50 Christopher Columbus Quotes From A Man Who Changed History

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Does anyone remember that Christopher Columbus quote we recited in grade school every October? It goes like this: “In fourteen-hundred and ninety-two, Columbus sailed the ocean blue.”

Columbus Day has been celebrated as a holiday since the 1930s and it’s always a big event in elementary school. Most of us grew up learning about Christopher Columbus as a hero — the man who discovered the Americas. It wasn’t until we became adults that we learned that what we were taught in school may not have been the whole truth.

In fact, Columbus shouldn’t be considered a hero. His treatment of fellow humans was absolutely horrendous and he is responsible for a whole lot of pain, murder, and abuse. Also, he wasn’t the first European to discover the New World; that feat actually goes to the Viking Leif Erikson from Greenland hundreds of years earlier.

Still, Christopher Columbus changed the trajectory of history and his discoveries changed the world forever.

Don’t forget to also check out these Stonewall Jackson quotes from the battle-tested confederate general.

Famous Christopher Columbus quotes about being an explorer

1. “Weep for me, whoever has charity, truth and justice! I did not come on this voyage for gain, honor or wealth, that is certain.” — Christopher Columbus

2. “Following the light of the sun, we left the Old World.” — Christopher Columbus

3. “When there are such lands there should be profitable things without number.” — Christopher Columbus

4. “I’m telling you that India is that way, now set my course.” — Christopher Columbus

5. “One does not discover new lands without consenting to lose sight of the shore for a very long time.” — Christopher Columbus

6. “As soon as I arrived in the Indies, in the first island which I found, I took some of the natives by force, in order that they might learn and might give me information of whatever there is in these parts. And so it was that they soon understood us, and we them, either by speech or by signs, and they have been very serviceable.” — Christopher Columbus

7. “My desire was not to pass any island without taking possession, so that, one having been taken, the same may be said of all.” — Christopher Columbus

8. “Tomorrow morning before we depart, I intend to land and see what can be found in the neighborhood.” — Christopher Columbus

9. “I am not solicitous to examine particularly everything here, which indeed could not be done in fifty years, because my desire is to make all possible discoveries, and return to your Highnesses, if it please our Lord, in April.” — Christopher Columbus

Christopher Columbus quotes about America

10. “I have come to believe that this is a mighty continent which was hitherto unknown.” — Christopher Columbus

11. “I believe that this land which your Highnesses have commanded me to discover is very great and that there are many other lands in the south of which there have never been reports.” – Christopher Columbus

12. “The air soft as that of Seville in April, and so fragrant that it was delicious to breathe it.” – Christopher Columbus

13. “These people are very unskilled in arms… with 50 men they could all be subjected and made to do all that one wished.” – Christopher Columbus

14. “Your Highnesses have an Other World here, by which our holy faith can be so greatly advanced and from which such great wealth can be drawn.” – Christopher Columbus

15. “After having dispatched a meal, I went ashore, and found no habitation save a single house, and that without an occupant; we had no doubt that the people had fled in terror at our approach, as the house was completely furnished.” – Christopher Columbus

16. “And they know neither sect nor idolatry, with the exception that all believe that the source of all power and goodness is in the sky, and they believe very firmly that I, with these ships and people, came from the sky, and in this belief they everywhere received me, after they had overcome their fear.” — Christopher Columbus

17. “Each day we understand better what the Indians say, and they us, so that very often we are intelligible to each other.” — Christopher Columbus

18. “The Admiral says that he never beheld so fair a thing: trees all along the river, beautiful and green, and different from ours, with flowers and fruits each according to their kind, many birds and little birds which sing very sweetly.” — Christopher Columbus

Motivational Christopher Columbus quotes about the sea

19. “You can never cross the ocean unless you have the courage to lose sight of the shore.” — Christopher Columbus

20. “The sea will grant each man new hope, and sleep will bring dreams of home.” — Christopher Columbus

21. “I went to sea from the most tender age and have continued in a sea life to this day. Wherever anyone has sailed, there I have sailed.” — Christopher Columbus

22. “I should not proceed by land to the East, as is customary, but by a Westerly route, in which direction we have hitherto no certain evidence that anyone has gone.” — Christopher Columbus

23. “Stood off and on during the night, determining not to come to anchor till morning, fearing to meet with shoals; continued our course in the morning; and as the island was found to be six or seven leagues distant, and the tide was against us, it was noon when we arrived there.” — Christopher Columbus

24. “At sunset Martin Alonzo called out with great joy from his vessel that he saw land, and demanded of the Admiral a reward for his intelligence.” — Christopher Columbus

25. “The crew of the caravel “Nina” also saw signs of land, and a small branch covered with berries. Everyone breathed afresh and rejoiced at these signs.” — Christopher Columbus

Christopher Columbus quotes about God

26. “I am a most noteworthy sinner, but I have cried out to the Lord for grace and mercy, and they have covered me completely. I have found the sweetest consolation since I made it my whole purpose to enjoy His marvelous Presence.” — Christopher Columbus

27. “Of this voyage, I observe,” says the Admiral, “that it has miraculously been shown, as may be understood by this writing, by the many signal miracles that He has shown on the voyage, and for me, who for so great a time was in the court of Your Highnesses with the opposition and against the opinion of so many high personages of your household, who were all against me, alleging this undertaking to be folly, which I hope in Our Lord will be to the greater glory of Christianity, which to some slight extent already has happened.” — Christopher Columbus

28. “It was the Lord who put into my mind (I could feel His hand upon me) the fact that it would be possible to sail from here to the Indies.” — Christopher Columbus

29. .“My hope in the One who created us all sustains me; He is an ever-present help in trouble.” — Christopher Columbus

30. “When I was extremely depressed, He raised me with His right hand, saying,`O man of little faith, get up, it is I; do not be afraid.” — Christopher Columbus

31. “I prayed to the most merciful Lord about my heart’s great desire, and He gave me the spirit and the intelligence for the task: seafaring, astronomy, geometry, arithmetic, skill in drafting spherical maps and placing correctly the cities, rivers, mountains and ports. I also studied cosmology, history, chronology and philosophy.” — Christopher Columbus

32. “Praise be to our eternal God, our Lord, who gives to all those who walk in His ways victory over all things which seem impossible.” — Christopher Columbus

33. “I pointed out that for the execution of the journey to the Indies I was not aided by intelligence, by mathematics or by maps. It was simply the fulfillment of what Isaiah had prophesied.” — Christopher Columbus

34. “No one should fear to undertake any task in the name of our Saviour, if it is just and if the intention is purely for His holy service.” — Christopher Columbus

35. “Thus God gives victory to those who follow His way over apparent impossibilities.” — Christopher Columbus

36. “Thanks be to God.” — Christopher Columbus

37. “It is hoped that by God’s assistance, some of the continents in the Ocean will be discovered … for the Glory of God.” — Christopher Columbus

More Christopher Columbus quotes and sayings

38. “Riches don’t make a man rich, they only make him busier.” — Christopher Columbus

39. “By prevailing over all obstacles and distractions, one may unfailingly arrive at his chosen goal or destination.” — Christopher Columbus

40. “Gold is a treasure and he who possesses it does all he wishes to in this world.” — Christopher Columbus

41. “No one should fear to undertake any task.” — Christopher Columbus

42. “Life has more imagination than we carry in our dreams.” — Christopher Columbus

43. “Nothing that results in human progress is achieved with unanimous consent. Those that are enlightened before the others are condemned to pursue that light in spite of the others.” —Christopher Columbus

44. “Gold is the most precious of all commodities.” — Christopher Columbus

45. “It is easy to discover what another has discovered before.” — Christopher Columbus

46. “Goals are simply tools to focus your energy in positive directions, these can be changed as your priorities change, new one added, and others dropped.” — Christopher Columbus

47. “He who has gold makes and accomplishes whatever he wishes in the world and finally uses it to send souls to paradise.” – Christopher Columbus

48. “For this purpose, I determined to keep an account of the voyage, and to write down punctually every thing we performed or saw from day to day, as will hereafter appear.” — Christopher Columbus

49. “But in truth, should I meet with gold or spices in great quantity, I shall remain till I collect as much as possible, and for this purpose, I am proceeding solely in quest of them.” — Christopher Columbus

50. “I ordered each man to be presented with something, as strings of ten or a dozen glass beads apiece, and thongs of leather, all which they estimated highly; those which came on board I directed should be fed with molasses.” — Christopher Columbus

What did you learn from these Christopher Columbus quotes?

Christopher Columbus was an Italian explorer. He sailed across the Atlantic Ocean in an effort to find a faster route to Asia for trading. Not knowing there was a large continent in the way of his route, when he first landed in the Bahamas, he thought he’d made it to India.

Columbus ended up making four voyages across the ocean. He led in efforts to establish colonies in the Americas, enslave the natives, and discover the treasures that the New World had.

We hope these Christopher Columbus quotes and sayings helped you in your research. Let us know which quote is your favorite in the comments below.

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