I am concerned about articles that denounce Columbus and wish to replace Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples Day. I have no problem with the latter but it should be a different day, preferably a day chosen by them. Most people know little about Columbus and are blaming him for things he did not do.
I spent several years doing research for my acclaimed book, Columbus and the Quest for Jerusalem. He sailed west toward what he assumed would be China. There he expected to set up a trading post the profits from which were to be used to take Jerusalem back from the Muslims. This is in his writings and in the agreements with Queen Isabella. When he arrived in Hispaniola he became friends with the natives, especially the chief Guacanagari, saying they were the best people in the world.
The Santa Maria went aground on that voyage so he had to return to get a rescue ship. He had to leave 39 men behind and left strict instructions that they treat the natives well and not go raping and marauding. He took 6 back with him—all were baptized. Baptized people could not be enslaved. Two decided to remain at court, one became his adopted godson, the others wanted to go back home. When they arrived back, all of the men he had left were dead. The chief told Columbus that the men had gone against his orders and went to another village where they did the dastardly deeds. The people from that village came and killed them. The men who just came with Columbus wanted to kill the natives in return but Columbus said absolutely not. He continually asked the Queen to send priests to baptize the natives so they would be saved. Please retain Columbus Day and suggest that people learn more about him. Make Indigenous Peoples Day a different day. Thank you.
Carol L. Delaney