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Caddo Archeology Journal

Abstract

The location of the habitation sites of the Adaes Indians has not been thoroughly investigated by archaeologists and historians. Most researchers have placed Adaes habitation sites in the general vicinity of Los Adaes simply because the presidio and mission were named after the Adaes Indians [e.g. Hodge (1907:13), Glover (1935), Swanton (1946:196), Webb and Gregory (1986:28), Smith (1995:59), LaVere (1998:79), Avery (1998, 94-95), Los Adaes Exhibit, Texas Beyond History (2006)]. This paper will focus on historical documentation to provide a better understanding of the location of the habitation sites of the Adaes Indians during the 18th and early 19th centuries. The earliest accounts presented are narratives of travels along the Red River in the early 18th century. While they unfortunately have no definitive geographical data such as plat maps or land claims, they still provide relational information which can be interpreted along with the more precise geographical documentation of the latter 18th century. All of the late 18th and early 19th century documents reviewed for this paper are primary sources such as conveyances, successions and land claims.

The evidence presented in this paper will reveal that the “homeland” of the Adaes was in southern Desoto Parish, Louisiana and extreme northern Natchitoches Parish. This area is approximately twenty miles north of Los Adaes, which agrees with the Spanish documents and with John Sibley’s (1807) location of the Adaes. Archaeologically, there is an abundant sample of historic sites that date to the 18th and 19th centuries in that region. These appear as pure aboriginal sites or mixtures of aboriginal and European components.

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

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