Juan Ponce De Leon

By: Morgan Wood

Biography

Juan Ponce was born into a respected family in the province of Valladolid located in northern Spain. He was born around 1474 but the exact date is unknown. Juan Ponce De Leon was a soldier as well as an explorer. He took his part in war at a young age. He was barely 18 when he stepped onto the battlefield aiding his master Don Pedro. When the war ended in 1492, Juan Ponce was left unemployed. With hardly any job opportunities, Juan left Valladolid and took his first trip to Cadiz. This changed his life. There he met Christopher Columbus and accepted an opportunity of a lifetime. His first voyage with Columbus took him to the Dominican Republic. He took part in a conquest and was rewarded greatly. He became governor and earned many riches. After his voyage with Columbus tragedy struck. His wife died leaving him to care for motherless children. Another expedition took him to America. Here he discovered and named Florida. His last expedition was on a search for Bimini in 1521 but they were met by natives. One native shot Juan and he died shortly after.
This link will lead to a map where you can see Juan Ponce de Leon's voyages. If you move your mouse over the plots it will tell you what happened in that place.
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Juan Ponce De Leon: Death

Juan Ponce died after he took his second sail to Florida. After around four months the Natives forced them to leave. They sought refuge in Cuba. While he was in Cuba he was badly injured by a Native’s arrow during battle. It left a gash in his thigh that soon became infected and led to his death. He died at age 47 in 1521.


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Achievments

Juan Ponce de Leon sailed for Spain. He took his first voyage with Christopher Columbus. They were sponsored by Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand. He achieved many things on his voyages. He led an expedition for gold and at one point he was seeking the fountain of youth. He never found it but he did achieve many other things. One very important thing he did was lead the first ever expedition to Florida. He also was the one to give Florida its name. He named it was Pascal de Florida meaning the feast of flowers. When he traveled with Christopher Columbus, they went to the Dominican Republic. Here he was appointed governor and claimed the land for Spain. Another thing he accomplished was discovering the Gulf Stream.
This link leads to a small biography of Juan Ponce de Leon's life.
On this page you will find a timeline of Juan Ponce de Leon's life.