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In 1528, the Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de León landed in this area and christened it "La Florida", which means "The Flowery". It is believed that he was searching for the mythical fountain of youth. The first settlement on the mainland of what is now Volusia County was founded by a Spaniard named Don Pedro Alfonso in 1559 at St. Augustine; however, there were no permanent settlements near New Smyrna Beach until after 1763 when Spain ceded Florida to Great Britain as part of Treaty of Paris ending British-Spanish War (1739–1748). In 1818, Colonel Joseph Bryant received permission from Seminole Indians living nearby to place a trading post on their land. This trading post would become known as Port Orange and functioned primarily as an outpost for shipping cotton back down river to Georgia and South Carolina ports such as Savannah or Charleston where it could be sold or shipped overseas via other routes such as Havana Cuba or Nassau Bahamas .