columbus. Bourne, Spain in America, p. 69.
[237-1] A gap in the original manuscript.
[238-1] Martin Alonso Pinzon succeeded in bringing the caravel Pinta into port at Bayona in Galicia. He went thence to Palos, arriving in the evening of the same day as the Nina with the Admiral. Pinzon died very soon afterwards. Oviedo [I. 27] says: "He went to Palos to his own house and died after a few days since he went there very ill." (Markham.)
[239-1] Virgin of Guadalupe was the patroness of Estremadura. As many of the early colonists went from Estremadura there came to be a good number of her shrines in Mexico. Cf. R. Ford, Handbook for Spain, index under "Guadalupe."
[239-2] A full account of the shrine at Loreto may be found in Addis and Arnold, Catholic Dictionary, under "Loreto."
[239-3] "This is the house where the sailors of the country particularly have their devotions." Las Casas, I. 446. Moguer was a village near Palos.
[240-1] See page 108, note 1. and entry for October 10.
[241-1] As Beatriz Enriquez, the mother of Ferdinand, was still living, this passage has occasioned much perplexity. A glance at the corresponding passage, quoted in direct discourse from this entry in the Journal, in the Historie of Ferdinand, shows that the words "orphans without father or mother" were not in the original Journal, if we can trust this transcript. On the other hand, Las Casas, in his Historia, I. 447, where he used the original Journal and not the abridgment that has come down to us, has the words "huerfanos de padre y madre en tierra estrana." It may be that Ferdinand noted the error of the original Journal and quietly corrected it.
[241-2] In Ferdinand's text nothing is said explicitly about the Indies.
[241-3] There is nothing corresponding to this in Ferdinand's extract from the Journal. Was this omission also a case of pious revision?
The Admiral thought that there could be no great storms in the countries he had discovered, because trees (mangroves) actually grew with their roots in the sea. The herbage on the beach nearly reached the waves, which does not happen when the sea is rough. (Markham.)
[241-4] Ferdinand Columbus has preserved in his life of his father the exact words of the Journal for the last two pages of the entry for February 14. The extract is given here to illustrate the character of the work of the epitomizer who prepared the text of the Journal as it has come down to us. "I should have borne this fortune with less distress if my life alone had been in peril, since I am aware that I am in debt to the Most High Creator for my life and because at other times I have found myself so near to death that almost nothing remained but to suffer it. But what caused me boundless grief and trouble was the reflection that, now that Our Lord had been pleased to enlighten me with the faith and with the certainty of this undertaking in which he had already given me the victory, that just now, when our gainsayers were to be convinced and your Highnesses were to receive from me glory and enlargement of your high estate, the Divine Majesty should will to block it with my death. This last would have been more endurable if it did not involve that of the people I brought with me with the promise of a very prosperous issue. They seeing themselves in such a plight not only cursed their coming but even the fear or the restraint which after my persuasions prevented them from turning back from the way as many times they were resolved to do. And above all this my grief was redoubled at the vision before my eyes and at the recollection of two little sons that I had left at their studies in Cordova without succor in a strange land and without my having rendered (or at least without its being made manifest) the service for which one might trust that your Highnesses would remember them.
"And although on the one hand I was comforted by the faith that I had that Our Lord would never suffer a work which would highly exalt his Church, which at length after so much opposition and such labors I had brought to the last stage, to remain unaccomplished and that I should be broken; on the other hand, I thought that, either on account of my demerits or to prevent my enjoying so much glory in this world, it was his pleasure to take it away from me, and so while thus in perplexity I bethought myself of the venture of your Highnesses who even if I should die and the ship be lost, might find means of not losing a victory already achieved and that it might be possible in some way for the news of the success of my voyage to come to your ears; wherefore I wrote on a parchment with the brevity that the time demanded how I had discovered the lands that I had promised to, and in how many days; and the route I had followed; and the goodness of the countries, and the quality of their inhabitants and how they were the vassals of your Highnesses who had possession of all that had been found by me. This writing folded and sealed I directed to your Highnesses with the superscription or promise of a thousand ducats to him who should deliver it unopened, in order that, if some foreigners should find it, the truth of superscription might prevent them from disposing of the information which was inside. And I straightway had a large cask brought and having wrapped the writing in a waxed cloth and put it into a kind of tart or cake of wax I placed it in the barrel which, stoutly hooped, I then threw into the sea. All believed that it was some act of devotion. Then because I thought it might not arrive safely and the ships were all the while approaching Castile I made another package like that and placed it on the upper part of the poop in order that if the ship should sink the barrel might float at the will of fate."
[243-1] The bonnet was a small sail usually cut to a third the size of the mizzen, or a fourth of the mainsail. It was secured through eyelet-holes to the leech of the mainsail, in the manner of a studding sail. (Navarrete.)
[243-2] On this day the Admiral dated the letter to Santangel, the escribano de racion, which is given below on pp. 263-272.
[244-1] This was on Sunday, 17th of February. (Navarrete.)
[244-2] The port of San Lorenzo. (Id.).
[246-1] The incredulity of the Portuguese governor as to these assertions was natural. The title Admiral of the Ocean Sea was novel and this was the first time it was announced that Spain or any other European power had possessions in the Indies.
[247-1] Half the crew were still detained on shore.
[248-1] That the site of the Garden of Eden was to be found in the Orient was a common belief in the Middle Ages and later. Cf. the Book of Sir John Mandeville, ch. XXX.
[249-1] The last of the canonical hours of prayer, about nine in the evening.
[252-1] On this day the Admiral probably wrote the postscript to his letter Santangel written at sea on February 15.
[253-1] Modern scholars have too hastily identified this Bartolome Diaz with the discoverer of the Cape of Good Hope. There is no evidence for this except the identity of the name. Against the supposition are the facts that neither Columbus, Las Casas, nor Ferdinand remark upon this meeting with the most eminent Portuguese navigator of the time, and that this Diaz is a subordinate officer on this ship who is sent to summon Columbus to report to the captain. That the great admiral of 1486-1487 would in 1493 be a simple Patron on a single ship is incredible.