- Luis de Santangel
Luis de Santangel, (d. 1498) (or Luis de Santander) a baptized Jew and finance minister to Ferdinand II who made the case to Isabella I in favor of
Christopher Columbus' voyage in 1492.
In 1486, Ferdinand and Isabella had been presented with Columbus’s plan and after consultation with advisers, they rejected it. In order to keep Columbus from taking his idea to another monarch, Ferdinand and Isabella presented him with an annuity of 12,000
maravedis (about $840) and in 1489 provided him with documentation which he could use to obtain food and lodging in any Spanish municipalities.
When Columbus had grown weary of the treatment he was receiving from the leaders of Spain, he had begun to make arrangements to travel to the court of
Charles VIII of Francein January 1492. It was at this point that Luis de Santangel intervened on behalf of Columbus to persuade Isabella and convinced her that the prospect of converting Asia to Christianitymade the voyage worth the risk.
Santangel had arranged for the majority of the financing for the voyage contributing much of the money from his own pocket and additional money that he had borrowed. He did this in order to keep the Queen from having to pawn the crown jewels.
Columbus’s first letter
Columbus's Letter on the First Voyagecovering the narrative of his voyage was sent to Luis de Santangel.
Santangel’s family was persecuted during the
Spanish Inquisition. His older cousin, and namesake, was beheaded during the inquisition. Because of his service to Spain, on 30 May 1497, Ferdinand proclaimed in a royal decree that Luis de Santangel and his family, present and future, were to be protected from the inquisition.
*Amler, Jane Frances. (1991). "Christopher Columbus’s Jewish Roots". London: Jason Aronson, Inc.
*Durant, Will. (1957). "The Reformation: A History of European Civilization from Wyclif to Calvin: 1300-1564". New York: Simon and Schuster.
*Kayserling, Meyer. (1894). "Christopher Columbus and the Participation of the Jews in the Spanish and Portuguese Discoveries". New York: Harmon Press.
*Morison, Samuel Eliot. (1955). "Christopher Columbus, Mariner". London: Faber and Faber Ltd.
* [http://copland.udel.edu/~braham/columbus-santangel-letter.pdf Columbus’ First Letter (pdf)]
* [http://www.amuseum.org/jahf/virtour/index.html#santangel Jewish-American Hall of Fame]
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