1493 The Spanish arrive on the Caribbean island that will become known
as Puerto Rico. Native groups have been living on the island that they
named Borinquen for well over 3,000 years when the Spanish arrive.
1510 A major Taino uprising kills 200 Spanish colonists. A Spanish coun-
terattack kills a prominent Taino leader, Chief Agüeybaná, and forces
the surrender of Taino forces. Many Tainos manage to escape to the
interior of the island, where they continue to resist Spanish colonial-
ism and enslavement.
1527 The journey of Álvaro Nuñez Cabeza de Vaca, one of the most famous
and important Spanish explorations of North America, sets sail from
Spain. After nearly a decade of wandering through Native American
lands, Cabeza de Vaca and three other survivors arrive in Mexico City
to a hero’s welcome in 1536.
1540 Francisco Vázquez de Coronado leads an expedition to the Rio Grande
in central New Mexico. The expedition eventually reaches what is now
the state of Kansas before returning to Mexico City.
1610 Santa Fe, New Mexico, is founded.
1680 In a coordinated uprising involving more than two dozen settlements
separated by hundreds of miles and six different languages, Pueblo
Indians revolt against the Spanish in New Mexico. More than 400
Spaniards are killed, including 21 of the province’s 33 Franciscan
1731 San Antonio is founded in Texas. Compared to New Mexico, the Span-
ish population of Texas has been relatively small in the 1700s. When
San Antonio is founded, officials count about 500 members of the
Spanish community in the entire province of Texas.
1781 The town of Los Angeles is founded near el Río de la Porciúncula (now
the Los Angeles River).