The Final Countdown To...

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Summer Blog Assignment #1-Columbus' Letter to Sanchez.

Raphael Sanchez was the treasurer of Spain for Queen Isabella of Castille and King Ferdinand of Aragon.  This short letter to Sanchez details his original journey to the Caribbean in 1492, after his return to the port of Lisbon in modern Portugal.  Columbus addressed it, "Letter addressed to the noble Lord Raphael Sanchez, Treasurer to their most invincible Majesties, Ferdinand and Isabella, King and Queen of Spain, by Christopher Columbus, to whom our age is greatly indebted, treating of the islands of India recently discovered beyond the Ganges, to explore which he had been sent eight months before under the auspices and at the expense of their said Majesties." That's a mouthful.

At the same time, it leaves some confusion, as whether Columbus recognized his mistake yet, or not.  In the address, he describes the islands he explored as "of India...beyond the Ganges."  Columbus refers to the Island of Juana.  Today, we refer to that island as Cuba.  San Salvador, the island Columbus first arrived at in the Caribbean, was already settled by the Taino who called their island Guanahani.  The Taino were a part of the greater group of Natives known as the Arawak.  For a time in the 1600s to 1925, this island was called Watlings island, and is part of the Bahamas.  Today, it is called San Salvador, again. When will it be Guanahani (or Guanahany) again?

The Assignment

A. Read the letter.  There is a question at the start, but there is also an answer at the end.  They're valuable, but not necessarily what we're going to look at as a class.

B. Consider the letter.  Answer the following questions in the form below, and submit them to Mr. Pagliaro.

For your viewing pleasure, this might help when you've completed the readings on Columbus, as well.

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