On 31 July 1492, in the same month that Columbus sailed the ocean blue, the deadline was up for all ‘Jews and Jewesses of our kingdoms to depart and never to return … ‘ This followed an edict issued earlier in the year by King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella ordering the expulsion of all Jews from Spain unless they converted to Catholicism.
‘We further order in this edict that all Jews and Jewesses of whatever age that reside in our domain and territories leave with their sons and daughters, servants and relatives large or small, of all ages, by the end of July of this year, and that they dare not return to our lands and that they do not take a step across, such that if any Jew who does not accept this edict is found in our kingdom and domains or returns will be sentenced to death and confiscation of all their belongings.’
Signed, I, the King, I, the Queen, and Juan de Coloma, Secretary of the King and Queen who has written it by order of our Majesties.
The Alhambra Decree, 31 March 1492
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