The Fourth Voyage of Christopher Columbus

The Fourth Voyage of Christopher Columbus was perhaps his most disappointing trip. By that time the sovereigns, Ferdinand and Isabella, had lost their hope in him and were not much supportive while he was in desperate need of it.

Judging from Columbus’ letter to the sovereigns dated July 7, 1503, we see that Columbus takes offence at the king and the queen and is humiliated by such indifference to his voyage. Therefore, throughout the letter Columbus tries to express his resentment and to tell the Sovereigns that they are the source of all his problems. He often mentions that he acts only by their order while all his attempts to serve for Spain are underestimated. Moreover, he understands that his voyage, which initially was aimed at the discovery of new lands, is now regarded as a simple search for plunder, and what is more offensive for Columbus is that such attitude is encouraged by the sovereigns.

He becomes firmly convinced of it, when he and his brothers are robbed.

Certainly Columbus understands that only Ferdinand and Isabella can solve his problems and he asks for their help.

He does his best to convince the sovereigns to support him and to admit the importance of the enterprise.  In order to influence their decision he even resorts to a veiled threat to tell everybody about the policy of Spain and about the humiliation of Columbus and his undertaking.

“The honest devotedness I have always shown to your Majesties’ service, and the so unmerited outrage with which it has been repaid, will not allow my soul to keep silence, however much I may wish it” (35).

Thus, the last Columbus’ voyage became not only the most difficult but also made him feel very disappointed in the sovereigns of Spain. All his efforts to bring glory to Spain were outweighed by gold.

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