The government of Florida
was the reward which Ponce
received from the king of Spain
; but the dignity was accompanied with the onerous condition, that he should colonize the country which he was appointed to rule.
Preparations in Spain
, and an expedition against
the Caribbee Indians
, delayed his return to Florida
When, after a long interval, he proceeded with two
ships to take possession of his province and select a site for a colony, his company was attacked by the Indians with implacable fury.
Many Spaniards were killed; the survivors were forced to hurry to their ships; Ponce de Leon
himself, mortally wounded by an arrow, returned to Cuba
to die. So ended the adventurer, who had coveted immeasurable wealth, and had hoped for perpetual youth.
The discoverer of Florida
had desired immortality on earth, and gained its shadow.1
Meantime, commerce may have discovered a path to Florida
; and Diego Miruelo
, a careless sea-captain, sailing from Havana
, is said to have approached the coast, and trafficked with the natives.
He could not tell distinctly in what harbor he had anchored; he brought home specimens of gold, obtained in exchange for toys; and his report swelled the rumors, already credited, of the wealth of the country.
had at once obtained a governor; it now constituted a part of a bishopric.2
The expedition of Francisco Fernandez
, of Cordova
leaving the port of Havana
, and sailing west by south,