Time Spent With the Harvard Classics: The Letter of Columbus to Luis de Sant Angel Announcing His Discovery

“I am a most noteworthy sinner, but I have cried out to the Lord for grace and mercy, and they have covered me completely. I have found the sweetest consolation since I made it my whole purpose to enjoy His marvellous Presence.” – Columbus

Lately, some find it fashionable to point cultural flaws out with respect to Columbus.  They do so out of context as if somehow magically we can apply today’s standards to another time and age while simultaneously ignoring the flaws of others.  I think maybe that’s called hypocrisy in circles that have integrity.

Others would like us to dwell on the fact that Columbus was not the first in the Americas.  Okay.  And?  I mean if you look at the history of people this is pretty much how history has gone.  And again if you want to point out that someone wasn’t first in a particular place?  Well, pretty soon, you’ve removed the heritage of most peoples around the globe.   This whole human race can apparently embrace the guilt of possibly wiping out earlier humanoids such as Neanderthal Man and possibly others.  Sorry to say there is no guilt free sector in humanity.

Truth is man kind’s biggest trace we’ve left so far is our propensity toward inhumanity toward others. It is as it has always been.  The best we have is today and tomorrow make that somehow different and make this world a better place than we found it.

As to Christopher Columbus? Well, what did with certainty do is to bring the Americas front and center to the attention of  Western Civilization.  He may not have been the first to arrive, but, he and all of since have to one capacity or another, we’ve stayed.  Stayed and developed a relationship between all the landmasses and their inhabitants.  And in the grand experiment that has become and is our republic, we have set an example of rising into something better.

This letter may be read at:


Alternatively, you may listen to the text of this letter in an audiobook format at:

About alohapromisesforever

Writer, poet, musician, surfer, father of two princesses.
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