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Hernando de Soto
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For the Peruvian economist, see Hernando de Soto (economist).
Hernando de Soto
Hernando de Soto
Jerez de los Caballeros, Badajoz, Spain
Died May 21, 1542 (aged 45 or 46)
Indian village of Guachoya (near present-day McArthur, Arkansas)
Occupation Spanish explorer and conquistador
Religious beliefs Roman Catholic Church
Hernando de Soto (Jerez de los Caballeros, Badajoz, Spain, c.1496/1497?May 21, 1542) was a Spanish explorer and conquistador who, while leading the first European expedition deep into the territory of the modern-day United States, was the first European to discover the Mississippi River.
A vast undertaking, de Soto's expedition ranged throughout the southeastern United States searching for gold and a passage to China. De Soto died in 1542 on the banks of the Mississippi River at present-day Lake Village, Arkansas. Hernando de Soto was born to parents who were hidalgos of modest means in Extremadura, a region of poverty and hardship from which many young people looked for ways to seek their fortune elsewhere. Two towns?Badajoz and Jerez de los Caballeros?claim to be his birthplace. All that is known with certainty is that he spent time as a child at both places and he stipulated in his will that his body be interred at Jerez de los Caballeros, where other members of his family were also interred. The age of the Conquerors came on the heels of the Spanish reconquest of the Iberian peninsula from Islamic forces. Spain and Portugal were filled with young men begging for a chance to find military fame after the Moors were defeated. With discovery of new lands to the West (which seemed at the time to be far East Asia), the whispers of glory and wealth were too compelling for the poor.
De Soto sailed to the New World in 1514 with the first Governor of Panama, Pedrarias D?vila. Brave leadership, unwavering loyalty, and clever schemes for the extortion of native villages for their captured chiefs, became De Soto's hallmark during the Conquest of Central America. He gained fame as an excellent horseman, fighter, and tactician, but was notorious for the extreme brutality with which he wielded these gifts.
During that time, Juan Ponce de Le?n, who discovered Florida, Vasco N??ez de Balboa, who discovered the Pacific (he called it the "South Sea" below Panama), and Ferdinand Magellan, who first sailed that ocean to the Orient, profoundly influenced De Soto's ambitions.
1 First expedition ? The Conquest of Peru
2 Return to Spain
3 De Soto's exploration of North America
3.2 1539 to early-1540 in Florida
3.3 1540 ? Through Georgia, South Carolina, Tennessee, Alabama and Mississippi
3.4 1541 ? To the west through Mississippi, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, and Texas
3.5 De Soto's death
3.6 Return of the expedition to Mexico City
7 External links
 First expedition ? The Conquest of Peru
In 1530, de Soto became a regidor of Le?n, Nicaragua, and led an expedition up the coast of the Yucat?n Peninsula searching for passage between the Atlantic Ocean and the Pacific Ocean in order to trade Spain's New World fortunes with the Orient, the richest market in the world. Failing that, and without means to further explore, de Soto, upon D?vila' death, left his estates in Nicaragua and joined Francisco Pizarro in the conquest of Peru in 1532.
De Soto joined Pizarro at his first base of Tumbez shortly before Pizarro departed for the interior of Peru, bringing his own men with him on ships he had hired. Pizarro immediately made de Soto one of his captains. When Pizarro and his men first encountered the army of the Inca Atahualpa at Cajamarca, Pizarro sent de Soto with fifteen men to invite Atahualpa to a meeting. When Pizarro's men attacked Atahualpa and his guard the next day (the Battle of Cajamarca), de Soto was in charge of one of the three groups of mounted soldiers. The Spanish captured Atahualpa, and the next day de Soto was again sent to the camp of the Incan army, where he and his men plundered Atahualpa's tents.
During 1533, Atahualpa was held captive in Cajamarca for many months while a room was filled with gold and silver objects to ransom him. During this captivity, de Soto became friendly with Atahualpa, teaching him how to play chess. By the time the ransom had been completed, the Spanish became alarmed by rumors of an Incan army advancing on Cajamarca. Pizarro sent de Soto with four men to scout for the rumored army. While de Soto was gone the Spanish in Cajamarca decided to kill Atahualpa to prevent his rescue by the Incan army. De Soto returned later to report that he could find no signs of an army in the area. After the execution of Atahualpa, Pizarro and his men headed to Cuzco, the capital of the Incan Empire. As the Spanish force approached Cuzco, Francisco Pizarro sent his brother Hernando Pizarro and Hernando de Soto ahead to the city with forty men. The advance guard fought a pitched battle with Incan troops in front of the city, but the battle had ended before Francisco Pizarro arrived with the rest of the Spanish party, and the Incan army withdrew during the night. The Spanish plundered Cuzco, where they found much gold and silver. De Soto had received a mounted soldier's share of the plunder from Atahualpa's camp, Atahualpa's ransom, and the plunder from Cuzco, and had become very wealthy.
On the road to Cuzco, Manco Inca, a brother of Atahualpa, had joined Pizarro. Manco had been hiding from Atahualpa in fear of his life, and was happy to place himself under Pizarro's protection. Pizarro arranged for Manco to be installed as the Inca. De Soto joined Manco in a campaign to eliminate the Incan armies that had been loyal to Atahualpa. By 1534, de Soto was serving as lieutenant governor of Cuzco while Pizarro was building his new capital (which later became known as Lima) on the coast. In 1535 King Charles awarded Diego de Almagro, Francisco Pizarro's former business partner, the governorship of the southern portion of the Incan Empire. Pizarro and de Almagro quarreled over which governorship Cuzco was in. When de Almagro made plans to explore and conquer the southern part of the Incan empire (Chile), de Soto applied to be his second-in-command, offering a large payment for the position, but de Almagro turned him down. De Soto packed up his treasure and returned to Spain.
 Return to Spain
De Soto returned to Spain with an enormous share of the Spanish conquest of the Inca Empire. Famous for being the hero of that conquest, he was admitted into the prestigious Order of Santiago. His share was awarded to him by the King of Spain, and received 724 marks of gold, 17,740 pesos. He married Isabel de Bobadilla, daughter of Pedrarias D?vila and a relative of a confidante of Queen Isabella. De Soto petitioned The King for the government of Guatemala, "with permission to make discovery in the South Sea," but was granted the governorship of Cuba, instead. De Soto was expected to colonize the North American continent for Spain within four years, for which his family would be given a huge piece of it forever.
Fascinated by the stories of Cabeza de Vaca, Spain's just returned North American explorer, De Soto selected 620 eager Spanish and Portuguese volunteers, some of African descent, for the government of Cuba and Conquest of North America. Averaging 24 years of age, they eventually embarked from Havana on seven of the King's ships and two of De Soto's. With tons of heavy armour and equipment, the livestock count came to over 500, including 237 horses and 200 pigs.
De Soto planned to explore America for a passage to the Orient. His men, lured by Cabeza de Vaca's stories of gold to found, would need to provide themselves with food and shelter during their four year continental search. Tens-of-thousands of natives would die as a result.
 De Soto's exploration of North America
The exact course of de Soto's expedition is subject to discussions and controversy among historians and local politicians. The most widely used version of De Soto's Trail comes from the Congress of the United States. A committee chaired by the anthropologist John R. Swanton published "The Final Report of the United States De Soto Expedition Commission" in 1939. Manatee County, Florida, among other locations, claims an approximate landing site for De Soto and is the home of a national memorial recognizing the event. The first part of the expedition's course (until De Soto's Mabila battle in Alabama) is only disputed in detail today, De Soto's Trail beyond Mabila is contested. Congress' De Soto Trail runs from there through Mississippi, Arkansas and Texas. Other theories argue for a northern route through Tennessee, Kentucky and Indiana from Mabila.
Archeological reconstructions and the oral history of the natives have only lately been considered. However, this bears the handicap that most historical places have been overbuilt and more than 450 years of history have passed between the incidence and its narration. The only site definitively associated with de Soto's expedition is the Governor Martin Site at the Apalachee village of Anhaica, located about a mile east of the present Florida Capitol building in Tallahassee, Florida. It was found by archaeologist B. Calvin Jones in March 1987.
The latest theory applies two journals of De Soto Exploration survivors: De Soto's Secretary, Rodrigo Ranjel, and The King's Agent with De Soto, Luys Hern?ndez de Biedma. Between them they described De Soto's Trail in relation to Havana, from which they sailed, the Gulf of Mexico, which they skirted inland (then later headed back toward), the Atlantic Ocean, which they approached during their second year, high mountains, which they traversed immediately thereafter, and dozens of other geographic features along their way - large rivers and swamps - at recorded intervals. Given that earth's natural geography has not changed since De Soto's time, those journals, analyzed with modern topographic intelligence, render a more precise De Soto Trail.
 1539 to early-1540 in Florida
Library of Congress' engraving.
The Spanish caption reads:
"HERNANDO DE SOTO: Extremaduran, one of the discoverers and conquerors of Peru: he travelled across all the Florida and defeated its still invincible natives, he died in his expedition in the year of 1543 at the 42 of his age".In May 1539, De Soto landed nine ships with over 620 men and 220 surviving horses at Charlotte Harbor, Florida. He named it Esp?ritu Santo after the Holy Spirit. The ships brought priests, craftsmen, engineers, farmers, and merchants; some with their families, some from Cuba, most from Europe and Africa. Few of them had ever traveled outside of Spain, or even their home villages.
A young Spaniard named Juan Ortiz, who had come to Florida in search of the lost Narv?ez Expedition and been held by an inland tribe, was sighted near De Soto's port. Ortiz came to Florida in search of the earlier Narv?ez Expedition and was captured by the Uzica. The daughter of Chief Hirrihigua of the Uzica arguably served as a precursor to Pocahontas by begging for Ortiz's life, as her father had ordered Ortiz to be roasted alive. Ortiz survived captivity and torture, and joined, at the first opportunity, the new de Soto Spanish expedition. Ortiz knew the countryside and also helped as an interpreter. As a lead guide for the de Soto expedition, Ortiz established a unique method for guiding the expedition and communicating with various tribal dialects. The "Paracoxi" guides were recruited from each tribe along the route. A chain of communication was established whereby a guide who had lived in close proximity to another tribal area was able to pass his information and language on to a guide from a neighboring area. Because Ortiz refused to dress and conduct himself as a hidalgo Spaniard, his motives and council to de Soto were held in suspicion by other officers. But Don Hernando remained loyal to Ortiz, thus allowing him freedom to dress and live among his tribal Paracoxi friends. Another important guide was the seventeen-year-old boy Perico, or Pedro, from modern-day Georgia, who spoke several of the local tribes' languages and could communicate with Ortiz. Perico was engaged as a guide in 1540 and treated better than the rest of the slaves, due to his value to the Spaniards.
Hernando De Soto left port and traveled north, exploring Florida's West Coast, enduring native ambushes and conflicts along the way. His first winter encampment was at Anhaica, the capital of the Apalachee. It is the only place on the entire De Soto route where archaeologists have found physical traces of De Soto's presence. It was described as being near the "Bay of Horses," where members of the preceding Narv?ez expedition ate valued horseflesh while building boats for escape.
 1540 ? Through Georgia, South Carolina, Tennessee, Alabama and Mississippi
From their winter location in the western panhandle of Florida, having heard of gold being mined "toward the sun's rising," the expedition turned north-east through Georgia and South Carolina to (present day) Columbia. The expedition was received there by a friendly female chief, who turned over her tribe's pearls, food and anything else the Spaniards wanted. No gold however, other than pieces from an earlier coastal expedition, presumably that of Lucas V?zquez de Ayll?n, could be found.
De Soto headed north into the Appalachian Mountains of North Carolina where he spent one month resting the horses while his men searched for gold. De Soto then entered Tennessee and Northern Georgia, where he spent another month eating native foods, then turned south toward the Gulf of Mexico to meet his two ships bearing fresh supplies from Havana.
Along his way, along a river in southern Alabama, De Soto was led into Mauvila (or Mabila), a fortified city. The Mobilian tribe, under Chief Tuskaloosa, ambushed De Soto's army. The Spaniards managed to fight their way out and then attacked and burnt the city to the ground. During that nine hour encounter, twenty Spaniards died, most were wounded, and twenty more died during the next few weeks. The Native American warriors of that area?between 2,000 and 6,000 of them?died fighting in the fields, by fire in the city, or suicide.
Even though the Spaniards "won" the battle, they lost most of their possessions and forty horses. The Spaniards were wounded, sickened, surrounded by enemies and without equipment in an unknown territory. Fearing that word of this would reach Spain if his men reached the ships at Mobile Bay, De Soto led them
North America to find gold and silver
its because your all dumb and dont know why
Hernando de Soto is the Spanish explorer who lead the first European expedition through the U.S. He traveled through parts of Florida, Georgia, South and North Carolina, Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas, and Oklahoma. Hernando de Soto was a Spanish explorer who led an expedition ... de Soto was poor and borrowed money to travel to the New World in 1514.De Soto chose to use Cuba as a home base for his supplies and for planning his expeditions. He spent his fortune recruiting, arming, and transporting his own army. When he left Spain in 1538, he was heavily in debt. He believed, however, that he would regain his fortune by finding gold in "La Florida."
Source : http://www.holidayiq.com ... pur-350-390