512 years ago this Tuesday, Christopher Columbus, his three ships and his 90 sailors made landfall in the Caribbean, making Christopher Columbus very famous and the idol of brainwashed school children all over America.
We now know that Columbus was a very confused sailor: he was an Italian, sailing for Spain, who thought that Cuba and Hispaniola were China and Japan, and who some say was in reality a Portuguese Jew named Salvador Fernandes Zarco. How Columbus, whose journey was inspired by his only-slightly-less-confused compatriot Marco Polo, convinced himself that the handsome, naked Arawaks he found inhabiting the islands were the denizens of the powerful Ming court is almost as great a mystery as why we celebrate Columbus Day in the United States. Most of us are now aware that Christopher Columbus has absolutely nothing to do with the United States: Columbus never came here and to his death refused to admit that this continent even existed. The first explorer to admit our existence was, in fact, Amerigo Vespucci, whom we claim as our namesake, but who also never came closer to us than Brazil.
Instead of dedicating a national holiday to the man who gave smallpox and slavery to the Caribbean, America should take the time to recognize the true conquerors of the age of discovery: those who brought the gory glory of colonization to the United States. Although everyone knows that America was actually discovered in the early 15th century by the Muslim Chinese eunuch Admiral Zheng He and his massive fleet of Junks, we will limit ourselves in this discussion to the Age of Discovery, so Vikings, Kon-Tiki and the Chinese are out. For ease of understanding, I have followed the custom of Anglicizing their names, as is commonly done with Christopher “Christoforo” Columbus.
With that in mind, the first explorer to set eyes on our noble land was John Ponce of Leon, who discovered Florida in 1513. The founder of a great American tradition, John Ponce of Leon wanted to retire to Florida and pursue his lifelong goal of finding the Fountain of Youth. However, in an age where slaughter of the natives was often expected, Ponce of Leon was so brutal that the Spanish government removed him from jurisdiction of the colonies in 1511. Next to arrive was the tortured Penile Navies, whose difficult childhood and profession-suitable last name led him to sail as far asea as the Mississippi River and the Gulf of Mexico. He set the stage for the mysterious Head of Cow, discoverer of Texas in 1533, for Crowned Francis, who discovered New Mexico in 1539, and finally for Henry of Soto, who explored the Southeastern U.S. from 1539-1542.
From 1513 onwards, Spain repeatedly failed to colonize the mainland U.S., succeeding only in 1565, when St. Augustine, Florida, was established. The Spanish cannot claim the title of being the first explorers to colonize the U.S., that honor goes to the French, who constructed a fort and colony on the St. John’s River in 1564. However, because the bloodthirsty Spaniards under Peter Menendez of Aviles burned that French colony to the ground, killing every last man, St. Augustine can claim the title of oldest, reliable, permanent, floating European settlement in the United States.
I suggest we set the record straight: instead of remembering a Portuguese/Italian who didn’t discover this country, let’s glorify the Spaniards who did. Or rather, we should crucify them for the genocidal maniacs they were. In fact, with the overwhelming evidence that these explorers were a bunch of terrorists, I’m surprised the Italians aren’t happy to forget all about Columbus. Long live Salvador Fernandes Zarco.
Andrew Smeall real name is Andre Agassmeall de los conquistadores. It has been Anglicized for the purposes of this column.