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Chapter 4 Lesson 2 The Search for Gold and Riches

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1 Chapter 4 Lesson 2 The Search for Gold and Riches

2 Spain’s rulers wanted the conquistadors to explore the lands north of Mexico.
The Spanish King offered grants to those who would lead expeditions into the northern continent. Ponce de Leon was a Spanish explorer who accepted the offer and received a grant.

3 The Spanish Move into Florida
Ponce de Leon had sailed with Columbus on his second voyage. For a time he lived on the island of Hispaniola (present-day Haiti and Dominican Republic) Later he explored and conquered what is now known as Puerto Rico and was named governor of the island.

4 The Fountain of Youth He heard a story about a fountain whose waters were said to make old people young again. This “Fountain of Youth” was suppose to be on an island north called Bimini. He sailed north but did not find Bimini. Instead he landed on the North American mainland (St. Augustine). He named the mainland La Florida (Spanish for “filled with flowers”)


6 Fighting Back When he tried to establish a settlement in Florida, the Calusa Indians attacked. During the attack, Ponce de Leon was injured and later died. Though he never found the “Fountain of Youth,” he was the first Spanish explorer to set foot in what is now today the United States.


8 The Seven Cities of Gold
Many people believed the stories that there were seven cities that were built of all gold. In 1536 four men (Alvar Cabeza de Vaca, two Spaniards, and a North Afican named Esteban) told the story to Spanish leaders in Mexico City. In 1539 the leaders sent Esteban and a priest, Marcos de Niza on an expedition to see if the story was true. In their journey, Esteban was killed by Zuni Indians, but Niza returned saying he had seen a golden city.

9 Francisco Vasquez de Coronado

10 No City of Gold In 1540, after hearing about Niza’s journey, Francisco Vasquez de Coronado and more than 1,000 soldiers set out to find the seven cities. He traveled north of Mexico through present-day Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, and Oklahoma. After the disappointment of not finding the seven cities, he began the long trip home. The trail that he took home would later become known as the Santa Fe Trail. When he returned home, he claimed many new lands for Spain.


12 Hernando de Soto

13 Hernando de Soto The King of Spain gave Hernando de Soto a grant for an expedition to the northern part of the new continent. De Soto and his army of 600 soldiers sailed to the west coast of Florida in May 1539. They continued to move north and by the winter they reached present-day Georgia. Searching for gold, they went though South Carolina, North Carolina, Tennessee and then back south to Alabama.

14 Soto’s Expedition On his expedition, he encountered many Indian people and many battles took place. the worst occurring in Alabama There were between 2,500 – 11,000 Indians killed in battle. The Spanish lost 20 men, but most of their supplies were destroyed.

15 New Land for Spain Although De Soto and his army were in poor condition they marched on to the banks of Mississippi River in May 1541. They were the fist Europeans to see this river. There they searched for gold for three years and never found any. In 1542, Hernando de Soto died from a fever and his men buried him in the Mississippi River. The soldiers returned home to Mexico claiming much of the land they explored for Spain.

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