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Martin Alonzo Pinzon

MARTIN ALONZO PINZON, born about the middle of the 15th century, gave material assistance to Columbus in carrying out his project. " If Colon was the head, Pinzon was the right arm " (Asensio). In the expedition of 1492 he commanded the " Pinta," on which his brother Francisco was pilot; another brother, Vicente Yafiez, commanded the " Nina." On the 6th of October Martin Alonzo suggested to Columbus (when already in the longitude of the Bermudas) to change the course of the expedition from due west to south-west; on the 7th of October this suggestion strengthened by the observation of a flight of birds to the south-west was adopted, bringing the fleet, four days later, to the landfall at Guanahani (San Salvador, Watling Island) in the Bahamas (Oct. 12, 1492). On the 21st of November 1492, near the east end of the north coast of Cuba, Martin Alonzo left Columbus, making eastward in search of the gold-land of which they had heard the natives speak. On the 6th of January 1493 he rejoined the admiral, who accepted his excuses. But on the return journey he again left his leader, and when Columbus arrived at Palos on the 15th of March 1493 he learned that Alonzo had already landed at Bayona in Galicia. If his object was to forestall Columbus and pose as discoverer of the New World, he was foiled; audience was refused him by Ferdinand and Isabella; and soon after he died, perhaps of chagrin.

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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