One of the many who went on a vain search for El Dorado was a Spaniard, Hernando de Soto. He set off with a few mounted companions from Florida in 1539 on a journey that was to last for three years. De Soto and his party pushed their way through unexplored territory and in 1541 came to the banks of a huge river, the longest in the world, which the Indians called the ‘Mississippi’. A year later De Sotoa died, wounded in a skirmish with Indians on the banks of the river he had discovered.
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