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After reading Columbus' letter what do you think his views of the new lands and
people he encountered? What seem to be his values, assumptions, and goals as
expressed in his letter and how might these have influenced what he included in
his letter?
Written on February 15, 1493, Columbus' letter of his voyage to the New World
was the first news of the expedition to be reported and spread in Europe. The
letter painted a glowingly, optimistic account of the voyage and
discoveries.Columbus portrayed the "Indians" as docile and somewhat naive
peoples, willing to exchange gold for virtually worthless trinkets. Columbus
proposed that the natives viewed the Europeans as godlike beings and thus held
their visitors in high esteem. Columbus implied that the natives would likely
convert to Christianity and remain subservient to the Europeans. Columbus
somewhat exaggerated the size and wealth of a series of islands of which he
reported to have taken control. Two of these lands he noted were Hispaniola
and Cuba. Columbus minimized hardships and misfortunes of the voyages, such
as the loss of the Santa Maria, reporting that he left the ship for colonists at a
fort the explorers had constructed. All in all, Columbus painted a very lucrative
portrait of the New World in hopes of convincing Catholic monarchs to sponsor a
second, more ambition voyage, from which he promised to bring back huge
bounties of riches.

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Excellent resource! Really helped me get the gist of things.