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The American encyclopedia of 1851

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Agepedia is a free encyclopedia based on a year 1851 edition of Encyclopaedia Americana. We show the world the way it was seen by 19th century Americans. You might find some of the articles odd or even funny. However, most of the articles are still partially or even entirely relevant information.

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Christopher Columbus

Christopher Columbus (in Spanish, Colon; in Italian, Cristoforo Colombo, which is his real name), one of the greatest men mentioned in history, was born in Genoa, about 1435, and not, as some assert, at Cuccaro, in Montferrat. His father, Domenico Colombo, a poor woolcomber, gave him a careful education. He soon evinced a strong passion for geographical knowledge, and an irresistible inclination for the sea, and, at 14 years of age, he began to navigate in the Mediterranean. We afterwards find him in command of a vessel, in a squadron which a relation of his had fitted out against the Mohammedans and Venetians. In one of his engagements with the Venetians, the vessel which he commanded took fire, and Columbus saved his life by swimming ashore. Portugal, at that time, at tracted the attention of Europe by her maritime expeditions, and Columbus repaired to Lisbon, where he found relations and countrymen. Here he married the daughter of Bartolomeo de Palestrello, a distinguished navigator, who had participated in the discovery of Porto Santo, and had left many charts and nautical instruments. Columbus made use of these materials, and his opinion that the other side of the globe contained land, belonging to Eastern Asia, and connected with India, which was, as yet, little known, became more and more fixed. Whilst the Portuguese were seeking for it by a southeast course round Africa, he was convinced that there must be a shorter way by the west. Read more...

Did you know...

  • ...that the population of Detroit is 1422 people (as of 1820)?
  • Condor sitting on the branch.

    ...that a Condor are known to rise and walk away quickly even after receiving several pistol bullets or after considerable time of hanging on the noose?
  • ...that there is a great deal of fraud practised in the whole business of horse racing?
  • ...that according to Herschel, the Sun is habited place with mountais, valleys and atmosphere? This hypothesis seems to be preferable to that of Laplace, who imagines the Sun to be a burning body.
  • ...that the rum is a distilled liquor obtained from the fermented juice of the sugarcane or molasses and produced especially in Jamaica?
  • ...that even thought rhinoceros is a clumsy and deformed looking animal it is more than a match for either the tiger or the elephant? The flesh of it somewhat resembles pork in taste.
  • ...that the savage fury with which the tribe of Vandals despoiled and destroyed the most beautiful works of Roman art has given origin to the name of Vandalism.
  • ...that the chief produce of Illinois is Indian corn, wheat, and the other agricultural productions of the Northern States.