The Spanish colonial mission and fort known as Los Adaes held the unique position of being a borderland site and served as both a destination and a UGRR way station on an established route between French Louisiana and Spanish Texas.As such it was under the jurisdiction of the Spanish Crown which early on prohibited the enslavement of peoples in the New World. Unfortunately, this prohibition was oftentimes ignored as economic necessity prevailed and the labor needs for plantations and thusly an enslaved labor force formed. However at Los Adaes cattle ranching and subsistence farming was the primary economic pursuit for the residents, thereby eliminating the need for enslaved laborers. As a borderland community, Adaes was not self-sufficient and residents engaged in trade for food with the French at Natchitoches (Galan 2006:2). This led to an established path between the two countries (Spanish Texas - French Natchitoches) which is known today as El Camino Real de los Tejas. The long established transportation corridor, known as El Camino was the route chosen by freedom seekers escaping to Los Adaes and other parts of the Spanish interior. By the late 1700s, free people of African descent formed 15% of the population in Texas (Barr 1996:3).
Visitor Information: Currently open to public.
Location: Los Adaes State Historic Site, 6354 Hwy 485, Robeline, Natchitoches, 71449
National Park Unit: No
Ownership: Justin French
Location Type: Site