• Francisco Vasquez de Coronado
Francisco Vasquez de Coronado was born approximately on the year of 1510, in Salamanca, Spain and was said to be the son of a wealthy aristocrat. Even though he had a rich family, Francisco Vasquez de Coronado did not plan to take over the family’s fortune but instead, he decided to live on his own in the New World.
• Travelling to New Spain
In 1535, Francisco Coronado traveled to New Spain (Mexico) with Antonio de Mendoza, a Spanish viceroy with some ties on his father’s service as royal administrator in Granada. He managed to marry Dona Beatriz, the daughter of Alonso de Estrada, the colonial treasurer. Francisco Coronado successfully repelled the rebellion of black slaves and indian working in the mines in 1537. And in 1538, Coronado was appointed as the governor of Nueva Galicia, known today as Mexico’s states of Nayarit, Sinaloa, and Jalisco.
• Seven Golden Cities of Cibola
Reports of massive fortunes that can be found at the Seven Golden Cities of Cibola was made by a missionary named Marcos de Niza. Tales of these seven golden cities has spread until it caught the attention of Francisco Coronado. In the year 1540, Coronado was the one chosen to lead an expedition to search for the cities.
• Francisco Coronado’s Expedition
Excited for such wealth, the expedition for the search of the Seven Golden Cities of Cibola has earned many investors including Francisco Coronado himself. The expedition has men of over 300 Spanish Soldiers and 1,000 Indians; some had horses but mostly are in foot.
• Zuni Pueblo Town
Four months after they set off the expedition, they encountered a group of Zeni Indians in the Zuni Pueblo town of Hawikuh, located in today’s New Mexico. They clashed into one another, but with a better and armed army, Coronado’s forces drove them away. Coronado has been injured during the fight after he was hit by a stone.
• Colorado River
During the expedition of Francisco Vasquez de Coronado, he brought with him two ships; these two ships were under the control of Hernando Alarcon. The ships sailed on 26th of August year 1540 discovering the mouth of the Colorado River.
• White Man
Another discovery during the expedition of Francisco Vasquez de Coronado is that when a side exploration goes to see the view of the Grand Canyon. This side exploration was lead by Garcia Lopez de Cardenas, who was the first European and white man that ever witness the Grand Canyon.
• The Winter
Still on search for the seven golden cities, the expedition lead by Francisco Coronado spent their winter (1550-1551) on the Rio Grande, Kuana (nearby the modern Santa Fe) which is a community made up of many Indian villages. They were attacked by several Indian groups but they drove them away with severe counters.
• Cotinuing the Search
In the spring of 1551, they continued their search for the rumored treasures. They moved to Palo Duro Canyon, known today as Texas. Francisco Coronado left most of his men in Palo Duro Canyon, and brought about 30 horsemen for them to search another rumored place (Quivira, known nowadays as Kansas) said to hold many treasures, only to find another failure in their expedition.
• A Failed Expedition
After traveling many states, not finding anything worth their goal, Francisco Coronado returned to Mexico. Coronado reported their failure for the expedition to Mendoza and continued his position as a governor in Nueva Galicia in 1542. He was convicted with much offense regarding his expedition and left his governorship two years later.