Prester John was another mythic king of another semi-mythic land (probably modern day Ethiopia) that was long sought by European explorers and adventurers. Once again, the very nature and purpose of Ponce de Leon's expedition emphasized the European view of the New World as a place where anything was possible - in particular, those things which were not readily possible back home. Untold wealth in precious metals went hand in hand with the miraculous powers of magical springs.
Ponce de Leon sailed along the Atlantic coast of Florida and past Cape Canaveral down to Biscayne Bay, in what is now Miami, and around the southern end of the Peninsula and into the Gulf of Mexico. From there he continued northward at least as far as Charlotte Harbor on Florida's southwest coast.
As he only traveled so far along the coast, he was never able to determine whether Florida was an island or merely a part of larger land mass. Florida - La Florida, the "land of flowers" - received its name either from the Spanish name for the Ester Season during which it was discovered, or from the actual appearance of the new land - another hint of European perceptions of the fabulous, almost paradise-like possibilities of the New World.
Herrera also recorded the first contact between Ponce de Leon's three ships and the native inhabitants. It was hostile. The Spanish were shot at with arrows tipped with bone and fish spines. Further along the coast, there were more skirmishes but, despite the hostility, the Calusa Indians appeared interested in trading. Hides were traded, and the Calusa chief promised the Spaniards that he would bring gold in exchange for more goods - though this turned out to be false. The chief never brought any gold.
Ponce de Leon and his party soon left Florida without having established any permanent presence.
The Conquistador's experience with Florida's native inhabitants in 1513 would prove a sign of things to come. The Native Americans, while willing to trade with the Spaniards, had been intent on maintaining their own control over the land, and over the terms under which they would do business. Spanish landings had been challenged immediately, and the natives were not averse to employing tricks if those tricks produced the desired effect of inducing the Spanish to continue to bring more goods for exchange. In 1521, Ponce de Leon returned to Florida with over two hundred men, horses, cattle, and seed for planting crops. As in Puerto Rico, he hoped to make Spanish rule a reality through the simple expedient of establishing a settlement. In his own words, the "business of colonization consisted of nothing more than to arrive and cultivate the land and pasture his livestock."
The Indians fought back fiercely. The Spanish suffered heavy losses and were forced to withdraw, and it was at this point that Ponce de Leon suffered the wound from the poisoned arrow that would lead to his death on the return to Cuba. This battle between Native Americans and Spanish invaders proved that not all the native peoples would easily accept European incursion. The native populations, like the Spanish themselves in their centuries-long battle against the Moors, would not allow their land to be taken over by an outsider. They would not submit to foreign ways in exchange for a few prized goods.
It is likely that part of this hostility came as well from prior experience with Europeans and other non-local Indians. Among these pieces of evidence are the following:
map from about a.D. 1500 that shows an outline of part of the Florida peninsula name given to Florida by the Indians of the Bahamas
Spanish-speaking Indian encountered by Ponce de Leon and,
Comments made by Fontaneda that Indians from Cuba "anciently" entered Florida looking for the River Jordan (fountain of youth) and settled among the Calusa
Any of these reasons might explain why the native peoples of Florida did not simply accept the newly-arrived Spaniards as had other groups. Prior contact with Europeans might have had a negative outcome, or possibly introduced diseases which had been linked to the alien presence. The same could possibly be said of other Indian peoples had their appearance been hostile or had unknown problems or sicknesses appeared in their wake. Certainly, a warlike...
Possibly early and unrecorded European visitors had tried to enslave the Calusa, or had stolen some of their members, or members of other groups. Definitely, the presence of a Spanish-speaking Native American, if confirmed, would substantiate prior contact. It is even conceivable that such a visitor had settled among the tribe and even warned them of eventual Spanish intentions, should those Europeans ever come their way.
Thus, Ponce de Leon opened the way for the Spanish conquest of new lands in the Caribbean and Florida. The Conquistador traveled with Columbus on his second voyage and saw much of what the New World had to offer. Like so many other adventuresome Spaniards, the treasures of the New World as conceived of by Ponce de Leon were part-real, and part-imagined. Gold and silver existed in small amounts in the lands first discovered. These precious commodities Ponce de Leon followed from Cuba to Puerto Rico and, he hoped, to Florida. In the Islands, Native labor was brutally exploited, and Native cultures destroyed in the name of militant Catholicism, and the belief in Spain's superior civilization. So much of the struggle to conquer the new lands was based on Spain's own historic struggles with the Muslim Moors - centuries during which the native Christian inhabitants of Spain fought to rid their land of the invader and to preserve their own customs and religion. The Spanish, with so much experience of oppression, would annihilate the native populations of the Caribbean islands. In Florida, those native peoples would fight back... For a time. In the end, they too would succumb. Ponce de Leon played an important role in bringing about the collision of cultures that was to be the meeting between the Old World and the New.
Bolton, Herbert E. The Spanish Borderlands: A Chronicle of Old Florida and the Southwest. Toronto: Glasgow, Brook, 1970. http://www.questiaschool.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=15252132
Dathorne, O.R. Imagining the World: Mythical Belief vs. Reality in Global Encounters. Westport, CT: Bergin & Garvey, 1994. http://www.questiaschool.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=106172444
Fuchs, Barbara. Mimesis and Empire: The New World, Islam, and European Identities. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press, 2001. http://www.questiaschool.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=23206891
Milanich, Jerald T. Florida Indians and the Invasion from Europe. Gainesville, FL: University Press of Florida, 1998. http://www.questiaschool.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=23614166
Milanich, Jerald T. And Susan Milbrath, eds. First Encounters: Spanish Explorations in the Caribbean and the United States, 1492-1570. Gainesville, FL: University of Florida Press, 1989. http://www.questiaschool.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=5000153778
Muilenberg, Peter. "Sea Kings of the Antilles." Americas (English Edition), July-August 1992, 16+. http://www.questiaschool.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=43077840
Purdy, Barbara a. How to do Archaeology the Right Way. Gainesville, FL: University Press of Florida, 1996. http://www.questiaschool.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=97559603
Rivera, Luis N. A Violent Evangelism: The Political and Religious Conquest of the Americas. Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 1992. http://www.questiaschool.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=10408032
Weddle, Robert S. "4 / Early Spanish Exploration: The Caribbean, Central America, and the Gulf of Mexico," in North American Exploration: A New World Disclosed. Edited by Allen, John Logan, 1, 189-240. Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska Press, 1997. http://www.questiaschool.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=28081692
Weddle, Robert S. Spanish Sea: The Gulf of Mexico in North American Discovery, 1500-1685. 1st ed. College Station, TX: Texas a & M. University Press, 1985. http://www.questiaschool.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=93788986
Wilson, Samuel M. The Emperor's Giraffe and Other Stories of Cultures in Contact. Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1999.
Robert S. Weddle, "4 / Early Spanish Exploration: The Caribbean, Central America, and the Gulf of Mexico," in North American Exploration: A New World Disclosed, ed. John Logan Allen [book online] (Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska Press, 1997, 190.
Barbara Fuchs, Mimesis and Empire: The New World, Islam, and European Identities [book online] (Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press, 2001), 1.
Robert S. Weddle, Spanish Sea: The Gulf of Mexico in North American Discovery, 1500-1685, 1st ed. [book online] (College Station, TX: Texas a & M. University Press, 1985.
Peter Muilenberg, "Sea Kings of the Antilles," Americas (English Edition), July-August 1992.
Samuel M. Wilson, the Emperor's Giraffe and Other Stories of Cultures in Contact [book online] (Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1999), 21.
Luis N. Rivera, a Violent Evangelism: The Political and Religious Conquest of the Americas [book online] (Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 1992, accessed 18 November 2007), 11.
Robert S. Weddle, "4 / Early Spanish Exploration: The Caribbean, Central America, and the Gulf of Mexico," in North American Exploration: A New World Disclosed, ed. John Logan Allen [book online] (Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska Press, 1997, accessed 18 November 2007), 210.
Herbert E. Bolton, the Spanish Borderlands: A Chronicle of Old Florida and the Southwest [book online] (Toronto: Glasgow, Brook, 1970, accessed 18 November 2007), 6.
Jerald T. Milanich and Susan Milbrath, eds., First Encounters:…
Dreams and Delusions: The Drama of German History Fritz Stern's 1988 book Dreams and Delusions: The Drama of German History (republished with a new forward in 1999), relies on a series of loosely-related essays in order to deal with Germany's ongoing legacy of World War II and the Holocaust. The book was chosen because of its particular subject matter and methodological approach, because its series of essays makes for a more
Legacy Chest My name is Murakachi Shukitu. I lived in the Heian Kyo period which dominated from 794-1185 (McCullough, 1990). I live amongst poets and scholars, at what is considered the second level of court aristocracy. In my society, a woman has a duty to be married. My husband has several wives. I have selected six items which I hope best demonstrate the role of women in this society, as well
Dreaming in Cuban" and the Cuban Revolution Cristina Garcia's, "Dreaming in Cuban" is a novel that tells the story of three generations of women and their triumphs and tribulations while the Cuban Revolution is used as the novel's context. The structure of Garcia's novel is unique as well and helps provide great insight into the characters, setting and events. In each chapter, several characters have a chance to speak which
Creating Your Dream Job Director, Enterprise Mobility Strategies Job Analysis Director, Enterprise Mobility Technologies Job Analysis Job Description The Director, Enterprise Mobility Technologies provides strategic direction for our company's global mobility strategies and supporting technologies by managing partners, alliances and ongoing development of new applications and platforms. Leading alliances, partnerships and development agreements with key telecommunications providers, leading a team of global developers to create the next generation of mobility applications on the Apple
Moreover this lends him inimitability, it lends him importance, and it gives him honor. Like each one among us ranging from the first note to the last note in the entire octave of music on the keyboard of God is important since every man is created in the image of God. (A Knock at Midnight: Inspiration from the Great Sermons of Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr.) The Declaration of Independence'
The enormous number of questions did not only succeed in bringing people to physical exhaustion, but they also confused people to the level where they could no longer think logically and risked being deported, even though they were not attempting to deceit the American system. Most contemporary people express their liberal opinions regarding immigrants in the U.S.T.C. Boyle's Tortilla Curtain goes at proving how while some have apparently changed their