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The Unfamiliar and Terrible Side of Christopher Columbus

Antonia R.Antonia R.

The personal diaries of explorer Christopher Columbus reveal a criminal hiding behind the legendary figure, who, if he were alive today, would be awaiting the death penalty.

The most widespread myth about Christopher Columbus is that he was the first European to step on the shores beyond the Atlantic Ocean, for which he was determined as being the discoverer of the New World.

However, this is not true. Research done years ago confirmed that the first European to cross the Atlantic Ocean was the Viking Leif Erikson, who founded the first settlement on American soil an entire 500 years before Christopher Columbus.


The navigator's friendly attitude toward the Indians is also a myth. He himself defined the newly discovered tribes as hospitable. "They wanted to share with everyone and whenever you asked for something, they never refused, " wrote Columbus in his diaries.

Nevertheless, the hospitality of the islanders was punished by Columbus, who took the people as his slaves and forced them to work in his mines. A great part of the first discovered Indian tribes were brutally slaughtered, with over 125 000 dead being mentioned in historical chronicles.

The women and children were also not spared by the terrible seafarer, who he chained and sold into slavery to his friends.

"You can easily get the same amount of money for one woman as you would for an entire farm. This is now quite common and there are many traders who seek girls - especially those that are 9-10 years old, " wrote Columbus in his diaries.


If any of the slaves would try to escape, Columbus would send trained dogs after them, which ripped them alive.

In the historic records, there is mention of a mass suicide of around 100 slaves, who were unable to endure the torture of Columbus and his men.

The ruthlessness of those loyal to Columbus is also well-known, they would test the sharpness of their swords by cutting off the legs of children.

Christopher Columbus was actually the first slave trader in history, mainly selling Indians. His son built upon his work by trading Africans. In this way, the legendary American hero created a problem which America would struggle with for the next 300 years.