Francisco Coronado

Francisco Coronado and his expedition searching for the Seven Cities of Cibola in 1541- by Frederic Remington

Shortly after Spain invaded and conquered Mexico, stories began to surface of seven cities in northern Mexico. According to legend, the beautiful cities were filled with unimaginable riches. The people of the cities were said to use silver and gold to fashion regular objects. The Spanish government sent several expeditions to investigate. Although most came back empty-handed, one led by Marcos de Niza claimed that in deed the cities did exist, and that they were more grande than any cities in Mexico.

When Francisco Vazquez de Coronado brought an army of 300 to find the cities, all he saw were some poor Zuni pueblos. Coronado sent search parties to Arizona, Colorado and New Mexico but still never found the cities of Cibola. Nevertheless, his searches resulted in the discovery of the Grand Canyon as well as the acquisition of all lands he explored for Spain.