Early Life
“And the sea will grant each man new hope . . . his sleep brings dreams of home.” ~Christopher Columbus
Christopher Columbus was born in Genoa, Italy between the months of August and October 1451. The last name, Colombo, is his accurate name, but in modern day his name has been changed to Columbus. His parents were Domenico and Suzanna Columbo. He was the oldest child in his family of five children.
Young Adult Years
During his early life as a young adult, Christopher received moderate training in reading and writing at Italian schools. He also began helping his family business in processing wool. Christopher, at only age 14, began working at sea as a messenger, a sailor, and a ship’s boy. In 1474, it is legend that Christopher Columbus took a voyage to the Greek Islands. Christopher then made about 3 more small voyages like these before his First Voyage.
Becoming an Adult
“Riches don't make a man rich, they only make him busier.” ~Christopher Columbus
Between 1478 and 1479 he met Felipa Perestrello e Moniz. She was partly poor but belonged to a rich noble family. Felipa’s father was the governor of islands known as the Madeira Islands on the northwest coast of Africa. Soon after they got married, they moved to the biggest island of the Madeiras. Felipa’s father overturned the govern ship to his oldest son, Felipa’s brother.
Christopher and Felipa had a son that they named Diego in 1480. In 1484, Felipa, unfortunately, died. After Columbus had moved to Spain, he had a child in 1484 named Fernando with a woman named Beatriz Enriquez de Harana.
First Voyage
“By prevailing over all obstacles and distractions, one may unfailingly arrive at his chosen goal or destination.” ~Christopher Columbus
Setting Sail
Columbus took his first true voyage in 1492 to 1493. Columbus took a small round ship, but with a large hold. This ship was named the Santa Maria. Two other ships came with him named the Pinta and the Nina. He had a hard time finding a crew because very few people wanted to travel into the unknown. Columbus recruited a crew of about forty members, most of them were fishermen but there were no priest, no soldiers, and no settlers. The ships weren’t very comfortable; they didn’t have places to sleep except for small cabins were the captains could sleep. The days on the ships were filled with ship chores, songs, and stories, and the restless nights were filled with star gazing of the unknown sky.



The three ships went to the Canary Islands because the Nina needed its sails replaced and the Pinta’s rudder needed fixed. The three ships officially left after that on September 6, 1492. Around the Canary Islands was the Canary Current which speeded their journey along faster. Most of the journey they traveled West, in mid September the crews of the ships started to see life; colored birds, seaweed, and pelicans. The night of October 11, 1492 Columbus saw bright lights ahead, on October 12, 1492 the captains of the ships came onto the land with 30 other crew members. Columbus had two the other two captains carry two banners with green crosses and the words Ferdinand and Isabel. The natives came out from hiding and greeted the crew. Columbus renamed this island San Salvador, after Jesus Christ. This island was named before Columbus came either Watling Island or the Semana Cay. This island was large, flat, had bright green trees, and had lots of water. The natives had many things to trade with the sailors they traded many things even if it was of lesser value.

After three days on the island, Columbus took six natives with him to travel to three different islands in the Bahamas, after the Bahamas he traveled all around the Caribbean for three months. He described the islands being very beautiful. At the end of October Columbus finally reached the coast of Cuba. Columbus was convinced that Cuba was a great country of Cathay. The Pinta left on November 21 for the island that the natives said had much gold. After, crossing through the Windward Passage, Columbus sailed to a large island that he named La Isla Español
. For a month Columbus went along the coast of the island studying the land and the natives of the island. The Santa Maria crashed into a reef and 39 members of the ship stayed behind in Europe’s first New World settlement. The Pinta ship came back and the two ships sailed home. On the way home there was a big storm, one of the biggest ever recorded in England. Again, the Pinta was separated and arrived on the coast of Spain, Bayona, days before the Nina did. Finally, on March 15, 1493 Columbus and the Nina arrived in the harbor of Palos after 32 weeks of being out in sea. The captain of the Pinta, Martín Alonso, arrived days before Columbus did. Sadly he died because he was very sick. Columbus told his story of how beautiful everything was were he traveled. He was later addressed Admiral of the Ocean Seas.’’ To prevent the Porteguese from taking the land Columbus found, he sent a letter to Pope Alexander VI, and then Columbus got a letter back saying that Spain now owned all of the land that Christopher Columbus had found. Christopher Columbus made amazing discoveries that helped to find many things.

Second Voyage
“And the sea will grant each man new hope . . . his sleep brings dreams of home.” ~Chrsitopher Columbus
On September 24, 1493, Christopher Columbus, 17 ships, and 1200 people left a country in Spain called Cadiz for the Second Voyage. This voyage was the first voyage where the ships carried large amounts of livestock (horses, cows, sheep, etc.). By November, the ships finally made it to the settlement in Hispaniola that Columbus had left 40 men at the January before that.
Soon after landing, the troops found many shallow graves with no survivors. It was expected that the newcomers and the natives didn’t get along well and had a war. They began a new settlement to start exploration on the island. Columbus spent most of 1494 exploring other islands like Jamaica and southern Cuba. He was going to circumnavigate Cuba, but convinced himself that Cuba was part of China. Life became hard for the troops due to Columbus’s absence. Many of his colonists only searched for gold and avoided work to make their living spaces better because they weren’t used to hard labor.
Hard Times
A Spanish official arrived in October of 1495 to tell Columbus and his troops that many people are complaining of the time they have been gone from Spain. This left Columbus no choice except to return to his homeland in March of 1496. Earlier in 1496, they were sailing looking for riches, a doorway to Asia, the land of Marco- Polo, and to assure that Cuba was part of Cathay and Hispaniola part of Cipango. Instead, they found the beautiful islands of the Caribbean.

Christopher Columbus died on May 20, 1506, only two years after his last voyage. Christopher Columbus probably died from a rare disease called Reiter's Syndrome. He died at the age of fifty four in Valladolid, Spain. Columbus had a great life and he helped find many different pieces of land. His discoveries help the modern world today.