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from “Explorers Who Got Lost”CHRISTOPHER COLUMBUS from “Explorers Who Got Lost”
Christopher Columbus was born in 1451 in Genoa, Italy.Genoa is right on the Mediterranean Sea.
As a child he and his brothers worked with their father, who made cloth.
Whenever he was not working, he would watch the ships and listen to the sailors talk about the sea.
As a boy he took short trips along the coast of Italy to sell his father’s cloth.
Every trip was a new exciting adventure for the young sailor.
He always found his way home on these short trips by following the coastline.
When he was 15 years old, he left home to work on the ships that sailed the Mediterranean Sea.
He learned how to navigate by studying the North StarHe learned how to navigate by studying the North Star He learned how to use the sun’s position in the sky.
He learned how to use a compass. He learned to look at birds, seaweed and the color of the water.
He learned everything he could about the sea and sailingHe learned everything he could about the sea and sailing He hoped to sail the world and find adventure.
Many people knew that the world was roundMany people knew that the world was round Christopher also believed that the world was round.
Christopher wanted to become richChristopher wanted to become rich He wanted to find a shortcut to the Indies. He would sail to the west.
The Indies had spices, jewels, gold and perfumes.Christopher wanted to be rich and famous.
In 1476, when Christopher was only 25 years old, he was sailing with a fleet of ships from Italy to England.
The ships were attacked by piratesThe ships were attacked by pirates. Canon balls flew back and forth during the battle.
Christopher was wounded and fell into the sea as his ship exploded.
He stayed with his brother while he was recovering from his woundsHe stayed with his brother while he was recovering from his wounds He took a job as a mapmaker.
Christopher worked with his brother for 8 years drawing maps of all the places he had been.
Christopher always thought of the seaChristopher always thought of the sea He decided he would be the one to find the shortcut to the Indies.
He decided to sail straight across the Atlantic Ocean into the “Sea of Darkness.”
No sailors wanted to go with himNo sailors wanted to go with him They thought they would run out of food and water before they saw land again.
Many people thought Christopher was crazy!
Columbus got married and had a son after he moved to Portugal.His wife was from a wealthy family.
This meant that Christopher was not a common seaman anymore.He had money and power now.
Now he needed ships, men and supplies for his voyage.He asked the King of Portugal for help.
The King thought Columbus bragged too loudlyThe King thought Columbus bragged too loudly. He refused to give him supplies for the voyage.
Columbus went to see the King and Queen of SpainColumbus went to see the King and Queen of Spain The Queen liked Columbus but did not give him money for the voyage.
After 6 long years Queen Isabella of Spain asked to see ColumbusAfter 6 long years Queen Isabella of Spain asked to see Columbus. She was ready to help him.
But Columbus was mad that the Queen had made him wait 6 yearsBut Columbus was mad that the Queen had made him wait 6 years. He demanded money and royal titles before he would sail for Spain.
Queen Isabella told him he could have everything he wantedQueen Isabella told him he could have everything he wanted. Spain would help him sail to the Indies.
Three ships were chosen for the voyage: the Nina, the Pinta, and the Santa Maria.
Now Columbus needed sailors, but everyone thought he was crazyNow Columbus needed sailors, but everyone thought he was crazy. They thought that sea serpents would swallow the ships.
Finally, with the help of Martin Pinzon, Columbus had 90 sailorsFinally, with the help of Martin Pinzon, Columbus had 90 sailors Now he needed supplies.
He needed firewood, compasses, spare sails, water, biscuits, salt meat, cheese, beans, rice, almonds, and sardines.
He also needed weapons in case the natives weren’t friendlyHe also needed weapons in case the natives weren’t friendly He also needed trinkets to trade with the natives.
On August 3, 1492, Columbus stood on the deck of the Santa Maria and shouted, “Hoist Anchor!”
Day after day they sailed west. The sailors were afraidDay after day they sailed west. The sailors were afraid. They feared they would never return home.
On October 7, 1492 the Nina fired a cannonOn October 7, 1492 the Nina fired a cannon. Land had been sighted at last. But it was a false alarm.
Every day they thought they spotted land. Every day they were wrongEvery day they thought they spotted land. Every day they were wrong The sailors were starting to panic.
The men on the Santa Maria decided to take over the shipThe men on the Santa Maria decided to take over the ship They raced toward Columbus.
He told them that they would see land in 3 daysHe told them that they would see land in 3 days They agreed to give him 3 days.
On the night of the second day they spotted landOn the night of the second day they spotted land Columbus was sure they were off the coast of Japan.
When the sun came up they saw white sandy beaches and palm treesWhen the sun came up they saw white sandy beaches and palm trees. They spotted bright flowers and strangely colored birds.
That morning Columbus carried the flag of Spain up to the beachThat morning Columbus carried the flag of Spain up to the beach He placed the flagpole in the sand and claimed the land for Spain.
Then he set a large cross in the ground and named the land San Salvador, which means “Holy Savior” in Spanish.
But the island he found was not the Indies or JapanBut the island he found was not the Indies or Japan He had landed in the island chain of the Bahamas.
Columbus expected to see rich Oriental peopleColumbus expected to see rich Oriental people. The people that were hiding in the trees had painted bodies of black and red.
Columbus thought he had reached the Indies so he called the natives “Indians.” He gave them trinkets.
They gave him fruit, bread, parrots, spears and cottonThey gave him fruit, bread, parrots, spears and cotton But Columbus wanted their gold jewelry.
Two days later he set sail again. This time he took Indians as guidesTwo days later he set sail again This time he took Indians as guides He was searching for gold.
He did not find gold. The Santa Maria sankHe did not find gold. The Santa Maria sank. Columbus left 40 sailors to search for gold and he headed home on the Nina.
He presented the King and Queen with parrots, gold, painted Indians and stories of the voyage.
He was treated like royalty. Columbus was famous.The King and Queen wanted him to go back.
On September 25, 1493, Columbus set sail againOn September 25, 1493, Columbus set sail again. This time he had ships and 1,500 men.
The ships held cows, horses, goats, sheep, pigs, and chickensThe ships held cows, horses, goats, sheep, pigs, and chickens. They had seeds and grapevines and garden tools.
He tried to start a settlement. But the men wanted to find goldHe tried to start a settlement But the men wanted to find gold. They didn’t want to start a garden.
Columbus had many problemsColumbus had many problems Fighting started between the sailors and the Indians.
The King and Queen heard about the trouble and sent a man to investigate.Columbus was arrested.
He was returned to Spain in chains. When the Queen saw him, she ordered the chains removed.
Columbus was in a rage. He demanded that the Queen punish the man that had arrested him.
Columbus was 50 years old nowColumbus was 50 years old now He begged the King and Queen to give him one more chance.
The Queen agreed. She gave him 4 ships and 135 menThe Queen agreed She gave him 4 ships and 135 men She told him to look for gold and stay out of trouble.
Columbus was exploring the islands when a hurricane was brewingColumbus was exploring the islands when a hurricane was brewing. He tried to warn the settlement but 30 ships were destroyed.
Columbus continued his search for goldColumbus continued his search for gold. His ships were old and had holes in them. The sailors had to bail them out every night.
Finally the ships could not float so Columbus ran them aground and he built thatched roofs over the decks.
He spent the next year stranded on the island of Jamaica.He was sick with malaria but he never gave up hope.
Finally, a man was sent in a canoe to bring helpFinally, a man was sent in a canoe to bring help. Two years later ships arrived to take Columbus and his crew to Hispaniola.
When he returned to Spain he was tired and very illWhen he returned to Spain he was tired and very ill He never knew that the world was 3 times larger than he thought it was.
He never knew that the continents of North and South America stood between him and the riches he searched for.
He never knew that we would celebrate his voyage to the New World.
He never knew that he had gotten his wish. He did become very famous.
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