This publication provides the first and only English-language version of the testimonies of witnesses that had sailed to the America´s between Columbus´s first voyage in 1492 and 1504 when he returned to Spain for the last time.
The story of the first stage of Europe's expansion into the Americas usually focuses on the personal actions of Christopher Columbus. Nevertheless, the enterprise of the Indies was a collective endeavour. Between Columbus's first voyage in 1492 and 1504 when he returned to Spain for the last time, thousands had sailed from Spain to the Americas. Their voices have largely been forgotten, but they have not been lost. The testimony those witnesses made, duly recorded and preserved, is the focus of this volume. The material has been available in the Spanish archives since the sixteenth century. Some historians used it in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, and begining in the 1960s a group of Spanish scholars led by Antonio Muro Orejón published a definitive Spanish-language version. That is the basis of this edition, the first and only English-langauge version available. The dispositions of the individual witnesses provide evidence that the traditional picture of Columbus needs re-examination. This volume offers fascinating and unfamiliar information about the first voyages.