A quote says "Denying the Truth doesn't change the facts". And in school books, so many dark parts of history are concealed or even distorted. It 's natural, the cruel truth is never easy to be said. But, how to honor history if so many things are based to lies? As the anniversary of Columbus' Day passed, it's important for everyone to remember that Christopher Columbus was not exactly the man who we have been told as many myths connected to him are overturned by the facts.
1. Columbus never once reached the mainland US.
Christopher Columbus didn't actually discover America. The closest he got was Cuba, on his first voyage. On his other three voyages, Columbus reached Central America and the island of Hispaniola (now Haiti and the Dominican Republic). It was on April, 1513 when Europeans first set foot on the mainland US with Juan Ponce de Leon sailed to Florida from Puerto Rico. A map of Columbus' 4 voyages, shown below, presents exactly where Columbus actually disembarked.
2. Columbus misrepresented the natives who rescued him as cannibals.
Upon his arrival to the Bahamas, Santa Maria (Columbus's ship) was wrecked. The native population responded working for hours to rescue the crew and their cargo. Despite the natives' kindness, Columbus saw on them pure profit that could redeem by enslaving them. In his journal, Columbus wrote, ".With fifty men they can all be subjugated and made to do what is required of them."
In addition, Columbus groundless described the indigenous population as cannibals, when he wrote in 1493: "(They are) evil and I believe they are from the island of Caribe, and that they eat men."
3. Columbus' sailors were rapists and murderers.
There are many disgusting testimonials about the rapes and the other brutalities conducted against the native population by Columbus's men. Michele de Cuneo, a wealthy aristocrat and close friend to Columbus wrote: "While I was in the boat I captured a very beautiful Carib woman, whom the said Lord Admiral gave to me, and with whom, having taken her into my cabin, she being naked according to their custom, I conceived desire to take pleasure. I wanted to put my desire into execution but she did not want it and treated me with her finger nails in such a manner that I wished I had never begun." "But seeing that, (to tell you the end of it all), I took a rope and thrashed her well, for which she raised such unheard of screams that you would not have believed your ears. Finally we came to an agreement in such manner that I can tell you that she seemed to have been brought up in a school of harlots."
One of the few men accompanying Columbus who eventually grew disgusted with his actions was Bartolome de Las Casas who eventually became a friar, committed to social justice for indigenous populations. In one of de Las Casas' letters, he describes the monstrous actions of the colonists toward the natives, including nursing mothers and their babies. "They attacked the towns and spared neither the children nor the aged nor pregnant women nor women in childbed, not only stabbing them and dismembering them but cutting them to pieces as if dealing with sheep in the slaughter house," de Las Casas wrote. "They laid bets as to who, with one stroke of the sword, could split a man in two or could cut off his head or spill out his entrails with a single stroke of the pike. They took infants from their mothers' breasts, snatching them by the legs and pitching them headfirst against the crags or snatched them by the arms and threw them into the rivers, roaring with laughter.
4. Columbus massacred over 250,000 natives for gold.
Columbus secured sponsorships for his voyages from King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella with the promise of gold. So when he was pressured to deliver, he enslaved the native populations and forced them to work to the mines in an exhausting way. In A People's History of the United States, Howard Zinn described the gradual genocide of indigenous populations in the Bahamas, saying they were "worked at a ferocious pace."
5. Columbus sold children into sex slavery.
Nothing more to say. Columbus and his men reached the limits of the ultimate perversion as he reveals of how he provided sex slaves to his men, some of whom were small children, for a high price. "A hundred castellanos are as easily obtained for a woman as for a farm, and there are plenty of dealers who go about looking for girls; those from nine to ten are now in demand, and for all ages a good price must be paid," Columbus wrote.
6. Columbus fed natives to dogs
In the book A Dog's History of America, author Mark Derr describes the inhuman hobby of Columbus and his men: they used dogs to hunt natives instead of foxes calling it "the monteria infernal". They were also organizing fights between the natives and dogs, Coliseum style. A native would be armed with nothing but a stick and stripped naked, and colonists would entertain themselves by watching the dogs maul the natives. The natives grew to fear being thrown to the dogs as the worst form of death.
7. Columbus was brought back to Spain as a prisoner, but was immediately pardoned.
When the atrocities committed by Columbus and his men along with his mismanagement of the island's resources were revealed, he was stripped of his official title as governor of Hispaniola and was recalled back to Spain in 1500. But King Ferdinand liked Columbus so much that he not only pardoned him, but funded Columbus' 4th voyage laying the foundations for the eradication of an entire indigenous population. The facts can't change but the truth can be restored by honoring Native Americans at Indigenous Peoples' Day (every second Monday in October) established by various states and municipalities.