Ponce de leon

Essay by Nicoleakaq-tHigh School, 10th gradeA+, April 2002

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He was born in San Tervas de Campos, Spain, in 1474. There is no record of his birth, parent's names, or of his preteeen years. In his younger years he served as a squire and earned the nickname "poor knight." From that day on he trained himself in the arts of war and survival to prepare himself for future of daring and unimaginable adventures to the unknown.

In 1493 he joined Columbus on his 2nd voyage to the Americas. After that he settled on a Caribbean island named Hispaniola to improve his fortunes and start a warlike life. At that time on Hispaniola he became a military commander and a deputy governor. In 1506, he discovered a close-by island named Borinquin which was later renamed Puerto Rico. He became that island's governor two years later. Still wanting more wealth, power, and glory, Ponce de Leon begged and persuaded the king to grant him men and ships to search for the infamous "fountain of youth".

In his unwise quest, he became the European discoverer of Florida, which he named "Pascua de Florida" (feast of flowers) after a Spanish Easter holiday, he landed here on Easter Sunday. He explored the state between 1513 and 1521. Discovering Florida is what he is most famous for. People were overwhelmed to hear about his death in his last battle he fought in, which was with Calusa Indians in Florida. He died not in the battle for he was a great warrior raised to survive all odds although he was wounded severely which is the reason he died. Although, he never found the "fountain of youth" his grand voyage over to the Americas left us history and countless stories of his adventures.