The Acadian Exiles
Arthur G. Doughty

Part 2 out of 3


The policy both of France and of England towards the
Acadians was based upon political expediency rather than
upon any definite or well-conceived plan for the development
of the country. The inhabitants, born to serve rather
than to command, had honestly striven according to their
light to maintain respect for constituted authority. But
the state of unrest into which they were so frequently
thrown had deprived them of all sense of security in
their homes and had created among them a spirit of
suspicion. Unable to reason, disinclined to rebel, they
had settled down into a morose intractability, while
their confidence in the generosity or even in the justice
of their rulers gradually disappeared. Those who could
have restored them to a normal condition of healthy
citizenship saw fit to keep them in disquietude, holding
over their heads the tomahawk of the Indian. England and
France were nominally at peace. But each nation was only
waiting for a favourable moment to strike a decisive
blow, not merely for Acadia or any part of it, but for
the mastery of the North American continent. With this
object ever in the background, France, through her agents,
strove to make the Acadians a thorn in Great Britain's
side, while England hesitated to allow them to pass over
to the ranks of her enemies. At the same time she was
anxious that they should, by some visible sign, acknowledge
her sovereignty. But to become a British subject it was
necessary to take the oath of allegiance. Most of the
Acadians had refused to take this oath without reservations.
Great Britain should then have allowed them to depart or
should have deported them. She had done neither. On the
contrary, she had tried to keep them, had made concessions
to them to remain, and had closed her eyes to violations
of the law, until many of them had been, by various means,
acknowledged as British subjects.

A Murray or a Dorchester would have humoured the people
and would probably have kept them in allegiance. But this
was an impossible task for Lawrence. He was unaccustomed
to compromise. He kept before him the letter of the law,
and believed that any deviation from it was fraught with
danger. He entered upon his duties as administrator in
the month of October 1753. Six weeks later he made a
report on the condition of affairs in the province. This
report contains one pregnant sentence. He is referring
to the emigrant Acadians who had left their homes for
French soil and were now wishing to come back, and he
says: 'But Your Lordships may be assured they will never
have my consent to return until they comply [take the
oath] without any reservation whatever.' [Footnote:
Lawrence to Lords of Trade, December 5, 1753.] This was
the keynote of all Lawrence's subsequent action. The
Acadians must take the oath without reserve, or leave
the country. He does not appear to have given any
consideration to the fact that for forty years the Lords
of Trade had, for various motives, nursed the people, or
that only two years before the Council at Halifax had
declared the Acadians to be still entitled to the privileges
accorded to them by the Treaty of Utrecht. To him the
Acadians were as an enemy in the camp, and as such they
were to be treated.

The Lords of Trade partly acquiesced in Lawrence's
reasoning, yet they warned him to be cautious. A year
before they had announced that those who remained in the
country were to be considered as holding good titles;
but they now maintained that the inhabitants had 'in fact
no right, but upon condition of taking the oath of
allegiance absolute and unqualified.' Officials might be
sent among them to inquire into their disputes, but 'the
more we consider the point, the more nice and difficult
it appears to us; for, as on the one hand great caution
ought to be used to avoid giving alarm and creating such
a diffidence in their minds as might induce them to quit
the province, and by their numbers add strength to the
French settlements, so on the other hand we should be
equally cautious of creating an improper and false
confidence in them, that by a perseverance in refusing
to take the oath of allegiance, they may gradually work
out in their own way a right to their lands and to the
benefit and protection of the law, which they are not
entitled to but on that condition.' [Footnote: Lords of
Trade to Lawrence, March 4, 1754.]

After nine months' tenure of office Lawrence had fully
made up his mind as to his policy in dealing with the
Acadians. On August 1, 1754, he addressed a letter to
the Lords of Trade, to acquaint them with the measures
which appeared to him to be 'the most practicable and
effectual for putting a stop to the many inconveniences
we have long laboured under, from their obstinacy,
treachery, partiality to their own countrymen, and their
ingratitude for the favour, indulgence, and protection
they have at all times so undeservedly received from His
Majesty's Government. Your Lordships well know that they
always affected a neutrality, and as it has been generally
imagined here that the mildness of an English Government
would by degrees have fixed them in their own interest,
no violent measures have ever been taken with them. But
I must observe to Your Lordships that this lenity has
not had the least good effect; on the contrary, I believe
they have at present laid aside all thoughts of taking
the oaths voluntarily, and great numbers of them at
present are gone to Beausejour to work for the French,
in order to dyke out the water at the settlement.'
[Footnote: Lawrence to Lords of Trade, August 1, 1754.]
Lawrence explained that he had offered the Acadians work
at Halifax, which they had refused to accept; and that
he had then issued a proclamation calling upon them 'to
return forthwith to their lands as they should answer
the contrary at their peril.' Moreover, 'They have not
for a long time brought anything to our markets, but on
the other hand have carried everything to the French and
Indians whom they have always assisted with provisions,
quarters, and intelligence. And indeed while they remain
without taking the oaths to His Majesty (which they never
will do till they are forced) and have incendiary French
priests among them there are no hopes of their amendment.
As they possess the best and largest tracts of land in
this province, it cannot be settled with any effect while
they remain in this situation. And tho' I would be very
far from attempting such a step without Your Lordships'
approbation, yet I cannot help being of opinion that it
would be much better, if they refuse the oaths, that they
were away. The only ill consequences that can attend
their going would be their taking arms and joining with
the Indians to distress our settlements, as they are
numerous and our troops are much divided; tho' indeed I
believe that a very large part of the inhabitants would
submit to any terms rather than take up arms on either
side; but that is only my conjecture, and not to be
depended upon in so critical a circumstance. However, if
Your Lordships should be of opinion that we are not
sufficiently established to take so important a step, we
could prevent any inconvenience by building a fort or a
few blockhouses on Chibenacadie [Shubenacadie] river. It
would hinder in a great measure their communication with
the French.'

In order to prevent the Acadians from trading with the
French, Lawrence issued a proclamation forbidding the
exportation of corn from the province, imposing a penalty
of fifty pounds for each offence, half of such sum to be
paid to the informer. The exact purpose of the proclamation
was explained in a circular. First, it was to prevent
'the supplying of corn to the Indians and their abettors,
who, residing on the north side of the Bay of Fundy, do
commit hostilities upon His Majesty's subjects which they
cannot so conveniently do, that supply being cut off.'
Secondly, it was for the better supply of the Halifax
market, which had been obliged to supply itself from
other colonies. The inhabitants were not asked to sell
their corn to any particular person or at any fixed price;
all that was insisted upon was their supplying the Halifax
market before they should think of sending corn elsewhere.
There was, of course, nothing objectionable in this
proclamation. It was only a protective measure for the
benefit of the whole colony, and did 'not bind the French
inhabitants more or less than the rest of His Majesty's
subjects in the Province.'

Towards the Indians Lawrence adopted the same tone as
towards the Acadians. The tribes at Cape Sable had for
some time talked of peace, and an alliance with them was
particularly to be encouraged. The French were becoming
more of a menace, having strengthened their works at
'Baye Verte and Beausejour, between which places they
lately have made a very fine road and continue to seduce
our French inhabitants to go over to them.' The message,
however, which Lawrence sent to the Indians was hardly
calculated to produce the desired results. 'In short if
the Indians,' the message ran, 'or he [Le Loutre] on their
behalf, have anything to propose of this kind about which
they are really in earnest, they very well know where
and how to apply.'
[Footnote: Nova Scotia Documents, p. 210.]

The answer of the Indians was communicated by Le Loutre.
They agreed to offer no insult to the English who kept
to the highway, but they promised to treat as enemies
all those who departed from it. If a durable peace was
to be made, they demanded the cession to them of an
exclusive territory suitable for hunting and fishing and
for a mission. This territory was to extend from Baie
Verte through Cobequid (Truro) to the Shubenacadie, along
the south coast to the peninsula of Canso, and back to
Baie Verte--an area comprising half the province of Nova
Scotia. Whether the Indians were serious in their
application for this immense domain, we know not; probably
it was an answer to the haughty note of Lawrence.
Considering the demand of the Indians insolent, the
Council at Halifax vouchsafed no reply to it; but the
commandant of Fort Lawrence at Chignecto was instructed
to inform the Indians 'that if they have any serious
thoughts of making peace... they may repair to Halifax,'
where any reasonable proposal would be considered.

A case instructive of the new temper of the administration
was that of the Abbe Daudin of Pisiquid. The abbe had
been suspected of stirring up trouble among the Indians,
and Captain Murray of Fort Edward was requested to keep
an eye on him. When the inhabitants refused to bring in
wood for fuel and for the repair of the fort, as they
had been ordered to do, and presented to Murray a statement
signed by eighty-six of their people, declaring that
their oath of fidelity did not require them to furnish
the garrison with wood, Murray attributed their conduct
to the influence of Daudin. Murray therefore received
instructions to repeat his orders, and to summon Daudin
and five others to appear at Halifax under pain of arrest.
When questioned by Murray, Daudin took the ground that
the people, who were free, should have been contracted
with, and not treated as slaves; but he asserted that if
Murray had consulted him instead of reporting to Lawrence,
he could have brought the inhabitants to him in a submissive
manner. When requested to repair to Halifax, Daudin
pleaded illness; and his followers became insolent, and
questioned Murray's authority. Daudin and five others
were immediately arrested and sent under escort to the

At a special meeting of the Council held on the evening
of October 2, 1754, Claude Brossart, Charles Le Blanc,
Baptiste Galerne, and Joseph Hebert were required to
explain their refusal to obey the orders of Murray, and
the following examination took place:

Q. Why did you not comply with that order to bring in

A. Some of them had wood and some had not, therefore
they gave in the remonstrance to Captain Murray.

Q. Why was that not represented in the remonstrance,
which contained an absolute refusal without setting
forth any cause?

A. They did not understand the contents of it.

Q. Was the proclamation ever published at the church
and stuck up against the wall, and by whom?

A. It was, and they believe by John Hebert.

Q. Was it put up with the wrong side uppermost?

A. They heard that it was.

The inhabitants were never known to boast of a reckless
facility in reading, even under normal conditions, and
no doubt the grotesque appearance of the letters in the
inverted document prompted the answer that 'they did not
understand the contents of it.' Neither have we any
evidence to prove that John Hebert contributed to their
enlightenment by reading the document. The prisoners,
however, were severely reprimanded by the Council, and
were ordered under pain of military execution to bring
in the firewood.

The Abbe Daudin, when brought before the Council, was
questioned as to his position in the province. He replied
that he served 'only as a simple missionary to occupy
himself in spiritual affairs; not in temporal.' The abbe
denied that he had made the statements attributed to him,
and was allowed to prepare a paper which he termed his
defence. The next day his defence was presented and read;
but the Council considered that it did not contain anything
'material towards his justification' and ordered his
removal from the province. A few weeks later, however,
the inhabitants addressed a communication to Lawrence,
asking for the reinstatement of the abbe. They expressed
their submission to the government, promising to comply
with the order regarding the supply of wood; and the
Council, considering that the Acadians could not obtain
another priest, relented and permitted the abbe to return
to his duties.

It is noteworthy, however, that Lawrence's regime was
not so rigorous as to prevent some of the Acadians who
had abandoned their lands and emigrated to French territory
from returning to Nova Scotia. In October 1754 six
families, consisting of twenty-eight persons who had
settled in Cape Breton, returned to Halifax in a destitute
condition. They declared that they had been terrified by
the threats of Le Loutre, and by the picture he had drawn
of the fate that would befall them at the hands of the
Indians if they remained under the domination of the
English; that they had retired to Cape Breton, where they
had remained ever since; but that the lands given them
had been unproductive, and that they had been unable to
support their families. They therefore wished to return
to their former habitations. They cheerfully subscribed
to the oath which was tendered them, and in consideration
of their poverty twenty-four of them were allowed provisions
during the winter, and the other four a week's provisions
'to subsist them till they returned to their former
habitations at Pisiquid.' The Council considered that
their return would have a good effect. Thus it came about
that the pangs of hunger accomplished a result which
threats and promises had failed to produce.

While Lawrence was formulating his policy with regard to
the Acadians, events were at the same time rapidly moving
towards a renewal of war between France and Great Britain
in North America. Indeed, though as yet there had been
no formal declaration, the American phase of the momentous
Seven Years' War had already begun. France had been
dreaming of a colonial empire stretching from Newfoundland
to the Gulf of Mexico. She had asserted her ownership of
the valleys of the Ohio and the Mississippi; and she had
set before herself the object of confining the English
colonies within limits as narrow as possible. In May 1754
Shirley, the governor of Massachusetts, had advised the
home government that he had received intelligence from
Halifax 'that some of the rebel inhabitants of Chignecto,
together with the Indians of the Peninsula and St John
River, are through the influence of the French garrison
at Beausejour engaged in an enterprise to break up all
the eastern settlements,' and he pointed out that 'if
the advices are true, they will afford ... one instance
of the many mischievous consequences to the colonists of
New England as well as to His Majesty's Province of Nova
Scotia which must proceed from the French of Canada having
possessed themselves of the isthmus of the Peninsula and
St John's river in the Bay of Fundy, and continuing their
encroachments within His Majesty's territories.' [Footnote:
Nova Scotia Documents, p. 382. Shirley to Sir T. Robinson,
May 23, 1754.] To this communication the government had
replied in July 1754 that it was the king's wish that
Shirley should co-operate with Lawrence in attacking the
French forts in Nova Scotia.

The British, therefore, determined upon aggressive action.
In December Shirley acknowledged having received certain
proposals made by Lawrence 'for driving the French of
Canada out of Nova Scotia according to the scheme laid
down in your letters to me and instructions to Colonel
Monckton. I viewed this plan most justly calculated by
Your Honour for His Majesty's Service with great pleasure
and did not hesitate to send you the assistance you
desir'd of me for carrying it into execution, as soon as
I had perused it. ...I came to a determination to co-operate
with you in the most vigorous manner, for effecting the
important service within your own Government, which Your
Honour may depend upon my prosecuting to the utmost of
my power.' [Footnote: Nova Scotia Documents, p. 389.
Shirley says: 'It is now near eleven at night and I have
been writing hard since seven in the morning... and can
scarce hold the pen in my hand.'] In a letter to the
Lords of Trade in January 1755, Lawrence expressed the
opinion that 'no measure I could take for the security
of the Province would have the desired effect until the
fort at Beausejour and every French settlement on the
north side of the Bay of Fundy was absolutely extirpated,
having very good intelligence that the French had determined
as soon as ever they had put the fortifications of
Louisbourg into a tolerable condition to make themselves
masters of the Bay of Fundy by taking our fort at
Chignecto.' [Footnote: Lawrence to Lords of Trade, January
12, 1755.]

In accordance with this Colonel Monckton was instructed
to prepare for an expedition against Beausejour and St
John in the spring of 1755. He was given for the purpose
a letter of unlimited credit on Boston; and every regiment
in Nova Scotia was brought up to the strength of one
thousand men. By May the expedition was ready. Monckton,
with two thousand troops, embarked at Annapolis Royal,
and by June 1 the expedition was at Chignecto. In the
meantime Vergor, the French commandant at Beausejour,
had not been passive. He had strengthened his defences,
had summoned the inhabitants of the surrounding districts
to his help, had mounted cannon in a blockhouse defending
the passage of the river, and had thrown up a strong
breastwork of timber along the shore. On June 3 the
British landed. They had little difficulty in driving
the French from their entrenchments. The inhabitants had
no heart in the work of defence; and the French, unable
to make a stand, threw their cannon into the river and
burned the blockhouse and other buildings. They then
retired to the fort, together with about two hundred and
twenty of the Acadians; the rest of the Acadians threw
away their arms and ammunition, asserting that they did
not wish to be hanged. The British took up a position in
the woods about a mile and a half from the fort; and on
the 13th they succeeded in establishing a battery on a
hill within easy range. The bombardment of the place,
which began the next day, was at first ineffective; and
for a time the British were driven back. But, in the
meantime, news reached the French that no reinforcements
could be expected from Louisbourg; and such disaffection
arose among the Acadians that they were forbidden by a
council of war to deliberate together or to desert the
fort under pain of being shot. When the British renewed
the attack, however, the Acadians requested Vergor to
capitulate; and he feebly acquiesced. The British offered
very favourable terms. So far as the Acadians were
concerned, it was proposed that, since they had taken up
arms under threat of death, they were to be pardoned and
allowed to return to their homes and enjoy the free
exercise of their religion. The soldiers of the garrison
were sent as prisoners to Halifax.

After the fall of Beausejour, which Monckton renamed Fort
Cumberland, the British met with little further resistance.
Fort Gaspereau on Baie Verte, against which Monckton next
proceeded, was evacuated by the commandant Villeray, who
found himself unable to obtain the assistance of the
Acadians. And the few Acadians at the river St John, when
Captain Rous appeared before the settlement with three
ships, made an immediate submission. Rous destroyed the
cannon, burned the fort, and retired with his troops up
the river. The Indians of the St John, evidently impressed
by the completeness of the British success and awed by
their strong force, invited Rous to come ashore, and
assured him of their friendliness.

Having removed the menace of the French forts, Lawrence
was now able to deal more freely with the question of
the Acadians. The opportunity for action was not long in
presenting itself. In June the Acadians of Minas presented
to Lawrence a petition couched in language not as tactful
as it might have been. In this memorial they requested
the restoration of some of their former privileges. They
first assured the lieutenant-governor of their fidelity,
which they had maintained in face of threats on the part
of the French, and of their determination to remain loyal
when in the enjoyment of former liberties. They asked to
be allowed the use of their canoes, a privilege of which
they were deprived on the pretext that they had been
carrying provisions to the French at Beausejour. Some
refugees might have done so, but they had not. They used
these canoes for fishing to maintain their families. By
an order of June 4 they had been required to hand in
their guns. Some of them had done so, but they needed
them for protection against the wild beasts, which were
more numerous since the Indians had left these parts.
The possession of a gun did not induce them to rebel,
neither did the withdrawal of the weapon render them more
faithful. Loyalty was a matter of conscience. If they
decided to remain faithful, they wished to know what were
the lieutenant-governor's intentions towards them.

On receiving this memorial Lawrence ordered the deputies
of the Acadians to remain in Halifax, on the ground that
the paper was impertinent. Upon this the deputies presented
another memorial, in which they disclaimed any intention
of disrespect, and wished to be allowed a hearing in
order to explain. The Council held a meeting; and the
lieutenant-governor explained 'that Captain Murray had
informed him that for some time before the delivery of
the first of the said memorials the French inhabitants
in general had behaved with greater submission and
obedience to the orders of Government than usual, and
had already delivered to him a considerable number of
their firearms; but that at the delivery of the said
memorial they treated him with great indecency and
insolence, which gave him strong suspicions that they
had obtained some intelligence which we were then ignorant
of, and which the lieutenant-governor conceived might
most probably be a report that had been about that time
spread amongst them of a French fleet being then in the
Bay of Fundy.' [Footnote: Minutes of Council, July 3,
1755.] The deputies were then brought in and told that
if they had not submitted the second memorial they would
have been punished for their presumption. 'They were
severely reprimanded for their audacity in subscribing
and presenting so impertinent a paper, but in compassion
to their weakness and ignorance of the nature of our
constitution,' the Council professed itself still ready
to treat them with leniency, and ordered the memorial to
be read paragraph by paragraph.

When the question of the oath came up for discussion,
the deputies said they were ready to take it as they had
done before. To this the Council replied that 'His Majesty
had disapproved of the manner of their taking the oath
before' and 'that it was not consistent with his honour
to make any conditions.' The deputies were then allowed
until the following morning to come to a resolution. On
the next day they declared that they could not consent
to take the oath in the form required without consulting
others. They were then informed that as the taking of
the oath was a personal act and as they had for themselves
refused to take it as directed by law, and had therefore
sufficiently evinced the sincerity of their unfriendliness
towards the government, the Council could look upon them
no longer as subjects of His Majesty, but must treat them
hereafter as subjects of the king of France. They were
ordered to withdraw. The Council then decided that with
regard to the oath none of them should for the future be
admitted to take it after having once refused to do so,
but that effectual measures ought to be taken to remove
all such recusants out of the province. The deputies,
again being called in and informed of this resolution,
offered to take the oath, but were informed that there
was no reason to hope that 'their proposed compliance
proceeds from an honest mind and can be esteemed only
the effect of compulsion and force, and is contrary to
a clause in 1 Geo. II, c. 13, whereby persons who have
once refused to take oaths cannot be afterwards permitted
to take them, but are considered as Popish recusants.'
Therefore they could not be indulged with such permission.
Later they were ordered into confinement.

On the 25th of July a memorial signed by over two hundred
of the inhabitants of Annapolis Royal was laid before
the Council. The memorialists said they had unanimously
consented to deliver up their firearms, although they
had never had any desire to use them against His Majesty's
government. They declared that they had nothing to reproach
themselves with, for they had always been loyal, and that
several of them had risked their lives in order to give
information regarding the enemy. They would abide by the
old oath, but they could not take a new one. The deputies
who had brought this memorial from Annapolis, on being
called before the Council and asked what they had to say
regarding the new oath, declared 'that they could not
take any other oath than what they had formerly taken.'
If it was the king's intention, they added, to force them
out of the country, they hoped 'that they should be
allowed a convenient time for their departure.' The
Council warned them of the consequences of their refusal;
and they were allowed until the following Monday to
decide. Their final answer was polite, but obdurate:

Inasmuch as a report is in circulation among us, the
French inhabitants of this province, that His Excellency
the Governor demands of us an oath of obedience
conformable, in some manner, to that of natural subjects
of His Majesty King George the Second, and as, in
consequence, we are morally certain that several of
our inhabitants are detained and put to inconvenience
at Halifax for that object; if the above are his
intentions with respect to us, we all take the liberty
of representing to His Excellency, and to all the
inhabitants, that we and our fathers, having taken an
oath of fidelity, which has been approved of several
times in the name of the King, and under the privileges
of which we have lived faithful and obedient, and
protected by His Majesty the King of Great Britain,
according to the letters and proclamation of His
Excellency Governor Shirley, dated 16th of September
1746, and 21st of October 1747, we will never prove
so fickle as to take an oath which changes, ever so
little, the conditions and the privileges obtained
for us by our sovereign and our fathers in the past.

And as we are well aware that the King, our master,
loves and protects only constant, faithful, and free
subjects, and as it is only by virtue of his kindness,
and of the fidelity which we have always preserved
towards His Majesty, that he has granted to us, and
that he still continues to grant to us, the entire
possession of our property and the free and public
exercise of the Roman Catholic Religion, we desire to
continue, to the utmost of our power, to be faithful
and dutiful in the same manner that we were allowed
to be by His Excellency Mr Richard Philipps.

Charity for our detained inhabitants, and their
innocence, obliged us to beg Your Excellency, to allow
yourself to be touched by their miseries, and to
restore to them that liberty which we ask for them,
with all possible submission and the most profound

The inhabitants of Pisiquid presented a similar petition.
They hoped that they would be listened to, and that the
imprisoned deputies would be released. Another memorial
was presented by the inhabitants of Minas. They refused
to take a new oath; and thereupon their deputies were
ordered to be imprisoned.

There was now, the Council considered, only one course
left open for it to pursue. Nothing remained but to
consider the means which should be taken to send the
inhabitants out of the province, and distribute them
among the several colonies on the continent.

'I am determined,' Lawrence had written, 'to bring the
inhabitants to a compliance, or rid the province of such
perfidious subjects.' [Footnote: Lawrence to Lords of
Trade, July 18, 1755.] He was now about to fulfil his



The imprisonment of the deputies, on George's Island at
Halifax, naturally agitated the minds of the simple
Acadians. In the ripening fields and in the villages
might be seen groups discussing the fate of their
companions. But, though they may have feared further
punitive acts at the hands of the British, they were
totally unprepared for the approaching catastrophe, and
did not for a moment dream that they were to be cast out
of their homes, deprived of all they held dear in the
land of their nativity, and sent adrift as wanderers and

It is no part of this narrative to sit in judgment or to
debate whether the forcible expatriation of the Acadians
was a necessary measure or a justifiable act of war.
However this may be, it is important to fix the
responsibility for a deed so painful in its execution
and so momentous in its consequences.

The Council at Halifax had no power to enact laws. Its
action was limited to the authority vested in the governor
by his commission and his instructions. And, as Lawrence
had as yet neither commission nor instructions, [Footnote:
He had not yet been appointed governor. Hopson had wished
to resign in the summer of 1754; but the Lords of Trade,
who held him in high esteem, had refused to accept his
resignation, and Lawrence had been made merely
lieutenant-governor, though with the full salary of a
governor.] he asked the chief justice, Jonathan Belcher,
to prepare an opinion, as he desired to be fortified with
legal authority for the drastic act on which he had
determined. Belcher had arrived in Nova Scotia from New
England nine months before. He does not appear to have
examined the official correspondence between the years
1713 and 1755, or even the Minutes of Council. At any
rate, he presented a document ill-founded in fact and
contemptible in argument. The Acadians are not to be
allowed to remain, he said, because 'it will be contrary
to the letter and spirit of His Majesty's instructions
to Governor Cornwallis, and in my humble apprehension
would incur the displeasure of the crown and the
parliament.' [Footnote: Public Archives, Canada. Nova
Scotia A, vol. lviii, p. 380. Opinion of Chief Justice
Belcher.] What the instructions to Cornwallis had to do
with it is not clear. There is no clause in that document
contemplating the forcible removal of the people. But
even this is immaterial, since the instructions to
Cornwallis were not then in force. Hopson, who had
succeeded Cornwallis, had been given new instructions,
and the Council was governed by them, since, legally at
any rate, Hopson was still governor in 1755; and, according
to his instructions, Hopson was 'to issue a declaration
in His Majesty's name setting forth, that tho' His Majesty
is fully sensible that the many indulgences ... to the
said inhabitants in allowing them the entirely free
exercise of their religion and the quiet peaceable
possession of their lands, have not met with a dutiful
return, but on the contrary, divers of the said inhabitants
have openly abetted or privately assisted His Majesty's
enemies ... yet His Majesty being desirous of shewing
marks of his royal grace to the said inhabitants, in
hopes thereby to induce them to become for the future
true and loyal subjects, is pleased to declare, that the
said inhabitants shall continue in the free exercise of
their religion, as far as the Laws of Great Britain shall
admit of the same ... provided that the said inhabitants
do within three months from the date of such declaration
... take the Oath of Allegiance.' The next clause instructed
the governor to report to the Lords of Trade on the effect
of the declaration. If the inhabitants or any part of
them should refuse the oath, he was to ascertain 'His
Majesty's further directions in what manner to conduct
yourself towards such of the French inhabitants as shall
not have complied therewith.' [Footnote: Public Archives,
Canada. Nova Scotia E, vol. ii. Instructions to Governors.]
Hopson had tendered the oath to the Acadians. The oath
had been refused by them. Their refusal had been reported
to the government; and there the matter rested.

In another paragraph of the opinion the chief justice
asserted that 'persons are declared recusants if they
refuse on a summons to take the oath at the sessions,
and can never after such refusal be permitted to take
them.' This, no doubt, was the law. But the king had
ignored the law, and had commanded his representatives
in Nova Scotia to tender the oath again to a people who,
upon several occasions, had refused to take it. It was
not reasonable, therefore, to suppose, as the chief
justice did, that the king would be displeased at the
performance of an act which he had expressly commanded.

We have seen that, in the spring of 1754, when Lawrence
had intimated to the government that a number of the
Acadians who had gone over to the enemy were now anxious
to return to their lands, which he would not permit until
they had taken an oath without reserve, he was advised
not to 'create a diffidence in their minds which might
induce them to quit the province.' That this was still
the policy is evident from a letter to the same effect
written to Lawrence by Sir Thomas Robinson of the British
ministry on August 13, 1755, two weeks after the ominous
decision of the Halifax Council. [Footnote: Nova Scotia
Documents, p. 279. Here is a sentence from the letter:
'It cannot therefore be too much recommended to you, to
use the greatest caution and prudence in your conduct
towards these neutrals, and to assure such of them as
may be trusted, especially upon their taking the oaths
to His Majesty and his government, that they may remain
in the quiet possession of their settlements, under proper
regulations.'] Lawrence, however, could not have received
this last communication until the plans for the expulsion
were well advanced. On the other hand, the decision of
the Council was not received in England until November
20, so that the king was not aware of it until the
expulsion was already a reality. The meaning of these
facts is clear. The thing was done by Lawrence and his
Council without the authority or knowledge of the home
government. [Footnote: At the meeting of the Halifax
Council which decreed the removal of the Acadians the
following members were present: the lieutenant-governor,
Benjamin Green, John Collier, William Cotterell, John
Rous, and Jonathan Belcher. Vice-Admiral Boscawen and
Rear-Admiral Mostyn were also present at the 'earnest
request' of the Council.--Minutes of Council, July 28,

The proceedings in connection with the expulsion were
carried on simultaneously in different parts of the
province; and the circumstances varied according to the
temper or situation of the people. It will be convenient
to deal with each group or district separately.

On July 31, 1755, Lawrence ordered Colonel Monckton, who
lay with his troops at the newly captured Fort Cumberland,
to gather in the inhabitants of the isthmus of Chignecto,
and of Chepody, on the north shore of the Bay. The district
of Minas was committed to the care of Colonel Winslow.
Captain Murray, in command at Fort Edward, was to secure
the inhabitants of Pisiquid, and Major Handfield, at
Annapolis Royal, the people in his district.

It is regrettable that we do not find in the instructions
to these officers any discrimination made between the
Acadians who had persistently refused to take the oath
and those who had been recognized by the governor and
Council as British subjects. Monckton was advised to
observe secrecy, and to 'endeavour to fall upon some
stratagem to get the men, both young and old (especially
the heads of families)' into his power, and to detain
them until the transports should arrive. He was also to
inform the inhabitants that all their cattle and corn
were now the property of the crown, and no person should
be allowed to carry off 'the least thing but their ready
money and household furniture.' [Footnote: Nova Scotia
Documents, p. 267.] On August 8 Monckton was advised that
the transports would be available soon, and that in the
interval he would do well to destroy all the villages in
the vicinity of Beausejour or Cumberland, and to use
'every other method to distress as much as can be, those
who may attempt to conceal themselves in the woods.'
Monckton promptly conceived a plan to entrap the people.
He issued a summons, calling upon the adult males to
appear at Fort Cumberland on the 11th. About four hundred
responded to the call. The proceedings were summary.
Monckton merely told them that by the decision of the
Council they were declared rebels on account of their
past misdeeds; that their lands and chattels were forfeited
to the crown, and that in the meantime they would be
treated as prisoners. [Footnote: Collections of the Nova
Scotia Historical Society, vol. iv, Journal of Colonel
John Winslow, part i, p. 227.] The gates of the fort were
then closed.

Less successful was Captain Cobb, who had been sent to
Chepody to capture the Acadians there. Before his arrival
the people had fled to the woods. Three other parties,
detached from Fort Cumberland to scour the country in
search of stragglers, reported various successes. Major
Preble returned the next day with three Acadians, and
Captain Perry brought in eleven. Captain Lewis, who had
gone to Cobequid, had captured two vessels bound for
Louisbourg with cattle and sheep, and had taken several
prisoners and destroyed a number of villages on the route.

The more energetic of the Acadians still at large were
not easily caught. The pangs of hunger, however, might
tempt many to leave the security of their hiding-places,
and Monckton determined to gather in as many more as
possible. On August 28 Captain Frye sailed from Fort
Cumberland for Chepody, Memramcook, and Petitcodiac, on
the north shore, with orders to take prisoners and burn
the villages on the way. [Footnote: 'Major Frye with a
party of 200 men embarked on Board Captain Cobb Newel
and Adams to go to Sheperday and take what French thay
Could and burn thare vilges thare and at Petcojack.'
--Collections of the Nova Scotia Historical Society, vol.
i, p. 131. Diary of John Thomas.] Captain Gilbert was
sent to Baie Verte on a similar mission. Finding the
village deserted on his arrival at Chepody, Frye set fire
to the buildings and sailed toward Petitcodiac. On the
way the appearance of a house or a barn seems to have
been the signal for the vessels to cast anchor, while a
party of soldiers, torch in hand, laid waste the homes
of the peasantry. On September 4, however, the expedition
suffered a serious check. A landing party of about sixty
were applying the torch to a village on the shore, when
they were set upon by a hundred Indians and Acadians,
and a general engagement ensued. The British, though
reinforced by men from the ships, were severely handled;
and in the end Frye regained the boats with a loss of
twenty-three killed and missing and eleven wounded. This
attack was the work of Boishebert, the Canadian leader,
whom we met some time ago at St John. On the capture of
that place by Rous in the summer Boishebert had taken to
the woods with his followers, and was assisting the
settlers of Chepody to gather in the harvest when Frye's
raiders appeared. Frye did not attempt to pursue his
assailants, but retired at once to Fort Cumberland with
twenty-three captured women and children. He had, however,
destroyed over two hundred buildings and a large quantity
of wheat and flax. Meanwhile Gilbert had laid waste the
village at Baie Verte and the neighbouring farms.
[Footnote: 'A Party Likewise from ye Bay of verte under
ye comand of Capt. Gilbert who had bin and consumed that
vilige and the Houses adjasent.'--Diary of John Thomas.]

By August 31 the transports had arrived at Beausejour,
and early in the month of September the embarkation began.
The work, however, was tedious, and in the interval the
English met with another misfortune. On October 1 eighty-six
Acadian prisoners dug a hole under the wall of Fort
Lawrence and, eluding the vigilance of the guards, made
good their escape in the night. [Footnote: 'Stormy Dark
Night Eighty Six French Prisoners Dugg under ye Wall att
Foart Lawrance and got Clear undiscovered by ye Centry.'
--Diary of John Thomas.] But on October 13 a fleet of
ten sail, carrying nine hundred and sixty Acadian exiles,
left Chignecto Bay bound for South Carolina and Georgia.
After the departure of the vessels the soldiers destroyed
every barn and house in the vicinity and drove several
herds of cattle into Fort Cumberland. [Footnote: We
Burnt 30 Houses Brought away one Woman 200 Hed of Neat
Cattle 20 Horses ... we mustered about Sunrise mustered
the Cattle Togather Drove them over ye River near westcock
Sot Near 50 Houses on Fyre and Returned to Fort Cumberland
with our Cattle etc. about 6 Clock P.M.'--Diary of John
Thomas, pp. 136-7.]

Lawrence was now rid of nearly a thousand Acadians. It
was less than he expected, to be sure, and yet no doubt
it was a great relief to him. About this time he should
have received Sir Thomas Robinson's letter of August 13,
conveying to him the king's wishes in effect that the
Acadians were not to be molested. [Footnote: The date
of the receipt of this letter is uncertain; but it is
evident that he received it before the 30th of November,
as on that day he replied to a letter of the 13th of
August.] This letter received in time would no doubt have
stopped the whole undertaking. But now that some of the
people had already been deported, there was nothing to
be done but to go on with the business to the bitter end.

At Annapolis Royal, more than a hundred miles south of
Monckton's camp, matters proceeded more slowly. Handfield,
the commandant there, had decided to wait for the arrival
of the promised transports before attempting to round up
the inhabitants. Then, when his soldiers went forward on
their mission up the river, no sound of human voice met
their ears in any of the settlements. The inhabitants
had hidden in the woods. Handfield appealed to Winslow,
who was then at Grand Pre, for more troops to bring the
people to reason. [Footnote: Winslow's Journal, part
ii, p. 96.] But Winslow had no troops to spare. Handfield
does not appear to have relished his task, which he
described as a 'disagreeable and troublesome part of the
service.' What induced the inhabitants to return to their
homes is not clear, but early in the month of September
they resumed their occupations. They remained unmolested
until early in November, when a fresh detachment of troops
arrived to assist in their removal. On December 4 over
sixteen hundred men, women, and children were crowded
into the transports, which lay off Goat Island and which
four days later set sail at eight o'clock in the morning.

Meanwhile Captain Murray of Fort Edward was doing his
duty in the Pisiquid neighbourhood. On September 5 he
wrote to Winslow at Grand Pre, only a few miles distant:
'I have succeeded finely and have got 183 men into my
possession.' [Footnote: Winslow's Journal, part ii, p.
96.] But there was still much to be done. Three days
later he wrote again: 'I am afraid there will be some
lives lost before they are got together, for you know
our soldiers hate them, and if they can find a pretence
to kill them, they will.' Of the means Murray employed
to accomplish his task we are not told, but he must have
been exceedingly active up to October 14, for on that
date nine hundred persons had been gathered into his net.
His real troubles now began; he was short of provisions
and without transports. At last two arrived, one of ninety
tons, and the other of one hundred and fifty: these,
however, would not accommodate half the people. Another
sloop was promised, but it was slow in coming. He became
alarmed. 'Good God, what can keep her!' he wrote. 'I
earnestly entreat you to send her with all despatch...
Then with the three sloops and more vessels I will put
them aboard, let the consequence be what it will.'
[Footnote: Ibid., p. 173.] He was as good as his word.
On October 23 Winslow wrote: 'Captain Murray has come
from Pisiquid with upwards of one thousand people in four
vessels.' [Footnote: Ibid., p. 178.]

Colonel Winslow arrived on August 19 at Grand Pre, in
the district of Minas. After requesting the inhabitants
to remove all sacred objects from the church, which he
intended to use as a place of arms, he took up his quarters
in the presbytery. A camp was then formed around the
church, and enclosed by a picket-fence. His first action
was to summon the principal inhabitants to inform them
that they would be required to furnish provisions for
the troops during their occupancy, and to take effective
measures to protect the crops which had not yet been
garnered. There was danger that if the object of his
visit were to become known, the grain might be destroyed.
He was careful, therefore, to see that the harvest was
gathered in before making any unfavourable announcement.

On August 29 Winslow held a consultation with Murray as
to the most expeditious means of effecting the removal
of the people. The next day three sloops from Boston came
to anchor in the basin. There was, of course, immediate
and intense excitement among the inhabitants; yet, in
spite of all inquiries regarding their presence, no
information could be elicited from either the crews or
the soldiers. On September 2, however, Winslow issued a
proclamation informing the people that the lieutenant-
governor had a communication to impart to them respecting
a new resolution, and that His Majesty's intentions in
respect thereto would be made known. They were, therefore,
to appear in the church at Grand Pre on Friday, September
5, at three o'clock in the afternoon. No excuse would
be accepted for non-attendance; and should any fail to
attend, their lands and chattels would be forfeited to
the crown.

Winslow's position was by no means strong. He had taken
all the precautions possible; but he was short of
provisions, and there was no sign of the expected
supply-ship, the Saul. Besides, the Acadians far outnumbered
his soldiers, and should they prove rebellious trouble
might ensue. 'Things are now very heavy on my heart and
hands,' he wrote a few days later. 'I wish we had more
men, but as it is shall I question not to be able to
scuffle through.' [Footnote: Winslow's Journal, part ii,
p. 97.]

The eventful 5th of September arrived, and at three
o'clock four hundred and eighteen of the inhabitants
walked slowly into the church, which had been familiar
to them from their youth, and closely connected with the
most solemn as well as with the most joyous events of
their lives. Here their children had been baptized, and
here many of them had been united in the bonds of matrimony.
Here the remains of those they loved had been carried,
ere they were consigned to their final resting-place,
and here, too, after divine service, they had congregated
to glean intelligence of what was going on in the world
beyond their ken. Now, however, the scene was changed.
Guards were at the door; and in the centre of the church
a table had been placed, round which soldiers were drawn
up. Presently Colonel Winslow entered, attended by his
officers. Deep silence fell upon the people as he began
to speak. The substance of his speech has been preserved
in his Journal, as follows:

Gentlemen, I have received from His Excellency, Governor
Lawrence, the King's commission which I have in my
hand. By his orders you are convened to hear His
Majesty's final resolution in respect to the French
inhabitants of this his province of Nova Scotia, who
for almost half a century have had more indulgence
granted them than any of his subjects in any part of
his dominions. What use you have made of it, you
yourselves best know.

The duty I am now upon, though necessary, is very
disagreeable to my natural make and temper, as I know
it must be grievous to you who are of the same species.
But it is not my business to animadvert, but to obey
such orders as I receive; and therefore without
hesitation I shall deliver you His Majesty's orders
and instructions, namely: That your lands and tenements,
cattle of all kinds and live stock of all sorts are
forfeited to the Crown with all your other effects,
saving your money and household goods, and that you
yourselves are to be removed from this his province.

Thus it is peremptorily His Majesty's orders that all
the French inhabitants of these districts be removed;
and through His Majesty's goodness I am directed to
allow you liberty to carry with you your money and as
many of your household goods as you can take without
discommoding the vessels you go in. I shall do everything
in my power that all these goods be secured to you,
and that you be not molested in carrying them with
you, and also that whole families shall go in the same
vessel; so that this removal which I am sensible must
give you a great deal of trouble may be made as easy
as His Majesty's service will admit; and I hope that
in whatever part of the world your lot may fall, you
may be faithful subjects, and a peaceable and happy

I must also inform you that it is His Majesty's pleasure
that you remain in security under the inspection and
direction of the troops that I have the honour to

[Footnote: Winslow's Journal, part ii, p. 94. It is
not thought necessary here to follow the grotesque
spelling of the original. It will be noted that the
doom of the people is pronounced in the name of the
king. But, as already stated, the king or the home
government knew nothing of it; and instructions of a
quite contrary tenor were even then on their way to

This address having been delivered and interpreted to
the people, Winslow issued orders to the troops and seamen
not to kill any of the cattle or rob the orchards, as
the lands and possessions of the inhabitants were now
the property of the king. He then withdrew to his quarters
in the presbytery, leaving the soldiers on guard.

The first thoughts of the stricken prisoners were of
their families, with whom they had no means of communication
and who would not understand the cause of their detention.
After some conversation together, a few of the elders
asked leave to speak to the commander. This being granted,
they requested to be allowed to carry the melancholy news
to the homes of the prisoners. Winslow at length ordered
them to choose each day twenty men, for whom the others
would be held responsible, to communicate with their
families, and to bring in food for all the prisoners.

Only five transports lay in the basin of Minas. No
provisions were in sight. It was impossible as yet to
put all the prisoners on board. More had been captured,
and they now outnumbered Winslow's troops nearly two to
one. Presently news came of the disaster to Frye's party
at Chepody. Winslow, having observed suspicious movements
among the prisoners, began to fear for the safety of his
own position. He held a consultation with his officers.
It was decided to divide the prisoners, and put fifty of
the younger men on each of the transports. [Footnote:
Winslow's Journal, part ii, p. 108.--'September 10. Called
my officers together and communicated to them what I had
observed, and after debating matters it was determined,
'nemine contradicente', that it would be best to divide
the prisoners.'] The parish priest, Father Landry, who
had a good knowledge of English and was the principal
spokesman of the Acadians, was told to inform the
inhabitants that one hour would be given them to prepare
for going on board. Winslow then brought up the whole of
his troops, and stationed them between the door of the
church and the gate. The Acadians were drawn up; the
young men were told off and ordered to march. They refused
to obey unless their fathers might accompany them.
[Footnote: Ibid., p. 109.--'They all answered they would
not go without their fathers. I told them that was a word
I did not understand, for that the King's command was to
me absolute and should be absolutely obeyed, and that I
did not love to use harsh means, but that the time did
not admit of parleys or delays; and then ordered the
whole troops to fix their bayonets and advance towards
the French. I bid the four right-hand files of the
prisoners, consisting of twenty-four men, which I told
off myself to divide from the rest, one of whom I took
hold on.'] Winslow informed them that orders were orders,
that this was not the time for parley, and commanded the
troops to fix bayonets and advance. This appears to have
had the effect desired, for, with the assistance of the
commander, who pushed one of them along, twenty-four men
started off and the rest followed. The road from the
church to the ships, nearly a mile and a half in length,
was lined by hundreds of women and children, who fell on
their knees weeping and praying. Eighty soldiers conducted
the procession, which moved but slowly. Some of the men
sang, some wept, and others prayed. [Footnote: Winslow's
Journal, part ii, p. 109.--'They went off praying, singing,
and crying, being met by the women and children all the
way (which is a mile and a half), with great lamentations.']
At last the young men were put aboard and left under
guard, while the escort returned to bring another contingent
of the prisoners; and so until all who were deemed
dangerous had been disposed of. The vessels had not been
provisioned; but the women and children brought daily to
the shore food which the soldiers conveyed to the prisoners.

After this it appears that the soldiers committed some
depredations in the neighbourhood, and Winslow issued an
order forbidding any one to leave the camp after the
roll-call. [Footnote: Winslow's Journal, part ii, p.
113.--'September 13. No party or person will be permitted
to go out after calling the roll on any account whatever,
as many bad things have been done lately in the night,
to the distressing of the distressed French inhabitants
in this neighbourhood.'] In the meantime parties were
sent to remote parts of the rivers in search of stragglers,
but only thirty, very old and infirm, were found, and it
was decided to leave them ashore until the ships should
be ready to depart. It still remained, however, to bring
in the inhabitants of the parish of Cobequid, and a
detachment under Captain Lewis was dispatched on this
errand. He returned without a prisoner. The inhabitants
of Cobequid had fled; but Lewis reported that he had laid
their habitations in ruins.

Neither the needed transports nor the provisions had
arrived. Winslow chafed and groaned. He longed to be rid
of the painful and miserable business. At last, on the
evening of September 28, came the belated supply-ship;
but where were the transports? Winslow resolved to fill
up the five vessels which lay in the basin, and ordered
that the women and children should be brought to the
shore. Families and those of the same village were to
be kept together, as far as possible.

Meanwhile twenty-four of the young men imprisoned on the
ships made good their escape, and one Francois Hebert
was charged as an abettor. Winslow ordered Hebert to be
brought ashore, and, to impress upon the Acadians the
gravity of his offence, his house and barn were set on
fire in his presence. At the same time the inhabitants
were warned that unless the young men surrendered within
two days all their household furniture would be confiscated
and their habitations destroyed. If captured, no quarter
would be given them. The result was that twenty-two of
the young men returned to the transports. The other two
were overtaken by the soldiers and shot. [Footnote:
Winslow's Journal, part ii, p. 173.]

Finally a number of transports arrived, and, on October
8, amid scenes of wild confusion, the embarkation began
in earnest. From the villages far and near came the
families of those who were detained in the church and on
the vessels. Some came aiding the infirm or carrying the
sick, while others were laden with bundles of their
personal effects. Most were on foot, although a few rode
in the vehicles bringing their household goods. Old and
young wended their way to the vessels, weary and footsore
and sad at heart. In all, eighty families were taken to
the boats. The next day the men who had been imprisoned
on the vessels since September 10 were brought ashore in
order that they might join their families and accompany
the people of their own villages. Four days later (October
13) several of the ships received sailing orders, some
for Maryland, others for Pennsylvania, and others for

By the 1st of November Winslow had sent off over fifteen
hundred exiles. But his anxieties were by no means at an
end. There were still a large number of people to be
deported. The difficulty lay in the shortage of transports.
After the vessels had been taxed to their utmost, Winslow
had still over six hundred persons on his hands; [Footnote:
Winslow's Journal, part ii, p. 183.] and he was obliged
in the meantime to quarter them in houses at Grand Pre.
There remained also the task of destroying the villages
to prevent their occupation by stragglers, in accordance
with Lawrence's orders. Finally, on December 13, transports
were provided for the unhappy remnant of the prisoners;
and seven days later the last vessels left port. The
cruel task was done. In all, over six thousand persons
had been forcibly deported, while the rest of the population
had been driven to the wilderness and their homes laid
waste. Some wandered to the Isle St Jean and others to
New Brunswick and Canada. The land of the Acadians was
a solitude.

And so, sorrow-framed, the story of the expulsion draws
to its close. Hardly had the deplorable work ended, when
England made with Frederick of Prussia the treaty which
formally inaugurated her Seven Years' War with France.
For Lawrence, perhaps, this was a fortunate circumstance.
The day of mutual concessions had passed; and an act
which a few months before might have been denounced as
unwarrantable might now, in the heat of a mighty contest,
be regarded as a patriotic service. Nor is this the only
instance of the kind in history. Often, indeed, has war
served, not only to cover the grossest inhumanities; it
has even furnished an excuse for substantial reward.



Thus the Acadians passed from the land of their birth
and from the scenes of their youth. Some were to wander
as exiles in many lands for many years, separated from
their children and from their kind, while others, more
fortunate, were soon to regain their native soil.

Lawrence, in his instructions to the governors of the
colonies to which he had sent the exiles, said that they
were 'to be received and disposed of in such a manner as
may best answer our design of preventing their reunion'
as a people. It was not intended to tear apart families
and friends, but, owing to the scarcity of vessels and
the inadequate arrangements for the deportation, there
were many cruel separations. The deputies confined since
July on George's Island, for example, were at the last
moment transferred to Annapolis in order that they might
accompany their families, but this was not effected, for
the deputies themselves landed in North Carolina, while
their wives and children were dispersed in other colonies.
[Footnote: Nova Scotia Documents, p. 280. Calnek and
Savary, History of the County of Annapolis, p. 124.] One
of the leading Acadians, and one who had loyally served
the British, Rene Le Blanc, notary of Grand Pre, was
landed with his wife and his two youngest children in
New York, while his eighteen other children were scattered
far and wide. [Footnote: Petition of the Acadians deported
to Philadelphia. Printed in Richard, vol. ii, p. 371.]
The real separation of families, however, began in the
colonies. For example, four hundred persons were transported
to Connecticut; but before the whole number arrived an
order went forth for their dispersion in fifty towns.
Nineteen were allotted to Norwich, while three only were
sent to Haddon. In some colonies only the first boats
were allowed to disembark the exiles, and the masters of
the others were forced to seek other ports.

The treatment of the exiles in the colonies varied
according to circumstances. In some instances the younger
men and women were bound out to service for periods
varying from three to twelve weeks. In others they were
left free to maintain themselves by their own efforts,
the state to provide for such as were incapable, through
age or infirmity, of performing manual labour. Hundreds
of those who were placed under control escaped and
wandered, footsore and half clad, from town to town in
the hope of meeting their relatives or of finding means
to return to their former homes. Little record has been
preserved of the journeyings of these unfortunates or of
the sufferings they endured.

About a third of the people deported from Nova Scotia in
1755 found their way to South Carolina, although that
does not appear to have been the destination proposed
for them by Lawrence. On November 6, 1755, the South
Carolina Gazette announced that 'the Baltimore Snow is
expected from the Bay of Fundy with some French Neutrals
on board to be distributed in the British colonies.' A
fortnight later the first of these arrived, and in the
course of a few weeks over a thousand had been landed at
Charleston. Soon after, probably passed on by other
colonies, a thousand more arrived. Alarmed by the presence
of so many strangers, the authorities adopted measures
to place them under restraint; and in February 1756 two
parties of the prisoners broke loose: thirty of them
outdistanced their pursuers; five or six, according to
the Gazette, made their way to the plantation of a Mr
Williams on the Santee, terrified the family, secured a
quantity of clothing and firearms, broke open a box
containing money, and headed across the Alleghanies, it
was thought, for the French stronghold, Fort Duquesne,
where Pittsburgh now stands. This conjecture is probable,
since nine Acadians from Fort Duquesne arrived at the
river St John some time later. In the interval the South
Carolina legislature passed an act for the dispersion of
four-fifths of the French Neutrals in various parishes
at the public expense, the remaining fifth to be supported
at Charleston by the vestry of St Phillips. On April 16
passports were given to one hundred and thirty persons
to proceed to Virginia. Here they obtained the authority
of the governor to return to Acadia, and they reached
the river St John on June 16, 1756. Some time later the
governor of South Carolina gave the remainder of the
people permission to go where they pleased. Two old ships
and a quantity of inferior provisions were placed at
their disposal, and they sailed for Hampton, Virginia.
In due course nine hundred of them landed in the district
of the river St John, where they were employed by Vaudreuil,
the governor of New France, in harrying the British. By
the year 1763 only two hundred and eighty-three Acadians
remained in South Carolina. One family of the name of
Lanneau became Protestants and gave two ministers to the
Presbyterian Church--the Rev. John Lanneau, who afterwards
went as a missionary to Jerusalem, and the Rev. Basil
Lanneau, who became Hebrew tutor in the Theological
Seminary at Columbia.

Among the refugees who put out from Minas on October 13,
1755, were some four hundred and fifty destined for
Philadelphia. The vessels touched Delaware on November
20, when it was discovered that there were several cases
of smallpox on board, and the masters were ordered to
leave the shore. They were not permitted to land at
Philadelphia until the 10th of December. Many of the
exiles died during the winter, and were buried in the
cemetery of the poor which now forms a part of Washington
Park, Philadelphia. The survivors were lodged in a poor
quarter of the town, in 'neutral huts,' as their mean
dwellings were termed. When the plague-stricken people
arrived, Philadelphia had scarcely recovered from the
panic of a recent earthquake. Moreover, there was a
letter, said to have been written by Lawrence, dated at
Halifax, August 6, and published in the Philadelphia
Gazette on September 4, not calculated to place the
destitute refugees in a favourable light. This is the
substance of the letter: We are now forming the noble
project of driving the French Neutrals out of this
province. They have long been our secret enemies and have
assisted the Indians. If we are able to accomplish their
expulsion, it will be one of the great achievements of
the English in America, for, among other considerations,
the lands which they occupy are among the best in the
country, and we can place good English farmers in their
stead. A few days later another letter was published to
the effect that three Acadians had been arrested charged
with poisoning the wells in the vicinity of Halifax.
Their trial, it was stated, had not yet taken place; but
if guilty they would have but a few hours to live.

Robert Hunter Morris, the governor at this time of
Pennsylvania, wrote to Shirley of Massachusetts saying
that, as he had not sufficient troops to enforce order,
he feared that the Acadians would unite with the Irish
and German Catholics in a conspiracy against the state.
He also addressed the governor of New Jersey [Footnote:
Jonathan Belcher, governor of New Jersey and later of
Massachusetts. He was the father of the chief justice of
Nova Scotia.] to the same effect. The governor of New
Jersey, in his reply, expressed surprise that those who
planned to send the French Neutrals, or rather rebels
and traitors to the British crown, had not realized that
there were already too many strangers for the peace and
security of the colonies: that they should have been sent
to Old France. He was quite in accord with Morris in
believing there was a danger of the people joining the
Irish Papists in an attempt to ruin and destroy the king's

The Acadians had arrived at Philadelphia in a most
deplorable condition. One of the Quakers who visited the
boats while they were in quarantine reported that they
were without shirts and socks and were sadly in need of
bed-clothing. A petition to the governor, giving an
account of their conduct in Acadia and of the treatment
they had received, fell on deaf ears. An act was passed
for their dispersion in the counties of Bucks, Lancaster,
and Chester. The refugees, however, were not without
friends. To several Quakers they were indebted for many
acts of kindness and generosity.

Among those deported to Philadelphia was one of the Le
Blanc family, a boy of seventeen, Charles Le Blanc. Early
in life he engaged in commerce, and in the course of a
long and successful career in Philadelphia amassed an
enormous fortune, including large estates in the colonies
and in Canada. After his death in 1816 there were many
claimants to his estate, and the litigation over it is
not yet ended.

The Acadians taken to New York were evidently as poor as
their fellow-refugees at Philadelphia. An Act of July 6,
1756, recites that 'a certain number have been received
into this colony, poor, naked, and destitute of every
convenience and support of life, and, to the end that
they may not continue as they now really are, useless to
His Majesty, to themselves, and a burthen to this colony,
be it enacted ... that the Justices of the Peace ... be
required and empowered to bind with respectable families
such as are not arrived at the age of twenty-one years,
for such a space of time as they may think proper.' The
justices were to make the most favourable contracts for
them, and when their term of service expired, they were
to be paid either in implements of trade, clothing, or
other gratuity.

In the month of August 1756 one hundred and ten sturdy
Acadian boys and girls made their appearance in New York.
They had travelled all the way from Georgia in the hope
of finding means to return to Acadia. Great was their
disappointment when they were seized by the authorities
and placed out to service. Later some of the parents
straggled in, but they were dispersed immediately in
Orange and Westchester counties, and some on Long Island,
in charge of a constable. The New York Mercury of July
1757 reported that a number of the neutrals had been
captured near Fort Edward while on their way to Crown
Point. Between the arrival of the first detachment in
New York and the month of August 1757 the colony was
compelled to provide for large numbers who came in from
distant places. To prevent any further escape the sheriffs
were commanded to secure all the Acadians, except women
and children, in the county gaol.

At a later date these unfortunates were put to a strange
use. Sir Harry Moore, governor of the colony of New York
(1765-69), had designs upon the French colony at Santo
Domingo, in the West Indies, and desired plans of the
town and its fortifications. So he entered into
correspondence with the French Admiral, Count d'Estaing,
offering to transport thither seventy Acadian families
in order that they might live under the French flag. The
count accepted the offer and issued a proclamation to
the Acadians inviting them to Santo Domingo. Moore had
arranged that John Hanson should conduct the exiles to
their new home. Hanson, on arriving at the French colony,
was to take a contract to build houses and make out the
desired military plans while so engaged. He succeeded in
transporting the Acadians, but failed in the real object
of his mission. He was not allowed the liberty of building
houses in Santo Domingo. The Acadians who went to the
West Indies suffered greatly. The tropical climate proved
disastrous to men and women who had been reared in the
atmosphere of the Bay of Fundy. They crawled under trees
and shrubs to escape the fierce rays of the sun. Numbers
of them perished and life became a burden to the others.

Far different was the lot of the Acadians who were sent
to Maryland. [Footnote: The Maryland Gazette, Annapolis,
December 4, 1755, said: 'Sunday last [November 30] arrived
here the last of the vessels from Nova Scotia with French
Neutrals for this place, which makes four within this
fortnight bringing upwards of nine hundred of them. As
the poor people have been deprived of their settlements
in Nova Scotia, and sent here for some political reason
bare and destitute, Christian charity, nay, common
humanity, calls on every one according to his ability to
lend assistance and to help these objects of compassion.']
There they were kindly received and found, no doubt, a
happier lot than in any of the other colonies. Those
landed at Baltimore were at first lodged in private houses
and in a building belonging to a Mr Fotherall, where they
had a little chapel. And it was not long before the frugal
and industrious exiles were able to construct small but
comfortable houses of their own on South Charles Street,
giving to that quarter of the city the name of French
Town. Many of them found employment on the waterside and
in navigation. The old and infirm picked oakum.

Massachusetts at one time counted in the colony a thousand
and forty of the exiles, but all these had not come direct
on the ships from Nova Scotia. Many of them had wandered
in from other colonies. The people of Massachusetts loved
not Catholics and Frenchmen; nevertheless, in some
instances they received the refugees with especial
kindness. At Worcester a small tract of land was set
aside for the Acadians to cultivate, with permission to
hunt deer at all seasons. The able-bodied men and women
toiled in the fields as reapers, and added to their income
in the evening by making wooden implements. The Acadians
were truly primitive in their methods. 'Although,' says
a writer of the time, 'they tilled the soil they kept no
animals for labour. The young men drew their material
for fencing with thongs of sinew, and they turned the
earth with a spade. The slightest allusion to their native
land drew forth tears and many of the aged died of a
broken heart.'

As French Neutrals began to come into Boston from other
towns, the selectmen of that city protested vigorously
and passed the people on to outlying parishes, promising,
however, to be responsible for their maintenance should
they become a public charge. Several instances are recorded
of children being sent to join their parents. A certain
number were confined in the workhouse and in the provincial
hospital. But on December 6, 1760, the authorities gave
instructions for the hospital to be cleared to make room
for the colonial troops who were returning home, many of
them suffering from contagious diseases; and the Acadians
were forthwith turned out.

Although none of the Acadians appear to have been sent
direct to Louisiana, large numbers of them found their
way thither from various places, especially from Virginia,
where they were not allowed to remain. Finding in Louisiana
men speaking their own tongue, they felt a sense of
security, and gradually settled down with a degree of
contentment. There are to-day in various parishes of the
state of Louisiana many thousand Acadian-Americans.

Of the Acadians who succeeded in escaping deportation
and went into voluntary exile, many sought shelter in
New Brunswick, on the rivers Petitcodiac, Memramcook,
Buctouche, Richibucto, and Miramichi, and along Chaleur
Bay. The largest of the settlements so formed was the
one on the Miramichi, at Pierre Beaubair's seigneury,
where the village of Nelson now stands. For several years
these refugees in New Brunswick bravely struggled against
hardship, disease, and starvation; but in the late autumn
of 1759 the several settlements sent deputies to Colonel
Frye at Fort Cumberland, asking on what terms they would
be received back to Nova Scotia. Frye took a number of
them into the fort for the winter, and presented their
case to Lawrence. It was decided to accept their submission
and supply them with provisions. But when the people
returned they were held as vassals; and many of them
afterwards were either sent out of the province to France
or England, or left it voluntarily for St Pierre and
Miquelon or the West Indies.

Other fugitives of 1755, fifteen hundred, according to
one authority, [Footnote: Placide Gaudet, 'Acadian
Genealogy and Notes,' Canadian Archives Report, 1905.
vol. ii, part iii, Appendix A, p. xv.] succeeded in
reaching Quebec. Here their lot was a hard one. Bigot
and his myrmidons plundered everybody, and the starving
Acadians did not escape. They had managed to bring with
them a little money and a few household treasures, of
which they were soon robbed. For a time they were each
allowed but four ounces of bread a day, and were reduced,
it is said, to searching the gutters for food. To add to
their miseries smallpox broke out among them and many
perished from the disease. After Quebec surrendered and
the victorious British army entered the gates, some two
hundred of them, under the leadership of a priest, Father
Coquart, who apparently had a passport from General
Murray, marched through the wilderness to the headwaters
of the St John and went down to Fort Frederick at the
mouth of that river. Colonel Arbuthnot, the British
commandant there, treated them generously. In 1761,
however, many Acadians at the St John were seized and
deported to Halifax, where they were held as prisoners
of war, but were provided with rations and given 'good
wages for road-making.' [Footnote: MacMechan in Canada
and its Provinces, vol. xiii, p. 115.] Of those who
escaped this deportation, some established themselves on
the Kennebecasis river and some went up the St John to
St Anne's, now Fredericton. But even here the Acadians
were not to have a permanent home. Twenty years later,
when the war of the Revolution ended and land was needed
for the king's disbanded soldiers, the lands of the
Acadians were seized. Once more the unfortunate people
sought new homes, and found them at last along the banks
of Chaleur Bay and of the Madawaska, where thousands of
their descendants now rudely cultivate the fields and
live happy, contented lives.

The deportation did not bring peace to Nova Scotia.
Acadians of New Brunswick and of those who had sought
refuge in the forest fastnesses of the peninsula and Cape
Breton joined with the Indians in guerilla warfare against
the British; and there was more killing of settlers and
more destruction of property from Indian raids than ever
before. Early in the month of January 1756 British rangers
rounded up over two hundred Acadian prisoners at Annapolis,
and put them on board a vessel bound for South Carolina.
The prisoners, however, made themselves masters of the
ship and sailed into the St John river in February. French
privateers, manned by Acadians, haunted the Bay of Fundy
and the Gulf of St Lawrence and carried off as prizes
twelve British vessels. But in 1761 the British raided
a settlement of the marauders on Chaleur Bay, and took
three hundred and fifty prisoners to Halifax.

We have seen in a preceding chapter that from time to
time numbers of Acadians voluntarily left their homes in
Nova Scotia and went over to French soil. Many of these
took up their abode in Ile St Jean at Port La Joie
(Charlottetown), where they soon formed a prosperous
settlement and were able to supply not only the fortress
but the town of Louisbourg with provisions. Those who
were not engaged in agricultural pursuits found profitable
employment in the fisheries. There were also thriving
settlements at Point Prince, St Peter, and Malpeque. It
is computed that in 1755 there were at least four thousand
Acadians in Ile St Jean. A much larger estimate is given
by some historians. Now, on the fall of Louisbourg in
1758, some of the British transports which had brought
out troops from Cork to Halifax were ordered to Ile St
Jean to carry the Acadians and French to France. The
largest of these transports was the Duke William; another
was named the Violet. Some of the Acadians made good
their escape, but many were dragged on board the vessels.
On the Duke William was a missionary priest, and before
the vessels sailed he was called upon to perform numerous
marriages, for the single men had learned that if they
landed unmarried in France they would be forced to perform
military service, for which they had no inclination. Nine
transports sailed in consort, but were soon caught in a
violent tempest and scattered. On December 10 the Duke
William came upon the Violet in a sinking condition; and
notwithstanding all efforts at rescue, the Violet went
down with nearly four hundred souls. Meanwhile the Duke
William herself had sprung a leak. For a time she was
kept afloat by empty casks in the hold, but presently it
became evident that the ship was doomed. The long-boat
was put out and filled to capacity. And scarcely had the
boat cleared when an explosion occurred and the Duke
William went down, taking three hundred persons to a
watery grave. The longboat finally reached Penzance with
twenty-seven of the castaways. The other vessels probably
found some French port. [Footnote In 1763 there were
2,370 Acadians in the maritime towns of France and 866
at various English ports. Many of these returned later
to the land of their birth. See Canadian Archives Report,
1905, vol. ii, Appendix G, pp. 148 and 157.]

In Nova Scotia the Acadians were sorely needed. Even
their bitter enemy, Jonathan Belcher, now lieutenant-
governor, [Footnote: He succeeded Lawrence, who died in
October 1760. Two documents in the Colonial Office Records
raise more than a suspicion that Lawrence had been by no
means an exemplary public servant. The first is a complaint
made by Robert Sanderson, speaker of the first legislature
of Nova Scotia, elected in 1758, respecting the grave
misconduct of Lawrence in many stated particulars,
including the release from gaol before trial of prisoners
charged with burglary and other grave offences as well
as the misapplication of public funds. The second is a
letter from the Lords of Trade to Belcher laying down
rules for his conduct as lieutenant-governor and referring
to the many serious charges against his predecessor, some
of which they regard as having substantial foundation,
and none of which they express themselves as altogether
rejecting. Consult, in the Public Archives, Canada, Nova
Scotia A, vol. lxv.] wrote on June 18, 1761: 'By
representations made to me from the new settlements in
this province, it appears extremely necessary that the
inhabitants should be assisted by the Acadians in repairing
the dykes for the preservation and recovery of the marsh
lands, particularly as on the progress of this work, in
which the Acadians are the most skilful people in the
country, the support and subsistence of several hundred
of the inhabitants will depend.' [Footnote: Nova Scotia
Documents, p. 319.] It seemed almost impossible to induce
settlers to come to the province; and those who did come
seem to have been unable to follow the example of the
former owners of the soil, for much of the land which
had been reclaimed from the sea by the labour and ingenuity
of the Acadian farmers was once more being swept by the
ocean tides.

Yet, when the Acadians began to return to Nova Scotia in
ever-increasing numbers, Belcher and the Halifax Council
decided to banish them again. In 1762 five transports
loaded with prisoners were sent to Massachusetts, but
that colony wanted no more Acadians and sent them back.
Belcher had some difficulty in explaining his action to
the home government. And the Lords of Trade did not
scruple to censure him.

When the Treaty of Paris (February 1763) brought peace
between France and England and put an end to French power
in America, the Acadians could no longer be considered
a menace, and there was no good political reason for
keeping them out of Canada or Nova Scotia. Almost
immediately those in exile began to seek new homes among
people of their own race and religion. The first migration
seems to have been from New England by the Lake Champlain
route to the province of Quebec. There they settled at
various places, notably L'Acadie, St Gregoire, Nicolet,
Becancour, St Jacques-l'Achigan, St Philippe, and Laprairie.
In these communities hundreds of their descendants still

In 1766 the exiles in Massachusetts assembled in Boston
and decided to return to their native land. All who were
fit to travel, numbering about nine hundred men, women,
and children, marched through the wilderness along the
Atlantic coast and across New Brunswick to the isthmus
of Chignecto. Many perished by the way, overcome by the
burden and fatigue of a journey which lasted over four
months. But at last the weary pilgrims approached their
destination. And near the site of the present village of
Coverdale in Albert county, New Brunswick, they were
attracted to a small farmhouse by the crowing of a cock
in the early dawn. To their unspeakable joy they found
the house inhabited by a family of their own race. Here
they halted for a few days, making inquiry concerning
their old friends. Then they tramped on in different
directions. Everywhere on the isthmus the scene was
changed. The old familiar farm buildings had disappeared
or were occupied by strangers of an alien tongue, and
even the names of places were known no more. Some journeyed
to Windsor and some to Annapolis, where they remained
for a time. At length, on the western shores of the
present counties of Digby and Yarmouth, they found a
home, and there to-day live the descendants of these
pilgrims. For miles their neat villages skirt the shores
of the ocean and the banks of the streams. For a century
and a half they have lived in peace, cultivating their
salt-marsh lands and fresh-water meadows, preserving the
simple manners, customs, and language of their ancestors.
They form a community apart, a hermit community. But they
are useful citizens, good farmers, hardy fishermen and

Both in Canada and in the United States are to be found
many Acadians occupying exalted positions. The chief
justice of the Supreme Court of Louisiana, Joseph A.
Breaux, is of Acadian descent. In Canada the Rt Rev.
Edward Le Blanc, bishop of Acadia, the Hon. P. E. Le
Blanc, lieutenant-governor of the province of Quebec,
and the Hon. Pascal Poirier, senator, are Acadians, as
are many other prominent men. And Isabella Labarre, who
married Jean Foret, of Beaubassin, was one of the maternal
ancestors of Sir Wilfrid Laurier.

Save in the Maritime Provinces, it is not possible to
count the offspring of the original French settlers of
Acadia who came out from France in the seventeenth century.
It is estimated that there were at the time of the
expulsion ten or eleven thousand under the British flag,
and four or five thousand in Ile St Jean and elsewhere
on French territory. About six thousand were deported,
as we have seen, and scattered over the British colonies.
Undoubtedly a great number of Americans of to-day are
descendants of those exiles, but, except at the mouth of
the Mississippi, they are merged in the general population
and their identity is lost. Neither can we tell how many
of those who found their way to Old France remained there
permanently. For upwards of twenty years the French
government was concerned in finding places for them. Some
were settled on estates; some were sent to Corsica;
others, as late as 1778, went to Louisiana. Nor can we
estimate the number of Acadians in the province of Quebec,
for no distinction has been made between them and the
general French-Canadian population. For the Maritime
Provinces, however, we have the count of the census of
1911. This shows 98,611 in New Brunswick, 51,746 in Nova
Scotia, and 13,117 in Prince Edward Island, a total of
163,474 in the three provinces. The largest communities
are those of Gloucester, Victoria, Madawaska, and Kent
counties in New Brunswick, and of Digby and Yarmouth in
Nova Scotia. Several thousand Acadians are counted in
Cape Breton; so, too, in Halifax and Cumberland counties.
But in the county of Annapolis, where stands the site of
the first settlement formed on the soil of Canada--the
site of the ancient stronghold of Acadia--and which for
many generations was the principal home of the Acadian
people, only two or three hundred Acadians are to be
found to-day; while, looking out over Minas Basin, the
scene of so much sorrow and suffering, one solitary family
keeps its lonely vigil in the village of Grand Pre.


The story of Acadia and the Acadians has been told many
times, but most of the treatises on the subject are
unsatisfactory from the historical point of view, either
because of the biased attitude taken by the authors or
because of their inadequate use of original sources. The
present writer has deliberately avoided consulting
secondary works. The following titles, however, are here
suggested for the benefit of the reader who wishes to
become acquainted with the literature of the subject.

Thomas Chandler Haliburton, 'An Historical and Statistical
Account of Nova Scotia' (2 vols., Halifax, 1829), the
earliest general history of the province, based on but
slight knowledge of the sources. Beamish Murdoch, 'A
History of Nova Scotia' (3 vols., Halifax, 1865-1867),
fuller and more accurate than Haliburton, but having less
charm of style. Francis Parkman, 'France and England in
North America' (9 vols., Boston, 1865-1892, and later
editions). The chapters on Acadia are scattered through
several volumes of this valuable series: see the volumes
entitled 'Pioneers of France, The Old Regime, A Half-Century
of Conflict', and 'Montcalm and Wolfe'. Celestin Moreau,
'Histoire de l'Acadie Francoise' (Paris, 1873). James
Hannay, 'History of Acadia' (St John, 1879). P. H. Smith,
'Acadia: A Lost Chapter in American History' (Pawling,
N.Y., 1884). Justin Winsor, 'Narrative and Critical
History of America': see vols. iv and v (Boston, 1884,
1887), containing scholarly bibliographical notes. Abbe
H. R. Casgrain, 'Un Pelerinage au pays d'Evangeline'
(Quebec, 1887). Rameau de Saint-Pere, 'Une Colonie Feodale
en Amerique, l'Acadie' (2 vols., Paris and Montreal,
1889): the appendix contains some interesting documents.
Edouard Richard, 'Acadia: Missing Links of a Lost Chapter
in American History' (2 vols., New York and Montreal,
1895). Rev. Wm. O. Raymond, 'The River St John' (2nd ed.,
St John, 1910).

Some older works which incidentally contain interesting
or valuable references to Acadia may be mentioned. F. X.
Charlevoix, 'Histoire et Description Generale de la
Nouvelle France' (3 vols., Paris, 1744; and translation
by J. G. Shea, 6 vols., New York, 1866-1872). Abbe
Guillaume Thomas Raynal, 'Histoire philosophique et
politique des Etablissemens dans les deux Indes' (5 vols.,
Paris, 1770), which first painted a picture of an idyllic
life of simplicity and happiness among the Acadians.
Thomas Hutchinson, 'History of the Colony of Massachusetts
Bay' (3 vols., London, 1765-1828). G. R. Minot,
'Continuation of the History of the Province of
Massachusetts Bay' (2 vols., Boston, 1798-1803). Jeremy
Belknap, 'History of New Hampshire' (3 vols., Boston,
1791-1792). W. D. Williamson, 'History of the State of
Maine' (2 vols., Hallowell, 1832). The last four works
are of much value for the relations between Acadia and
the New England colonies.

Among special studies of note are: J. G. Kohl, 'Discovery
of Maine' ('Documentary History of the State of Maine,'
vol. i, 1869). H. P. Biggar, 'Early Trading Companies of
New France' (Toronto, 1901). Henry Kirke, 'The First
English Conquest of Canada' (London, 1871; 2nd ed., 1908),
a work which devotes much space to the early establishments
in Nova Scotia. Rev. Edmund F. Slafter, 'Sir William
Alexander and American Colonization' (Boston, 1873),
which contains a valuable selection of documents. Abbe
J. A. Maurault, 'Histoire des Abenakis' (Sorel, 1866).
Pascal Poirier, 'Origine des Acadiens' (Montreal, 1874)
and 'Des Acadiens deportes a Boston en 1755' ('Trans.
Roy. Soc. of Can.,' 3rd series, vol. ii, 1908).

Several local histories contain information regarding
the Acadian exiles in the American colonies. William
Lincoln, 'History of Worcester, Massachusetts' (Worcester,
1862). Bernard C. Steiner, 'History of the Plantation of
Menunkatuck and of the Original Town of Guilford,
Connecticut' (Baltimore, 1897). Rev. D. P. O'Neill,
'History of St Raymond's Church, Westchester New York.'
J. T. Scharf, 'Chronicles of Baltimore' ( Baltimore,
1874). Edward M'Crady, 'History of South Carolina under
the Royal Government, 1719-1776' (New York, 1899).

Of original sources, many of the more important narratives
are available in print. Champlain's Voyages, a work which
appeared in its first form in 1604: recent editions are
by Laverdiere (6 vols., Quebec, 1870); translation by
Slafter (3 vols., The Prince Society, Boston, 1880-1882);
and translations of portions by W. L. Grant in Jameson's
'Original Narratives of Early American History' (New
York, 1907). Marc Lescarbot, 'Histoire de la Nouvelle
France' (1st ed., Paris, 1609): a new edition with
translation has been edited by W. L. Grant (The Champlain
Society, 3 vols., Toronto, 1907-1914). Nicolas Denys,
'Description Geographique et Historique des Costes de
l'Amerique Septentrionale' (Paris, 1672): new edition
and translation by William F. Ganong (The Champlain
Society, Toronto, 1908). Denys tells of De Monts,
Poutrincourt, Biencourt, and the La Tours.

Supplementary information can be obtained from 'The Jesuit
Relations' (the first number, by Father Biard, was
published at Lyons, 1616); see edition with translation,
by R. G. Thwaites (Cleveland, 1896). See also Purchas,
'His Pilgrimes,' vol. iv (1625); and John Winthrop,
'History of New England,' edited by James Savage (2 vols.,
Boston, 1825-1826), and by J. K. Hosmer in 'Original
Narratives of Early American History' (New York, 1908).
Gaston du Boscq de Beaumont, 'Les Derniers Jours de
l'Acadie,' 1748-1758 (Paris, 1899) contains many interesting
letters and memoirs from the French side at the time of
the expulsion.

There are several important collections of documentary
sources available in print. The 'Memorials of the English
and French Commissaries concerning the Limits of Nova
Scotia or Acadia' (London and Paris, 1755) contains the
arguments and documents produced on both sides in the
dispute regarding the Acadian boundaries. Many documents
of general interest are to be found in the 'Collection
de Documents relatifs a l'Histoire de la Nouvelle France'
(4 vols., Quebec, 1885); in 'Documents relative to the
Colonial History of the State of New York,' edited by
O'Callaghan and Fernow (15 vols., Albany, 1856-1887),
particularly vol. ix; and in the 'Collections' of the
Massachusetts Historical Society (Boston, 1792-). The
'Collections' of the Nova Scotia Historical Society
(Halifax, 1879-), besides modern studies, contain many
valuable contemporary documents, including 'Journal of
Colonel Nicholson at the Capture of Annapolis,' 'Diary
of John Thomas,' and 'Journal of Colonel John Winslow.'
Thomas and Winslow are among the most important sources
for the expulsion.

The 'Report on Canadian Archives' for 1912 prints several
interesting documents bearing on the early history of
Acadia, and the Report for 1905 (vol. ii) contains
documents relating to the expulsion, edited by Placide
Gaudet. The calendars contained in various Reports to
which references are made below may also be consulted.
The British Government publications, the 'Calendar of
State Papers, Colonial Series, America and West Indies,'
which has been brought down only to 1702, and the 'Acts
of the Privy Council, Colonial Series,' are also useful.
But perhaps the most valuable of all is the volume entitled
'Selections from the Public Documents of the Province of
Nova Scotia,' edited by Thomas B. Akins (Halifax, 1869),
though the editor has taken many liberties with his texts.
A volume entitled 'Nova Scotia Archives II,' edited by
Archibald MacMechan (Halifax, 1900), contains calendars
of Governors' Letter Books and a Commission Book, 1713-1741.

The principal manuscript collections of material for
Acadian history are in Paris, London, Boston, Halifax,
and Ottawa. In Paris are the official records of French
rule in America. Of the 'Archives des Colonies,' deposited
at the 'Archives Nationales,' the following series are
most important:

Series B: Letter Books of Orders of the King and Dispatches
from 1663 onward (partially calendared in Canadian Archives
'Reports' for 1899; Supplement, 1904 and 1905).

Series C: correspondence received from the colonies,
which is subdivided geographically. All the American
colonies have letters relating to the refugee Acadians,
but the most important section for general Acadian history
is C-11, which relates to Canada and its dependencies,
including Acadia itself, Ile Royale, now Cape Breton,
and Ile St Jean, now Prince Edward Island.

Series F, which includes in its subdivisions documents
relating to commercial companies and religious missions,
and the Moreau St Mery Collection of miscellaneous official

Series G: registers, censuses, lists of Acadian refugees,
and notarial records.

The 'Ministere des Affaires Etrangeres' has, in the
'Angleterre' section of its 'Correspondence Politique'
and the 'Amerique' section of its 'Memoires et Documents,'
extensive material on the disputes with the English
Government over Acadia. The 'Archives de la Marine'
(Series B), which is divided into eight sub-series, has
a vast collection of documents relating to America,
including Acadia. Acadian material is also found scattered
through other series of the 'Archives Nationales' and
among the manuscripts of the 'Bibliotheque Nationale.'
At the town of Vire, in France, among the municipal
archives, are to be found the papers of Thomas Pichon,
a French officer at Louisbourg and Beausejour, who after
the fall of Beausejour lived on intimate terms with the
British in Nova Scotia.

In London most of the official documents for the period
under consideration in this volume are preserved in the
Public Record Office. The most useful collections are
among the Colonial Office Papers: Series C.O. 5, formerly
described as America and West Indies, embraces the papers
of the office of the Secretary of State who had charge
of the American colonies; and C.O. 217-221, formerly,
for the most part, described as Board of Trade Nova
Scotia, contains the correspondence of the Board of Trade
relating to Nova Scotia. The 'Admiralty Papers and Treasury
Board Papers' likewise contain considerable material for
the story of British administration in Acadia.

In the British Museum are some manuscripts of interest,
the most noteworthy being Lieutenant-Governor Vetch's
Letter Book (Sloane MS. 3607), and the Brown Collection
(Additional MSS. 190694). These are papers relating to
Nova Scotia and the Acadians, 1711-1794, including the
correspondence of Paul Mascarene.

In Boston two important collections are to be found: the
Massachusetts State Archives, which contain some original
documents bearing on the relations between New England
and Nova Scotia, and others connected with the disposal
of those Acadians who were transported to Massachusetts,
and many transcripts made from the French Archives; and
the Parkman Papers, which are now in the possession of
the Massachusetts Historical Society.

The Public Records of Nova Scotia at Halifax contain
transcripts from the Paris and Massachusetts Archives
relating to Acadia, transcripts from the Public Record
Office at London and from the British Museum, letter-books
of the Governors of Nova Scotia, minutes of the Executive
Council, and much miscellaneous correspondence and papers
belonging to our period.

In the Public Archives of Canada at Ottawa a very extensive
collection of transcripts has been assembled comprising
all the more important official documents relating to
Acadia. A full description of most of the series can be
obtained from David W. Parker's 'Guide to the Documents
in the Manuscript Room at the Public Archives of Canada,'
vol. i (Ottawa, 1914). The series known as Nova Scotia
State Papers is divided into several sub-series: A.
Correspondence from 1603 onwards, made up chiefly of
transcripts from the Papers of the Secretary of State
and of the Board of Trade at the Public Record Office,
but including some from the British Museum and elsewhere
(a calendar is to be found in the 'Report on Canadian
Archives' for 1894); B. Minutes of the Executive Council
of Nova Scotia, 1720-1785; E. Instructions to Governors,
1708 onwards. The Archives also possess transcripts of
the French 'Archives des Colonies,' Series B, down to
1746, Series C-11 and parts of Series F and G, and of
many documents of the 'Ministere des Affaires Etrangeres,'
of the 'Archives de la Marine,' Series B, and of the
'Bibliotheque Nationale' (among the latter being the
'Memoire instructif de la conduite du Sr. de la Tour').
Also transcripts of the Pichon Papers, of much of the
C.O. 5 Series for this period in the Public Record Office,
London; of Vetch's Letter Book, the Brown Collection and
other sources in the British Museum; and of parts of the
Parkman Papers, and other records regarding the exiled
Acadians in the Massachusetts Archives.


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