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Additional resources for Christopher Columbus (DK Discoveries)
They had never seen horses before. Reign of terror The Tainos reacted to raids on their villages by ambushing stray Spaniards. Columbus did not want to risk upsetting his men. Instead of punishing them for their brutal behavior, he sent them on an expedition against the Tainos. Hundreds of Tainos were killed or brought back to Isabela as slaves. SHIPMENT OF SLAVES In 1495, Columbus sent 500 Taino slaves back to Spain. He hoped that these slaves would make up for his failure to send the gold he had promised.
BAPTISM OF INDIANS This plaque in Barcelona Cathedral commemorates the baptism of the captured Tainos. The king and queen acted as their godparents, and gave them new Spanish Christian names. Isabella was delighted to see them become Christian. THE POPE’S BACKING QUIZZED BY THE COURT The king, queen, and members of the royal court plied Columbus with all manner of questions about his eight-month long voyage. 29 Columbus had claimed the Caribbean islands for Spain. To make their ownership legal, Ferdinand and Isabella needed the backing of Pope Alexander VI.
He told the Tainos that he would punish them that night by asking God to put out the light of the Moon. The trick worked, and the terrified Tainos brought all the food they could find. The men fought mainly with swords, since there was little gunpowder left. SWORD FIGHT Columbus’s men were stronger and better fed than the mutineers. The mutineers tried and failed three times to reach Hispaniola in their canoes. Porras now accused Columbus of using witchcraft to keep them in Jamaica. On May 19, the mutineers marched back toward the ships to fight.