Juan Ponce de León Lands in Florida

On April 2, 1513, Juan Ponce de León landed somewhere along the east coast of Florida.

Juan Ponce de León from Herrera's Historia General, published between 1601 and 1615

Juan Ponce de León from Herrera’s Historia General, published between 1601 and 1615

More than 500 Native American nations inhabited the Americas at the time of first contact. The arrival of European and African peoples forever changed life on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean and initiated environmental and demographic changes that continue to the present day.

Peruuiae Avrifer Regionis Typus, by Abraham Ortelius, ca. 1584

Peruuiae Avrifer Regionis Typus, by Abraham Ortelius, ca. 1584

Learn more:

Florida Memory
State Library of Florida
Additional Resources at Other Institutions
Printed Primary Sources
  • Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca, The Narrative of Cabeza de Vaca (University of Nebraska, 2003).
  • Bartolomé de Las Casas, A Brief Account of the Destruction of the Indies (various editions).
  • Lawrence Clayton, et al., The De Soto Chronicles (University of Alabama, 1995).
  • Knight of Elvas, The Discovery and Conquest of Terra Florida… (various editions).–sometimes published under the “Gentleman of Elvas.”
  • Garcilaso de la Vega, The Florida of the Inca (various editions).
Key Secondary Sources
  • Alfred Crosby, The Columbian Exchange (Greenwood, 1973).
  • Michael Gannon, The Cross in the Sand (University of Florida, 1965).
  • Jerald T. Milanich, Florida Indians and the Invasion from Europe (University of Florida, 1998).
  • David J. Weber, The Spanish Frontier in North America (Yale, 2009).

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