The letters of Columbus to Ferdinand and Isabella.
This letter begins with Columbus telling the king and queen how he has made it to the Indies in thirty-three days. He goes on to explain that the people are friendly but primitive and most wear nothing, some just a small shred of cloth. He has discovered vast harbors and rivers rich with gold, many islands that have been renamed by him in honor of nobility from back east, and had traveled up and down the coast one hundred and seven leagues and still didn't find the end. This proved that it was bigger than England and Scotland combined. Columbus spoke of his willingness to return with as much gold, spices, and slaves as their Highness wished. He mentioned that the Indians thought that he was from the heavens and they treated him very well, which meant that there was hope for converting them into Christians.
This discovery that he thought was a short cut to the Indies turned out to be the beginning of the biggest pilgrimage over the sea at its time, and began what we know today as America. The Indians, which were actually Native Americans, shared precious information with the settlers about agriculture and hunting on the land, which was crucial for survival. The modern world today may not be so advanced if Columbus never made his voyage. Back in Spain it was a time of power, and this possibly made Ferdinand and Isabella daring enough to support Columbus on his expedition. .
When I reflect on this I start by imagining the initial voyage. That must have been a miserable thirty-three days, especially not even positively knowing what they were going to find. Then I try to picture what the Native Americans must have thought about the Spaniards. The first meeting between the two must have been an edgy and nerve racking one. I think it is amazing that the language barrier didn't seem to be a problem. I know that the letter mentioned that Columbus took some of the natives by force to help communicate, but that probably wasn't much of a problem if those people thought they were working with a god.