Francisco Vázquez de Coronado Biography ID 46

Francisco Vázquez de Coronado (1510-1554) was a Spanish explorer who searched in vain for the fabled seven cities of Cibola and the kingdom of Quivira. Although he failed in his quest, Coronado led one of the most remarkable European explorations of the North American interior.

Inspired by rumors of gold and the travels of Cabeza de Vaca, Coronado led a royal expedition of about 300 Spanish soldiers, over 1,000 Indians, and enormous herds of livestock north into what is now the American West. Coronado sent out parties that ranged all the way to the Colorado River on the present border between California and Arizona, exploring the Grand Canyon and much of what is now New Mexico. Coronado himself led a party into what is now Kansas.

He had traveled almost 4,000 miles during the two years (1540-42) but he returned to Mexico having discovered no riches. The Viceroy branded his expedition an abject failure. Coronado managed to resume his governorship, but within several years he was found guilty of numerous atrocities against Indians under his authority. He was removed from office in 1544 and moved to Mexico City to work in a modest position in the municipal government until his death a short time later.

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