For many years after its discovery la Florida was a vague geographical concept. Discovered by Ponce de Leon in 1513, it was first considered an island, though later recognized to be a diminutive tail wagging an immense dog. During much of the sixteenth century it embraced a large part of the Atlantic and Gulf coasts and stretched mysteriously inland an infinite way. Ponce de Leon was followed by numerous other conquistadors such as Vazquez de Ayllon, Panfilio de Narvaez, Hernando de Soto, and Tristan de Luna y Arrellano, but they garnered little gold or silver and endured many privations, shipwrecks, and attacks by hostile Indians. Thus it was not unnatural that the main stream of Spanish conquest and colonization flowed to Mexico and Peru rather than to unrewarding Florida.
Wright, Jr., Leitch
"Sixteenth Century English-Spanish Rivalry in La Florida,"
Florida Historical Quarterly: Vol. 38
, Article 2.
Available at: https://stars.library.ucf.edu/fhq/vol38/iss4/2