Who is Hernando De Soto? Hernando De Soto was a Spanish explorer who was born in 1500 in Badajoz, Spain. He later became the first European man to explore the lands of Florida along with other southern states. He began his career as an explorer at a young age when he embarked on his first expedition to the Indies at the age of about 14!
Motivation for Exploration There were many reasons that Hernando De Soto set off on explorations. He first set out to claim land for himself and for Spain, and then found himself involved in the business of capturing and selling slaves in Nicaragua. Later, he spent four year on an exploration beginning in Florida searching for gold and silver.
Here is a map of the exploration of Hernando De Soto and his men
Interactions with Native Florida Tribes On his exploration to Florida, Hernando De Soto and his men came in contact with many different Native tribes, including the Seminoles, Appalachians, Choctaws and Creeks. He and his men were very brutal to these tribes and there were many massacres. As for the Indians who were not murdered, many suffered from the introduction of Old World illnesses that were brought to their land.
Here is a picture showing one of the many Indian massacres.
Time line of important events in the life of Hernando De Soto
Here are some websites I used to find information on Hernando De Soto.