- He was born before 31 October 1451 in the territory of the Republic of Genoa (now part of modern Italy), though the exact location remains disputed.
- His father was Domenico Colombo,a wool weaver at which young Christopher worked as a helper. His mother was Susanna Fontanarossa.He had three brothers.
- In 1470, the Columbus family moved to Savona, where Domenico took over a tavern. In the same year, Christopher was on a Genoese ship hired in the service of René of Anjou to support his attempt to conquer the Kingdom of Naples
- In May 1476, he took part in an armed convoy sent by Genoa to carry valuable cargo to northern Europe. He docked in Bristol, England, and Galway, Ireland.
- Columbus based himself in Lisbon from 1477 to 1485. He married Filipa Moniz Perestrelo, daughter of the Porto Santo governor.
- Between 1482 and 1485, Columbus traded along the coasts of West Africa. He had left Portugal for Castile in 1485
- Ambitious, Columbus eventually learned Latin, Portuguese, and Castilian. He read widely about astronomy, geography, and history.
- Throughout his life, Columbus also showed a keen interest in the Bible and in Biblical prophecies, often quoting biblical texts in his letters and logs.
- Though Columbus was wrong about the number of degrees of longitude that separated Europe from the Far East and about the distance that each degree represented, he did possess valuable knowledge about the trade winds
- In 1485, Columbus presented his plans to King John II of Portugal. He proposed that the king equip three sturdy ships and grant Columbus one year’s time to sail out into the Atlanticbut rejected.
- Columbus had sought an audience from the monarchs Ferdinand II of Aragon and Isabella I of Castile, who had united several kingdoms in the Iberian Peninsula by marrying and were ruling together.
- After continually lobbying at the Spanish court and two years of negotiations, he finally had success in January 1492.
- In the April 1492 “Capitulations of Santa Fe”, King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella promised Columbus that if he succeeded he would be given the rank of Admiral of the Ocean Sea and appointed Viceroy and Governor of all the new lands he could claim for Spain.
VOYAGES – THE FIRST ONE
- Between 1492 and 1503, Columbus completed four round-trip voyages between Spain and the Americas, each voyage being sponsored by the Crown of Castile.
- On the evening of 3 August 1492, Columbus departed from Palos de la Frontera with three ships. Columbus first sailed to the Canary Islands, which belonged to Castile.
- At about 2:00 in the morning of 12 October spotted land, and immediately alerted the rest of the crew with a shout.Columbus called the island (in what is now the Bahamas) San Salvador (meaning “Holy Savior”).
- Columbus also explored the northeast coast of Cuba, where he landed on 28 October.Columbus, for his part, continued to the northern coast of Hispaniola, where he landed on 5 December.He kept sailing along the northern coast of Hispaniola with a single ship, until he encountered Pinzón and the Pinta on 6 January.
VOYAGES – THE FIRST ONE
- On 13 January 1493, Columbus made his last stop of this voyage in the New World, in the Bay of Rincón at the eastern end of the Samaná Peninsula in northeast Hispaniola.
- He anchored next to the King’s harbor patrol ship on 4 March 1493 in Portugal. There, he was interviewed by Bartolomeu Dias, who had rounded the Cape of Good Hope a few years earlier, in 1488–1489.
- After spending more than a week in Portugal, and paying his respects to Eleanor of Viseu, Columbus again set sail for Spain. After departing, and after reportedly being saved from assassins by King John, Columbus crossed the bar of Saltes and entered the harbor of Palos de la Frontera on 15 March 1493.
VOYAGES – THE SECOND ONE
- Columbus left the port of Cádiz on 24 September 1493, with a fleet of 17 ships carrying 1,200 men and the supplies to establish permanent colonies in the New World.
- As in the first voyage, the fleet stopped at the Canary Islands, from which it departed on 13 October, following a more southerly course than on the previous expedition.
- On 3 November, Columbus sighted a rugged island that he named Dominica (Latin for Sunday); he arrived at the island of Guadeloupe. He explored that island from 4 to 10 November. One of the first skirmishes between Native Americans and Europeans since the time of the Vikings occurred on 14 November, when at Saint Columbus’s men rescued two native boys from several cannibalistic Island Caribs.
- Columbus then sailed more than 100 kilometres (62 miles) eastwards along the northern coast of Hispaniola, establishing a new settlement, which he called La Isabela, in the present-day Dominican Republic.
VOYAGES – THE THIRD ONE
- On 30 May 1498, Columbus left with six ships from Sanlúcar, Spain, for his third trip to the New World. Columbus took the other three in an exploration of what might lie to the south of the Caribbean islands he had already visited, including a hoped-for passage to continental Asia.
- he ships arrived at King John’s hypothesized continent, which is South America, when they sighted the land of Trinidad on 31 July approaching from the southeast.
- In poor health, Columbus returned to Hispaniola on 19 August, only to find that many of the Spanish settlers of the new colony were in rebellion against his rule, claiming that Columbus had misled them about the supposedly bountiful riches of the New World.
- Columbus was eventually forced to make peace with the rebellious colonists on humiliating terms.In 1500, the Crown had him removed as governor, arrested, and transported in chains to Spain.He was eventually freed and allowed to return to the New World, but not as governor
VOYAGES – THE FOURTH ONE
- Columbus made a fourth voyage nominally in search of the Strait of Malacca to the Indian Ocean. Accompanied by his brother Bartolomeo and his 13-year-old son Fernando he left Cádiz on 11 May 1502. He sailed to Arzila on the Moroccan coast to rescue Portuguese soldiers whom he had heard were under siege.
- After a brief stop at Jamaica, Columbus sailed to Central America, arriving at Guanaja (Isla de Pinos) in the Bay Islands off the coast of Honduras on 30 July.
- On 14 August, he landed on the continental mainland at Puerto Castilla, near Trujillo, Honduras. He spent two months exploring the coasts of Honduras, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica, before arriving in Almirante Bay in Panama on 16 October.
- On 29 June 1504, and Columbus and his men arrived in Sanlúcar, Spain, on 7 November.
- On 20 May 1506, aged probably 54, Columbus died in Valladolid, Spain.