The Dream City, Paul V. Galvin 
Digital History Collection
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  THE CONVENT OF LA RABIDA - The Exposition of 1893 gained over all other World's Fairs because of its commemoration of Columbus, a world's hero. No spirit of national pride was hurt, and several European peoples were flattered by the extraordinary demonstration at Chicago. Chief among the honors paid to Columbus was the erection at Jackson Park of a reproduction of the Convent of La Rabida, at Palos, Spain, in which Columbus took refuge, and where he matured his plans of sailing due westward into the Ocean Sea. This reproduction was the idea of William E. Curtis, then the director of the Bureau of American Republics, in the State Department of the nation, and though viewed at first with some disfavor, was in the end admited to have been the crowning feature of the Exposition. The building, made in faithful imitation of its original - even to the setting of exotic plants in the little interior court, was filled with such a collection of relics as may never again be seen together, and these relics were jealously guarded by United States regular soldiers, continually on duty, who were under orders to speak to nobody, except in the way of duty. His Holiness the Pope and the Duke of Veragua, whose name is Christopher Columbus, were the chief patrons of the undertaking, loaning to the collection the original letters of Columbus and the maps and documents which are in possession of the Vatican. The influence of the Arabic may be seen in the beautiful script which Columbus wrote. The portraits of Columbus made a remarkable display, and proved that nobody knows just how their original really looked.
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Digital History Collection
Page created: August 26, 1998