Biography of Martín Alonso Yáñez Pinzón (1440-1493)

Sailor and Spanish owner born in Palos de la Frontera towards 1440 and died in the monastery of la Rabida on March 31, 1493 (although this date is not confirmed).

He was instrumental in the voyage of Columbus in 1492, who supported to recruit the crew of their ships, suggested a change of decisive direction in the journey and found the northern coast of Santo Domingo. Their disagreements with the Admiral were reflected in two defections. He came to the Peninsula (Bayona, Galicia) before Columbus and died in sticks a few days of arriving. The secret of its participation took with him in the Columbus company.

He was the eldest son of a wealthy family of armadores-pescadores. He began to sail from a young age to the North African coast, Italy and Guinea in connection with very different activities, like fishing, corso and war (possibly intervene in the luso-castellano conflict). In the years leading up to the discovery of America consolidated as the owner of greater prestige and wealth of the basin of the rivers Tinto and Odiel (Huelva). He hired fishermen of sticks, Moguer and the same Huelva. It is ignored when they came into contact with Colon, but surely was in the same year 1492, after signed the capitulations. In the summer of that year, and to the dismay of Columbus not find crew for their boats, Fray Juan Pérez, guardian of the monastery of La Rábida, suggested that it his in his company to Martín Alonso, experienced pilot of great ascendant on the sailors in the region. Colon managed to convince him, and also had the support of his brothers Vicente and Francisco Martín Pinzón. What promised you to change?. Unfortunately we don't know it, because Colon not never spoke of this. In the Pleitos colombinos pleaded that the Admiral offered part of the riches that will find and p. Las Casas said that "something had promise Colon Martín Alonso Pinzón, because nobody moves if it is not in their interest".

With the help of Martín Alonso, Columbus managed to complete allowance for its three buildings, one of which, the pint, it seems that it was the Finch. Also has been suggested, though not proven, that Martín could provide Columbus part of half a million maravedís that was missing to launch the company. Whatever the Expedition departed from Palos on 3 August with Martín Alonso as captain of the Pinta (as master was Francisco Martín Pinzón), and with Vicente Yánez as captain of the Niña, which demonstrates the prominence of this family in the discoverer trip. Martín Alonso considerations with respect to the route to follow, were decisive for the discovery of America, since September 25 he advised Columbus a change of route to find the Cipango or Japan and October 6, Martín Alonso asked let the defeat that they brought from the Canary Islands (the parallel 28) and singlar southwesterly, in order to come up with the Islands that the Admiral had painted on the map carrying aboard (perhaps of Toscanelli in which was imaginarily represented the position of the Cipango or Japan), which Columbus accepted the next day. The presence of the Finch was equally relevant when it comes to quell attempts of mutiny on 6, 9 and 10 October; they not only supported at all times to the Admiral, but it suggested even hang the rebels.

After the discovery, made on 12 October, the relationship between Colón and Martín Alonso has deteriorated. On 21 November the first abandoned the flotilla without authorization and followed from Cuba towards the East in search of the so-called island of Babeque. He came to the North coast of Santo Domingo and dedicated itself to rescuing gold in the river which then took its name. From there moved to the vicinity of Monte Cristi, where Columbus found him on January 6, 1493. The Admiral asked for explanations for his defection and seems to Martín Alonso gave them and the Admiral had to accept them without discussion, by need of the sailor and his ship, since had lost the nao Santa María in the previous Christmas. In his diary on board Columbus noted, however: "many other things has me said and done", which shows the rift between the two.

Together they embarked on the journey back to Spain, but on 14 February arose a great storm and Martín Alonso's ship was lost again. It came with PT under his command to Bayonne before the Admiral reached Lisbon. The Spanish Captain wanted to report the discovery to the R.R.C.C., but these told him that Colon should do it. After a few days rest Martín Alonso undertook the back with sticks. Arrived on 15 August, a few hours after Colon. I was very ill with syphilis and were detained in the monastery of la Rábida, where he died a few days, perhaps the 31 March 1493. Significant is that Colon is not even molestara to visit him on his deathbed. The great Spanish seaman took to the grave the secret of what he promised "Colon Martín Alonso Pinzón, because nobody moves if it is not in their interest".


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