Arago: Exhibits

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Christopher Columbus

Christopher Columbus was born in 1451 in either Italy or Portugal. He spent his earliest years in the Italian port city of Genoa. Columbus became an important historical figure for his discovery of the New World (Dominican Republic) in 1492.

Columbus began his journey to the New World by asking Queen Isabella of Spain to sponsor his voyage to find a new trade route to Asia. The first two times that Columbus asked for support, Queen Isabella said no. On the third try, the answer changed to yes, as long as Columbus worked to spread Christianity at the end of his voyage.

Columbus set sail with a fleet of three ships named Pinta, Nina & Santa Maria in August 1492. The fleet set sight on land in October. Columbus and his crew thought they had found an island off the coast of India.

Columbus encountered many natives on the island, which he felt would make great slaves.

Between 1492 and 1506, Columbus would make three separate voyages between Spain and the "New World."

Master Collection, United States Scott 234, Columbian Exposition
Master Collection, United States Scott 233, Columbian Exposition
Master Collection, United States Scott 231, Columbian Exposition
United States Master Collection, Scott 237, Columbian Exposition