Hernando De Soto


Early Life

Hernando De Soto was born in the 1500 in southwestern Spain. He had a brother, Juan, and two sisters, Catalina and Maria. They grew up in Jerez De Los Caballeros, a busy market town. Since he was young he always imagined himself becoming a hero when he grew up. When he was fourteen his father sent him to Peville to be sent of to the Americas.

De Soto embarks on an expedition through Nicaragua and Honduras

De Soto accompanies Francisco Frenandez de Cardoba on an expedition through Nicaragua and Honduras. This marked de Soto's first real expedition and systematic colonization of new land.

De Soto is appointed regidor and leads an expedition up the Yucatan Peninsula.

De Soto is appointed to the position of regidor for the city of Leon, Nicaragua. He is chosen to lead an expedition up the coast of the Yucatan Peninsula searching for a passage between the Atlantic Ocean and the Pacific Ocean. Discovering such a passage would have enabled trade with the Orient. Unfortunately, the expedition failed.

De Soto heads to Peru!

De Soto joins the expedition of Francisco Pizzara with plans to explore and colonize Peru. De Soto is named Pizzara's second-in-command. One year later De Soto goes back to Peru for a scouting mission in response to rumors that an Incan army was advancing toward their location in Cajamarca, Peru, de Soto is sent on a scouting missing with 200 soldiers. The rumors turned out to be unfounded. While he is gone, however, his fellow Spaniards invade Cuzco, Peru. One year later he becomes lieutenant governor of Cuzco. Finally two years later he returns to Spain.

De Soto marries Ines de Bobadilla

De Soto marries Ines de Bobadilla. she was the daughter of Pedro Arias Dávila, a patron of de Soto's with whom he traveled with, to the West Indies. The couple plan to settle in Selville, Spain; but de Soto's curiosity and need to explore prevent that for happening.

De Soto returns to Central America.

De Soto's need to explore and conquer gets the best of him and he departs with a sizable crew back to Central America, landing in Havana, Cuba. He spends the majority of his initial time on the island preparing for an expedition to Florida. De Soto and his troops set sail for Florida, landing twelve days later at what is now Tampa Bay. De Soto reaches the Mississippi River near Memphis, Tennessee. He is believed to have been the first European to cross the river. De Soto becomes the first European to see the "Valley of Vapors," now known as Hot Springs, Arkansas. Prior to his arrival, the only people to inhabit this area were the Native Americans.

De Soto dies

De Soto dies at the age of 46 after contracting a deadly fever while exploring North America. On the banks of the Mississippi River in present-day Louisiana, Spanish conquistador Hernando de Soto dies, ending a three-year journey for gold that took him halfway across what is now the United States. In order that Indians would not learn of his death, and thus disprove de Soto’s claims of divinity, his men buried his body in the Mississippi River.

Hernando de Soto - Mini Biography