Talk:Juan Ponce de León

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First discoverer of mainland (future) U.S.?[edit]

I could be wrong, but wasn't Ponce de Leon the first European discoverer of what would become the U.S. mainland? And if so, shouldn't that be mentioned here -- as well as in other articles that talk about that period and the history of the U.S.? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 68.101.77.44 (talk) 16:12, 6 December 2008 (UTC)

Biography assessment rating comment[edit]

WikiProject Biography Assessment BITches (So tempted to put down "living=yes"...)

The article may be improved by following the WikiProject Biography 11 easy steps to producing at least a B article. -- Yamara 01:17, 30 May 2007 (UTC)

Governor table[edit]

Preceded by
Vicente Yañez Pinzón
Governor of Puerto Rico
1508-1511
Succeeded by
Juan Cerón
Preceded by
Cristóbal de Mendoza
Governor of Puerto Rico
1515-1519
Succeeded by
Sánchez Velázquez

I've move this here because it greatly disagrees with the sources I see, which make de Leon the first Governor of Puerto Rico, followed by Diego Columbus. So, I want to see the references for the version in the table. -- Dalbury(Talk) 03:05, 27 December 2005 (UTC)

I put it back, but removed Pinzón. It now agrees with List of Governors of Puerto Rico. quadpus 00:07, 1 March 2007 (UTC)

Ponce de Leon's colony[edit]

The sources I used state the site is uncertain, but probably around the Caloosahatchee River or Charlotte Harbot, both of which are well north of Cape Romano. What is the source for Cape Romano as the site of the attempted colony? -- Dalbury(Talk) 01:42, 15 February 2006 (UTC)

Date of birth change[edit]

Please provide an explanation to change his birthdate from 1462 to 1460 or else the changes will be reverted. Lincher 18:18, 30 August 2006 (UTC)

His correct birthdate is 1460. See here, for example. -- Donald Albury 20:57, 30 August 2006 (UTC)
Yes, I know, was just looking at the last modification, I made a mistake in changing it, thus the 2nd revert. Thanks for watching the page too. Lincher 00:25, 31 August 2006 (UTC)
Well, now it's gone to "c. 1471". Yet most sources still seem to say 1460. A few even pin it down to 8 April 1460, but that seems to be a confusion with the date he left Florida. I'm changing it to 1460. -- JackofOz (talk) 07:16, 30 April 2008 (UTC)
So is it 1460 (as in the side bar) or 1474 (as in the first line of the article)? Brainiacitguy 05:07, 28 October 2008 (UTC)
Sorry, it's 1474--I didn't catch the sidebar. Glendoremus (talk) 15:21, 28 October 2008 (UTC)

Sanibel Island mention[edit]

He sailed back south to [[Havana]], and then up to Florida again, stopping at the Bay of ''Chequesta''
 ([[Biscayne Bay]]) before returning to Puerto Rico.

was changed to

He sailed back south to [[Havana]], and then up to Florida again, stopping at the Bay of ''Chequesta''
 ([[Biscayne Bay]]) or to what is now '''''Sanibel Island''''' before returning to Puerto Rico.

without adding a citation or a source.So the addition of sanibel island will stay on the talk page for now unless the user adds the source of this statement, thus it will return in the article. Lincher 15:37, 4 September 2006 (UTC)

A complication is that there are a lot of blogs and other rather unscholarly pages on the web that state all kinds of otherwise unverifiable things about the early exploration of Florida. Web sources need to be carefully assessed for reliability when conflicting accounts abound. The primary sources give vague descriptions and unreliable coordinates for geographic features, and have have been interpreted by many people with various levels of expertise and objectivity. The source for the account as it now stands is a tertiary source (another on-line encyclopedia). The use of tertiary sources in Wikipedia is discouraged, but it was the best I could find when I added it. We really need to find some good secondary sources that meet WP:RS, and use them to build the best account we can in this article. The best sources, of course, will carefully discuss and assess the various possible interpretations of the primary material. -- Donald Albury 17:07, 4 September 2006 (UTC)
Thanks for the answer. As it stands, you agree with my point that the aforementioned change wasn't sourced and thus doesn't qualify for the article or else the article becomes POV or unsourced or WP:OR. Lincher 20:49, 4 September 2006 (UTC)

The Fountain of Youth[edit]

The entry is mistaken:

Source 1: Samuel Eliot Morison (Southern Voyages, p. 504) cites Peter Martyr, in De Orbe Novo, Decada 2, Book X, writes (Leonardo Olschki translation)that their existed on an island called Boiuca or Bimini, "a spring of running water of such marvellous virtue, that the water therof being drunk, perhaps with some diet, makes old men young again." "It was said, moreover, that on a neighbouring shore might be found a river gifted with the same beneficient property."

Source 2: Las Casas does not mention the search for the fountain of youth, but in note 8, chapter 20 of the Alianza Editorial, 'Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas: Obras Completas 1994, the editors note that (my translation) "the Indians told him that there [Bimini] he would find the fountain of youth or rejuvenation by only bathing in the river." The editors add that what is doubtful is Escalante Fontañeda's report that Ponce De León was looking for the River Jordan.

I suggest a rewriting of this entry, since it is misleading. By the way, Ferdinand had a great interest in rejuvenation since his French chef gave him aphrodesiacs to help satisfy the demands of his young wife Germaine de Foix. ññññ Richard Crosfield.

—The preceding unsigned comment was added by Richard crosfield (talkcontribs) 10:23, 9 March 2007 (UTC).

How is it misleading? What do you propose to say? Note that the story of Ponce de Leon searching for the Fountain of Youth is not known to have appeared before the memoirs of Hernando de Escalante Fontaneda, who apparantly got the story from the Indians in Florida during his captivity. -- Donald Albury 12:28, 10 March 2007 (UTC)

I don't think it's misleading at all. It's accurate as it is; the story was first recorded by Fontaneda, whose account informed Peter Martyr. That's all there is to it, really.--Cúchullain t/c 22:23, 10 March 2007 (UTC)

The source is Peter Martyr, who got his information directly from Ponce de León, and Decadas precedes Escalante's memoirs by many years. So the fountain of youth legend has a much earlier source than is acknowledged in the text. ññññ Richard Crosfield.

I was mistaken. It was Antonio de Herrera y Tordesillas, not Peter Martyr, who was informed by Fontaneda. Peter Martyr does describe the Fountain of Youth long before Fontaneda, but he did not claim Ponce de Leon was looking for it. The first one to do so was, as far as I know, Fontaneda (though he didn't believe it); this is what the article says. Even before Peter Martyr there were stories of the Fountain of Youth, for instance in the Persian rescension of the Alexander Romance, but these don't need to be included here, since they have nothing to do with Ponce de Leon.--Cúchullain t/c 17:41, 22 March 2007 (UTC)
There are at least three good early sources that support the notion that Ponce de León, in 1513, did indeed search for the Fountain of Youth on an island in the Indies.

1.Peter Martyr d'Anghiera (Decadas, 1516) refers to an island north of Cuba named Boiuca or Bimini where there was ‘a spring of running water of such marvellous virtue, that the water thereof being drunk, perhaps with some diet, makes old men young again’. We know from the royal patent (23 February 1512) authorizing Ponce’s expedition that he was searching for the island of Bimini, and since Peter Martyr knew Ponce de León, it is reasonable to believe that he was his source of information.

2.Gonzalo Fernández de Oviedo (La Historia general y natural de las Indias , Book 16, written between 1515 and 1535) and López de Gómara ( Historia General de la Indias, p. 72 in the Obras Maestras edition, written between 1540 and 1551) also refer to Ponce de León’s search for an island where there was a fountain ‘that turned old men young.’

As a result, it is misleading to state that the story of the Fountain of Youth began with Hernando de Escalente, who wrote his memoirs in 1575, which is long after Martyr, Oviedo and Gómara. [[Samuel Eliot Morison]], in The Southern Voyages 1492-1616, does not doubt that Ponce de León was searching for the Fountain of Youth and I see no sources to support the theory that he wasn’t. Or am I missing something? ññññ Richard Crosfield.

If Oviedo and Gomara really say that, then the information about Fontaneda being the first to mention the legend is wrong, and I would be extremely disappointed in myself for allowing it to be included for so long. The Peter Martyr connection is still speculative; he doesn't name his source as Ponce de Leon, and the fact that Ponce de Leon was looking for Bimini doesn't mean he was looking for the rejuvinating water per se. I'll do some digging on my own, if you want to add the Oviedo and Gomara info in (with sources) here and at Fountain of Youth, go ahead.--Cúchullain t/c 01:21, 27 March 2007 (UTC)

I have edited this page but can't get my references to stick: They are 1. López de Gómara, Historia General de las Indias, segunda parte. 2. Gonzalo Fernández de Oviedo, Historia General y Natural de las Indias, libro 16, cap. XI. 3. Pedro Mártir de Angleria, Decadas de Nuevo Mundo, Dec 2, cap. X. 4. Juan Gil, Mitos u Utopías del Descubrimiento, 1. Colón y su tiempo, cap. IX, Madrid 1989. Can you help?--Richard crosfield 17:09, 28 March 2007 (UTC)Richard Crosfield.

I incorporated the info, but it would be best if we could name which editions we're using, page numbers, and ISBNs if available. I'm also not 100% sure I separated your references out correctly, please fix them if need be, or tell me what I have wrong. I also added your info to Fountain of Youth.
I'm wondering, though, if the article we had previously used as a source was mistaken in that Fontaneda was the first to connect the fountain of youth to Florida, not de Leon? Do any of the pre-Fontaneda sources make such a connection, or do they only place the fountain in Bimini?--Cúchullain t/c 22:27, 28 March 2007 (UTC)

Both Oviedo and Gómera specifically state that Ponce de León was searching for Bimini (called Boyuca by Gómera), an island where he could find a spring that turned old men young. Ponce searched for Bimini (supposedly a Taino name) and found an 'island' he called Florida. Later, on the same voyage, he sailed west and discovered another 'island' he called Bimini. This was almost certainly the northern shore of Yucatan. Oviedo, of course, was in the Indies with Ponce de León and almost certainly heard the news of the magical spring from him. Juan Gil, a leading contemporary Spanish historian on Columbus and the early conquistadores, assumes that it was Ponce de León who told Peter Martyr, and the Court and everyone he spoke to, about this fountain of youth. Certainly Peter Martyr, who was Ponce's contemporary and knew him, wrote about the excitement this then caused in Spain. Also, a Dr. Chanca wrote in 1514 a treatise explaining that medically it was not possible to rejuvenate oneself but that there were waters that could ameliorate certain complaints. Dr Chanca's wrote his treatise in direct response to Ponce's news. The references for Oviedo and Juan Gil (ISBN 84-206-2577.9 (T.I)) are very specific and refer to the Spanish text. In the case of Gomera, the exact reference is Edición Obras Maestras, López de Gómera, Historia General de las Indias, vol.1, p 72., Barcelona 1965 (no ISBN in my copy). It would be interesting to discover who first raised the possibility that Ponce wasn't looking for a rejuvenating spring. Richard Crosfield, 12 April 2007.

Catholic Church[edit]

It would be interesting to know the Church opinion about this article.


Any Comments About This As a Reference?[edit]

David Hager, M.D. 03:04, 14 November 2007 (UTC)

If someone reads the book and finds something useful, they can include it in the article with proper citations, but per our guideline at Wikipedia:Conflict of interest, it would be better if you first discussed here on the talk page any specific additions citing your own books that you want to make. In any case, you need to avoid any appearance of trying to promote your own books through Wikipedia. -- Donald Albury 03:22, 14 November 2007 (UTC)


It's not my book. None are for sale. Just been trying to figure out how to integrate many years of Lin's research and writing into the Wikipedia project. At age 87, he won't be doing it himself. My time is limited. I hope someone might find this work to be useful.--David Hager, M.D. 03:53, 14 November 2007 (UTC)
You can cite any reliable published source to support material in an article. Our goal is to attribute everything in Wikipedia to reliable sources. See Wikipedia:Citing sources for the mechanics of that. Inserting links to web pages about books smacks of commercial promotion, which is not compatible with Wikipedia's purpose. -- Donald Albury 10:56, 14 November 2007 (UTC)

Kristina loves... beer —Preceding unsigned comment added by 216.60.239.135 (talk) 15:36, 5 October 2007 (UTC)

Question about height[edit]

Does anyone know how tall de Leon was, especially in comparison to the natives at the time? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 72.146.75.60 (talk) 02:19, 18 March 2008 (UTC)

Phonetic transcription[edit]

The phonetic transcription /hwan.ˌponʒɛ.dɛ.lɛ.'on/ belongs only to central varieties of Andalusian Spanish, being uncommon to the rest of varieties of Spanish language including both those spoken in Castille (where Ponce de León was born), and in latin america. The vowel /ɛ/ occurs exclusively in the provinces of Córdoba (mainly), Jaén and Sevilla, while consonantic sound /h/ is believed to have locally evolved from general spanish's pronunce of "J" (IPA noted /x/) in Andalusia. /ʒ/ doesn't exist in northern half of Spain (including Valladolid), where it is believed to have evolved to modern Z pronunciation (IPA: /θ/) around the 17th century. Despite it's not currently said in northern Spain, they did so in historical times, so I'm not complaining about that particular case. Therefore, I proppose /xwan.'ponʒe.de.le.'on/ that would be a common solution to both historical castillian Spanish and modern-day spanish of the Americas. In current castillian, it would be /xwan.'ponθe.de.le.'on/. --Lascorz (talk) 20:48, 18 July 2008 (UTC)

I added the traditional English transcription [ˈpɒns də ˈliən] http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/ponce+de+leon Turesable (talk) 20:18, 23 August 2011 (UTC)

Birth cat doesn't match birth date[edit]

If the latest research says 1474, but the birth cat still uses the old 1460 date; should the cat be changed? normally it would be aligned with the birth year or birthdate.--FeanorStar7 (talk) 12:48, 13 November 2008 (UTC)

Good catch. Fixed. Thanks.Glendoremus (talk) 04:39, 14 November 2008 (UTC)

Ancestors/descendants[edit]

Isn't the article mixing up the ancestors with the descendants? As far as I know, the ancestors of an individual are its parents, it grandparents, its grandgrandparents, its grandgrand...parents and the descendants are its children, its grandchildren, its grandgrandchildren, etc. -- Petru Dimitriu (talk) 19:11, 2 April 2011 (UTC)

The Ancestors table looks like it is the family tree of the Juan Ponce de León who is the subject of this table. The Descendants table looks like it is the family tree of a Juan Ponce de León who was the grandson of the subject of this article. Only two of the people named in that tree are descendants of the subject of this article. I have hidden the Descendants table pending discussion here. -- Donald Albury 20:58, 2 April 2011 (UTC)
The Ponce de León family have its roots on Ponce Vélaz, nobleman from Leon, who was descended from the Vela Family, and thus, from the Kings of Vascony. I don't know who wrote that family section, but it's just clueless. Pietje96 (talk) 10:44, 19 April 2012 (UTC)

Recent edit in Juan_Ponce_de_León#Last_voyage_to_Florida[edit]

An editor added the sentence:

Historians speculate that, due to his failure to find mythical fountain of youth, Ponce de León was eventually forced to die.

I restored the original sentence. The reference attached to the revised sentence is Find a Grave, which is not generally accepted as a reliable source. Additionally, the source doesn't even support the sentence.--SPhilbrickT 11:28, 23 May 2011 (UTC)

Meaning[edit]

Anyone know what Ponce de leon might mean? Could be important to add that too. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 76.120.106.228 (talk) 05:02, 20 September 2011 (UTC)

It is his family name - the whole thing is. It's like asking what Washington means. Yes we can tease out the history of the surname (Ponce is just a form of the Languedoc-area given name Pons, and was first used in this family to show that the bearer was son of someone named Pons (like Sanchez means son of Sancho), while de Leon means 'of Leon', added to commemorate the fact that someone's mother was the illegitimate daughter of the king of Leon) but it all happened 250 years earlier and is no more relevant to a biography of the man than in an article on Winston Churchill explaining that the surname originally meant 'the hill where the church is'. Agricolae (talk) 23:08, 25 October 2011 (UTC)

Melbourne Beach Island is NOT called Ponce de Leon Island[edit]

This article states that the island that Melbourne Beach resides on is called Ponce de Leon Island, IT IS NOT. Currently there is no separate map name for this barrier island. On ancient maps from the 1600's it is called Barra de Ays along the Roi de Ays (the original name for the Indian River, named for the ancient 3000 year old local native culture of the Ays(or Ais - pronounced Ah-ee's)driven to extinction by the beginning of the 1700's. Only 3 (Melbourne Beach, Melbourne, Indialantic) of the 8 voting communities that reside on the section of island in question have voted to support the proposal to name it Ponce de Leon. The other 5 have refused to hear it (Sebastian tax district & Indian Harbor Beach) or voted NO or did not pass the resolution or rescinded support for the resolution (Cocoa Beach, Satellite Beach, Cape Canaveral). The Ponce de Leon naming is being proposed by individuals claiming to be promoting it as part of the 500 year celebration of the naming of Florida and is being resisted by the majority of communities that reside on the island in question. [1]

The number of communities on the island that do not support the Ponce de Leon naming is now 6 out of 8, as the town of Indiatlantic rescinded their support for the naming also. [2]

Ricksbigart (talk) 10:11, 7 February 2012 (UTC)

I've removed the name, as it has not been adopted, and may never be adopted. -- Donald Albury 11:29, 7 February 2012 (UTC)

File:Duque de Cadiz.jpeg Nominated for Deletion[edit]

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Controversy Section?[edit]

I think there should be a section regarding controversy of Ponce's discovering Florida and his treatment of indigenous people. Anybody else agree with this?--Ourhistory153 (talk) 13:59, 25 April 2012 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Criticism advocates integrating criticisms or negative material on a subject into the article rather than having a separate "Criticism" section. While that is an essay, and not binding on anyone, I think it is good advice. His treatment of the Tainos of Hispaniola and Puerto Rico should be covered in those sections of the article. I don't know how much Bartolomé de las Casas says specifically about Ponce de León's conduct. I don't see las Casas mentioned in the article, although I would think he is cited in some of the sources used. Las Casas is certainly a major primary source on the treatment of the Tainos by the Spanish. -- Donald Albury 18:40, 25 April 2012 (UTC)

Possibility of a Legacy section[edit]

I've added several citations onto the page recently, and I was also wondering if there could be a legacy section added onto the page. This article isn't far away from getting a GA nomination, but a legacy section wouldn't hurt, if needed. I don't have the sources for such an addition at the moment, however. Is there anyone who worked/is willing to work on this page that could add a legacy section if it's needed for this to get a GA nomination. It would be nice to see one of the notable Castilian/Spanish explorers/conquistadors (Columbus, Cortes, De Leon, Soto, Pizarro, Balboa, etc.) get a GA nomination, and this article is probably the closest, if not Hernando de Soto's. Thanks for reading!LeftAire (talk) 06:36, 5 July 2012 (UTC)

What do you envision being in a Legacy section? Something like a Juan Ponce de León in culture section? I see 25 or more articles in WP about schools, streets, towns, hotels, and geographic features named after this de León, and I suspect such a Legacy section could turn into a trivia list that would be a magnet for mentions of other schools, streets, etc. that haven't made it into WP yet. We could also get a listing of every book, movie and song that includes a mention of Ponce de León. I do think a section on the impact of the image of Juan Ponce de León on American culture and on Puerto Rican culture (I gather that his historical image in Puerto Rico may be different from his image in the US), with good sources, would be a great addition to the article. BTW, are you aware of this proposal and the reactions to it? It is highlighting a shift in the perception of Castilian/Spanish explorers/conquistadors. -- Donald Albury 09:59, 5 July 2012 (UTC)
Well, I have read that de León might not have been the first to 'discover Florida', and that slave traders might have had contact roughly five years before. I didn't know that Ponce de León might have been one of those slave traders. I wasn't aware of this information concerning the Ponce de León/Ais island controversy. I'm undecided on whether the naming should be either one or the other, but I don't think that it should constitute not naming it Juan Ponce de Leon because of the treatment of the natives (which weren't even in Florida, but Puerto Rico), but more so because of the chance he wasn't the first explorer. How many other explorers have places named after them in spite of their reputations? Sir Francis Drake has a bay named after him in California and an island in England, Cortes has a town in Honduras and an island in Canada named after him, the currency in Panama is called Balboa, I could keep going on with instances such as these. I don't condone what he did, but I don't get emotionally driven on places being named after controversial people, because if I did, I would be made at practically the whole world. Sorry, got off topic. There are a few places that I do know of that are named after de León, such as Ponce de León Springs in Atlanta, cities named Ponce de León in both Florida and Missouri, the Ponce Islet, Ponce de Leon State Park, etc. in Florida. Here's the link for more places in the U.S.:[1]. I know there's a high school named after him in Puerto Rico, but that's all of the information that I'm aware of at the moment. His perception in Puerto Rico would be a nice find. LeftAire (talk) 17:41, 5 July 2012 (UTC)
The possibility that Ponce de León was looking for slaves is the conclusion of a historian, I don't know of any source contemporary with Ponce de León that says that. However, I do find it easier to believe that he was looking for new lands to conquer, and for the gold and Indians he might find there, than to believe that he was looking for the Fountain of Youth (a story which did not appear until 40 or so years after his voyage). As for an appropriate name for that currently unnamed island in Brevard County, I think that the Ais, who lived there for a long time, and were likely descended from people who had lived there for thousands of years, have a better claim than Ponce de León, who may or may not have landed there once. As for things named after him, besides what you name, Florida already has Ponce Inlet, Florida (city, next to Ponce de Leon Inlet), Ponce de Leon Bay, at least two hotels named Ponce de Leon Hotel, and Ponce de Leon Middle School, that have WP articles (OK, the middle school is a redirect). There are Ponce de Leon Boulevards in nine Florida cities that I have found in a quick search. -- Donald Albury 16:08, 6 July 2012 (UTC)
I was skeptical of the idea that de León was looking for slaves, and I certainly didn't read that in any contemporary sources, either. I think that I might have misspelled the islet/inlet with regards to Florida. With regards of the island name, it probably would make more sense to name the island Ais since they were the original inhabitants, and the region was named Ais previously, and I do agree the Ais do have a better claim. As for extra information for the article, I'll continue to try and find material whenever I have the chance. LeftAire (talk) 03:47, 7 July 2012 (UTC)

Innappropriate Language[edit]

In the section: "Last voyage to Florida"

... The colonists were soon attacked by Calusa "braves"...

Not particualarly an acceptable term these days. Why not "redskins" or "savages"?? But of course those wouldn't be used in Wikipedia and "braves" shouldn't either. Maybe change to warriors, or some other military term? — Preceding unsigned comment added by 76.160.218.42 (talk) 23:22, 8 October 2012 (UTC)

What exactly is wrong with braves? Do you have a source verifying it is "not acceptable"? This is the first time I've ever seen claim the term 'braves' is pejorative or inappropiate for whatever reason, which 'savages' and 'redskins' clearly are. Til Eulenspiegel (talk) 23:50, 8 October 2012 (UTC)

Discovery of Florida[edit]

"Puerto Rico was the historic 1st gateway to the discovery of Florida which opened the doors to the advanced settlement of the USA. They introduced Christianity, Cattle, Horses, Sheep, the Spanish language and more to the land (Florida) that later became the United States of America, 107 years before the Pilgrims landed". Would most certainly alter to: "that later became [u]part[/u] the United States of America" as Florida remained Spanish until 1819, 40+ years after the US was founded. Born in Spain in 1460, Juan Ponce de León led a European expedition to discover the mythical fountain of youth, instead finding the southeast coast of what would become the United States. He gave Florida its name and went on to become the first governor of Puerto Rico.
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