22.09.

1554: The Conquistador who Came to Kansas

1554: The Conquistador who Came to Kansas
Photo Credit To Wikipedia Commons/ "Francisco Coronado picture IMG 4884" by Billy Hathorn - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Commons - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Francisco_Coronado_picture_IMG_4884.JPG#/media/File:Francisco_Coronado_picture_IMG_4884.JPG

Story Highlights

  • Historical event:
  • 22 September 1554
  • Francisco Vázquez de Coronado was the leader of the expedition which went through the areas of present-day Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, and Kansas. It seems that one of the main objectives of the expedition was to find mythical cities and their gold. 

Francisco Vázquez de Coronado, a Spanish conquistador who had travelled through the areas of the present-day USA during the 16th century, died on this day in 1554.

Interestingly, Francisco Vázquez de Coronado came to the area of the present-day U.S. state of Kansas (approximately in 1541). At the time, that territory was absolutely “untouched” by the Europeans. 

When Francisco Vázquez de Coronado reached Kansas, Europe was ruled by many famous rulers. For example, King Henry VIII ruled England, and Catherine Howard was his fifth wife at the time. However, she was beheaded in the same year. Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent ruled the Ottoman Empire in 1541, and conquered a large part of the Kingdom of Hungary, including Buda. 

Francisco Vázquez de Coronado was born in Salamanca (present-day Spain) in 1510. He crossed the Atlantic Ocean at the age of 25, and came to so-called New Spain (present-day Mexico). He began his famous expedition in Compostela, near the Mexican coast. There were many people in his expedition (about 400 armed Spaniards and several thousand local Indian allies). It is interesting to note that the famous Grand Canyon (part of the Colorado River basin) was discovered during this expedition.

It seems that one of the main objectives of the expedition was to find the mythical cities and their gold, but this didn’t happen. However, Francisco Vázquez de Coronado and his companions went through the areas which the Europeans hadn’t seen before that. They went through present-day Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas.  Coronado died on this day in 1554, about 12 years after he had returned from the expedition. 

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