Juan Ponce De Leon, a Spanish discoverer, born in Leon about 1460, died in Cuba in 1521. He distinguished himself in several campaigns against the Moors of Granada, and, accompanying Columbus on his second expedition in 1493, became commander of the eastern province of Hispaniola. He made an expedition to Porto Rico in 1508, and in 1509 finally reduced the island, which he governed with severity^Jill^ the family of Columbus caused his removal. He was then advanced in years; but his love of adventure being still strong, and he having heard of the existence of a fountain which could restore youth and beauty, he set out from Porto Rico in search of it, March 13, 1512, and, after visiting most of the Bahamas, he descried on Easter Sunday land which he took to be an island, and to which, from the magnificence of the vegetation and from the day of its discovery (Span. Pascua Florida), he gave the name of Florida. On April 8 he landed some miles N. of the present site of St. Augustine, and took possession of the country in the name of the king of Spain. He spent several months in cruising, doubled Cape Florida, sailed among the group called by him Tortugas, and finally returned to Porto Rico, leaving behind one of his followers to continue the search.

In 151.3 he went to Spain and was appointed governor of Florida; but he was not able to undertake its colonization till 1521, when he was severely wounded by the natives, and withdrew at once to Cuba.