The Handbook of Texas is free-to-use thanks to the support of readers like you. Support the Handbook today.

Font size: A / A reset

Support Texas History Now

Join TSHA to support quality Texas history programs and receive exclusive benefits.

Become a TSHA Member Today »

Deadose Indians

Thomas N. Campbell General Entry

The Deadose (Agdoza, Doxsa, Igodosa, Jacdoas, Judosa, Yacdossa) Indians are known to have existed only during the eighteenth century. It is now clear that they were closely related to the Bidais and spoke an Atakapan language. In the early eighteenth century they lived between the junction of the Angelina and Neches rivers and the upper end of Galveston Bay. Some time after 1720 the Deadoses moved westward to an area lying between the Brazos and Trinity rivers in the vicinity of present Leon, Madison, and Robertson counties. Between 1749 and 1751 the Deadose Indians, along with other Atakapan-speaking groups (Akokisas, Bidais, and Patiris), were represented at the short-lived San Ildefonso Mission near present Rockdale in Milam County. A few Deadose (Yacdossa) Indians entered San Antonio de Valero Mission shortly afterward. In the second half of the eighteenth century the Deadoses were at times closely associated with certain Tonkawan groups (Ervipiames, Mayeyes, and Yojuanes), and it was once thought that their language might have been Tonkawan. This view was abandoned because other evidence clearly indicated an Atakapan linguistic affiliation. The Deadose Indians suffered heavily from European-introduced diseases, especially measles and smallpox, and they eventually lost their ethnic identity in the latter part of the eighteenth century. Remnants of the Deadoses probably joined the Bidais, who survived into the nineteenth century, although some may have been absorbed by the Tonkawas. J. R. Swanton erred in identifying the Yacdossa of San Antonio de Valero Mission as Coahuiltecans.

Herbert Eugene Bolton, ed. and trans., Athanase de Mézières and the Louisiana-Texas Frontier, 1768–1780 (2 vols., Cleveland: Arthur H. Clark, 1914). Herbert Eugene Bolton, Texas in the Middle Eighteenth Century (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1915; rpt., Austin: University of Texas Press, 1970). Peter P. Forrestal, trans., The Solís Diary of 1767, ed. Paul J. Foik (Preliminary Studies of the Texas Catholic Historical Society 1.6 [March 1931]). Andre Sjoberg, The Bidai Indians of Southeastern Texas (M.A. thesis, University of Texas, 1951). J. R. Swanton, Linguistic Material from the Tribes of Southern Texas and Northeastern Mexico (Washington: Smithsonian Institution, 1940). John R. Swanton, The Indians of the Southeastern United States (Washington: GPO, 1946).


  • Peoples
  • Native American
  • Tribes (Other)

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

Thomas N. Campbell, “Deadose Indians,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed June 24, 2021,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

July 1, 1995