On this day in 1539 Hernando DeSoto began off-loading nine ships that held tons of equipment for his journey into the southeast. For the journey he brought along 620 people including priests, craftsmen, engineers, farmers and merchants for founding a colony. He also brought along female slaves and male African slaves. The livestock he brought included 220 horses, a herd of pigs and hunting dogs for hunting down and killing the natives. And it didn’t take long for the killing to begin. As DeSoto oversaw the unloading of the ships the slave trader Vasco Porcallo de Figueroa went inland in search of natives to enslave. He chanced upon a group of natives that resisted. Figueroa and his men killed two and returned to the ships. Seeing the difficulty of the Florida terrain and the fierceness of the natives Figueroa decided to return to Cuba. But the killings didn’t end there. These killings would be the beginning of a three-year rampage by DeSoto that resulted in the deaths of hundreds of natives through what are now eight states in the southeast.