Heroic Columbus

This page attempts to show Columbus in a good light as a good christian trying to earn riches for his country by braving the roughest seas, all the while knowing how tough the journey would be.


Argument 1:

Markham, Clements, and Christopher Columbus. “The Journal of Christopher Columbus and Documents Relating to the Voyage.” The Journal of Christopher Columbus and Documents Relating to the Voyage, 1893, pp. 3–14., 

By: Cecilia

Note: “It has been said that his sole aim appeared to be the acquisition of gold. This unfair criticism is made in ignorance. It must be remembered that the letter of Toscanelli was his guide; and that the gold, pearls, and spices were the marks by which he was to know the provinces of the great Kaan ; so that he was bound to make constant inquiries for these commodities. The eagerness with which he pushed his inquiries, and his repeated disappointments, are touching. He seeks to find the places mentioned by his guide, by fancied resemblance of names, as when he would identify Cipango with Cibao in Espanola. This search, however, only occupied part of his thoughts. Nothing seems to escape his observation, and he frequently regrets his ignorance of botany, because it prevented him from being able to report more exactly on the new species of plants that surrounded him. Hut the feature in his remarks which comes out most prominently is his enthusiastic admiration of scenery, and of the natural beauties of the strange land. The Journal is a mirror of the man. It shows his failings and his virtues. It records his lofty aims, his unswerving loyalty, his deep religious feeling, his kindliness and gratitude. It impresses us with his knowledge and genius as a leader, with his watchful care of his people, and with the richness of his imagination. Few will read the Journal without a feeling of admiration for the marvelous ability and simple faith of the great genius whose mission it was to reveal the mighty secret of the ages.”

  • Summary: Clements, the author of the introduction for the book The Journal of Christopher Columbus and Documents Relating to the Voyage, argued those who criticize Columbus by saying that Columbus was loyal to his country, his mission was driven by faith, and he was a kind and altruistic leader.
  • Statement: The author of the book, whom have seen the journals and had a thorough understanding of the situation in Columbus’s time, would stand on Columbus side, underlining that Columbus is indeed a hero.



Argument 2:

Toscanelli, Paolo, and Christopher Columbus. “The Journal of Christopher Columbus and Documents Relating to the Voyage.” The Journal of Christopher Columbus and Documents Relating to the Voyage, 1893, pp. 3–14.,

By: Cecilia

Note: “It pleases me much that I should be well understood; for the said voyage is not only possible, but it is true, and certain to be honorable and to yield incalculable profit, and very great fame among all Christians. But you cannot know this perfectly save through experience and practice, as I have had in the form of most copious and good and true information from distinguished men of great learning who have come from the said parts, here in the court of Rome, and from others being merchants who have had business for a long time in those parts, men of high authority. Thus when that voyage shall be made, it will be to powerful kingdoms and cities and most noble provinces, very rich in all manner of things in great abundance and very necessary to us, such as all sorts of spices in great quantity, and jewels in the greatest abundance. It will also go to the said Kings and Princes who are very desirous, more than ourselves, to have intercourse and speech with Christians of these our parts, because a great part of them are Christians, as well as to have speech and intercourse with men of learning and ingenuity here, as well in religion as in all the other sciences, by reason of the great fame of the empires and governments in these parts that have reached them. On account of all these things, and of many others that might be mentioned, I do not wonder that you, who have great courage, and all the Portuguese people who have always been men eager for all great undertakings, should be with a burning heart and feel a great desire to undertake the said voyage.”


  • Summary: In the second letter from Paolo Toscanelli to Columbus, Paolo responded with great interesting in the voyage that Columbus was about to take. He mentioned couple things for the purposes of going on the adventure. One is that it would benefit their country by bringing spices and jewelry form the other land, physically enriching the country as a whole. Another is that the voyage would enable Christians to communicate, regarding religious and other aspects.
  • Statement: It can be well concluded that the reason why Columbus went on the vacation is purely for the sake of his country’s development and the community of Christians.


Argument 3:

Columbus, Christopher. “LETTER OF CHRISTOPHER COLUMBUS ON HIS FIRST VOYAGE TO AMERICA, 1492.” To the Treasurer of Aragon, Luis De St. Angel, Feb. 1493,

By: Cecilia

Note: “At every point where I landed and succeeded in talking to them, I gave them some of everything I had — cloth and many other things — without receiving anything in return, but they are a hopelessly timid people. It is true that since they have gained more confidence and are losing this fear, they are so unsuspicious and so generous with what they possess, that no one who had not seen it would believe it. They never refuse anything that is asked for. They even offer it themselves, and show so much love that they would give their very hearts. Whether it be anything of great or small value, with any trifle of whatever kind, they are satisfied. I forbade worthless things being given to them, such as bits of broken bowls, pieces of glass, and old straps, although they were as much pleased to get them as if they were the finest jewels in the world.”

“I forbade it, and gave a thousand good and pretty things that I had to win their love and to induce them to become Christians, and to love and serve their Highnesses and the whole Castilian nation, and help to get for us things they have in abundance, which are necessary to us.”

“The eternal and almighty God, our Lord, it is Who gives to all who walk in His way, victory over things apparently impossible, and in this case signally so, because although these lands had been imagined and talked of before they were seen, most men listened incredulously to what was thought to be but an idle tale. But our Redeemer has given victory to our most illustrious King and Queen, and to their kingdoms rendered famous by this glorious event, at which all Christendom should rejoice, celebrating it with great festivities and solemn Thanksgivings to the Holy Trinity, with fervent prayers for the high distinction that will accrue to them from turning so many peoples to our holy faith; and also from the temporal benefits that not only Spain but all Christian nations will obtain. Thus I record what has happened in a brief note written on board the Caravel, off the Canary Isles, on the 15th of February, 1493.”


  • Summary: This is a letter to the Treasurer of Aragon, Luis De St. Angel. The authenticity of the true story of Columbus is conveyed through this letter. This letter provides information of Columbus’ voyage to Hispaniola. When Columbus arrived, he gave out things that he had to the natives, not expecting the return. He generously gave and hoped to win their trust so that they would be induced to accept Christianity. He wrote at the end of the letter that he had great faith to spread the gospel on that land.
  • Statement: In the letter, Columbus showed his faith that the success he acquired was from God. It seemed that he was kind to the natives and wanted to share the gospel. This proves that he is a man of integrity.