Hernando Coronado
by DA

Coronado was chosen to head an overland expedition to explore and conquer the region for Spain.

He went with about 300 Spanish soldiers and many native Americans under his command. On February 23, 1540, Coronado left Compostela [now in Nayait state] and followed the state of Arizona. The entire party wintered near what is now Santa Fe, New Mexico.

He then headed north eastward to Cidola, which he found to be only pueblos of the Zuni people containing no wealth.

From Cibola Coronado dispatched a small party westward. It was the first band of Europeans to see the grand canyon of the Colorado River.

In the spring of 1541 the expedition traveled eastward crossing the upper Rio Grande and the great plains of what is now northern Texas, where they saw the American bison, or buffalo.

Turning northward Coronado crossed the Canadian and Arkansas Rivers, seeking a supposedly wealthy kingdom called Quivira, which was actually only a village of the Wichita people in what is now Kansas.

In 1544 Coronado was relieved as governor, there after he lived quietly in Mexico City, where he died on September 22,1554.

Francisco Coronado