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Christopher Columbus - The Second Voyage

With 17 ships, 1,200 men and boys including sailors, soldiers, colonists, priests, officials, gentlemen of the court, and horses, Columbus set out on another journey to the west. He left the port of Cadiz, Spain, on September 25, 1493 aboard the Mariagalante, his flagship.

His purpose for this trip was to establish colonies in the name of Spain, to check on his crew left behind at the fort of Navidad, and to find great riches in what he believed to be part of the Far East. After another stop at the Canary Islands, the fleet of ships left for Hispaniola and new lands on October 12.

His fleet sighted land on November 3 and discovered the islands of Dominica, Guadeloupe, and Jamaica. He was convinced he'd located the islands just off Japan, but gold and riches were nowhere to be found. On November 27, Columbus reached Hispaniola to look in on his crew at Navidad. After landing, he discovered all his men dead and the fort destroyed. The Spanish crew had mistreated the Indians, and the natives retaliated with violence. Columbus established the first colony of Santo Domingo and became the governor of the island. He and his men eventually conquered the island of Hispaniola after defeating the Indians in battle in 1495.

Rumors reached Ferdinand and Isabella that he governed Indian and Spaniard alike with brutality. Columbus placed his two brothers in charge of the colony and set sail for Spain on March 10, 1496. Arriving in Cadiz on July 31, he prepared to meet with the Spanish monarchs. The king and queen still favored Columbus despite the bad reports.

  See a map Columbus's second voyage.

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