Francisco Coronado had a wealthy childhood as the son of a rich aristocrat, but he did not inherit his father's riches. Coronado was born in Salamanca, Spain, around the year 1510. He traveled to New Spain in 1535 with the intention of making his own fortune in the Americas.Continue Reading
Francisco Vazquez de Coronado was a famous Spanish explorer credited for the discovery of the Grand Canyon. He was involved in politics in the New World, at one point becoming governor of Nueva Galecia. Coronado also enjoyed the support of the viceroy of Mexico, Antonio de Mendoza, and he was married to Dona Beatriz, the daughter of the colonial treasurer.
Antonio de Mendoza selected Francisco Coronado to lead an expedition north of Mexico in search of gold. Coronado and around 300 Spanish soldiers traveled through what is now New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas. The expedition included a violent confrontation with the Zuni tribe and the discovery of the Grand Canyon, but no gold or riches.
Francisco Coronado returned to govern Nueva Galicia after a disappointing expedition. He was removed from authority due to criminal charges after his expedition was investigated further. The charges against him were related to conduct and neglect of duty, but he was found innocent on all charges. Coronado died on Sept. 22, 1554, after spending the remainder of his life as a member of the city council in Mexico City.Learn more about Exploration & Imperialism