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the peace between the two crowns, he could run down Spanish vessels. He attacked, therefore, and took two galleys of that nation, freighted on the account of various individuals. On complaints of this action being made to King Ferdinand, he wrote on the subject to Louis XI. ; his letter is dated the 9th of December, 1474. Ferdinand terms Christopher Columbus a subject of Louis; it was because, as is known, Columbus was a Genoese, and Louis was sovereign of Genoa; although that city and Savona were held of him in fief by the Duke of Milan.” It is highly probable that it was the squadron of this same Colombo of whom the circumstance is related by Bossi, and after him by Spotorno on the authority of a letter found in the archives of Milan, and written in 1476 by two illustrious Milanese gentlemen, on their return from Jerusalem. The letter states that in the previous year, 1475, as the Venetian fleet was stationed off Cyprus to guard the island, a Genoese squadron, commanded by one Colombo, sailed by them with an air of defiance, shouting, “Viva San Giorgia!” As the republics were then at peace they were permitted to pass unmolested. Bossi supposes that the Colombo here mentioned was Christopher Columbus the discoverer; but it appears rather to have been the old Genoese admiral of that name, who according to Zurita, was about that time cruising in the Mediterranean; and who, in all probability, was the hero of both the preceding occurrences.
The nephew of this Colombo, called by the Spaniards Colombo el Mozo, commanded a few years afterwards a squadron in the French service, as will appear in a subsequent appendix, and Columbus may at various times have held an inferior command under both uncle and nephew, and been present on the abovecited occasions.
ABOUT the time that Columbus attained his twentyfourth year, his native city was in a state of great alarm and peril from the threatened invasion of Alphonso V. of Arragon, King of Naples. Finding itself too weak to contend singly with such a foe, and having in vain looked for assistance from Italy, it placed itself under the protection of Charles VII. of France. That monarch sent to its assistance John of Anjou, son of René or Renato, King of Naples, who had been dispossessed of his crown by Alphonso. John of Anjou, otherwise called the Duke of Calabria, * immediately took upon himself the command of the place, repaired his fortifications, and defended the entrance of the harbor with strong chains. In the meantime Alphonso had prepared a large land force, and assembled an armament of twenty ships and ten galleys at Ancona, on the frontiers of Genoa. The situation of the latter was considered eminently perilous, when Alphonso suddenly fell ill of a calenture and died; leaving the kingdoms of Anjou and Sicily to his brother John, and the kingdom of Naples to his son Ferdinand. The death of Alphonso, and the subsequent division of his dominions, while they relieved the fears of the Genoese, gave rise to new hopes on the part of the house of Anjou ; and the Duke John, encouraged by emissaries from various powerful partisans among the Neapolitan nobility, determined to make a bold attempt upon Naples for the recovery of the Crown. The Genoese entered into his cause with spirit, furnishing him with ships, galleys, and money. His father, René or Renato, fitted out twelve galleys for the expedition, in the harbor of Marseilles, and sent him assurance of an abundant supply of money, and of the assistance of the King of France. The brilliant nature of the enterprise attracted the attention of the daring and restless spirits of the times. The chivalrous nobleman, the soldier of fortune, the hardy corsair, the bold adventurer or the military partisan, enlisted under the banners of the Duke of Calabria. It is stated by historians that Columbus served in the armament from Genoa, in a squadron commanded by one of the Colombos, his relations. The expedition sailed in October, 1459, and arrived at Sessa between the mouths of the Garigliano and the Volturno. The news of its arrival was the signal of universal revolt; the factious barons and their vassals hastened to join the standard of Anjou, and the Duke soon saw the finest provinces of the Neapolitan dominions at his command, and with his army and squadron menaced the city of Naples itself. In the history of this expedition we meet with one hazardous action of the fleet in which Columbus had embarked. The army of John of Anjou, being closely invested by a superior force, was in a perilous predicament at the mouth of the Sarno. In this conjuncture the captain of the armada landed with his men and scoured the neighborhood, hoping to awaken in the populace their former enthusiasm for the banner of Anjou, and perhaps to take Naples by surprise. A chosen company of Neapolitan infantry was sent against them. The troops from the fleet having little of the discipline of regular soldiery, and much of the freebooting disposition of maritime rovers, had scattered themselves about the country, intent chiefly upon spoil. They were attacked by the infantry and put to rout, with the loss of many killed and wounded. Endeavoring to make their way back to the ships, they found the passes seized and blocked up by the people of Sorrento, who assailed them with dreadful havoc. Their flight now became desperate and headlong, many threw themselves from rocks and precipices into the sea, and but a small portion regained the ships. The contest of John of Anjou for the crown of Naples lasted four years. For a time fortune favored him, and the prize seemed almost within his grasp, but reverses succeeded : he was defeated at various points; the factious nobles, one by one, deserted him, and returned to their allegiance to Alphonso, and the Duke was finally compelled to retire to the island of Ischia. Here he remained for some time, guarded by eight galleys, which likewise harassed the Bay of Naples.” In this squadron, which loyally adhered to him until he ultimately abandoned this unfortunate enterprise, Columbus is stated to have served.
* Duke of Calabria was a title of the heir-apparent to the crown of Naples.