The journal of Christopher Columbus (1893) - PDF ebook

The journal of Christopher Columbus

The journal of Christopher Columbus
Christopher Columbus


Introduction.--Sailing directions of Columbus: being the letters of Paolo Toscanelli.--Journal of the first voyage of Columbus [Las Casas abstract, tr. from Navarrete]--Documents relating to the voyages of John Cabot.--Documents relating of Sebastian Cabot.--Documents relating to the voyages of Gaspar Corte Real


Cantino and La Cosa map from his impressions. The thanks of the Society are also due to Mr. H. Welter, the publisher of Mr. Harrlsse's last work, for permission to make use of the plates of the maps of Juan de la Cosa and Cantino. Our late Secretary, Mr. R. H. Major, by his production of the Select Letters of Columbus ( 1847; 2nd ed., 1870), brought within the reach of members of this Society all the letters written by the Admiral himself on the subject of his four voyages, as well as some other original documents.

There remains for the Council to furnish the members with a translation of the Journal of the first voyage, the only one that has been preserved, and this in a mutilated form.

 Our series will then contain all the contributions of the great discoverer himself, that have escaped destruction, to the history of his mighty achievements.

It is necessary, for the proper understanding of the Journal, that It should be preceded by the Toscanelli correspondence because constant allusion is made to it by the Admiral; the places mentioned by Toscanelli were anxiously sought for at every turn, and the letters of Toscanelli were practically the sailing directions of Columbus. The famous Florentine astronomer, Paolo Toscanelli, was looked upon as the highest authority on cosmography and navigation in that age.

 King Affonso V of Portugal, through the Canon Martins, made an application to Toscanelli for information respecting the voyage westward to India. 

The astronomer replied fully on June 25th, 1474, enclosing a map. Soon afterward Columbus, who was then at Lisbon, and had long pondered over these questions, resolved to make a similar application to the Florentine philosopher.

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