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Hernando De Soto and His Exploration of La Florida Debra Stephens and Jennifer Sowell, Carlton ... - page 8 / 11

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the survivors built boats and abandoned over 500 of their Indian slaves in alien country. They sailed down the Mississippi River and reached the safety of Panuco, Mexico in September.

The Entrada was deemed a failure by the crown. No colonies or trade routes were established. No gold or riches were found. Over half of de Soto’s men were killed during the four-year mission. The unintended legacy of the expedition was the information recorded by the survivors relating their adventures and encounters with the Native peoples in the rich lands of the American Southeast. More importantly, it was devastating to the native peoples of the Southeast. Thousands of Native Americans had been slaughtered by de Soto’s troops. Many more would die of European diseases (such as smallpox, plague and influenza) for which they had no immunity. This caused the social, political and religious traditions of these peoples to crumble, forever changing the face of North America.

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