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Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1875,
BY DANIEL W. WILDER.
In the office of tłe Librarian of Congress, at Washington, D. C.
THE ANNALS OF KANSAS.
1542. Francisco Vasquez de Coronado, a Spaniard, commanded an expedition which marched from Mexico to the northern boundary of Kansas. Albert Gallatin says, in the Transactions of the American Ethnological Society, vol. II, p. 64: “Coronado appears to have proceeded as far north as the 40° of latitude.” Gen. J. H. Simpson, U. S. A., in the nian Report for 1869, p. 337, says: “Coronado continued his explorations northwardly to the 40° of latitude, where he reached a province which the Indians called Quivira." He was in search of gold and silver. Coronado said: “The province of Quivira is 950 leagues (3,230 miles) from Mexico. The place I have reached is the 40° of latitude. The earth is the best possible for all kinds of productions of Spain; for while it is very strong and black, it is very well watered by brooks, springs, and rivers.' I found prunes (wild plums) like those of Spain, some of which were black; also, some excellent grapes and mulberries.” He traversed "mighty plains and sandy heaths, smooth and wearisome, and bare of wood.” “All that way the plains are as full of crooked-back oxen as the mountain Serena in Spain is of sheep.” This is the first authentic account of the buffalo. The route of Coronado was through that part of Kansas now embraced in the counties of Barbour, Kingman, Reno, Harvey, McPherson, Marion, Dickinson, Davis, Riley, Pottawatomie, and Nemaha. Coronado left Quivira, or Kansas, in April, 1542.
The following statement is copied from Brantz Mayer's History of Mexico, vol. I, p. 145: Between the years 1540 and 1542, an expedition was undertaken for the subjugation of an important nation which, it was alleged, existed far to the north of Mexico. A Franciscan missionary, Marcos de Naza, reported that he had discovered, north of Sonora, a rich and powerful people inhabiting a realm known as Quivara, or the Seven Cities, whose capital, Cibola, was quite as civilized as an European city. After the report had reached and been considered in Spain, it was determined to send an armed force to this region in order to explore, and if possible to reduce the Quivarans to the Spanish yoke. Mendoza had designed to entrust this expedition to Pedro de Alvarado, after having refused Cortez permission to lead the adventurers — a task which he had demanded as his right. But when all the troops were enlisted, Alvarado had not yet reached Mexico from Guatemala, and, accordingly, the Viceroy despatched Vasquez de Coronado at the head of the enterprise. At the same time he fitted out another expedition, with two ships, under the orders of Francisco Alarcon, who was to make a reconnoissance of the coast as far as the thirty-sixth degree, and, after having frequently visited the shores, he was, in that latitude, to meet the forces sent by land. Coronado set forth from Culiacan, with three hundred and fifty Spaniards and eight hundred Indians, and, after reaching the source of the Gila, passed the mountains to the Rio del Norte. He wintered twice in the region now called New Mexico, explored it thoroughly from north to south, and then, striking off to the northeast, crossed the mountains, and wandering eastwardly as far north as the fortieth degree of latitude, he unfortunately found neither Quivara nor gold. A few wretched ruins of Indian villages were all the discoveries made by these hardy pioneers, and thus the enchanted kingdom eluded the grasp of Spain forever. The troop of strangers and Indians soon became disorganized, and disbanded; nor was Alarcon more successful by sea than Coronado by land. His vessels explored the shores of the Pacific carefully, but they found no wealthy cities to plunder, nor could the sailors hear of any from the Indians with whom they held intercourse.
Hildreth says (vol. I, p. 48): While De Soto was engaged in this exploration, a not less adventurous expedition was undertaken to regions still more interior and remote. By the orders of Mendoza, Viceroy of Mexico, Vasquez Coronada, with a force of three hundred and fifty Spaniards and eight hundred Indians, set out from Culiacan, on the southeastern shore of the Gulf of California, then the northwestern limit of Spanish-Mexican conquest, whence he penetrated north along the shores of the Gulf to the river Gila, now the southwestern boundary of the United States. That river he followed to its head, and, crossing the mountains, reached the upper waters of the Rio del Norte, which he followed also to their sources, and then struck off northeasterly into the great interior desert as far as the 40th degree of north latitude.
Gen. Simpson gives a map showing Coronado's line of march. He places the Province of Quivira, (Quivira and Coronado are slightly changed in spelling by different writers,) between the Platte and Kansas rivers, and between the 95th and 98th degrees of longitude. As yet no county in our State bears the crowning name of its discoverer.
De Soto discovered the Mississippi in 1541, and was buried in it in 1542.
Some writers say De Soto entered Missouri, and also went into the Indian Territory, to the place where Fort Gibson now stands. Bancroft says (vol. I, p. 51): "The highlands of White River, more than two hundred miles from the Mississippi, were probably the limit of his ramble in this direction. The mountains offered neither gems nor gold; and the disappointed adventurers marched to the south.” The American Cyclopædia places