Making New Mexico: Then and Now
The state of New Mexico, in the United States was originally part of Texas and the land included in the Louisiana Purchase of 1803. The lands were purchased from the French and included portions of fourteen current U.S. states and two Canadian Provinces. These lands were under French control from 1682 - 1763 and from 1803 1804; the area was named in honor of King Louis 14th. A Spanish expedition, in 1540 by Francisco Vasquez Coronado was formed in an attempt to find the ancient Seven Golden Cities of Ci. The rumor began with Cabeza de Vaca´s visit to what is now southern New Mexico. It is rumored that seven priest fled the city of Merida, Spain taking vast amounts of gold and other treasures to a far away land later to be called the Americas. Coronado, however, was, unsuccessful and returned home. Another expedition led by Juan de Onate Salazar in 1598 explored north of the Rio Grande and claimed most of modern day New Mexico for Spain. Santa Fe became the capital city of the territory and remains the capital of the state.
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