Hernando de Soto Facts

Hernando de Soto Facts
Hernando de Soto was a Spanish explorer born in approximately 1500 in Villanueva de la Serena, Badajoz, Spain. He is believed to have been the first European explorer to lead an expedition deep into what is now the United States. It is also believed he may have been the first explorer to be documented crossing the Mississippi River. Prior to his expeditions into the United States Hernando de Soto founded Lima in Peru, and took a large portion of the Inca treasure, making him a very wealthy man back in Spain. He is believed to have treated the Incas in Peru and Native Indians in the United States brutally, even participating in the slave trade.
Interesting Hernando de Soto Facts:
Hernando de Soto was born into a poor, but noble family.
Hernando de Soto was educated at the University of Salamance. His education was funded by Pedro Arias Davila, a generous man.
Hernando de Soto's family wanted him to become a lawyer but he wanted to be an explorer.
Hernando de Soto was invited by Davila, the governor of Darien, to join him on an expedition to the West Indies when he was 14. He went on the voyage.
At 32, Hernando de Soto was named second in command to the explorer Francisco Pizzaro on his expedition to conquer Peru.
Hernando de Soto was instrumental in conquering Peru and its capital the Incan Empire of Cuzco.
He returned to Spain with much of the Incan gold in 1536. His share was 18000 ounces of gold.
Hernando de Soto married Davila's daughter one year after returning to Spain a very wealthy man.
Hernando de Soto grew restless and soon sold his belongings to embark on an expedition to North America.
His fleet to North America had 10 ships and 700 men. He departed on the voyage on April 6th, 1538.
Hernando de Soto stopped in Cuba on the way, and his voyage to the U.S. was delayed. Havana had been attacked by the French and burned and de Soto helped to rebuild the city.
On May 18th, 1539 Hernando de Soto set out again for North America. May 25th they landed in what is today Tampa Bay.
Hernando de Soto and his crew explored the southeastern part of the United States.
As de Soto explored the southeastern regions of the United States he was involved in several battles with Native American Indians. He enslaved many of the Natives.
Hernando de Soto explored Florida, Georgia and Alabama.
Hernando de Soto eventually reached the Mississippi River's mouth.
Hernando de Soto died on May 21st, 1542 in what is now Ferriday, Louisiana. He was 42. He had become ill and developed a fever.
Hernando de Soto's body was not buried. His crew members sank his corpse in the Mississippi River.
Almost half of de Soto's crew had been struck with disease or had been killed while battling the Natives.
Hernando de Soto was named into the Explorer Hall of Fame in Genoa, Italy. Not everyone wanted him included because he was extremely cruel to those he fought in battle, including the Natives in North America and the Incas in Peru.


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