Juan Pardo, sixteenth-century Spanish soldier. Between l566 and l568, Pardo was commissioned by Pedro Menéndez de Avilés, governor of La Florida, to explore and to discover a route to Mexico. He twice led expeditions into the interior of La Florida from the town of Santa Elena (on Parris Island, South Carolina).
On the first journey, Pardo and 125 soldiers marched into western North Carolina. On the second, he followed the same route and then continued farther west, crossing the Appalachian Mountains and reaching Tennessee, probably south of present-day Knoxville. A portion of his route followed that taken by Hernando de Soto in 1540. Pardo established several forts, but they were soon abandoned. Accounts from the expeditions are an important source of information about native societies.
See alsoSoto, Hernando de .
Chester B. De Pratter, Charles M. Hudson, and Marvin T. Smith, "The Route of Juan Pardo's Explorations in the Interior Southeast," Florida Historical Quarterly 62 (1983): 125-158.
Charles Hudson, The Juan Pardo Expeditions: Exploration of the Carolinas and Tennessee, 1566–1568 (1990).
Clayton, Lawrence. The De Soto Chronicles: The Expedition of Hernando de Soto to North America in 1539–1543. Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 1995.
Thomas, Hugh. Rivers of Gold: The Rise of the Spanish Empire, from Columbus to Magellan. New York: Random House Trade Paperbacks, 2005.
Jerald T. Milanich