The Second Voyage of Columbus

On his second voyage to the New World, Columbus commanded a large fleet of 17 ships. The goal of the expedition was to explore and settle the new lands found by Columbus. One of the prime goals of the expedition was to Christianize whatever natives they would find. On November 3rd 1493, the expedition made its first landfall on an island. Columbus called that Island "Dominica". Chroniclers of the voyage reported that the islands may not have been the paradise Columbus reported. Dr. Chanca wrote a long letter to municipal council of Seville describing the voyage. In it, he wrote about the Caribs who he called "bestial". Chanca wrote that "these people raid the other islands and carry off the women whom they can take, especially the young and handsome. They keep them in service and have them as concubines. They carry off so many that in fifty houses no males were found and of the captives more than twenty were women. "

During the course of this voyage Columbus explored Guadeloupe, Antigua, Saint Croix. He also landed on Puerto Rico. When he returned to Hispaniola, Columbus discovered that all the Europeans he had left behind during his last voyage had either died or were killed. Columbus established a new settlement. He explored Hispaniola looking for gold and captured natives, which he turned into slaves. Columbus sent to Spain for additional supplies, which he received. His administration of the new colony and his treatment of the natives was widely criticized. A royal commission was appointed to look into some of the charges leveled against Columbus and after placing his brother Bartolome in charge as governor, he sailed back to Spain, arriving on June 11, 1496.

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