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JUAN PONCE DE LEON.
AUTHORITIES ON PONCE DE LEON
There is no good Life of Juan Ponce de Leon extant, and the writer has been compelled to pursue his
subject through several works, historical in nature, dealing with the times in which he lived, but affording
scant material for a biography. Such authors as Herrera, Oviedo, Peter Martyr, Gomara, Barcia, and Las Casas
have yielded something, however, and the various fragments have been pieced together, recourse also being
had to other books on early Spanish discoveries. The author's researches in the West Indies were not
unfruitful, for he has visited both Santo Domingo and Porto Rico several times, as well as investigated
in Guadeloupe and other islands of the Lesser Antilles.
Of all the Spanish writers, Barcia is the fullest in details respecting Ponce de Leon. His work is
entitled Ensayo Cronologico para la Historia General de la Florida. It was put forth as from the
pen of "Don Gabriel de Cardenas," though really written by Don Andres Gonzales Barcia, and published in Madrid, 1723.
Barcia based his narratives referring to De Leon upon material found in the History by Herrera, who,
he says, had access to the letters which Juan Ponce wrote to the Emperor Charles V., Cardinal Adrian, and
others. (Decade 3, Lib. I., Cap. 14): ". . . Antonio de Herrera comprueba esta Cronologia con las cartas
de el mismo Juan Ponce, escritas at Emperador Carlos V., at Cardinal Adriano, y otros."
All the sources on Ponce de Leon are mentioned in Winsor's Narrative and Critical History, and to
them the reader is respectfully referred, with the caution, however, to be prepared for a long and perhaps