Christopher Columbus By John Stevens Cabot Abbott. Published by University society, 1904. Original from the New York Public Library. Digitized Jan 10, 2006. 345 pages. Copyright 1875 by Dodd and Mead.
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In the magnificent maritime city called Genoa the Superb, there was born, about the year 1435,* a child * The date of his birth is a vexata quastio. Washington Irving, relying upon the evidence given by Bernaldez, in the " Cura de los Palacios," states it to be about 1435 or 1436. This inference he draws from the remark of Bernaldez that he died " in the year one thousand five hundred and six, at the age of seventy, a little more or less."
Juan Bautista Munoz, in his " Histoire del N ievo Mundo, " concludes that he was born in 1446. Don Ferdinand, the Admiral's son, relates, that in a letter addressed by his father to the King and Queen, and dated 1501, he states, that he had then been forty years at sea ; an4 in another letter that he was fourteen years old when he went to sea ; so that, allowing a year either way for probable inattention to minuteness in these statements, we get the date of his birth, fixed by his own hand, at about 1447.
Now known throughout the whole civilized world as Christopher Columbus. Even the precise year of his birth is not known. He was the child of humble parents and his father, a very worthy and industrious man, who followed the employment of a wool comber, labored hard for the support of his household.
The harbor of Genoa was filled with shipping from all the commercial ports of the then known world. The wharves were crowded with sailors, speaking diverse languages and dressed in every variety of costume. The boy had received from nature a reflective mind, a poetic imagination, and a strong love for adventure. As he strolled the streets, and gazed upon the majestic ships, his childish spirit was roused to visit distant lands.
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