Let’s close the schools. Let’s have parades for him and name cities and streets all across the country after him. Let’s even reduce all sofa and loveseat living room sets by 30%! Columbus Day is all about Christopher. But what about his younger, and Smack Dab Middle brother, Bartolome?
Bart was a mapmaker in Lisbon, who together with Chris came up with the plan to reach the Orient by a Western route, which, by the way, they never accomplished. But even that didn’t stop the elder Columbus from becoming famous -- for getting lost!
While Chris stayed stateside drumming up support for their plan, Bart went to England seeking assistance from Henry VII. He was taken by pirates en route and arrived in England in bad shape, so it didn’t go well when he presented himself at the Kings Court. So he headed over to France to hit up Charles VII, but also came up empty. Meanwhile, Chris convinced Ferdinand and Isabella to fork over some cash. When Bart got the news, he headed back to Spain -- but big bro had already left without him! Nice.
Bart did finally get to Hispaniola in 1494 to meet his brother, where he remained for six years serving as governor. He also founded the city of Santo Domingo, and accompanied his brother on his fourth and final journey. But still, it’s always, “Chris did this,” or “Chris did that!” Not that Christopher wasn’t willing to share any of the spotlight. When things fell apart in Hispaniola, they were imprisoned together. So at least Bart got to share jail time with his brother.