The first Jesuit mission in Sonora, founded among the Mayos in 1613, seems to have been the first permanent settlement in the state, although Coronado passed through it and its coast had been visited by early navigators.
The earliest explorations were made by the Spaniards, Cabeza de Vaca, 1528-36, and Francisco Vasquez de Coronado, 1540-42, but the first colony was that planted on Matagorda Bay in 1685 by the French under the Sieur de la Salle.
This task was principally executed by Juan Vazquez de Coronado (or Vasquez de Coronada), an able and humane governor appointed in 1562, whose civilizing work was undone by the almost uninterrupted maladministration of his fifty-eight successors.
Coronado may have entered Colorado in 1540; there are also meagre records of indisputable Spanish explorations in the south in the latter half of the 18th century (friars Escallante and Dominguez in 1776).
The conquest of the Seven Cities was determined upon, and a band of adventurers, led by Francisco Vasquez de Coronado, set out in 1539.