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A different perspective on Columbus
To Seekers of info on Columbus. I found the following in "The Light and the
Glory" by Peter Marshall and David Manuel
A little background first on the author, Peter Marshall, Jr. His father was
Peter Marshall, the Senate Chaplin . Peter Sr. was born in Scotland and
there was a movie in the 1950's about him "A Man Called Peter".
One day back in 1997 when we were thinking of ways to publicize the 200th
Celebration of Prince Henry's voyage to Nova Scotia in 1398, I happen to
hear the name Peter Marshall followed by a description of a book he had
written with one chapter about Christopher Columbus mentioned on local talk
show. I snapped to attention and learned that he was giving a series of
lectures in Oregon. I went to 2 of them armed with our info on PHS hoping
that Peter might be interested in incorporating PHS's story in any future
books because the slant of Peter's message would be perfect for our Henry.
(He did seem interested and took the materials, Pete Cummings tried to
follow up on this because Marshall's home was back in MA)
Most of the author's sources came out of the Yale archives. Columbus's
"Book of Prophecies", which is available only in Spanish, and has never been
published in USA is a compilation of all of the teaching and prophecies in
the Bible on the subject of the earth, distant lands, population movements,
and undiscovered tribes, as well as similarly pertinent writings of ancient
Church fathers, much of this work has been privately translated by August J.
Kling, who quoted these excerpts in an article in "The Presbyterian Layman"
Oct. 1971; The Voyages of Christopher Columbus pp. 146, 147 by Cecil Jane;
Samuel Eliot Morison' "Admiral of the Ocean Sea" and Bjorn Landrom's
"Columbus"; and "The European Discovery of America" by Morison p. 60,
The slant or perspective of this book is "Did God have a plan for America?
Points to ponder: Pg. 29: Columbus had red hair, blue eyes, tall, lean with
a taste for the sea.
(doesn't that sound Nordic ?)
Columbus wrote that he believed God had given him a mystical mission
1. His name, Christopher, meant literally, "Christ-bearer" and indicated
God's early mark upon his life
2. It seems that his father and grandfather had taken any opportunity away
from wool carding to go to sea
3. Christopher and brother, Bartolomeo, were employed in the exclusive
profession of mapmaking by 1484 when Christopher would have been 33. That
age, 33, is called by Italians "Anno de Christo", the Year of the Christ,
because traditionally that is the age at which Christ died.
4. While making maps, he would have seen all the latest maps as they were
brought from the far corners of civilization. In his day the newest world
map was of Toscanelli of Florence based on Marco Polo's eye-witness accounts
which placed Japan and the East Indies just 4,700 miles west of Lisbon. (he
must have seen the Zeno map ).
The chance to go to sea came sometime between his 19th and 20th
birthdays, when he shipped aboard a Genoese galley. The galley had been
chartered by King Rene of Provence to punish the Barbary pirates.After that
Columbus made one or two voyages to the island of chios in the Aegean Sea.
Then came a voyage that almost cost him his life. His ship, the
Bechalla, formed part of a convoy bound from Genoa to England. On August
13, 1476, the convoy was attacked by a hostile fleet off Lagos, Portugal,
Christopher was wounded and his ship sank. Jumping into the sea he grabbed
a long oar. Using the oar as a life preserver he managed to reach shore. A
few months later he was on a Portuguese vessel which stopped at Galway in
Ireland. The vessel sailed north of Iceland in Feb. 1477, before returning
(If he didn't have the Zeno map before and saw it now in Iceland, he would
have recognized the importance of it)
5. He would have studied the global projections of the Greek geographer,
Eratosthenes, who 2000 years before had calculated the circumference of the
earth to within 10 percent of its actual dimensions= +- 2500 miles So he
and every educated sailor knew that the earth was round.
"Columbus made his own calculations then and decided that at the 28th
parallel, it would only be 750 leagues (or 2,760 miles) from the Canary
Islands to Japan. His calculations compounded the errors inherent in the
accepted cosmography of his day and added one or two errors of his own."
6. He presented his plan to King John II in 1484 whose royal commission of
scholars found his scheme to utterly fantastic and Columbus, himself,
arrogant and overbearing."
Next he sent brother, Bartolomeo, to Henry VII of England who considered
him a fool and his ideas mad.
Columbus then decided that because Ferdinand and Isabella of Spain were
renowned throughout Christendom for their devotion to the Saviors that God
had reserved for them the honor of sending him with the Gospel to
undiscovered lands. At the time they were in Granada trying to drive out
the Moors who had been in southern Spain for 7 centuries.
Finally with the help of the Count of Medina Celi, the monarchs were
interested in May, 1486 to have their royal commission consider the matter.
This took another 4 1/2 years for them to reject it but the monarchs
suggested he resubmit his request when the war was over. Columbus was ready
to give up on Spain and turn to France.
He coincidentally stayed the night at the monastery where Queen
Isabella's confessor now lived and poured out his story to him. The next
day Father Perez sent a message to the Queen stating that he believed that
God's hand had rested upon Christopher Columbus and urged her to support
Her message with money came that Columbus was to return immediately to Santa
Fe, the City of Holy Faith, which the besieging Christian forces had over
come outside the massive walls of Granada. The Moors were about to surrender
and Columbus got to see. (quite a moving description is given of the
"mounted Crusaders with white surplices with the red crosses blazing in the
Very soon he spoke with the monarchs who were most receptive at this
moment to his Crusade "to discover new lands for the glory of God and His
Church and to spread the Gospel of the Holy Savior to the ends of the
But at that moment he returned to his greedy, proud, distrusting,
ambitious self and demanded a tenth of all riches, etc. etc. This stunned
the Isabella who sent him away. Luis de Santangel, a skilled diplomat,
persuaded her to change her mind and raise the money needed and sell her
jewels if necessary with the hope that enough gold would be found to launch
another Crusade to free the Holy Land.
It took 8 months to ready the caravels under the direction of the Pizon
brothers. Good ships were extremely hard to come by, because wealthy Jews
were frantically buying up all seaworthy ships to escape from the Spanish
Inquisition that was now focusing its attention on "Merranos" Jews who had
"converted" to Christianity, perhaps to escape mounting persecution or to
avoid having to leave their native soil. With the Moors gone, only the Jews
remained to defile Spain's "purity".
Columbus was allowed to invest 1/8 in the funding and to receive that
percentage of any profits. His friends, Duke of Medina Celi and Santangel
probably loaned him the money.
The book goes on for many pages to tell of Columbus' downward spiral
into greed and allowing his men to mistreat the only friendly natives in the
Now taking the above information we see that it was but a short time from
returning from Iceland that In 1479 he married the Portuguese lady, Felipa
de Perestrello and lived in the Madeiras. She was the descendant of one of
the Portuguese discoverers of the Madeiras. She was also related by
marriage to the grandson, John Drummond, of Prince Henry Sinclair. Henry
died just about 76 years before Columbus came to Iceland so surely people
were still speaking of his trip. How was it that he met Felipa? Did the
Templar network have something to do with this or did Henry recognize the
Drummond name and seek her out? Felipa was also distantly related to Queen
People have said that Columbus was a Jew. OK with me but does that make
sense with what we read above.
(1) His physical description is at odds with the Jewish stereotype.
(2) Would a Jew have named a son, Christopher "Christ Bearer". I think that
Jews are very knowledgeable about the meaning of names.
(3) His mother could have been a Jewess through which, I believe, the
Jewness passes usually but she could have been overruled by a Christian
(4) If the inquision was now singling out the Jews after the Moors were
expelled, would a Jew have been recommended by the confessor to the Queen?
(5) Would she have allowed him to be leader of the expedition even offering
to sell her jewels for the project.
(6) Would a Jew have been considered to head an expedition that would be
seeking gold to launch another Crusade?
(7) Would the Catholic descendant of a renown explorer have married him?
(8) Would the Pinzons have worked so hard for him?
(9) This book says that Columbus wrote passionately in his journal of his
desire to serve Christ and carry His Light to heathen lands.
(10) Perhaps he was converted before going to Spain but these converts were
the target of the Inquisition.
I wonder where the proof of his Jewish ancestry comes from?
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