SECOND VOYAGE OF CRISTOPHER COLUMBUS
On September 24, 1493, Columbus left Spain with enough ships, supplies, and men to invade and make Spanish colonies in the New World. He had 17 ships and 1,200 men. These men included soldiers and farmers. There were also priests, whose job was to convert the natives to Christianity.
On this voyage, Columbus explored some of the islands of the Lesser Antilles. He also sailed around most of Hispaniola and explored the sides of Jamaica and Cuba he had not seen on his first voyage.
Then he went back to the Navidad fort. He found the fort burned down. Eleven of the 37 soldiers Columbus left at the fort were buried there. The rest had disappeared. Historians think this happened because of disease and fights with the Arawak people.
Start of the transatlantic slave trade
In February 1495, Columbus started the transatlantic slave trade. He and his soldiers captured about 1,500 Taíno.
Only 500 could fit on Columbus's ships, so Columbus told his men they could take any of the rest as slaves
. They took 600 and let 400 go. Of the 500 natives that Columbus shipped to Spain as slaves, about 200 died on the trip. Half of the rest were very sick when they arrived.
This was the first time people had ever been shipped across the Atlantic Ocean to be sold as slaves.