The missive, dated 3 May 1493, is probably the first official record of Columbus’ successful voyage to the Indies. It was sent by Juan II of Portugal to Ferdinand the Catholic to inform him of the admiral’s arrival in the port of Lisbon and the sending of the ambassador Rui de Sande to discuss the matter. The fortuitous event placed the Portuguese sovereign in a position of advantage over the discovery of Columbus and, in fact, compromised the foreign policy clauses of the 1479 Treaty of Alcaçovas between Spain and Portugal for the dispute and partition of the Atlantic Ocean and the African coast. The announced sending of the Portuguese ambassador is testimony to the diplomatic battle that was about to begin between the two crowns for control of Atlantic expansion and that would end with the Treaty of Tordesillas.
Project: 9. Travels and travelers: economic, social and cultural connections.
Scope: Secondary Education, Higher Education
Resource type: Image
Source: Archivo Histórico de la Nobleza, VILLAGONZALO,CP.553,D.10
Language: Portuguese and Spanish
Owner: Manuela Ghizzoni (Modernalia)
Copyright: © MECD. Archivos Estatales (España)
Abstract: Letter from John II of Portugal to Ferdinand the Catholic (1493) informing him of the arrival of Christopher Columbus in the port of Lisbon