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Early Explorers

Columbus discovered America but he didn't know it. On August 3, 1492, Columbus left Spain to find a shorter route to the Indies (Asia). He was going there to get gold and spices for his sponsors. Columbus was Italian but his sponsors were the king and queen of Spain: Ferdinand and Isabella.

On October 12, he thought he he'd arrived in Asia but where he'd really landed was an island in the Bahamas, just off the coast of Florida. He called it San Salvador. The natives called it Guanahani


The natives were friendly. Their only weapons were small wooden spears. That was different from the sailors' metal swords.