In fourteen hundred and ninety-three, Columbus stole all he could see

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The Myths of Christopher Columbus Debunked
“In fourteen hundred and ninety-three, Columbus stole all he could see.” ~ Traditional verse, updated
Myth: He was the only man to believe the earth was round.

Reality: Most educated men of Columbus’s time believed this.

Myth: His journey to the New World took over two months.

Reality: The trip took just about a month exactly.

Myth: The ships he was given were not adequate to make the trip.

Reality: The Nina, Pinta, and Santa Maria were perfect for the journey.

Myth: Columbus’s sailors were close to mutiny when they found the New World.

Reality: The sailors were getting on each other’s nerves due to the close quarters.

Myth: Christopher Columbus was the best sea navigator of his time.

Reality: The Pinzon Brothers who captained the Nina and Pinta were actually more experienced sea captains than Columbus.

Myth: Columbus had to endure rough seas to get the New World.

Reality: The journals of Columbus himself showed that they enjoyed calm waters.

Myth: Columbus died a poor and lonely man in disgrace in Spain.

Reality: Columbus did die in Spain, but he was not poor. He left his heirs with a fair amount of money and the title, “Admiral of the Ocean Sea.”

Questions that have been presented as fact:

-We are not sure where he was born (Genoa, Italy).

-We are not sure he was Italian (no letters written in Italian).

-He may have originally been Jewish before he converted to Christianity.

-We are not sure of his family’s social status (rich/poor weaver).

-We are not positive whether Columbus was looking for Japan, India and/or Indonesia.


-He started the tradition of westerners taking land, wealth, and labor from indigenous peoples that often resulted in the near extermination of those peoples. He provided a blueprint for how this was to be done by his actions.

-He started the transatlantic slave trade that would result in a racial underclass.

-He is remembered every October 13th in the United States on his day, Columbus Day (there is no such day in Mexico).

-Many places in America have been named in his honor from Columbus, Ohio to our nation’s capital, the District of Columbia.

-The time period before Columbus “discovered” America is known in historical terms as “pre-Columbian.”

“I could conquer the whole of them with fifty men and govern them as I pleased.” - CC

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