Timeline of
Christopher Columbus' Life

A brief timeline of the life of Christopher Columbus, detailing his childhood, and his four voyages to the New World.

Of course, if you find any information here that you feel is incorrect or flat-out wrong, please take a moment to Email Me and let me know so that I can correct it.

The Early Years of Columbus

Year

Month

Day

Event

1451

Born in Genoa, the son of a wool merchant and weaver.

1476

Swims ashore when his ship is sunk in a battle off Portugal.

1476

Joins his brother Bartholomew, a cartographer, in Lisbon.

1477-1482

Makes merchant voyages as far as Iceland and Guinea.

1484

Conceives of "The Enterprise of the Indies" but fails to convince King John of Portugal to back the plan.

1485

Moves to Spain.

1492

1

2

Ferdinand & Isabela capture Granada, the last Moorish city in Spain.

The First Voyage

Year

Month

Day

Event

1492

8

3

Departs from Palos, Spain (near Huelva) .

1492

9

6

Departs Gomera (Canary Islands) after repair and refit.

1492

10

12

New world sighted at 2:00 AM by Rodrigo de Triana, somewhere in the Bahamas.

1492

10

29

Arrives at Cuba.

1492

11

22

Martín Alonso Pinzón, captain of the Pinta, deserts the expedition off Cuba.

1492

12

5

Columbus arrives at Hispaniola.

1492

12

25

Flagship Santa Maria sinks off Hispaniola, Columbus founds La Navidad.

1493

1

6

Pinzón rejoins Columbus.

1493

1

16

Columbus departs Hispaniola for Spain in the Niña.

1493

2

14

Niña and Pinta are separated again in a fierce storm.

1493

2

15

Sights Santa Maria Island in the Azores.

1493

3

4

Arrives at Lisbon, Portugal.

1493

3

15

Niña and Pinta return separately to Palos, Spain.

The Second Voyage

Year

Month

Day

Event

1493

9

The Grand Fleet of 17 ships departs Cadiz.

1493

10

13

Departs Hierro (Canary Islands), sailing WSW

1493

11

3

The island of Dominica sighted at dawn; Guadeloupe shortly after.

1493

11

22

Arrives at Hispaniola.

1493

11

28

Returns to Navidad, finds fort destroyed.

1493

12

8

Founds new colony of La Isabela.

1494

4

24

Sails from Isabela in search of mainland.

1494

4

30

Arrives at Cuba.

1494

5

5

Arrives at Jamaica.

1494

5

14

Returns to Cuba.

1494

6

13

Starts the return to La Isabela.

1494

8

20

Reaches Hispaniola.

1496

3

10

Departs from La Isabela for Spain.

1496

6

8

Reaches the coast of Portugal.

The Third Voyage

Year

Month

Day

Event

1498

5

30

Departs from Sanlucar, Spain, with six ships.

1498

6

19

Arrives at Gomera (Canary Islands); splits fleet into two squadrons.

1498

7

4

Departs from the Cape Verde Islands.

1498

7

31

Arrives at Trinidad.

1498

8

13

Leaves the Gulf of Paria, arrives at Margartia.

1498

8

19

Arrives at Hispaniola.

1500

10

Columbus is arrested and sent home in chains.

The Fourth Voyage

Year

Month

Day

Event

1502

5

11

Departs from Cadiz, Spain, with four ships.

1502

6

29

Arrives at Santo Domingo, Hispaniola.

1502

7

30

Arrives at the Mosquito Coast, modern Nicaragua.

1503

1

9

Establishes garrison at Rio Belen.

1503

4

6

Garrison attacked by Indians and abandoned.

1503

4

16

Leaves Rio Belen for home.

1503

6

25

Ships beached and abandoned at Jamaica, marooning crew.

1504

6

29

Crew rescued from Jamaica.

1504

11

7

Columbus returns to Spain.

1506

5

20

Columbus dies at Valladolid.

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