History of the Acadians

History of the Acadians

The Acadians ( _fr. Acadiens) are the descendants of the original French settlers and often Métis, of parts of Acadia (French: "Acadie") in the northeastern region of North America comprising what is now the Canadian Maritime Provinces of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island, Gaspé, in Quebec, and parts of the American state of Maine.

In the Great Upheaval of 1755, Acadians were uprooted by the British; some of these resettled in Louisiana, where they became known as Cajuns. War between the French and the British in their colonies and in Europe is an important element in the history of the Acadians. No other factor shaped the cultural evolution of Acadians in such a dominant way. A second historical element to affect development of the Acadians is a sense of abandonment by France. The last century has been marked by struggles by the Acadian people for equal language and cultural rights as a minority group in the Maritime provinces of Canada.


By the beginning of the 16th century, European fishermen (Basque, English, French and Portuguese) had been sailing to the Grand Banks off the coast of Newfoundland where they caught cod. In 1524, Francis I, the French king sent the Italian Giovanni da Verrazzano to explore the coast of North America from Florida northwards and to seek an alternative route to the Indies.

At the time, the Malecite called the area "quoddy" (fertile land) and the Mi'kmaq called it "algatig" (place of encampment). J-C Dupont (1977) argues that Verrazzano was inspired by these names and called the land near present day New York or Pennsylvania "Arcadia", meaning a pastoral paradise. [Bona Arsenault argues that Verrazzano named the place Arcadie "en raison de la beauté de ses arbres" (p.14) (because of the beauty of the trees). Furthermore, he adds that during Verrazzano's voyage, he only made landfall for three days, therefore he would not have had enough time to learn the names of the land from the various tribes.] Over time, this name evolved to Accadie and even Cadie to define the area of the Gulf Islands, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and much of present day Maine.

In 1534, Jacques Cartier was sent to explore this "Arcadia" around the Gulf of Saint Lawrence. He returned again in 1535 and explored once more the Gulf of Saint Lawrence and the Saint Lawrence River. Cartier and the French made two more expeditions, in 1541-1542 and 1542-1543. These expeditions were bitterly disappointing for the French.

European contact with northern North America returned to the pre-Cartier days: fishermen in the Grand Banks and in the gulf. Later, traders arrived with European goods to be traded with locals for furs. By the end of the late 16th century, the need for a permanent settlement for trading in furs was great.

In 1603, Henri IV, the King of France, granted Pierre Dugua, Sieur de Monts, exclusive right to colonize lands in North America between 40シ- 60シ North latitude. The King also gave de Monts a monopoly in the fur trade for these territories and named him Lieutenant General for Acadia and New France. In return, de Monts promised to bring 60 new colonists each year to what would be called l'Acadie.

First settlements

Île-Ste-Croix and Port-Royal

Arriving in 1604 with 79 settlers, including the royal cartographer Samuel de Champlain, Jean de Biencourt de Poutrincourt et de Saint-Just, a Catholic priest Nicolas Aubry, and a Huguenot minister, de Monts and his party chose a site in the Baie Francis (present day Bay of Fundy), at the mouth of the St. Croix River which separates present day New Brunswick and Maine , on a small island named Saint Croix. Poutrincourt, perhaps the most fortunate of the group, was sent back to France that autumn by Dugua with a boatload of furs.

During that first summer, Champlain, along with a smaller party, explored the Bay of Fundy area. The day upon which Champlain sighted a mighty river emptying into the bay was June 24th, St. John The Baptist's Day, thus the name for the river (Fleuve Ste-Jean, or St. John River).

The location of the first settlement on Île-Ste-Croix was a poor choice. Water had to be rowed from the mainland. Gardens withered. Regardless, they were most likely planted too late in the season. Unlike in warmer Europe, only about 90 frost-free days could be expected. And in 1604, the first snow fell on October 6th. Dangerous ice flows prevented the French from re-stocking wood, meat, and water supplies from the mainland, and soon their resources were exhausted. Many of the settlers died from starvation, scurvy, or the cold weather.

The following spring, when the ice melted, the Passamquoddy Bay tribes brought the settlers meat which they traded for iron tools. Soon after, the surviving settlers sailed across the bay to Port-Royal (Annapolis Royal) in present day Nova Scotia.

At Port-Royal, Poutrincourt and Louis Hébert planted grain and became the first European farmers in North America. That same year, Marc Lescarbot, a lawyer by trade, established a theater, le Théâtre de Neptune which became the first theater in North America. Also, to maintain morale, the l'Ordre du Bon-Temps (the Order of Good Cheer) was established. Despite these efforts, several more men died of scurvy.

In the summer of 1607, owing to financial problems of the company in France, the settlers abandoned Port-Royal and returned to France, leaving their fort to the Mi'kmaq chief Membertou. France still intended to colonize the area. Upon hearing of a newly financed expedition, Father Pierre Coton instructed the Jesuit priests Father Pierre Biard, and Father Edmond Masse to take charge of the new mission, in Acadia.Citation
last = Campbell
first = T.J.
contribution = Biography of Pierre Biard
year = 1907
title = The Catholic Encyclopedia
editor-last =
editor-first =
url = http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/02541d.htm
volume = II
pages =
place = New York
publisher = Robert Appleton Company
id = 978-074-59-14411
] It was not until 1610 that French colonists would return to Acadia. In the meantime, Champlain had established a colony in present day Quebec City.

Return to Port-Royal

On June 1, 1610, Jean de Biencourt de Poutrincourt et de Saint-Just arrived in Acadia with another group of settlers, including his 19-year old son Charles de Biencourt de Saint-Just, and the Huguenots Claude de Saint-Étienne de la Tour, and his 14-year old son, Charles de Saint-Étienne de la Tour, and another Catholic priest, named Flesch. In late June 1610, Flesch began baptizing the Micmac, including their chief, Membertou.

The ship, now captained by the young Biencourt, immediately returned to France to secure more supplies, arrived on August 21. However, he was held up until January 1611. With the help of the financial help of Marquis de Guercheville, the Jesuit Father Biard was able to become part owner of the ship and it's cargo bound for Acadia, securing himself passage. This was unacceptable to Poutrincourt's backers, Huguenot channel merchants. However, the merchants were eventually bought out and Biencourt was obliged to take the Jesuits along.

The group which remained in Acadia during the winter of 1610-1611 numbered 24, and all survived. In May 1611, Biencourt, aboard the "Grace de Dieu" (Grace of God), arrived in Port-Royal with the supplies and the Jesuits. In July, this time the elder Biencourt returned to France for more supplies and to trade goods. Charles de Biencourt became the governor in charge of 22 others.

In 1612, on January 23, Poutrincourt arrived from France with more supplies and another Jesuit. The Jesuit missionaries lived among the local First Nations tribes: one of them at the mouth of the St. John River. The stay of the Jesuit missionaries did not go well with the settlers, most of them being Calvinist owing to the religious nature of the proprietor de Monts.

On March 13, 1613, a crew of 48, along with horses, goats, and a year's supply of goods, set sail under the command of M. de la Saussaye. The settlers still unhappy with the Jesuit missionaries expelled them from the colony, and with orders from the Madame de Guercheville, Father Biard was told to set up a new colony at Bar Harbor. The Jesuits left the colony, but not before excommunicating the opposing colonists. [cite web
last = Garneau
first = D.
authorlink =
coauthors =
title = NEW FRANCE 1611 - 1614 Quebec Culture
work =
publisher =
date = 2008-01-24
url = http://www.telusplanet.net/public/dgarneau/french5.htm
format = web
doi =
accessdate = 2008-01-31
] Near the end of May, this new group arrived at Port-Royal.

In the summer of 1613, the colony at Port-Royal was attacked by the English, led by Samuel Argall sailing out of Jamestown, Virginia. Several Acadian settlers were killed, others were taken prisoner including Father Biard, however, the main party had been away from the fort when Argall arrived. The fort and goods were destroyed. Poutrincourt, who had once again returned to France, arrived in Acadia on March 27, 1614 to find the settlers starving. He was forced to return to France with the surviving settlers. However, the young Biencourt and younger Charles La Tour maintained a French presence in Acadia, living amongst the Mi'kmaq.

In 1615, Charles de Biencourt succeeded his father, the baron of Poutrincourt, as governor of Acadia. Biencourt died in 1623 and was succeeded by Charles La Tour.

In 1625, La Tour married a woman from one of the tribes of the local First Nations. The family built a fort at the mouth of the Penobscot River where they traded with the local tribes. In 1626, once again the English arrived to destroy the French fort. La Tour returned to Port-Royal where Biencourt had remained.

Richelieu's influence

In the 16th century, France had been in a state of anarchy as Catholic and Huguenot armies battled one another. Late in the 16th century, the Bourbon dynasty seized the throne, enabling France to overcome these troubles. One of the leading figures in the administration of the Bourbons was Cardinal Richelieu.

Richelieu tried to initiate plans to colonize North America. In 1627, he revoked all previous French monopolies for North America and in their place, launched the Company of New France, also known as the Company of One Hundred Associates. In return for the fur trade monopoly, the company had to guarantee that two hundred migrants would emigrate per year.

Another element of Richelieu's scheme, was his desire to ensure that the colonies became an exclusively Roman Catholic colony - without Protestants, Richelieu believed there would be no internal division - despite many of the original settlers and supporters being Huguenots.

In 1627, La Rochelle was the last stronghold of the Huguenots in France. During the siege that took place around this city, which he himself led, Richelieu drew up the charter for the One Hundred Associates.

A merchant family by the name of Kirke, whose members had been forced out of France for their religious beliefs and now lived in London, wanted to avenge the defeat of La Rochelle. Leaving England in 1628, three Kirke brothers in three boats that were given to them by Charles I, captured four boats with four hundred settlers belonging to the Company of the One Hundred Associates. One of the prisoners was Claude de La Tour.

The Kirke brothers continued on to Quebec where Champlain's habitation was sacked, the area was taken for the King of England, and Champlain himself was kidnapped. It was not until the treaty of Saint-Germain-en-Laye in 1632 that the lands were returned to France.

In 1631, Charles La Tour had become governor of Acadia, and moved to the mouth of the St. John River and built a new fort there, where in 1635, he was formally granted a seignory.

In 1632 the largest influx of permanent settlers came into Acadia. A large proportion of Acadia's 17th-century immigrants came from the western provinces of Poitou, Angoumois, Aunis, and Saintonge, recent research also indicates that many came from the northern provinces. Three hundred Catholic peasants from Charles D'Aulnay's estate at La Chaussée near Loudun, France, in the modern province of Vienne, set off for the New World. [http://acim.umfk.maine.edu/first_acadians.htm]

In 1621, King James I of England had granted a charter to the Scot Sir William Alexander, Earl of Stirling to a large portion of the north-eastern coast of North America to develop New Scotland (Latin: Nova Scotia). The aim of the charter was to supplant the French colony that had been established. In the late 15th century, Giovanni Caboto, an Italian explorer for the English crown had discovered the north-eastern shores of North America. The charter granted to William Alexander by James I was based on these earlier discoveries. It was not until 1629 that the Alexander group set sail. During the first winter, many of the settlers died from scurvy. By 1631, the English agreed to return Nova Scotia to the French crown and the Scottish settlement was dismantled. One Scotsman remained, married a French settler, and the name, "Melanson" (also Melançon), has since become an Acadian family name.

In 1632, Richelieu sent his cousin, Isaac de Razilly to Port-Royal, with the title Lieutenant-general of all of New France and governor of Acadia. With him were two men who would play a significant role in the development of Acadia: Charles de Menou d'Aulnay and Nicolas Denys. Razilly and La Tour agreed to divide control of Acadia: the former controlling all of the eastern side of Nova Scotia, the latter controlling the south-western corner of Nova Scotia and the territory along the Saint John River.

MacDonald writes about La Tour's possession at the mouth of this river: " [d] own this river highway came fleets of canoes, bringing the richest fur harvest in all Acadia to Charles La Tour's storehouses: three thousand moose skins a year, uncounted beaver and otter. On this tongue of land his habitation stood, yellow-roofed, log-palisaded, its cannon commanding the river and bay" (p. 183).

In 1633, merchants from Massachusetts established a trading post at Machias, Maine. La Tour attacked the post, killing two guards, taking the other three prisoners and goods with him back to Cape Sable. In 1634, a Boston merchant named Allerton who had interests in the Machias post, sailed to La Tour to demand the prisoners and goods. La Tour replied that the Machias post was in French territory and he had acted in the name of the French king. Razilly used this incident to identify the Kennebec River, near Portland, Maine, as the line at which the English must not cross.

In 1635, Razilly died a sudden death at the age of 48. His legacy was his role in promoting emigration to Acadia. His immediate successor, d'Aulnay, succeeded him. The following year, d'Aulnay married Jeanne Motin in Port-Royal, the daughter of Louis Motin, a financial backer of Razilly.

Fratricide: La Tour and D'Aulnay

With the help of the monies he acquired from the fur trade, La Tour was able to purchase influence in Paris. As a result, he was granted the office of co-lieutenant-governor of Acadia, along with d'Aulnay, in 1638. Unfortunately for Acadia and the colonists, a long and wasteful struggle was about to begin between these two men. In the end, the struggle between La Tour and d'Aulnay would cost hundreds of thousands of livres.

On two occasions, in 1639 and 1640, La Tour attempted to unseat d'Aulnay in Port-Royal. As a result, the French court, in 1641, annulled the charter granted to La Tour in 1631. D'Aulnay, in 1642, received an order to bring La Tour by force to Paris.

La Tour found allies in Massachusetts and on August 6th, 1643, La Tour and his paid army descended on Acadia, killing three, injuring seven others, and taking a prisoner. They killed a number of animals and looted the storehouses, one third of the plunder going to La Tour and the rest to the Bostonians. The Capucins demanded Paris send support for d'Aulnay. D'Aulnay himself returned to France to inform the government of La Tour's treason. In the spring of 1644, the court declared La Tour outside the law.

By 1645, several hundred people were living in Port-Royal, including Capucins who had established a monastery there. Capucins were also found in Acadia, in La Hève (near present day Lunenburg), Pentagoet (near Castine, Maine), and Canso (at the tip of peninsular Nova Scotia).

In 1645, d'Aulnay, with his reinforcements, attacked La Tour's fort on the St. John River. La Tour himself was in Boston. His second wife, Marie Jacquelin La Tour, defended the fort for three days. On April 17, despite losing thirty-three men, d'Aulnay succeeded in taking the fort. La Tour's men were sent to the gallows. Madame La Tour was taken prisoner and died three months later. Charles La Tour sought refuge in Quebec.

In 1647, d'Aulnay became governor-general and seigneur of Acadia by royal proclamation. However, while La Tour had been enriching himself with the fur trade, d'Aulnay had become heavily indebted to pay for the colony. On May 24, 1650, d'Aulnay's canoe capsized and he drowned. His widow, Jeanne, was left heavily indebted and with eight young children: four daughters and four sons. All four sons would later perish on French battlefields.

Creditors in France demanded payment from Madame d'Aulnay. Emmanuel LeBorgne from La Rochelle, the future governor of Acadia, claimed 260,000 livres. Others that made claims against Madame d'Aulnay included Nicolas Denys, the holder of one of the largest seigneuries in Acadia. In 1651, LeBorgne sent a confidant, le sieur de Saint-Mas, to Port-Royal to seize the fort. The Capucins tried to intervene, but the fort was pillaged.

Around this time, hearing of d'Aulnay's death, La Tour returned to Paris where he was rehabilitated and absolved of crimes against Acadia, and made governor of Acadia. He returned to Port-Royal, then to his old fort along the St. John River, and sent his lieutenant, Philippe Mius d’Entremont, to Cap-de-Sable.

Then, on February 24, 1653, La Tour, at the age of 57, and the widow of his old enemy, Jeanne Motin, married. With the exception of Denys's seigneury, La Tour once again came to control Acadia. This was La Tour's third marriage and Jeanne would bear him several more children.

English Occupation (1654-1667)

In 1654, war between France and England broke out. Led by Major Robert Sedgwick, a flotilla from Boston, under orders from Cromwell, arrived in Acadia to chase the French out.

The flotilla seized La Tour’s fort, then Port-Royal.

La Tour, nevertheless, managed to find himself in England, where, with the support of John Kirke, succeeded in receiving from Cromwell a part of Acadia, along with Sir Thomas Temple. La Tour returned to Cap-de-Sable where he remained until his death in 1666 at the age of 70.

During the English occupation of Acadia, Jean-Baptiste Colbert, Louis XIV's minister forbade the Acadians from returning to France. The Treaty of Breda, signed July 31, 1667, returned Acadia to France. A year later, Marillon du Bourg would arrive to take possession of the territory for France. The son of LeBorgne, Alexandre LeBorgne, was named provisionary governor and lieutenant-general of Acadia. He married Marie Motin-La Tour, the eldest child in the marriage between La Tour and d'Aulnay's widow.

Return to French control

As a result of the English occupation, no new French families would settle in Acadia between 1654 and 1670. In the spring of 1671, more than fifty colonists left La Rochelle aboard the "l'Oranger". Others arrived from Canada (New France) or were retired soldiers.

During this time, a number of colonists married with the local First Nations. Some of the first to marry were Charles de Saint-Étienne de La Tour, Martin, Pierré Lejeune–Briard, Jehan Lambert, Petitpas and Guidry. The capitan, Vincent de Saint-Castin, the commander at Pentagoet, married Marie Pidikiwamiska, the daughter of an Abenakis chief.

In 1670, the new governor of Acadia, the chevalier Hubert d'Andigny, chevalier de Grandfontaine, was responsible for the first census undertaken in Acadia. The results did not include those Acadians living with local First Nations. It revealed that there were approximately sixty Acadian families with approximately 300 inhabitants in total. These inhabitants were predominantly engaged in aboiteau farming along the shores of the present day Bay of Fundy. No serious attempt was made to boost the population of Acadia. French efforts in North America were concentrated on New France.

In August 1674, a privateer from Curaçao, Jurriaen Aernoutsz, captured the forts at Pentagoet and Jemseg, and declared Acadia to be the Dutch territory of New Holland. However, Aernoutsz's appointed administrator, John Rhoades, was captured and taken to Boston after attacking two ships from New England in the Bay of Fundy shortly after Aernoutsz returned to Curaçao in search of settlers, and control of Acadia quickly reverted back to France. The Dutch continued to consider New Holland part of their colonial empire in North America, appointing Cornelius Van Steenwyk as Dutch governor of the territory in 1676, but this was largely a paper designation — in actual practice, the region remained under French control and sovereignty. Shortly after his appointment, Van Steenwyk sent a Dutch expedition to reoccupy Pentagoet, but they were turned back by three British war ships from Boston. The Dutch continued to claim sovereignty over Acadia on paper until 1678, when they surrendered the claim in the Treaties of Nijmegen.

Aboiteau farming is a labor-intensive farming method in which earthen dykes are constructed to stop high tides from inundating marshland. A wooden sluice or aboiteau (plural aboiteaux) is then built into the dyke, with swinging doors that allow for water to drain from the farmland but slams shut at high tide to prevent salt water from returning to the fields. The English in the American colonies to the south preferred another, more labor-intensive method—forest clearing. By 1683, however, the population of Port-Royal had grown to around 800 inhabitants.

English Possession

The Acadians became British subjects when France ceded Acadia by the Treaty of Utrecht in 1713, and Acadia became known as Nova Scotia ("New Scotland"). As a result of the loss of Acadia and Newfoundland, the French fortified the island of Cape Breton with the construction of a fortress at Louisbourg, beginning in 1719. When the French and Indian War began in 1754, the British government, doubting the loyalty of the newly-British Acadians, demanded that they take an oath of allegiance to the British monarch. Since the oath required renouncing a key article of the Acadians' Roman Catholic faith, most refused.

The "Grand Dérangement" (the Great Upheaval)

At a time of worsening relations between Britain and France, an Acadian delegation arrived in Halifax in 1755 with a petition to present to the lieutenant-governor of Nova Scotia, Colonel Charles Lawrence. Lawrence demanded that they take the oath of allegiance; the petitioners refused and Lawrence had them imprisoned. Under pressure from the Province of Massachusetts Bay and the British admiral in Halifax, Lawrence ordered the mass deportation of the Acadians despite earlier cautions from British authorities against drastic action.

In what is known as the "Grand Dérangement" (the Great Upheaval), more than 12,000 Acadians (three-fourths of the Acadian population in Nova Scotia) were expelled from the colony between 1755 and 1764. The British destroyed around 6,000 Acadian houses and dispersed the Acadians among the 13 colonies from Massachusetts to Georgia. Although there were no purposeful attempts to separate families, this did occur in the chaos of the eviction. Popular historian Tim Frink writes on the contrary that "the separation of the men from their families" indeed was purposefully planned and undertaken from the beginning of the upheaval. He adds "no effort was made to keep families together" (Frink, 1999). Members of the same family and community were sent to different colonies to impose assimilation.

Acadians were forcibly settled throughout North America: Quebec (2,000), Nova Scotia (1,249), Massachusetts (1,043), South Carolina (942), Maryland (810), Baie des Chaleurs (700), Connecticut (666), Pennsylvania (383), Ile Saint-Jean (300), Louisiana (300), North Carolina (280), New York (249), Georgia (185), and along the St. John River (86). Another 866 were rejected by Virginia and subsequently sent to England. The Acadians in England were sent to France at war's end in 1763.

Some Acadians escaped into the woods and lived with the Mi'kmaq; some bands of partisans fought the British, including a group led by Joseph Broussard, known as Beausoleil, along the Peticodiac River of New Brunswick. Some followed the coast northward, facing famine and disease. Some were recaptured, facing deportation or imprisonment at Fort Beausejour (renamed Fort Cumberland) until 1763.

The Acadians who were deported to what is now the United States were met by British colonists who treated them much like African slaves. Some Acadians became indentured servants. Massachusetts passed a law in November 1755 placing the Acadians under the custody of "justices of the peace and overseers of the poor"; Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Connecticut adopted similar laws. The Province of Virginia under Robert Dinwiddie initially agreed to resettle about one thousand Acadians who arrived in the colony but later ordered most deported to England, writing that the "French people" were "intestine enemies" that were "mudr'd and scalp'd our frontier settlers."

In 1758, after the fall of Louisbourg, over 3,000 Acadians were deported to northern France. Resettlement attempts were tried in Chatellerault, Nantes and Belle-Isle off Brittany. The French islands of St. Pierre and Miquelon near Newfoundland became a safe harbor for many Acadian families until they were once again deported by the British in 1778 and 1793.

After the end of the Seven Years War in 1763, Acadians were allowed to return to Nova Scotia as long as they did not settle in any one area in large numbers; they were not permitted to resettle in the areas of Port Royal or Grand-Pré. Some Acadians resettled along the Nova Scotia coast and remain scattered across Nova Scotia to this day.

Many dispersed Acadians looked for other homes. Beginning in 1764, groups of Acadians began to arrive in Louisiana (which had been passed to Spanish control in 1762). They eventually became known as Cajuns.

Debate Over the Origins of the "Grand Dérangement"

The role of the Acadians themselves in their history is the subject of several historical debates and battles. Though it is widely believed that the Acadians' refusal to swear an oath of allegiance to the British Crown was to blame for their mass deportation, many historians as far back as the early 1800s have argued over the true causes of this event. One such historian is Haliburton, who argued that as much as the Acadians had the British to blame for the deportation they also had the French colonists of Canada to blame for swaying them from their allegiance to England which had promised to protect them. This interpretation was widely accepted and eventually served as the basis for the poem "Evangeline" by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

Later generations of Nova Scotians felt as though they needed to defend the notion of the deportation and so a slew of new interpretations began to emerge. For instance, in Francis Parkman’s work "Montcalm and Wolfe", published in 1884, he says that the outpouring of sentiment towards the loss of the Acadians had caused the English to blame their own. He argued that the agents of the French court were to blame and that Louis XV started using the Acadians as tools in their wars against England, but their actions resulted in making them their victims. The view of French fault persisted for quite some time and can be seen in the works of Sir Adams George Archibald.

However this view would come to be challenged by Abbé H.R Casgrain, a professor at Laval University, in his work "Un Pèlerinage au pays d'Evangeline". Casgrain argued that that prior historians including Parkman had attempted to rewrite the sins of the past; he also targeted Thomas Beamish Akins who was Nova Scotia’s minister of public records from 1857 to 1891, by saying that he had chosen to omit the more compromising evidence of the innocence of the Acadians in the matter of the "Grand Dérangement" and the culpability of the British in the matter. He based his argument on the fact that upon visiting the London Public Record Office he had found a great deal of compromising information that was not contained within the archives of Nova Scotia -- this despite the fact that Akins had visited this same office to gather information for the archives in Halifax.

Professor H.Y. Hind was first to retaliate against Casgrain’s claims by attacking his use of evidence and the notion that the Acadians and their priests were neutral. Eventually the Nova Scotia Historical Society passed a motion expressing their confidence in Dr. Akins and dismissed Casgrain’s claims. However it later came to light that Akins had never been to London and thusly any omission was the product of a copyist, Akins also argued that his selections contained documents favorable to the Acadians. Furthermore, the majority of the documents of which Casgrain makes mention were sent directly from Annapolis Royal to England, and were thus never sent from Annapolis to Halifax when the government was transferred in 1749. Therefore, Akins states, he did not know of their existence. Akins still comes under attack and is still defended and till this day, the debate wages on in various forms. [http://www.gov.ns.ca/nsarm/virtual/deportation/akins.asp?Language=English]

See also:
*Seven Years' War
*Battle of the Plains of Abraham
*Treaty of Paris 1763

ilent return

*1767 St. Pierre et Miquelon
*1772 census
*1774 Founding of Saint-Anne's church
*American Loyalists
*displacement from Fort Sainte-Anne to the upper Saint John River valley
*the Acadian school at Rustico and the abby Jean-Louis Beaubien
*the Trappistines in Tracadie
*Simon d'Entremont and Frédéric Robichaud, 1836 MLAs in N.S.
*1846 Amand Landry, MLA in N.B.
*1847, Longfellow publishes Evangéline
*1854, Stanislaw-Francois Poirier, MLA in P.E.I
*1854, the seminary Saint-Thomas in Memramcook becomes the first upper level school for Acadians
*1859, the first history of Acadia is published in French by Edme Rameau de Saint-Père, Acadians begin to become aware of their own existence

Acadian Renaissance

*1864 founding of the Farmers' Bank of Rustico, the earliest known community bank in Canada, under the leadership of Rev. George-Antoine Belcourt
*1867, first Acadian newspaper, "Le Moniteur Acadien" (The Acadian Monitor) is published by Israël Landry
*1871 "Common School Act" prohibiting the teaching of religion in the classroom
*1875, the death of Louis Mailloux, 19 years old in Caraquet by government forces only stokes Acadian nationalism 1880, the Society of Saint John the Baptiste invites Francophones from all over North America to a congress in Quebec City

July 20th-21st, 1881, Acadian leaders organize the first Acadian National Convention in Memramcook, New Brunswick which had for its goal to take care of the general interests of the Acadian population. More than 5,000 Acadians participated in the convention. It was decided that August 15th, the Assumption of the Virgin Mary, would be chosen to celebrate Acadian culture. Other debates at the convention centered around education, agriculture, emigration, colonization, and newspapers, and these same issues would arise at subsequent conventions.

At the second convention, on August 15th, 1884, in Miscouche, Prince Edward Island, the Acadian flag, an anthem - Ave Maris Stella, and a motto - "L'union fait la force" were adopted. Issues discuss

*1885, John A. Macdonald nominates Pascal Poirier from Shediac as the first Acadian senator
*Also, in that year, a second Acadian newspaper, "Le Courrier des Provinces Maritimes"
*1887, the newspaper "L'Evangéline" begins being published from Digby, later, in 1905, moves to Moncton
* 1890, third Acadian convention
* 1912, Mgr Edouard LeBlanc is the first Acadin bishop in the Maritim
* 1917, the Conservative Aubin-Edmond Arsenault becomes the first Acadian premier of P.E.I.
* 1920, 2nd Acadian bishop, Mgr Alexandre Chiasson in Chatham and later Bathurst
* Also, la Société nationale de l'Assomption undertakes a campaign to build a commemorative church in Grand-Pré
* 1923, Pierre-Jean Véniot, becomes the first Acadian premier of N.B. but was not elected
* 1936, the first Caisse Populaire Acadien in Petit-Rocher is founded...
* The committee France-Acadie is founded

ince the 1960s

Louis Robichaud, popularly known as "Ti-Louis", was the first elected Acadian Premier of New Brunswick, serving from 1960 to 1970. First elected to the legislature in 1952, he became provincial Liberal leader in 1958 and led his party to victory in 1960, 1963, and 1967.

Robichaud modernized the province's hospitals and public schools and introduced a wide range of reforms in an era that became known as the quiet revolution. To carry out these reforms, Robichaud restructured the municipal tax regime, expanded the government and sought to ensure that the quality of health care, education and social services was the same across the province -- a programme he called equal opportunity, is still a buzzword in New Brunswick.

Critics accused of Robichaud's government of "robbing Peter to pay Pierre" with the assumption being that rich municipalities were Anglophone ones and poor municipalities were Francophone ones. While it was true that the wealthier municipalities were predominantly in certain English-speaking areas, areas with significantly inferior services were to be found across the province in all municipalities.

Robichaud was instrumental in the formation of New Brunswick's only French-speaking university, the Université de Moncton, in 1963, which serves the Acadian population of the Maritime provinces.

His government also passed an act in 1969 making New Brunswick officially bilingual. "'Language rights", he said when he introduced the legislation, "are more than legal rights. They are precious cultural rights, going deep into the revered past and touching the historic traditions of all our people."

1977, official opening of the Acadian Historic Village in Caraquet, New Brunswick. Born 1929 in Bouctouche, Antonine Maillet is an Acadian novelist, playwright, and scholar. Maillet received a BA and MA from the Université de Moncton, followed by a Ph.D. in literature in 1970 from the Université Laval. Maillet won the 1972 Governor General's Award for Fiction for "Don l'Orignal". In 1979, Maillet published "Pélagie-la-Charrette" for which she won the prix Goncourt. Maillet's character "La Sagouine" (from her book of the same name) is the inspiration for "Le Pays de la Sagouine" in her hometown of Bouctouche.

Recent History

In 2003, at the request of Acadian representatives, a proclamation was issued in the name of Queen Elizabeth II, acting as the Canadian monarch, officially acknowledging the deportation and establishing July 28 as a day of commemoration. The day of commemoration is observed by the Government of Canada, as the successor of the British Government.



ee also

* Aboriginal peoples in Canada
* Acadians
* Cajuns
* Fort Beauséjour and Fortress of Louisbourg
* List of Acadian governors
* List of conflicts in Canada
* Military history of Canada
* New Brunswick
* Nova Scotia
* Prince Edward Island
* Timeline of Canadian history

External links

* [http://www.cyberacadie.com/ CyberAcadie] — Site Web sur l'histoire des Acadiens
* [http://www.sagouine.com/ Le Pays De La Sagouine]


* Arsenault, B. (1994). Histoire des Acadiens. Gasp: Fides.
* Dupont, Jean-Claude (1977). Héritage d'Acadie. Montreal: Éditions Leméac.
* MacDonald, M.A. (1983). Fortunes & La Tour: The Acadian Civil War. Toronto: Methuen.
*cite web |url=http://www.gov.ns.ca/nsarm/virtual/deportation/akins.asp?|title=Thomas Beamish Akins: British North America's Pioneer Archivist|accessdate=2007-09-21 |format=html |work= Nova Scotia Archives and Record Management

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