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Sarasota News Leader April 19, 2013 Page 81 fendable against attack. However, canoes full the only Native American population in North of Calusa warriors soon proved him wrong. and South America to compel a Spanish retreat from its territory. Florida had claimed its "The settlers were fiercely attacked from the moment they landed. They were attacked first conquistador, but not its last. while they were erecting their buildings, and attacked when they attempted to plant their crops and tend their cattle. Many settlers died from the incessant attacks. Others died from illness brought on from being forced to live huddled together in the compound in unhealthy conditions, afraid to venture forth for fear of being attacked. Ponce de León tried to stick it out for a few months but finally, after receiving a painful wound in the thigh, decided to abandon the project and withdrew the company to the safety of Cuba," wrote Peck. Ponce died from his wound in Puerto Principe, Cuba, in July 1521. He is buried in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Spain's first attempt to add Florida to its growing New World empire was repelled with military force. The Calusa were Ponce did make one contribution to Florida that the state enjoys to this day. He introduced the orange tree during his Sanibel stay. Within 200 years, such trees would grow all over the peninsula. UP NEXT: TWO MORE LOSERS The next Spanish adventurer to try his luck in Florida was Pánfilo de Narváez. His expedition resulted in the first piece of classic literature in the New World, An Account of the First Discovery and Natural History of Florida, by Cabeza de Vaca. That small but important book was the only positive result of the second attempt to conquer and colonize Florida. Only five men survived This is a map from 1562 that appears in a Spanish book. the 1527 expeHowever, close comparison with other maps of the same peridition, which od and earlier ones indicates this was an 'artistic rendering.' Image courtesy U.S. Library of Congress landed some-

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