Ponce de Leon was a Spanish explorer who became the first Spanish explorer to arrive in Florida. Explorers are men who set out to find the new world and conquer its lands for Spain. There was no travel to the new world until Columbus proved that the world was not flat. Below are ten interesting facts about Ponce de Leon.
Fact 1 Sailed with Columbus in 1493
Ponce de Leon sailed with Columbus on his second journey to America. He stopped to live on an island in the Caribbean, where he became governor. The governor eventually took his position away from him and gave it to Columbus because of accusations of cruelty to the people.
Fact 2 Found Gold in 1506
In 1506, Ponce de Leon found gold on an island close to his island in the Caribbean. He returned home. The king sent him back in 1508 and made him governor.
Fact 3 Ponce de Leon wanted to find the fountain of youth.
Ponce de Leon had heard that the fountain had magic that would keep him young forever. He searched, but never found it.
Fact 4 Ponce de Leon was the first European to arrive at Florida.
When he stepped onto the land, he saw many flowers, so he named the land Florida, which means flowers. He claimed Florida for Spain and received orders from the king of Spain to colonize it.
Fact 5 Ponce de Leon gave Puerto Rico its name after conquering the land.
He conquered the land and claimed Puerto Rico for Spain.
Fact 6 Ponce de Leon went back to Florida to claim the land for Spain.
In 1514, King Ferdinand ordered Ponce de Leon to kill all of natives and start colonization for Spain. He was not successful.
Fact 7 Ponce de Leon travelled with three ships
Ponce de Leon left out on his expedition with three ships. The names of his ships were the Santiago, San Cristobal, and the Santa Maria de la Consolacion. He searched not only for land to conquer, but also for gold and riches.
Fact 8 Ponce de Leon was attacked by Indians.
While building his colony in Florida, he and his men were attacked by Indians. He and many of his men were injured, but was able to get on his ship to sail away.
Fact 9 Ponce de Leon discovered an important source of water,
In 1513, de Leon discovered the Gulf Stream, which became a very important passage way for Spain’s ships to travel to America. Travel in the 1500s was accomplished by sailing ships and it was very important to find waterways that would make that easier and faster.
Fact 10 Ponce de Leon died in 1521
In an Indian attack on the Florida colony, Ponce de Leon was pierced with an arrow that as supposedly poisoned He died later as a result of his wounds.