Historic Markers Across Georgia

Hernando DeSoto In Georgia

Marker ID: GHM  019-2
Location: Lora Turner Bostwick Park, Morgan Rd in northwest Arlington
County: Calhoun
Coordinates: N 31° 26.502    W 084° 43.724
  31.4417    -84.72873
Style: Free Standing **
Waymark: WMBVXB
Hernando DeSoto In Georgia  Marker
Photo by Ken Moser


Hernando de Soto, born ca. 1500, nobleman, conquistador, governor of Cuba, with rights to conquer Florida, traveled in 1540 through what later became Georgia on an expedition to find gold. His exact route is unknown and certain landmarks mentioned by the scribe of the expedition remain unidentified.

De Soto´s success as a conquistador on Pizarro´s conquest of Peru in 1531 brought the support of Emperor Charles V of Spain in this expedition. In April, 1538, De Soto sailed for Cuba from San Lucar Spain, with nine ships and 600 men. There he prepared for a year to invade the Florida mainland. Landing on the west coast of Florida, perhaps at Tampa Bay in May, 1539, the expedition followed a northerly course, wintered near Tallahassee, and then in March 1540, began an indefinite route across Georgia.

According to Dr. John R. Swanton, Chariman of the U.S. De Soto Expedition Commission, Alligator Spring, near Arlington, "has the best claims of existing springs to identification with the "White Spring" (Fuente Blanca) at which Hernando De Soto and his army encamped on the night of March 17, 18, 1540."

Crossing the Flint, Ocmulgee, Oconee, Ogeechee and Savannah rivers in their search for Yupaha, a woman ruled land of gold. De Soto and his men reached Cofitachiqui, an Indian town near the future site of Augusta in May, 1540.

Continuing his quest for gold De Soto reached the Mississippi river where he died from fever in May 1542.

GHM 019-2 Georgia Historical Commission 1966

Hernando DeSoto In Georgia
Photo by Ken Moser


More information
Wikipedia - Hernando de Soto
Florida History - American Conquest - de Soto
TimeLine - Hernando De Soto