Though Vikings are the first Europeans to set foot on American mainland but the credit of discovery of America is still given to Columbus and there is no mystery upon this. When Christopher Columbus discovered America in 1492 he did not know he would change the course of history and connect the old world with the new world of America. From the initial days there has been a debate as to where Columbus landed on America. Documents claim that Columbus landed on the Bahamas Island in his quest for Asia. But which island no one seems to have a clue.
Many scholars have been studying the written logs of Columbus to come to a conclusion. Some modern navigational experts have even tried a backwards journey following the logs from a specific Canary Islands across the Atlantic but there have been not much success. A dairy of Columbus was founded and many felt this would provide definitive answers to a long mystery. But the dairy was only partially written by Columbus himself as most parts are supposed to have been written by Dominican sea friar who had been in the crew of Columbus. Description of the island on which Columbus and his crew landed is controversial. It is mentioned in the dairy that the island had agricultural features. Most of the islands in the Bahamas are agriculturally rich. There is a phrase in the dairy “una laguna en medio muy grande” which the scholars feel describes a large lake in the middle of the island or a large lagoon near the shoreline.
In the diary it is clearly mentioned that Columbus landed on an island named San Salvador, so there must not be any room for confusion as there is an island named San Salvador in Bahamas. But fact is San Salvador came to be known by its present only after 1920s. Earlier it was known as Watlings Island. Some scholars have sited Samana Cay as the possible landing site of Columbus. But there are other islands been debated over as well such as the Plana Cays, Grand Turk, Mayaguana and Conception Island.
Columbus had mentioned over and over again before his death that he had landed on an island very close to Asia. It would never be possible to retrace Columbus’ route as there have been many changes in the location of landmasses ever since.