CHAPTER X. CHRISTOPHER COLUMBUS A JEW.
THE NAVIGATOR, THE CHURCH AND THE KNIGHTS.
The Knights of Columbus is one of the strongest, if not the very strongest, of all the numerous organizations embraced within the American Federation of Catholic Societies.
One of the aims of this organization is to secure the recognition of Columbus Day for a national holiday, upon which day the Roman Church, with all the pomp, trappings and circumstances, with cardinals, archbishops, bishops, priests and monks, together with all Catholic societies, congregations, confraternities and Roman Catholic military organizations, may parade the streets in all the gaudy robes and vestments and other insignia of the Roman Church in order to impress Americans with the sense of their power.
Among the methods which the Roman Catholic prelates, priests and politicians are using to “make America dominantly Catholic” is that of extolling those supposed to be of their own faith who were active in the discovery, colonization and settlement of America: and among these by far the most important stands Christopher Columbus.
Columbus was not a knight, though he lived near the close of the days of chivalry and was considerable of an errant on the seas, making four voyages to the land he thought to be India, besides others according to his own account, with which the reading world is less familiar.
As one of the discoverers of the New World leading to its settlement and colonization, he may deserve some praise, but the effort to make him a saint and advance agent of the “Holy Roman Catholic Church” on this continent, has no substantial basis in fact, since the latest investigations tend to support the view that he was a Jew at heart, as he certainly was half-Jewish in lineage, and that his representations to the Spanish sovereigns as to religion and even as to his birthplace, were made merely with a view of concealing his real origin and sentiments.
This is supported by such facts and considerations as the following:
1. The assertion of his illegitimate son and first biographer, Fernando, that his father did not desire his origin and fatherland to become known.
2. The answer of the same Fernando to the contemporary historian, Bishop Augustin Giustiniani, that the fatherland of his father was a “secret;” this circumstance at the same time reminding us that the writing of history in Spain as regards the New World, was restricted by law to the priestly orders.
3. The testimony of Pedro de Arana, brother of Beatriz Enriquez, the mother of Fernando and intimate friend of the Admiral, that “he had heard Columbus say he was a Genoese, but did not know where he was born.”
4. In a suit as to right of entail, the masculine line of the Admiral having become extinct in 1578, no Genoese Columbo appeared to claim the right; and of the two Italian Columbos who presented themselves, one from Cuccaro and the other from Cugureo, neither proved relationship.
5. Columbus never mentioned father or mother, and never used the Italian language. Of the ninety-seven distinct pieces of writing by his hand, which either exist or are known to have existed (sixty-four being preserved in their entirety), all, except a few monographs in Latin, werfe written in Spanish. Is it reasonable that a young man leaving his native land at the age of fifteen, should forget his own language? Or that a poor young man should be able to speak and write a foreign language fluently? In the preamble to his diary, speaking of the title “Khan,” he says: “Which title in our Romance tongue means King of kings.”
6. The name Columbus signed to his contract with the Spanish sovereigns was Cristoval Colon, which is not the Italian correlative of Columbus, as many suppose, but a distinct Spanish family name; though Columbo is more extensively Italian, by which name the Admiral called himself to suit his own purposes, afterwards going back to the name Colon. Thus as the Spanish writer and critic Fernando de Anton del Olmet says: “We have four periods in the life of Christopher Columbus: a Spaniard in Spain before going to Genoa, an Italian in Italy on finding out the advantage of being one, a Spaniard in Spain on returning thither and believing it more practical to be such, and an Italian in Spain on being convinced of the advantage that it would bring to him.”
7. Columbus said he was “from Genoa and was born there,” but when Oviedo wrote, not many years after the death of Columbus, it was regarded as so very doubtful where the great navigator was born, that Oviedo mentions five or six Italian towns claiming the honor of his birth; and beginning with Savona, we find each of the following Italian towns claiming the honor of having given Christopher Columbus to the world: Plaisance, Cuccaro, Cogleto, Pradello, Nervi, Albissoli, Bogliasco, Cosseria, Finale, Oneglia, Quinto, Novare, Chiavari, Milan and Modena.
These claims arose largely from the lack of definite data among Columbo families in Genoa, and lines of his ancestry existing there, and the further fact that families of the name Columbo existed in each of these several towns. Speaking of these claims, Justin Winsor, the historian, says: “The pretensions of some of them were so urgent that in 1812 the Academy of History at Genoa thought it worth while to present the proofs as regards their city to the world. The claims of Cuccaro were used in support of a suit by Balthazar Columbo, to obtain possession of the Admiral’s legal rights. The claim of Cogoleto seems to have been mixed up with the supposed birth of the corsairs, Columbos, in that town, who for a long time were confounded with the Admiral. There is left in favor of any of them, after their claims are critically examined, nothing but local pride and ambition.”
8. A later claimant for this honor was the town of Calvi, in Corsica, and their cause was particularly embraced by the French. As late as 1882, President Grevy, of the French Republic, undertook to give a national sanction to these claims by approving the erection there of a statue of Columbus. The assumption is based upon a tradition that the great discoverer was a native of the place. “The principal elucidator of that claim, the Abbe Martin Cassanova de Pioggiola,” says Justin Winsor, “seems to have a comfortable notion that tradition is the strongest kind of historical proof, though it is not certain that he would think so with respect to the twenty and more other places on the Italian coast where similar traditions exist or are said to be current.”
“Finally, in order to determine the value of the evidence serving as basis to the claim made by Genoa to be the birthplace of the renowned Admiral,” says del Olmet, “it suffices to know that four cities have dedicated four marble monuments to their son, Christopher Columbus; two possess the register of his baptism, and eight or ten which present divers title-deeds to consider themselves his cradle, and opinions are not wanting which attribute to him a Greek nationality.”
9. The explanation why Columbus made contradictory statements as to the date of his birth, his birthplace, and concealed his real sentiments on other questions, has only recently been made clear through the discovery of sixteen notarial documents ranging from 1428 to 1528, by a local historian of Potevedra in Galicia, Spain, Mr. Garcia de la Riga, these documents relating to the Colon and Fonterossa families, who also found other evidences that Christopher Columbus, whose natal name was Cristoval Colon, was born and passed his childhood in that city, his parents having been Domingo de Colon and Susana Fonterossa, a Jewess. And though they probably emigrated to Genoa about 1450, when the boy Cristoval was about fifteen, availing themselves of commercial relations which existed between the two ports, there is no reasonable doubt remaining that Cristoval Colon was obliged to conceal his maternal origin, rather than incur the dangers of the Inquisition and the prejudices of his time; since, had his birthplace and family connections been known, the fact that his mother was a Jewess would have been not merely an insuperable obstacle to his receiving the attention of Ferdinand and Isabella, but a cause for his execution, or at least expulsion from the land of his birth. For as he states in his journal, the Jews were expelled from the domains of both Ferdinand and Isabella in the very same month in which he was appointed Admiral.
10. That Columbus was quite capable of such subterfuge is revealed in his own accounts of himself and otherwise. He relates how, in an early expedition as captain of a vessel under King Reinier, he deceived his own frightened crew by secretly altering the point of the compass so as to get the vessel within the Cape of Carthagena. He employed a similar artifice, it will be remembered, in his alteration of the log-book on his first voyage to America, thus deceiving his crew as to the distance they had sailed from Palos.
His early voyages referred to by himself, and supported by new-found documents, show him quite capable of deceiving even their Catholic Majesties. “Of the early career of Columbus,” says Justin Winsor, “it is very certain that something may be gained at Simancas, for when Bergenroth, sent by the English Government, made search there to illustrate the relations of Spain with England, and published his results, with the assistance of Gayangos, in 1862-18/9, as a Calendar of Letters, Despatches and State Papers relating to negotiations between England and Spain, one of the earliest entries of his first printed volume, under 1485, was a complaint of Ferdinand and Isabella against a Columbus some have supposed it our Columbus for his participancy in the piratical service of the French.”
11. But, it may be asked, how does the nativity of Columbus at Pontevedra comport with his sending his title-deeds, despatches and documents to Genoa by Nicholas Oderigo, Ambassador from that city to the Court of the Catholic sovereigns? This is very reasonably answered by the discovery in the archives of Pontevedra of a document as follows:
“Order of the Archbishop of Santiago, Sire of Pontevedra, ordering the Council, on March 15, 1413, to pay to Mr. Nicholas de Oderigo de Janua, 15,000 maravedis old coin, in three sums of money.”
The parents of Columbus being members of the Colon and Fonterossa families residing in Pontevedra, who emigrated later on to Italy, it may be accepted that they availed themselves of some recommendation from or of, direct or indirect relation with the Oderigos. At all events, that the Ambassador Oderigo knew the true natal place of the Admiral, and knew how to keep the secret, may be deduced from the silence that he kept relative to the fatherland and origin of his friend, from the fact of having retained the copies entrusted to him, and which were not delivered to the authorities of Genoa until about two centuries later by Lorenzo Oderigo.
12. Cristoval Colon, known as Christopher Columbus, had a younger brother, Bartholomew, also a navigator, whom Columbus made Adelantado, or Governor General of the Indies, a man of importance. Two Genoese historians, Antonio Gallo, a native of Genoa, who knew the Colon family, and Bishop Giustiniani, also a contemporary of Columbus, each speaking of Bartholomew, say: “A minor, born in Lusitania ;” and Lusitania, in that time of the world, comprised Portugal and Gallicia, in which Pontevedra is located. So the probability of Cristoval’s having been born in the same country and of the same Hebrew parentage as his brother is rendered well-nigh certain.
13. Various historians, including Oviedo, state that the flag-ship of Columbus, the Santa Maria, and vulgarly known as the Gallician, was built at Pontevedra; and Mr. La Riega unearths a notarial contract executed at Pontevedra, July 5, 1487, freighting the vessel called Santa Maria, or La Gallega applying both names indiscriminately.
14. A plot of land appraised to the Colon family, half a kilometre from Pontevedra, was bounded by other lands in the cove of Portosanto in the parish of San Salvador, while a triangular space existed near the home of the elder Colon, adjacent to the Gate and Tower of Galea. In his first voyage Columbus named the first island discovered, San Salvador, and the fourth Portosanto; and in his third voyage, he gave the name Trinidad to the first land he saw, and called the first promitory, the Cape of la Galea.
15. The wily Hebrew character of Columbus is shown in the way he overcame the objection advanced by the sovereigns and the Church authorities, that his theory of the earth’s rotundity contradicts the Scriptures.
Cardinal Pedro Gonzales de Mendoza, Archbishop of Toledo, finally conceded that the theory was worthy of a trial, but the great body of churchmen stood firmly by the opinions of Lactantius and St. Augustine. Says the former, ridiculing the globular theory of the earth: “Is there any one so foolish as to believe that there are antipodes \vith their feet opposite to ours people who walk with their heels upward and their heads hanging down?” And St. Augustine declared it impossible that races on the opposite side of the earth could have descended from Adam and Eve, since there was no land passage, “and it was impossible for them to have passed the intervening ocean.”
Columbus contended merely that the plan was worthy of the experiment, while if successful the wealth of the Indies would reward the effort. “Gold,” he says in one of his letters, “is the most precious of all commodities; gold constitutes treasure, and he who possesses it has all he needs in this world, as also the means of rescuing souls from purgatory, and restoring them to the enjoyment of paradise.” This last clause must have been peculiarly touching to the sovereigns who are credited with establishing the Holy Inquisition, and who expelled seventy thousand families of Jews, not allowing them to carry away their gold or silver. During their administrations between nine and ten thousand Jews were buried alive, seven thousand in effigy, while about one hundred thousand were persecuted in other ways.
16. The fact that the funds defraying the expenses of the first voyage, as referred to in a speech in Congress by the Hon. Julius Kahn, in December, 1911, were supplied by Luis de Santangel, the king’s chancellor and a converted Jew, is significant. “In his original account books, extending from 1491 to 1493, preserved in the Archive de Indias in Seville, Santangel is credited with an item of 1,140,000 maravedis, which were given by him to the Bishop of Avila, who subsequently became the Bishop of Granada, for Columbus’ expedition.”
Just how many Jews there were in the fleet of Columbus is not known. One was Luis de Torres, a Marano, or converted Jew, learned in the languages, who acted as Columbus’ interpreter; others of Jewish extraction were Msestre Bernal, the ship’s physician, and Marco, the surgeon, the latter of whom had undergone penance for his faith in October, 1490, ai Valencia, at the same time that Adret and Isabel his wife were burned to death for not adopting Catholicism.
The interest of Columbus in Jews was finally shown by his legacy to “the Hebrew who dwelt at the gate of the Jewry,” and whom he did not otherwise name in his will, and whom certain historians believe to have been a maternal relative.
17. It has been repeatedly noted by historians that the writing of Columbus was tinctured with the style of the Old Testament. Some of his disquisitions and apostrophes would not be out of place in that revered volume, such for illustration as his “Vanquishing the Waterspout,” and his “Vision of the River of Bethlehem,” inserted in a letter addressed to the sovereigns.
The regaining of the ancient land of Judea seems to have been a fixed idea with Columbus, a project he urged upon the sovereigns, and even the pope, and concerning which he wrote in his own “Prophecies:” “The conquest of the Holy Sepulchre is the more urgent when everything foretells, according to the very exact calculations of Cardinal d’Ailly, the speedy conversion of all the sects, the arrival of Antichrist, and the destruction of the world.”
If one will study the writings of the fifteenth century, Christian and Jewish, as related to Antichrist, a new light may dawn upon him in regard to the character and real sentiments of Columbus; as there were many who regarded the papacy in its hideous perversions of morality as the real Antichrist. It was an era of dissimulation, when deceit seems to have been frequently necessary to the preservation of one’s life; and Columbus seems to have been an adept in the art of dissembling.
“The person who may suspect the fervor of Columbus was one of his tactics,” says del Olmet, “being acquainted with the prevailing ideas of his country, can not be charged with being suspicious. Columbus proposes to the Catholic sovereigns the discovery of a world, in order to conquer the Holy Land with its riches. He fortifies his project with the religious spirit of that kingdom, in which a standing was given to the Tribunal of the Inquisition and the expulsion of the Jews decreed. If the Admiral of the Indies, in lieu of this, had publicly declared himself a Jew, it is not venturesome to state that his project, opposed to a great part of the scientific ideas of his time, being examined by a board of theologians, would rapidly have led the renowned alleged Genoese to those autos in which the faith, turned to fanaticism, changed into sanguinary persecution the pious indulgence of Christ.”
18. The reticence of Columbus as to his ancestry and birthplace, his vacillation as to his name, and his duplicity on many occasions and involving various questions, are seen to be all clearly explained when we find that he was not only of Hebrew lineage, but possessed of strong Jewish proclivities, thus explaining his great anxiety to regain the land of Palestine, his fervid literary style akin to the Hebrew prophets, and withal, his love of gold and avaricious spirit which led him even to acts of cruelty, as in sending a shipload of the natives from Cuba to Spain to be sold into slavery.
And this explanation is being accepted by all who take the time and trouble to examine it along with all the collateral facts discovered by Mr. La Riega. Not only has a favorable criticism on this conclusion been published in “La Espana Moderna,” Madrid, by Fernando de Anton del Olmet, but the Spanish Encyclopedic Dictionary accepts this view in the Columbus biography. Eva Canel, in Buenos Ayres, has written articles sustaining it, as has Martin Hume in London; and it appeals so strongly to rational minds that it may be safely used to illustrate the ancient adage that truth is mighty and will prevail!
The Roman Catholic Church seems to be unfortunate in her claims as to distinguished personages, it being conclusively shown that St. Peter, upheld by the Church as “the first pope and bishop of Rome,” was never in that city; St. Patrick, claimed as “the Apostle and Patron Saint of Ireland,” has been quite positively identified as a Protestant; and Christopher Columbus, the uncanonized saint of the Roman Church on this continent, and the Exemplar of the Knights of Columbus, is now demonstrated to have been a Spanish Jew! And according to the writings of reputable scholars, among them Mr. Justin Winsor, librarian of Harvard University, and Professor Charles Kendall Adams, LL.D., president of the University of Wisconsin, Christopher Columbus was little better than a pirate, a betrayer of innocent girlhood, a wife deserter, a kidnapper, a slave trader, a tyrant, and man of boundless cupidity.
The Knights of Columbus, founded at New Haven, Connecticut, February 2, 1882, by Rev. M. J. McGivney, curate of St. Mary’s Church, and including as incorporators, M. C. O’Connor, M.D., James T. Mullen, John T. Kerrigan, Wm. M. Geary and C. T. Driscoll, had on January i, 1905, a total membership of 127,206 persons, 43,537 of whom were insured and 83,669 were associate members. They are now said to be over 300,000 strong.
The total net assets of the Knights on the above date were $1,290,196.31, of which $1,239,137.89 was deposited as a mortuary reserve fund, for protecting outstanding insurance contracts. It will thus be seen to be a fraternal and benevolent order. But an adroit feature of this organization, to which Roman Catholics only are eligible, is the initiative service of four degrees, calculated to impress upon candidates their sacred obligations to uphold the Church on this western continent discovered by the great Columbus.
The relations of the Knights and the Church are supposed to be mutual and reciprocal, the Church using the order to further its ends of capturing America, and the Knights using the Church to exalt the glory of Columbus, and more particularly for their own political preferment. But some of the far-seeing leaders of the Hierarchy think there has been a mistake made in permitting such a young and vigorous order to participate in Church affairs, and to take root within the very pale and under the fostering care of the Church.
Some few years ago, Bishop Janssen, of the diocese of Belleville, Illinois, forbade the establishment of a Council of Knights in his diocese. The late Bishop of Hartford, Connecticut, also opposed the policy of the Church in organizing and supporting the Knights in any way, on the ground that sooner or later they would operate after the manner of a cancer in the human body and prove stronger than the Church itself. Various other dignitaries, bishops and archbishops, even ostensibly ardent members of the organization, were so impressed with similar ideas that secret appeals were made to the Vatican, to withdraw its sanction from the organization.
But the Vatican, in view of the pecuniary grants made by the Knights in support of “the faith,” and the hope they have aroused as an aid to capturing America, has tnus far taken no action against them. The late Cardinal Satolli in his extraordinary visit to the United States in 1904, ostensibly to perform the marriage ceremony for the daughter of Martin Maloney, a Marquis of the Roman Catholic Church, and for which, incidentally, he received a fee of several thousand dollars, was instructed to investigate the ground of these appeals against the Knights filed at the Vatican. For reasons which need not be stated, his advice to the American branch of the Roman Hierarchy was that, in view of the strength of the organization numerically, financially and intellectually, it would be unwise to oppose them for the present at least. In that year the organization presented the Catholic University at Washington, D. C., the sum of $50,000 to establish a chair in History in that institution.
The Knights themselves, it may be truthfully said, are not in the organization entirely for the sake of their own health, or even for the glory of the Church, inasmuch as there are many ambitious men among their leaders, and some that have little or no use for the Church. However, they work in collusion with the Hierarchy, and are heart and soul in politics. This fact is well known to political machines and non- Catholic politicians, whose candidates must receive the approval of Rome and the Knights before they dare nominate them for either dog pound or presidency.
Knights of Columbus have assured me that their organization, with the Church of Rome, controls the Municipal, State and Federal Government, and also influences the business interests throughout the country. They have also assured me within the past few years that it is almost impossible for a man to secure a position or promotion in any business house or corporation, if a Knight of Columbus be a competitor.
Notwithstanding these facts, the innocent Knights, like their Jesuitical spiritual advisers, publicly declare that they are not in politics, as the rules of their organization forbid their being in such unholy environment it being considered dangerous to their “faith and morals;” and in order to wholly disabuse the minds of the guileless non-Catholics of any such suspicion they frequently protest against the union of Church and State.
In the first session of the Sixty-second Congress, Hoa, Ben Johnson, of the Fourth Kentucky District, himself a member of the Knights, denounced (?) Dr. Emil Scharf, a brother Knight, for having promised to deliver the “Catholic vote” in his (Johnson’s) district, as well as in other congressional districts. Why this stage-play to the public through the Press Gallery in the Capitol at Washington, D. C.? If the gallant and honorable member from Kentucky was sincere in his denunciation of Dr. Scharf, why has he not denounced Cardinal Gibbons, Archbishop Ireland, et al., for similar conduct, and worse? For the purpose of hoodwinking the non-Catholics this stage-play was continued, Dr. Scharf was “tried” and “expelled” from this politico-religious organization. If the Knights of Columbus were sincere, why have they not expelled their spiritual leaders, brother Knights, whose principal business is politics, aye, Jesuitical politics, which has been the curse of Catholic countries, and is to-day a menace to non-Catholic countries?
The Knights of Columbus, together with the Church of Rome, have succeeded in making October 12, Columbus Day, a holiday in many States of the Union, and have caused to be placed in Congress a bill to create it a national holiday, as shown in accompanying illustration. A similar bill will undoubtedly be passed in the near future.
The Church and the Knights have been instrumental in setting up various busts and statues of Columbus in public places, and even in the White House and the end is not yet! A majestic statue of this remarkable personage, Columbus, is being erected on the Plaza in front of the Union Station at Washington, D. C., in full view of the approaches from Capitol and city. The plan for erecting this statue was started by the Church and the Knights, who secured an appropriation of $100,000 from Congress. The President of the United States, at the suggestion of the Roman Catholic Hierarchy and the Knights of Columbus, has fixed the date for this politico-religious celebration, as will be seen from the following item which appeared in The Catholic Telegraph, published in Cincinnati, Ohio:
“PRESIDENT FIXES DATE.
“President Taft has set Saturday, June 8, as the time for the unveiling and dedication of the Columbus memorial on Union Station Plaza, in Washington, D. C. The date was fixed following a conference on February 17, with James A. Flaherty, Supreme Knight of the Knights of Columbus; Edward L. Hearn, commissioner on the part of the Supreme Council of the order, and Colonel K. Spencer Cusby, of the War Department. Preparations are being made in Washington to accommodate fifty thousand visitors.”
Messrs. Flaherty and Hearn, before attending this conference, received instructions from their spiritual “bosses” Gibbons, Farley and O’Connell the “American” Princes of the Church, who will control the ceremony and be the principal attraction on the above date, Taft and other prominent plebeian non-Catholic politicians being permitted within the show-ring to assist.
I would respectfully suggest that the Roman Catholic Hierarchy and Knights of Columbus place upon the proposed monument the following inscription proposed by Dr. Henry Brown, of Spokane, Washington, for a similar monument at Walla Walla in that State:
IN GRATEFUL RECOGNITION OF
THE FACT THAT HE WAS
“TiiE ORIGINATOR OF AMERICAN
FIRST SLAVE-DRIVER IN
THE NEW WORLD,”
Dr. Brown, in proposing this inscription, writes:
“I do not forget that very many people, through lack of information, may be tempted to look upon the wording as slanderous and inappropriate. But, for the benefit of all such, I will simply say that these (quotations) are the exact words used by Professor Justin Winsor, Harvard librarian, in his great work on Christopher Columbus, page 312, fifth line from the top and first line on page 282.”
If any religious sect is to control the ceremony, which should be entirely national, and in which all classes without regard to creed should participate, it would seem more appropriate and more in accord with the truth of history that this ceremony be controlled by the Jews.
The foregoing sketch of the life of Columbus, obtained from the most trustworthy historians, was contributed by Mr. Hyland C. Kirk, Washington, D. C.
- CHAPTER I. WHY I WITHDREW FROM ROMANISM.
- CHAPTER II. CELIBACY AND CONFESSIONAL.
- CHAPTER III. ROME, RUM, RUIN.
- CHAPTER IV. THE CONFESSION OF A ‘CONVERT’ TO ROMANISM.
- CHAPTER V. ARCHBISHOP QUIGLEY COWED BY A FEARLESS WOMAN.
- CHAPTER VI. NEW ‘GET-RICH-QUICK’ SCHEMES.
- CHAPTER VII. THE POPES AND THE BIBLE.
- CHAPTER VIII. PAPAL DESPOTISM.
- CHAPTER IX. ROME THE MOTHER AND MISTRESS OF CRIME.
- CHAPTER X. CHRISTOPHER COLUMBUS A JEW.
- CHAPTER XI ROME EVER AND EVERYWHERE THE SAME.
- CHAPTER XII. ROME AND AMERICA.
- CHAPTER XIII. ROMANIZING NON-CATHOLIC COUNTRIES.