Spanish Colonial Exploration

The Voyages of Ponce de León: Scholarly Perspectives

The Voyages of Ponce de León: Scholarly Perspectives

The voyages of Juan Ponce de León and his expeditions in Florida have long held a romantic and mythic place in American history. Speculation about his first landing in Florida, about the legend of the Fountain of Youth, and about Ponce de León.s reasons for setting sail to Florida have engaged chroniclers, historians, and even sailing masters for five centuries. In this volume, the Florida Historical Society has assembled articles by leading scholars who offer their perspectives on the voyages and trace changing views on Ponce de León as historians discover new information and reevaluate older works. This collection includes both new work and articles previously published in the FHS academic journal the Florida Historical Quarterly. The contributors include Eugene Lyon with Brandon Josef Szinável, J. Michael Francis, Jerald Milanich, Nara Milanich, T. Frederick Davis, Douglas T. Peck, and Amanda J. Snyder.



Florida Frontiers “Luna Settlement Site Discovered”

On August 15, 1559, Spanish conquistador Don Tristan de Luna sailed into what is now Pensacola Bay, leading a fleet of twelve ships with 1,500 colonists on board. Their effort to establish a permanent settlement was thwarted by a violent hurricane, which devastated the fleet.

One of the shipwrecks was discovered by underwater archaeologists in 1992, and another in 2006, but until recently, the terrestrial site of the attempted Luna settlement remained a mystery.

Pedro Menendez de Aviles received his settlement orders

1565 – Pedro Menendez de Aviles received his “asiento” or settlement orders from the Spanish government to travel to La Florida on this date. Two years earlier, Don Juan Mendedez, Pedro Menendez’s only son was lost in a wreck near the Bahamas and Menendez was determined to find him. He was also instructed to reconnoiter the gulf and east coasts, making detailed observations about the ports, currents, hazards, etc., and settle the new territory. The Spanish government also tasked Menendez with driving the French settlers out of La Florida.

Subscribe to RSS - Spanish Colonial Exploration