Part 5: Conquistadors and Explorers: S.C. Under the Spanish Flag | Mary Long's Yesteryear
Back in Peru, DeSoto had found a wealth of gold in the Andes. So when the Indians told him of the gold up the trail to the north, he was certain he would find gold there. He traveled up the Wateree and Catawba Rivers in search of his village of gold. Here the two armies met. Near Asheville, the guide he had earlier kidnapped escaped. During this time on the trail through the Carolinas, DeSoto's men were fed corn, roast turkeys and small dogs. In 1542, Searching for mineral wealth in the mountains, the men were shown copper, mica and pearls, but the pearls were of no value because holes had been drilled into them with a hot instrument, and their color had changed. Feeling sick and discouraged, DeSoto believed he had failed, became fatally ill and died. His body was laid to rest in the Mississippi River.