1541 - Coronado leads expedition into the Southwest

Painting of the Coronado expedition by Fredrick Remington

     The intrepid Spanish explorer, Francisco de Coronado, leads a large expedition of Spaniards in rusty metal suits in search of the fabled Seven Cities of Gold. click here for more

      The expedition, made up of 350 soldiers, a thousand Indians, and 1,500 head of livestock, pressed north onto the Great Plains after battling the Pueblo Indians in New Mexico.  Coronado never found the cities of gold, but he did meet American Indians on the plains, and his expedition was the first to see buffalo.  He missed the Missouri River by a mere forty miles.  Though Coronado failed in his primary objective, his expedition's most long-lasting legacy would be the horses that escaped from Spanish corrals and became the seed stock for the native horsemen of the plains a century later.