Fort Magdalena and Fray Pané

On return from his Cuban exploration, Columbus learned of Fray Buil and Margarite’s desertion and that growing Taíno hostility in areas along the Yaque River endangered his men’s travel between the settlement at Isabela and Fort Santo Tomás (see post of September 11)....

Indigenous Peoples Day

For Indigenous Peoples Day, I repost the article I wrote for the History News Network explaining why I feel it’s important to retell the “Columbus story” from both Taíno and European perspectives: History News Network Article

Pedro Margarite and Fray Buil’s Desertion

Returning from Cuba, Columbus’s caravels reached “Española’s” southwestern tip in mid-August 1494. By September, they had anchored in a river mouth (Río Jaina) on the southern coast near modern Santo Domingo, where he dispatched sailors to march north across the...

Caonabó’s Alliance and Guarionex

In August 1494 (528 years ago), Columbus’s caravels circled counterclockwise along the southern coast of the Taíno Yamaye (Jamaica), returning from Cuba to “Espanola.” During his absence from Española, Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand had heard criticisms of his...

Judgment of One’s Soul

Sailing east along Cuba’s southern coast to return to “Española,” on July 7, 1494 (528 years ago), Columbus brought his caravels to anchor by a river mouth at a promontory beneath coastal mountains where, on the outward voyage, he had traded peacefully with the...

Terminus of Cuban Exploration and the Oath

After departing Cabo Cruz, Columbus’s caravels coursed the long stretches of Cuba’s southern shoreline that are hazardous to navigate, including south of Camagüey and around the Zapata peninsula. The waters frequently are shallow and appear “milky,” tangled with an...