Juan Ponce de León - Miscellaneous, Birthday and Childhood

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Juan Ponce de León's Personal Details

Juan Ponce de Leon was a Spanish explorer and conquistador who is credited to have led the first European expedition to Florida

InformationDetail
Birthday1474
Died onJune 30, 15211474
NationalitySpanish
FamousMiscellaneous, Explorers
SpousesLeonor Ponce de León
Known asJuan Ponce de Leon
Cause of deathAssassination
Birth PlaceSantervás de Campos
ReligionCatholicism
GenderMale
Born inSantervás de Campos
Famous asExplorer
Died at Age47

// Famous Miscellaneous

Juan Ponce de León's photo

Who is Juan Ponce de León?

Juan Ponce de Leon was a Spanish explorer and conquistador who is credited to have led the first European expedition to Florida. The major purpose of his expedition was to find gold and his quest for finding treasures led him to the southeast coast of what would become the United States. Further exploration of the region brought him to the place which he named “Florida”. De Leon was inspired by the legend of the ‘Fountain of Youth’ which was believed to be located in the Florida region and spent considerable time searching for the elusive spring which he could never find. Born in Spain, he was a brave young boy who grew up to become a soldier who fought against the Moors during the completion of the re-conquest of Spain in 1492. After the historic victory of the Spanish in the battle, he ventured abroad to seek out his fortunes. Adventurous by nature, he joined Christopher Columbus for his second voyage to the New World. The crew visited several places including a large island that would eventually become known as Puerto Rico. He returned home to Spain and after a few years led a European expedition for gold which took him to the modern-day United States. This voyage led him to a region in mainland North America which was rich with floral vegetation. He named this place “Florida”.

// Famous Explorers

Childhood & Early Life

Juan Ponce de León was born in the village of Santervás de Campos, Castile, Spain, in 1474. Not much is known about his childhood and even the identity of his parents is not known. There is however ample proof to suggest that he might have hailed from a distinguished and influential noble family. Rodrigo Ponce de León, Marquis of Cádiz, a celebrated figure in the Moorish wars, was a relative of his.

As a young man, he served as a squire to Pedro Núñez de Guzmán, Knight Commander of the Order of Calatrava. Eventually he became a soldier and fought in the Spanish campaigns against the Moors in the successful completion of the re-conquest of Spain in 1492.

Later Life

In September 1493, de Leon joined the 1200 sailors, colonists, and soldiers who accompanied Christopher Columbus on his second voyage to the New World. The fleet reached the Caribbean in November 1493 and visited several islands, including the large island that would later become known as Puerto Rico. They finally arrived at their primary destination in Hispaniola.

It is generally believed that de Leon returned to Spain after the voyage and spent some years in his homeland.

In 1502, he was employed by Nicolás de Ovando, the governor of Hispaniola, to curb the rebellions by the natives against the Spanish. De Leon successfully quelled the rebellion and impressed Ovando who appointed him frontier governor of the eastern part of Hispaniola.

He soon heard rumors about presence of gold in the nearby Puerto Rico. He explored the land and confirmed the presence of gold in response to which Ferdinand II of Aragon gave permission to Ponce de Leon for the first official expedition to the island in 1508.

He went to Puerto Rico and collected a good quantity of gold before returning to Hispaniola in 1509. He was told by the crown to return to Puerto Rico and build a settlement there. Named the governor of Puerto Rico, he went on to establish a successful colony. However he soon lost his governorship due to some political issues.

By the early 1510s, news of undiscovered islands to the northwest of Hispaniola reached Ferdinand who asked de Leon to seek out the new lands. It was rumored that along with gold, "the Islands of Benimy" also had a miraculous spring--“fountain of youth”—which could rejuvenate aging bodies.

He set sail from Puerto Rico in March 1513 with a fleet of three ships—the Santiago, the San Cristobal and the Santa Maria de la Consolacion—and around 200 men. After several days, they sighted land which de Leon believed to be another island. The land was lush with flowers and he named it ‘La Florida’.

He returned to Puerto Rico and found the island in disarray. A neighboring tribe of Caribs had destroyed the Spanish settlement and killed many Spaniards. De Leon travelled to Spain in 1514 to report to Ferdinand.

Impressed by his findings, Ferdinand made him the military governor of Florida and gave him permission to colonize the region. But prior to that, he was ordered to return to Puerto Rico to organize an army there to quell native uprising during his absence.

Over the next few years he traveled back and forth between Spain and Puerto Rico before deciding to embark on another voyage to Florida. He organized a colonizing expedition on two ships in 1521 and landed on the southwest coast of Florida. However, he did not live to colonize the region.

Major Discovery

Juan Ponce de Leon is widely credited with the discovery of Florida. Several sources suggest that he might not have been the first European to reach the peninsula, but he is the earliest documented European explorer to do so. He named the region ‘La Florida’ with reference to its lush floral vegetation.

Personal Life & Legacy

In the 1500s, de Leon married Leonora, an innkeeper's daughter. The couple had three daughters and one son.

While on his second voyage to Florida, the colonists were attacked by Calusa braves. De Leon was hit by an arrow smeared with poison. Following the attack, the colonists sailed to Cuba where de Leon died of the wound in July 1521.

// Famous People Who Died of Assassination

Juan Ponce de León biography timelines

  • // 1474
    Juan Ponce de León was born in the village of Santervás de Campos, Castile, Spain, in 1474. Not much is known about his childhood and even the identity of his parents is not known. There is however ample proof to suggest that he might have hailed from a distinguished and influential noble family. Rodrigo Ponce de León, Marquis of Cádiz, a celebrated figure in the Moorish wars, was a relative of his.
  • // 1492
    As a young man, he served as a squire to Pedro Núñez de Guzmán, Knight Commander of the Order of Calatrava. Eventually he became a soldier and fought in the Spanish campaigns against the Moors in the successful completion of the re-conquest of Spain in 1492.
  • // 1493
    In September 1493, de Leon joined the 1200 sailors, colonists, and soldiers who accompanied Christopher Columbus on his second voyage to the New World. The fleet reached the Caribbean in November 1493 and visited several islands, including the large island that would later become known as Puerto Rico. They finally arrived at their primary destination in Hispaniola.
  • // 1502
    In 1502, he was employed by Nicolás de Ovando, the governor of Hispaniola, to curb the rebellions by the natives against the Spanish. De Leon successfully quelled the rebellion and impressed Ovando who appointed him frontier governor of the eastern part of Hispaniola.
  • // 1508
    He soon heard rumors about presence of gold in the nearby Puerto Rico. He explored the land and confirmed the presence of gold in response to which Ferdinand II of Aragon gave permission to Ponce de Leon for the first official expedition to the island in 1508.
  • // 1509
    He went to Puerto Rico and collected a good quantity of gold before returning to Hispaniola in 1509. He was told by the crown to return to Puerto Rico and build a settlement there. Named the governor of Puerto Rico, he went on to establish a successful colony. However he soon lost his governorship due to some political issues.
  • // Mar 1513
    He set sail from Puerto Rico in March 1513 with a fleet of three ships—the Santiago, the San Cristobal and the Santa Maria de la Consolacion—and around 200 men. After several days, they sighted land which de Leon believed to be another island. The land was lush with flowers and he named it ‘La Florida’.
  • // 1514
    He returned to Puerto Rico and found the island in disarray. A neighboring tribe of Caribs had destroyed the Spanish settlement and killed many Spaniards. De Leon travelled to Spain in 1514 to report to Ferdinand.
  • // 1521
    Over the next few years he traveled back and forth between Spain and Puerto Rico before deciding to embark on another voyage to Florida. He organized a colonizing expedition on two ships in 1521 and landed on the southwest coast of Florida. However, he did not live to colonize the region.
  • // Jul 1521
    While on his second voyage to Florida, the colonists were attacked by Calusa braves. De Leon was hit by an arrow smeared with poison. Following the attack, the colonists sailed to Cuba where de Leon died of the wound in July 1521.

// Famous Spanish

Juan Ponce de León's FAQ

  • When was Juan Ponce de León died?

    Juan Ponce de León was died at 1521-06-30

  • Where was Juan Ponce de León died?

    Juan Ponce de León was died in Havana

  • Which age was Juan Ponce de León died?

    Juan Ponce de León was died at age 47

  • Where is Juan Ponce de León's birth place?

    Juan Ponce de León was born in Santervás de Campos

  • What is Juan Ponce de León nationalities?

    Juan Ponce de León's nationalities is Spanish

  • Who is Juan Ponce de León spouses?

    Juan Ponce de León's spouses is Leonor Ponce de León

  • What is Juan Ponce de León's cause of dead?

    Juan Ponce de León dead because of Assassination

  • What is Juan Ponce de León's religion?

    Juan Ponce de León's religion is Catholicism

  • How famous is Juan Ponce de León?

    Juan Ponce de León is famouse as Explorer