Biography of Juan Ponce de Leon


Ponce de Leon, Juan. A Spanish explorer, the discoverer of Florida. Born in San Servas, Spain, in 1460. Was a court page, served against the Moors, and in 1502 sailed with Ovando to Hispaniola, and became governor of the eastern part of the island. In 1510 he obtained the government of Puerto Rico, and had conquered the whole island by 1512. In the same year, he set out on a quest for the fountain of perpetual youth, and found Florida. He secured the appointment of adelantado of the country, and returned in 1521 to conquer his new subjects; in this, however, he failed. He retired to Cuba, and died there in July from the wound of a poisoned arrow.

“God often bestows temporal prosperities on the wicked, to show how lightly he esteems what the world is so dazzled with; but crosses he reserves for his own, whom he would humble under his Almighty hand, and make them the objects of his delight.”