Los Adaes Today
Closing the Fort and Mission
The Adaeseños
Departure of the Caddo
Excavations at Los Adaes
Visiting Los Adaes
The Adaeseños
Many of the people from Los Adaes, or Adaeseños, went to San Antonio after 1773. Some stayed in San Antonio, and others immediately asked to go to the area of modern-day northeast Texas. This latter group eventually occupied an old mission and founded the modern town of Nacogdoches. When the first Mexican Revolution started in 1810, some Adaeseños thought it might be safer in Louisiana. Sometime after 1814, a community called Adaes was established about 1.5 miles west of the former presidio and mission. This community is labeled “Village of Adois” on an 1830s plat map. Later, the Adaes community moved north of this. Anglos called the first Adaes settlement “Old Spanish Town” and called the second settlement farther north “New Spanish Town.” After 1860, the church was moved farther north, to the area of La Laguna de los Adaes, which the Anglos called Spanish Lake. Adaeseños still live in the Spanish Lake community, as well as in the Ebarb community near the Sabine River, and in the Gorum community, about 35 miles south of presidio Los Adaes. Spanish is still spoken, to some degree, in two of these communities, and traditional foods such as tamales are still made.
An 1830s platmap shows the"Village of Adois"Adaeseña Rhonda GauthierAdaeseños in the 1800s
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More History
At first, some documents referred to the people from Los Adaes as being from the “extinguido” or “abandonado” or “demolido” presidio of Los Adaes. As early as 1790, the people of the abandoned presidio of Los Adaes were called Adayseños, according to Frank de la Teja, historian at Southwest Texas State University. But the people of these communities have only very recently begun referring to themselves as Adaeseños. Adaeseños are the product of over fifty years of Spanish, French, and Native American interaction at Los Adaes. A census from San Antonio in the 1790s reveals that fourteen Adaes Indian families went with the “Spanish” inhabitants of Los Adaes to live in San Antonio after the Los Adaes presidio closed. Some Adaes may have left with the Caddos in 1835, but others appear to have associated with the settlement at Los Adaes. The Nacogdoches censuses from the late 1790s and early 1800s list Indians who were born at Los Adaes. During the last twenty years, the State of Louisiana has recognized two Indian tribes in the area of Adaeseño settlement—the Caddo Adai in the Spanish Lake Community and the Choctaw-Apache in the Ebarb-Zwolle area. The Apalachee tribe, located near the Gorum community, also has many Spanish surnames. A comparison of what has been learned about the 18th century Adaeseños living at Los Adaes with studies and observations of modern Adaeseño communities is fascinating. The most striking continuities are in foodways and religion. Manos and metates were still being used in the early 20th century, and the Catholic Church is still strong in the Adaeseño communities. The tradition of serving in the military is still apparent in the Adaeseño communities. In 1976, the Los Adaes Foundation honored veterans from the Spanish Lake community with a special ceremony at Los Adaes. Some people still believe in the “evil eye,” although higas (see Religious Life) are no longer used to protect against it.
Suggested Reading
Adaesaños Foundation website http://www.geocities.com/adaesanos/