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for free. This is an OCR edition with typos. Excerpt from book: THE
Life And Voyages Of Columbus. CHAPTER I. BIRTH, PARENTAGE,
EDUCATION, AND EARLY LIFE OF COLUMBUS. Christopher Columbus, or
Colombo as the name is written in Italian, was a native of Genoa,
born about the year 1435, of poor but reputable and meritorious
parentage. He was the son of Domenico Colombo, a wool-comber, and
Susanna Fontanarossa his wife; and his ancestors seem to have
followed the same trade for several generations in Genoa. Attempts
have been made to prove him of illustrious descent, and several
noble houses have laid claim to him since his name has become so
renowned as to confer rather than receive distinction. It is
possible some of them may be in the right, for the feuds in Italy
in those ages had broken down and scattered many of the noblest
families, and while some branches remained in the lordly heritage
of castles and domains, others were confounded with the humblest
population of the cities. The fact, however, is not material to his
fame; and it is a higher proof of merit to be the object of
contention among various noble families, than to be able to
substantiate the most illustriouslineage. His son Fernando had a
true feeling on the subject. " I am of opinion," says he, " that I
should derive less dignity from any nobility of ancestry, than from
being the son of such a father." Columbus was the oldest of four
children; having two brothers, Bartholomew and Giacomoor, as his
name is translated into Spanish, Diegoand one sister, of whom
nothing is known, excepting that she was married to a person in
obscure life, called Giacomo Bavarello. While very young, Columbus
was taught reading, writing, grammar, and arithmetic, and made some
proficiency in drawing. He soon evinced a strong passion for
geographical knowledge, and an irresistible inc...
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