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Richard and Shirley Flint – “Mendoza’s Aim: To Complete the Columbian Project”

May 20, 2019 @ 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm MST

Don Antonio de Mendoza and his forebears had been backing the Columbian Project for generations. It is little wonder, then—even if it is a surprise to the twenty-first century—that Mendoza’s goal for the Coronado expedition was to finally reach Asia by traveling westward from Spain. This talk discusses why most Europeans of the day were sure that was possible and why it looked to be on the brink of accomplishment in the 1530s from Mexico. As a result, the Coronado expedition attracted “a most splendid company” of investor-participants. That is also why, when the expeditionaries reached the Seven Cities of Cíbola, they were so profoundly and furiously angry with their guide, fray Marcos de Niza, that they threatened to kill him on the spot. And why from that moment the expedition was a unredeemable failure. The remainder of the expedition was only an exercise is dissipating the momentum of expectation of the imminent attainment of the most desirable luxuries of the day: silk, porcelain, spices, and dyes—and the prestige, renown, and wealth that would have come with that success.

After nearly 40 years of research and publication on the Coronado expedition into northwest Mexico and the American Southwest and related subjects, speakers Richard Flint and Shirley Cushing Flint are widely recognized as leading authorities on the expedition and its context and aftermath. Beginning in 1980 fromcuriosity over an old footnote, the Flints have followed a series of resulting questions to dozens of archives in Spain, Mexico, and elsewhere, as well as to archaeological sites in Mexico, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, and Kansas. They have immersed themselves in the language, culture, and thought of Early Modern Spain and early colonial Mexico. That immersion has recently culminated in the publication of a major new book on the Coronado expedition, A Most Splendid Company: The Coronado Expedition in Global Perspective.


May 20, 2019
7:30 pm - 9:00 pm MST
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Pamela Pelletier


DuVal Auditorium, Banner-University Medical Center
1501 N Campbell Ave
Tucson, AZ United States
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