This is the stuff I love finding when researching. in 1720, a Spanish expedition out of Santa Fe was attacked in Nebraska by Native Americans, most likely at the instigation of the French.
The Spanish were there to capture French explorers and trappers and stop the French expansion west into what was ostensibly Spanish territory.
The site of the battle, more a massacre, isn’t certain but most likely near Columbus, Nebraska, where the Platte River meets the Loupe.
Spain had claimed ownership of the Great Plains since the Coronado Expedition of 1540–1542. Which is 180 years before this massacre. That’s a lot of time. I find the history of the west prior to what we normally view as “westward expansion” fascinating.
The Spanish were led by Lieutenant General Pedro de Villasur. He had forty soldiers, sixty Pueblos, 12 Apaches and some others. They left Santa Fe and went north through Colorado, Kansas and into Nebraska.
On 14 August 1720 they were attacked by Pawnee and Otoes, and if you look closely at the drawing on the buffalo robe, it looks like other Europeans, most likely some French.
Most the Spaniards were killed.
The survivors limped back to Santa Fe and that was was the end of Spanish attempts to take the fur trade from the part of the continent.
Originally published at bobmayer.com on March 9, 2019.