Texas History Fort Burrows 4 Successes and Failures read pgs 66 71



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Texas History

Fort Burrows

3.4 - Successes and Failures

READ pgs 66 - 71
Marcos de Niza and Estavancio believed that they had found a city of great wealth called Cibola, Their reports convinced other explorers that very rich lands awaited them to the north.”
Main Idea:

The Spanish searched for treasure in and around Texas, but failure to find riches reduced their interest in the land.

Vocabulary:

petroleum – oily liquid used for oil, gasoline, and other fuels.

** Later referred to as ‘blackgold’ or ‘Texas Tea’

Cibola & Quivira – two cities in the myth of the ‘Golden Seven Cities’.

Cibola, the fabled city, was to have been on the border of present-day New Mexico and Arizona.

Setting the Scene:

Stories of a land rich in gold were a part of Spanish legend. After all, Cortez had proved that wealthy cities existed in the Americas. Now the Spaniards have heard tales of a great empire called Quivira. The story, as told by a Native American they called ‘ El Turco’, intrigued the Spanish Conquistadors.
Marcos de Niza and Estevancio’s Expedition



Marcos de Niza





  • Marcos de Niza – 1495ish to 1558, was a friar (priest) who led a group to find the legendary Seven Cities of Cíbola

  • The Viceroy of New Spain appointed Estavancio to be the group’s guide Estavancio was an enslaved Moor who traveled through Texas with de Vaca

  • de Vaca was denied a return trip to Texas

  • de Niza did report that he ‘SAW’ Cíbola, a glittering city of silver and gold, larger than Mexico City, from the top of a hill

  • His report convinced many explorers, that rich lands lay waiting

  • Estavancio, also known as Estevan, Esteban, Estabancio, Black Stephen, and Stephen the Moor, was a native of Azamor, on the Atlantic shore of Morocco. In 1527, he became the personal slave of Andrés Dorantes de Carranza

  • Estavancio accompanied his master as a member of the Narváez expedition, which landed in mid-April 1528 near what is now called Tampa Bay. Narváez, after a futile attempt at marching along the Gulf Coast, elected to slaughter the horses and to build five makeshift barges. The boat containing Estavancio was placed under the joint command of Dorantes and Castillo. After a month at sea, the craft was wrecked on or near western Galveston Island

  • Estavancio was the first African-born slave to traverse Texas

  • They explored Texas with de Vaca and all four returned to Spain

  • Dorantes sold Estavancio to Viceroy Antonio de Mendoza. The viceroy assigned the slave to a friar, Marcos de Niza. On March 21, 1539, he and Estavancio arrived at the Río Mayo in what is now Sonora, in quest of the ‘Seven Cities of Cibola’

  • Estavancio was sent ahead, several days time, as an advance scout to find Cíbola

  • Estavancio sent back a report to de Niza, that he had ‘FOUND’ Cíbola

  • He announced his intentions to make peace and heal the sick. He told the villagers that he had been sent by white men who would soon arrive and instruct them in ‘divine’ matters. The village elders, suspicious of his claims that he came from a land of white men because he was dark, and resentful of his demands for turquoise and women, killed him when he attempted to enter the village


Coronado Heads North

Spain sent 25 year-old, explorer Francisco Vásquez de Coronado – (1510-1554), born in Salamanca, Spain, to conquer Cíbola and take its treasure. Coronado found no gold in Cíbola. He continued searching the area for something of value, with no luck.

  • de Coronado met El Turco, a slave to the Pueblos and a member of one of the Plain tribes, he claimed to know where Quivira was

  • Coronado’s men were the first Europeans to see the Grand Canyon

  • They crossed the Texas Panhandle - Palo Duro Canyon and Llano Estacado ( staked plains )

  • Coronado’s treasure hunt brought him as far north as present-day Kansas

  • After not finding Quivira, he had El Turco killed dead

  • In 1542, he returned to Mexico, stating, “the land to the North offered little that the Spanish could use”

Hernando de Soto

(c.1496May 21, 1542)


  • He joined Francisco Pizarro in the early 1530's conquest of South America, and he became enormously wealthy from his share of the Incan booty

  • In 1539, de Soto launched the largest of the early Spanish colonial expeditions. A fleet of 7 ships and 600 soldiers

  • For four years, Hernando de Soto explored the land that is now the southeastern United States, in search of riches and a passage to China

de Soto died in 1542 on the banks of the Mississippi River at present-day Lake Village, Arkansas

Luis de Moscoso


  • de Moscoso was a commander of one of the 7 ships and a maestro de campo (field commander) for de Soto in the fight against the Chickasaws of northern Mississippi

  • Upon de Soto’s death, Luis de Moscoso Alvarado took over the expedition. His group made it their goal to reach New Spain (Texas) by land. More than 150 leagues

  • The Caddoes they met on their travels greeted them by saying “Tay-yas,” meaning friends. This is how Texas got its name

  • Finding no gold, Moscoso’s men went back to the Mississippi River and returned to Mexico by sea

  • On that voyage, they stumbled upon petroleum, the substance that provides oil, gasoline, and other fuels

  • The Spanish did not immediately recognize the value of this “black gold

  • He died in Mexico one year later, 1551



Juan de Onate ( HWAHN deh oh-NYAN-teh )


  • de Onate crossed the Rio Grande in the late 1500’s, near El Paso,

  • He established settlements in New Mexico

  • Began trade with the Jumano Indians

  • After not finding the ‘golden cities’ and vast amounts of riches, Spain lost interest in the northern territories,,,,until other countries showed interest in the new lands



1. What role did the Seven Cities of Cíbola play in Spain’s desire to explore

North America ?

A. they promised to be a good place to settle down and raise children

B. they inspired explorers who hoped to discover great wealth

C. they promised good luck to the person who discovered them

D. the person who discovered them would get to name them
2. Where did Texas get its name ?

A. it was named after the first settler

B. it was named for an Aztec god

C. its name came from an Indian greeting

D. it was named after Coronado’s wife
3. What were the goals of the expedition of Marcos de Niza ?

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4. What were the goals of the expedition of Francisco Vásquez de Coronado ?

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________­______________________________________________________________
5. What is Palo Duro Canyon ?

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________­______________________________________________________________
6. What is Llano Estacado ?

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________­______________________________________________________________
7. What Texas treasures did Moscoso miss ?

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________­______________________________________________________________



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