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 having just passed — 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.
But before I go into this in any detail, let me say that I will be giving away a free tradepaper copy of RED HAWK’S WOMAN today. Please refer to our contest rules (link is at the bottom of this page in my bio).
I had run across this research originally 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.
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. Some estimates are higher at about 3 million people. 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 truly 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.
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 obtain 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 fact 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…
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 goes “viva la difference.” (French for “Long Live the Difference.)
Unfortunately, it seems to me that we as human beings need to grow up. In all groups of people or society there are those who would profit by daunting another’s dreams…those who would enslave…and those who would sink to the very depths of humanity. I don’t believe there is any race of people who are scatheless from such crimes, so it’s useless to try to pin such a thing on a specific group of people. Rather individuals who do these things — regardless of ethnic background — should be known for what they are: nothing more than a criminal. Certainly not a hero.
Well, I hope you will forgive me for such a gloomy post. But seeing the “excitement” of Columbus day all around me, I felt I needed to speak up. Do come on in and share your thoughts with me.