AMERIGO VESPUCCI’S MANIPULATION SKILL
Everybody thought that Christopher Columbus lost all hopes. But Isabella of Castile allowed him to organize his next expedition as the proof of her respect to the admiral. That step of the queen enraged some persons and they used another plan in order to disgrace the foreign admiral.
As it is known, Christopher Columbus couldn’t discover seaway to India during his fourth travel (1502-1504) and it roused the indignation of monarchs. Though he had discovered 2000 km coastline located on the western coast of the Caribbean See and spread important information about it during that travel.
Amerigo Vespucci, who completed his mission in Portugal, returned to Spain as the “influential traveler” and restored his relation with Columbus, who had lost all authorities, according to the next instructions of his supporters.
Columb in reception of Queen Isabel
The Genoese admiral had almost nothing at the end of 1504. But he hadn’t lost his persistence and obstinacy. He tried to make monarchs to pay salaries of his colleagues, who had suffered with him in Jamaica. But he almost lost all his hopes after the death of Isabella of Castile (November 26, 1504). Christopher Columbus needed his compatriots, as he was seeking consolation. Amerigo Vespucci became more active during that period. There was a strange tandem between Columbus and Vespucci.
Christopher Columbus was supported by Isabella of Castile when Vespucci’s supporter was Ferdinand of Aragon. The supporter of Columbus died, but Vespucci began to be popular owing to his supporter. Though it wasn’t easy to remove Columbus from the public arena completely. He had contract with the Spanish monarch and Ferdinand of Aragon couldn’t deny it. That’s why he supported Vespucci in order to crush Columbus morally.
Amerigo Vespucci met with Christopher Columbus on February 3, 1505 and the conversation between them was very interesting. Perhaps, discovery of the New World and other enigmatic issues were discussed during that conversation. It becomes obvious after reading Columbus letters.
Spanish monarch Isabella of Castile Spanish monarch Ferdinand of Aragon
Amerigo Vespucci’s defenders mention that, he never betrayed Christopher Columbus and they were close friends. The Florentine accountant was able to win confidence of Columbus and Columbus wrote following sentences in his letter, written to his son Diego on February 5, 1505: “I talked to Amerigo Vespucci, who was invited to the palace in order to discuss some issues on travels, two days ago. He will deliver this letter to you. He is very honest man and agreed to help me whenever I want. He also isn’t very lucky as many of us. His job hasn’t been appraised as necessary. He will go to the palace and try to achieve some good decisions for me. I don’t know what he can do for me exactly as I’m here… But I know that he will do his best in order to help me… Think about it: what can he do for us? He will do his best with the greatest pleasure, but try not to let him to know details. I informed him about my works, including exclusive ones and share I could get for conducted works. Please, show this letter to the adelantado (Bartolomeu). Maybe, he can decide how Vespucci can help me”. 1
Everybody considered Vespucci honest man according to this letter. The letter proves that Christopher Columbus trusted the Florentine accountant. He even wrote that Vespucci would go to the palace and had close relations with the Spanish monarchs. Columbus needed to meet with Ferdinand of Aragon very much. He was sure that Amerigo Vespucci was an honest man. It proves that, the accountant had won admiral’s confidence. Besides, Vespucci made Columbus to believe that he would ask the king to receive him. How could Columbus believe such non-sense? How could Vespucci ask the king to receive Columbus though the king hated admiral? It proves that Christopher Columbus was in the desperate situation as believed that lie, because he knew that, people had to wait for months, even for years for meeting with the king.
Amerigo Vespucci (1454-1512)
Christopher Columbus (1451-1506)
Christopher Columbus shared all his secrets with Amerigo Vespucci as believed that he would help him. It was culmination of their conversation. Vespucci could get all information he needed. This information included information on preparation of the first transatlantic map, the fact that the fourth continent wasn’t part of Asia, but unknown land, the reason, why he kept this fact secret, secret map of discovered land and etc. At the result of it, Vespucci described discovered land, as the New World though didn’t know anything about major geographical discoveries, unexpectedly Martin Waldsemuller demonstrated map of the fourth continent in Sen-Dye, the Florentine accountant made up fake travels and introduced himself as the well-known admiral among the elite.
The Genoese seaman thought that, Amerigo Vespucci would support him on all issues, especially for the struggle for his rights. He couldn’t even imagine that, Vespucci would deny all his successes after his death and spread forged materials and letters full of non-senses in order to name the New World “America”.
Probably, Christopher Columbus shared all his secrets on the coasts of the New World with Vespucci as believed that he was honest. Why did the Genoese admiral trust the Florentine accountant? Because Vespucci had helped him before.
The last conversation between Christopher Columbus and Amerigo Vespucci brought only trouble to the admiral. Because all his secrets were socialized by another person. However, in spite of it, he persisted in restoration of his rights and regularly sent letters to the king for this purpose. Of course, his letters weren’t responded because Columbus required too great privileges. The king didn’t even want to discuss this issue.
One of the enigmas was as following. Could Christopher Columbus really reach Malacca Peninsula of the Southeastern Asia during his fourth travel as he wrote to Isabella of Castile? The king had doubts about it. Maybe, the admiral really discovered the strait on the way to Asia and investigated coasts of Malacca Peninsula.
Christopher Columbus had some supporters at the palace and he could meet with the king owing to those persons. The king wanted to end his doubts.
Ferdinand met the old traveler politely in May of 1505, but didn’t promised him anything. However, Christopher Columbus obstinately required realization of all articles of the contract. The king mentioned that independent law-court had to analyze this issue. Nevertheless, Columbus didn’t agree with the king and noted that, he didn’t need proofs for restoration of his rights. He rejected real property in Spain and life pension, offered by the king instead of his privileges.
The king ordered special council to solve that problem, but the council didn’t harry to make a certain decision…
The death of Columbus. Lithograph by L. Prang & Co., 1893
After Columbus was sure that, his rights would never be restored, he asked Ferdinand to declare his son Diego heirs of his rights…
Ferdinand rejected this request too. 2
Best regards, the member of Azerbaijan Geographic Society,
President grant holder on literature, laureate of the “Golden pen” award,
writer/ investigator Ramiz Daniz
1 Лиелас А. Каравеллы выходят в океан. Пер. с латыш. Рига, «Лиесма», 1969. стр. 250
2 Лиелас А. Каравеллы выходят в океан. Пер. с латыш. Рига, «Лиесма», 1969. стр. 251