Chief Caonabó, in Columbus’s Own Words

Contemporary Spanish chroniclers of 1492—including Bartolomé de Las Casas—relate information about Chief Caonabó’s personality and his battle against Columbus’s invasion of “Española.” Most chroniclers derived this information largely through conversations with...

Columbus and Caonabó: 1493–1498 Retold

At last, the sequel to Encounters Unforeseen: 1492 Retold goes on sale this November! Titled Columbus and Caonabó: 1493–1498 Retold, it dramatizes Columbus’s invasion of “Española” and the bitter resistance mounted by its Taíno peoples during the period and aftermath...

La Vega—in Columbus’s Final Thoughts

Columbus died in Valladolid, Spain, on May 20, 1506—515 years ago. In his will of February 1498, he had directed his heirs to build a church on “Española” dedicated to Santa María de Concepción. On his deathbed, he instructed that the church lie in the valley he’d...

Columbus’s Choice of Isabela

In early January 1494, the fleet of Columbus’s second voyage anchored at the site where he founded “Española’s” first permanent European settlement—named Isabela in honor of the queen. Most modern historians roundly criticize Columbus’s selection of the site, but my...