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Presentation on theme: "COLORADO HISTORY THE EXPLORERS."— Presentation transcript:


2 Christopher Columbus Sails to New World 1492

3 EXPLORATION Spanish were interested in land west of the Mississippi River Spanish objectives were gold, glory and gospel Cabeza de Vaca had been shipwrecked on the Texas coast and was told by the Indians of the Seven Cities of Gold (Cibola) located to the north. (1528)


5 CORONADO On his way home they passed through the southeastern corner of Colorado and were the first white men to reach and explore this area


7 ULIBARRI Juan Ulibarri came into Colorado to capture runaway slaves in He brought with him 40 troops and 100 Indian allies He accomplished the following: Claimed land for Spain Named the San Luis Valley Named Colorado Santa Domingo

8 DOMINGUEZ/ESCALANTE Left Santa Fe in July of 1776
Both were padres whose purpose was to convert tribes north and west of the Colorado River Escalante kept a detailed diary Crossed Colorado near the San Juan Mountains

Eventually made it to Utah but then gave up in their attempt to reach California They looped through Utah and went home to Santa Fe They had carefully charted and mapped the entire area



Trouble existed between the US and Spain over boundaries In 1819 Spain and the US agreed on a border which was the Arkansas River and the 42nd parallel By 1848 all of Colorado belonged to the US Spain failed to push north of Santa Fe

13 FRENCH EXPLORATION 17th century
France challenged Spain’s control of western North America Lasalle went down the Mississippi River and claimed the whole valley of the Mississippi. (including all tributaries) He named it Louisiana. Soon French traders and explorers began working their way up the western branches


15 MALLET BROTHERS First French in Colorado
Came up the Platte River, cut across to the Arkansas River and entered Colorado Named the Platte River-Platte means flat

16 Spanish and French Explorers of the Plains
blue = Verendrye, green = Mallet, red = Coronado, 1541

17 FRENCH AND INDIAN WAR 1763-War ended
All of French claims went to Spain Land west of the Mississippi went to Spain Land east of the Mississippi went to Britain Canada goes to Britain


19 FRANCE 1800-Land receded to France
1803-Purchased by US for $15 Million

20 CONTRIBUTIONS Better exploration, maps and Indian trails
Led the way for the trappers, traders and mountain men Named Platte

21 AMERICAN EXPLORERS Thomas Jefferson wanted to explore the Louisiana Territory Sent Lewis and Clark to the Northwest They were the first Americans to explore this territory They never explored Colorado



24 ZEBULON PIKE Second American to explore Louisiana; he was to examine the headwaters of the Arkansas River and the Red River He began the effort to map Colorado “Lost Pathfinder” St. Louis to the Arkansas River to the San Luis Valley, up and down the front range near Colorado Springs, then to South Park and then left the state

25 PIKE He failed to climb Pike’s Peak
He left the state as he was lost. He was arrested in Mexico (on the Conejos River which was in Spanish territory) He was sent to Santa Fe and then to Chihuahua for questioning as a spy (550 miles away)


27 PIKE Reasons he could be considered a failure
Failed to find the source of the Red River Allowed himself to be captured Reasons he is considered a success Valuable records of geography and natural resources He published his records-His journals were popular in both the US and Europe (Eng, FR., Ger., and Holland Began efforts to map Colorado


29 PIKE Reasons for success cont’d
First American (in England) to describe Pike’s Peak, the Royal Gorge, South Park, the San Luis Valley and the Sangre de Christo mountain range He was killed during the War of 1812 serving as a brigadier general


31 STEPHEN H. LONG Second American to lead an expedition to Colorado
Major in US army-math instructor at West Point Follows foothills and rivers-enter on the Platte, south to Denver, Colorado Springs and Pueblo and followed the Arkansas out of the state 19 men were on this expedition including a mapmaker, landscape painter, zoologist, physician, botanist and geologist

32 LONG Journey remembered for inconsequential reasons
Companion Edwin James climbed Pike’s Peak and collected the Blue Columbine-Long called this James’ Peak Spotted 2-ears Peak (Long’s Peak) Wrote “Great American Desert” across his map-uninhabitable by a person depending on agriculture (He later became a RR engineer and invented a new type of RR bridge)



35 Important events affecting the “ownership” of Colorado

36 (before 1492) PreColumbian before Columbus Native Americans
in Colorado (before 1492)

37 Colonial Claims in the early 1700s

38 France loses “Louisiana” then regains, then sells land between Mississippi & Rockies (1803)

39 Mexico wins independence from Spain --- former Spanish lands are now Mexican (including parts of Colorado)

40 Mexican American War 1848

41 CONCLUSION These explorers had done little more than chart the rivers and provide basic geographic information It was left to the mountain men to be the true explorers of the Rocky Mountain frontier


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