15 Unknown Things about Christopher Columbus

11. Four voyages to the New World

Christopher Columbus

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One of the most interesting Christopher Columbus facts is that the explorer returned to America thrice more after his famous 1492 expedition. His voyages landed him in the Caribbean, South America, and Central America.

12. A slave trader

Christopher Columbus

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Christopher Columbus voyages were mostly for economic purposes. When he failed to find gold, silver, pearl or other treasures, Columbus found the natives there as a valuable resource and shipped them back after his first voyage, hoping to make some money. He was devastated when Queen Isabella declared the natives as her subjects and not slaves. That they would be no worse than slaves in colonial Spain, is of course, a different story.

13. Deeply religious

Christopher Columbus

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Christopher Columbus wholeheartedly believed in god. He named his discovered islands after saints. He believed that god had selected him for the discoveries. Later on in life, Columbus started to wear a plain Franciscan habit wherever he went, looking less a wealthy admiral and more a monk. He was convinced to have found Garden of Eden when he saw the Orinoco River empty into the Atlantic.

14. First contact with a major New World civilization

Christopher Columbus

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Once exploring the Central American coast, Columbus chanced upon a long dugout trading vessel. Its occupants had tools and weapons made from flint and copper. There were textiles and fermented beverage in the ship that resembled beer. The traders were likely from the Mayan civilization in North-Central America. Columbus decided on no further investigation and instead headed south.

Also Read: 15 Unknown Facts About William Shakespeare

15. Crossed Atlantic, even in death

Christopher Columbus

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Christopher Columbus died in 1506. He was buried in the Spanish city of Valladolid and later moved to Seville. The body was then shipped from trans-Atlantic to Hispaniola to be interred at a cathedral in Santo Domingo. The French captured Santo Domingo in 1795, dug up his remains, and moved them to Cuba. In 1877, a box with the explorer’s name was found inside the cathedral. DNA testing in 2006 concluded that at least some remains at Seville were that of Columbus. Did the Spanish exhume a wrong body to Santo Domingo? Historians are still hunting for answers.