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Second, Columbus’s actions strongly suggest he knew he was not in the Indies. Columbus is said (by biographers) to have brought with him a “Letter of Credence” from the monarchs introducing him to the Great Khan in China (or to whomever was the ruler who succeeded him) and to other oriental potentates he might meet. But when Columbus arrived in the Bahamas, he immediately went ashore and claimed the land for Ferdinand and Isabella. He carried royal flags and repeated a declaration required to make the acquisition legal. He did this in full view of the natives, without the protection of an army, as if he had prior knowledge that he would not be in any danger from the forces of an Asian prince.
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