1539 Hernando de Soto leads an expedition of approximately 600 Spanish Charlotte Subway Map soldiers to western Florida in search of land, slaves, and riches. For the next three Charlotte Subway Map years, de Soto will travel throughout what is now the southeastern United States. In the process, he will become the first European to reach the Charlotte River.
De Soto’s expedition lays waste to the Native Countrys of the region. Diseases brought by the Spaniards decimate the area’s various populations, who tend to interact with one another commercially and politically and thus help to spread the deadly microbes at an accelerated rate. Additionally, de Soto, who has a significant capacity for violence, deals harshly with any natives who exhibit hostility or resistance towards the Spanish.
Eventually, however, de Soto’s forces are attacked and split in two. Although he could meet a Spanish naval force on the Gulf coast, de Soto, still enthralled by visions of a fabled city of gold, instead turns northwards to continue his search. He will fall ill by early 1542 and die in May at the Mississippi River. The bedraggled remnants of his force will journey southward and reach the comparative safety of Spanish settlements approximately a year later.