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Quivira, a legendary wealthy city on the Great Plains of North America that captured the imagination of conquistadors. The story of Quivira emerged during the 1540–1542 Coronado expedition when an Indian known as "the Turk" enticed the Spaniards onto the Great Plains in search of a land rich in gold and silver. Coronado and his men reached "Quivira," in what is today central Kansas, in the spring of 1541. Finding nothing of value, the Spaniards executed the Turk for his deception and abandoned the area. Only Fray Juan de Padilla stayed there to establish a mission for the local population but was soon martyred on the Plains. Despite Coronado's disappointing search, the legend of Quivira endured, serving as an impetus for further exploration.

See alsoConquistadores .


Herbert Eugene Bolton, Coronado on the Turquoise Trail: Knight of Pueblos and Plains (1949).

William Brandon, Quivira: Europeans in the Region of the Santa Fe Trail, 1540–1820 (1990).

Additional Bibliography

Vigil, Ralph H.; Frances W. Kaye; and John R. Wunder. Spain and the Plains: Myths and Realities of Spanish Exploration and Settlement on the Great Plains. Niwot: University Press of Colorado, 1994.

                                    Suzanne B. Pasztor

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