Columbus’s third voyage to the New World was more adventurous and dangerous than the two previous ones, but it greatly contributed to the knowledge of the lands found beyond the sea. The ships were poorly equipped — the crew had been the same Amerigo Vespucci, the Florentine merchant from whom America got its name — and the men were disciplined at night because of the intrigues that the director of colonial affairs, the mighty Bishop Fonseca, was plotting against the admiral. Besides, Spain was on the verge of war against France and had embarked on a great attempt to capture Naples. Neither money nor men flowed into India. Lacking better people, Columbus asked for and got criminals.
At the end of May 1498, Columbus set off with six ships, two of which were 100-ton vessels, four smaller. He steered again to the Canary Islands, but from there sailed further south. because he had heard from the countrymen in the West Indies that there was a large country there. The admiral was still full of tireless investigation, even though he was broken by the strain, suffering from laryngitis and an eye disease. When heading further south, Columbus also kept in mind the prejudice prevailing at the time, that all the most valuable goods come from the hottest countries, where the inhabitants are darker, almost black. He entrusted himself and his ship to the protection of the Holy Trinity and promised to name the first land he saw. One ship was captained by his second wife’s brother, in another, a Genoese relative, who, hearing of his cousin’s promotion, had rushed to Spain to take advantage of his patronage. Columbus sent three of his ships directly across the ocean to Espanola, for he wanted as soon as possible to deliver help to his brother Bartolomeo, whom he had left in such dire straits.
The admiral himself went so far to the south that he could have gone to an island in Cape Viheriä. From there he headed south, to once again cross water that had never yet been cut by a ship. After ten days, we reached the bottom areas of the equator, the so-called »doldrums«, and had therefore already crossed the trade fair zone. If Columbus had known the wind systems of the Atlantic, he would have sailed his old route. The equator separates the northern and southern trade winds as a wide zone where there is no regular wind system. When the sea is calm, when there are sudden storms, rain and thunderstorms are frequent. It got so hot at sea that tar from the ship’s ropes melted onto the deck and the seams of the decks started to open. Four days lasted these scorching heats, then there was a fresh shower of rain and a strong westerly wind. But the journey progressed so slowly that the water began to run out. The admiral therefore finally ordered to head northwest, to get the most direct route to the Lesser Antilles. On the last day of July, the crew had left for thirst, and there was just no land in sight. But in the evening, the admiral’s servant spotted three mountain peaks on the horizon from the mast. Columbus on the spot named the country “Trinidad”, remembering the promise he made to the Trinity. The fact that three hills were visible from it at first made a deep impression on him. He took it as a sign from heaven, thanked God fervently, and all the ships sang the solemn “Salve regina” and other hymns in praise of the Trinity. The little flotilla slowly swam across the waves and approached the new land, whose furthest prow, in the admiral’s opinion, looked like a galley ship and got its name from that. Forests grew on the shores all the way to the water’s edge, and the island looked extremely lovely to the exhausted sailors. On August 1st we went to anchor and filled the barrels with the best water from springs and rivers. From the south loomed another land, which from a distance had the appearance of a long-watered island; it was named “Father Santa”, i.e. the holy island. The name of Trinidad has remained on the maps, but Santa’s name has changed to something else, because it was part of the South American continent, the delta of the Orinoco river. From the south loomed another land, which from a distance had the appearance of a long-watered island; it was named “Father Santa”, i.e. the holy island. The name of Trinidad has remained on the maps, but Santa’s name has changed to something else, because it was part of the South American continent, the delta of the Orinoco river. From the south loomed another land, which from a distance had the appearance of a long-watered island; it was named “Father Santa”, i.e. the holy island. The name of Trinidad has remained on the maps, but Santa’s name has changed to something else, because it was part of the South American continent, the delta of the Orinoco river.
Gulf of Paria.
Columbus sailed into the strait that leads to the Gulf of Paria between Trinidad and the mainland. These waters are still dangerous today because of their peculiar currents. But their strange phenomena were apt to arouse horror in the sailors of that time, as the names given by Columbus show.
In the funnel-shaped strait leading to the Gulf of Paria, large amounts of salt-free water from the Orinoco are pushed along with the sea current. According to Columbus, the water flowed into the bay as fast as the Guadalquivir river in its floods. “When you go further north”, he writes, “you come across rapids that, stretching across the strait, roar horribly. I thought they were caused by the rocks and boulders at the mouth of the strait.” Behind were roaring eddies similar to waves breaking on underwater rocks. The ships anchored, because it was impossible to return, and because of the currents, they did not dare to sail forward. In the middle of the night, a terrible noise began to be heard on the ship’s deck, approaching from the south. Mountain-high waves rushed out of the darkness, threatening to drown the ships. Columbus had once seen much of the sea and its dangers, but I don’t think anything this terrible yet. It was therefore a wave that caught the ships by surprise. »The next morning», he says, »I sent our boat to measure the strait and they noticed that there was 6-7 fathoms of water in it. There were harsh cross currents in the strait, in some parts the water ran like a stream into the strait, and in others away from it. But God gave us a favorable wind and so I happily got through this strait and came to calmer water.» Columbus named it »Serpent’s claw». To the crew’s surprise, the water in the Gulf of Paria was generally salt-free and suitable for drinking. in some parts the water ran like a stream into the strait, in others away from it. But God gave us a favorable wind and so I happily got through this strait and came to calmer water.» Columbus named it »Serpent’s claw». To the crew’s surprise, the water in the Gulf of Paria was generally salt-free and suitable for drinking. in some parts the water ran like a stream into the strait, in others away from it. But God gave us a favorable wind and so I happily got through this strait and came to calmer water.» Columbus named it »Serpent’s claw». To the crew’s surprise, the water in the Gulf of Paria was generally salt-free and suitable for drinking.
From Columbus? surprised, as we already mentioned when explaining the geographical concepts of the Middle Ages (vert. I, p. 254), that water’s saltiness. He rightly concluded that there could very well be a river nearby. But there was so much water that, in his opinion, that river could not have come from any other place than the earthly Paradise. He thought that the flow of water even in the sea was due to the fact that there was a high place on the surface of the earth in those regions, some kind of bump, which corresponded to the mountain of Paradise.
Even more dangerous than »Käärmeen kita» was the strait opening from the northern side of the bay, which was named »Louhikämäinen kita». It was narrower and in the middle of the strait rose steep high rocks like towers. However, Columbus did not land there, but steered westward along the coast, which he heard the inhabitants call the land of Paria. This country was so wonderful with its high mountains visible from the back, that he named a place “Jardine”, i.e. a garden. We stopped at a river estuary to get water and met friendly residents. The more westward one sailed, the more beautiful and better cultivated the land was, the inhabitants rowed their boats to the ships and urged Columbus to visit their king as a guest. They had gold ornaments and strings of pearls on their chests. They indicated that pearls were obtained from the north, relatively close. In the country the Indians were very polite, the chiefs came at the head of the people to receive the guests and escorted them to large, spacious huts, where the guests were invited to sit and were supported with bread, fruit and red and white wine, which was not made from grapes, but from other fruits. Columbus got corn from them and took it with him to bring this American crop to Spain. The inhabitants showed that they could get gold from the back of the mountains, but warned the Spaniards with signs not to go there, because cannibals lived there. which was not made from grapes, but from other fruits. Columbus got corn from them and took it with him to bring this American crop to Spain. The inhabitants showed that they could get gold from the back of the mountains, but warned the Spaniards with signs not to go there, because cannibals lived there. which was not made from grapes, but from other fruits. Columbus got corn from them and took it with him to bring this American crop to Spain. The inhabitants showed that they could get gold from the back of the mountains, but warned the Spaniards with signs not to go there, because cannibals lived there.
Columbus thought Paria was an island, but when the land was finally discovered to be a cape, he had to go back to the Dragon’s Den and through it make his way to the sea. However, the bay was surrounded by such a strong current that he could not return to the same shore, but had to go around the Orinoco’s low estuary beach near Käärmee’s reef and only from there sail along the shore of Trinidad to Luihämäki’s reef. On the 13th of August, the ships sailed through this dangerous strait to the sea without incident. “When I left the Dragon’s claw”, wrote Columbus, “the sea flowed with such great force towards the west, that the ships could one day travel 65 fathoms, although the wind was not strong, but very light, and this convinced me that the sea would rise towards the south and towards the north decreases.
Thoughts on Paradise.
“The holy word”, says Columbus in his thoughts about the natural phenomena he noticed on this coast, “testifies that the Lord created an earthly Paradise and that four rivers flow from the same source in it. I have not yet found a single inscription of the Greeks or Latins, in which the place of Paradise is precisely expressed, and I have not seen it marked on a single map prepared according to reliable sources. Others place it in Ethiopia at the sources of the Nile, but others who have passed through those countries have not noticed the height of the sun, nor the heat of the air, to be in accordance with it. Still others have searched for Paradise in the Canary Islands.»
Columbus appeals to several learned scholastics to prove by their statements that Paradise was in the East. »I do not think that the earthly Paradise is on a high mountain, as we have been taught, but that it is on the bulge of the earth that I mentioned, which even from a distance rises gradually, unnoticed. All the water that fills this bay (Gulf of Paria) comes from there. But I do not believe that that high place is navigable by ship, or that it has water, but on the contrary I consider it impossible to go up there, because I am convinced that without the will of God no one can reach the place where the earthly Paradise is.»
» Here, therefore, there are important signs of the nearness of Paradise, and the opinions of saints and learned doctors agree with my observations. For if that saltless water does not come from the earthly Paradise, then it is an even greater miracle, because I have not heard of such a great and deep river in the whole world.» In another passage, Columbus then states that “if the said river does not come from the earthly Paradise, then it must begin in some vast country to the south, of which we have hitherto had no information.” This sentence shows that Columbus foresaw the existence of the South American continent. Las Casas, the writer of his biography, mentions that in the second part he specifically stated: »If it were a continental land, the learned world would be greatly amazed at it.»
Columbus, however, did not intend to continue his research, but sailed the most direct route from the Dragon’s keel to Espanola, whose conditions worried him. Besides, the food supplies he had to take there were beginning to spoil.
Mayhem in Haiti.
During the admiral’s absence, his brother Bartolomeo had ruled Espanjola with vigor, built fortresses, forced the chiefs of the island to recognize the supremacy of Spain, imposed taxes on them, and the Catholic priests had begun to convert the inhabitants to Christianity with good success. According to the admiral’s orders, he also started building a new capital on the southern shore, because Isabella was found to be too unhealthy. The new capital was named Santo Domingo and it is the oldest surviving settlement founded by the Spanish in the New World. It was not long before Isabella, which was on the north shore, was completely abandoned. The forest grew into the streets, the trees usurped the houses and raised their tops from the middle of their walls. Only ruins have survived to our times, such as the foundations of Columbus’s house, castle and church.
There was a lot of discontent among the Spanish military and the emigrants, because they did not like the harsh discipline of the “adelantado” and did not think they were obliged to obey a foreign uprising. Dissatisfaction eventually reached a rebellion. The mayor of Isabella, Diego Colombo, found himself in a difficult position, when the adelantado happened to be on an expedition in the interior of the island, and when the chief magistrate Roldan placed himself in charge of the rebels. When Bartolomeo returned, Roldan and his party had to retreat from the city, but that did not stop him from continuing his plot in every way. Among other things, he tried to get the Indians on his side by promising to free them from Spanish oppression, and they stopped paying taxes. When the import of food through it ran out, the colony would have been in a hopeless situation, unless, fortunately, help had come from Spain. After regaining his strength, Bartolomeo was again able to discourage the caciques of the island and banish Roldan to a distant corner where he could do no harm. But there he arrested part of the crew of the ship that Columbus had sent from the Canary Islands directly across the ocean, and that happened to detour to the southern coast of Haiti, right where Roldan lived.
Finally the admiral himself arrived. As his first act, he urged all the disaffected to return to Spain on the ships reserved for that purpose. But Roldan had no desire for that. He knew that Columbus arrived without money, could not pay his soldiers, and that the rebellion would spread because of it. The ships therefore prepared to return empty to Spain. According to them, both Columbus and his opponents drew up bitter accusations against each other. In the end, Columbus, in order to bring about peace, made a settlement on very degrading terms. Rolda and his troops were given two ships and Columbus had to give them a certificate with which they could owe their unpaid wages at home. He still had to convince them that they had served the king well in India. But when Columbus couldn’t hand over both promised ships within the deadline, this agreement fell through as well. He had to re-appoint Rolda as chief judge, distribute lands to his men, and even agree that if these demands could not be met, the rebel group had the right to take by force what it had been promised. However, Columbus did not intend to keep this agreement. That’s why he signed it on the ship, because he was not obliged as a governor on land to keep what he had signed on the ship as an admiral. This humiliating treaty, if anything, shows how difficult a position Columbus had found himself in, and how impossible it was for him, as a foreigner and a man without means, to govern a colony, to which many of the most restless elements arrived from the mother country, most of them in the hope, that in a short time they would get rich. These setbacks contributed to Columbus losing favor with the king and queen.
In Spain, his enemies were hard at work. They insisted that Columbus did not regularly send the crown’s share of the profits of the mines, that he had quarreled with Roldan, who had been appointed to his high office through his suggestion, and the queen was especially upset that the admiral had again sent in the last ships a load of slaves instead of gold and spices, in order to obtain funds for the Treasury.