The Villasur Expedition

The Villasur Expedition (HMZWV)

Location: Columbus, NE 68601 Platte County
Country: United States of America

N 41° 25.382', W 97° 22.126'

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In June 1720 a Spanish military force led by Sir Pedro de Villasur left Santa Fe, New Mexico, to gather information on French activities near the Missouri River. The force included 45 veteran soldiers, 60 Pueblo Indian allies, some Apache scouts, and a priest. Indian trader Juan L'Archeveque, and Jose Naranjo, a black explorer who had reconnoitered Nebraska's Platte River, accompanied the expedition.

Near present Schuyler, Nebraska, Villasur's command met large numbers of Pawnee and Oto Indians who were allies of the French. The Spanish withdrew to approximately this area and camped. The next morning, August 14, 1720, the Indians attacked. Within minutes Villasur, L'Archeveque, Naranjo, 3l soldiers, 11 Pueblo Indians, and the priest lay dead. The survivors fled across the prairie and reached Santa Fe September 6. Spanish losses were the greatest suffered by Europeans in any battle with Indians on Nebraska soil.

The Villasur expedition was the deepest official penetration of the Great Plains until the 1790s, when Spanish fur traders ascended the Missouri River. After 1720 no Spanish military force reached Nebraska country until the 1806 Melgares Expedition visited the Pawnee village on the Republican River.
Series This marker is part of the Nebraska: Nebraska State Historical Society series
Marker Number305_MARKER_N
Placed ByNebraska State Historical Society
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Monday, October 20th, 2014 at 12:22pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)14T E 636310 N 4587003
Decimal Degrees41.42303333, -97.36876667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 41° 25.382', W 97° 22.126'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds41° 25' 22.92" N, 97° 22' 7.56" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)402, 308
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 650-698 Lincoln Highway, Columbus NE 68601, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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