What Are Some Facts About Francisco Coronado?

francisco-coronado Credit: MPI/Archive Photos/Getty Images

Facts about Francisco Vazquez de Coronado include that he was the Spanish governor of parts of Mexico and an explorer who travelled through much of the southwestern United States. While he didn't find treasure of the Seven Golden Cities he was seeking, he discovered many physical landmarks and native tribes.

Coronado was born to a noble family in the Spanish city of Salamanca. Since he was a younger son and ineligible to inherit any titles or lands from his family, Coronado travelled to New Spain in search of his fortune. Coronado soon proved to be a skilled leader, and was appointed governor of Nueva Galicia, a province consisting of the modern Mexican states of Jalisco, Nayarit and Sinaloa.

Inspired by reports from the Spanish explorer Cabeza de Vaca of riches lying to the north of New Spain, Coronado launched an expedition of over 300 Spaniards and 1,000 Indians toward the supposed location of the Seven Golden Cities of Cibola. Coronado found several Indian villages, and other members of his expedition found landmarks, such as the Grand Canyon, but the expedition did not find any riches. Coronado returned to Nueva Galicia, although he lost his governorship in 1544, two years after returning. He lived out the remainder of his life as a city councilman in Mexico City.