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Word Count: 496
Ponce de Leon was a sailor and explorer for Spain He had been given governorship ofHispaniola where he soon discovered that on Puerto Rico gold was found He soon conqueredthe island and was given governorship of it From the gold he became very wealthy He soonlearned of an Indian tale of an island called Bimini On the Island There were supposedly lots ifgold and pearls and a mystical fountain that could restore ones youthPonce de Leon asked for and received permission to conquer and settle in the island ofBimini On March 3 1513 he sailed from Puerto Rico with three ships Sailing around thenorthwest corner of Cuba he then looked for Bimini among the Bahaman Islands Finally onEaster Sunday March 13 he landed on the coast near present day St Augustine He called theland Pascua Florida After searching a few days for gold pearls and that elusive fountain andfinding none of them he turned south Along the southeast coast of Florida near the Indian River they met the Ais Indians TheAis called out to Ponce de Leon so he went ashore They then tried to take the boat from theSpanish In the ensuing fight an Indian clubbed a Spaniard on the head resulting in an all daybattle between the two From a captured Indian they learned that the land was called Cautio bythe Ais Incidentally the Bahaman Indians called the land Canico or CancioFrom there the expedition sailed south around the Florida keys and up the west coast ofFlorida to an area near the present-day Sanibel Island There they battle with the Calusa Indiansled by their chief Cacique Carlos Again there was an all day fight which led to the Spaniardsretreat Turning southward across the Gulf of Mexico the explorers came across a group ofislands where they replenished their food supply with the turtles on the islands They namedthem Tortugas after the turtles From there they returned to Cuba then back to the Bahamasthen Puerto
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