Francisco Vàsquez de Coronado

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Coronado, Francisco Vàsquez de

 

Born 1510; died 1547 or 1554. Spanish conquistador.

In 1540, while he was governor of Nueva Galicia (the north-western part of Mexico), Coronado led a large expedition aimed at conquering the mythical country of the “Seven Cities” to the north. The expedition discovered the mouth and lower course of the Colorado River, the Grand Canyon, the southeastern spurs of the Rocky Mountains, the upper course of the Rio Grande River, and the Pecos, a tributary of the Rio Grande. In 1541, Coronado was the first to cross the Great Plains, traveling as far as 40° N lat. During this trip he crossed the Arkansas and Kansas rivers and may have reached the lower bounds of the Missouri.