A Slow Boat to China

A Slow Boat to China - Mundus Novus , the New World....

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A Slow Boat to China After landing on a small island on Oct. 12, 1492, in what he believed were the Indies, Columbus sailed along the coast of Cuba, certain that he had finally reached the continent of Cathay. He searched in vain for the magnificent cities Marco Polo had described, hoping to deliver a letter from the Spanish monarchs to "the great Khan," the Chinese emperor. "Afterwards," Columbus wrote on Oct. 21, "I shall set sail for another very large island which I believe to be Cipango, according to the indications I receive from the Indians on board." Columbus's Japan proved to be the island of Hispaniola. Refusing to Ask for Directions Three voyages later, Columbus still resolutely maintained that he had reached Asia despite growing contrary evidence. Amerigo Vespucci 's 150l voyage along the coast of South America convinced most explorers and their patrons that a huge unexplored continent existed across the Atlantic—what Vespucci called
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Unformatted text preview: Mundus Novus , the New World. Columbus, however, died in 1506 still insisting that he had found a new route to Asia. Columbus's arrival point in the New World is still contested. Where in the New World is San Salvador? But confusion over where Columbus landed in the New World has not been restricted to the explorer himself. For centuries scholars have hotly debated where Columbus first set foot in the Western Hemispherethe so-called landfall controversy. All have agreed that Columbus arrived on an island in the Bahamas that he named San Salvador (the native Arawak inhabitants called the island Guanahani). But dozens of different islands have been bandied about by numerous historians as the genuine San Salvador. The three most popular contestants have been Watling's Island (called San Salvador today), Cat Island, and Grand Turk (which today is no longer part of the Bahamas)....
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