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Columbus' last years

Columbus left Spain to America, sailing, from Cadiz in May, 1502. He was searching for a passage from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean. Two of the ships that he left with were abandoned.

In the spring of the year 1504, he reached Santa Gloria, where he remained one year. He converted non-Christians in Christian as it was one of the reasons of the explorations.

Columbus with the help of his son Diego and a friend, monk Gaspar Gorricio, wrote two books. One book was a Book of Privileges´´ written in 1502, talking about the benefits of the Crown of Castile. The other book was a Book of Prophecies´´ written in 1505, talking about his achievements as an explorer using passages of the Bible.

Columbus received from the Crown of Castile a 10% of all profits made in the new lands, because the Capitulations of Santa Fe that he signed with Queen Isabel said. He had been relieved of his duties as governor.

Columbus in jail

Columbus was 48 years old when he was taken to jail.

On Columbus' first Voyage he found very little gold. He was not any more succesful on the next voyage he made in 1493, with much greater invesments from the monarchs, a much larger fleet and 1.500 settlers. He took with him artisans of all kinds, labourers and peasants to work the land as well as many soldiers and three priests. After establishing seven settlements, each with a fort and several gallows, across the island of Hispaniola (Haiti) he ruled that every ''Indian'' over the age of 14 had to supply a certian amount of gold every three months. Those who did not would be punished by having their hands cut off and being left to bleed to death. But the natives could not give him this gold because no one had discovered more than small amounts of gold on the Island. As well as gold, Columbus tried to get wealth from slavery. In febuary 1595 he rounded up 1.600 Tainos - the people he had described as ''gentle'', ''peaceful'' and helpful two and a half years before. He sent 550 of them in chains on a ship to Seville with the to sell them as slaves. Two hundred died on the journey across the Atlantic. He followed this by setting up an encomienda system. This meant that colonists could make natives work on their estates as slaves.

The effect of Columbus' measures on the native people was disasterous. The population of Hipaniola was probably well over a million at the time of Columbus' first landing - 20 years later it was around 28.000 and by 1542 it was only 200. One settler called Las Casas who later became a priest, blamed the methods of the Colonists for the fdeaths of the natives. He said hr had seen '' the greatest outrages and slaughterings of people''. More recently, another cause has often been given as more important - the diseases brought by the Europeans which the ''Indians'' had no immunity to. Measles, influenza, typhus, pnemonia, tuberculosis, diphteria and especially smallpox killed many people. But it is unlikely that just these diseases could wipe out the entire native population original. In other parts of the Americas, especially mainland America, where natives also suffered from new diseases, the whole orignal popuation wasn't destroyed and at least some of the natives survived.

The amount of deaths there were in the earliest Spanish colonies can't of been only because of the diseases, it must also have been to do with Clomubus' barbaric methods. But the barbarity in itself did not give Columbus, the settlers and their royal sponsors the wealth they wanted. The first colonies had lots of problems. The gentlemen settlers found life much harder than they thought it would be. So many Indians died, that the settelers didn't have any natives to work on their lands. The settlers from the lower class got tired of working on the lands of the wealthy settlers. While Columbus was governer there were lots of other rebellions and he responded to these with the same barbarity as he showed to the natives.

These factors all led to his imprisonment. The monarchs heard stories of disorder in the colonies and sent Bobadill to investigate. Bobadilla used the power given to him by the royals to impose himself as governor after he was horrified to find seven Spanish men hanging from the gallows in the town square of Santo Domingo. So at the end of his third voyage Columbus was sent back to Spain as a prisoner in chains. He was reliesed after only six weeks, but his fourth voyage was a miserable failure. The crown banned him from the settling in Hispaniola and he ended up shipwrecked, before returning to Spain disillusioned and virtualy forgotten.
ruta.gifexternal image great-explorers--christopher-columbus.jpg

This was the last route taken by Christopher Columbus.

Columbus' death

Christopher Columbus died in Valladolid, Spain, on May 20, 1506, at the age of 54. He had suffered through a long terminal illness that first showed symptoms on his third voyage eight years before.

According to his son Fernando, the cause of death was "gout." But in those days, gout was a catchall diagnosis for anything that caused joint pain. Recent research by Gerald Weissmann indicates that the most likely cause of death was Reiter's Syndrome, a rare tropical disease.

Upon his death, Columbus was initially buried in a small cemetary in Valladolid. Shortly thereafter, his body was moved to Seville. When Columbus' eldest son and heir Diego died in 1526, he was buried beside his father.

But Diego's widow petitioned the Spanish court to move both bodies to the cathedral in Santo Domingo on Hispaniola. So the remains of Columbus were moved across the Atlantic, and were buried under the right side of the altar in the cathedral in Santo Domingo. And there matters stood for two centuries.

In 1795, France captured the island of Hispaniola from Spain. By this time, the Spanish viewed the Admiral's remains as a national treasure, and wanted to prevent their capture by the French at all costs. So, relying on old records, they dug up the remains and removed them to Havana, Cuba. A century later, when Cuba won independence from Spain, the remains were moved again, from Havana back across the ocean to Seville. And so, if you visit the cathedral in Seville today, you will find the tomb of Columbus.

But that's not the whole story. In 1877, workers were restoring the cathedral in Santo Domingo and found, under the left side of the altar, a box containing human remains. The box bore Columbus's name. It immediately became clear to some that the "left" and "right" sides of the altar depend entirely upon the direction one is facing. And therefore, some argue, the body that had been moved to Havana in 1795 was really that of Diego, while the Admiral's remains had been in Santo Domingo all along. And so, if you visit the cathedral in Santo Domingo today, you will find another tomb of Columbus.

Meanwhile, one historian has argued that the wrong body was moved from Havana to Seville, and therefore, Columbus's remains are really in Havana. And another historian argues that Columbus's remains never left Valladolid! Furthermore, portions of the remains in Seville were given to the city of Genoa in 1892 as part of the quadricentennial celebration.

Recently, Spanish scientists tried DNI analised to answer the question. As it turned out, DNA was not even necessary: a cursory examination of the bones in Seville showed that they must have been those of Columbus's sickly son Diego, not the Admiral himself. So the discoverer's final resting place is in Santo Domingo after all.

Christopher Columbus had Reiter's syndrome, a type of arthritis, not gout as was believed at the time. Cree that the Admiral died of heart failure and may be unknown to his contemporaries.

Five centuries after his death, Columbus figure hides several mysteries. We have studied and analyzed all the evidence about their illnesses to clarify at least this aspect of the life of the discoverer of America.

"The children described that Columbus was crippled for many months and also had ocular hemorrhages. They say nothing of urethritis is the third symptom, but it was very common among Spanish at the time, so it is almost certain to suffer this disease, "said the doctor

Columbus´s burial

Columbus died in Spain in 1445.He was buried in Seville,but in 1536 María Álvarez,wife of his son moved his remains to the Spanish(now Dominican Republic) where he was buried in 1541 in the chancel of the cathedral that stills inder construction.In two different graves,one near the other,María died in Santo Domingo in 1549.

In 1664 an archbishop of Santo Domingo decided that the urn thaht contained the remains of Columbus was very poor,so he changed to a newer urn.

In 1665, when British naval forces arrived in the waters of the Caribbean, the Spanish authorities took all the stones to identify those buried in fear that the British stole the jewels that were buried with their owners.

When in 1795 the Spanish King Carlos IV weak to France gave half the Spanish island (Haiti), Dominicans feared an invasion and, after a quick exhumation and based solely on tradition to mark the graves, which moved believed to be the remains of Admiral of the Cathedral of Havana.

In 1898, after the defeat by Spain and the United States, the Spanish authorities, before evacuating the island and to prevent those precious relics from falling into enemy hands, decided to move to Spain, where with great demonstrations of respect were buried in Cathedral of Seville.

Excavations in 1877 in the Cathedral of Santo Domingo found a box with human remains and a bullet, which became very strong evidence to confirm that these were the remains of Columbus, when one considers that in a letter he wrote the Catholic monarchs told them that "my wound reopened, " referring to a wound he received and whose bullet was never removed.


-How stuff works?

-Marine`s museum.

-Wikipedia: Governorship and arrest.

-Wikipedia: last years.