[2015] Allison DeKrey: Juan Ponce de Leon

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by klimeks
Last updated 4 years ago

Social Studies
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[2015] Allison DeKrey: Juan Ponce de Leon

Juan Ponce de Leon

Early LifeBorn into a poor family in Spain in 1460. He served as a page at the court of Aragon where he learned social skills, religion and military tactics. Soon, he sought fame and fourtune through exploration. During his later explorations, he employed the skills and tactics he'd learned in the military to subde and control the native peoples of the Caribbean.

HispaniolaIn the first decade of 1500, he built settlements in what is now Haiti and the Dominican Republic where he started farms and constructed defenses in hope of establishing an island colony for Spain. After helping suppress a native Carib, he was names the provincial govenor of the eastern part of the country.

Puerto RicoIn 1508, the Spanish crown sent Ponce to explore the island of Puerto Rice because of reports of gold. A year later, he returned to Hispaniola, having found much gold and was named governor of Puerto Rico. Later in 1509 a struggle between the son of Christopher Columbus and the Spanish crown resulted in Ponce losing his governorship of Puerto Rico.

The Fountain of Youth and the Naming of FloridaIn 1512, the king wanted him to continue searching for gold. Around this time, he learned of a Caribbean island called Bimini, on which it was rumored there were miraculous waters purported to be a "fountain of youth." There was no mention of this is the crowns orders, and research shows there was a quest associated with Juan Ponce de Leon's name.In 1513, he led an expedition and landed on the east coast of Florida. He named the region Florida (meaning "flowery") because of all the flowers

Death and LegacyIn 1521, he left for a second expedition to Florida where it was attacked by Calusa warriors. Juan Ponce de Leon was wounded during the attacks and died when they sailed back to Cuba in 1521.Juan Ponce de Leon built a small financial empire that helped advance Spanish colonization in the Caribbean. He will forever be associated with the fountain of youth, even though there is no record the he searched for it.

The Fountain of Youth


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