Juan Ponce de Leon: Spanish Explorer and Soldier

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Juan Ponce de Leon was a Spanish explorer and a soldier. Juan Ponce de Leon was the first European to set foot in Florida. Leon also established the oldest European settlement in Puerto Rico, and discovered the Gulf Stream. The Gulf Stream is a current in the Atlantic Ocean. Leon was searching for the legendary fountain of youth and other things that could help him become rich. Leon was a soldier fighting Muslims in the 1490’s. Leon sailed on Columbus’ second expedition to the Americas in 1493. Leon did not return with Columbus though because he stayed in Santo Domingo, known today as The Dominican Republic. Leon was appointed governor of the Dominican province of Higuey. Leon later on heard of gold in the islands neighboring Borinquen, now known as Puerto Rico. Leon then conquered the island claiming Spain. Leon was then appointed governor of this island. Due to his cruel treatment to the Native Americans, he was then removed from office in 1511. Ponce de Leon was given the right to find an island call Bimini; he was searching for riches and the fountain of youth. He sailed from Puerto Rico on March 3, 1513 with three ships. The ships were named the Santa Maria, the Santiago, and the San Cristobal. They had a crew of about two hundred men. After a couple stops at Grand Turk Island and San Salvador they reached the east coast of Florida in April, 1513. Juan named the land he found “Pascua de Florida”; which means feast of flowers, because they spotted land for Spain on April 2, 1513 which was Palm Sunday. They left on April 8, going south in the warm current. The ocean current became very important for Spanish trips from Europe to America. On the trip back, a fight broke out between Ponce de Leon’s men and Native Americans, taking place in Southern Florida. They sailed to Cuba, and then decided to head north, trying to find Bimini but instead they found Andros Island. After the return to Puerto Rico, Leon continued to fight with the Native Americans. Juan...
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