Columbus and his men hunted Natives with war-dogs.

8 Myths and Atrocities About Christopher Columbus and Columbus Day

Vincent Schilling

On the second Monday of October each year, Native Americans cringe at the thought of honoring a man who committed atrocities against Indigenous Peoples.

Columbus Day was conceived by the Knights of Columbus, a Catholic Fraternal organization, in the 1930s because they wanted a Catholic hero. After President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the day into law as a federal holiday in 1937, the rest has been history.

In an attempt to further thwart the celebration of this “holiday,” we at ICTMN have outlined eight misnomers and bloody, greedy, sexually perverse and horrendous atrocities committed by Columbus and his men.

FULL BIBLIOGRAPHY AND SOURCES  USED FOR THIS ARTICLE HERE - Christopher Columbus's Top Atrocities: The Annotated List 

On the Way—Columbus Stole a Sailor’s Reward

After obtaining funding for his explorations to reach Asia from the seizure and sale of properties from Spanish Jews and Muslims by order of King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella, Columbus headed out to explore a new world with money and ships.

Brimming with the excitement of discovering new land, Columbus offered a reward of 10,000 maravedis or about $540 (a sailor’s yearly salary) for the first person to discover such land. Though another sailor saw the land in October 1492, Columbus retracted the reward he had previously offered because he claimed he had seen a dim light in the west.

Replicas of the Niña, Pinta and Santa Maria in the North River, New York. They crossed from Spain to be present at the World's Fair at Chicago. (Andrews, E. Benjamin. History of the United States, volume V. Charles Scribner’s Sons, New York. 1912/Wikimedia)

Columbus Never Landed on American Soil—Not in 1492, Not Ever

We’re not talking about the Leif Ericson Viking explorer story.  We mean Columbus didn’t land on the higher 48—ever. Columbus quite literally landed in what is now known as the Bahamas and later Hispaniola, present-day Haiti and the Dominican Republic.

Upon arrival, Columbus and his expedition of weapon laden Spaniards met the Arawaks, Tainos and Lucayans—all friendly, according to Columbus’ writings. Soon after arriving, Columbus wrecked the Santa Maria and the Arawaks worked for hours to save the crew and cargo.

Impressed with the friendliness of the native people, Columbus seized control of the land in the name of Spain. He also helped himself to some locals. In his journal he wrote:

“As soon as I arrived in the Indies, on the first Island which I found, I took some of the natives by force in order that they might learn and might give me information of whatever there is in these parts.”

RELATED: American History Myths Debunked: Columbus Discovered America

The four voyages of Columbus are shown here. (Wikimedia Commons)

Columbus Painted a Horrible Picture of Peaceful Natives

When Columbus first saw the Native Arawaks that came to greet him and his crew he spoke with a peaceful and admiring tone.

“They ... brought us parrots and balls of cotton and spears and many other things... They willingly traded everything they owned...  They were well-built, with good bodies and handsome features.... They do not bear arms, and do not know them, for I showed them a sword, they took it by the edge and cut themselves out of ignorance. They have no iron. Their spears are made of cane... . They would make fine servants.... With fifty men we could subjugate them all and make them do whatever we want.”

After several months in the Caribbean, on January 13, 1493 two Natives were murdered during trading. Columbus, who had otherwise described the Natives as gentle people wrote “(they are) evil and I believe they are from the island of Caribe, and that they eat men.” He also described them as “savage cannibals, with dog-like noses that drink the blood of their victims.”

The cannibal story is taught as fact in some of today’s schools.

Columbus’ Men Were Rapists and Murderers

On Columbus’s first trip to the Caribbean, he later returned to Spain and left behind 39 men who went ahead and helped themselves to Native women. Upon his return the men were all dead.With 1,200 more soldiers at his disposal, rape and pillaging became rampant as well as tolerated by Columbus.

This is supported by a reported close friend of Columbus, Michele de Cuneo who wrote the first disturbing account of a relation between himself and a Native female gift given to him by Columbus.

“While I was in the boat I captured a very beautiful Carib woman, whom the said Lord Admiral gave to me, and with whom, having taken her into my cabin, she being naked according to their custom, I conceived desire to take pleasure. I wanted to put my desire into execution but she did not want it and treated me with her finger nails in such a manner that I wished I had never begun. But seeing that (to tell you the end of it all), I took a rope and thrashed her well, for which she raised such unheard of screams that you would not have believed your ears. Finally we came to an agreement in such manner that I can tell you that she seemed to have been brought up in a school of harlots.”

Several accounts of cruelty and murder include Spaniards testing the sharpness of blades on Native people by cutting them in half, beheading them in contests and throwing Natives into vats of boiling soap. There are also accounts of suckling infants being lifted from their mother’s breasts by Spaniards, only to be dashed headfirst into large rocks.

Bartolome De Las Casas, a former slave owner who became Bishop of Chiapas, described these exploits. “Such inhumanities and barbarisms were committed in my sight as no age can parallel,” he wrote. “My eyes have seen these acts so foreign to human nature that now I tremble as I write.”

Columbus Enslaved the Native People for Gold

Because Columbus reported a plethora of Natives for slaves, rivers of gold and fertile pastures to Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand, Columbus was given 17 ships and more than 1,200 men on his next expedition. However, Columbus had to deliver. In the next few years, Columbus was desperate to fulfill those promises—hundreds of Native slaves died on their way back to Spain and gold was not as bountiful as expected.

Christopher Columbus presents Native Americans to Queen Isabella.

Columbus forced the Natives to work in gold mines until exhaustion. Those who opposed were beheaded or had their ears cut off.

In the provinces of Cicao all persons over 14 had to supply at least a thimble of gold dust every three months and were given copper necklaces as proof of their compliance. Those who did not fulfill their obligation had their hands cut off, which were tied around their necks while they bled to death—some 10,000 died handless.

In two years’ time, approximately 250,000 Indians on Haiti were dead. Many deaths included mass suicides or intentional poisonings or mothers killing their babies to avoid persecution.

According to Columbus, in a few years before his death, “Gold is the most precious of all commodities; gold constitutes treasure, and he who possesses it has all he needs in the world, as also the means of rescuing souls from purgatory, and restoring them to the enjoyment of paradise.”

Columbus Provided Native Sex Slaves to His Men

In addition to putting the Natives to work as slaves in his gold mines, Columbus also sold sex slaves to his men—some as young as 9. Columbus and his men also raided villages for sex and sport.

In the year 1500, Columbus wrote: “A hundred castellanoes are as easily obtained for a woman as for a farm, and it is very general and there are plenty of dealers who go about looking for girls; those from nine to ten are now in demand.”

Columbus’ Men Used Native People as Dog Food

In the early years of Columbus’ conquests there were butcher shops throughout the Caribbean where Indian bodies were sold as dog food. There was also a practice known as the montería infernal, the infernal chase, or manhunt, in which Indians were hunted by war-dogs.

These dogs—who also wore armor and had been fed human flesh, were a fierce match for the Indians. Live babies were also fed to these war dogs as sport, sometimes in front of horrified parents.

Columbus Returned to Spain in Shackles—But Was Pardoned

After a multitude of complaints against Columbus about his mismanagement of the island of Hispaniola, a royal commissioner arrested Columbus in 1500 and brought him back to Spain in chains.

Though he was stripped of his governor title, he was pardoned by King Ferdinand, who then subsidized a fourth voyage.

RELATED: Christopher Columbus, The Myths Behind the Man

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Anonymous's picture
Submitted by Anonymous on
The Anonymous person that posted regarding white people is a hate mongering jackass! From Anonymous "Hate Monger" "How absurd is it that our country would even keep this holiday? This country belonged to us Native Americans first and then this pig comes and destroys gods people in ways only a white man could. Disgusting! This is why I cant understand how people of color could even want to reproduce with the white man!

Kim Marie's picture
Kim Marie
Submitted by Kim Marie on
I've never been proud of American history. I try to understand and live differently. I like the quote by Wade Davis, "The world in which we live is just one model of reality. Other cultures are not failed attempts to be you. They are unique manifestations of the human spirit." I would like to learn more. Any suggested readings?

builds-the-fire's picture
Submitted by builds-the-fire on
I could barely read through this article and the other one. Thank you for setting the record straight for all people who "celebrate" this "holiday".

H's picture
Submitted by H on
God damn him to hell - where I hope he and his like are suffering to this day. This wounds me to my soul. Damn - I can say nothing else. I knew he was a coward and was cruel to the Native Americans, but ...damn.

RoxiFlammond's picture
Submitted by RoxiFlammond on
to Albert Bennett, VD had been in Europe for centuries before CC got lost and landed on some islands, the history channel is not always correct and many times is for the Huron and Shawnee...I would like to point out that they initially welcomed the first immigrants and helped them to survive the winter in this new country and the payment they received was rape, murder and mutilation all in the name of GOD...AND THEY CALLED THE ORIGINAL PEOPLES OF THIS LAND SAVAGES, but they were not before you get on that horse look at the sick perverted acts that the Europeans have been doing to each other long before they came here.

P.J.'s picture
Submitted by P.J. on
Thank you for this. I say let's call it "Discovery Day" and everyone gets to discover the truth.

Shayla's picture
Submitted by Shayla on
Some things are never taught in school. This is great information and coincides with John Hagee's book: Four Blood Moons.

hammertime's picture
Submitted by hammertime on
I agree that they ought to make a movie about what a sick bastard this man was. That would surely upset a lot of folks that think everything they have been told in their schools were lies .....

Jeanette Kirkham's picture
Jeanette Kirkham
Submitted by Jeanette Kirkham on
God The Creator will take care of him on judgement day.

carleen's picture
Submitted by carleen on
he was clearly a very sick and demented individual!! and I have no use for his so called holiday......

carleen's picture
Submitted by carleen on
he was clearly a very sick and demented individual!! and I have no use for his so called holiday......

Anondanon's picture
Submitted by Anondanon on
Out of my ignorance I don't know, and want to know, how would I be able to tell if this article is truthful or not? Are there any citations to which these claims can be traced?

Anonymous's picture
Submitted by Anonymous on
anyone who thinks this is funny must be a desendant of this demon and will burn in hell rite beside his dumb ass

Anonymous's picture
Submitted by Anonymous on
anyone who thinks this is funny must be a desendant of this demon and will burn in hell rite beside his dumb ass

CW's picture
Submitted by CW on

stuart's picture
Submitted by stuart on
This is the nature of mankind, it could have happened in the reverse, most of the wealthiest families in the world have taken their wealth from the backs of the unfortunate...there are good and bad people in all walks of life. Let's learn from the past and not repeat it in the future. Be kind to all people and your conscience will be clear.

Bob Kinsey's picture
Bob Kinsey
Submitted by Bob Kinsey on
don't forget that Columbus was the model for the conquest of North as well as Latin America. Take the land enslave or kill the natives. Lie and cheat them of their resources. Intentionally starve them by slaughtering their buffalo, Its as bad that Denver has an Evan boulevard and a Mount Evans honoring an exterminationist whose goal was to rid Colorado of the Arapaho and Cheyenne.

Bob Kinsey's picture
Bob Kinsey
Submitted by Bob Kinsey on
don't forget that Columbus was the model for the conquest of North as well as Latin America. Take the land enslave or kill the natives. Lie and cheat them of their resources. Intentionally starve them by slaughtering their buffalo, Its as bad that Denver has an Evan boulevard and a Mount Evans honoring an exterminationist whose goal was to rid Colorado of the Arapaho and Cheyenne.

Flint's picture
Submitted by Flint on
On a lighter note, Chris enjoyed the horrible indignities and pains of syphilis before he succumbed to it. We can only hope it was inflicted on him by one of his rape victims.

Anonymous's picture
Submitted by Anonymous on
And I was whipped in school for not remember "facts" about this uncouth, uncultured creature. Oh the injustices we West Indians have endured thanks to this mad men funded by missionaries.

Linda-beverage  's picture
Submitted by Linda-beverage on
he had them whip he took gold away from indains rape women the man is sick i know they came here to free them self

Anka Harkness's picture
Anka Harkness
Submitted by Anka Harkness on
Why we still celebrate Columbus Day is beyond me! It is hard to change the order of things

Anonymous's picture
Submitted by Anonymous on
That's the same thing what Captain Cook did to the HAWAIIAN'S..... So we ate him!

Thor Meeks's picture
Thor Meeks
Submitted by Thor Meeks on
Those stories about the killing, and hands cut off and all that... Are stories in Puerto Rico. The story of how the Taino indians on the island, thought that the Spaniards were gods, and one day a Spaniard was bathing, and a Taino indian tested the god theory by holding the Spaniard under the water till he drown. The Spaniards retaliated by trying to kill every indian they could find, or to put them in slavery. Some of the Taino indians fled to a close-by island, and hid from the Spaniards. If they hadn't, they would have been wiped out. El Morro is a Spanish outpost in San Juan, and Cuba has a similar fort as well. Columbus did actually set foot on Puerto Rico, and by the stories in Puerto Rico, he was demanding, and cruel. They gave him sugar cane, chocolate (as a drink), coffee, and several other resources from there. To this day... They have a coffee called King's coffee, that was produced for the King and Queen of Spain. (Very well worth having too)

Anonymous's picture
Submitted by Anonymous on
I'm not standing up for Columbus in any way, but the article has no sources mentioned anywhere. Where did all this research come from?