Christopher Columbus Facts – Interesting Facts About Christopher Columbus

Christopher Columbus Biography for Kids

During his first voyage and while visiting the islands of Cuba and Hispaniola(now Haiti and Dominican Republic), Santa Maria was wrecked on a reef off the coast of Hispaniola.

Columbus ordered his men to use the timbers of the ship to build a settlement called La Navidad (christmas) as the wreckage occurred on Christmas Day. He left 39 men to occupy the settlement and set sail to home with the remaining two ships.

Columbus left for the second voyage with 17 ships to the New World in 1493.

In his second voyage to Hispaniola he found that Navidad settlement has been destroyed with all the sailors massacred.

Columbus established forced labor over the native population to rebuilt the settlement and explore gold, considering that it would be profitable.

Columbus was very much interested in gold so much that he imposed gold tribute system. Every Tainos adult would supply certain quota of gold dust on a regular schedule from the gold mines. If they did, a token was give to wear it around their necks. If they did not, they had a hand chopped off.

Columbus left his brother Bartholomew and Diego to govern the settlement. Columbus left to explore other islands.

As Columbus destroyed the native Tainos population of Haiti, he began shipping African slaves to the island during the second voyage.

Within 50 years of Europeans first landfall the entire Taino population was nearly extinct. Murder, suicides, disease and declining birth rate are considerable factors. However, disease especially small pox was the most devastating.

Columbus went for his third voyage with six ships to the New World in 1498.