Douglas T. Peck


The long and eventful discovery voyage of Juan Ponce de León, the Spanish conquistador and explorer, has not received the amount of in-depth study and analysis that this historically significant voyage so richly deserves. Perhaps a reason for this can be found in the fact that sixteenth-century (and later) historians, in dwelling on the fact that the largely apocryphal purpose of the voyage was to find a fountain of youth, perverted the factual reporting of the real purpose of the voyage and its several significant discoveries. This distorted version continues in many contemporary history books because of the proclivity of writers simply to paraphrase previous authors. To avoid this I have examined original source documents wherever possible for information and data untainted by unsubstantiated conjecture and fiction.