Melchior Díaz, the first European to reach California by land

Oct 2014
This was both a major historical event and a fascinating story. That the grave of this leader was never found (or was it?) kept him from being better celebrated in history.

The year was 1540 and Melchior Díaz was assigned to bring supplies north to assist the Coronado expedition marching north seeking the Seven Cities of Cibola.

Díaz learned that Coronado's men couldn't be reached from the Colorado River as originally believed and he was turned loose to explore freely this new land to the west of the river.

Enjoy my article about Melchior Díaz and the discovered pile of rocks that could prove he was buried in California (Baja California, now): Searching For Melchior Díaz :: Baja Travel Adventures - Baja Bound Insurance

Likes: Tulius
Oct 2014
Hi Martin, I think Niza is considered the first European into Arizona but not into California... unless you have some special history to share? Great stuff!
Likes: martin76


Ad Honorem
Dec 2014
Mr David

You are really a specialist in History of California and I think you are right.. I confuse sometimes between California and Arizona. As you well know the Spanish Alta California was largest than today it is the State of California. So sincerely, I think you are right. You are a really specialist y history of California. +1.

The Alta California included what nowadays are States of Arizona, Nevada, Utah, Colorado and Wyoming.

California was part of New Spain (one of the four viceroys in Mainland). In this map is written Nueva California (New Caliornia) and Vieja California (Old California).. and I can see what was the Spanish California was largest than the modern State of California. I think Arizona was part of California during the Empire (named Intendencias de las Californias = Intendecies of the Californias (in plural).

Oct 2014
Yes, a neat map, for sure, showing 1810 named regions... In 1540, it wasn't anything more than wild territory inhabited by Indian tribes. When I speak of being the first European in California, I am speaking of what is today's California and Baja California peninsula. On maps, Old California is usually called Antigua California on Spanish maps of the period. Before it was called Old California or Baja California, the peninsula was just "California".

I have a cleaner image of this map in my book, page 147.