There is far more to Columbus's story than this essay tells. He spent one return voyage to Spain in chains, but not really as a prisoner, but in a display of self-pity. He eventually suspected that those islands were not off of Asia, but that he had discovered a new continent. Many books have been written about that seminal seaman, and what this essay presents is not controversial to those who have studied Columbus. Today, most Americans seem to have some passing acquaintance with the real story. That Columbus initiated the genocide of the natives is not really debated, even by his admirers. published a mammoth and hugely popular biography of Columbus in 1828, where he invented, among other myths, the story of Columbus proving that the world was not flat. There is something significant about a novelist writing the first major American work on Columbus.
Christopher Columbus Discovered America Essay Columbus Day: American Holocaust and Slave Trader By Roy Cook. 1492 Columbus' ships appeared off the coast of San Salvador.
Each year, an essay contest is co-sponsored by the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution (NSDAR) and the National Italian American Foundation (NIAF) on a topic related to Christopher Columbus, for high school students throughout the United States. The national winner receives a $1,200 prize and an all-expense-paid trip to Washington to read the essay at the Columbus Day event in Washington. The second place winner receives $500 and the third place winner receives $300.
For many years, Bill Bigelow, an Oregon high school teacher, played out the same scene for his students. He seized a student's purse and announced that the purse was his. He held it. Was possession enough? He removed the lipstick and announced that it was his. He then knew the purses contents; was that enough? His arguments rang hollow, particularly when the students saw his crime in the making. They did not yet know that the student whose purse was seized was the teacher's confederate. When his arguments failed to convince, he then asked, "What if I it?" The students chuckled a little, but rejected that argument as well. Then Bigelow asked, "So why do we say that Columbus 'discovered' America?" In that spirit, this essay will investigate the feat of Christopher Columbus, the original American hero.
Returning to the Spanish court with the six Indian captives who survived the return voyage (most of his captives had already died, and only two would survive a whole year), along with gold nuggets, parrots, and other New World paraphernalia was Columbuss finest hour. He was named Admiral of the Ocean Sea, cut in on 10% of the New Worlds loot, and a second voyage was immediately planned. Before he met with Ferdinand and Isabella, Columbus drafted a memorial regarding future colonization plans. Nearly two-thirds of the document was concerned with how to handle the gold. Inserted between paragraphs about securing the gold was a paragraph about building a church and converting the Indians. The sovereigns agreed with the document in principle and the second voyage was planned. The Spanish names of the sovereigns were Fernando and Isabel, and Columbuss Spanish name was Cristóbal Colón, but this essay uses their anglicized names.
In 2006, I heard from a college professor who had used this essay in his class curriculum for several years. He told me that the information on Columbus in this essay is a shock to about 99% of his pupils. As James Loewen remarked in his seminal , the real hero in American history textbooks is America itself. The story is of the state as hero, always right, forever unstained, marching off to greater feats of glory and righteousness. That is the Big Lie of American "history." That mentality is needed, however, in order to get boys to , to defend our great nation or freedom from "threats" such as and .