Ponce de León, Juan


Ponce de León, Juan

biographical name

(born 1460, Tierra de Campos Palencia, Leon—died 1521, Havana, Cuba) Spanish explorer. He may have accompanied Christopher Columbus's expedition in 1493 and later fought in the West Indies (1502), becoming governor of eastern Hispaniola. He colonized Puerto Rico (1508–09) and founded a settlement near modern San Juan. Rumours of a fountain of youth in the Bahamas inspired him to lead an expedition in 1513, but he landed instead on the northern coast of Florida near modern St. Augustine. He sailed along Florida's southern and western coasts, then returned to Spain to secure the title of military governor (1514). He sailed again to colonize Florida in 1521 but was wounded in an Indian attack and died in Cuba.

This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
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