“You can never cross the ocean until you have the courage to lose sight of the shore” ~ Christopher Columbus
Back in 1492 when Columbus set to sail the ocean blue he would have Pedro Alonso Nino navigate the Santa Maria. Pedro Alonso Nino (also known as El Negro) was born in Palos de Moguer, Spain around 1468. A member of the famed “Nino brothers,” Pedro Alonso would learn the trade of sailing as a young boy off the coast of Africa.
The four Nino brothers (Pedro Alonso, Francisco, Juan and one other) were already sailors with prestige and experience in Atlantic travels before participating in Columbus’ first voyage to the New World. Per, Alice Bache Gould, Nueva Lista Documentada De Los Tripulantes De Colon En 1492, Juan Nino was the owner of the ship the Nina and Francisco Nino was the sailor of that ship. The Ninos brothers took part as well in Columbus’ second and third voyages.
Between 1499 and 1501 the Nino brothers traveled on their own account with the merchants Cristobal and Luis Guerra, following Columbus’ second route voyage to the Gulf of Paria on the South American mainland in what is now Venezuela. Pedro Alonso Nino would return to Spain in 1499 loaded with treasure but was quickly arrested based on the accusation that he had cheated the King out of his portion of the spoils.
Pedro Alonso Nino would die in 1505 before the conclusion of his trial. Francisco Nino, the youngest brother, became appointed mayor of Puerto de Caballos, now Puerto Cortes, Honduras.
As we prepare to celebrate Columbus Day this upcoming weekend the political correctness of the holiday is brought into question. On October 6th, the Seattle City Council unanimously voted to celebrate Indigenous Peoples Day on the same day as the federally recognized Columbus Day.
Indigenous Peoples Day, seriously? The PC police do not want you to say Merry Christmas or wave the American flag because these things might offend and now this. I take this as clear evidence that political correctness has indeed run amuck.
It takes so little courage to argue and judge and rule against a man and a voyage that happened 522 years ago.
It takes a lot of courage to set sail into the unknown waters as Christopher Columbus and the Nino brothers did and risk life, fame and fortune to discover a New World. Neither Christopher Columbus nor the Nino brothers were perfect people, and neither are we.
Woe be to us and the scholars that would judge our actions today, 500 hundred plus years from now. What Christopher Columbus and the Nino brothers were was brave.
Happy Columbus Day!