SPAIN - HISTORY - CHRISTOPHER COLUMBUS
Second voyage. Columbus left Cadiz, Spain, on September
24, 1493 to find new territories, with 17 ships carrying
supplies, and about 1,200 men to colonize the region. On
October 13, the ships left the Canary Islands as they had
on the first voyage, following a more southerly course.
On November 3, 1493, Columbus sighted a rugged island that
he named Dominica; later that day, he landed at
Marie-Gallant, which he named Santa Maria la Gallant.
After sailing past Les Saints (To-dos los Santos), he
arrived at Guadeloupe (Santa Maria de Guadalupe), which he
explored between November 4 and November 10, 1493.
The exact course of his voyage through the Lesser Antilles
is debated, but it seems likely that he turned north,
sighting and naming several islands including Montserrat
(Santa Maria de Montserrat), Antigua (Santa Maria la
Antigua), Redondo (Santa Maria la Redonda), Nevis (Santa
Maria de las Nieves), Saint Kitts (San Jorge), Saint
Eustatius (Santa Anastasia), Saba (San Cristobal), Saint
Martin (San Martin), and Saint Croix (Santa Cruz).
He also sighted the island chain of the Virgin Islands,
which he named Santa Ursula y las Once Mil Virgins, and
named the islands of Virgin Gorda, Tortola, and Peter
Island (San Pedro).
He continued to the Greater Antilles, and landed at Puerto
Rico (San Juan Bautista) on November 19, 1493. One of the
first skirmishes between Americans and Europeans since the
Vikings took place when his men rescued two boys who had
just been castrated by their captors.
Michele de Cuneo, a Liguria nobleman on Columbus' second
voyage, wrote in 1495, "While I was in the boat I captured
a very beautiful Carib woman, whom the said Lord Admiral
gave to me and with whom, having taken her into my cabin,
she being naked according to their custom, I conceived
desire to take pleasure.
I wanted to put my desire into execution but she did not
want it and treated me with her finger nails in such a
manner that I wished I had never begun.
But seeing that (to tell you the end of it all), I took a
rope and thrashed her well, for which she raised such
unheard of screams you would not have believed your ears.
Eventually we came to such terms, I assure you, and that
you would have thought she had been brought up in a school
On November 22, Columbus returned to Hispaniola,
establishing a new settlement at Isabel – on the north
coast – where gold had first been found. However, it
proved a poor location and the settlement was short-lived.
He left Hispaniola on April 24, 1494, arrived at Cuba (naming
it Juana) on April 30, and reached Jamaica on May 5. He
explored the south coast of Cuba, which he believed to be
a peninsula rather than an island, and several nearby
islands including the Isle of Youth (La Evangelista),
before returning to Hispaniola on August 20 and then
finally returning to Spain.
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