Christopher Columbus Explorer
Christopher Columbus was an Italian navigator and explorer that is today best remembered for being the first European to discover the New World. He made those discoveries with a funding provided by the Spanish King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella.
He was born in 1451 as an eldest son of a wool merchant Domenico Colombo. Even from the early ages, he traveled the seas, visiting Iceland in the age of 16. In the following years, he traveled the seas even engaging in the acts of Piracy, but in 1479, he settled in Lisbon where he started working as a cartographer. During that time, he tried several times to procure funding for his mission to find the Indies, but he was refused on multiple occasions by the Spain and France kings. Finally, in 1491 he gained the help of a priest Father Perez who managed to convince Spanish court of the potential gains of such discovery.
King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella finally agreed to a mission, giving him three ships and a crew of 120. On September 8 1472, Columbus sat sail with three ships The Santa Maria, The Nina and The Pinta. After a month, Columbus was almost stopped by a crew’s mutiny but fate smiled on him and on October 12, he spotted land. On the same day, Columbus landed on a Watling's Island in the Bahamas naming it San Salvador. While still believing that he discovered India he continued exploring those waters finding Cuba and Hispaniola (Jamaica). There he establishes first Spanish settlement in the New Word before starting his return journey on January 16 1492.
News of his discovery soon spread across the Europe and on 25 September, he started his second journey to the New World, this time carrying about 1500 men on a fleet of 16 ships. He again visited Hispaniola and Haiti where he established another Spanish settlement. While searching for gold he encountered several hostile native tribes (Carib and Arawak).
Third journey of Columbus happened in 1498 with a goal of further exploring the sea beyond the Caribbean. His six ships sailed to Hispaniola and then went south and for the first time spotting the lands of South America. He explored Trinidad, mouth of Orinoco River, Tobago and Grenada.
During that time, Spanish heard rumors that Columbus and his brothers are planning to become rulers of newfound lands so they sent investigator Francisco de Bobadilla to bring him to justice. Without listening to any explanation, De Bobadilla imprisoned Columbus and brought in chains to Spanish court. There seeing their mistake Spanish King freed him and restored all of his ranks and properties.
On 11 May 1502, Christopher Columbus started his last journey with a fleet of six ships. His mission was to discover a Strait of Malacca that would lead him to the Indian Ocean. After visiting Hispaniola, he continued on west reaching the shores of Central America, mapping the Guanaja, Bay Islands, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama. During that time, he heard from natives of a strait that connects Atlantic and a new vast ocean. During his return to Jamaica, he encountered storm that damaged all of his ships. We waited for more than a year for help to arrive from islands governor Nicolás de Ovando y Cáceres.
He died on 20 May 1506 in Spain, still convinced that he discovered the eastern lands of Asia.