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Spanish Explorers in Texas

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  1. Spanish Explorers in Texas Francisco Coronado Cabeza de Vaca La Salle Pineda Onate

  2. Spanish explorers came to the new world in search of gold. They wanted to conquer a wealthy land. Click on the map to view a video on Spanish explorers to the New World.

  3. Cabeza de Vaca CABEZA DE VACA, ALVAR NUNEZAlvarNuñezCabeza de Vaca [Cabeza de Vaca means "head of a cow"] (1490?-1557?) was a Spanish explorer who sailed to North America from Spain, leaving in 1527. He traveled from Florida to Texas on a raft, then walked from Texas to Mexico City. He also explored the Paraguay River in South America. De Vaca and his fellow travelers were the first Europeans to see the bison, or American buffalo. Click on his picture to view short video.

  4. Alonso Alvarez De Pineda Alonso Alvarez de Pineda was a Spanish explorer and map-maker. De Pineda sailed for the Spanish Governor of Jamaica, Francisco de Garay, who sent him to explore and chart the Gulf Coast from Florida to Mexico in 1519. Captain De Pineda and his crew were probably the first Europeans in Texas, claiming it for Spain. One of the regions he explored and mapped was the area around Corpus Christi Bay; De Pineda entered Corpus Christi Bay on the feast day of Corpus Christi, hence the name.

  5. Francisco Coronado Francisco Vásquez de Coronado (1510-1552) was a Spanish ruler, explorer and conquistador. He was the first European to explore North America's Southwest. He left home in search of my own fortune because his parents promised the family fortune to his brother. In 1540 he set out with 300 soldiers and 1,000 indians and led this army into what is now Arizona and New Mexico. He captured a city of Zuni Indians but found no signs of the riches he was looking for. He was accused of abusing the indians later in life and lost his position as the governor of New Spain. Click his picture to see video.

  6. Juan de Onate • Onate was born in Zacatecas, Mexico. He died in Spain in 1626. • His family was from Spanish mobility. • He was well educated and was raised in a family of soldiers and the first of the Spanish colonists. • He came in search of silver and gold and in hopes of colonizing what is now New Mexico. He was searching for the Seven Cities of Gold. • Gold and silver were not found and colonists became upset with the lack of food and all their troubles so they deserted Onate and his colony. • Onate launched other expeditions in Arizona and down to the Gulf of California. • He was punished for the mistreatment of Indians and for abusing his power and was sent to live in New Mexico. • He eventually went to Spain and died there in 1626. Click his picture to see video.