Hernando de Soto

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Hernando de Soto was born in 1496 in Spain and died on May 21, 1542 in de Soto County, Mississippi.. He was a Spanish Explorer. His mission was to conquer and settle in the unknown territories. He participated in the conquest of Panama and took a role with the Spanish in the conquered of Peru. He lead the largest expedition that would later become the Southeast United States and the Midwest United States. He was made Governor of Cuba by Charles V. He lead an expedition from Spain to Florida from 1538 to 1542 and landed on the Florida coast near Tampa Bay in 1539 now known as Bradenton, Florida. This adventure took him half way across the continent in search of gold, silver, and jewels. Which they never found.

Hernando de Soto was wounded in battle with the Native American's in 1541. He continued his journey in looking for treasures and this took him to Mississippi, in which he was the first white man to see and cross the Mississippi River. He then traveled to Arkansas and Oklahoma. He never found treasures there so he turned and headed back to the banks of the Mississippi River in Desoto County. There he died and was buried in the river so that the Native Americans would not learn of his death.

De Soto's view of this expedition was a "deadly disaster". They found no gold nor prosperity and founded no colonies. He caused aggressive relationships with the natives and the Europeans and his expedition carried many diseases which depopulated many cities which they crossed. But good thing also came from his expedition such as establishing the first population of mustangs in North America by his horses either escaping or being stolen. He has Desoto county, Mississippi and Hernando County, Florida named after him. He claimed large parts of North America for the Spaniards. And he also had the first recorded description of North America native habits before they had encountered other Europeans.
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