Pardo, Juan

Pardo, Juan,

fl. 1560s, Spanish officier and explorer. On the orders of Menéndez de AvilésMenéndez de Avilés, Pedro
, 1519–74, Spanish naval officer and colonizer, founder of Saint Augustine, Fla. He went to sea as a youth and so distinguished himself that by the time he was 35 he held the captain generalcy of the Indies fleet, which convoyed
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, Pardo led two expeditions (1566–67, 1567–68) from the Spanish settlement of Santa Elena on Parris Island, S.C., into the interior of present-day South Carolina, W North Carolina, and E Tennessee. Unaware of the distance involved, the Spanish were seeking an overland route to their silver mines in Mexico. Pardo visited a number of Native American towns where De Soto had been, and the expeditions built six forts, which were later destroyed in Native American attacks or abandoned. The likely remains of Fort San Juan, the first and largest of his forts, are near Morganton, N.C.


See study by C. Hudson (rev. ed. 2005).

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