Original is possession of Chicago’s Historical Society. Shows De Soto’s wanderings in 1540, La Salle’s landing, his journey to the interior, and the place of his death; Tonti’s journey to the Chickasaws, the old forts at Biloxi, on Mobile Bay, and on the Mississippi River below New Orleans, route of Bienville from Tensas village to Red River.
De Soto in Alabama, Georgia and Mississippi
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The first discovery of Alabama was by Hernando De Soto, a native of Spain, and the son of a squire of Xerez of Badajos. When a youth he went to Peru, enlisted under Pizarro, and, with no property but his sword, won distinguished military reputation. Returning to his native country, and making an imposing appearance at Court, he was made Governor of Cuba, and Adelantado of Florida. In the unknown regions of the latter, he resolved to embark his vast wealth in a splendid expedition, designed to conquer a people whom he believed to possess more gold than he had yet beheld in South America. Young men of the best blood in Spain and Portugal, sold their houses and their vineyards and flocked to his standard.