The Darker Side Of Christopher Columbus

    October 10, 2013
    Ellisha Rader Mannering
    Comments are off for this post.

This Monday, the United States will observe Columbus Day. Most of us learned about Christopher Columbus during history class and think of him as the person who discovered America. Over the years, the identity of Christopher Columbus and the story of the discovery of American has been debated. Most people agree that Christopher Columbus should not be credited with discovering America because there were already people living here when he arrived.

It turns out there are many other things about the story of Christopher Columbus that are also untrue and somewhat dark. When you find out the truth about Christopher Columbus, it may make you think twice about observing a holiday in his honor.

Most people think of Christopher Columbus as a fearless adventurer who was looking for a new world. In reality, he was just greedy. Christopher Columbus was searching for a new trade route to Asia in order to make money. When he came across America by accident, he decided not to pursue a trade route and instead focus on a way to get the huge amount of gold available in America.

If you think Columbus treated the natives well, think again. When we are taught about Christopher Columbus, we are told of his fear of Native Americans, In reality, Columbus wanted to control them and when he went to war with them, he easily dominate them and sold over 500 Native Americans into slavery. The ones he didn’t sell he tortured and treated as his own slaves. If the natives refused to give him and his men what they wanted, he would cut off their ears and noses.

The observation of Columbus Day comes from the notion that Christopher Columbus discovered America and helped make it civilized. The truth is, when Columbus and his men arrived in American, they brought disease and sickness with them. Nearly 5 million people died of illness and starvation as a result of Columbus’s arrival.

So as you observe Columbus Day this year, think about what the country is really celebrating. Should the sugar-coated version of Christopher Columbus still be taught to children in school? Should our country continue to observe a holiday that is based on a lie?

Image from Wikimedia Commons.

  • Rob

    You are confusing the facts. For example you state that most people don’t think Christopher Columbus should be credited with discovering America. You can’t back that up with any facts. You just made that up. If you said that most “uneducated” people don’t know or believe that Christopher Columbus should be credited with discovering America, you may be closer to the truth. However the notion that Christopher Columbus should not recieve credit for discovering America has already been debunked by scholars and educated people.

    Columbus was the first person to discover and document America, and his mapmaker Vespucci frew the map. The Vikings never documented America, they are credited with documenting the icy island in the North Atlantic Sea and calling it Greenland, and documenting the warm green island in the North Sea and calling it “iceland”.

    The notion that Columbus could not have been a discoverer of America because natives were already there has also been debunked as simple diatribe designed to trick the uneducated to support an agenda of disinformation.

    Madame Curie is credited for and won a Nobel prize for discovering and documenting the existence of polonium and Polonium was already there before she discovered it.

    You use the word greed like an uneducated person. Colombus was given funding to explore a way to the east heading west. He was to return with riches in the name of Spain. That is how the world worked in 1492. Disease was spread first between ship mates on long voyages and then to people on land wherever they landed.

    Your writing has little to do with reality.

    • Rusty

      You are a fool, the focus of the article was more about how Columbus intentionally treated the natives like slaves and property. He would burn them alive, torture them and steal gold that was rightfully theirs. Does that sound like a man we should honor?

      • Joed

        Rusty, we are not celebrating Columbus so much as his discovery of the new world.

        • http://www.GundiSimmons.com Gundi

          Celebrating his “discovery” IS celebrating him…especially when his name is attached. F

          • Rob

            That is just what yiou say, but it doesn’t make it reality.

  • George

    No offense, but this is what happened with settling of America as well. Natives were treated as slaves and killed off and everyone who came to the new world brought with them disease and killed many of the natives because of the diseases. Natives were put on reservation and forced from their lands and here you sit talking about how horrible Columbus what was sacraficed to make America what it is today. Stop with the look what they did to these people look what they were really like crap, because you are just being hypocritical. The founding and settling of America wasn’t pretty, but neither was the settling of Europe, Asian, Africa, Australia, and South America. To conquer territories people fought to the death and enslaved natives who lived in those parts. That’s how it was back then and as barbaric as it was we can’t continue to belittle and discredit people with their accomplishments, because when it comes to conquering territory it’s all about power and greedy and the mission of conquering an area is because that area has something desirable that is wanted. So stop with your nonsense you can’t change the past you can only learn and become a better humanitarian from it.

    • Rusty

      So…why would we celebrate a holiday about greed and genocide? The point of the article is that Christopher Columbus was a terrible person, and I remember being taught very differently in elementary school. Chris Columbus used to burn natives alive and he never even realized he had discovered America.

  • Jesse Price

    Millions of immigrant people from other lands have “discovered” America. Columbus was one of them. Always remember that history is sometimes written by biased people, whether intentional or not, that reflect their own beliefs and level of knowledge of the subject in question.

    That’s my opinion

  • Mark Rigoglioso

    We know from historical records that other explorers had reached the western hemisphere before Columbus, but his unexpected discovery was unique. His discovery was for the record, as we say. It came at a time when all of Europe had grown and developed, due to its unmistakable Christian character and was ready to project modern civilization in all directions.

    It is unfortunate that Columbus and many Europeans used their power in cruel ways on the native populations. It is also unfortunate that so many people they encountered were either spiritual simpletons or direct animists, mired in the darkness and clueless trap of idolatry, and so without a healthy power and awareness of their own to organize and build societies, as were many Africans who would later be sold into slavery by their fellow Africans.

    Not one person who cheers Ms. Mannering’s short-sighted article would for one minute tolerate or even consider living in the conditions these natives, and later the Natives of the continent, lived in. Such couch potato historians are as simplistic, and I dare say, as mired in the darkness of a growing anti-Christ culture, that would make the natives of that time appear enlightened. The stupidity of this growing hoard of modern-day Western deconstructionists is worse – they condone mass infanticide, fornication, adultery, sodomy and social thievery, aka Socialism and promote global vice as the cutting edge of civil rights. But they are so sure of their own superior characters that had their Hollywood mentalities only been in play circa 1492, all would have fallen into perfect place in 60 minutes or less. Spare me.

    I am sorry to say Ms. Mannering takes the easy, thoughtless track of today’s deluded society which believes all this civlization got here by magic, and as their president likes to say, “you didn’t build that”.

    So let’s all imagine we go live in the woods, fending off insects and living in huts while we trash that “evil” white man who just wanted to make money.

    • Rob

      well said!!

  • rebekah chin

    THANK YOU for writing this. I think it is awful to glorify someone who, as history records, tried to commit genocide. Yes, he opened up trade routes. Who was that good for? Certainly not the Native Americans. Yes, it has happened time and time again in history. That doesn’t make it good, or worthy of holidays dedicated to them. There is lots of darkness in this world. Let’s start celebrating the good parts–and Columbus is not one of them.

    • jessica


  • Mick

    “In truth…” where is the proof? All I’m seeing here are rumors.

  • Adriana Amaro

    wow i didnt know he was that harsh he shouldn’t be honored in any kind of way smh

  • Crabzilla

    You should read this article, it is very interesting! Also, you did not mention in your article that Columbus and his men sexually abused children when they arrived. He even documented this in his journal. They would prefer girls 10 or younger. Sickening!!!

  • Rob

    Today is a great holiday. It celebrates the accomplishments of Christopher Columbus and his great discovery. The holiday is not meant to celebrate his means. Different times had different tools and different means to an end. We focus on the positive and enjoy the day off in America with our family and good Italian food.

  • Michael

    I don’t really care, only because it’s not a huge holiday but it’s still just rumors with no evidence like you can’t find his slaves ears in a jar

  • Leroy

    It’s a sham, and a shame, to continue to celebrate Columbus knowing about the atrocities he brought upon the Native Americans he encountered. This is not a legacy for a national holiday to be built upon.