Juan Ponce de Leon

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by ethan199
Last updated 7 years ago

Social Studies
Explorers and Discovers

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Juan Ponce de Leon

1460 - He was born1511 - became gov.of an island1513 - lead private expedition to Bimini1521 - last expedition

Juan Ponce de Leon



Juan Ponce de Leon (1460?-1521) was a Spanish explorer and soldier who was the first European to set foot in Florida. He also established the oldest European settlement in Puerto Rico and discovered the Gulf Stream (a current in the Atlantic Ocean). Ponce de Leon was searching for the legendary fountain of youth and other riches.Ponce de Leon was a soldier fighting Muslims in southern Spain in the early 1490's. Ponce de Leon sailed on Christopher Columbus' second expedition to the Americas in 1493. Ponce de Leon did not return to Spain with Columbus; he stayed in Santo Domingo (now called the Dominican Republic).While searching for the mythical fountain of youth, Juan Ponce de León founded the oldest settlement in Puerto Rico and discovered Florida. in 1513 Ponce de León led a private expedition to Bimini from Puerto Rico. In a month's time, he and his men landed on the coast of Florida instead. He named the region Florida because he discovered it at Easter time (Spanish:Pascua Florida) and because its vegetation was lush and floral.in 1521, Ponce de León sailed again for Florida with two ships and 200 men, intent on settling the land. This time, though, he was wounded by an arrow during an Indian attack, after which he and his colonists sailed to Cuba, where he soon died of the wound

He learned of a Caribbean island called Bimini, on which there were rumored to be miraculous waters that could rejuvenate those who drank from them (the fountain of youth).After exploring the coast, he returned to Puerto Rico, which he found roiling with a native uprising.Ponce de León soon left for Spain, where he was named military governor of Bimini and Florida and secured permission to colonize those regions. He was also ordered to organize an army to subdue the native uprising on Puerto Rico, which had continued in his absence. He left for Puerto Rico in May 1515 with his small fleet.


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