Samaniego pledged 16-17 horses, two buckskin coats, a coat of mail with all ccouterments. Many of Samaniego’s belongings were destroyed in a fire, which he replaced with native equipment.
Samaniego was a rich man. Appointed to the expedition as maestre de campo, or the second in command of the army. He served as keeper of the royal arsenal in Mexico City before the expedition. Described as “a responsible person and very good Christian…” by Mendoza. He had accompanied Guzman on the Nueva Galicia frontier. Samaniego was killed by an arrow to the eye near Chiametla shortly after the expedition set out. Buried in a field, and eventually moved to the church at Compostela.
Due to a lack of food for the army, Coronado had dispatched a force into the mountains to procure provisions. The party was put under the command of Lope de Samaniego. Upon entering a dense thicket, one soldier was separated from their group. Native warriors attacked the lone soldier, and commander Samaniego rushed to his side after hearing his cries. With the natives routed, Samaniego felt safe enough to raise his visor and speak with the soldier. He was then struck by an arrow through the eye, killing him instantly. His death so early in the expedition was a major loss to the army. He was avenged by Coronado who captured a number of natives and hung them from trees in the vicinity. Samaniego was the first to die on the expedition.
“Muster Roll of the Expedition.” Narratives of the Coronado Expedition, 1540- 1542, by George Peter Hammond and Agapito Rey, University of New Mexico Press, 1940, pp. 88–88.
[Mentions the names and all items pledged to the expedition]
“Surviving Examples of the Elegant Morion Helmet Used from the Middle 16th to Early 17th Centuries.”
The Vintage News, The Vintage News, 4 Oct. 2016, www.thevintagenews.com/2016/07/22/priority-surviving-examples-elegant-morion-helmet-used-middle-16th-early-17th-centuries/.
[Similar armor to what Samaniego may have worn, since there are no pictures of him specifically]
Twitchell, Ralph Emerson. “The Leading Facts of New Mexican History, Vol. I (Hardcover).”
Google Books, 2007, books.google.com/books/about/The_Leading_Facts_of_New_Mexican_History.html?id=e4jgfIqd7gIC.
[Describes Samaniego’s last moments pg 177]