- Italian navigator and explorer who discovered America for Spain on October
12, 1492. Columbus was known as the "Admiral of the Ocean Sea," the
Atlantic being known as the "Ocean Sea" at that time to distinguish it
from the Mediterranean Sea.
It was Columbus who gave the natives of
American the name "Indios," or "Indians," first mentioned in his journal
of October 17, 1492, after landing at San Salvador or Cat Island in the
Bahamas. After describing the natives he wrote: "All these
Indians I am taking with me."
Columbus thought at the time that he was
cruising among the islands of the eastern Indies off the Asiatic Coast,
and that the people he saw were therefore Indians.
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