EXPLORER OF THE NEW WORLD: Hernando de Soto

Hernando de Soto
by C P

Spain appointed me De Soto governor of Cuba.

The king also gave me the right to explore and conquer a region of north America that included many present-day southern states.

I landed near Tampa Bay off the coast of Florida, in May 1539. My expedition included about 600 soldiers and more than 100 servants. The group headed north and reached Apalache, an Indian area in what is now northeastern Florida.

A band of explorers was sent by me from Apalache reached Pensacola Bay in western Florida. The expedition continued to the Savannah River in Georgia and followed the Alabama River south. They had a battle there. They suffered heavy losses.

I continued my unsuccessful search for gold through what became the state of Mississippi. I first sighted the Mississippi River in May.

Spain appointed me, De Soto, governor.


MASSACHUSETTS -- the Colony