Creative Nonfiction Historical Fiction Indigenous

This story contains themes or mentions of sexual violence.


 This story has sensitive topics such as death, language, and sexual violence. Discretion is advised.

In the year of our lord, Anno Domini, May 20th, 1506. 

This might be my last journal as I lay here on my death bed. The Chaplin has just left, and I am not feeling my best. I was informed by the doctors that I had gout and things did not look favorable for me. This infernal disease took some of my crew.  I regret that I did not allot more time to spend with my family. I loved being at sea and this was a respectful living for a man. I was thereby titled the Admiral of the Ocean Sea. Not only was this a boost to my honor. My discoveries of the New World gave me a good standing before the Spanish Court. 

I was sailing and instead of being a man and admitted that I lost my way to find a westward route to India. This route would also lead me to China and Japan and an island full of delicate spices. I did get spices such as chili, all spices, pepper, cocoa and whatever were available for me. I admit I did not discover the East Indies, and this is like an albatross hanging around my neck. 

I had the devil of a time with major setbacks on my journeys. The Pinta's rudder suffered sabotage and was broken. The ingenious men under my tutelage managed to repair the rudder in the Gran Canaria. However, on October 10 some of my crew held a mutiny and I had to quell these wretched, accursed men who wanted to abandon the search and return empty-handed to Spain. I am still awash with anger as those infernal men fell asleep which led to the grounding of the Santa Maria. Those good-for-nothing men. Well, I be bound! 

Look at my crosses! It's a wonder I made it out of all these atrocities. Woe is me! Believing that I would find gold for my Queen Isabella in San Salvador, I must admit the small trinkets I got, some of the indigenous which I gave them for slavery, and a few charmed words saved me. I was always counted as having a silver tongue. My words could soften the heart and grant me favors and treasures. 

I tried my best to bring back enough gold for Queen Isabella, but La Navidad was nearly, but all destroyed.  The moors had made light of my goods and gave me nothing but fruit and vegetables. It was my thought that they hid the gold from me and my crew. 

I dare say I was being blamed for the entirety and countless rumors that marked me as a slaughterer and a ravisher. A man without any scruples. This caused me to be in bad books with King Ferdinand.  

 My good standing was replaced with the hierarchy here in Spain who are nothing but a bunch of vain, old, uninteresting, men and tiresome, fat biddies (women).  I was called the Admiral of the ocean sea and am grateful for my accomplishments. My reputation was tarnished by the older gentry of the Spanish court. Unfortunately, I never found a way to the east to India. I have welled an atlas of the Caribbean. King Ferdinand has reneged on his word, and I am all but broken. I made various attempts to have an audience with him to no avail. I believe Queen Isabella had more of a listening ear but unfortunately, she passed. 

I will criticize them as a waste of my time as few labelled me as an adulterer and a scoundrel who took advantage of the Tainos maidens. A little pleasure is needed on a long voyage.  

I do not take flights of fancy as some accused me.  Let me be bound if the rumors of untruths were made against me by the colossal, big, bellied gentry of the Spanish court and those gossip mongering biddies. I did not massacre the people of the New World and I strongly deny that I caused the death of those who are seeking comfort for the heat in their loins. I do agree that some of the Tainos died because they were undisciplined and some of the people were easy to conquer. The Tainos also fell under diseases or another affliction. Two thirds of the Spanish that were with me also expired from diseases and famine. 

But I must say with all my voyages I have rested my eyes on the beauty of the lands. The trees bearing fruit and other delicacies. The taste of the vegetables would make the king himself eat it daily. There are no words to describe how fair the land was on paper and this did not do it any justice. The rolling fields and mountains were unlike the higher peaks in Italy. The waters were awash with white sands and coconut trees. The coconut trees held some type of fruit that tasted heavenly. The Tainos used this to make oil for their hair and skin.  

The Tainos were skilled in making pottery, farming, making necklaces and other such refinements. I believe them to be skilled weavers. 

It was also noted that some of the inhabitants are with child due to the men who don't know to hold back their seed. 

However, I did enjoy the taste of tobacco which was new to me. I believe myself to be now addicted to tobacco leaves inhaled by the Arawaks.  

With all the work I completed on my journeys, slaves, goods, and property that I procured is now a jest and disrespectful to many. 

I truly did set my eyes on the beauty of the New World. If not for my illness I would have sought an audience again with King Ferdinand for a last voyage.  He has ignored my request for an audience, and this has me heating up my insides with this folly. If Queen Isabella had not passed without a doubt, she would grant me an audience. 

Maybe all this was enough, and I did more than an ordinary man. I shall be content with my accomplishments. 

Christopher Columbus 

May 08, 2024 06:19

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