The Journal of the First Voyage of Columbus
Monday , 12 November 1492
…that these people have no creed and they are not idolaters , but they are very gentle and do not know
what it is to be wicked , or to kill others , or to steal , and are unwarlike and so timorous that a hundred of
them would run from one of our people , although they jest with them , and they are credulous and knowing
that there is a God in the sky , they are assured that we have come from the sky , and they are very ready to
repeat any prayer we say to them and they make the sign of the cross. So your highnesses should resolve
to make them Christians , for I believe that , if you begin in a little while you will achieve the conversion to our
holy faith of a great number of peoples , with the acquisition of great lordships and riches and all their
inhabitants for Spain. For without a doubt there is in these lands a very great amount of gold.
Monday, 12 November 1492
…It was so that yesterday there came to the side of the ship a boat with six boys, and five came on board the
ship; I ordered them to be kept and I bring them with me. And afterwards I sent to a house which is near the
river to the west, and they brought seven head of women, small and large, and three boys. I did this, in
order that the men might conduct themselves better in Spain, having women of their own land, than if they
had not, because already it has many times been my business to bring men from Guinea,…So that, having
their women, they will be willing to do that which is laid upon them…This night there came to the side in a
boat the husband of one of these women and the father of three children, one male and two female, and
asked that I would allow him to come with them and implored me greatly, and they are now all consoled, so
that they must all be related. And he is a man of already forty-five years.
Sunday , 14 October 1492
… , as your highnesses will see from the seven whom I caused to be taken in order to carry them off that
they may learn our language and return. However , when your highnesses so command , they can all be
carried off to Castile or held captive in the island itself , since with fifty men they would be all kept in
subjection and forced to do whatever may be wished.
Letter of Columbus , Describing the results of his first voyage
In another island , which they assure me is larger than Espanola , the people have no hair. In it there is gold
incalculable , and from it and from the other islands I bring with me Indians as evidence. In conclusion , to
speak only of that which has been accomplished on this voyage , which was so hasty , their highnesses can
see that I will give them as much gold as they need , if their highnesses will render me very slight
assistance….and slaves , as many as they shall order to be shipped and who will be from the idolaters.