Found first letter informing return after Christopher Columbus discovered America

By Hector Murcia

The Historical Archive of the Nobility, under the Ministry of Culture and Sports of Spain, It has announced the discovery of what could be the first letter notifying the return to the peninsula of Christopher Columbus, after discovery of America.

This finding was possible, through the process of scanning and technical treatment he was subjected to the "Archive of the Counts of Villagonzalo", who entered the Historical Archive of the Nobility in 2010.

On one side of the letter, which it was written by John II of Portugal and was addressed to Ferdinand, you can read, in Portuguese: "Our very high, most noble and powerful prince King of Castile, Aragon of Sicily, of Granada and our beloved brother Prince ".

The letter is dated 4 March 1493, notifies first voyage by Columbus.

This document was written by the Portuguese king, since Columbus arrived accidentally off the coast of Portugal on the aforementioned date, due to a storm that separated the ship captained, "The girl", his teammate of Martin Alonso Pinzon who was in charge of "La Pinta".

Although there are no documents to substantiate this fact conclusively, Finch is believed to have arrived at Bayonne few days before Columbus arrived to Lisbon, and it would have communicated to the Catholic Monarchs, who were in Barcelona, the existence of dry land beyond the Atlantic unknown.

For this reason, document newfound, It would be the first witness to the successful return of Columbus after his first voyage.

The unexpected arrival in Lisbon navigator, allowed the Portuguese monarch the scoop of discovery and led to a diplomatic battle between the Spanish and the Portuguese court for control of the Atlantic expansion, detail from the Historical Archive of the Nobility.

Since the institution states, also, that "the document was recently found among the family papers Maldonado, Future counts of Villagonzalo, specifically within the personal papers of Rodrigo Arias Maldonado (ca.1456-1517), that probably he guarded as a member of the Royal Council of Castile and given the absence, at that time, a file for collecting the documentation that today we would consider public, as it would from the creation of the Archives of Simancas. This is the main reason that such a document has remained unpublished draft, kept in a familiar file ".

Along with this letter also dated another document found 25 May 1493, also it is written by John II of Portugal to Ferdinand in which detailed how the Portuguese king accepted paralyze the departure of their ships, which they had begun preparing to "discover where Christopher Columbus".

This letter from the Portuguese monarch led to the negotiations which later would become the Treaty of Tordesillas, commitment underwritten in the town of Tordesillas, located in the present province of Valladolid, in Spain, the 7 June 1494 between representatives of Isabel and Fernando, kings of Castile and Aragon, On one side, and King John II of Portugal, on the other, whereby a distribution of the areas of navigation and conquest of the Atlantic Ocean and the New World was established through a line located 370 leagues west of the Cape Verde Islands, in order to avoid conflict of interest between the Monarchy and the Kingdom of Portugal.