Sarasota News Leader

04/19/2013

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ON THE EVE OF INVASION: PART III This map is 'upside down' with north at the bottom. It is dated 1542, and it would have benefitted from the first three Spanish excursions into Florida. The details are surprising, considering Columbus' first voyage was only 50 years earlier. Image courtesy U.S. Library of Congress THE MEN WHO 'OWNED' FLORIDA WERE DEFEATED BY IT By Stan Zimmerman City Editor Editor's note: In this third installment from City Editor Stan Zimmerman's forthcoming book, Maritime History of Florida, Ponce de León becomes the first — but not the last — unsuccessful conqueror of Florida. This year is the 500th anniversary of the first arrival of Europeans in Florida. Spanish and indigenous peoples in the Caribbean. His navigator, Anton de Alaminos, remained busy between the two voyages of Ponce de León. In 1517, he led the ships of Hernandez de Cordoba into San Carlos Bay near Sanibel for refuge during a storm. The ships were After "discovering" Florida in 1513, Ponce de returning to Cuba after the discovery of the León went back to Spain, renewed his license Yucatan peninsula. as an Adelantado — a governor in a Spanish colony — in 1514 and came back to the New Alaminos' most timely and economic feat of World the following year. His return to Flori- navigation came in 1519. After Hernan Cortés da, however, was delayed for seven years, to subdued and subjugated the Aztec Empire, satisfy a royal command to pacify the fierce he sent back what would be the first treasure and cannibal Caribs, who were preying on fleet from the New World.

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