Today in History: Christopher Columbus sets sail for western sea route to China

September 25th, 2013

On September 25, 1493, Christopher Columbus began the second of his three famous voyages of discovery. Almost one year after his trailblazing first voyage, Columbus sailed from Cádiz with 17 ships, bound for the Caribbean.

This second expedition was significantly larger than the first, with 1,200 explorers in total, more than ten times the size of the initial voyage. Columbus explored the Caribbean, naming the islands of Dominca, Santa María la Galante, and Santa Cruz, among others.

On November 22, 1493, Columbus returned to the site of his initial expedition, Hispaniola, where he found that many of his men had been killed by the natives. Columbus explored the island, eventually establishing a fort where he found gold.

Columbus returned to Spain on June 11, 1496. Despite failing to establish a stable colony in the Americas, Columbus persuaded the monarchy to sponsor a third voyage.

For more on Columbus’s exploration, check out our free Columbus Day ebook and this lesson plan from EDSITEment.

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