Sunday, 4 October 2009

Jewish America

'Almost nothing is known about Christopher's mother beyond the fact that Susanna Fontanarossa married Domenico Colombo about 1445 and preceded him in death. Columbus himself was extremely reticent about his family background, and some scholars have cited this as evidence of his possible Jewish descent, which he would have concealed during his dealings with his Spanish supporters. According to two such theories: his mother was Jewish; and his father descended from a Jewish family that left Spain about 1391, settled in Genoa, and became Christians.

We do know that a converted Jew (Luis de Santange), with influence in the Spanish Court, provided financing for his voyage and that his crew contained Jewish members recently converted to Christianity. We also know that his interpreter Luis de Torres, was baptized (from Judaism) shortly before the expedition, and was among the first ashore, when Columbus landed in Cuba on November 2, 1492.'


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