Francisco Coronado, born as Francisco Vasquez de Coronado, was a Spanish Explorer who is best known for being among the first Europeans to find and explore the Grand Canyon. At the time when Coronado became a conquistador, there were numerous rumors and gossips. There were stories of riches to be found in the New World. There were stories about a city of gold. From the southernmost tip of South America to the Hudson River and Newfoundland as well as beyond the New World out towards the vast stretches of the Pacific, there were reportedly riches of immeasurable value. Francisco Vazquez de Coronado wanted to find the Seven Cities of Gold. That pursuit led to several Francisco Coronado major accomplishments.
1. Coronado was a young explorer when he got to New Spain, which is now Mexico.
He was born to an aristocratic family. His father held several government positions and he had influential friends. He secured a government job and succeeded in wooing the daughter of a rich and powerful man, the colonial treasurer, in New Spain. As he settled in present day Mexico, he became the Governor of New Galicia, then known as Nueva Galicia. During that time, he heard stories of lands of precious gems and gold, ala the cities of gold. The rumors pointed towards present day Texas and further north. That sowed the seed for Coronado to become a conquistador.
2. Coronado commissioned an expedition to explore the authenticity of the gossips.
Friar Marcos de Niza, one of the two men he had sent returned with stories of Cibola, the city of gold. Coronado was told that the city of gold was on a high hill and was very wealth. He joined hands with Antonio de Mendoza, the then Viceroy, and set out on an expedition. They took three hundred Spanish soldiers and approximately two thousand Mexican Indians and traveled up the west coast. They reached Sinaloa River, explored the Yaqui River, reached Rio Sonora, the preset day San Pedro and eventually to Cibola. Only, it was an ordinary village and not a city of gold.
3. Coronado was disappointed but he continued his quest farther.
He explored parts of Kansas and Oklahoma before returning to Nueva Galicia. He was the governor of Nueva Galicia till 1544. Although a complete failure, his expedition did take the Europeans to Kansas, Grand Canyon and the Colorado River. His expedition has since become historically significant.