Visiting Scholars to Share Their Life’s Work on Coronado Expedition in WT Event

CANYON, Texas—Curiosity over an old footnote in 1980 led one couple to become leading authorities on Francisco Vázquez de Coronado’s expedition through this region.

Award-winning authors Richard and Shirley Flint will share their findings from research in archives and archaeological sites in Spain, Mexico and the Southwestern United States for the Garry L. Nall Lecture in Western Studies for West Texas A&M University’s Center for the Study of the American West and the WT Distinguished Lecture Series 

The Flints will present “To and Fro without a Road Map: Which Way the Coronado Expedition Chose to Go, and Why” at 7 p.m. Oct. 6 in the Hazlewood Lecture Room at Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum, 2503 Fourth Ave. in Canyon. The presentation also will be accessible via Zoom:

“We are pleased to have Richard and Shirley Flint to give us the latest and best word on the route and activities of the Coronado expedition in the Texas Panhandle—a truly significant event in our regional history,” said Dr. Alex Hunt, CSAW director, Regents Professor of English and Vincent-Haley Professor of Western Studies.

This free event is the second of six lectures featured as part of WT’s DLS fall schedule.

“We will discuss results of our 40-plus years of archival research and fieldwork concerning the Coronado expedition,” the Flints said. “Specifically, we outline factors that influenced the route the expedition took to travel from Pecos Pueblo in New Mexico to a Native Teya village in Blanco Canyon in the Texas South Plains and back.”

The Coronado expedition took place from 1540 to 1542, across what is now New Mexico, the Texas Panhandle, the Oklahoma Panhandle, and into Central Kansas.

That footnote the Flints saw in 1980 prompted a series of questions which led them to search through dozens of archives in Spain, Mexico, and elsewhere, as well as to archaeological sites throughout the Southwest.

After spending so many years immersed in the language, culture, and thought of Early Modern Spain and early colonial Mexico, the Flints have a unique expertise on the Coronado expedition and have authored several books on the subject.

“For the general reader, the best one is No Settlement, No Conquest: A History of the Coronado Entrada’,” Richard Flint said. “For someone who wants to go more deeply into the most up-to-date research, our most recent book is by far the most appropriate: ‘A Most Splendid Company: The Coronado Expedition in Global Perspective.’ Then for specialists who want to actually delve into the data, there’s the free, publicly available website at”

The Flints also will participate in a student Q&A session titled “History, Archeology, Culture, with Richard and Shirley Flint” at 3 p.m. Oct. 6 in the Blackburn Room at Cornette Library. The session also is open to the public.

“We are also excited to see what the Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum and Floyd County Museum will show us in the way of Coronado artifacts, which will be on display during the lecture,” Hunt said.

The mission of the Distinguished Lecture Series is to invite nationally prominent experts to the WT campus to expose students to some of the most important issues of our times and to inspire and enlighten students, faculty and the community. All DLS events are free and open to the public.