August 18, 2019

Rest of Acadian story

As a descendant of Acadians, I read with interest the article in the Bangor Daily News on Dec. 5 regarding the request for an apology from Queen Elizabeth II for the deportation of Acadians. The article quoted Euclide Chiasson of Canada’s National Society of Acadians as follows: “This is important because it makes historic records a fact.”

I would hope that we would begin this latest odyssey of capturing our lost history by making sure our facts are correct. The Grand Derangement that began in the fall of 1755 and lasted until 1763 and beyond occurred not only at Grand Pre but at Port Royal, Beaubassin and several other Acadian villages situated in what is now Nova Scotia.

It is estimated that between 8,000 and 12,000 Acadians were deported or displaced. The majority of them were taken by ship to each English colony from Boston to Georgia. The goal was to have them so scattered that they would cease to exist The architect of this plan was Gov. Lawrence of the Massachusetts Colony.

There was another derangement that occurred between 1775 and 1783. This one involved the Acadians whose descendants now live in the upper St. John Valley. After the war of independence, many loyalists went to settle in what is now New Brunswick. Some Acadians who had been dispersed throughout that territory and had settled in an area that became known as Fredericton were once again displaced and their farms confiscated. A group of them appealed to the English authorities to provide them land in what became known as the Madawaska Settlement. They were joined there by other Acadians who had fled to Quebec as well as some Quebec natives.

There is much more to this story and I hope scholars will find this a proper subject of inquiry so that our descendants will know the whole story.

Rita Chesley


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