Historical Museum of Southern Florida

 

Christopher Columbus and Ponce de Leon

full pageColumbus Reaches San Salvador.
Frankfurt: Theodor de Bry, 1594.
HMSF, gift of Marcia Kanner.

The Spanish presence in the New World began on October 12, 1492, when Christopher Columbus and his crew landed in the Bahamas. From the start, the Spanish were motivated by two urges--to conquer new-found lands and to convert indigenous peoples to Catholicism.

Juan Ponce de León accompanied Columbus on his second voyage the following year. In 1513 Ponce de León and his companions became the first Europeans known to have visited Florida. Indians killed him in 1521, when he returned to establish a colony on the west coast.

Image no. 1991-306-1

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