Only February. On the 6th, the admiral could send his brother Bartolomeo to the Veragua river on a reconnaissance trip, accompanied by 68 men. Bartolomeo went with his troops to the village of Quibiani, the “kasik” of the region. The chief, who was painted and naked according to the custom of the country, came with a large unarmed crowd to meet the guests. On the spot, he agreed to accompany the strangers to the gold site and gave them three guides. Bartolomeo sent some of his men back to protect the boats, some he took with him to the gold fields. Gold was found in all the rivers, under the roots of trees, under stones and in the sand. Then the guides took Bartolomeo to a high mountain and showed them places and villages, especially to the west, where there was much more gold. It was later found out that this was a fraud. The cunning Quibian had shown the land of the neighboring king, to incite the Spaniards against him, and reap the fruits himself when the war broke out. Quibiani’s own country was the gold-richest region of the entire isthmus, but he had left his best gold places unshown. Here, too, rumors were heard of a great cultured people who were supposed to live behind the isthmus on the shore of another sea. Columbus decided, after receiving this information, to establish a colony there. Rooms were built on the banks of the Bele river and Bartolomeo decided to stay and lead the colony himself. One ship had to be left to him, the others were for Columbus to return to Spain to seek help. who was supposed to live behind the isthmus on the shore of another sea. Columbus decided, after receiving this information, to establish a colony there. Rooms were built on the banks of the Bele river and Bartolomeo decided to stay and lead the colony himself. One ship had to be left to him, the others were for Columbus to return to Spain to seek help. who was supposed to live behind the isthmus on the shore of another sea. Columbus decided, after receiving this information, to establish a colony there. Rooms were built on the banks of the Bele river and Bartolomeo decided to stay and lead the colony himself. One ship had to be left to him, the others were for Columbus to return to Spain to seek help.
But very soon the relations with the natives were broken, I guess through the arbitrary behavior of the Spaniards. Quibian secretly took steps to destroy the aliens.
Columbus’s good friend Diego Mendez, a brave and loyal man who had been the admiral’s secretary, first began to suspect the hostile intentions of the inhabitants. Bravely, he decided to visit the village of Quibian to see for himself how things were.
On the way he saw many armed men and heard that they had been summoned to burn the ships and kill all the whites. Nevertheless, Mendez went to the village together with a boy. Thousands of soldiers were gathered there, all in full battle gear. He did not get to hear the chief’s words, on the contrary, the chief’s son attacked him, but Mendez appeased him by giving him a comb and a mirror, and Mendez’s companion combed the young chief’s hair. Mendez was allowed to return to the settlement in peace, where he told what he had seen and urged on the spot to attack the village. Bartolomeo Colombo immediately selected 50 of his best men, marched to Quibiani’s huts, and captured the cacique with his whole family. The next night, however, the kasik managed to escape and ordered the attack to begin on the spot.
In the meantime, the admiral had gotten three of his ships from the estuary of the stream across the strait to the sea. Hardly had he disappeared from sight than the natives began to harass the settlement in large numbers. Bartolomeo Colombo fought himself, spear in hand, in the ranks of the first. The Indians were driven back into the woods, but there they hid themselves and imperceptibly ambushed the settlement. Fortunately, the admiral had not yet set out to set off. He sent a boat ashore once more to take on water and take the last messages to those who remained. However, the boat had hardly made it across the stream into the river, when the natives, shooting arrows from all sides, surrounded it with their warships. The pilot of the boat fell and so did everyone else, except one. Only one was saved by swimming to the shore, hid in the forest there and crept into the colony without anyone noticing, where he brought information about the sneak attack. The mood in the colony was depressed and the men insisted that they had to get away with the ship. But the position was so dangerous that escape no longer seemed possible. At first, the built rooms were abandoned because they were too close to the forest, and a shelter of boats, barrels and boards was built on the seashore, behind which it was decided to fight to the last man.
When the boat was not heard of returning after two days, the admiral began to worry. Most of the Indian prisoners had jumped into the sea and swam ashore, and those who could not had committed suicide. When no information arrived for a few days, bad forebodings began to fill Columbus’s mind. In his dream he then heard a voice, — Columbus thought on many occasions that he heard these apparitions — and its speech was so clear that he could even write the words in his memory. »O you weak and slow believer and servant of your God, the God of all. Ever since you were a child, he has kept you under his ever-careful care. He gave you the keys to the locks of the ocean, which were closed with such mighty chains, and many countries were obedient to you, and through Christendom you received honor and fame. Turn to him and confess your error, — his mercy is boundless. Your old age doesn’t stop you from achieving great things. You cry for help uncertainty. Answer who has caused you so much grief and so often. God or the world? God never fails to fulfill the promises he has made, and he does not say, when a service has been done to him, that it was not pleasing to his intentions, or that he has looked at the matter in a different light. And he does not allow suffering for the sake of showing his strength through it. His works are according to his words and with interest he fulfills everything he has promised. I have told you what God has done for you and what he is doing for all people. Even now he shows you the reward of such great efforts and the hardships seen in the service of others and endured. Live in fear, but trust!” These words again gave birth to a spark of hope in the depressed mind of Columbus.
But he had only one boat left, and it was thought he would send it, because it too might have been lost. At this painful moment a young sailor offered to swim ashore if he was rowed closer to the shore, in order to try to reach the settlement and see how things were there. The daring attempt was successful and the man returned with news of the sad fate of the previous boat and the desperate state of the colony. But the admiral had to wait in his leaky ships for several days before the weather was so favorable that he could send a boat into the river. There a canoe was tied to its two sides, and on this raft both men and goods were then rowed to the ships. But the fourth ship had to be left afloat.
Shipwreck in Jamaica.
Three ships then left Belen and reached Puerto Bello again on the 20th of April. 1503. There was still one ship to be abandoned as completely unseaworthy, two leaky ones were left to continue the journey. We sailed again following the Panama position and got further than last time, despite the crew’s dissatisfaction. In the end, however, we turned to the sea when we couldn’t find the expected strait. The winds and sea current drove the ships so far off course that they didn’t even get to Haiti, where they had intended, but ended up on the coast of Cuba. From there they were no longer able to sail against the wind to Isabella, they were in such bad condition. Columbus therefore decided to land in Jamaica. The weather was beautiful, the trip was successful, but on reaching Jamaica the admiral drove both his ships abreast to a shallow sandy spot on the north shore of the island. The ships were leaking so much that even though all the pumps had been pumped out with all the pumps and water had been driven into the sea with all the containers that could be used, the water still rose after rising. The ships sank to the bottom and silted into the sand, so that only the deck remained above the water. Huts were built on the deck and in those deck cabins you could live and use the ships as fortresses in case the inhabitants of the land started harassing the expedition. The ships were roped tightly together so that they prevented each other from capsizing. that even though all the pumps had been pumped with all the pumps and water had been driven into the sea with all the vessels that could be used, the water still rose after rising. The ships sank to the bottom and silted into the sand, so that only the deck remained above the water. Huts were built on the deck and in those deck cabins you could live and use the ships as fortresses in case the inhabitants of the land started harassing the expedition. The ships were roped tightly together so that they prevented each other from capsizing. that even though all the pumps had been pumped with all the pumps and water had been driven into the sea with all the vessels that could be used, the water still rose after rising. The ships sank to the bottom and silted into the sand, so that only the deck remained above the water. Huts were built on the deck and in those deck cabins you could live and use the ships as fortresses in case the inhabitants of the land started harassing the expedition. The ships were roped tightly together so that they prevented each other from capsizing. that the inhabitants of the country would start harassing the expedition. The ships were roped tightly together so that they prevented each other from capsizing. that the inhabitants of the country would start harassing the expedition. The ships were roped tightly together so that they prevented each other from capsizing.
The rescue of the shipwrecked now depended on the goodwill of the inhabitants. In the very first days, these arrived on the ships, along with all kinds of foodstuffs that the Spaniards bought with their trinkets. Diego Mendez negotiated with the chiefs of the island and arranged for a regular supply of food. Then he traveled to the eastern end of the island and made an alliance of friendship there with a mighty prince, who built him a good canoe and undertook to send all kinds of provisions to the ships. Muona began to arrive in abundance and the admiral drew up precise instructions, the purpose of which was to prevent his people from committing violence and thereby angering the inhabitants of the country. Then he bought ten canoes for his people to use.
Mendez’s daring boat trip.
But it was more difficult to figure out how to get the word out to Espanjola about the dangerous condition of the shipwrecked. The admiral thought about it a lot and finally invited the reliable Diego Mendez to his speech. “My son,” he said, “not one of these, except you and me, has any idea of how great a danger we are really in.” There are few of us, on the other hand there are many country dwellers, and there is no trust in their justice. They can easily destroy us whenever they see fit. I have thought about the means of salvation. Someone ought to go to Espanjola in the canoe you have procured, and buy there a ship by which we may be rescued from this dangerous position. Tell me what you think.” Mendez replied that he understood the danger, but that he doubted hardly anyone could cross a stormy sea (190 km wide) with a flimsy canoe. However, the admiral did not think it was impossible, he urged Mendez himself to go on the journey. This evasively replied that if all the most important actions were always entrusted to him, the others might become jealous, and suggested that the matter should be presented to the whole crew. If no one else would go, then he agreed to try his luck. The admiral did so and called for the waiters to report, but all fell silent. That’s when Mendez stepped forward and announced that he was leaving. The admiral embraced him and soon he was on his way. He attached a keel to the bottom of the canoe, raised the sides and tarred it. Then he set the mast and sail on it. At the eastern end of the island, however, Mendez was captured by hostile residents. But he managed to escape with his boats and returned, after which Bartolomeo Colombo with a considerable body of men went to the east end to protect his departure. After waiting a few days, the sea seemed calm enough. Mendez was accompanied by a Genoese who was supposed to return from Espanola on the purchased ship, while Mendez had to travel further to Spain to take the admiral’s report on new discoveries and a request for help to the royal couple. Another canoe was obtained from the tip of Jamaica, and five Indians volunteered to row each. who had to return from Espanjola on the purchased ship, whereas Mendez had to travel further to Spain, to take the admiral’s report on new discoveries and a request for help to the royal couple. Another canoe was obtained from the tip of Jamaica, and five Indians volunteered to row each. who had to return from Espanjola on the purchased ship, whereas Mendez had to travel further to Spain, to take the admiral’s report on new discoveries and a request for help to the royal couple. Another canoe was obtained from the tip of Jamaica, and five Indians volunteered to row each.
One clear night they said goodbye to Bartolomeo and his men and set out for the open sea. The next day we rowed along the calm sea, the Indians always jumping into the sea to cool off. On the second night, the rowers were already so tired and thirsty that Mendez and his companions raised the sails. But on the second day there was still no land in sight. Both Europeans took their turn at the oars, but soon became exhausted, for the water was scarce. The sun was scorching hot and by noon the Indians had lost all their energy. The two white men gave them now and then a drink from their own bottles, and thus kept them alive until the evening grew cooler and the strength of the rowers somewhat refreshed. Mendez headed for a small island, which he knew to be in the sea off the western tip of Espanjola. Even after nightfall, no land could be seen.
But as the moon rose, Mendez noticed that only half of it was visible, even though it was a full moon, and he guessed that the other half was behind the island. The Indians now got more abundant water, land was pointed out to them, and exerting their last strength they got the canoes rowed to the shore. The island was a deserted rock, but there was rainwater left in the holes of the rock, the vessels could be filled and the exhausted men could rest. But one of the Indians died in the afternoon. In the evening, we continued our journey and reached the western tip of Haiti, Cape Tiburon. The Italian now planned to return to Jamaica, but the Indians no longer agreed to go across the sea a second time.
That’s why we boarded all the countries and Mendez met Ovando in the southern parts of the island. However, this did not believe him, but thought that Columbus had invented a plot through which he intended to get to the island to usurp power, and did not send help. He was a parakeet in the woods, who in terms of cruelty won everything that had happened in Haiti up to that point. He had lured all the chiefs of the southern part of the island to the holdings, had them tied to statues in the middle of the holdings, and then set the holding house on fire. After this, the massacre began, in which the elderly, women and children were not spared. When the province of Xaragua was thus “pacified”, the same slaughter was continued in other parts of the island. Thus, the benevolent natives of Haiti were quickly exterminated.
Tough time in Jamaica.
In the meantime, the position of the shipwrecked in Jamaica began to become more and more hopeless. Diseases began to wreak havoc, male discipline loosened. A conspiracy was formed to capture Columbus, take his canoe, and then follow Mendez to Espanola. In January 1504, the conspiracy erupted into rebellion. The admiral and his party were unable to resist the rebels, they took as much goods from the ship as they could carry and the admiral’s ten canoes and left for the eastern end of the island. From there they tried many times to go to sea, but each time they had to return back. At last they gave up the whole idea and began to roam the island, robbing and beating the natives. The admiral with his brother remained in his camp, consoling those who had remained with him either through favor or sickness. But the mischief of the rebels soon turned the natives against all foreigners, the importation of food supplies began to run out and famine threatened. The admiral came up with a plot that got him out of trouble. He knew from the star book of Regiomontanus that in February there was a total eclipse of the moon at the appointed time. He sent word to the most important chiefs of the region and said that God was angry with them when they were starving after his chosen one, and had decided to punish them for it. That same night God showed them his sign and darkened the moon. Then when the eclipse began at the appointed time, the Indians were terrified and came to the ships, complaining and carrying provisions, to pray to Columbus to appease the wrath of God. Columbus waited until the eclipse was near its end and then said they were forgiven.
In March, eight months had passed since Mendez’s departure. Columbus began to fear that he had drowned on the way. Even those who had remained loyal until then began to rebel. But late one evening at the end of April, a ship was seen at sea. Great jubilation overcame the shipwrecked. However, the joy was premature. The ship stopped outside the harbor and one boat just rowed ashore to bring a letter from Ovando and a bottle of wine and a roast as a gift to the admiral. Then the boat on the spot left and the ship, commanded by one of Roldan’s former men-at-arms, sailed away. Ovando had chosen him for this job precisely because he knew he was one of the admiral’s bitterest enemies. In the letter, Ovando complained that he had no idle ships. Apparently he had sent this to spy in the hope that the admiral and his men would have already perished. But the benefit of this Catalan deed was that Columbus must now have known that Mendez had reached Espanola; he could now expect with better confidence that help would eventually come. With this information he consoled even his bitterly disappointed men. He sent the same message to the rebels, but Porras, who led them, did not tell his men, but sent back a terse reply and set off with his troops to march against Maima, where Columbus’s camp was, to take the admiral and his brother prisoner. Columbus himself was too ill to set out, but he commissioned his brother Bartolomeo to persuade the rebels with beautiful words. Bartolomeopa was not the man who was satisfied with beautiful words. With surprising courage and vigor, he defeated the entire rebellion. After gathering all the men who were able to carry a weapon due to illness, he set out to meet Porra. At the admiral’s command he first, though reluctantly, offered a reconciliation. Porras, confident of his superiority, made no reply, but instead, with his most loyal men, attacked Bartolomeo head-on, whom he feared and hated much more than the admiral. But the brave adelantado was a more skilled gunner than them. With three blows, he felled three attackers. Porras drove his sword so deep into Bartolomeo’s leather shield that he couldn’t get it off, Bartolomeo quickly pushed him into the back and tied the man’s hands and feet before anyone could stop him. The other rebels, having lost their chief, fled in all directions. Porras was taken to the camp as a prisoner and ordered by the admiral to save his life. A couple of days later, on May 20, a letter arrived from the other rebels apologizing. Columbus pardoned them, only Porras and his brother remained prisoners.
Finally, at the end of June in 1504, two sails went to sea.
One had finally been rented by Mendez, the other had been
sent by Ovando forced by the anger that had arisen in the colony. Thus
, the castaways were finally saved from their dangerous position.
Most had already lost hope and the joy was now even greater.
Columbus was saddened to hear of the atrocities that took place in Spain.
It took three creative weeks before we got to Santo Domingo. There,
Columbus received a joyful reception on behalf of the colony, and
even Ovando did not dare to publicly show his envy and hatred.
Most of Columbus’ men stayed in Spain. When they did not receive the wages due to them from the government, Columbus distributed what he had of his own funds to the business and then, after staying a month in Haiti, left for Spain, accompanied by his son and brother. The journey was slowed down by heavy storms, once the main mast was lost, another time the rear mast, but luckily we reached the mouth of the Guadalquivir at the beginning of November.
That was the end of Columbus’s life’s work. Although there were still many big things in his mind, especially the settlement of Veragua’s golden land, but his strength had run out. From Seville, being alone for a year, he wrote a letter to Queen Isabella, but the queen, his best favourite, died before the letter arrived. Before her death, the queen had heard with horror about Ovando’s atrocities in Haiti. He had asked King Ferdinand to dismiss him and send another governor, but the cold-hearted Ferdinand did not fulfill this request, as Ovando sent a large amount of gold. When he had nearly exterminated the inhabitants of Espanjola, Ferdinand allowed him to plunder slaves from the Bahamas to enslave on the island.