Ponce de Leon is born in a rural village in Southern Spain to an aristocratic family. He was the great grandson of Vermudo Nunez. (Nobleman, 2004)
Early to Late 1480s: At an early age, Ponce de Leon became a member of the royal court by serving as an aide to Pedro Nunez de Guzman. He was a Knight Commander in the Order of Calatrava. This was a papal-based militia which served the interests of the Catholic Church and the Pope. (Nobleman, 2004)
Late 1480s to 1492: In this time, Ponce de Leon was actively fighting against the Moors from the late 1480s until 1492. He was at the Battle of Granada and witnessed the decisive victory. (Nobleman, 2004)
After the war against the Moors was over, many soldiers and mercenaries were no longer needed. Ponce de Leon decided to uses these skills in the New World and served on Columbus's second voyage. (Nobleman, 2004)
1508: Ponce de Leon discovers traces of gold in Puerto Rico and become the Governor. (Nobleman, 2004)
1511: Ponce de Leon was forced out as the Governor of Puerto Rico and began planning to go to Florida. (Nobleman, 2004)
1513: Ponce de Leon goes to Florida in search of the Fountain of Youth. (Nobleman, 2004)
1516 -- 1520: During this time, Ponce de Leon is lobbying the King of Spain about honoring his claims on Florida. (Nobleman, 2004)
1521: A second expedition is planned on establishing a new colony in Western Florida. (Nobleman, 2004)
1521: After arriving, the settlers are attacked and Ponce de Leon is wounded. He dies on route to Cuba. (Nobleman, 2004)
3 journal entries that are created (by you pretending to be the explorer)
1492: We have been aggressively fighting against preventing the Moors from establishing an Islamic kingdom in Southern Europe. At the battle of Granada, our troops out maneuvered their forces and surround the Moors. This helped us to defeat them in one single battle (which effectively drove them out of Europe). I was playing a role by commanding units that directly engaged the Moors (while they were on the offensive and in full scale retreat). This is when the Spanish Monarchy (with help of papal militias) was able to defeat the Moors and expel them from Southern Europe. (Nobleman, 2004)
These events shaped who I would become. As I believed that I had the skills to help Spain, the church and to serve the interests of God. To do his, I worked with the Spanish Monarchy and quickly became an explorer. (Nobleman, 2004)
1494: I became an important part of Columbus' second expedition to Hispaniola. However, the Tainos began to rise up and oppose Spanish rule. This resulted in a major rebellion that nearly caused all of the settlements to be overrun. I played an integral part in helping to prevent this from happening based upon my experience, training and skills. This earned me the respect of those around me and the men that I served with. ("Ponce de Leon," 2012) (Nobleman, 2004)
At the same time, I settled into a new life and became actively involved in farming. This helped me to live comfortably and gain notoriety among the local nobility. As a result, I was appointed and served as the Governor of Hispaniola. ("Ponce de Leon," 2012) (Nobleman, 2004)
1508 -- 1510: As the Governor of Puerto Rico, I actively pursued the development and exploration of the island. This involved enslaving the local inhabitants (i.e. Tainos) and having them work in various manual labor occupations most notably: agriculture and the gold mining. However, the practices that were used by local officials were often considered to be brutal. This led to a series of rebellions that occurred during this time. (Nobleman, 2004)
Undeterred by what was happening, I was able to successfully suppress the rebellion. This is because we were using cross bows and more advanced weaponry. At the same time, many of the local inhabitants were becoming infected by diseases such as small pox. This made the Tainos unable to mount any kind of counter assault against our forces. (Nobleman, 2004)
Detailed map of voyage / exploration to show the routes of the expedition
The voyage of Ponce de Leon begins in the Mediterranean. This is when he would fight against the Moors and prevent them from establishing an Islamic kingdom. Then, in 1493 he travels across the Atlantic to the island of Hispaniola. This is where he would remain for several years.
As the Governor, he supported expeditions to nearby Puerto Rico. This is where he found discovered traces of gold and returned to establish new colonies in the region. He was appointed the Governor of Puerto Rico and sustained the island's exploration and development until 1510.
After being forced out as the Governor, Ponce de Leon conducts another voyage to Bahamas, Bimini and Florida. During the process, he explores the entire East, Southern and Western coasts of Florida. At the same time, Ponce de Leon was concentrating on finding gold. This is because he heard that the area was filled with tremendous amounts of natural resources.
Next, he would journey to Puerto Rico and eventually Spain. This is when he informed the King about what was occurring. Fearful about Indian violence spreading, he was employed as a mercenary to hunt down and attack those who were causing uncertainty. In exchange, a contract was drawn up giving Ponce de Leon the right to govern all of Florida. Furthermore, it gave him control of the vast amounts of resources that are produced in each colony. After attacking the Indians, in the Battle of Guadalupe, Ponce de Leon returned to Spain. His final mission went from Cuba to the Charlotte Harbor of Western Florida. This is where they were attacked by the Indians (leading to their retreat back to Cuba).
Pictures to illustrate what you have learned (it's about you) not Ponce de Leon
What was learned is that Ponce de Leon is an ordinary person who was continuing to evolve and deal with the unique challenges he was facing. This helped me to have a greater understanding of him and the sacrifices that he was making for everyone. The pictures of him are of a person who is considered to be self-confident and sure about his future.
A good example of this can be seen with the painting depicting him meeting the local inhabitants of Puerto Rico for the first time. In this picture, it is showing how they brought with them a treasure. Yet, they were prepared for battle by having their swords and body armor on. This helped to improve my learning experience by showing how Ponce de Leon faced challenges as a part of the exploration and occupation. ("Agueybana," 2012)
As a result, whenever he landed in a particular location. He was not sure of the outcome or if he would be killed by the Indians. This meant that he had to have tremendous amounts of flexibility in considering different variables in the process. In the pictures, I learned that the best ways he was accounting for these uncertainties were to be prepared for anything. This required planning for the worst and hoping for the best. Once this happened, I used these ideas and to have a greater understanding of the challenges that were experienced during this time. This is the point that I have a better appreciation for what happened and the contributions that were made.
3 paragraph biography written in your own words
Ponce de Leon is best remembered for his journey to Florida. This is when he was in search of the fountain of youth and was never able to successfully locate it. However, despite this set back, he was a conquistador and explorer who came from a wealthy family in Spain. This allowed him to gain positions of authority and influence.
At the same time, he was aggressively focused on taking advantage of new opportunities. This resulted in him fighting against the Moors and eventually becoming an explorer. During this time, he was able to crush several Indian uprisings and was known for his tremendous amounts of loyalty. The combination of these factors meant that he would become the Governors of Hispaniola and Puerto Rico. However, he would be forced from the last position for political reasons.
In an effort to redeem himself, Ponce de Leon discovered and was given the full claims to Florida. This led to him establishing an expedition to create a new colony that will benefit himself and others. However, after the first few days is when he was attacked by the Indians and forced to retreat. During the process, he was wounded and eventually died on the way back to Cuba. This is illustrating how Ponce de Leon's life was based upon connections, experiences, war, new explorations and deception. This is what he is best remembered for.
There are number of interesting facts that were uncovered about the…