The Pinzón Brothers (Dictionary of World Biography: Renaissance)
Article abstract: The two Pinzón brothers provided crucial assistance for Christopher Columbus’ first voyage to the New World. The brothers helped Columbus obtain and outfit his three ships and served as captains of the Pinta and the Niña.
Martín Alonso and Vicente Yáñez Pinzón were brothers in a family of wealthy shipowners and navigators in the Spanish port city of Palos. Martín, the elder of the two men, had spent most of his life since the age of fifteen at sea. He had sailed throughout the Mediterranean and along the northwest coast of Africa, serving Spain in a war against Portugal. He was widely recognized as an expert seaman, navigator, and captain. His younger brother, Vicente, about whom less is known, also spent most of his life at sea, learning the practical arts of seamanship and navigation.
The Pinzón family was one of the three leading shipping families in the important port city of Palos, on Spain’s southwest coast. The enthusiastic support of the Pinzóns for Christopher Columbus’ first voyage to the New World greatly helped Columbus to secure the skilled seamen, ships, material, and leaders necessary for success. In the summer of 1491, Columbus arrived in Palos to consult with a Franciscan friar and astronomer who supported his claims of the possibility of a trans-Atlantic trade route to Asia. This friar, Fray Antonio de Marchena, introduced Columbus to the leading...
(The entire section is 2038 words.)
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