By William Least Heat-Moon
A stirring story of experience and tragedy"They introduced balls of spun cotton and parrots and javelins and different little issues that it might be tiresome to jot down, and so they gave every little thing for whatever that was once given to them. i used to be attentive and worked to determine if there has been any gold."With those portentous phrases, Christopher Columbus defined one in every of his first encounters with local american citizens at the island of Guanahani, which he had named San Salvador and claimed for Spain the day earlier than. In Columbus within the Americas, bestselling writer William Least Heat-Moon finds that Columbus's next dealings with the cultures he encountered not just did huge quick damage, but in addition set the trend of habit if you him.Based at the logbook of Columbus and diverse different firsthand money owed of his 4 voyages to the hot global, this vividly particular heritage additionally examines the strengths and weaknesses of Columbus as a navigator, explorer, and chief. It recounts dramatic occasions comparable to the destruction of citadel Navidad, the first actual ecu payment within the New international; a pitched conflict in northern Panama with the local Guaymi humans; and an agonizing yr Columbus and his males spent marooned on a slender spit of land in southern Jamaica.Filled with tales of triumph and tragedy, braveness and villainy, Columbus within the Americas bargains a balanced but unflinching portrait of the main recognized and arguable explorer in history.TURNING issues positive aspects preeminent writers supplying clean, own views at the defining occasions of our time.
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Additional resources for Columbus in the Americas (Turning Points in History)
On that same September afternoon, the ships encountered the ﬁrst bunches of gulf weed or sargassum, a ﬂoating plant that can extend for several miles, the stuff giving the Sargasso Sea its name. The vegetation did not hinder the ships; in fact, the crew, believing their leader who errantly said it was torn from a rocky shore, took heart in its appearance, ever more so when they found in it a small crab Columbus kept. The timely appearance of these living things fortuitously helped steady the men on that day when the pilots ﬁrst observed their compass bearing no longer matching the position of Polaris, a circumstance the Captain General explained by telling them it was the North Star that shifted, not the needle; in this, he was 19 COLUMBUS IN THE AMERICAS mostly correct, for in 1492 Polaris prescribed a circle of more than three degrees around the boreal pole; today it varies less than a full degree.
And everything that I gave him was not worth four maravedís. A maravedí was a coin of small value. Columbus was right. When the ﬁrst slavers not long after reached that area of the Caribbean, they found the natives hospitable, trusting, and hardly suspecting capture. ” And were those esteemed leaves tobacco? The logbook contains numerous instances of Lucayan warmth and generosity tendered to the Christians, the term both Las Casas and Ferdinand often use in referring to the Europeans. Columbus describes one incident that is representative of several others: “I sent the ship’s boat to shore for water.
He wasn’t much interested in 30 THE FIRST VOYAGE ﬁnding a paired continental mass the size of Asia, because he wanted to pioneer a new sea route to the ready riches of the Orient, and he wanted the wealth and recognition that would go with that. Beyond those ends, he desired for Christendom the souls of all the inhabitants of lands new to Europe. Martín Alonso Pinzón, verifying the sighting, ordered a cannon ﬁred to signal the other ships as his men took in sail so Niña and María could catch up; when they did, Columbus called across the water, “Martín Alonso!