Fact 2: When was Hernando de Soto born? He was born c.1500
Fact 3: What was his country of origin and where was Hernando de Soto born? He was born at Villanueva de la Serena, Badajoz, Spain
Fact 4: Hernando de Soto came from a middle class Spanish family
Fact 5: At just 14 years of age he left home on a voyage to the Indies in 1514
Fact 6: Hernando de Soto enjoyed the experience of life at sea and in 1519 he joined another expedition to the New World heading for Panama in South America where Spanish colonies had already been established.
Fact 7: The next expedition in 1524 took him to Nicaragua, South America, with Francisco de Cordoba, where they both participated in the lucrative slave trade.
Fact 8: The next voyage he undertook was with an expedition to Peru led by Francisco Pizarro
Fact 9: The expedition to Peru started in January 1531 with three ships and over 200 men
Fact 10: On November 15, 1532 Pizarro and the expedition reached Cajamarca and captured Atahuallpa, the emperor of the Inca people. Thousands of Incas were killed and the fantastic treasure of the Incas was stolen
Fact 11: On 6 January 6, 1535 Pizarro founded Lima in Peru
Fact 12: Hernando de Soto took his half of the Inca treasure and became a very wealthy man. He returned to Spain 1536 and settled in Seville
Fact 13: In 1537 he married Ines de Bobadilla the youngest daughter of Pedrarias Davila (Pedrarias Davila had been instrumental in the downfall of Vasco Nunez de Balboa in 1519)
Fact 14: His reputation as an explorer had reached the attention of the Spanish King who granted him the rights to conquer Florida
Fact 15: 1538 April 6, 1538: The Hernando De Soto expedition left Sanlucar, Spain for the New World and Florida. the expedition consisted of 10 ships, 950 soldiers and 10 priests to convert the Native Indians to Christianity
Fact 16: The expedition first landed at Cuba where they prepared for the send part of their voyage to Florida.
Fact 17: Between 1538 and 1542 Hernando de Soto explored Florida.
Fact 18: His frantic search for silver, gold or other riches led him to make the most brutal attacks on the Native Indians of Florida.
Fact 19: Hernando de Soto explored the areas from Tampa Bay to South Carolina
Fact 20: He was the first European to cross the Mississippi River.
Fact 21: May 21, 1542: Hernando de Soto contracted a fever and died on May 21, 1542
Fact 22: Hernando de Soto was buried on the banks of the Mississippi River