Francisco Coronado (1510-1554) sailed for Spain. He led an expedition up the western coast of Mexico and into what would become the southwestern United States in search of the Seven Cities of Gold. He never found them, but he did discover the Grand Canyon.Continue Reading
Coronado was in search of the legendary city of Cibola, which was rumored to be made of gold. He was first told about the city by Alvar Nunez Cabeza, an explorer who spoke of riches to be found in the area. Coronado joined with Antonio de Mendoza and led the expedition along with 300 men and 1,000 Native Americans.
The expedition left Compostela, Nueva Galica in 1540 and reached what is now modern day New Mexico four months later. Then, the town was Hawikuh, a Zuni Peublo town, although the explorers believed they had reached Cibola and found no riches there. They then set out to explore further in the region, going into what is now known as Arizona.
Coronado explored the Palo Duro Canyon, which is now known as Texas, and then explored Kansas, which was known at the time as Quivira. He returned with no treasures to Mexico in 1542, where he would live out the rest of his life being viewed as a failure.Learn more about Exploration & Imperialism