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LAKE COUNTY, FLORIDA
Jul 27, 1887
OF PONCE DE LEON
In the early morning of April 8, 1521, Juan Ponce de Leon, then Governor of the Island of Porto Rico, made his second landing on the coast of Florida, casting anchor in Charlotte's Harbor.Eight years previously the seeker after the Fountain of Perpetual Youth had first set foot upon the shores of the Land of Flowers. His second coming was for the purpose of carrying out the commands of the Spanish sovereign to conquer and colonize Florida, which then was believed to be an island. With two ships and two hundred men he sailed from Porto Rico and after a quick and pleasant voyage once more reached the Florida coast. It is a matter of history that he was welcomed by the Seminoles, the native Indians. It was not until the Spaniards began to build a settlement on the shores of what is now Charlotte's Harbor that the Indians rebelled against this seizure of their land by the white visitors. They attacked the Spaniards fiercely and drove them back to their ships. In the fight Ponce de Leon was wounded in the knee by a Seminole arrow and died from the wound before reaching Porto Rico. The atrist has taken for her subject the arrival of
the Spaniards in Charlotte's Harbor at sunrise. A party of Seminoles has gathered on the shore. Their chief is giving the traditional Indian sign of friendship, the right hand raised high. A huge, young warrior stands with his back half turned to the Spanish ship. It is evident tht he is not in thorough accord with his chief. He fears the strangers and is not disposed to join in welcoming them. Miss Pratt has successfully put upon the canvas her imporssions of a sunrise on the Florida coast. The soft mist of early morning rests upon the land. The light of the rising sun tinges the tall palms and other semi-tropical verdure, and touches with rosy hues the stalwart bodies of the savages and the sails of the galleon with the crimson cross of Spain on its bellying canvas. The ship is just rounding to, preparatory to dropping anchor. The second ship is seen on the horizon, coming in from the open sea. The effect of great distance is cleverly handled. The mural is painted in the modern purist style, the pastel colors being preserved in all their simplicity while giving the impression of warmth and life.
Are you a descendent of a Leesburg (and vicinity) pioneer family? If so, we're looking for you. In fact, we're hoping to reach all of Leesburg's Pioneer Descendant families, so we can honor them in our celebration of Leesburg's Sesquicentennial.
The Leesburg Pioneer Certification, sponsored by the Leesburg
Celebration Committee, honors Leesburg pioneers and their descendants
arrived by the time Leesburg was chartered
Applications and instructions are available at Leesburg Heritage Society,
Certificates will be awarded all during the Sesquicentennial Year as your application is approved.
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