Christopher Columbus

Going back to the beginning of our history, we all remember the little verse that said, “In 14 Hundred and 92, Columbus sailed the Ocean Blue.”
Christopher Columbus was born in Genoa, Italy in 1451. He was a ship captain and explorer who dreamed great dreams of far off places. He studied all available maps and charts of his day and came to the conclusion that if he sailed west he would ultimately reach Japan, China, or India. He estimated the distance about 2500 miles.
Columbus had no idea that the great continents of North and South America stood in his path, and he sadly underestimated the distance, which is about 10,000 miles. No one in Italy was interested in financing this bold journey, so next we find Columbus in Spain seeking financial backing. He had to wait nine months before he could see Queen Isabella. The Queen listened as Columbus laid out his grand plan to explore the farther reaches of the great ocean. The Queen agreed to appoint a Commission to study the plan.
Now here began the test of the great admiral’s fortitude—for almost six years Columbus found himself in a continual battle against prejudice, indifference, and procrastination. Columbus, a proud and sensitive man, who knew his plan was sound, had to endure the jests and ridicule of the Spanish people who considered him some kind of a nut. He patiently awaited the report of the Queen’s Commission that for four long years had been studying the project.
The report was unfavorable—it said, “The plan was based on weak foundations and success was uncertain, in fact, impossible.” The Queen was sorry—she told Columbus she might reconsider at some later date. Columbus waited another year then contacted the Queen by letter. She replied, inviting Columbus to her court and sending him a generous gift which he used to buy himself some decent clothes and a mule.
Columbus appeared at the court of the Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand—but again it was bad news for Columbus. The Royal Council rejected the plan because of the demands made by Columbus. He wanted the title of Admiral, he wanted to be made a nobleman, and he wanted himself and his heirs to be given 10% of all trade generated by his discoveries. The King and Queen gave Columbus their final answer—no deal.
Columbus saddled his mule, packed his maps in his saddle bags, and headed out of town. In the meantime, the keeper of the King’s Purse told Queen Isabella that he thought he could personally finance the project. Queen Isabella became excited and pledged her crown jewels to assist with the expense if necessary. The Queen sent a messenger posthaste to overtake Columbus and bring him back.
You know the rest of the story. Soon three small ships set sail on that eventful journey that was to discover a new world. On October 12, 1492, Columbus and his entire crew landed on an island just off the coast of Florida and there, on their knees, rendered up their thanks to God for their safe journey across the unknown sea.The great Admiral rose from his knees and named the island “San Salvador,” which translates “Holy Savior.” The history of America had begun with a sacred religious service and a nation under God was in the making.

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