The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 95, July 1991 - April, 1992

The Kadohadacho Indians and the
Louisiana-Texas Frontier, 1803- 1815
F. TODD SMITH*
FROM 1803 UNTIL 1815 THE SITUATION ON THE UNDEFINED BORDER BE-
tween Spain and the United States on the Louisiana-Texas frontier
can best be described as tense. The threat of war was ever present. At
least three times during the period-the Freeman-Custis expedition of
18o6, the revolution in Texas in 1811, and the War of 1812-actual
hostilities between Spain and the United States almost materialized.
The Indian tribes of the region were also involved in this era's tur-
moil. One tribe in particular, the Kadohadacho, was an active partici-
pant in the dispute between the United States and Spain. The Ka-
dohadacho, the most influential tribe in the area, was sought out by
both countries and was recognized as being a key to the diplomacy of
the Louisiana-Texas frontier. Led by their charismatic chief, Dehahuit,
the Kadohadacho actually seized the initiative whenever possible and,
thus, were able to profit from their position between the two empires
and to enhance their status even further. Unfortunately for the tribe,
as tensions diminished between Spain and the United States following
the War of 1812 so did the Kadohadacho's importance to the two pow-
ers, and ultimately they experienced the same fate of' removal as did
other southeastern Indian tribes.'
* F. Todd Smith obtained his Ph.D in U S. history from ulane Umniversity in 1989 and is an
assistant professor in the history department of Xavier University in New Orleans His article
entitled "After the Treaty of 1835: The United States and the Kadohadacho Indians" appeared
in Louitsana History, XXX (Spring, 1989) He is presently finishing a book-length manuscript
entitled "On the Convergence of Empire The Caddo Indian Confederacies, 1542-1867 "
'The Americans called the Kadohadacho, "Caddo" When the Kadohadacho and the
Hasmna moved to Oklahoma in 1859, the entire conglomerate was again called Caddo I will
continue to use the termn Kadohadacho for the Red River Caddo and Haslnal for the East
'Texas branch of the tribe. The term "Caddo" will be used in this paper to include all the groups
of the Caddo confederacies, for examples of other tribes' influence on the convergence of em-
pires see Neal Salisbury, Manitou and Providence Indians, Europeans, and the Making of New En-
gland 15o00-643 (New York: Oxford University Press, 1982), Anthony F. C. Wallace with the
assistance of Sheila C. Steen, The Death and Rebirth of the Seneca (New York" Alfred A Knopf,
Inc, 1970), Verner W. Crane, The Southern Frontier, 1670-1732 (Ann Arbor: University of
Michigan Press, 1929); and Gary Clayton Anderson, Kinsmen of Another Kind Dakota-White Re-
latzons in the Upper Miztssppi Valley, 1650-1862 (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1984)

Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 95, July 1991 - April, 1992. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117153/. Accessed October 2, 2014.