After occupying the town of Hawikuh, Coronado sent out several parties, including one that discovered the Grand Canyon, another which went east to discover the pueblos along the Rio Grande and the plains full of buffalo herds beyond, and still another to Corazones. The last group notified the army of the events, and the army set out for Cibola in September, reaching there later in the fall.
In the mean time, the naval branch of the expedition had packed many of the personal supplies of the soldiers and sailed from Acapulco May 9, This expedition was under the captain, Hernando de Alarcon.
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Alarcon reached the Colorado River delta, which had already been discovered by Francisco Ulloa in an expedition sent by Cortes in , but Alarcon sailed further up the river, past modern day Yuma, in a fruitless search for the army. He buried a message, which was later found by party sent out by Coronado, stating that he had sailed this far and returned home. Thus, the army was on its own, and the dream of naval support died.
After Coronado realized that no gold was to be found in any of the six or seven towns of the Cibola province the present day Zuni Reservation of west central New Mexico , and after the main army arrived, Coronado moved in the last weeks of He passed the famous mesa-top pueblo of Acoma, which Marcos de Niza had first learned about and recorded as Acus. After a few days they came to the Rio Grande River, along which were numerous large, multi-story pueblos. The army spent the winter of in that area. Although the army made attempts at a peaceful presence, they were a serious strain on the food resources of the area, and several skirmishes were fought with pueblos, including one site now known as Santiago Pueblo.
A National Historical Monument is located at the ruin of Kuaua Pueblo, a few miles west of Albuquerque, where the army may have spent some time.
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Crossbow bolt heads and nails, resembling the material at Hawikuh, have been found at some these sites, including one bolt head reportedly embedded in a Puebloan skeleton at Santiago Pueblo. One of these sites is commemorated by a sign along the west side of a highway a few miles southwest of Albuquerque. The army was growing more desperate during this period. During this period, Coronado's men sought information about other possible wealthy locations. Many of the soldiers, not to mention Coronado's wife and Viceroy Mendoza, had invested their fortunes in the expedition, and the only hope of making good on this investment was to find gold, jewels, or other transportable wealth that could be plundered from the native people.
Because of their faith in their own religion and the superiority of European culture not to mention theological questions about whether the "Indie-ans" were actually human , the Spanish army never questioned their assumed moral right to take the property and even the lives of the "heathen" natives -- an age-old problem that has been expressed by many cultures. After many interviews, the army learned of another important trading center far to the northeast, called Quivira. This center did exist, though some historians believe the Puebloans exaggerated its importance just to get rid of the troublesome Spanish visitors!
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On April 23, , the entire army set out to find Quivira, stopping first at the Pecos Pueblo, now a National Monument east of Albuquerque. More Coronado materials have been found there. Leaving Pecos, they traveled east across east-central New Mexico until they reached extremely flat plains - so devoid of features that some men who set out from army camps to hunt couldn't find their way back and were lost.
Finally that found two canyons where they camped. In an intriguing tie-in, an old, partly blind informant at one of these Texas panhandle campsites told the soldiers that he had heard of the Cabeza de Vaca party, which had passed somewhere near their to the south. With a little more detail, this remark could help us identify the route of Cabeza de Vaca's castaways, but no one is sure how far to the south they were. At this point, Coronado did the same thing he had done the previous year.
He picked a small, light contingent to travel north to Quivira, leaving the main army behind. There are some indications that he was beginning to suspect that Quivira would have no more gold than Cibola did. Over the next three years, Spreckels bought controlling interest in the company and became the sole proprietor of the Hotel del Coronado. He also oversaw the building of the grand mansion on Glorietta Boulevard, the establishment of Tent City, and the sale of North Island to the U. Vacationers flocked to the make-shift city at the foot of the Hotel del for summer fun.
There were swimming facilities, carnival booths, a ferris wheel, a children's bull fight, aquaplaning, sailing, and numerous activities for the entire family. Tent City remains a fond memory for many residents of Coronado and vacationers from around the world who visited the peninsula between and Many of Coronado's treasured traditions began in the first quarter of the twentieth century.
The founding of the Horse Show, Flower Show, the arrival of Edward, Prince of Wales, and the early experiments in aviation on North Island, including the departure of Charles Lindbergh in , have established Coronado as a premier city. Destined to become one of the great aviation arenas in the world, North Island was originally used by the Hotel as a spot for jackrabbit hunting.
In , famed aviator Glenn Curtiss found the area ideal for experimenting with his newly developed seaplane, and leased the land for three years from John Spreckels. During that time, Curtiss performed the first successful United States seaplane flight and the first amphibian flight in the world. At the same time, he opened and operated the first U. There he trained Lieutenant Theodore G.
In the ensuing years, one flying record after another would be set in Coronado including:. The Army vacated its portion of the island in , and the entire area then became Navy property. Buy this book. Zeebra Books. Show other formats.
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