Amerigo Vespucci, Explorer and Navigator
The city of Isabela. Columbus built this city on Hispaniola and it became very well known and attracted many tourists and traders and explorers. The city was good, but right away the people had trouble. They would get suck and there would never be enough food to eat and they didn’t much like Columbus..
.or his brother Diego. Who was left in charge after Columbus left to explore and left the place for his brother, Diego to rule in the mean time. Neither one of them was good at keeping the people in order, and it only made things all the worse being from Genoa. The Spaniards couldn’t see why they should listen to the two men who couldn’t keep a promise. Maybe the two of them were born to be difficult, one man in 1525 couldn’t agree more.
No one could have kept them in line, says he, unless you were supernatural.Even so this was the place everyone still came, wether it was to exchange news or trade goods. Among all these explorers and visitors was Amerigo Vespucci, and this is where our story truly begins…
People still talk about him to this day, still mutter and sputter and argue. Some gave him credit for knowing a continent when he saw it, others thought he was a total faker and an outlandish story teller.But some of what he did, no one argues about.Amerigowas born in 1454 and coming from a family in Florence, Italy. He was in fact good friends with Lorenzo Piero de Medici, who was ruler of Florence.
Amerigo being very interested in the stars and maps, helped Columbus on his third voyage,helping outfit his ships. It was the next year 1499, he went exploring into the wilderness. If you ask one person they’ll tell you he went on a command by Alonso de Ojeda, and if you ask the other they’ll say he was expected to make astronomical observations and was given directions by some of the ships. Amerigo was especially interested in one star in particular amd he was sure it was to be fixed to the South Pole just as the North Star is fixed to the North Pole. When Amerigo Vespucci and Alonso reached the place once known as the Garden of Eden, by Columbus.
Vespucci decided to go south and Ojeda went just the opposite direction in search of the breath taking pearls. They did eventually see each other again in Hispaniola, and Vespucci sailed back to Spain many months later.On the return trip Amerigo wrote a letter to his old friend Lorenzo describing his many adventures since they’d last seen each other. But soon after he was caught in strong currents and was forced to turn back before he could even get the smallest peek of the stars he was wanting to seek. He wished he would find the star, and his name would be in the pages of history forever.Amerigo went over the places of where exactly he had been he was shocked to find that he had crossed the line of Demarcation into Portugal’s very territory.
He had now seen the northern endof Brazil before any other European. The King Manuel of Portugal had heard from Cabral and was very eager to see how much land he owned across the wide deep dark expanse of the ocean. Amerigo Vespucci wanted to sail and was even willing to sail under the Portuguese flag, so the King handed him ships and said that he must check the Brazil stories. This trip was for only discovering and not for profiting. Not like many he wasn’t any gold or money trader but alas he was curious and wanted fame like no other.
He thought, perhaps, he could be famous if he found that star or if he could find what Columbus could not. The Strait. Amerigo Vespucci was heard to have one of the luckiest and most jolly explorations of all time, right from the very beginning. When he reached his destination, the Cape Verde Islands where Pedro Cabral once returned from India. The two of them had many eager question and news to share, Vespucci wanting to know the news of Brazil and vice versa.
And off Amerigo went, off to Brazil! The land where his imagination was captivated most.He mapped the place, from harbor to river as he went down the coast. But he took long pauses to gaze in complete amazement at the glorious sights lay before him. He took twenty seven days living among these native people exploring and learning every aspect of their lives. He noticed they had no king,no religion, no privet property and no king. Yet somehow they stilled seemed to live in harmony with themselves.
He was astounded, marveled, and shocked to see such brilliant colors of nature and the birds! There wings fluttering just barely making a sound and the beautiful music the birds sang, and the many different spices of animals! He said then, that there was no way they could have all fit on Noah’s ark. Even more, he learned that there were many more different languages in the world than anyone could have even begun to think. Most bought only seventy seven, others thought more or less, but Vespucci thought that there we’re at least one thousand different languages swarming throughout the world.Amerigo Vespucci traveled for another nine months and twenty seven days south, and contributed at least another 3,300 new miles on the maps, but he never found the star he once set out to find…
never made it to his one destination.He thought maybe he’d made some advance in knowing longitude by recording the amount of time it took for the moon to pass certain planets, but nothing accurate of longitude was invented until John Harrison in 1735, where the chronometer was invented. First instrument ever that could measure e time correctly on a ship sailing over the rolling waves.Vespucci also never found the strait, he went far below the Portuguese area, sailing fast, because this land wasn’t his and it belonged to Spain. But never found the strait that could lead him to fame.
But the land continued, becoming more and more broken, and he finally came to the thought that this was a whole new continent, and completely unknown. He wrote this to Lorenzo in 1502.And than came a time of sadness as we learn that Lorenzo died in 1503. And according to Amerigo Vespucci the theory goes that someone very familiar to Vespucci’s letters wanted them printed. The readers in Europe were greedy for the wanders and news from the mysteriousunknown world across the wide deep blue sea. So the editors were known to have added juicy pieces to execrate Amergio Vespucci’s story.
Rumor has it that Vespucci was a boaster and a faker but no one really knows… But of course the editors had Amerigo boasting that he of all was the finest amd most skilled shipmates of all time and the most shocking, if the rumors are true however, was that they changed the date of the voyage to the year 1497. The year before Columbus ever had actually been there. But of course this made Amerigo Vespucci the “Discover” and a majority of the people who read his work, believed it.
Some even insisted that these published accounts were in fact written by Amergo Vespucci, in 1504. Some say they were forgeries. One man by the name of Martin Waldseemuller, a German mapmaker, says they were real. In the year 1507, he was making a map and showed a continent between Europe and Asia, a very skinny and narrow continent blocking the way to Asia. Martin loved making up names, so when he read the accounts believed to be written by Amerigo Vespucci, he was thrilled. He new he would just have to make up a name for this continent and directly across Brazil he put the name America.
He new it was a great name for the continent, and unlike the two beside it both ending in an A, this one was named after a man. He says, About Time! People still call it the Indies and New World and Martin tried to change it again thinking it wouldn’t be quit fair to Columbus, but alas the name stuck like glue.Columbus died a year before Martins map came out, so therefor it did not threaten Amerigo Vespucci and Columbus’s friendship. And there friendship continued until Columbus’s very last breath.