Who Did Francisco De Coronado Sail For?

Who Did Francisco De Coronado Sail For?

Francisco de Coronado, a Spanish conquistador, is known for his famous expedition in search of the legendary Seven Cities of Gold. But who did he sail for? Let’s delve into the history and find out.

The Spanish Crown

During the 16th century, Spain was one of the dominant colonial powers seeking to expand its territories and wealth. The Spanish Crown sponsored numerous explorations and conquests in search of new lands, riches, and strategic advantages.

Francisco de Coronado’s expedition was no exception. He sailed under the patronage of the Spanish Crown, which provided him with the necessary resources and authority to embark on his ambitious journey.

The Viceroyalty of New Spain

The Viceroyalty of New Spain, an administrative division of the Spanish Empire, played a crucial role in Coronado’s expedition. As part of the Viceroyalty, Coronado received support from its officials and resources to carry out his exploration mission.

Viceroy Antonio de Mendoza

Viceroy Antonio de Mendoza, who served as the viceroy from 1535 to 1550, played a significant role in supporting Coronado’s expedition. He approved and financed the venture while overseeing its progress from Mexico City.

The Expedition Begins

In 1540, Francisco de Coronado set off on his legendary expedition from Compostela (present-day Mexico) with a large contingent consisting of soldiers, missionaries, indigenous guides, and enslaved individuals.

  • Captain Hernando de Alarcón: Coronado’s trusted naval officer who accompanied the expedition by sea.
  • Friar Marcos de Niza: A Franciscan friar who claimed to have seen one of the Seven Cities of Gold and served as a guide for Coronado.
  • Estebanico: An African slave and skilled interpreter who played a crucial role in communication with indigenous peoples.

The Search for the Seven Cities of Gold

Coronado’s primary objective was to find the legendary Seven Cities of Gold, also known as Cibola. These cities were rumored to be incredibly wealthy and located somewhere north of Mexico.

Despite not finding the fabled cities, Coronado’s expedition explored vast territories including present-day Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, and as far north as Nebraska. The expedition had a lasting impact on the exploration and colonization of these regions.


Francisco de Coronado sailed under the sponsorship of the Spanish Crown and with support from the Viceroyalty of New Spain, particularly under Viceroy Antonio de Mendoza. His expedition had a profound impact on the history of exploration in North America.

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Emma Gibson