IH08 – C.E. 1492 Columbus Finds What He Wasn’t Looking For

More than five hundred years have passed since Christopher Columbus’ ill-fated attempt to get to the Indies by sailing West. Since it never dawned on Columbus that he had discovered a new continent, it remained to another to give this land its name. Columbus erroneously called the inhabitants Indians, thinking he had indeed arrived in the Indies. It is really of no importance as the “Indians” of the islands so discovered soon died under the abuse of the Spanish overlords, only to be replaced by Africa slaves.

Tony Horwitz, in A Voyage Long and Strange gives a succinct history of Columbus. That history need not be repeated here.

Horwitz gives an entertaining account of his visit to Santo Domingo and his tour of the Dominican Republic. Neither of the stories invite the reader to duplicate the trip.

In unrelated reading, a mention is made of Columbus’ flagship, the Santa Maria, in Henry Rider Haggard’s novel, Fair Margaret. It is just a passing mention that helps to identify Haggard’s story with the time in Spain before Columbus was given ships by Ferdinand and Isabella.

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