Christopher Columbus: Journal and Selected Writings

Introduction

Christopher Columbus's journal (Diario) is a diary and logbook written by Christopher Columbus about his first voyage. The journal covers events from 3 August 1492, when Columbus departed from Palos de la Frontera, to 15 March 1493 and includes a prologue addressing the sovereigns.[1] Several contemporary references confirm Columbus kept a journal of his voyage as a daily record of events and as evidence for the Catholic Monarchs.[2] Upon his return to Spain in the spring of 1493, Columbus presented the journal to Isabella I of Castile.[3] She had it copied, retained the original, and gave the copy to Columbus before his second voyage.[4] The whereabouts of the original Spanish text have been unknown since 1504.[4]

Copies based on an abstract from the journal have been made, most notably by Bartolomé de las Casas.[2] Some scholars have questioned the accuracy of the copy made by Bartolomé de las Casas, but in more recent studies the las Casas copy has been verified.[5] A number of alternative translations of the journal and bibliographies of Columbus are derived from the las Casas copy. The most commonly sourced works include The University of Oklahoma's The Diario of Christopher Columbus' First Voyage to America 1492-1493, John Cummins' The Voyage of Christopher Columbus: Columbus' Own Journal of Discovery, and Robert Fuson's The Log of Christopher Columbus.


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