Where on Earth was the Coronado expedition going?

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By The Staff

The National Park Service and Fort Union National Monument announces its monthly “Glimpses of the Past” presentation. The program will be held at the Citizens Committee for Historic Preservation/Santa Fe Trail Interpretive Center, 116 Bridge St., in Las Vegas, Thursday Nov. 20 at 7 p.m.

Historian Richard Flint will present “Where on Earth was the Coronado Expedition Going?” The talk will discuss the impact of geographical conceptions of sixteenth-century Spaniards and on what the members of the Coronado expedition saw and experienced during the two years they spent in the Southwest.

Even after the end of the expedition, most of the former expeditionaries believed they had been on the doorstep of the Orient when they turned back.

Raised in South Dakota, Richard Flint has lived in northern New Mexico since 1964.

He holds a B.A. from St. John’s College in Santa Fe, where he was a member of the pioneer class. He earned a master’s degree in Southwest Studies from New Mexico Highlands University in Las Vegas and went to the University of New Mexico, where he was awarded a Ph.D. in Latin American and U.S. Western history.

Since 1980 and with his wife, historian Shirley Cushing Flint, Richard Flint has been doing major new research on the expedition led by Francisco Vázquez de Coronado from Mexico City to what is now the American Southwest from 1539 to 1542. Together, they have reshaped understanding of that crucial watershed event in our shared history.

The two have collaborated on several important and critically acclaimed books on the expedition, including: Documents of the Coronado Expedition, 1539-1542: They Were Not Familiar with His Majesty, nor Did They Wish to Be His Subjects, the first comprehensive dual-language edition of documents deriving from the Coronado expedition, published by Southern Methodist University Press, and Great Cruelties Have Been Reported, the 1544 Investigation of the Coronado Expedition, an annotated, dual-language edition of the record of the investigation that was conducted in Mexico City and Guadalajara after the return of the Coronado expedition, regarding the expedition's abuse of native peoples, also from Southern Methodist University Press.

Richard Flint has recently published a comprehensive, analytical history of the expedition, No Settlement, No Conquest: A History of the Coronado Entrada, called “a landmark study” by renowned historian Donald Chipman of the University of North Texas. The book was published in May by the University of New Mexico Press.

The “Glimpses of the Past” series of programs are presented to the public free of charge, in cooperation with the National Park Service and the Citizens Committee for Historic Preservation.

For more information, contact Fort Union National Monument at 425-8025, or visit the park website at www.nps.gov/foun.