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Facts About Vasco da Gama

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In 1460, a young man was born; his father, a prominent part of the Portugal royal family. Estevao da Gama, his father and Isabel was his mother; they were able to provide him with a good life. He spent his childhood in Lisbon, Portugal. His father taught him how to fish, sail and swim at a very early age. Vasco was privileged to attend school from 1484 to 1492. Vasco wanted to learn about Astronomy and also had a desire to learn about Navigation.

Vasco da Gama, (c.1469 – 1524)Vasco da Gama. Painting by António Manuel da Fonseca.

His achievements

Some of Gama’s achievements were creating the most needed naval and trading companies based on the Indian Ocean. He was named defense commander in 1492 from the Portuguese Colonies, while they were battling in New Guinea against the French. After that he headed towards India with a crew of four ships. He had prepared his troops to be self-sufficient for three full years. There was enough spirits and food to keep them well fed and in good shape for their journey to India.

His mission to India

His goal was to complete the route that Bartolomeu Dias previously had begun several years earlier. Da Gama’s trip to India carried him and his mates close to two years before they reached their destination. He sailed the African Continent. Once da Gama arrived in the country of India, he purchased silks and bough spices. He wanted to prove that treasures could be found around the world. After restocking supplies, they sailed back to their Portugal homes in 1499. Once his crew arrived back in Portugal, Vasco stayed just a short time to meet and married Cateriana Ataide.

The second voyage

During the second voyage, Vasco was responsible for creating the first peace treaty for his beloved Portugal and Africa. He decided to erect a monument during this time. In the year of 1502, Vasco ordered the destruction of the trading stations of all Arabs in India. He then replaced them with vendor goods from Portugal. This act alone made Portugal the most powerful trading entity in the world.

He was greatly respected and rewarded

Several years later, Vasco helped to create a massive wealth for the people of his country. Vasco did suffer some critical losses; his son was killed during a battle in 1504. They bestowed the title of Admiral to him in the year of 1524. His other titles that had been bestowed upon his were, Count Vidigueira, this entitled him to receive funds from rent and taxes from civilians in two different Portuguese cities.

The story of Columbus’s discoveries

During the following years, Portugal found themselves to be competing with Spain for riches of gold and for fame. After hearing stories about Christopher Columbus, the current King, became very jealous and ordered that Vasco find the treasures that Columbus was after, before Columbus had a chance to claim them. Portugal already knew where the treasures were, it was just a matter of reaching the lands before others did.

His last trip back to India

Gama was settled in Portugal in 1524, with his wife, Caterianna and his six sons, when King John named him India’s Viceroy. His hopes of retiring and spending time with his family were out. He was ordered to head back to the India Country and help oversee the progression of trades. Unfortunately, on the trip there, Vasco became sick. Vasco was laid to rest, right after they docked in India on the 24th of December, 1524.