Ponce De Leon

By : Ileana N

Early Life

Juan Ponce De Leon was born in 1460 in San San Servas, Spain. His family was noble and had a good amount of money, but still wanted fame and riches. He learned manners, fighting skills, and religion. He knew how to read and write too. He also served a knight his name was, Pedro Nunez de Guzman. He became a page on the royal court at Aragon. He soon left the job of a page and became a soldier. He had a desire for adventure so in 1493 he joined Christopher Columbus on his second voyage to the new world. Then he decided to set sail on his own journeys.

First Foot In Florida

Ponce De Leon was the first european explorer to step foot in florida .In late March of 1513, his ships landed on Florida's east coast near what is now called St. Augustine. He claimed the beautiful land for spain. The land was so beautiful that ,he decided to name that land La Florida, which means place of flowers. He continued to explore more so, he sailed down to the coast . As he and his men explored the island for food and fresh water, they saw the Caluso tribal village at Mound Key. They discovered that the Calusa were an unfriendly tribe. They fled back to their ships and decided to leave the area. They sailed back to Puerto Rico.

Puerto Rico

Ponce De Leon heard of riches and gold at Puerto Rico. In 1508 the spainish crown sent Ponce De Leon to explore the island. He sailed with 50 men and a single ship. The exploration was a suecees and he was named governor of Puerto Rico. He left and returned to Hispaniola. Soon he returned to Puerto Rico with his wife and three children. Ponce De Leon had a successful settlement by using a large number of slaves for labor. In 1509 a struggle between the son of Columbus and the Spanish crown resulted in Ponce de León losing his governorship of Puerto Rico.