l>Ponce de León : Florida"s very first Spanish Explorer
Home > Florida then & currently > A Short background of Florida > Ponce de León

You are watching: Did explorers find gold in florida

Ponce de León : Florida"s an initial Spanish Explorer

Juan Ponce de León was the very first Spanish explorer to arrive in Florida. Early on Spanish explorers were recognized as conquistadors (kahn-KEYS-ta-dawrz) or "conquerors." when there space no main records, historians think that Ponce de León was born in 1460 in mountain Tervas de Campos, Spain.


Early ExplorationIn 1493, Ponce de León cruised with Christopher Columbus ~ above Columbus" second voyage to the Americas. He and his family resolved on one island in the Caribbean called Hispaniola (Dominican Republic). He came to be a army commander in ~ this post and was appointed deputy governor.

In 1506, Ponce de León found a adjacent island called Borinquen. While there, that found large deposits that gold. Soon after his discovery, the left the island. He went back in 1508 on orders indigenous the king that Spain to explore and also colonize the island. He change the name the island Puerto Rico. He to be the island"s branch for two years until the king changed him with Columbus" son.

Discovery that Florida

Hurt through the King"s action, Ponce de León cruised again, this time north through the Bahamas heading in the direction of Florida. He remained in search of new lands and also treasures. He had also heard that a mythical fountain of youth. Indians spoke of a legendary, magical spring whose water was believed to make older civilization young again. Ponce de León explored countless areas, consisting of the Bahamas and also Bimini, for both gold and the mythical fountain, but he never discovered either.

In late March the 1513, his ships arrived at Florida"s east coast near present-day St. Augustine. He asserted this beautiful land for Spain. Because he had uncovered this nation of lavish landscape and beautiful beaches, he to be entitled to name it. He named it La Florida (LAH circulation REE dah) or "place the flowers."


He made decision to continue his expedition of this land and also sailed under the coast. He encountered some unstable currents at one point and named the area Cape Canaveral which means “Cape of Currents”.

Ponce de León continued down the east shore of Florida and along the secrets until he landed on an island that had plenty of turtles. He called the island dry Tortugas because there to be no new water top top the island and also “tortugas” way “turtle” in Spanish.

Ponce de León and the Calusa Indians

Continuing up the west coast of Florida, Ponce de León gotten in the Charlotte harbor area. Together he and his males explored inland because that wood and fresh water, they saw the Calusa tribal village at Mound Key. They found that the Calusa to be an it is not kind tribe. The explorers fled back to their ships and also decided to leave the area. Castle sailed ago to Puerto Rico.

Return to Florida

In 1521, Ponce de León went back to Florida again to construct a colony. He came down on the gulf beaches between Charlotte Harbor and Estero Bay with over 200 settlers, horses, tools, and seeds. The arrangement was to set up a farming colony. As they walk inland for fresh water, the Calusa ambushed them. Ponce de León to be shot in the thigh by one arrow and was serious wounded. The settlers decided to abandon the settlement and also sail back to Cuba.

As a result of his wound, Ponce de León passed away at the age of 61 in Cuba.

See more: Coal Mining Towns In West Virginia, Company Towns

The will always be remembered together the brave conquistador who an initial explored plenty of parts that Florida and also searched for the mythical fountain of youth.

Home > Florida climate & currently > A Short history of Florida > Ponce de León
Exploring Florida: A society Studies source for Students and also Teachers produced by the Florida facility for Instructional Technology, college of Education, college of south Florida © 2002.