John R. Swanton


In connection with my work as chairman of the De Soto Expedition Commission between 1935 and 1938 I made a study of the documentary and geographical evidence regarding the location of the point where De Soto landed on the Florida coast in 1539 and the position of his first headquarters. While I was assisted to some extent by other members of the Commission, the conclusions reached were more particularly mine and I assume all responsibility for them. They were originally stated in a paper printed in “The Florida Historical Quarterly” (vol. XVI, no. 3; Jan. 1938) and were incorporated later in the “Final Report of the United States De Soto Expedition Commission” (Washington, 1939). The point where the greater part of the Spanish army was landed was believed to be Shaws Point, and the native town where he established his headquarters apparently at the Indian site on Terra Ceia Island.