1492 from a Bicultural Perspective

Encounters Unforeseen was published in 2017, during the 525th anniversary of the first
encounters between Columbus and Native Americans. Andrew’s blogs posted in 2017 and 2018
to recount what happened on the same dates in 1492 and 1493 are archived below, reordered
chronologically. The archive also includes the sketches of the book’s protagonists and some
additional photos and commentary that Andrew concurrently posted on Facebook. Dates are
based on the Julian calendar used by Europeans in 1492.

Sketches of Protagonists

Encounters Unforeseen’s protagonists are three historic Taíno chieftains—Caonabó, Guacanagarí, and Guarionex, Spain’s Queen Isabella, Columbus, and a Taíno captive Columbus seized. Portions of their life stories are sketched below.

read more


Saturday, October 6, 1492

The crews of the Niña, Pinta, and Santa María understood that the ships had sailed beyond the distance Columbus had promised for making landfall. They had been out of sight of land for a month, far longer than any other voyage they knew of. Murmurs of anxiety and...

read more

Thursday, October 11, 1492

The seas were the roughest yet encountered, with waves crashing over the decks. But the signs the ships were approaching land were unmistakable, and the crews were heartened. The Niña retrieved a green branch with red berries intact, fresh as if just cut. The Pinta...

read more

Sunday, October 14, 1492

Columbus sailed southwest from Guanahaní to search for Japan and gold. The map below—drawn for Encounters Unforeseen—shows the Taíno Caribbean which Columbus would explore, with Taíno names for islands. Before departing Guanahaní, Columbus abducted seven Guanahanían...

read more

Wednesday, October 17, 1492

Columbus wrote his Journal as a report to Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand. On October 17, he indicated in the Journal that he was sailing in the “Indies” (as he had promised them) and referred to the Taínos as “Indians.” Isabella and Ferdinand approach Barcelona,...

read more

©2018 Andrew S. Rowen. All rights reserved.
Site designed and powered by JKS Communications
All Persons Press
New York, New York