Historic Markers Across Florida

First White Man Dies in America Bahia Del Espiritu Santo - 1513

Marker ID:  
Location: Ponce de Leon Historical Park, west end of Marion Avenue, Punta Gorda
County: Charlotte
Coordinates: N 26° 54.612    W 082° 05.714
  26.9102    -82.09523333
Style: Free Standing **
Waymark: WM2WXX


First White Man Dies in America
Bahia del Espiritu Santo-1513

On this day, May 24, ships were sent to seek a mainland colony site and to sound and chart the newly found "Bay of the Holy Spirit" (Charlotte Harbor). For three weeks explorations continued, seldom by land. There were at least three meetings with the Caloosas´ once they offered "guanin" (low gold) and skins for trade and promised more. But in other meetings fighting erupted and "several Indians" and one Spaniard were killed. Thus the first white man died in America, victim of Indian arrows, and the place of his death was called "Matanca" (Pine Island).

The City of Punta Gorda, Florida,
in cooperation with Punta Gorda Isles, Inc.


City: Punta Gorda, FL