10 Interesting Facts about Ponce de Leon

These following facts about Ponce de Leon will probably open your mind and knowledge about how great he was during his life. Ponce de Leon was a Spanish explorer and conquistador. He became the first Governor of Puerto Rico by some appointment of the Spanish crown. He led the first European expedition to Florida, which he named after. He is also associated with the legend of the Fountain of Youth, reputed to be in Florida. To get to know more about him, here are some other facts about Ponce de Leon you may consider interesting and amazing.

Facts about Ponce de Leon 1: Ponce de Leon

Juan Ponce de Leon was born in the village of Santervas de Campos in the northern part of what is now the Spanish province of Valladolid. Although early historians placed his birth in 1475, more recent evidence shows he was likely born in 1474. The surname ‘Ponce de León’ dates from the 11th century.

Facts about Ponce de Leon 2: Parents

The identity of his parents is still unknown, but he appears to have been a member of a distinguished and influential noble family. His relatives included Rodrigo Ponce de Leon, Marquis of Cadiz, a celebrated figure in the Moorish wars.

Facts about Ponce de Leon - Ponce de Leon

Facts about Ponce de Leon – Ponce de Leon

Facts about Ponce de Leon 3: Arrival in the New World

Once the war against the Emirate of Granada ended, there was no apparent need for his military services at home, so, like many of his contemporaries, Ponce de León looked abroad for his next opportunity.In September 1493, some 1200 sailors, colonists, and soldiers joined Christopher Columbus for his second voyage to the New World.

Facts about Ponce de Leon 4: Voyage to Florida

Rumors of undiscovered islands to the northwest of Hispaniola had reached Spain by 1511, and Ferdinand was interested in forestalling further exploration and discovery by Colon. In an effort to reward Ponce de León for his services, Ferdinand urged him to seek these new lands outside the authority of Colon. Ponce de Leon readily agreed to a new venture, and in February 1512 a royal contract was dispatched outlining his rights and authorities to search for “the Islands of Benimy”.

Facts about Ponce de Leon - Statue

Facts about Ponce de Leon – Statue

Facts about Ponce de Leon 5: Fountain of Youth

According to a popular legend, Ponce de Leon discovered Florida while searching for the Fountain of Youth. Though stories of vitality-restoring waters were known on both sides of the Atlantic long before Ponce de Leon, the story of his searching for them was not attached to him until after his death. Fountain of Youth, actually, was an allegory for the Bahamian Love Vine, which locals brew today as an aphrodisiac.

Facts about Ponce de Leon 6: Between Voyages

Upon his return to Puerto Rico, Ponce de León found the island in turmoil.A party of Caribs from a neighboring island had attacked the settlement of Caparra, killed several Spaniards and burned it to the ground. Ponce de León’s own home was destroyed and his family narrowly escaped.

Facts about Ponce de Leon - Ruins of Ponce de Leon's house

Facts about Ponce de Leon – Ruins of Ponce de Leon’s house

Facts about Ponce de Leon 7: Island of Florida and Bimini

During his stay in Spain, a new contract was drawn up for Ponce de León confirming his rights to settle and govern the “islands” of Florida and Bimini. In addition to the usual directions for sharing gold and other valuables with the king, the contract was one of the first to stipulate that the Requerimiento was to be read to the inhabitants of the islands prior to their conquest.

Facts about Ponce de Leon 8: Unauthorized Voyages

Meanwhile, there had been at least two unauthorized voyages to “Ponce de Leon’s” Florida both ending in repulsion by the Native Calusa Tequesta warriors. Ponce de León realized he had to act soon if he was to maintain his claim.

Facts about Ponce de Leon - Bahamian Love Vine

Facts about Ponce de Leon – Bahamian Love Vine

Facts about Ponce de Leon 9: Last Voyage to Florida

In 1521 Ponce de León organized a colonizing expedition on two ships. It consisted of some 200 men, including priests, farmers and artisans, 50 horses and other domestic animals, and farming implements.

Facts about Ponce de Leon 10: Death

The colonists were soon attacked by Calusa braves and Ponce de León was injured when, historians believe, an arrow poisoned with the sap of the Machineel tree struck his thigh.After this attack, he and the colonists sailed to Hevana, Cuba, where he soon died of the wound.

Facts about Ponce de Leon - Tomb of Ponce de Leon

Facts about Ponce de Leon – Tomb of Ponce de Leon

Those following facts about Ponce de Leon should be really interesting for you to read. Through his voyages, you may also know what purpose he was aim to during his life and what kind of personality he was. Hope you would find these Ponce de Leon facts really interesting and useful.

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