Life on the Frontier
The Presidio
The Governor's House
A Military Outpost
Farming and Ranching
Religious Life
Domestic Life
Games and Entertainment
The King's Highway
Trade with the French
Trade with the Caddo
Religious Life
The mission consisted of a church and a residence for the priest and the lay brother. There was also a garden area. Archaeological testing in the mission area uncovered an area of dark colored soil that was the size of a burial pit. Since it was common practice to bury the dead in the floor of a mission church, it is not surprising that a burial would be found in the area of the mission. The Adaes Indians did not come to the mission to live, but the priests baptized some of them, often in articulo mortis (at the hour of death). The priests from Los Adaes also went to Natchitoches to say Mass for the French who often had no priest of their own. The priests at Los Adaes were Franciscans, and their main purpose was to convert the unconverted Native Americans. The 1768 inspection of the Los Adaes mission noted the lack of converted Indians living around the mission, but stressed that the priests were attending to the spiritual needs of the community.
Amulets such as higas were thought to protect the wearer from the "evil eye". They are still popular in many parts of Latin America.Jesuit ringCrucifix and religious medalsSpanish missionaries, 1700s
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Eyewitness Accounts
Father Solís conducted an inspection of the mission one year after the inspection of the presidio, from May 8th to May 23rd, 1768. He wrote: “This mission of Señor San Miguel de Cuellar de los Adays is situated in a dense forest of thick trees, pines, post oaks, pin oaks. Through the thick woods runs a plain that is not very large, with a small hill on each side on one of these is the mission and on the other stands the presidio. In the middle of the plain runs a creek with little and bad water. The houses and church of this mission are of wood with wooden roofs, all clean and neat. This mission has deteriorated in a material as well as in a spiritual way; in the material because the house and church are old and abused, reduced and almost destroyed. The ornaments and sacred vessels are old and badly abused. The ministers (who only occupy themselves in ministering to all the white people of the royal presidio and ranches, of which there are some) suffer many needs, and even lack the necessary things. . . . Notwithstanding the fact that there is not any Indian congregation in this mission, I found three hundred entries of baptisms, of children as well as adults, noted in the Administrative book. Of the people of the presidio, I found two-hundred and fifty-six baptisms, sixty-four marriages, one-hundred-and-sixteen burials” (page 65–66, Kress, Margaret Kenny, translator, 1931 Diary of a Visit of Inspection of the Texas Missions made by Fray Gaspar José de Solís in the year 1767–68. Southwestern Historical Quarterly 35:28–76).

Church and state were intertwined during the Spanish colonial period, and the following example demonstrates the power of the Church. Governor Sandoval and his lieutenant, Fermín de Ibiricú, returned from a trip to Natchitoches with three French women. One of these women was the wife of the alférez (ensign) of the French fort at Natchitoches. The group had a party in the governor’s house, and when it reached an hour where it was not appropriate for the wife of the French alférez to be in the company of the governor and his lieutenant, the priest from the mission came to the governor’s house and removed the French woman from the party and, according to the documents, sent her to Mission Dolores. (This document was among those transcribed by the students of Herbert Bolton. The original document is located in the Archivo General de la Nación in Meixco City, and the title is Criminal charges brought by Carlos Benites de Frenquis de Lugo against Manuel de Sandoval and Fermín de Ibiricú at Los Adaes, volume 524, Part II, 1736–1737. A photostat of the transcription of this document is located in the Catholic Archives of Texas, 39.2a.)
Suggested Reading
Habig, Fr. Marion A., O.F.M. 1990 Spanish Texas Pilgrimage. The Old Franciscan Missions and Other Spanish Settlements of Texas 1632-1821. Franciscan Herald Press, Chicago, Illinois.

Rios, Eduardo Enrique 1959 Life of Fray Antonio Margil O.F.M. Translated and Revised by Benedict Leutenegger, O.F.M. Academy of American Franciscan History, Washington, D.C.