Coronado and aesop fable and violence on the sixteenth-century plains

Document Type


Publication Date



Daryl W. Palmer, associate professor, Regis University, describes the events leading up to the execution of Indian guide EI Turco during the expedition led by Francisco Vázquez de Coronado in 1540 across the Great Plains and explores how fable author Aesop may have intimated the Spaniards' actions on the Kansas plains. As Coronado and company set out across a forbidding landscape for Quivira, they saw trail ahead, which they would have to tread an arid landscape where even the smallest stream would mark a turning point. They already felt that their guides could not be trusted. Coronado confesses that he was tricked and started complaining on the last leg of the journey to Quivira. When the group reached Arkansas River, Quivirans welcomed them. Spaniards got Turco killed because they wanted to prevent the latter's collusion with Quivirans.

This document is currently not available here.