Juan Ponce De Leon and the Fountain of Youth

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Part 1: The Early Years

One of the sailors who sailed with Christopher Columbus on his second voyage to the New World was a man named Juan Ponce De Leon. This voyage would change his life.

He decided to stay in Hispaniola when Columbus returned. Ponce became very popular and was named governor of nearby Puerto Rico then called (Boriquien) in 1508.

While there, he heard many stories of a magical water source. People called it the "Fountain of Youth" and said that drinking its water kept you young. Ponce decided that he must find this water source.

For the next few years, he tried to find out where this "Fountain of Youth" was. He finally believed he knew where it was, and he asked permission from Spain's King Charles I to go in search of it. The king agreed, as long as Ponce agreed to pay for the ships and crew.

The young explorer did so readily, and they were off. It was March 1513. They sailed for Bimini.

They sailed for days but didn't see the island. On March 27, he came within sight of the Florida coast. On April 2, he landed at what he named St. Augustine. This was the first Spanish settlement on the mainland of North America.

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