Ponce De Leon And The Early ExplorationOf Essay

Florida Essay, Research Paper

Juan Ponce de Leon was born in 1460, in Tierra de Campos Paleia, in Leon, Spain ( Ponce, 1996 ) .

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He came from a baronial household and entered the royal family as a page for Pedro Nunez de Guzman, at the

Court of Aragon. Later, immature Ponce de Leon would go a solider for Spain and battle in the conflicts to

drive the Moors from Granada ( Blassingame, 1991 ) .

In 1493, Leon sailed with Christopher Columbus on his 2nd ocean trip to America ( Ponce, 1996 ) .

He was a member of the forces that enslaved the Indians in Hispaniola.This was the European and Spanish

manner. Few explores would look upon the indigens they encountered as anything more than speaking animate beings.

For the twelvemonth of 1502 he was a captain under the governor of Hispaniola, Nicolas de Ovando ( Thompson,

1990 ) . During his clip as captain he would stamp down an Indian rebellion. For this he was rewarded with the

governorship of Higuey ( Blassingame, 1991 ) .

Ponce de Leon would stay in Hispaniola until 1503. In this twelvemonth he would be intrigued by the

narratives of gold to be found in Borinquen, known as the modern Puerto Rico ( Ponce, 1994 ) . He sailed to

explore and settle the island. He landed on August 12, 1508 and shortly conquered the island and was

granted governorship of the island. There he carved himself a big estate, where he built a palace

( Thompson, 1990 ) .

Ovanado was shortly replaced with Diego Columbus, as governor of Hispaniola. And Columbus

placed Juna Ceron as the new governor of Puerto Rico. For two old ages Leon fought to maintain his

governorship, but he was removed from the place. He was advised by King Ferdinand to happen new land

( Thompson 1990 ) .

The Indians of Hispaniola worked as slaves for the Europeans. They would state great narratives of a

topographic point called Bimini. It was a land filled with great wealths. Ponce de Leon heard a different narrative from an

old Indian adult female. She added an interesting turn to her narrative. In her narrative she told him of a thaumaturgy fountain

that turned in-between aged and old individuals in to immature vivacious work forces and adult females. If the wealths did non pull

Ponce de Leon, the narrative of this fountain did. He was in his 1950ss and since his political calling had failed,

he figured, it was every bit good a clip as any to research the land ( 1990 ) .

Ponce de Leon left San German, Puerto Rico on March 3, 1513 and sailed with a fleet of three

ships heading northwest toward Bimini. The concatenation of seven hundred Bahama islands was on his path but

clip would non let him to research each of them. He did see the island of San Salvador where

Columbus made his first landfall two decennaries before. The crew sighted the seashore of America on March 3,

1513. This was Easter Sunday so he named the land Florida after the Spanish name for Easter, Pascua de

Flores ( Ponce, 1993 ) . The first sighting took topographic point near present twenty-four hours St. Augustine, which was to be

founded fifty-two old ages subsequently ( 1990 ) .

Six yearss after they sighted land they found a safe topographic point to dock their ships. The royal streamer of

Spain was so flown over the new land. They expected the same deficiency of opposition as they had

experienced when they came ashore at Hispaniola, but they were in for a surprise. The indigens were ferocious

combatants and less enthusiastic of the visual aspect of these unusual white work forces. Although their bow and pointers

were non of significance to the Spaniards, but the poisoned pointers they used were. Ponce de Leon merely

went upon land when it was perfectly necessary. He ne’er had the opportunity to research the land for himself

( 1990 ) .

Ponce de Leon felt it was best to happen a safer seaport. The fleet sailed south to the modern-day

Cape Canaveral. The ships were caught in the strong current of the Gulf Stream which forced them to

battle for hebdomads along the Florida Keys. Ponce de Leon eventually decided to turn around and caput place.

He was so overwhelmed with his find that he sailed straight to Spain ( Ponce 1994 ) .

Ponce de Leon figured that this was a smart move on his portion because three ships were non adequate

to make a proper occupation researching the new land. He hoped that the male monarch would give him permission and the

equipment to research his new land. Coming before the male monarch, Ponce de Leon told him about the great island

of Florida. The king agreed that the land should be explored farther. He promised Ponce de Leon that if he

conquered it, he would be rewarded with its governorship ( 1990 ) .

Ponce de Leon was kept busy by the Carib Indians in the West Indies. It was non until 1521 that

he departd for Florida. This clip he was prepared ; he sailed with two armed ships, two hundred work forces and

50 Equus caballuss. The conquistador was to fault for the great combat force. He had sunk his whole luck in

to the expedition to colonise this new land ( Ponce, 1993 ) .

Little did Ponce de Leon know that Florida & # 8217 ; s geographics hour angle

vitamin D already been settled. In 1519, the

same twelvemonth Magellan was seeking for a sound into the Pacific Ocean far to the South, Alonzo Alvarez de

Pineda was seeking for the same sound in the country of Florida. He sailed up the seashore of Florida and so

continued west following the coastline until he reached the contemporary metropolis of Tampico, Mexico. On his

manner place Pineda came upon a river that he named Rio del Espiritu Santo ( River of the Holy Ghost ) . It is

now believed that this river was the Mississippi ( 1990 ) .

Ponce was now trusting to happen the land of Bimini which he believed to be in the inside of

Florida, because the seashore line was mapped. At this clip Leon was in his 60 & # 8217 ; s and clip was short. They

were met by a big group of Indians when they made their manner to shore. Although the Spaniards

were good equiped, the Indians would get the better of them. The Indians had powerful bows and pointers ; the pointers

were so strong that they were able to check helmets. Many of the work forces were killed, many more were

wounded, including Ponce de Leon. An Indian pointer had pierced his armour and struck him in the thigh.

His work forces carried him off the beach during their retreat ( 1990 ) .

The programs for a colony were now destroyed. There was no physician aboard their ship, so the

crew had no pick but to instantly put canvas for Havana. Juan Ponce de Leon did non do it ; he died

before they reached Cuba. Other adventurers would seek to follow Ponce de Leon illustration in the geographic expedition

of Florida, but most of them would meet the same consequence as he did ( 1990 ) .

Panfilo de Narvaez was the first after Ponce de Leon to come to Florida. He came in 1528,

geting near Tampa Bay with approximately 400 work forces. They met the unfriendly indigens at that place, but they besides found a

little sum of gold. The Spaniards became really aroused with this find. The Indians told them that

they could happen the gold in the land of Apalachee which is today the Tallahassee country. They did non happen

any gold in the land of Apalachee so they decided to turn back. They built tonss and drifted along the seashore

of Florida. Most of the work forces were dead by now but a few were able to do it to the seashore of Isla de

Malhado. This island was perchance Galveston Island. After eight old ages merely four work forces survived. One adult male

was Nunez Cabeca de Vaca who reached Mexico. The subsisters told narratives of happening wealth in the

inside of Florida. The narratives encouraged many adventurers ; Marcos de Niza, Coronado, Cabrillo and Soto

( Coler & A ; Shofner, 1991 ) .

Hernando de Soto and his fleet, with over six 100 people left Cuba and reached the Florida

seashore on May 25, 1539. It would be left to Soto to stop the enigma environing Florida. There he found an

Indian captive, Juan Ortiz. The indigens had no gold or Ag, but they told narratives of Indians populating in the

North that had an huge sum of gold and Ag that they were looking for. Soto went in hunt of

those Indians merely to detect that they had no cherished metals. Soto took many indigens surety. He

seized Indian heads and many Indian adult females. He demanded that many Indians be provided as carriers and

the Indian adult females be provided as courtesans for the Spaniards ( 1991 ) .

Soto decided to go farther North in hunt of the legendary wealths. When he left his cantonment he took

the Pensacola head. He so traveled to the Indian small town of Cofitachequi. There he was greeted by the

chieftainess, who gave him a twine of pearls. There the Spaniards found a huge sum of pearls, approximately two

hundred lbs of them in the local entombment sites. They left Cofitachequi and headed north, so toward

West, and eventually toward the South. Hernando de Soto died on May 21, 1542 ( 1991 ) .

The vicereine of New Spain, Luis de Velasco, choose Tristan de Luna y Arellano to head the

expedition to Santa Elena. Luna & # 8217 ; s expedition reached Mobile Bay on August 14, but so rapidly moved to

Pensacola Bay. They named Pensacola Bay Santa Maria Filipina, after the Virgin Mary and King Philip II

of Spain. The vicereine ordered Luna to travel instantly to Santa Elena. Luna was so enduring from a

mental depression and was non able to do the trip to Santa Elena so the vicereine replaced him with Angel

de Villafane ( 1991 ) .


Blassingame, W ( 1991 ) . Ponce de Leon. Philadelphia: Chelsea Juniors.

Coler, W.S. , & A ; Shofner, J.H. ( 1991 ) . Florida: From the Get downing to 1992. Houston: Pioneer

Publications, Inc.

Ponce de Leon ( 1993 ) . Microsoft ( R ) Encarta, Copyright Microsoft Corporation. Copyright 1993 Funk & A ;

Wagnall & # 8217 ; s Corporation.

Ponce de Leon ( 1994 ) . Compton & # 8217 ; s NewMedia Inc. Compton & # 8217 ; s larning Company.

Ponce de Leon ( 1996 ) . Prodigy ( R ) interactive personal service. Excerpted from Compton & # 8217 ; s Encyclopedia.

Thompson, J ( 1990, November ) . Ponce de Leon. Stamps, pp 245-246.


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