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Hernando DeSoto

Hernando DeSoto

by The Ruskin Chamber of Commerce

The Mouth of the Little Manatee River is now widely accepted as the landing site of Hernando DeSoto's expedition in 1539. Archaeologists and anthropologists used carbon-dated artifacts found in the shell mounds and records from DeSoto's expedition to determine that this area was most likely where DeSoto landed.

Within a hundred years of the first encounter with Spaniards, researchers estimate that the native population of Florida had been decimated by warfare and by disease. Therefore, little is know about what happened to this area's surviving Indians until the 19th century.

 

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