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Ponce de Leon's Second Voyage and Attempt to Colonize Florida


Following his voyage of 1513 Ponce de Leon sailed for Spain where he seems to have given a favorable account of his discoveries, for on September 26 (or 27), 1514, the King issued a patent to him to colonize Florida and Beniny, but first required his services against the Caribs, a fierce tribe of Indians inhabiting the Lesser Antilles. Returning to the West Indies Ponce de Leon proceeded against these Indians, but was severely repulsed by them. Mortified at his failure he returned to Porto Rico and remained in semi-retirement several years, apparently giving up the idea of colonizing Florida. In this period several expeditions visited the Florida west coast and one, that of Ayllon, discovered and partially explored what is now the Carolina coast. Juan Ponce was not roused by these more or less predatory expeditions, but when the fame of Cortes in Mexico began to spread through the West Indies he decided to take possession of Florida under the authority of his patent of 1514, issued by King Ferdinand, who had died, the Emperor Charles V being now on the Spanish throne.

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