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The Life of Christopher Columbus

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J. J. Barry - PB - 516 pages

Christopher Columbus is one of the most saintly and heroic Catholic laymen in the annals of our glorious history, whose true life-story should be known by all Catholics, but especially by Catholic Americans who owe so much to him.
It is very important for Catholics to have a sense of gratitude, and to express it. Columbus Day is still, in this age of secularism and hatred of the Faith, a civil holiday; one that should be celebrated with great reverence, especially by Catholic Americans.
The true story of his life and the glories of his achievement (indeed all of the achievements of that great Catholic nation called Spain), have been under attack for a long time now by the Christ-haters, some of whom even pretend that it might be true that the people of the Americas would have been better off without Columbus’ discoveries and the subsequent events of conquest and evangelization due to his efforts. This book refutes those calumnies.
To recognize and admit that the success of the great voyages of discovery was truly due to the special designs of the providence of God and under His direct protection, was the first impulse of the heart of Columbus. His life of faith and devotion is truly inspirational.
The miraculous nature of Columbus’ life and work is the subject of this extensive biography. Here you will discover the hidden reasons and plans that propelled him on his voyage of discovery, and how God ultimately frustrated some of those plans and made others fruitful.

 

Table of Contents
Dedication • iii
Preface • xiii
INTRODUCTION • 1
Errors inevitable until the present time in regard to the person, the civil status, and the character of Columbus—Sympathies of the Holy See—Prejudices caused by Protestant writers—Exposure of the calumny in regard to Columbus and his wife Doña Beatrix Enriquez—A new history of this hero of Catholicity needed

BOOK ONE
CHAPTER I • 37
Time and place of the birth of Columbus—Status of his family—His childhood and education—His first services on sea—His accidental landing in Portugal
CHAPTER II • 47
Stay of Columbus in Lisbon—His marriage with the daughter of a navigator—His voyages to the Canaries, the Azores, and the African coasts—His propositions of discovery to Genoa, to Venice, to Portugal—Offers of the King—His noble refusal—His return to Italy—His departure for Spain
CHAPTER III • 65
Influence of Isabella on the destinies of Spain
CHAPTER IV • 67
Arrival of Columbus at the Franciscan convent of La Rabida—The friendship between the Father Superior and him—He sets out for the Court
CHAPTER V • 75
Sojourn of Columbus in Cordova—He marries Beatrix Enriquez—The support of the clergy procures for him an audience with the Sovereigns—His useless solicitations—The conferences at Salamanca—He serves at the seige of Baza—The Superior of La Rabida again comes to aid him
CHAPTER VI • 93
The War in Granada—Surrender of the city—The project of Columbus discussed—Deception—Columbus starts for France; the Queen recalls him, and orders preparations to be made for his voyage—The equipment—The Father Superior again assists him—Departure of Columbus with three ships
CHAPTER VII • 113
Events of the voyage—Fears of the sailors—New aspects of the ocean—Variation of the mariners compass—A conspiracy and a revolt—Firmness of Columbus—His prediction of the discovery
CHAPTER VIII • 129
The island of San Salvador—The archipelago of the Lucaya or Bahama islands—Searchings for gold—The island of Cuba—Discovery of Hispaniola—Hospitality of King Guacanagari—First settlement of Europeans in the Antilles
CHAPTER IX • 163
Departure of Columbus for Europe—Navigation distressing—Danger and vows during a tempest—Arrival at the Azores—Perfidy of the Portuguese Governor—A new tempest—Forced landing in Portugal
CHAPTER X • 171
Honors rendered to Columbus by the people and the Court—The Council of State proposes to assassinate him—The King honors and protects him—The Queen desires to see him
CHAPTER XI • 175
Arrival of Columbus at Palos—His reunion with the Father Superior of La Rabida; his stay at the convent—His departure for the Court—His triumphal reception at Barcelona—Action of the Holy See in relation to Columbus—The story of the egg
CHAPTER XII • 201
Preparations for the second expedition—The first bureau of the colonies—The Father Superior of La Rabida embarks with Columbus

BOOK TWO
CHAPTER I • 207
His departure—His arrival at the Canaries—He determines to consecrate to the Blessed Virgin the first lands he will discover, and directs his course to the Caribbees—The second of December he announces that land will be discovered the next day, which becomes a fact—Diego Marquez wanders in the land of the cannibals —Dominica, Guadaloupe, Montserrat, Antigua, Santa Cruz, St. Ursula and the Eleven Thousand Virgins
CHAPTER II • 215
Ruin of the garrison left at Haiti—Guacanagari suspected—Founding of the city of Isabella—Unknown diseases
CHAPTER III • 225
Europeans disappointed in their hopes—Fraud of the purveyors of the marine—Conspiracy against Columbus—Revolt—Enmity of the Vicar-apostolic towards Columbus
CHAPTER IV • 233
Voyage to Cuba—Discovery of Jamaica—The Queen’s Gardens—Periodical storms—He desires to crush the power of the Caribs—Columbus falls into a lethargy —Bull of Partition—Treaty of Tordesillas—Wonderful firmness of Pope Alexander VI
CHAPTER V • 249
Columbus meets his brother Bartholomew—Prompt recovery of the Admiral—He receives the first letter that is sent from Europe—Supplies received—Excesses committed in his absence; odious conduct of Pedro Margarit and of Father Boil—General conspiracy of the caciques—Fidelity of Guacanagari, through regard for Columbus—Cause of the sterility of the missions—Father Boil and Father Boyl
CHAPTER VI • 261
Columbus tries to break the league of the caciques—Caonabo is captured—Combat of two hundred and twenty Spaniards against ten thousand natives—The famine plot

CHAPTER VII • 267
Complaints made to the Court against Columbus and his brothers—Don Diego Columbus comes to Spain—Chicanery of the Board of Marine—The bureaucratic bishop, Don Juan de Fonseca—Diego Columbus returns to Hispaniola—Ingratitude of Aguado—First hurricane
CHAPTER VIII • 275
Gold mines discovered—Departure of Columbus for Spain with the sick and Indians—Romantic devotedness of a cannibal princess for Caonabo—To save provisions the crew want to cast the Indians into the sea, but they are protected by the Admiral—He predicts the very day when they will reach land
CHAPTER IX • 281
Columbus wears publicly the habit of the Franciscans—He goes to Court—At the sight of him the Queen forgets all the accusations brought against him—Measures taken in favor of the colonies—Columbus refuses a principality—He establishes a Majorat, or Mayorazgo—Outrages received when entering on his third voyage

BOOK THREE
CHAPTER I • 297
Columbus takes a new route for his third voyage—Dead calms of the torrid zone—The heat spoils the provisions, etc.—Excessive thirst makes him change his course—Island of Trinidad descried—Discovery of the new continent—The Orinoco—The Gulf of Paria—Happy escape from dangers—Departs for Hispaniola
CHAPTER II • 305
His speculations in relation to the places he had visited—His discovery of the Equatorial Swelling—His ideas about the terrestrial paradise—His discovery of the great Equatorial Current—Great scientific conquests result from this voyage—Arrives at the Island of Beata, where his brother Bartholomew comes to meet him
CHAPTER III • 311
Events that occurred in Hispaniola during the Admiral’s absence—He forbids bad Christians from working in the mines—Discontent of the Castilians—The Adelantado goes to Xaragua—Revolts
CHAPTER IV • 317
Proclamation of the Viceroy—Permission given the malcontents to return to Spain—Promises of pardon—Defection of the troops—He cannot resort to force—Humiliations he has to endure—Carvajal brings Roldan to an arrangement with the Viceroy
CHAPTER V • 323
The chiefs of the rebels cannot control them—Arrival of Ojeda, who comes to patronize the rebels—Simultaneous revolt of the natives—Columbus, abandoned and on the point of flying to sea from his enemies, is miraculously aided—Voluntary submission of the chiefs of the rebels—Order is re-established and prosperity commences
CHAPTER VI •331
The enemies of Columbus in Seville—Secret hostility of Ferdinand—A commissary is appointed—Bobadilla is invested with extraordinary powers —Indians sold as slaves—Isabella annuls the sales, and orders the Indians to be restored to liberty
CHAPTER VII •333
Arrival of Bobadilla at San Domingo—He besieges the fortress and sets the prisoners at liberty—He seizes on the papers and effects of the Admiral, who was then absent —He imprisons Columbus and his two brothers—He sends them, in chains, to Spain
CHAPTER VIII • 341
The Queen grieved at the indignity offered to Columbus—His arrival at Court—Ovando appointed to supersede Bobadilla—Columbus occupies himself with the deliverance of the Holy Sepulcher—He composes religious poems, and a compilation from the Scriptures, entitled Book of the Prophecies
CHAPTER IX •353
The real motives of Columbus for undertaking the fourth voyage—Before his departure he indicates, in an unfinished chart to the Queen, the Isthmus of Panama—Don Bartholomew accompanies him through affection alone—Columbus writes to the Holy Father and informs him of his project to deliver the Holy Sepulcher—His precautions against the enmity of Ferdinand

BOOK FOUR
CHAPTER I • 359
Columbus departs with four ships—He succors the Portuguese fortress of Arcilla, besieged by the Moors—The Governor of Hispaniola opposes his entrance into the port—Columbus predicts a violent tempest, and begs the Governor to delay the fleet that was about to sail for Spain—His prediction is sneered at, but the tempest comes and the fleet perishes—Judgment of God visible—Columbus, with his ships, preserved
CHAPTER II • 373
Columbus discovers terra firma near Cape Caxinas—Atmospheric contrarieties—Sufferings of the crews—A disaster—The island of Quiribi—Search for a strait at Chagres—The isthmus of Panama
CHAPTER III • 379
Columbus has a terrible struggle with the elements—Globular lightnings—A frightful water-spout—Columbus, almost dying, is roused by the cries of the sailors; he invokes his divine master, and conjures the water-spout —He forms a settlement on the Rio Belen—The Indian chief prepares to destroy the Spaniards—The Adelantado captures the chief in the midst of his people
CHAPTER IV • 387
The natives attack the Spanish camp—The crew of a longboat is massacred —The Admiral cannot go to their relief on account of the extreme roughness of the sea—His extreme sadness—He has a miraculous vision—Departure for Hispaniola, and forced landing at Queen’s Gardens —Arrival in Jamaica, where the vessels are stranded in the Bay of Santa Gloria
CHAPTER V • 395
Columbus writes a letter to the Sovereigns, which he cannot send but by a miracle—Diego Mendez undertakes to be the bearer —Mendez is marvelously aided by Providence, and finally arrives in Hispaniola in a canoe—This voyage a truly miraculous one—Revolt of the brothers Porras against the Admiral
CHAPTER VI • 405
The insurgents, in imitation of Diego Mendez, want to pass to Hispaniola—Three times they make the attempt, and as often they are repelled by the sea—They plunder the habitations of the Indians, and try to excite them against the Admiral—The Indians determined to starve out the strangers—Anxiety of Columbus—He addresses himself to God, who inspires him with the idea of utilizing the approaching eclipse of the moon
CHAPTER VII • 413
The rebels attack the Admiral—They are defeated by the Adelantado, who makes their chief a prisoner—Columbus receives some aid, and returns to Hispaniola—He departs for Spain—Successive tempests—Providentially aided, he arrives at San Lucar
CHAPTER VIII • 419
Columbus sojourns in Seville—Sickness and death of Isabella—Unspeakable grief of Columbus at her death—His sickness, poverty, and moral sufferings—From his bed he counteracts an intrigue of Fonseca in Rome—Fruitless reclamations of Columbus before Ferdinand—He nobly rejects an offer made him by the King
CHAPTER IX • 433
His disease becomes worse—He sees his end is approaching—He deposits his will in the hands of the notary of the Court—Errors of historians and biographers in regard to the date of this will, and of the order relative to Doña Beatrix Enriquez—He receives the last sacraments—His last words—He dies on Ascension-Day—Posthumous voyages of Columbus
CHAPTER X •  445
The private life of Columbus—His public life a model for administrators—Providential character of Columbus—His Christian mission and relations with the Church—His spiritual affinities—The legend of Saint Christopher—His affinities with the patriarchs, the prophets, and the apostles—Similitude of Moses and Columbus—Of the sanctity of Columbus—Testimonies of the Most High in favor of His servant—Public miracles of a cross that was erected by Columbus
Addendum • 501

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