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Christopher Columbus   By: (1875-1941)

Book cover

First Page:

TRUE STORIES OF GREAT AMERICANS

CHRISTOPHER COLUMBUS

BY

MILDRED STAPLEY

Whatever can be known of earth we know, Sneered Europe's wise men, in their snail shells curled; No! said one man in Genoa, and that No Out of the dark created the New World.

JAMES RUSSELL LOWELL

CONTENTS

CHAPTER I COLUMBUS BEFRIENDED BY ROYALTY

CHAPTER II THE YOUTH OF COLUMBUS

CHAPTER III "LANDS IN THE WEST"

CHAPTER IV THE SOJOURN IN MADEIRA

CHAPTER V A SEASON OF WAITING

CHAPTER VI A RAY OF HOPE

CHAPTER VII ISABELLA DECIDES

CHAPTER VIII OFF AT LAST!

CHAPTER IX "LAND! LAND!"

CHAPTER X NATIVES OF THE NEW LAND

CHAPTER XI THE RETURN IN THE NINA

CHAPTER XII DAYS OF TRIUMPH

CHAPTER XIII PREPARING FOR A SECOND VOYAGE

CHAPTER XIV FINDING NEW ISLANDS

CHAPTER XV ON A SEA OF TROUBLES

CHAPTER XVI THE THIRD VOYAGE

CHAPTER XVII A RETURN IN DISGRACE

CHAPTER XVIII PUBLIC SYMPATHY

CHAPTER XIX THE LAST VOYAGE

CHAPTER XX THE COURAGE OF DIEGO MENDEZ

CHAPTER XXI "INTO PORT"

CHRISTOPHER COLUMBUS

CHAPTER I

COLUMBUS BEFRIENDED BY ROYALTY

Spain, as every one knows, was the country behind the discovery of America. Few people know, however, what an important part the beautiful city of Granada played in that famous event. It was in October, 1492, that Columbus first set foot on the New World and claimed it for Spain. In January of that same year another territory had been added to that same crown; for the brave soldier sovereigns, Ferdinand and Isabella, had conquered the Moorish kingdom of Granada in the south and made it part of their own country.

Nearly eight hundred years before, the dark skinned Moors had come over from Africa and invaded the European peninsula which lies closest to the Straits of Gibraltar, and the people of that peninsula had been battling fiercely ever since to drive them back to where they came from. True, the Moor had brought Arabian art and learning with him, but he had brought also the Mohammedan religion, and that was intolerable not only to the Spaniards but to all Europeans. No Christian country could brook the thought of this Asiatic creed flourishing on her soil, so Spain soon set to work to get rid of it.

This war between the two religions began in the north near the Bay of Biscay whither the Christians were finally pushed by the invaders. Each century saw the Moors driven a little farther south toward the Mediterranean, until Granada, where the lovely Sierra Nevadas rise, was the last stronghold left them. Small wonder, then, that when Granada was finally taken the Spanish nation was supremely happy. Small wonder that they held a magnificent fete in their newly won city in the "Snowy Mountains." The vanquished Moorish king rode down from his mountain citadel and handed its keys to Ferdinand and Isabella. Bells pealed, banners waved, and the people cheered wildly as their victorious sovereigns rode by.

And yet, so we are told by a writer who was present, in the midst of all this rejoicing one man stood aside, sad and solitary. While all the others felt that their uttermost desire had been granted in acquiring the Moorish kingdom, he knew that he could present them with a far greater territory than Granada if only they would give him the chance. What were these olive and orange groves beside the tropic fertility of the shores he longed to reach, and which he would have reached long ere this, he told himself regretfully, if only they had helped him! What was the Christianizing of the few Moors who remained in Spain compared with the Christianizing of all the undiscovered heathen across the Atlantic!

And so on that eventful January 2, 1492, when a whole city was delirious with joy,

"There was crying in Granada when the sun was going down, Some calling on the Trinity some calling on Mahoun. Here passed away the Koran there in the Cross was borne And here was heard the Christian bell and there the Moorish horn... Continue reading book >>




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