fountain of youth

Community Contributor
8:02 am
Fri April 19, 2013

Five Centuries Later, Florida Remembers Ponce de León's Tumultuous Arrival

Juan Ponce de León came to Florida searching for the Bahamas, not the fountain of youth.
Credit Photo via the Granger Collection, N.Y., and Visit Florida

Juan Ponce de León served as governor of Puerto Rico for a tumultuous five years. During that time, the native Taínos tried unsuccessfully to overpower him, but, in the end, it was the son of Christopher Columbus who unseated him during a political struggle for power in the New World. Ponce de León’s new “asiento,” or assignment, from Spain’s King Ferdinand II was to set sail and find – not the fountain of youth, as is widely thought – but the island of “Benimy.” After being at sea for nearly a month, he finally sighted land, but it wasn’t Bimini.

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