09 Oct 2017

Columbus Day

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Christopher Columbus (detail), from Alejo Fernández, La Virgen de los Navegantes, circa 1505 to 1536, Alcázares Reales de Sevilla.

In his magisterial biography, Admiral of the Ocean Sea, 1942, Samuel Elliot Morrison observes:

[Christopher Columbus did] more to direct the course of history than any individual since Augustus Caesar. …

The voyage that took him to “The Indies” and home was no blind chance, but the creation of his own brain and soul, long studied, carefully planned, repeatedly urged on indifferent princes, and carried through by virtue of his courage, sea-knowledge and indomitable will. No later voyage could ever have such spectacular results, and Columbus’s fame would have been secure had he retired from the sea in 1493. Yet a lofty ambition to explore further, to organize the territories won for Castile, and to complete the circuit of the globe, sent him thrice more to America. These voyages, even more than the first, proved him to be the greatest navigator of his age, and enabled him to train the captains and pilots who were to display the banners of Spain off every American cape and island between Fifty North and Fifty South. The ease with which he dissipated the unknown terrors of the Ocean, the skill with which he found his way out and home, again and again, led thousands of men from every Western European nation into maritime adventure and exploration.

The whole history of the Americas stem from the Four Voyages of Columbus; and as the Greek city-states looked back to the deathless gods as their founders, so today a score of independent nations and dominions unite in homage to Christopher the stout-hearted son of Genoa, who carried Christian civilization across the Ocean Sea.

An annual post.

5 Feedbacks on "Columbus Day"

Seattle Sam

It’s also now Leif Ericson Day in honor of the Viking who landed in North America long before Columbus. But like the Vikings of the NFL, there was little consequence to this event.

JK Brown

Glenn Reynolds links to this interesting premise that North America is celebrating the wrong Italian.

“If Americans of Italian descent wish to point with pride to a predecessor in discovery, perhaps we should look at Giovanni Caboto, another Italian navigator. Moving to England, he adopted the English style of his name and became known to history as the discoverer … John Cabot.”


Always good to review other ideas as a way to renew the ones you already have.


I suppose that there would be a legitimate argument from some native in 1492 who was directly affected by Columbus. But for someone today to be angry about Columbus is nothing short of ludicrous. Even an Indian/native American today is better off thanks to the immigration that followed Columbus. It is of course a political construct and not a rational or legitimate argument. It is the “IN” thing to hate Columbus because look at all the poor humble peace loving native Americans who died as a result. But it is one side of the argument with everything beneficial and good left out because it would destroy the fiction.

Dick the Butcher

Warfare, slavery, human sacrifice, cannibalism were widely committed in the Americas way before Columbus landed.

Of course, if Columbus were a communist mass-murderer like Che, Lenin, Mao, Stalin, . . . he’d be their hero.

Steve Gregg

Isn’t it funny that when the Spanish invade America in 1492 it is a horrible thing to the Left, colonialism to be condemned, but when they do it in 2017 it is a good thing, multiculturalism to be praised.


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