1500?-42; Sp. explorer in America: discovered the Mississippi River (1541)
Hernando de Soto and a body of Spanish adventurers crossed the Tombigbee river, in December 1540, near the present city of Columbus, marched through the north part of the state, and reached the Mississippi river near Memphis in 1541.
Tampa Bay was the landing-place of the expeditions of the Spanish explorers, Pamfilo de Narvaez and Hernando de Soto.
During the SpanishAmerican War United States troops were encamped in De Soto Park in Tampa, and Port Tampa was the point of embarkation for the United States army that invaded Cuba.
Florida was also partially explored by Ferdinando de Soto in 1539-1540.
That Hernando de Soto entered the borders of the present state of Louisiana, and that his burial place in the Mississippi was where that river takes the waters of the Red, are probable enough, but incapable of conclusive proof.