4 Hernando De Soto Facts For Kids
Hernando De Soto is known for being a major player in the conquest of Central America. He was believed to be born in Jerez de los Caballeros, Spain around the year 1500. The exact date of his birth is not completely agreed upon by historians. Hernando De Soto lived in poverty for many of his early years, but gained recognition and notoriety as he grew older through the military. Exploring new lands was his claim to fame.
1. Conquest of Central America
Around 1514, De Soto sailed with the Spanish governor of Panama and helped with the conquest of Central America. However, this was not the only expedition that he set out on. The qualities that have gained De Soto notoriety include his bravery, quick thinking and brutal disregard. Not all the history of De Soto is kind and heartwarming.
2. Expeditions Bring Wealth and Power
De Soto had a failed expedition of the Atlantic and Pacific oceans that was supposed to bring Spanish trade with the East Indies, but this did not pan out. Therefore, Hernando teamed with Francisco Pizzaro to conquer South America. He even had a huge part in the conquest of the Incan Empire. It was the conquest of the Incan Empire that helped him to amass a huge amount of wealth. When he finally made his way back to Spain, De Soto was not only extremely rich, but also held in high regard by those living in this region. In time, he was governor of Cuba and was supposed to lead the charge in colonizing North America. To help make this possible he selected about 620 men to make the journey from Cuba to North America.
3. Search of Gold
By 1540, De Soto and his men had traveled to about the peninsula of Florida, but were attacked a number of times during their journey. They were on their way to find gold mines in Georgia and South Carolina. It was believed that gold mines existed in this region. However, when they finally made their way to this land they could not find the gold they had been searching for. Due to an attack, De Soto and his men has to change their course and discovered the Mississippi River as a result in 1541.
4. Questionable Legacy
Even though De Soto discovered new land, he was known as a failure during his time for not establishing permanent colonies or finding gold.