Letter Home from Columbus's Crew - Essay Example

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Its 1452 and Christopher Columbus gets the funding he had long searched for to go out in the sea voyage. The pretext was to try and prove to people that the world was round. However, at the back of his mind, and quite a number of the crew in Santa Maria, the mission was different…
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Letter Home from Columbuss Crew
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"Letter Home from Columbus's Crew"

We were to accompany Christopher Columbus on a long sea voyage that we were told. True, we had requested to be released on the agreement that we would be sailors. Even before reaching America, Santa Maria sailed closely to an Island in the Caribbean Sea which was inhabited by the Taino. This was a bunch of friendly people that could not offer any resistance especially when the crew tried to capture them. The captain commanded the crew to seize over 1200 Taino Indians into the ship from the Island of Hispaniola. They were crammed into Santa Maria and sent back to Spain. Here, we sold them as slaves. What perturbed me was not the way they died under the merciless hands of the Spaniards crew, but the inhuman way of parading them in naked the streets of Seville. Thousands of others were forced to work in mines and plantations which were established in the Islands of the Caribbean Sea. The Indians were hunted like wild animals, tortured, raped, killed and fed off to the hunting dogs. What was supposed to be an exploration, turned out to be something else. No wonder a majority of the crew were convicts. Away from the plundering in the Caribbean Islands, the voyage was fast approaching the newfound land. Upon landing on the Western Hemisphere, the crew encountered strange looking people. Strange indeed they were. The Captain Columbus called them the Indios as the perception and belief amongst the members of the crew was that the people looked like Indians. To St. Columbus and the rest of the crew thought that we had reached Asia. The Indios, as we came to refer them, seemed perplexed by entry of these new creatures in a vessel sailing in the waters. A closer look into their way of life revealed that they were agriculturalists tending to food crops as well livestock like turkeys. It was here that many of the crew saw potatoes and tomatoes. These Indios were also hunters and gatherers. However, the most fascinating thing about this new tribe in the newfound land is that they had discovered to utilize what nature had to offer. They for instance would use the cinchona tree to come up with quinine. They also had sugar and tobacco which they smoked using pipes. The Indios wore funny clothing. They were made from what seemed like buckskin garments. The garments were richly decorated with colored porcupine quills and had designs of flowers, leaves and vines, an imitation of nature. The ship sailed southwards leaving excitement and awe both on board and off board. As we approached the south, it seemed that the Newlands had more surprises for us. The indios we encountered in this part of the land were both crop farmers and herders. But the fascinating thing was how this group of Indios overcame the challenge of scarce rainfall that was prevalent in the south. Having settled in the villages, they had discovered a new way of a growing crop without relying on rainfall. One thing that struck me was the way the captain Columbus stole the show In the Newfound land. To him, this was a perfect opportunity to make riches and wealth for himself, the empire and partly the crew. By giving the Indians glass beads and hawk bells, he was able to get cotton, spears, parrots, iron, gold and many valuables from them. At one time, I overheard him confess of how he was amazed by the ignorance and harmless nature of the Indians which made the crew of about 50 subdue them with ease. This way, we were able to capture and enslave many. I remember me and my colleague Miguel Cuneo, with Read More
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