Returning to the Spanish court with the six Indian captives who survived the return voyage (most of his captives had already died, and only two would survive a whole year), along with gold nuggets, parrots, and other New World paraphernalia was Columbuss finest hour. He was named Admiral of the Ocean Sea, cut in on 10% of the New Worlds loot, and a second voyage was immediately planned. Before he met with Ferdinand and Isabella, Columbus drafted a memorial regarding future colonization plans. Nearly two-thirds of the document was concerned with how to handle the gold. Inserted between paragraphs about securing the gold was a paragraph about building a church and converting the Indians. The sovereigns agreed with the document in principle and the second voyage was planned. The Spanish names of the sovereigns were Fernando and Isabel, and Columbuss Spanish name was Cristóbal Colón, but this essay uses their anglicized names.
Today, some people are claiming Taino genes and an intact ancestral culture, and some academics and scientists are taking their claims seriously, while others see . A big problem with genetic ancestry claims, and trying to make them cultural claims, is that during the period in question, the 1500s, the Spanish invaders and the African slaves were mostly men, and native women would have been the primary source of Caribbean mothers. Mitochondrial DNA is passed down through the mother, and the studies that have detected American Indian mitochondrial DNA in the Caribbean peoples, Puerto Rico in particular, are probably showing the survival of the native concubines and wives of the 1500s. Once the Caribbean population passed through the bottleneck of the early 1600s, the mitochondrial DNA would reflect those Taino mothers, or even those brought from the other islands and mainland.
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In 1998, the complete extinction of the Taino people was the unanimous view in academia, and I was not even aware of any challenges. Since I first read Zinns account of Columbuss feat around 1992, I have deeply studied the conquest of humanity by Europe, which began with Columbuss voyage and was soon followed by .
1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus [Charles C
Some Americans are aware of recent significant revision of Columbus's feat. The celebration of 1992 was starkly different from 1892, when the Chicago Columbian Exposition (actually staged in 1893) was mounted. The 1893 Exposition attracted 24 million visitors, for the largest event attendance in world history to that time. In 1992, however, there were protests and events such as Indigenous Peoples Days, instead of Columbus Day celebrations. The year 1992 marked the release of a number of revisionist works. It coincided with research that I was already performing into the and .