All attempts to settle Florida had ended disastrously.
From 1513 to 1559, the Spanish sent several major expeditions to Florida, but each one ended in complete failure. Juan Ponce de León’s colonization attempt, for example, was cut short by a Native American arrow that mortally wounded him, whereas Hernando de Soto died of disease after three years of aimless wandering. Meanwhile, the first known European settlement in the continental United States, founded by Lucas Vázquez de Ayllón in 1526 in what’s believed to be present-day Georgia, was abandoned after just a few months. Another Spanish settlement, founded in 1559 in present-day Pensacola, Florida, didn’t do much better, lasting less than two years. Upon hearing news of this latest disappointment, an exasperated King Philip II of Spain put a stop to all further efforts to colonize Florida.