NOVEMBER 19, 1493


After Christopher Columbus’s first voyage in 1492, he had little trouble convincing Ferdinand and Isabela of Spain to fund a second voyage. On September 25, 1493, Columbus set sail from Cádiz, Spain, with 17 ships and almost 1,500 men. On November 19, after stopping at several other islands, Columbus anchored in a bay on the west coast of what is now Puerto Rico which its Indigenous inhabitants—the Taíno–then-called Boriquén. Columbus promptly renamed the island San Juan Bautista (“Saint John the Baptist”) and claimed it for Spain. The Columbus expedition remained for 2 days before sailing westward to Hispaniola. At that time, the island of Boriquén was inhabited by as many as 50,000 Taíno, or Arawak, Indians. It is said that the Taíno who greeted Columbus made a big mistake when they showed him gold nuggets in the river and told him to take all he wanted.

  “Puerto Rico’s History,” History of Puerto Rico - XV Century – 1599.  Retrieved 6/2/2022, History of Puerto Rico - XV Century - 1599 (
“History of Puerto Rico,” Puerto Rico - History | Britannica.  Retrieved 6/2/2022, Puerto Rico - History | Britannica
Map:  Author unknown, 1886.  Map of Puerto Rico. Public Domain.   Source:

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