A historical document from a time when Florida was still considered an island where the fountain of eternal youth could be found

Juan Ponce de León's Appointment as Governor of Florida

Valladolid (Spain) — September 27th, 1514

Juan Ponce de León's Appointment as Governor of Florida

Juan Ponce de León's Appointment as Governor of Florida

Valladolid (Spain) — September 27th, 1514

  1. The explorer and conquistador Juan Ponce de León (1474-1521) was appointed the *Adelantado de La Florida* in 1514

  2. The new governor’s rights and privileges in what was initially believed to be an island are detailed across 8 pages

  3. Both Europeans and the local populations believed that the Fountain of Youth could be found in Florida

Juan Ponce de León's Appointment as Governor of Florida

Alternative Titles:
  • Juan Ponce de León's Treffen als Gouverneur von Florida
Juan Ponce de León's Appointment as Governor of Florida  – Archivo de Indias (Sevilla, Spain)
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  1. Short Description
  2. Codicology

Short Description

Spanish interest in Florida as a colony was primarily strategic and colonies were established there and forts were constructed to secure the northern border of Spain’s valuable colonies in the Caribbean and Central America. There were other things that attracted their interest, including the fabled Fountain of Youth. The explorer and conquistador Juan Ponce de León looked for it in Florida, where he reigned as governor. This historic document attests to the early days of Spanish colonialism, when America was still a strange and mystical land for Europeans.

Juan Ponce de León's Appointment as Governor of Florida

King Ferdinand II of Aragon (1452-1516) signed this document on September 27th, 1514 in Valladolid, which appointed Juan Ponce de León (1474-1521) as Adelantado de La Florida. It consists of eight pages and details the new governor’s rights and privileges in what was initially believed to be an island. The King also knighted Ponce de León and reaffirmed him as governor of Puerto Rico, where he alternated between fighting with the Native Americans and colonizing them by more peaceful means such as offering affable treatment to their chieftains.

Search for the Fountain of Youth

Ponce de León was appointed governor of a new, lush land that he had discovered and named “Florida”, where he hoped to find the mythical Fountain of Youth. Stories of this spring, which could restore the youth of anyone who bathed in or drank of its waters, were common not only in Western culture but were confirmed by the indigenous peoples of the Caribbean, who claimed it was in a land called Bimini (not to be confused with the island in the modern Bahamas). The death of the King, Ponce de León’s staunch supporter, delayed the second expedition because the explorer had to stay in Spain to protect his newly won rights. Ponce de León finally returned to Florida in 1521 with 200 men including priests, farmers, and artisans to establish a colony, landing on the southwestern coast. However, they were attacked by the fierce Calusa, the indigenous people who dominated southern Florida, before the colony could be established and fortifications erected. Ponce de León was mortally wounded in the skirmish, possibly by a poison arrow, and the expedition withdrew to Havana, where he soon died of his wounds.

Codicology

Alternative Titles
Juan Ponce de León's Treffen als Gouverneur von Florida
Date
September 27th, 1514

1 available facsimile edition(s) of „Juan Ponce de León's Appointment as Governor of Florida “

Juan Ponce de León, The Adelantado, Discoverer of Florida
Juan Ponce de León's Appointment as Governor of Florida  – Archivo de Indias (Sevilla, Spain)
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Juan Ponce de León, The Adelantado, Discoverer of Florida

1 volume: Exact reproduction of the original document (extent, color and size)
Publisher
Circulo Cientifico – Madrid, 2014
Commentary
1 volume by Juan Gil, Miguel De La Quadra-Salcedo
Language: English
More Information
Commemorative edition of the fifth centennial of the appointment of Juan Ponce de León as adelantado of Florida, 1514-2014.
Price Category: €
Edition available
Price: Login here!
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