A history of a site in three flints
These three gunflints represent the types of flintlock strikers found at Los Adaes, the capital of Tejas— Spanish Texas– on the northeastern frontier of New Spain from about 1729 to 1770, now part of Natchitoches Parish, Louisiana. A mission built nearly opposite of the French frontier fort at Natchitoches, the Spanish outpost was a crossroads of sorts between the two colonial empires in the 18th-century– with the British very much on the horizon as well.
The first gunflint is called a “spall” type gunflint, because it was made from a large flake or spall knocked off a nodule of flint. This is the easiest type of gunflint to make, but it is not the most efficient use of flint.
The second gunflint is called a “blade” type gunflint because it is made from a blade or long rectangular flake struck from a flint core. It is possible to make more blade gunflints from a flint nodule than it is to make spall gunflints.
The blade gunflints made of the honey-colored flint are commonly associated with the French.
The blade gunflint made from the dark-colored flint is commonly associated with the British.
According to researchers, “Blade and spall gunflints made from honey-colored flint are common at Los Adaes, while blade gunflints made of dark-colored flint are rare at Los Adaes. Flint or chert from the Americas was also used for gunflints at Los Adaes.”
Following the Treaty of Fontainebleau, the Spanish withdrew into Texas, with San Antonio named the new capital, and Los Adaes fell into disrepair as the French moved in.