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for Pardo, Juan
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Spanish Captain Juan Pardo was responsible for constructing Fort San Juan in 1567. The fort was located near the native town of Joara near present day Morganton, Burke County. It was the first European settlement in the state but probably only stood for a year, though the record is unclear.
Conquistador Juan Pardo intended to offer Spain a land route from the Appalachia to Mexico, where the country had established silver mines. The threat of Indian attacks at the Great Smokies’ slopes in Tennessee prompted Pardo to abandon the mission and his three forts. The accompanying image of a map created during the time period illustrates the land area representing the present day Southeastern states where Pardo conducted his two expeditions.