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Hernando de Soto

Hernando de Soto.jpg On our chieftain speeded, rallied quick the fleeing forcesThumbnailsXavier AlgaraOn our chieftain speeded, rallied quick the fleeing forcesThumbnailsXavier Algara

Hernando de Soto was of good Spanish family, and started early upon a career of adventure. He was with Francisco Pizarro, and took a prominent part in the conquest of Peru. Some account of his actions while with the Pizarros will be found in Helps’s “Spanish Conquest in America.” He particularly distinguished himself in the battle which resulted in the conquest of Cuzco, and desired to be the lieutenant of Almagro in the invasion of Chili; but in this he was disappointed. Returning to Spain with much wealth, he married into the Bobadilla family, and became a favorite with the king. Here he conceived the notion of conquering Florida, which he believed to abound in gold and precious stones. Offering to do this at his own expense, the king gave him permission, and at the same time appointed him governor of Cuba. De Soto set sail from Spain in April, 1538, but remained in Cuba some time fitting out his expedition, which did not arrive at Florida until the following year, when it landed at Tampa Bay. His force consisted of twelve hundred men, with four hundred horses, and he took with him a number of domestic animals. In quest of gold, he penetrated the territory now known as the States of Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, and Mississippi, finally striking the Mississippi River, which he called the Rio Grande, at or near the Lower Chickasaw Bluffs.

The boy's book of battle-lyrics
Author: Thomas English
Published in 1885
Available from gutenberg.org