|A Year of Colonial American Frontier History|
Sometime during the early morning hours of December 25, the Santa Maria ran aground off the coast of Hispaniola.
Grounding of the Santa Maria
Columbus and his crew had spent a great deal of time exploring the island of Hispaniola. They had found some gold and made contact with the local Taino tribes that inhabited the island. As they lay off the shore of the island during the night of December 25, the Santa Maria ran aground on some off shore sand bars.
Rescue and Decisions
Columbus and the crew of the Nina managed to rescue the crew of the Santa Maria without losing a person. The ship, however, was firmly grounded and he could not save it. The extra men from the ship would not fit on the Nina. Since Martín Alonso Pinzón had absconded with the Pinta, Columbus had a decision to make. He decided to found a colony on Hispaniola and leave some of his crew to inhabit it. He consulted with the Taino cacique (chieftain) Guacanagari, who allowed Columbus to build a stockade.
A Year of Colonial American Frontier History
© Paul Wonning 2016