slideshow 1 slideshow 2 slideshow 3 slideshow 4 slideshow 5 slideshow 6

You are here

News on Documentation of the Coronado Expedition

The following update was sumbitted by Richard and Shirley Flint, on their project dealing with research on archival documents of the Coronado venture.

The Documents of the Coronado Expedition
New Mexico Highlands University
Grant Number 2001-088

Fourth Interim Narrative Progress Report for the Period
May 1, 2002 - October 30, 2002
(Final Report for Year 2)

submitted to

The National Historical Publications and Records Commission

 


Overall Project Objectives

The Documents of the Coronado Expedition Project at New Mexico Highlands University was launched November 1, 2000, with substantial funding from the NHPRC, matched by contributions from over 30 individual and institutional donors. The project is producing the first comprehensive annotated, dual-language edition of 35 documents deriving from the Coronado expedition of 1540-42 into the American Southwest. When finished in 2003, this documentary edition ('They Were Not Familiar with His Majesty Nor Did They Want To Be His Subjects': Documents of the Coronado Expedition, 1540-42) will vastly increase the number and quality of primary sources available in print for study of the Coronado expedition.

Unfortunately, modern study of the expedition and its encounters with the native peoples of the Greater Southwest has been hampered by obsolete and often erroneous published translations and transcriptions of a relatively small suite of sixteenth-century Spanish and Italian sources, which have been used uncritically by lay and professional historians alike.

They Were Not Familiar with His Majesty.... will remedy that situation by making available accurate semi-paleographic transcriptions of the documents side by side with modern English translations informed by the latest relevant historical, archeological, and geographical research. Furthermore, the edition will include seven documents never before published in any language and seven others never before available in English. They range from a group of instruments prepared in 1542 in New Mexico after the death of an expedition member to proofs of service of little-known members of the expedition executed several years afterward; from a contract dealing with financing of the expedition to a recently revealed royal cedula confirming Francisco Vazquez de Coronado's appointment as captain general of the expedition; from a record in Nahuatl of the departure of Indian members of the expedition from Tlatelolco (now in Mexico City) to testimony of the expedition's purchasing agent regarding goods purchased to supply the venture. These newly-to-be-published documents offer information and perspectives not previously available to researchers. Thorough annotations of all the documents will be based on current historical, archeological, and linguistic research.

In the documents deriving from the Coronado expedition we have the baseline for measuring historical change in the Southwest, changes among native peoples and changes in the environment. Scholars from many fields have relied and will continue to rely on the first-hand accounts of the expedition. With publication of the documents now being transcribed, translated, and annotated by the Project, scholars and lay historians will have readily available a wide variety of primary sources scrupulously in accord with the original documents themselves (which are scattered in archives in Spain, Britain, and the United States).

Activities Undertaken during the Period

The Project is exactly on schedule. The five documents in Italian and Nahuatl to be included in They Were Not Familiar with His Majesty.... have now been translated by contract translators.

As we will be through July of 2003, we have both been writing introductions and annotations to the various documents. Approximately one half of the document pages have now been annotated. And introductions to three of the longest and most complex of the documents ( # 6, 24, and 26) have been completed in draft.

In addition to doing the work of writing introductions and notes, we have provided copies of our translations of six of the documents to Dr. Todd Howell of the Pueblo of Zuni Cultural Resource Enterprise for use in planning a metal detector survey at the ruin of Hawikuh. The first session of the survey was conducted on November 9, 2002 under an American Battlefields Protection Grant in an attempt to determine the location of the fighting that took place between the Coronado expedition and the people of Hawikuh in July 1540. We were in attendance during the one-day survey, which located some two dozen objects including one caret-head nail almost certainly deriving from the Coronado expedition. A second session of metal detector surveying is planned for spring 2003.

We also served as study leaders for a Smithsonian Study Tour called "In the Footsteps of Coronado" September 14-19, 2002. We led the tour to a number of sites associated with the Coronado expedition in New Mexico and Arizona, including Acoma Pueblo, Zuni Pueblo, Coronado State Monument, and Pecos National Historical Park, and delivered numerous short talks on various aspects of the expedition. The tour also visited the office of the Documents of the Coronado Expedition Project at New Mexico Highlands University.

Further, during this period we delivered the final manuscript of a volume of conference papers titled The Coronado Expedition from the Distance of 460 Years to University of New Mexico Press, which will be offering it in their spring 2003 catalog. The papers included in the volume are from the April 2000 conference we directed at Highlands University, called "Contemporary Vantage on the Coronado Expedition through Documents and Artifacts."

In sum, we are adhering to the work schedule submitted to NHPRC at the time of the initial grant award and continue to speak frequently about the Project and its results.

Assessment of the Project to Date

Much as we had expected, working in such a methodical and detailed way with the documents continues to result in hundreds of brand new contextual placements and analytical insights. An example from this reporting period will suffice.

Our research has revealed the likely motivation behind expedition members Pedro Castaneda de Najera and Juan Jaramillo's writing their lengthy narratives more than 20 years after the end of the expedition. To quote from our draft introduction to Pedro d Najera's introduction: "Pedro de Najera opens his relacion by addressing it to a 'muy magnifico senor,' 'very magnificent lord,' whom he later calls 'Vuestra merced,' 'Your Grace.' Who that exalted person was is not evident from the Relacion itself. We are nearly certain, though, that it was doctor Alonso de Zorita, one of the oidores or judges of the Real Audiencia de Nueva Espana.

"We say this because, first and foremost, it is certain that during the late 1550s and early 1560s a return expedition northward was in the wind, and Zorita, as its potential leader, was extremely interested in the entrada the Coronado expedition had made to Cibola approximately twenty years before. In fact, beginning in 1558 and continuing through 1562, Zorita, together with the Franciscan fray Jacinto (Cyndos) de San Francisco, made a series of proposals to the king and Consejo de Indias to mount a new expedition of 100 Spaniards and at least 20 Franciscan friars, to return to the land of the Chichimecas, from which access could be gained, as Zorita himself put it in 1561, to 'the Tierra Nueva to which Francisco Vazquez Coronado went, and to Nuevo Mexico...provincias... heavily populated by people, very productive, and showing strong indications of sources of gold and silver.'

"As he looked forward to the proposed entrada, Zorita, as oidor, had access to information about the Coronado expedition in the form of at least six probanzas de meritos y servicios or proofs of service which were submitted to the audiencia in the late 1550s and early 1560s, during his tenure, by former participants in the entrada. In fact, Zorita himself signed documents dealing with the probanzas of three of the former expeditionaries: Juan Gallego, Juan Troyano, and Tristan de Luna y Arellano. In addition, Zorita's intended partner, fray Cyndos, made a trip to the region of Zacatecas in 1559 in company with an Indian donado named Lucas, who had been a companion of fray Juan de Padilla during the Coronado entrada. Undoubtedly, it was from Lucas that Cyndos learned much of the news of the far north that he subsequently was enthusiastic about.

"In preparing for their intended expedition, Zorita and fray Cyndos were sure to have solicited information about Cibola and how to get there from other former members of the Coronado expedition, too. Such a call for reports likely explains the writing at that time of Pedro de Najera's Relacion, as well as the one prepared nearly simultaneously by Juan Jaramillo, also addressed to an unidentified illustrious personage who was most likely Zorita."

Because of hundreds and hundreds of such new insights, doing the work of annotation and writing introductions remains an exciting undertaking each day.

Project's Impact

Transcriptions and translations prepared by the Project are already having an affect on other scholars and the general public. As mentioned above, translations produced by the Project have figured prominently in planning for on-going archeological work at the ancestral Zuni pueblo of Hawikuh. And, shortly after the end of the reporting period, we spoke at the National Park Service's 50th Anniversary Commemorative Event at the Coronado National Memorial near Sierra Vista, Arizona. The title of our joint presentation was "Putting Faces on the Coronado Expedition." The event was very well attended. The other featured speakers were Dr. Joseph P. Sanchez of the National Park Service's Spanish Colonial Research Center, Diana Hadley of the Documentary Relations of the Southwest at the University of Arizona, and the governor of Zuni Pueblo Malcolm Bowekaty.

Calendar of Documents

(note: it has been necessary to use document number suffixes--such as 18a--to include four documents added since the Project began without requiring renumbering of all the hardcopy material; the calendar has not changed during this reporting period, and we do not anticipate further additions)

(1) Letter of Vazquez de Coronado to the King, December 15, 1538 AGI, Guadalajara, 5, R.1, N.5: 15 fol. sides.
Location of original: Archivo General de Indias, Sevilla

(2) Letter of Vazquez de Coronado to the Viceroy, March 8, 1539
Ramusio, Navigationi et Viaggi, III, 354-355: 1/2 printed page.

(3) Letter of Vazquez de Coronado to the King, July 15, 1539
AGI, Guadalajara, 5, R.1, N.6: 7 fol. sides.
Location of original: Archivo General de Indias, Sevilla

(4) Letter of the Viceroy to the King, 1539
Ramusio, Navigationi et Viaggi, III, 355: 1 printed page.

(5) Decree of the King, appointing Vazquez de Coronado governor of Nueva Galicia, April 18 1539
Antonio Tello, Cronica Miscelanea, Libro Segundo, II, fols. 406v and 407r: 2 fol. sides.
Location of original: John Carter Brown Library, Brown University

(6) The Viceroy's Instructions to fray Marcos de Niza, November 1538
AGI, Patronato 20, N.5, R.10: 2 1/2 fol. sides.
Location of original: Archivo General de Indias, Sevilla
Narrative Account by fray Marcos de Niza, August 26, 1539
AGI, Patronato 20, N.5, R.10: 32 1/2 fol. sides.
Location of original: Archivo General de Indias, Sevilla

(7) Tercera Parte, Libro XL, Capitulo I, Gonzalo Fernandez de Oviedo y Valdez, Historia General y Natural de las Indias, 1547; Biblioteca Real, II/3042
letter from Rodrigo de Albornoz
Location of original: Palacio Real, Madrid

(8) Testimony of Witnesses in Havana regarding Marcos' Discoveries, November 1539
AGI, Patronato 21, N.2, R.4: 8 fol. sides.
Location of original: Archivo General de Indias, Sevilla

(9) The Viceroy's Appointment of Vazquez de Coronado to Lead the Expedition, January 6, 1540
AGI, Justicia 339, N.1, R.1: 6 fol. sides.
Location of original: Archivo General de Indias, Sevilla

(10) The King's Confirmation of Vazquez de Coronado's Appointment, June 11, 1540
2 fol. sides.
Location of original: private collection, Santa Fe, New Mexico

(11) Testimony of Vazquez de Coronado's Purchasing Agent (Juan Verdejo), 1553
AGI, Justicia, 336, N.1: 6 fol. sides.
Location of original: Archivo General de Indias, Sevilla

(12) Muster Roll of the Expedition, February 22, 1540
AGI, Guadalajara, 5, R. 1, N. 7: 24 fol. sides.
Location of original: Archivo General de Indias, Sevilla

(13) Record of Mexican Indians Participating in the Expedition, 1576
Add MSS 31219, Chronicle of Mexican History to 1576, continued to 1607 (Codice Aubin), fols. 46v and 47r: 2 fol. sides.
Location of original: Library of the British Museum

(14) Hearing on Depopulation Charges, February 26, 1540
AGI, Patronato 21, N.2, R.3: 12 fol. sides.
Location of original: Archivo General de Indias, Sevilla

(15) The Viceroy's Instructions to Hernando Alarcon, May 31, 1541
Biblioteca del Escorial, codice &-II-7, Doc. # LXVI and Doc. # LXVII: 6 fol. sides.
Location of original: Biblioteca del Escorial, El Escorial

(16) Narrative of Alarcon's Voyage, 1540
Ramusio, Navigationi et Viaggi, III, 363-370: 13 printed pages.

(17) The Viceroy's Letter to the King, April 17, 1540
AGI, Patronato 184, R.31: 6 fol. sides.
Location of original: Archivo General de Indias, Sevilla

(17a) Memorial de Hernan Cortes a Carlos V acerca de los Agravios que le Hizo el Virrey de la Nueva Espana, June 25, 1540
AGI, Patronato, 21, N.2, R.4\2\7-11, fols 4r-6r
Location of original: Archivo General de Indias, Sevilla

(18) Vazquez de Coronado's Letter to the Viceroy, August 3, 1540
Ramusio, Navigationi et Viaggi, III, 373-380: 15 printed pages.

(18a) Tercera Parte, Libro XL, Capitulo II, Gonzalo Fernandez de Oviedo y Valdez, Historia General y Natural de las Indias, 1547; Biblioteca Real, II/3042
Account of Pedro de Alvarado's armada
Location of original: Palacio Real, Madrid

(19) Formation of Company between Mendoza and Pedro de Alvarado, November 29, 1540
AGI, Patronato, 21, N.3, R.2: 10 fol. sides.
Location of original: Archivo General de Indias, Sevilla

(20) Anonymous Narrative (Traslado de las Nuevas), 1540
AGI, Patronato 20, N.5, R.8: 3 fol. sides.
Location of original: Archivo General de Indias, Sevilla

(21) Hernando de Alvarado's Narrative, 1540
AGI, Patronato, 26, R.23: 8 fol. sides.
Location of original: Archivo General de Indias, Sevilla

(22) Vazquez de Coronado's Letter to the King, October 20, 1541
AGI, Patronato, 184, R.34: 4 fol. sides.
Location of original: Archivo General de Indias, Sevilla

(23) Disposal of the Juan Jimenez estate, 1542 [copy, 1550]
AGI, Contratacion, 5575, N.24: 61 fol. sides.
Location of original: Archivo General de Indias, Sevilla

(24) Pedro de Castaneda's Narrative, 1560s [copy, 1596]
NY Public Library, Rich Coll. no. 63: 316 fol. sides.
Location of original: New York Public Library, Manuscripts and Archives Section

(25) Anonymous Narrative (Relacion del Suceso), 1540s
AGI, Patronato 20, N.5, R.8: 10 fol. sides.
Location of original: Archivo General de Indias, Sevilla

(25a) Segunda Parte, Libro XXXIII, Capitulo LII, Gonzalo Fernandez de Oviedo y Valdez, Historia General y Natural de las Indias, 1547, Letter from Mendoza to Fernandez de Oviedo Colecciones Munoz y Salazar, Biblioteca de la Real Academia de la Historia, Madrid

(26) Juan de Jaramillo's Narrative, 1560s
AGI, Patronato, 20, N.5, R.8: 12 fol. sides.
Location of original: Archivo General de Indias, Sevilla

(27) Toribio Benavente's Narrative (Relacion Postrera de Cibola), 1540s UT, Austin, Benson Coll., JGI 31 XVI C, fols 123v-124v: 2 1/2 fol. sides
Location of original: University of Texas at Austin, Benson Latin American Collection

(28) Juan Troyano's Proof of Service, 1560
AGI, Mexico, 206, N.12: 5 fol. sides.
Location of original: Archivo General de Indias, Sevilla

(29) Melchior Perez's Petition for Preferment, 1551
UC, Berkeley, Bancroft, M-M 1714: 11 fol. sides.
Location of original: University of California, Berkeley, Bancroft Library

(30) Cristobal de Escobar's Proof of Service, 1543
AGI, Mexico 204, N.14: 40 fol. sides.
Location of original: Archivo General de Indias, Sevilla

(31) Vazquez de Coronado's Petition for Recovery of Encomiendas, 1553
AGI, Justicia, 336, N.1, fols. 3r-3v: 2 fol. sides.
Location of original: Archivo General de Indias, Sevilla


Last updated

July 21, 2008

Page maintained by
dhornisher [at] psi.edu (D. Hornisher)

PSI, a Nonprofit Corporation 501(c)(3), and an Equal Opportunity/M/F/Vet/Disabled/Affirmative Action Employer.
Corporate Headquarters: 1700 East Fort Lowell, Suite 106 * Tucson, AZ 85719-2395 * 520-622-6300 * FAX: 520-622-8060
Copyright © 2019 . All Rights Reserved.