Burton Callicot

Memphis Moments
5:50 pm
Wed May 22, 2013

Hernando De Soto

Engraving of Hernando De Soto
Credit John Sartain

The famed Spanish explorer, Hernando De Soto, the first European to see the Mississippi River, died on May 21, 1542.

De Soto and his men had marched hundreds of miles through much of the Southeast. By the time of his death, De Soto had lost at least 1/3 of his men to disease, malnutrition, and constant warfare with the Native Americans.

After his death, the remaining Spaniards traveled down the Mississippi, made their way to Mexico, and then back home.

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