Columbus, Discoverer? Or Genocidial Maniac?

banner with lettersGood Day!

Well, you know, research can be a strange bedfellow sometimes, and this bit of research and historical account is something that I bet you’ll not read in any history book — unless you really search for it.

It’s not a nice piece of history, all decked out with ribbons and glory, but having learned of this through some research — and with Columbus day coming upon us — I thought I’d post this piece, although it might be one of the most unpopular blogs I’ve done.  Some things, however, should be known.

th[2] I had run across this research orginally several years ago — but not in any detail, and certainly not enough information to do a blog.  But recently, I’ve had my nose in history and other such things, and this popped up again.  Thus, my post today.

I guess we’ll start with the brothers Christopher and Bartholomew Columbus and their second trip to the Americas.  One thing I hadn’t been aware of and probably other people aren’t either, is that Christopher had a brother who sailed with him.  Another fact that many are not aware of is that these brothers were not Spanish, but were Italians.  And although this next part is generally known to the American Indian, it gets no “press” in the educational system, and so this information might seem strange to you at first.

columbus_on_hispaniola[1]The fact of the matter is that these two people were responsible for the mass murder of about two million Taino people who were living on the island of Hispaniola.  They accomplished this terrible crime in approximately four years, but the crux of the story is not only the genocide (which is bad enough), but the bestiality by which they accomplished this act.  Another fact that isn’t well known is that neither Christopher not his brother, Bartholomew were of the Christian faith.  They had “escaped” harm in Spain by pretending to convert to Christianity.  But the truth of the matter is that it was a lie, was nothing more than pretense, and was done, so the story goes, in order to escape torture, themselves.

It’s reported that Christopher Columbus personally killed approximately 500,000  American Indians.  How he and his brother did this was to erect wide gibbets — gibbets is that structure that is made to hang people.  But they didn’t merely hang their victims, they did it in such a way so that their feet could hardly touch the ground.  Worse, however, they lit a low fire under them that caused a painfully slow death.

th[4]Another fact that isn’t generally known (although it IS known amongst American Indians) is that Christopher Columbus and his brother had come on this, their second trip, to get slaves, which they did do.  Those souls that they could get their hands on — that they didn’t kill by slow torture — they loaded onto their ship, and set sail.  Rape was another crime that this man and his brother were responsible for.  Rape, murder and theft.

The interesting thing is that there were other explorers before Columbus who had made journeys to America.   Why was this mass murderer given credit for this “discovery”?  After much pondering, I guess my theory for this historical lie is because the history books are written by those who conquer a people, and the more I delve into history (real history), the more I become of the opinion that the history that we are spoon fed in school is nothing more than fairy-tales, all dressed up to hide the ugly truth.  Sigh…

columbus[1]Personally, I like this poster.

I’m going to leave the website where I got some of this information, but a word of caution about this site — it may contain ideas and express opinions that could be offensive to some.  So although I will give credit to this website for some of this information, I would also state here and now that I give it with a word of caution, okay?  Open it up at your own risk. Well, there you have it.  Having run across much of this information years ago, I stopped celebrating Columbus day several years back.  If anything, when that day comes, I say a prayer for those nameless souls whose only fault was that they weren’t like he was.  They were different.

But there’s a saying that I’ll leave you with “viva la difference.”  (French for “Long Live the Difference.)

Well, there you have it.  Please don’t shoot me, but please come on in and leave a message.  Let me know your thoughts.


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KAREN KAY aka GEN BAILEY is the multi-published author of American Indian Historical Romances. She has written for such prestigious publishers as AVON/HarperCollins, Berkley/Penguin/Putnam and Samhain Publishing. KAREN KAY’S great grandmother was Choctaw Indian and Kay is honored to be able to write about the American Indian Culture.
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23 thoughts on “Columbus, Discoverer? Or Genocidial Maniac?”

  1. I haven’t heard about his mass murdering before, but I did know he was not the first to discover america. (thus me not celebrating Columbus day) One reason I like to homeschool is to teach my kids the real history and stories of our past – not what some school history book deems worthy.
    Don’t be afraid of a post like this! I am glad to have read it and know the truth.

  2. I find your post most interesting. I knew none of this and it certainly puts a whole new spin on things. Thank you for sharing.

  3. I just watched a show on…oh maybe Discovery, not sure. Called The History of the World in Two Hours. Very interesting and of course they barely hit the high notes.
    It was fascinating how they discussed why the Americas were left behind while Europe and Asia progressed.
    It seemed to come down to beasts of burden that were domesticated. That sounds so minor but horse to ride and pull machinery and oxen to plow fields, it all just added up to so much. Travel, trade, the spread of ideas and inventions. The Americas had buffalo, Europe had much gentler cattle and water buffalo. China had gun powder, but that made it’s way to Europe. Disease spread and killed in the plagues and black death but that had already swept through the entire eastern world and inured them to that. The concept of slavery and borders and nationalism and dynasties and wars.
    And meanwhile the Americas remained tribal, and primitive and though they were certainly capable of fighting most of it was just between tribes. Even the bigger civilizations like the Incas and Mayans didn’t have guns and horses and couldn’t really spread their power far and wide.
    My point is, when Europe finally came in the form of someone who was hungry for tyrannical power like Columbus the native people were defenseless where as Europeans had centuries to hone their fighting skills, build their taste for cruelty and slavery, and toughen themselves against disease.
    The Vikings came but went home. They just wanted to explore.
    If Columbus had come in peace, I suspect the next guy or the next or the next would have finally come with war and domination in mind because the Indians had no way to hold such a rich land.
    I guess my point is, horrific as it was, what happened, I’m afraid it’s hard to imagine it NOT happening in some form. This side of the world was destined to be discovered and fought over like the rest of the world had been since the beginning of the world. Which doesn’t mean Columbus had to be quite such a sadistic madman.

  4. Interesting bit of history.. Do we ever know what is truth and what is fiction about the past.. But killing to conquer has been handed down through the beginning of time and even before… Sad part of all are history’s now matter where we live.

  5. So true – what we are taught is never the real story. I’m currently watching a series on the wheelers and dealers of our country such as J. P. Morgan, Rockefeller, Carnegie, Edison etc. They were all ruthless and I don’t think I would have liked any of them. I also agree about viva la difference in that we all don’t have to agree and be the same and should be tolerant and celebrate our differences!

  6. I didn’t know Christopher Columbus had a brother. I am not suprised by what you write. I think Columbus Day should be renamed, maybe to Fall Day. I refuse to say that Columbus discover America.

    The only good thing about Columbus Day is that it because I work for a government contractor and I get a paid day off.

  7. Hi Melanie!

    I had known most of this for some time — seeing as how I research the American Indian stories and that sort of thing. The method by which they tortured people and how many they killed, however, was new to me.

    Thanks for your post.

  8. Hi Mary!

    You know, given the West’s love affair with materialism, it doesn’t suprise me that this show centered on materialistic views to show “progress.”

    But what they never center upon is the non-materialistic side of things — and Native America had them beat on that one. The jury is still out on this, in my opinion. For now, it appears that “might is right,” but that’s considering only 200-300 years or so of active discovery — a drop in the bucket historically.

    I do believe, perhaps not in our lifetimes, but I do believe that we haven’t seen the end of this “war,” and I do believe that in the end, non-materialist views will be the real conquerer.

  9. Hi Vickie!

    Before I started researching Native America, I hadn’t been aware of these facts, either. But it’s actually pretty well documented, interestingly enough.

  10. Hi Catslady!

    Interesting comment. And you know who was behind JP and Rockefeller, etc, don’t you? The Rothschilds. JP was an agent for the Rothschilds, and Rockefeller was taken on by the Rothschilds after they saw how ruthless he was.

    History is certainly interesting.

  11. Another interesting post on the “hidden” history in the world. It was a time of the Inquisition in Spain and much of what Columbus did to the natives on this side of the Atlantic was done to the Jews and Romany on the other side. It is sad how many ways mankind can find to torture and kill each other, and how relatively few ways/reasons they seem to have to be kind and help each other. When you look into the treatment of the Irish by Britain, it isn’t too different. They starved and murdered them and sold men, women, and children into slavery (about 600,000 of them).
    In the end, Columbus was used by the Spanish government and got little reward for his “discoveries.”

  12. I had never heard of any of this either – don’t know why I’m surprised, there have always been cruel, egotistical, inhumane people, & always will. Just don’t know why people have chosen to glorify Columbus for so long.

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