Fray Marcos de Niza was a Franciscan priest who worked for the King of Spain. He was with the Spanish Conquistador Pizarro during the conquest of the Inca Indians of Peru in 1532. He led Coronado’s army in search of Cibola, the Seven Cities of Gold. He died in Jalapa, New Spain in 1558. He decided to send a group of men to find if the stories of Cibola were true. Cabeza de Vaca did not want to lead an expedition. The Viceroy then chose the priest Fray Marcos de Niza to lead the search for Cibola. He ordered the Moorish slave, Estevanico, to go with Fray de Niza and act as a guide. A Moor is a citizen of the African country of Morocco. In the early spring of 1539, the first African saw the land of Arizona. The Moorish slave, Estevanico, entered the land that would become Arizona near today’s Nogales, Arizona. He had traveled many miles ahead of Fray de Niza searching for information about Cibola. Why did people seek the Seven Cities of Cibola? Estevanico is also known in history as Estevan. His name means “Stephen” in English. He was part of the Cabeza de Vaca party that had been shipwrecked off the coast of Florida. For over eight years the survivors of that shipwreck tried to find their way back to Spanish settlements. They walked across parts of southern Texas and northern Mexico. Along the way, the men heard many tales of rich Indians and great cities in the North. The Viceroy in Mexico City listened to Cabeza de Vaca’s stories. He then sent Fray Marcos de Niza and Estevan to the northern frontier to look for the golden cities. The two men had explored for only 6 months when Estevan was killed by Zuni Indians. When Marcos de Niza received word of Estevan’s death, he became frightened and turned back to Mexico City. When Marcos de Niza reached Mexico City, he reported to the Viceroy that he had seen the Seven Cities of Cibola. This report was not true. Fray Marcos de Niza had made up a grand story. When the leaders in Mexico City heard Fray de Niza’s report, they wanted to find the golden cities. One of these men, Francisco Vásquez de Coronado, was chosen by the 52  Chapter 5 • The Second People: Explorers and Settlers