Hernando De Soto

By Catherine C


Hernando De Soto is a Spanish explorer and was the first documented European to cross the Mississippi River, he was also a Spanish conquistador. In this form you will be able to learn a little more about him.

Early Life

Hernando De Soto was born in between 1496-1501 in Spain. He had a older brother named Jaun Mendez De Soto, His parents were Fransisco Mendez De Soto and Leonore Arias Tinco. His family was poor and his education was limited. But that didn't matter to him because, De Soto was more interested in exploration and adventure than his education.

The Exploration

Hernando De Soto expedition that he led lasted three years until he died 1539-1542. He was trying to find lots of things, such as a new route to China from the new world (America). He also went searching for riches, like gold and jewels and other things like that. De Soto went on this journey with 10 ships and 700 men! That's a lot of men and ships. On his expedition he went through about 9 or 10 different states!

Journeys to other lands

Hernando De Soto has explored in lots of different lands. His first career was an explorer in the tropical rainforests of Panama. De Soto led the first European expidition deep into territory of modern day United States to look for treasure and a passage to China. He never did find any treasures but he did learn a lot about the people and land in the Southeast. He also sailed the new world with the first governer of Panama. De Soto also participated in Gaspar De Espinosa's expidition to Veragua in 1520. Also De Soto participated in the conquest of Nicaragua, the leader of that expidition was Fransico Hernandez De Cordoba. De Soto was the first documented European to cross the Mississippi!
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Changes in exploration over the years

Exploration has changed today from the 1400s because, not just people are explorers, some scientists are explorers too. Today explorers use planes and other vehicles, not just ships. Also today we have electronics that explorers use take pictures of what they find and, they also take samples of what they find to bring back after they finish their exploration. In the age of exploration most of those explorers just explored to hope to find riches, they also destroyed and fought people, today people don’t fight anyone while they explore and they look for things that have not been discovered and map places. Back then explorers were mostly exploring in the United States and South America, but now people even explore the oceans, seas, and space! We now have lots of tools and gadgets that we use, such as the rovers on Mars collecting data and pictures, but back then they explored with only people and most of the time a lot of the people exploring died. Now most people don’t die while exploring places. As I said before the explorers back then mostly explored to find riches, but now some people explore to find new animal species and different types of plants. These are the reasons why I think exploration has changed a lot from the 1400s, maybe in twenty years they’ll even have robo-explorers exploring the world instead of humans, who knows?

Hernando de Soto - Mini Biography


Hernando De Soto died during his expedition. It was May 21,1542 when De Soto died near the Mississippi River. In order for the Indians that lived there not to learn about his death his men buried him near the Mississippi. Hernando De Soto was a great warrior and a great explorer!