Early Map of Southeastern U.S.

In Search of De Soto’s Trail

When Hernando De Soto searched for gold in the southeastern United States more than 400 years ago he led the way for European settlement of this country.

But to this day there is still a lot of mystery surrounding that epic journey in the New World. No one knows the exact path the army traced.

In Search of De Soto’s Trail, a 1984 documentary by University of Alabama producer/director Max Shores, follows one of the routes archaeologists think De Soto and his army may have followed on the expedition.

The 30-minute documentary was produced for broadcast on Alabama Public Television.

Vivid descriptions of Native American life written by the survivors of De Soto’s travels have long interested Alabama archaeologists. Using these records and tracing Spanish artifacts unearthed at several historical locations in the state, these researchers have strong evidence that suggests a route De Soto may have followed.

In Search of De Soto’s Trail visits many of the Alabama sites it is believed De Soto and his army visited. The documentary also recreates his journeys through the Alabama of 400 years ago.