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The Nadaco Tribe

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For the rest of the tribes in this group our information is less definite. The Nadaco, though a prominent tribe, can not be located with certainty until 1787, when they, or at least a part of them, were on the Sabine River, apparently in the northern part of Panola County.1 But in 1716 they were clearly near the Nasoni, and sometimes the two tribes seem to have been considered as one. Hidalgo, who must have known, for he was on the ground, distinctly states that the mission of San Jose was founded for the Nasoni and the Nadaco.2 Although the mission was commonly known to the Spaniards as that of the Nasoni, the French writers, in particular, including San Denis, sometimes called it the Nadaco3 mission. Frequent references made by La Harpe in 1719 to the Nadaco show that he is either speaking of the Nasoni or of a tribe in their immediate vicinity, more probably the latter, since in other instances the tribes are so clearly distinguished. For instance, he tells us that when at the Kadohadacho village on the Red River, not far from Texarkana, “they assured me that sixty leagues south was the village of the Nadacos, where the Spaniards had a mission, and that they had another among the Assinais, in the Amediche [Nabedache] tribe, which was seventy leagues south-one-fourth-southwest from the Nassonites [which were near the Kadohadacho].”4 In 1752 the Nadaco were only a short distance northward from the Nasoni, apparently northeast, and the two tribes then had a single chief.5)

Supposing the Nadaco and the Nasoni to have lived in clearly distinct settlements at the early period, the Nadaco could hardly have been near the highway from the Nasoni to the Kadohadacho, for, as we have seen, the Nasoni always figure as the last station on the way to the Kadohadacho. It seems more probable, considering this last fact with the statements made about the mission of San Jose, that the two tribes lived in a settlement practically continuous, to which sometimes one and sometimes the other name was given. An upper branch of the Angelina is now called Anadarko (Nadaco) Creek, and it is possible, in spite of the above considerations, that this stream was the home of the Nadaco at the coming of the Spaniards and the French, but it seems more probable that it was applied in later times as a result of the removal of the tribe to that neighborhood.

It is clear, at any rate that in the early eighteenth century the Nadaco village was very near that of the Nasoni.


  1. Francisco Xavier Fragoso, Diary, in the General Land Office, Austin, Texas, Records, Vol. 68, p. 174. 

  2. Letter to Mesquia, October 6, 1716, in the Archive General de Mexico, MS. The Memories copy of Ram6n’s itinerary (XXVII, 158) calls this mission that of the “Noachis,” but the original reads plainly “Nasonis.” 

  3. Thus, La Harpe noted in his journal that San Denis, who conducted the expedition of 1716 that founded the missions “proposed, sometime after his arrival, that he should be the conductor of nine missionaries to the tribes of the Adayes, Ayches, Nacocodochy, Inay and Nadaco” (Extrait du Journal manuscrit du voyage de la Louisiane par le sieur de La Harpe et de ses découvertes dans la partie de 1’Ouest de cette colonie, in Margry, Découvertes, VI, 194). San Denis himself regarded the mission as having been founded in the Nadaco tribe. This is the inference from a correspondence carried on in 1735-1736 between him and Sandoval, governor of Texas. Sandoval wrote to San Denis on March 10, 1736, acknowledging a letter of December 2, 1735, in which San Denis outlined the basis of French claims to country west of the Red River. Judging from Sandoval’s summary of the letter (I have not seen the letter) he alleged that, with Bienville, he had explored the country as far back as 1702; that in 1715 he had journeyed from the “Asinais” to Mexico, seeing on the way only vestiges of the old Spanish settlements; that he conducted Ram6n into the country, “the result of which was the foundation [of missions], which it was requested of your lordship should be established among the Nacogdoches, Nadaco, Ainais, and Naicha, and the subsequent ones among the Ays and Adais, maintaining the ministers of the Gospel at your expense.” (Triplicate of Sandoval’s letter, in the Archive General, Secci6n de Historia, Vol. 524, formerly in Indiferente de Guerra. With this letter there are several original letters of San Denis. 

  4. La Harpe, Relation du Voyage, in Margry, op. cit., VI 262. See also Ibid., 266. 

  5. This is on the well-founded assumption that the Nadote discussed by De Soto Vermudez were the same as the Nadaco (De Soto Vermudez, Investigation, MS. 

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