People, Places and Events on Stamps

Columbus Imprisoned

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The 2-dollar Columbus in Chains stamp was issued in 1893 as part of the Columbian series.

After returning to Hispaniola (now the Dominican Republic and Haiti) Columbus resumed his governorship. However, the Spanish court received so many complaints of administrative misconduct that Spain sent Adm. Don Francisco de Bobadilla to investigate. The investigation led to Columbus’s arrest and imprisonment in San Domingo on the island of Hispaniola, as depicted on the 2-dollar stamp. De Bobadilla returned Columbus to Spain to stand trial, where he was acquitted.

Standing next to Columbus on the stamp is his brother, Diego who sailed on Columbus’s second voyage. Another brother depicted on the stamp, Bartholomew, accompanied Columbus on his second and fourth voyages. Bartholomew founded the Santo Domingo settlement in 1496, and was governor of the Spanish settlements in Hispaniola from 1496 to 1498.