The Journey of Christpher Columbus
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Before the Voyage
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Columbus After 1943

October 10, 1492 – Near Mutiny

Wednesday, October 10, proved to be the most dangerous day for Columbus. The grumblings and resentment among the sailors was growing and nearly resulted in a mutiny. In order to quell the rising discontent among the men, Columbus bargained with them. It has been reported by numerous scholars that Columbus offered his men a deal in which he stated that if after three days no land was sighted, he would turn back. He persuaded a few of the influential sailors and, with their aid, quelled the rebellion. Columbus’s journal does not paint quite the same picture historians have uncovered. His words seem to show that he was uncompromising in his actions and that the men withdrew from the mutiny solely because it was their duty to follow him on the quest. Either way, Columbus’s time appeared to be running short. He now had only a few days left in which to find the long-sought-after land of the Indies.

Wednesday, 10 October 1492
I held course to the WSW, running 7½ knots, and at times 9 knots, and for a while 5¼ knots. Between day and night I made 177 miles. I told the crew 132 miles, but they could stand it no longer. They grumbled and complained of the long voyage, and I reproached them for their lack of spirit, telling them that, for better or worse, they had to complete the enterprise on which the Catholic Sovereigns had sent them. I cheered them on as best I could, telling them of all the honors and rewards they were about to receive. I also told the men that it was useless to complain, for I had started out to find the Indies and would continue until I had accomplished that mission, with the help of Our Lord.


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The Journey of Christopher Columbus