Invited only a few days ago to take a part in this congress as commander of the caravels as well as a member of the Geographical Society of Madrid, I am very sorry that my address cannot be as important as the subject demands. Although I am intimately acquainted with every detail of the history of the caravels, the special mission assigned to me by the Spanish government, to repeat the voyage of Columbus in the Santa Maria and the: many ways in which the voyage has been described, make my position the more difficult. The history and the serious representation of that great enterprise, you must admit, are very different from the many descriptions of fancy that have been written on the subject. You all know the history of the caravels of Columbus ; you have heard of his troubles and difficulties, which have grown with the last 400 years ; but history as recorded by Navarrete, whom the great Humboldt calls the father of history, says that Spain then approved generally the project, although while the conquest of Granada was hanging in the balance the government decided to undertake no new venture until that was settled. This delay doubtless caused Columbus great sorrow, as he was growing old ; but his project was not rejected by Spain. The Duke of Medinasidonia supported Columbus during two years ; the other two years Father Diego Deza, professor at Salamanca, afterward Archbishop of Seville, supported him ; and he was always protected by the Marchioness of Moya, the best friend of the Queen, which proves that even if he had difficulties he had high protectors to sympathize with and encourage him. The picture so often painted, depicting the learned men of the University of Salamanca scoffing at Columbus, conveys an erroneous idea, as the records of every meeting were kept and exist today, and nowhere can be found recorded any such action against Columbus.