Ponce de Leon

Ponce de Leon - Ponce de Leon Ponce de Leons Search for the...

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Ponce de Leon Ponce de Leon’s Search for the Elusive Fountain Ponce de Leon’s quest for the fountain of youth led to the discovery of Florida and many other unexpected yet significant discoveries. His discoveries helped him to become a rich man and a brave conquistador. On March 3, 1513, Juan Ponce de Leon sailed from the island of Puerto Rico with three ships. After asking King Ferdinand of Spain permission to conquer and settle the island of Bimini, Ponce de Leon set sail on a quest for a mythical fountain of youth. The thought of a mythical fountain that was said to give eternal youth to whomever drank from it, allured the king. Perhaps this was one of the ways Ponce de Leon persuaded the king into letting him sail on this voyage. Maybe by alluring the king into thinking the fountain existed, Ponce was able to explore North America. It is very hard to believe for many people that such an incredible fountain existed. King Ferdinand and Ponce believed in such a fountain. There are many versions of the legend that refer to this mystical spring, pool, stream, or river. If one bathed in this water, one’s youth was restored. If a whole new world could be revealed, why not a fountain of youth? After Christopher Columbus had sailed to many undiscovered places, it is very easy to see why many Europeans believed that there were places that held unknown phenomenons like the fountain out there somewhere. This was a European tale that neither Ponce de Leon nor King Ferdinand could resist.1 2. The first specific indication that Ponce aimed on exploring the Bahamas was a letter about the fountain of youth. It was a 1514 letter from Pictro Martire d’Anghiera to
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Pope Leo X. D’Angheria was a diplomat who represented the Pope in the Spanish royal court. The letter that d’Angheria wrote provided Pope Leo with a brief account of Ponce’s amazing explorations in the Bahamas, which had taken place in the previous year.2 d’ Anghiera wrote: Ponce explored and investigated among the farthest countries an island called /by us [Bimini] ; there is a fountain continuing throughout the year that is so remarkable, that the water of this fountain being drunk makes old men young,” Still, it is not certain whether this fountain was originally one of the objects of Ponce’s search and thus a reason for his expedition, or whether he heard of the phenomenon in the course of his voyage and reported its purposed existence afterward to his king.3 Juan Ponce de Leon was born in San Campos, Leon, in the year of 1460. His mother was a daughter of Don Rodrigo Ponce de Leon, one of the heroes of the wars to expel the Moors. Ponce de Leon is said to have resembled his grandfather in both appearance and courage.4 Ponce de Leon was the first explorer to claim a part of North America’s mainland for Spain. On his first voyage to the New World, he was accompanied by Christopher Columbus. Ponce de Leon soon became a soldier in the Spanish settlement of Hispaniola in the West Indies. From approximately 1502-1504, he led Spanish forces against the
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This note was uploaded on 01/09/2011 for the course EDS 103 taught by Professor White during the Spring '10 term at E. Kentucky.

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Ponce de Leon - Ponce de Leon Ponce de Leons Search for the...

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