Think about it. The guy got laughed all over Europe trying to sell an idea. Didn’t mean any harm, just wanted to find a short way to Asia. Finally got old Isabella to take him seriously enough to finance a looksee, found what he wasn’t looking for.
So what does he get for a reward? Hell. They name WASHINGTON freaking DC after him. Sheeze. Everyone in town snorting COLUMBIAN. Not enough? Columbia, South Carolina. Home of Fort Jackson, armpit of the world [where I went through basic training in 1961].
Columbus, Texas, Columbus, Ohio, Columbus, Georgia, sheeze, haven’t we done enough to the guy?
Gets the blame for what all those black buffalo soldiers in the US Army did to the poor Comanche and Apache.
Think about it. Poor stupid dork went home and got criticized something awful for the place not being Asia. As though he put the damned place there.
Then all that stuff you wouldn’t think even his admirers would wish on their worst enemies. Naming pestholes and rat nests after him.
Then along comes the late 20th and early 21st Century and all the forces of political correctness and ancestral blame focus on him once a year. Throw rotten eggs at him. Dis him. Call him ugly names and say he was responsible for genocide. [Well, maybe he was, a little, during that last trip. But by the standards of the time it was okay. Hell, even today it’s okay if done by the right people to the right people.]
He just wasn’t that bad a guy. Just wrong place at the right time. Couldn’t be helped, more or less. And he did bring syphilis back to Europe. That ought to count for something.
Why not cut him some slack. Roll up a $100 bill and snort a line of Columbian. Then whisper, “Thanks Chris.”