Francisco Vasquez de Coronado 


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Coronado, FRANCISCO VASQUEZ DE, explorer; born in Salamanca, Spain, about 1510; set out in 1540, by command of Mendoza, viceroy of Mexico, from Culiacan, on the southeast coast of the Gulf of California, with 350 Spaniards and 800 Indians, to explore the country northward. He followed the coast nearly to the head of the gulf, and then penetrated to the Gila, in the present Arizona Territory. Following that stream to its headwaters, he crossed the great hills eastward, to the upper waters of the Rio Grande del Norte, which he followed to their sources. Then, crossing the Rocky Mountains, he traversed the great desert northeastwardly to the present States of Colorado or Kansas, under lat. 40° N. In all that vast region he found little to tempt or reward a conquest—rugged mountains and plains and a few Indian villages in some of the valleys. He made quite an elaborate report, accompanying it with drawings of the cities and houses built by the Indians. He died in March, 1542, insane, it is believed.



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