Posted by: Ed Darrell | September 28, 2010

Treasures of the Library of Congress: Columbus’s most prized possession

Columbus feared that King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella would not honor pledges they had made to him as recompense and honor for his great work of discovery on their behalf.  Before his final voyage, he assembled a legal document showing those promises made to him, and his work for Spain.

This illustrates, once again, the human dimension of the great drama of the age of exploration, of Columbus’s stumbling on to the America’s in his efforts to get to China.

The Library of Congress and the History Channel team up again to show off these grand snippets of history:

On January 5, 1502, prior to his fourth and final voyage to America, Columbus gathered several judges and notaries in his home in Seville. The purpose? To have them authorize copies of his archival collection of original documents through which Isabel and Fernando had granted titles, revenues, powers and privileges to Columbus and his descendants. These 36 documents are popularly called “Columbus’ Book of Privileges.” Four copies of his “Book” existed in 1502, three written on vellum and one on paper. The Library’s copy, one of the three on vellum, has a unique paper copy of the Papal Bull Dudum siquidem of September 26, 1493, which extended the Spanish claim for future explorations.

[Unfortunately this site is blocked at terminals or internet connections administered by Dallas ISD — you’ll have to view this at home.]


  1. […] Borrowed with permission from Mr. Darrell’s Wayback Machine. […]

  2. Hello. My name is Eric Sosa, and I was reading over a article you posted about the Declaration of Independence, and I couldn’t stop pondering on what Thomas Jefferson stated in the document. He wrote, “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit Happines..” Now notice how he used his ending words. He didn’t say, “Happiness”. No no…he added in the “Pursuit”. Now what’s going through my mind is…How?? How did he know to add the pursuit part. Alotta people aren’t happy. But they can try.. They can pursue that goal, and that pursuit can lead up to happiness…or sorrow. We have life, we have liberty, but what Thomas Jefferson is trying to tell us, is that happiness is something we have to work, find, fight, or die for…

    -Eric Sosa

  3. I finally had enough time to read this (:

  4. This is so interesting. Im learning so much from it.

  5. I finally had enough time to read this (:

  6. I have to disagree with Eric Sosa, respectfully. He clearly didn’t take any time to really ponder over the brilliance and boldness of Thomas Jefferson’s words. Instead, he ranted on and on about the “pursuit of happiness.” If you really look into it, all he did was repeat himself on and on. I’m sorry, Eric….but I won’t just stand aside as you mock Darrell’s post. So stand down.
    I’m Bryan Sabillon……and I’m with you, Darrell.

    • Well, i read Mr. Sabillons comment, and i disagree completly. I clearly analyzed T.J.’s words, and didn’t disrespect him in any form or fashio. I didn’t repeat myself over and over. I just explained what i was talking about. So, Mr. Darrel, fail Bryan Sabillon for sending such a rude, uncalled for supply.

      ….oh, Bryan, I forgot to say with all due respect…

      …..with all due respect.. :)

      • Well, Eric Sosa, as I was impyling before, I’m not trying to bash your genuine findings through Darrell’s post, I was clearly only analyzing the fact that you failed to understand what magnificance of “T.J’s” words, ya’ dig? So please, Eric, I don’t mean to argue, I only want you to see through all of this, and read in between the lines. There is magic in those words above thse comments, and everyone should get a chance to experience it to it’s full potential.

        …with my due respects intended, of course. Good luck, Mr. Darrell.

    • Heeeeyyy Mr. Darrel.
      Ok, i was thinking, and you and I should hang out at a pool party one of these days. :)

  7. WOW i just learned something today!

  8. This was really interesting i learned things that i didn’t know.

  9. I. WAS. HERE.

  10. HEY MR.D its me eligio just droppen by to show you that i read sume of the stuff you put and no when i put my head down i still listen ur a good dude

  11. i love mr derrell’s class =))))))

  12. i learned something in mr darrells class taday that i actually found interesting!

  13. Hey this is carolina and i read it Mr.Darell



  15. […] Borrowed with permission from Mr. Darrell’s Wayback Machine. This has also appeared at Millard Fillmore’s Bathtub before. […]

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