Juan Ponce De Leon

Finding Florida

Life

  • Juan Ponce De Leon was born in 1474 in the village of Santervas de Campos.
  • When the war ended against the Emirate of Granada, his military skills were no longer needed at home.
  • He went off to see if anyone needed his services elsewhere.
  • He started off in Spain.

Life with Columbus

  • In 1493 several sailors, colonists, and soldiers left with Christopher Columbus on his second voyage to the new world.
  • He was on that ship.
  • They stopped at many islands before they reached their destination in Hispaniola.
  • They stopped on the island of Puerto Rico which influenced De Leon.

De Leon's First Voyage

  • Juan Ponce De Leon had heard about an island to the northwest of Hispaniola that had not been discovered and wanted to check it out.
  • He was ordered by the King to find these new lands.
  • He agreed to this order and in 1513 set out for the new land.
  • They took 3 ships with them and 200 people including men and women.
  • Their voyage started when they left Puerto Rico.
  • He brought Spanish influence to the Caribbean islands before any English could land there.
  • After they left Puerto Rico they traveled along the Bahamas.
  • They kept going until they saw an unfamiliar island, so he named it La Florida.
  • They claimed this land on April 2, 1513.

Fountain of Youth

  • De Leon was known to be searching for the Fountain of Youth when discovering Florida.
  • The Fountain of Youth is know to bring new life to whoever drinks from it.

Second Voyage

  • In 1521 he organized two ships to go back to Florida.
  • The ships consisted of 200 men, 50 horses and other domestic animals, farming equipment, and even some priests and farmers.
  • They landed on the southwest coast of Florida.
  • They were attacked and De Leon was hit with a poisonous arrow in the thigh.
  • They sailed to Cuba where De Leon died, and was buried in Puerto Rico.