Columbus, Original Letters

Letters between Christopher Columbus and Katherine of Aragon’s parents

The wedding portrait of Ferdinand of Aragon and Isabella of Castile, 1469. The parents of Katherine of Aragon

Letter from Columbus to Luis Santangel giving a summary of his voyage:


Knowing the pleasure you will receive in hearing of the great victory which Our Lord has granted me in my voyage, I hasten to inform you, that after a passage of seventy one days, I arrived at the Indies, with the fleet which the most illustrious King and Queen our sovereigns committed to my charge, where I discovered many islands inhabited by people without number, and of which I took possession for their Highness’s by proclamation with the royal banner displayed, no one offering any contradiction. The first which I discovered, I named San Salvador, in commemoration of our Holy Saviour, who has, in a wonderful manner, granted all our success. The Indians call it Guanahani. To the second, I gave the name of Santa Maria de Concepcion, to the third, that of Fernandina, to the fourth, that of Isabela, to the fifth, that of Juana, thus giving each island a new name. (Note all of these names represent Spain, the Spanish Royal family or their Catholic faith.)

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