Biography of Bartolomé Colón (ca. 1437-ca. 1514)

Navigator, cartographer and discoverer, brother of Christopher Columbus. If one admits the Genoese origin of the family, was born in this city between 1437 and 1461 (more probably in the latter date). He died in the city of Santo Domingo, the Spanish island, in the year 1514.

While his brother was in Castile, he visited the monarchs of Portugal (Juan II), England (Henry VII) - which presented a map of the world by it carried out - and France (Carlos VIII), to offer the project of his brother reach the East by sailing westward. There are reasons to think that it could participate in the journey of Bartolomé Díaz de Novaes and culminating in the discovery and first transfer from the Cape of good hope, at the southern end of Africa. If you did not participate in the trip, it was at the Court of Lisbon at the end of the year 1487, while his brother Christopher was at the Court of Castile negotiated with the Catholic monarchs their project.

First stay in America

Bartholomew was in the Court of the King of France as Envoy of his brother, introducing the draft, when he had news of the arrival of Cristobal in the land of spices under the flag of Castile. Knowing it, turned quickly to Castilla and reached Andalusian lands at the end of 1493. At that time did not find his brother, because he had already organized and had left in his second trip to what were considered Indian land. However, Cristóbal Colón left him instructions. After meeting them and lead to his nephews Diego and Hernando to the Court, to make it serve of pages to Prince don Juan, heir to the Crown, went in the month of April to Andalusia. It was there, in command of three ships with provisions that sailed towards the island of Hispaniola.

The 24 of June of the year 1494, Bartolomé Colón arrived at the port and town of Isabela, first village founded on the North coast of the island of Hispaniola. It became the right hand of the viceroy, replacing in this role to his brother, the youngest of the family, Diego Colón.

Energetic character, he fought the first clashes between Spaniards, as the one which took place against the Mayor Francisco Roldán, but also against Adrián of Mugica and Hernando de Guevara, who rebelled against the Government of the Colon brothers. He also distinguished himself by suppressing uprisings of indigenous. Thus, he fought Indians and chiefs sublevados in the area of the Vega Real. Submitted this work to the chieftains Behechio and Guarionex. As a Scout, he recognized the mouth of the Ozama River, on the South coast of the island of Hispaniola. There was, between 1496 and 1498, the Foundation of the city of Santo Domingo, which would be the future capital of India.

The July 22, 1497, the Catholic monarchs recognized services naming him in advance of the Indies. He ruled the island of Hispaniola in the absence of his brother between 1496 and 1498 and it was then when he faced the aforementioned Francisco Roldán uprising. He showed great diplomatic skills when it comes to engage peacefully the Chieftainship of Jaragua, which was the most populous island, under the command of the Chief Anacaona, always friendly and accommodating to the Christians.

Capture and shipping to Spain.

The 23 August 1500 was entering the port of Santo Domingo pesquisidor judge Francisco de Bobadilla, appointed by the Catholic Kings to try to clarify the situation of the Spanish on the island. Bartholomew, who was in Jaragua, was called to Santo Domingo for the coroner. Once there he was imprisoned and sent to Spain, chained and in the bilge of the boat, along with his brothers Christopher and Diego. Once released in Spain, Bartholomew ran out of steam and of participating in new projects of travel. However, his brother Christopher asked that he accompany him in what would be the fourth and last Columbian travel to America, between 1502 and 1504.

Second stay in America.

On this trip, the advance of Indian Bartolomé Colón was the strong arm of his brother Christopher, tired and sick, that needed help both at sea and on land, and before hostilities against the revolt of the Spanish sailors in Jamaica both natives of Panama.

In this way, on the fourth trip Bartholomew had faced the same problems as on his first trip. Thus, respect to the Indians, submitted to Honduran cacique Quibian in 1503. Regarding Christians, subjected to the brothers Porras in 1504. As most outstanding scientific contribution of this expedition, is contained in the so-called Codex Alberico map.

Second return to Spain.

In the month of April of the year 1506, carrying a letter from his brother Christopher, already very ill, it will go to La Coruña as an Ambassador of one to receive the new Kings of Castile, Juana I and Felipe. The rapid death of King Felipe and the withdrawal of the King Fernando the Catholic, Regent of Castile, his Italian States did that Bartholomew had to travel to Italy. He first went to Rome, and then to Naples, city in which he met the King of Aragon and Regent of Castile, Fernando the Catholic.

According to a subsequent probate codicil, of December 11, 1508 Bartolomé Colón fathered an illegitimate daughter, which was the name of María. Before, during the spring of that same year, should participate in the so-called Junta of Burgos. It was a meeting of a technical nature involving the most important navigators in order to devise the main lines of action for new expeditions to lands discovered and to be discovered on the other side of the ocean.

Third stay in America.

The 9 July 1509, Bartholomew came to the city of Santo Domingo with the fleet that the second Admiral Diego Colón, led to the new Governor of the Indies, his nephew, along with his other brother's name also Diego. The new Governor instructed his uncle a few days come to prepare an expedition to the island of Cuba for their economic possibilities. It fulfilled the mandate of his nephew and the news that arrived was excellent. This provoked suspicions of the King Fernando, who sent a strict order that Bartholomew come back to the Court as soon as. Bartolomé obeyed and filed in 1511 with the King. That same year he received an encomienda in the Mona Island.

Clarified the situation before the monarch, returned to the Spanish at the end of the month of August in what to the dessert was his definitive return to the new world. Upon his return from the island of Puerto Rico to the Dominican capital, again it received Fernando the Catholic order to return soon to Spain. This situation grew him a flank pain that eventually would cause death within a week. He appointed heir of all his possessions and titles to his nephew, son of Christopher, Diego Colón. He died in the city of Santo Domingo, he founded years earlier, the 14 August 1514. He was buried in the convent of San Francisco of his city.