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Fountain of Youth

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Ark of the Covenant
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« on: May 19, 2010, 01:23:46 pm »

The story is apocryphal. Ponce de León does not mention the fountain in his writings throughout the course of his expedition.[2] While he may well have heard of the Fountain and believed in it, his name was not associated with the legend in writing until after his death. That connection is made in Gonzalo Fernández de Oviedo's Historia General y Natural de las Indias of 1535, in which he wrote that Ponce de León was looking for the waters of Bimini to cure his impotence.[4] Some researchers have suggested that Oviedo's account may have been politically inspired to generate favor in the courts.[2] A similar account appears in Francisco López de Gómara's Historia General de las Indias of 1551.[5] In the Memoir of Hernando D'Escalante Fontaneda in 1575, the author places the restorative waters in Florida and mentions de León looking for them there; his account influenced Antonio de Herrera y Tordesillas' history of the Spanish in the New World.[6] Fontaneda had spent seventeen years as an Indian captive after being shipwrecked in Florida as a boy. In his Memoir he tells of the curative waters of a lost river he calls "Jordan" and refers to de León looking for them. However, Fontaneda makes it clear he is skeptical about these stories he includes, and says he doubts de León was actually looking for the fabled stream when he came to Florida.[6]

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