Alysa Landry writes for Indian Country Today Media Network.com, April 2, 2014–On April 2, 1513, Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de Leon landed on the southeastern coast of Florida, claiming the territory for the Spanish crown and forever changing life for Florida tribes. Born in 1460, Ponce de Leon is credited with being part of Christopher Columbus’ second expedition to the New World in 1493 before he went on to become the first European explorer to land on the Florida peninsula.
Ponce de Leon served as governor of the Spanish colony of San Juan (modern-day Puerto Rico). There, he was known as a conquistador with a reputation for taking Natives as slaves, said Jerald Milanich, emeritus professor of archaeology at the University of Florida.
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