Columbus and His Voyages III

Program Information

Series: A Moment in Time
Duration: 00:04:01
Year Produced: 2010
Description:

In 1492 after years of trying, Christopher Columbus finally received the go-ahead for his western voyage. It was the first of four.

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Transcript

Lead: In 1492 after years of trying, Christopher Columbus finally received the go-ahead for his western voyage. It was the first of four.

Intro: A Moment In Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Because its destination was unknown, the first voyage was the most harrowing. After over two months at sea the three tiny ships landed, probably on Watling Island in the Bahamas. They explored Hispaniola and the southern coast of Cuba, left 39 men in the first Spanish settlement in the New World, and sailed for home in triumph.

During the second and third voyages, 1493 and 1498 respectively, Columbus explored the Lesser Antilles and Puerto Rico, briefly touched the northeastern coast of South America at the Orinoco estuary, and discovered Jamaica. His exploring came to an abrupt halt in August 1498 on the third trip when he returned to Santa Domingo to find the colony near civil war. He was not a competent administrator and finally called for judicial help but, when the royal officials arrived, Columbus clashed with them and was sent home in chains.

The fourth voyage, 1500-1504, ended in disaster. He went as far west as Panama, but lost his entire fleet and was marooned on Jamaica for more than a year. Unwelcome in Santa Domingo, the European capital of the hemisphere he had discovered, Columbus took ship, this time as a passenger, turned his back on the world he still--even at this late date--believed to be Asia and sailed for Spain. Until his death in 1506, the old Admiral successfully battled for his financial claims but lost forever his titles, Governor and Viceroy.

Next time: The problem of Christopher Columbus.

The producer of A Moment In Time is Steve Clark. At the University of Richmond, this is Dan Roberts.