Following the capture of Fort Beauséjour and Fort Gaspereau in mid-June 1755, the large number of New England troops now in Nova Scotia were ordered to seize arms and ammunitions from the Acadians. Later all Acadians in Nova Scotia were ordered to surrender their firearms or be considered as rebels. Delegates from various Acadian settlements were sent to Halifax to request the return of their firearms. When they arrived, these delegates were informed that they must sign an unconditional oath of allegiance— in other words, an oath without any conditions whatsoever pertaining to bearing arms against French of the Micmac. When they refused to sign, the delegates were imprisoned on George’s Island in Halifax harbour.
In July 1755, Governor Charles Lawrence ordered the Acadians to send another group of delegates to appear before the Council on Halifax in order to settle the question of the unconditional oath of fidelity to the British Monarch. Despite the fact that Fort Beauséjour had been captured in June, that 2,000 New England soldiers were now stationed in Nova Scotia, and that Admiral Boscawen’s fleet was present in the port of Halifax, the Acadians did not change their position. Like other representatives before them, they refused to sign an oath that would automatically mean that the Acadian population could not remain neutral. This second group of delegates was also detained on George’s Island.
Photo courtesy of Madelaine Pearson
On July 28, 1755, when Lieutenant-Governor Lawrence assembled his council, which included for this meeting Admiral Boscawen and Chief Justice Belcher, the decision was made to proceed with the removal of the “French inhabitants” from the colony of Nova Scotia.
Governor Charles Lawrence’s expulsion orders
Halifax 11 August 1755
Instructions for Major Handfield, Commanding his Majesty’s garrison of Annapolis Royale in relation to the transportation of the Inhabitants of the District of Annapolis River and other French Inhabitants out of the Province of Nova Scotia.
Having in my Letter of the 31st of July last made you acquainted with the reasons which Induced His Majesty’s Council to come to the Resolution of sending away the French Inhabitants and clearing the whole Country of such bad subjects, it only remains for me to give you the necessary orders for the putting in practice what has been so solemnly determined.
That the Inhabitants may not have it in their power to return to this Province nor to join in strengthening the French of Canada in Louisbourg; it is resolved that they shall be dispersed among his Majesty’s Colonies upon the Continent of America.
For this purpose Transports are ordered to be sent from Boston to Annapolis to ship on board one thousand persons reckoning two persons to a ton, and for Chignecto, transports have been taken up here to carry off the Inhabitants of that place; and for those of the District around Mines Bason Transports are in from Boston. As Annapolis is the place where the last of the transports will depart from, any of the vessels that may not receive their full compliment up the Bay will be ordered there, and Colonel Winslow with his detachment will follow by land and bring up what stragglers he may meet with to ship on board at your place.
Upon the arrival of the vessels from Boston in the Bason of Annapolis as many of the Inhabitants of Annapolis District as can be collected by any means, particularly the heads of families and young men, are to be shipped on board of them at the above rate of two persons to a ton, or as near it as possible. The tonnage of the vessels to be ascertained by the charter partys, which the masters will furnish you with an amount of.
And to give you all the ease possible respecting the victualling of these transports, I have appointed Mr. George Sauls to act as agent Victualler upon this occasion and have given him particular instructions for that purpose with a copy of which he will furnish you upon his arrival at Annapolis Royale from Chignecto with the provisions for victualling the whole transports; but in case you should have shipped any of the Inhabitants before his arrival you will order five pounds of flour and one pound of pork to be delivered to each person so shipped to last for seven days and so until Mr. Saul’s arrival, and it will be replaced by him into the stores from what he has on board the provision vessel for that purpose.
The destination of the Inhabitants of Annapolis River and of the transports ordered to Annapolis Bason:
•To be sent to Philadelphia such a number of vessels as will transport three hundred persons.
•To be sent to New York such a number of vessels as will transport two hundred persons.
•To be sent to Connecticut such a number of vessels / whereof the Sloop Dove, Samuel Forbes, Master to be one / as will transport three hundred persons.
And To be sent to Boston such a number of vessels as will transport two hundred persons, or rather more in proportion to the province of Connecticut, should the number to be shipped off exceed one thousand persons. When the people are embarked you will please to give the master of each vessel one of the letters of which you will receive a number signed by me of which you will address to the Governor of the Province or the Commander in Chief for the time being where they are to be put on shore and enclose therein the printed form of the Certificate to be granted to the Masters of the vessels to entitle them to their hire as agreed upon by Charter party; and with these you will give each of the Masters their sailing orders in writing to proceed according to the above destination, and upon their arrival immediately to wait upon the Governors or Commanders in Chief of the Provinces for which they are bound with the said Letters and to make all possible dispatch in debarking their passengers and obtain certificates thereof agreeable to the form aforesaid.
And you will in these orders make it a particular injunction to the said Masters to be as careful and watchful as possible during the whole course of the passage to prevent the passengers making any attempt to seize upon the vessel by allowing only a small number to be upon the decks at a time and using all other necessary precautions to prevent the bad consequence of such attempts; and that they be particularly careful that the Inhabitants carry no arms nor other offensive weapons on board with them at their embarkation. As also that they see the provisions regularly issued to the people agreeable to the allowance proportioned in Mr. George Saul’s instructions.
You will use all the means proper and necessary for collecting the people together so as to get them on board. If you find that fair means will not do with them, you must proceed by the most vigorous measures possible, not only in compelling them to embark, but in depriving those who shall escape of all means of shelter or support by burning their houses and destroying everything that may afford them the means of subsistence in the country, and if you have not force sufficient to perform this service, Colonel Winslow at Mines or the Commanding Officer there will upon your application send you a proper reinforcement.
You will see by the Charter partys of the vessels taken up at Boston that they are hired by the month; therefore I am to desire that you will use all possible dispatch to save expense to the public.
As soon as the people are shipped and the transports are ready you will acquaint the Commander of His Majesty’s Ship therewith that he may take them under his convoy and put to sea without loss of time.
– Sir Charles Lawrence, Orders to Captain John Handfield
Although Grand Pré has become the symbol of the expulsion of the Acadians, the deportation actually began on August 11, 1755, at Fort Beauséjour (renamed Fort Cumberland). The inhabitants in the area were rounded up and imprisoned in the fort prior to being shipped to the British Colonies along the eastern seaboard.
One month later the deportation of the Acadians began at Grand Pré, the most populated of all Acadian settlements. The male inhabitants were ordered by Colonel John Winslow, commander of the New England regiment stationed in the area, to assemble in the church Saint Charles des Mines on September 5, 1755 at three o’clock in the afternoon. The men of Pisiquid were ordered by Captain Alexander Murray to present themselves at Fort Edward. In both places, the assembled Acadians were informed that their lands, their houses, and their livestock would be confiscated and that they and their families would be transported out of the province.
Lieutenant Colonel John Winslow Orders Sept 5 Meeting at Grand-Pre Church
The first recorded attempt at ethic cleansing in North America, the Acadian deportation and expulsion, La Grand Derangement. British Governor Charles Lawrence and the Nova Scotia Council decided on July 28, to deport the Acadians. Although Grand Pré to this day is the most well known symbol of the expulsion, it actually began at Fort Beauséjour on August 11.
At a consultation, held between Colonel Winslow and Captain Murray, [of the New England forces, charged with the duty of exiling the Acadians,] it was agreed that a proclamation should be issued at the different settlements, requiring the attendance of the people at the respective posts on the same day; which proclamation should be so ambiguous in its nature that the object for which they were to assemble could not be discerned, and so peremptory in its terms as to ensure implicit obedience. This instrument, having been drafted and approved, was distributed according to the original plan. That which was addressed to the people inhabiting the country now comprised within the limits of King’s County, was as follows:
“To the inhabitants of the District of Grand Pre, Minas, River Canard, as well ancient, as young men and lads:
“Whereas, his Excellency the Governor has instructed us of his late resolution, respecting the matter proposed to the inhabitants, and has ordered us to communicate the same in person, his Excellency being desirous that each of them should be fully satisfied of his Majesty’s intentions, which he has also ordered us to communicate to you, such as they have been given to him. We, therefore, order and strictly enjoin, by these presents, all of the inhabitants, as well of the above-named district as of all the other Districts, both old men and young men, as well as all the lads of ten years of age, to attend at the Church at Grand Pre, on Friday, the fifth instant, at three of the clock in the afternoon, that we may impart to them what we are ordered to communicate to them; declaring that no excuse will be admitted on any pretence whatever, on pain of forfeiting goods and chattels, in default of real estate.”
“Given at Grand Pre, 2d September, 1755, and 29th year of his Majesty’s Reign, John Winslow.”
Lieutenant Colonel John Winslow Orders French Inhabitants of Grand-Pré to be Imprisoned in the Grand-Pré Church while awaiting forced departure
“In obedience to this summons four hundred and eighteen able-bodied men assembled. These being shut into the church (for that, too, had become an arsenal), Colonel Winslow placed himself, with his officers, in the centre, and addressed them thus:
I have received from his Excellency Governor Lawrence, the King’s Commission which I have in my hand and by whose orders you are convened together to Manifest to you his Majesty’s final resolution 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 them you yourself best know.
The part of duty I am now upon is what though necessary is very disagreeable to my nature. make and temper, as I know it must be grevious to you who are of the same specie.
But it is not my business to annimedvert, but to obey such orders as I receive and therefore without hesitation shall deliver you his Majesty’s orders and instructions viz.
That your lands and tenements, cattle of all kinds and livestock of all sorts are forfitted to the Crown with all other your effects saving your money and household goods and you yourselves to be removed from this his province.
Thus it is peremptorily his Majesty’s orders that the whole French inhabitants of these districts, be removed, and I am through his Majesty’s goodness, directed to allow you liberty to carry of your money and household goods as many as you can without discommoding the vessels you go in. I shall do everything in my power that all those goods be secured to you and that you are not molested in carrying them and also that whole families shall go in the same vessel [this promise was NOT honored in all respect] and make this remove which I am sensible must give you a great deal of trouble as easy as his Majesty’s service will admit and hope that in what every part of the world you may fall, you may be faithful subjects, a peaceable and happy people.
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 command.
” After carrying off the priests, the English raised their flag above the churches and made the latter into barracks when their troops passed there. . . . The missionaries reached Halifax with this fine accompaniment, drums beating. They were led out on the parade, where they were exposed for three-quarters of an hour to mockery, contempt and Insults.”
Lieutenant Colonel John Winslow, the commanding officer that was charged with the forcible removal of young Acadian men at Grand-Pré, later that month, described the scene in a letter dated September 10, 1755:
“Order ye Prisoners to March. 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 be 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 (who opposed the marching) and bid march. He obeyed and the rest followed, though slowly, and went off praying, singing, and crying, being met by the women and children all the way.”
Acadian Deportation Monument Unveiling in Houma, LA
(During Le Grand Réveil Acadien in 2011)
The Acadian Deportation
Excerpts from “The Acadians of Nova Scotia; Past and Present” written by Sally Ross and Alphonse Deveau, published in 1992.
Chronological Dates of the Acadian Expulsion
Friday, September 5, 1755, the Acadians were taken into custody by the British under Lieutenant Colonel John Winslow.
Saturday – September 6, 1755 The LEOPARD – Captain Thomas Church arrives at Minas Basin.
Friday – September 19, 1755 – 230 prisoners had embarked and 300 or more returned from Halifax and were placed aboard ships. The whole population of Minas, about 2,000 (excluding Cobequit and Piziquid) was under armed force of 363 men. The wives and mothers of the captives were allowed to go aboard the ships to bring food.
Thursday – October 9, 1755 – Removed the several men that were embarked in three different vessels so as to commode each neighbour for their families to join them when other transports arrived. (THE HANTS JOURNAL VOL. LXX No. 52 of the WINDSOR, HANTS COUNTY, NOVA SCOTIA, Wednesday, May 12, 1937. – “EXPULSION OF ACADIANS ORGANIZED AT WINDSOR”, p. 1 and 12)
Saturday – October 11, 1755 – The transports were made ready and during the months of October and November, in the midst of mass hysteria and Francophobia that followed the defeat of Braddock and the prejudicial reporting of the Maryland Gazette, and when the excitement was on the increase and the minds of the peolple of Maryland were occupied with these real or imaginary dangers, that were supposed to be so near at hand, the sailing of the ships of the expulsion began the operation of expelling some 913 Acadians to Maryland.
Monday – October 13, 1755 – The sailing orders for the Leopold were givin to Captain Thomas Church by John Winslow. The same orders were given to Captain Milbury of the Elizabeth.
Tuesday – October 14, 1755 – Although Captain Murray, “longed much to see them embarked, and this was on the 8th of September”, it was not until the 14th October he was able to get the first lot away. The shiping point was at the north end of Pisiquid at the junction of the Avon and St. Croix rivers. THE HANTS JOURNAL VOL. LXX No. 52 of the WINDSOR, HANTS COUNTY, NOVA SCOTIA, Wednesday, May 12, 1937. – “EXPULSION OF ACADIANS ORGANIZED AT WINDSOR”, p. 1 and 12) Upwards to 1000 Acadians were embarked on transports from the King’s Wharf at the foot of Fort Edward, at Pisiquid for deportation to the colonies along the Atlantic seaboard. (John V. Duncanson – Rawdon/Douglas: Two Loyalist Townships in Nova Scotia)
Captain Murray writes on that fateful Oct.14th:
“I am at this moment embarking the people on board two sloops: the “Three Friends” and the “Dolphin” and had I vessels they should all go on board tomorrow. The third Sloop you said you would send me has not yet arrived. I earnestly entreat you to send her with all dispatch. The season advances and the weather is bad, as for Davis, he is gone away without my knowledge by which means I can do nothing. I am afraid the Governor will think us dilatory. My people are all ready and if you think I may venture to put the inhabitants on board “Davis” I will do it. Even then, with the three sloops and his scooner they will be stowed in bulk.”
(Photocopy of THE HANTS JOURNAL VOL. LXX No. 52 of the WINDSOR, HANTS COUNTY, NOVA SCOTIA, Wednesday, May 12, 1937. – “EXPULSION OF ACADIANS ORGANIZED AT WINDSOR”, p. 1 and 12)
Tuesday – October 14, 1755 – Fort Edward Oct. 14, 1755 : The vessels here are two sloops of 156 tons, Davis schooner 90 tons. This cannot do. (photocopy of THE HANTS JOURNAL VOL. LXX No. 52 of the WINDSOR, HANTS COUNTY, NOVA SCOTIA, Wednesday, May 12, 1937. – “EXPULSION OF ACADIANS ORGANIZED AT WINDSOR”, p. 1 and 12)
Tuesday – October 14, 1755 – Fort Edward: The vessels here are two sloops of 156 tons, Davis schooner 90 tons. This cannot do. (Photo copy of an article that appeared in the Windsor, N.S. newspaper entitled “EXPULSION OF ACADIANS ORGANIZED AT WINDSOR”)
Thursday – October 16, 1755 – Captain Murray further states: “Two days later, (on October 16, 1755), the other transport “Ranger” arrived (in Pisiquid). Davis was captain of the “Neptune” and he was replaced by the owner William Ford as master.” (THE HANTS JOURNAL VOL. LXX No. 52 of the WINDSOR, HANTS COUNTY, NOVA SCOTIA,
Wednesday, May 12, 1937. – “EXPULSION OF ACADIANS ORGANIZED AT WINDSOR”, p. 1 and 12)
Thursday – October 16, 1755 – Captain Murray further states: “Two days later, on October 16, 1755, the other transport “Ranger” arrived (in Pisiquid).
Sunday – October 19, 1755 – Because of overcrowding, Captain Alexander Murraywrote Lt. Colonial Winslow reporting on the overcrowding of the vesselsassigned to him for the debarking of the Acadians and requested additionaltransports. (page 9 – Maryland Historical Magazine – Vol. III No. 1, March1908 – “The Acadians (French Neutrals) Transported to Maryland” – Basil Sollers)
Tuesday – October 21 1755 – About 1000 Acadians were gathered at Pisiquid on or about Tuesday 21 October, 1755. It is believed that they were embarked or deported to the colonies along the Atlantic seaboard on transports from the Public Landing Place at Pisiquid, (King’s Wharf at the foot of Fort Edward). After the expulsion, the tidal marshes at the base of Fort Edward were dyked turned into farmland, and today the location of the expulsion site is well inland and located at the foot of King Street (Windsor), N.S.. (John V. Duncanson – Newport – A Rhode Island Township, p. 4) On that date, Winslow reported that the commander at Fort Edward had arrived off Grand Pre with upwards of 100 people in Four vessels”. The ships remained in the Minas Basin until the other transports carrying Acadian inhabitants from the Grand Pre area were ready to sail and “fell down under the convoy of Captain Adams . . .”. (John V. Duncanson – Newport – A Rhode Island Township, p. 4)
October 21 1755 – About 1000 Acadians were gathered at Pisiquid on or about 21 October, 1755. It is believed that they were embarked or deported to the colonies along the Atlantic seaboard on transports from the Public Landing Place at Pisiquid, (King’s Warf at the foot of Fort Edward), which is now located at the foot of King Street (Windsor), N.S.. (John V. Duncanson – Newport – A Rhode Island Township, p. 4)
Tuesday – October 21, 1755 – On that date, Winslow reported that the commander at Fort Edward had arrived off Grand Pre with upwards of 1000 people in Four vessels”. The ships remained in the Minas Basin until the other transports carrying Acadian inhabitants from the Grand PrT area were ready to sail and “fell down under the convoy of Captain Adams . . .”. (John V. Duncanson – Newport – A Rhode Island Township, p. 4)
Thursday – October 23, 1755 – It is reported that Captain Murray has shipped from Pizaquid his whole and upwards of eleven hundred. (Photo copy of an article that appeared in the Windsor, N.S. newspaper entitled “EXPULSION OF ACADIANS ORGANIZED AT WINDSOR”)
Note: The above dates will have to be verified. Earlier reports have the ships being loaded on October 27, 1755 and embarking on October 28, 1755.
Thursday – October 23, 1755 – It is reported that Captain Murray has shipped from Pizaquid his whole and upwards of eleven hundred. (Photo copy of the THE HANTS JOURNAL VOL. LXX No. 52 of the WINDSOR, HANTS COUNTY, NOVA SCOTIA, Wednesday, May 12, 1937. – “EXPULSION OF ACADIANS ORGANIZED AT WINDSOR”, p. 1 and 12
Monday – October 27, 1755 – 493 Acadians from the parishes of St. Famille and L’Assomption in Pisiguit – and 420 Acadians from the parishes of St. Charles in Grand Pre and Riviere-Aux-Canards and St. Joseph in Grand Pre (for a total of 913 Acadians) boarded six ships, with orders that two persons per ton burden were to be placed on the transports, and sailed for Maryland. Among them were the Ranger, (90 tons burden, Francis Peirey, master) with about 323 (or 263), 83 over her compliment aboard, and the Dolphin (87 tons burden, Zebad Farman, master) with 227 (or 230), 56 over her compliment aboard. These two ships embarked from Pisiguit, under the direction of Captain Alexander Murray.
It is believed that in Pisiquid, the Acadians were permitted to live in their homes until the transports arrived. This probably accounted for the fact that the Acadian buildings on both sides of the Pisiquid River were not burned, as was the case ar Grand-Pre. Because they were not held prisoner in one central location, as was the case of Grand Pre, it is impossible to establish an accurate list of the persons who were deported from Pisiquid. (John V. Duncanson, – FALMOUTH – A NEW ENGLAND TOWNSHIP IN NOVA SCOTIA – p. 7) & (John Wilson, president of Windsor, West Hants Historical Society on videotape)
The embarkation began on Wednesday October 8, 1755 and continued until Tuesday the 28th of October, 1755. In order to hasten the undertaking, the ships were overloaded and to make room for even more, the Acadians were forced to leave practically all of their goods on shore, where they were found still lying on the shore by the English settlers who came six years later.
The livestock throughout the Minas, which were estimated at over 118,000, were left to roam aimlessly in the fields, but were later dispersed amongst the New England settlers, who had been referred to earlier as “proper British subjects”. Many other homes and structures were burned later, leaving no trace of the 75 years of Acadian occupation in the area.
On Tuesday December 9, 1755 the inhabitants of Port Royal and the remaining 900 from Grand Pre were deported.
Saturday – December 13, 1755 – In Grand Pre, there were some Adacians deported on the scooner DOVE and about 200 on the Brigantine SWALLOW.
Saturday December 20 – 120 Acadians were deported on the scooner RACEHORSE and 112 on the scooner Ranger, for a total of 732 that were embarked on the wintry nights of December, 1755 from Grand Pre.
The Acadians were deported as follows:
900 to Massachusetts
675 to Connecticut
200 to New York
700 to Pennsylvania
860 to Maryland
290 to North Carolina
955 to South Carolina
Virginia refused to accept the 1,150 Acadians that were sent to them, so they were sent to England.
Monday March 16, 1756 and again on Sunday April 19, 1756 – The Governor of Maryland refers to the condition of the Acadians and requests by Callister and others for reimbursement for the expenses they incurred taking care of them. He sends a copy of an Act of the Pennsylvania Assembly which regulates the conduct, movement and activities of the Acadians and suggests that they be made to support themselves by their own labors. (page 12-15 – Maryland Historical Magazine – Vol. III No. 1, March 1908 – “The Acadians (French Neutrals) Transported to Maryland” – Basil Sollers)
Thursday April 23, 1756 “An Act to impower the Justices of the several County Courts to make provisions for the late inhabitants of Nova Scotia, and for regulating their conduct”. The Acadians had regarded themselves as prisoners of war and were entitled to be supported as such, but the authorities would not accept this because it would be their responsibility to care for them. With this Act, except for those unable to because of infirmity, to be supported by themselves and labor for their own support, or be compelled to do so and, the children of those who were unable to support their children, were bonded out to those who could or would support them. Likewise the orphans were also bounded out. The Acadians were also ordered to render an exact list of their men, boys and girls and were not allowed to wander more than ten miles from their abode, or out of the county where they resided without a pass from the Priovincial or County Magistrate describing the person, residence and time and place of destination.
Thursday May 14, 1756 – In Acadia, Lawrence set up a bounty of 30 pounds sterling for each male scalp over 16, and 25 for younger males or women and children. Although this was ostensibly limited to Indians, in practice, the English paid the bounties without inquiring into the race of the original owners of the scalps.
Wednesday May 27, 1756 – The Acadians were quartered virtually as prisoners, not to leave town without a written permit of the selectmen under penalty of five days in prison or ten lashes. they depended on the cold hand of the public for food clothes and lodging and were given some provisions. (27 May 1756, Proceedings and Acts of the General Assembly of Maryland -[Baltimore, 1930] 24: 542 ff. – also Sollers “The Acadians (French Neutrals) Transported to Maryland” – Maryland Historical Magazine 3 (1907): 18.
On July 1, 1756, an order was given by Governor Sharp to destroy any and all vessels that had been prepared by the Acadians for their return to Acadia. (page 16 – Maryland Historical Magazine – Vol. III No. 1, March 1908 – “TheAcadians (French Neutrals) Transported to Maryland” – Basil Sollers)
August, 1756 – While at Oxford, the Acadians petitioned the Maryland legislature for relief and in August 1756, at the Talbot County Court, a petition was presented : “… setting forth that Joseph Bujiale, Fermee and Charles Landree, French neutrals, have each three small children, the oldest of which is not over five years of age… that they cannot support their families, and can hardley get bread for themselves.” The justices of the court allowed each 500 pounds of tobacco, then used as money in Maryland, in modern terms about $20.00. Later they alloted 750 pounds of tobacco to Abraham Landry. (Oswald Tilghman, comp., History of Talbot County Maryland, 2 vol., Baltimore, 1915, v.II, p. 500)
I am grateful to my good friend, Dr. Don Landry, for allowing me to reproduce the above article from his excellent web site at http://www.landrystuff.com/
The 1755 Exile of the Acadians
On July 28, 1755, Lawrence and the council decided to deport the Acadians. Since troops from New England were in the area (they had helped to capture Ft. Beausejour), he sent a note to Moncton letting him know that as soon as the transports (which had been ordered) arrived. Col. Winslow got orders to sail from Beausejour to Grand Pre with his 300 men. He arrived on August 15 and went to Fort Edward to talk to Murray.
The Minas population in 1755 was about 4,500. Winslow’s list, made in September, had 2,743 people: males (>10) – 446, deputies (imprisoned at Halifax) – 37, married women – 337, sons – 527, daughters – 576, old and infirmed – 820. He clearly did not get a count of all of the people of Minas.
The villages on the south side of Minas River (Cornwallis), sometimes called Minas or Grand Pre, were: Gotro, Pierre LeBlanc, Michel, Melanson, Grand LeBlanc, Gaspereau, Jean LeBlanc, Grand Pre. On the north side of the Minas River were the villages of the Canard section (around the Canard and Habitant Rivers): Claude Landry, Antoine, Hebert, Dupuis, Brun, Trahan, Saulnier, Poirier, Hebert. The other villages had <20 people. The most common names at Grand Pre and Gaspereau (in order of frequency) were: on the south side – LeBlanc, Melanson, Hebert, Richard; on the north side – Boudro, Comeau, Landry, Aucoine, Granger, Terriau, Dupuis.
August 11, 1755
Lawrence issued sailing orders to the vessels on August 11. He and Gov. Shirley had contracted about 2 dozen cargo ships on a monthly basis from Apthrop and Hancock of the Boston Mercantile. The vessels were refitted to hold 2 people per ton. [Maryland Historical Magazine – V III #1 March 1908, “The Acadians (French Neutrals) Transported to Maryland”, Basil Sollers, p 7]
One author described the preparations as follows. “Before leaving Boston the ships had been renovated by removing the balast stones and the bulk heads of the holds. In the case of a ship designed to carry 150 tons of cargo, the hold that usually measured approximately 24 feet wide and 48 feet long was lengthened by approximately 12 feet, creating a large area in the hold of the vessel measuring approximately 24 feet wide by 60 feet long. The removal of the floor timbers and the balast stones increased the heigth to approximately 15 feet high. This enlarged hold space was then divided into three levels of just at or slightly over 4 feet high without windows for light or ventilation. The holds were locked creating a prison with no windows for light or ventilation, no sanitary conditions and no heat, except that of the huddled bodies.” [Rushton, 51]
Ten of the vessels were sent to the Beaubassin area, but the 3 that weren’t needed (the Boscowan under Capt. James Newell, the Dove under Capt. Samuel Forbes, and the Ranger under Nathaniel Munroe) moved to the Minas area on Oct. 13. The Boscowan later ran aground at Pisiquid and wasn’t used in the deportation.
The vessels were ready for use by October 11.
August 15, 1755
Winslow arrived at Grand Pre on the 15th and camped on the plain where the priest’s house and church were located. The soldiers’ tents were placed around the churchyard. Winslow stayed in the priest’s house. He (Abbe Lemaire of Canard Church) had been taken in on Aug. 10. The officers were in a nearby house. The church valuables had been taken by the Acadians when told the church would become a storehouse for the soldiers.
The camp was on high ground, NW of Grand Pre, with willows along the roads. There was a graveyard too. To the SE was the village with its scattered houses. Houses lay to the E and W. Winslow, age 54, had raised 2000 men to attack Beausejour.
The camp was fortified. Lawrence thought this might make the Acadians nervous, but Winslow responed that they weren’t; they expected the soldiers to be with them through the winter. The Acadians had to supply the soldiers with food (for no money). It was harvest time, and they wanted the Acadians to harvest the grain before being deported.
August 31-September 1, 1755
On Aug. 31 (Sunday), Winslow & 50 men toured Grand Pre. On Sept. 1, Capt. Adams & 70 men visited the villages of Canard and Habitant.
September 2, 1755
On Sept. 2, Capt. Hobbs visited the village of Melanson, in the Gaspereau valley on the south side of the river. The commanders decided to have the Acadian men gather at the Grand Pre church to hear the king’s orders.
The captains (Hobbs, Osgood, Adams) were sworn to secrecy. By Sept. 1, 3 transports had arrived. The Acadians wondered what they were for. Eleven more ships arrived over the next few days. On Sept. 2, Winslow took a whaleboat to Ft. Edward to meet with Murray to draft the “Proclamation to the Inhabitants” as follows.
“To the inhabitants of the district of Grand Pre, Minas, River Canard and places adjacent, as well ancients as young men and lads.” “Whereas His Excellency the Governor has instructed us of his late resolution respecting the matter proposed to the inhabitants, and has ordered us to communicate the same in person, His Excellency being desirous that each of them should be satisfied of His Majesty’s intentions, which he has also ordered us to communicate to you, as they have been given to him: We, therefore, order and strictly, by these presents, all of the inhabitants as well of the above-named district as of all the other districts, both old and young men, as well as the lads of ten years of age, to attend at the church at Grand Pre, on Friday, the 5th instant, at three in the afternoon, that we may impart to them what we are ordered to communicate to them, declaring that no excuse will be admitted on any pretense whatsoever, on pain of forfeiting goods and chattels, in default of real estate.
“Given at Grand Pre, 2nd September, 1755. John Winslow.”
September 4, 1755
Winslow wrote on Sept. 4 in his journal that in the morning he sent for Dr. Rodion (Dr. Whitworth) to have him deliver the Citation to the people, who were busy harvesting.The next day, 418 men entered the church.
September 5, 1755
After they entered, Winslow had a table set up in the middle of the church. He got into place and flanked by soldiers (New Englanders). He read to them the following:
The Declaration … Sept. 5, 1755
“Gentlemen, – I have received from his Excellency, Governor Lawrence, the King’s Commission which I have in my hand, and by whose orders you are conveyed together, to Manifest to you His Majesty’s final resolution 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 them you yourself Best Know.”
“The Part of Duty I am now upon is what thoh Necessary is Very Disagreeable to my natural make and temper, as I Know it Must be Grievous to you who are of the Same Speciea.”
“But it is not my business to annimadvert, but to obey Such orders as I receive, and therefore without Hesitation Shall Deliver you his Majesty’s orders and Instructions, Vist: ”That your Land & Tennements, Cattle of all Kinds and Livestocks of all Sorts are forfeited to the Crown with all other your effects Savings your money and Household Goods, and you yourselves to be removed form this Province.”
“Thus it is Preremtorily his Majesty’s orders That the whole French Inhabitants of these Districts be removed, and I am Throh his Majesty’s Goodness Directed to allow you Liberty to Carry of your money and Household Goods as Many as you Can without Discommoding the Vessels you Go in. I shall do Every thing in my Power that all those Goods be Secured to you and that you are Not Molested in Carrying of them of, and also that whole Family Shall go in the Same Vessel, and make this remove, which I am Sensable must give you a great Deal of Trouble, as Easey as his Majesty’s Service will admit, and hope that in what Ever part of the world you may Fall you may be Faithful Subjects, a Peasable & Happy People.”“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 Honr. to Command.”
He basically said your are prisoners and your belongings are forfeited. He retired to the priest’s house, where some of the older Acadians went and begged him to consider their families, who didn’t know what had happened.
Winslow allowed 20 men (10 on each side of the Cornwallis) to go back and tell the women and children that they wouldn’t be harmed. They were also to bring back any who hadn’t shown up, with the men still in captivity held responsible. The family & friends of those imprisoned had to provide them with food. Though they could move about the enclosure, they couldn’t go east of the officers’ quarters.
September 7, 1755
By the 7th, only 5 transports had shown up. There were now 424 prisoners. The prisoners had been allowed (20 a day) to return and spend a night with their families. On the 10th, the people sent a request to Winslow that they be allowed to go to French soil and be given time to get ready. They even offered to pay their way. Winslow noted that there was more commotion among the Acadians that morning. So he planned to put 50 young men on each of the 5 ships to lessen the danger of rebellion. Pierre Landry (who spoke English) was summoned and told to prepare the 250 men. The men, in columns 6 deep, were on the left of the whole group, with 80 armed soldiers around them. The order was given to march, but none moved. You can imagine the scene, crying, pleading, calling out to each other.
Boys said they wouldn’t leave without their fathers, but Winslow couldn’t understand them. The soldiers brandished their bayonets and the men were forced to start moving. People from the villages lined the road down to the landing place at Gasperau, 1.5 miles away. They were put aboard smaller vessels and shuttled out to the ships. Boats carried as many wives & mothers as they could carry each day to the ships to bring provisions. There were 363 soldiers at Grand Pre. It seems that they hated the French, since Winslow had to make an order to protect them.
By mid September, Winslow had finished a list of people and livestock. The harvest had not been completed. An Acadian woman who was there told her story of the deportation of what had happened. It was recorded by Thomas Miller for the Historical and Genealogical Record of the first settlers of Colchester County.
October 7-8, 1755
The final boarding began Oct. 8. More ships had arrived. On Oct. 7, 24 men had escaped ship. Francois HEBERT was suspected as having come up with the plan. He was taken off the ship he had boarded that day and brought to his house, which was burned down while he watched. [Herbin, 116]. Notice was given that if the escapees didn’t return in 2 days, their friends would be treated likewise and their household goods confiscated. With the aid of Pierre Landry 22 returned (2 had been shot by a search party while trying to escape). Winslow writes that he began to embark the inhabitants on the 8th. Women were carrying their children and were in great distress. The belongings and the elderly were taken in carts. The Grand Pre and Gaspereau areas were cleared quickly. They loaded at Boudro’s Point (between the Canard and Cornwallis Rivers). They were packed onboard, crowded to the point of suffocation … but there was still not enough space for everyone. Most of their belongings, such as furniture and household items, were left behind in the carts … to be found by English settlers in 1760. Sailing orders were given by Lawrence on the 13th. (Some give this as the sailing date.) October 27, 1755
Finally on the 27th, the fleet of 14 vessels (2 connvoyed by frigates) set sail. There were 2898 people on board. Dudley LeBlanc made up a list of the men deported from Grand Pre. The vessels went to Philadelphia (3), Maryland (4), Boston (1), and Virginia (5).
Note: In Naomi E.S. Griffiths’ – “The Acadian Deportation: Deliberate Perfidy or Cruel Necessity”, p. 9, she says that they sailed on the 29th.
Grande Pre 2182
Port Royal 1664
The first wave of deportations included about 24 vessels. They were escorted by 3 ships: the Nightingale (under Capt. Diggs), the snow Halifax (under Capt. Taggart), and the armed schooner Warren (under Capt. Adams). Though we don’t have a complete listing, here are some of the ships.
Sailing from Pisiquid were the following ships:
Sloop Ranger Capt Piercy 91 tons 182 Men (323 aboard)
Sloop Dolphin Capt Farnam 87 tons 174 Men (227 aboard)
Schooner Neptune Capt Davis 90 tons 180 Men
Schooner Three Friends Capt Carlile 69 tons 138 Men
Sailing from Mines and Canard were the following ships:
Sloop Seaflower Capt Donnell 81 tons 180 Men
Sloop Hannah Capt Adans 70 tons 140 Men
Schooner Leopard Capt Church 87 tons 174 Men
Sloop —- Capt Milbury 93 tons 186 Men
Sloop ully & Sarah Capt Haslum 70 tons 140 Men
— Mary Capt Denny 90 1/2 tons 181 Men
— Prosperous Capt Bragdon 75 tons 150 Men
— Endeavor Capt Jn Stone 83 tons 166 Men
— Industry Capt Goodwin 86 tons 172 Men
— Capt Puddington 80 tons 160 Men
Other ships and their accounts can be found in the web pages on the various destinations. It seems as though a list of the passengers (at least on some of the ships) was made but lost. Winslow wrote of the events of that day that they had put “more than two to a ton.” The people were very crowded. There hadn’t been room for the people of the villages of Antoine, Landry, and some of the Canard (98 families; about 600 people). He moved them from Boudro’s Point to houses near the camp at Grand Pre. They had to answer to roll call each sunset, and be ready to leave at any time. When the area on both sides of the Cornwallis had been vacated, Winslow ordered their houses and barns burned. This was done at the Gaspereau, also. He recorded the following burnings:
Nov. 2: Gaspereau
49 houses, 39 barns, 19 outhouses
Nov. 5: Canard, Habitant, Pereau
76 houses, 81 barns, 33 outhouses
Nov. 6: Canard, Habitant, Pereau
85 houses, 100 barns, 75 outhouses
Nov. 7: Canard, Habitant, Pereau
45 houses, 56 barns, 28 outhouses by Nelson Surette
The total buildings burned consisted of: houses (255), barns (276), outhouses (155), mills (11), church (1) … 698 structures. The houses being used by the remaining Acadians at Grand Pre weren’t destroyed until December. Also, Winslow shipped 1,510 and Osgood 732 (2,242 total). Ninety soldiers were sent to Port Royal on Nov. 3. On Nov. 14, Winslow and 51 men went to Halifax. Osgood stayed in Grand Pre with the 650 Acadians. On Dec. 13, two ships carried away 350 of them (one to Boston, one to Connecticut). On Dec. 20, the final 230 were taken in two more vessels (one to Boston, one to Virginia). [Herbin, 100-119]
The deportation at Beaubassin was not less severe. Though it was easier for them to escape, some were treated worse than in Grand Pre. According to Al Lafreniere, “those who were exiled from Chignecto (Fort Beausejour) were seperated from their families purposely. This was to punish the Acadians for participating in the battle with the English at Fort Beausejour.” One common idea in many Acadian writings is that the British intentionally separated families. Generally, this was not the case. Beaubassin was the major source for this idea. About 100 wives chose to try to avoid exportation rather than join their husbands. So some of them ended up in different locations.
Things didn’t go so smoothly for Major Handfield at Annapolis Royal. He wasn’t able to gather the local Acadians till December. So he sent the transports in the bay to Minas. Three of those vessels went to Pisiquid. Those that weren’t used at Minas were sent back to Annapolis Royal. Finally, at 5 a.m. on December 8, 1755, those ships set sail from Goat Island with the Port Royal area Acadians.
South Carolina 942
North Carolina 50
New York 344
Bound for N.C. 232
Life aboard the ships:
The trip, though only a few hundred miles for some, was terrible. They were packed in like sardines. They had to remain below deck, and only 6 at a time were allowed to go up on deck for about 90 minutes. [Rushton, 51] The weather at the time of the deportation was supposed to be especially severe … even including an earthquake. [Gipson, V. 6, p. 287]. On Oct. 19, 1755, Capt. Alexander Murray (commander of Fort Edward) wrote to Col. Winslow to tell him he needed more ships. He only had 3 ships and a schooner. He wrote that if he got no more ships, he’d have to pack the Acadians in the 4 vessels he had … which clearly weren’t sufficient for the number of Acadians. [Maryland Historical Magazine – V III #1 March 1908, “The Acadians (French Neutrals) Transported to Maryland”, Basil Sollers, p 7]. If things had been handled properly, the overcrowded ships shouldn’t have happened. As Gipson says in his work, the “miscalculations and the failure of the contractors” led to the overcrowding. [Gipson, 279]
Though they had packed what provisions they could, many of their belongings had to be left on the shore for lack of space. Many could only bring some clothes and personal effects. All of their livestock was left behind. This consisted of 43,500 cattle, 48,500 sheep, 23,500 pigs, 2,800 horses, and a variety of fowl. [Richard, v. 2, p. 125]
Thirty days provisions were given to each ship. This consisted of 1 pound of beef, 2 pounds of bread, and 5 pounds of flour per person. There were also boxes of vegetables like cabbages, turnips, potatoes, and apples. [Selections from Public Documents of the Province of Nova Scotia, p. 280]
Temporary asylum for some …
Some Acadians (about 1000) tried to hide out in the woods. About half the Port Royal inhabitants headed for Cap Sable. Many of these were captured or migrated elsewhere. Thousands more headed for French territory. The entire community of Cobequid left as a group, so that when the British soldiers arrived to round them up they found the area deserted. Many went to the New Brunswick area, and many of these on to Quebec. It is estimated that 2000 migrated to Isle St. Jean, and some to Isle Royale. The Acadians on Isle St. Jean found that their escape was only temporary. When Louisbourg fell in 1758, so did Isle Royale and Isle St. Jean. Even though Isle St. Jean hadn’t really participated in the conflict, the English goverment ordered their removal. The events of the 1758 exile are covered at that webpage. In 1758, some citizens of Halifax wrote a letter to someone in England and mentioned how Lawrence had displaced people “who have behaved with integrity and honesty.” Lawrence had called the council a pack of scoundrels, and merchants a parcel of villains. It told how the cattle, etc. of the Acadians had been converted to private use (ie. 3500 hogs and about 1000 cattle were killed at Pisiquid and sent to other places).
Perhaps 14,000 of 18,000 Acadians were deported between 1755 and 1763. Perhaps 8,000 of them died. [Herbin, 125-128].
The 1755 Exile of the Acadians
Louisbourg was in trouble, and Villejouin got 200 men from Ile St. Jean to go to its aid on July 1. But 100 had to be abandoned because they had no shoes. The rest proved useless, since Louisbourg surrendered on July 26, 1758. England’s policy was now to get rid of the French completely. All were to be sent to France. [Harvey, p. 188]
On Aug. 8, Amherst had Lord Rollo & Lieut. Spry (engineer) take 4 ships of war and 500 men to Ile St. Jean. He was to build a fort. M. Crucour sent 2 officers from Louisbourg to inform the French to surrender. If they resisted, kill them. All of the inhabitants were to be brought to Louisbourg. [Harvey, p. 189]
Rollo arrived and started work on Ft. Amherst. After hearing from the French officers, the settlers offered no resistance, though many in outlying settlements escaped to Quebec and Miramichi … carrying or destroying as much household goods and livestock as possible. Indians (150) on the north shore destroyed property so the English wouldn’t get it. The chaplain at Port La Joye had escaped the day before Rollo arrived, but the priests at Northeast River, St. Peters, and Point Prim were deported with the settlers. The first group of 692 was sent out from Port La Joye. The commandant Villejouin wrote a note on Sep. 8, 1758. [Harvey, p. 190]
He had made preparations to defend the island, but with the fall of Louisbourg it was unnecessary. He knew he couldn’t advise the people to take arms. Even if he had time to evacuate the island, it would have been impossible. [Harvey, p. 191]
Miramichi was the closest place, but it was so lacking in provisions that some who went there have since returned … better to be deported than to starve to death. The inhabitants asked Rollo if they could keep their lands. He forworded the request to Louisbourg, which refused it … apparently they planned to totally rid themselves of the French. Though Rollo had evacuated about 700 (including the commandant), there were still 4000 on the island. He infers that they have been slow in turning themselves in due to the treatment of the English. It’s been 3 years since the last of the refugees arrived on the island. Provisions and clothing had been scarce. There were heavy losses and hardship in their getting there. It seems that no one actually starved. [Harvey, p. 192]
They are headed to France. He has “seen them plunged into the most frightful misery that they have ever experienced, such as I can scarcely paint for you. These people will be without food and clothing, unable to procure lodgings and firewood, in a strange world, timid by nature, and knowing not whither to turn in their hour of need.” He thought the English should leave some of the Acadians on the island to care for the livestock (incl. 6000 cattle). [Harvey, p. 193]
A letter from Boscawen to Pitt (Sept. 13, 1758), based on Rollo’s information, shows how the English didn’t know much about Ile St. Jean. He said they had over 10,000 cattle and many inhabitants said they grew 1200 bushels of corn a year. Quebec was their only market. They were Quebec’s only supply of corn and beef in the New World. Those from this island have been killing the English inhabitatants to sell their scalps to the French. [Harvey, p. 194]
They had thought the island held 400-500 inhabitants, but M. Drucour said there might be as many as 1500. The story of the French paying Indians (not Acadians) for English scalps may
have been true, but the claims of supplying livestock to Quebec was all wrong. The Acadian Gautier (Nicolas’ son) was the only one who went with Indians on scalping raids. [Harvey, p. 195].
The deportation of Ile St. Jean went slowly. Some were escaping (with French help) from the north shore, but Capt. Hay in charge of the transports wouldn’t allow any of them to go there. On Oct. 29, Lord Rollo reported 1500 embarked. On Nov. 5, Admiral Durell reported 2000 embarked on 16 transports and sent as cartel ships to France. On Nov. 6, Whitmore reported to Pitt that 2200 were embarked but Rollo had to leave a whole parish (of a far part of the island) behind. Rollo returned to Louisbourg on Nov. 14.
It’s hard to determine the exact number deported. Besides the 2000 Durell said were deported before Nov. 5, 7 transports left Canso on Nov. 25 led by Captain Nicholls on the Duke William. [Harvey, p. 197]
Over 700 people were on the 2 largest ships … the Duke William and the Violet. With the 5 smaller ones holding 600, there would be a total of 3500 deported in 1758. Of these, 700 were drowned. But, were these 7 ships part of the 16 mentioned by Durrell?
Of the 3100 Acadians deported from Ile St. Jean, it is estimated that about 1650 of them drowned or died of disease.
Many of them escaped from the north shore to Quebec on French schooners. Others fled to Miramichi, but they had no food. A Sept. 24, 1758 report from Murray to Wolfe stated that those at Miramichi were starving and preparing to go to Canada. [Harvey, p. 198]
Some found their way to St. Pierre and Miquelon; a 1767 census there shows 81 from Ile St. Jean.
The parish of Malpeque and some around the Northeast River had escaped deportation. They soon become good at hiding in the woods. [Harvey, p. 199]
When ships were sent to Ile St. Jean in spring 1759 to pick up the remaining inhabitants, the person in charge (Capt. Johnson) said they had all gone off to Canada. A report by Gov. Wilmot (June 2, 1764) estimates 300 Acadians on the island … who declared “recently in a most solemn manner” that they would recognize no king except the King of France. Capt. Holland estimated 30 Acadians families on the island in 1765. Capt. Morris estimated 207 Acadians there in 1767. [Harvey, p. 200]
Those Acadians deported to France were joined in 1763 by those who had been kept at England. In 1763, there were 2400 living on welfare in France.
More material on those exiled in 1758 is on the Ile St. Jean page.
Visit the Exile pages for more information on specific exile locations.
Meanwhile, in the American colonies …
Meanwhile, the Acadian exiles in the American colonies weren’t doing very well. Only Connecticut had made any arrangements (in Oct. 1755) to accept the refugees.
In Boston, one vessel had sick people, with 40 on deck (they were overcrowded). Another also had 40 on deck. And another was sick with bad water. There hadn’t been enough food for the trip. A few were allowed to land. Two thousand landed at Boston, 200 at N.Y, and 300 and Connecticut. The rest went to PA, MD, the Carolinas, and GA. In Philadelphia, the 3 ships held the passengers on board for 2 months. by Nelson Surette
A petition was filed there in 1766 for payment of coffins for the Acadians (called French Neutrals). From 450, many had died … leaving 217. SC gave the Acadians vessels and they (1/2 made it) sailed up to the St. John River. Those in GA were allowed to make boats and headed north. They got as far as MA when Lawrence had their boats seized and imprisoned them. Things were also hard in MD; many left for Canada when they could. Those sent to VA were refused landing, and were taken to England. Four of the 20 ships never made it. One was lost. Storms blew two to Santo Domingo. Another was taken by the Acadians back to Acadia.
In the N.Y. counties of Kings, Queens, Richmond, Suffolk, and Westchester, 93 people (18 families) were settled. A May 6, 1756 list names them: An act was passed on July 9, 1756 allowing Justices to bind out French Neutrals. It says how they arrived “poor, naked, and destitute of every convenience.”
It only applied to those who were useful/employed. Their service was to be contracted, with a time limit and amount to be paid. Under this act, 110 Acadians (58 girls, 52 boys … almost all <21) who came from Georgia in August 1756 were bound out. For a while, some of them were kept on Governor’s Island, N.Y. Bay, until distribution to Winchester and Orange counties by Aug. 26, 1756. A list of family head and number of children is given in the book. In the N.Y. colony, 332 Acadians arrived in May and August 1756. The counties received: Kings (9), Orange (81), Queens (44), Richmond (13), Suffolk (44), and Westchester (141). The county had 55 minors bound out.
Every now and then, Acadians arrived in NY from GA. On Aug. 29, 1756, the sheriff (Willet) informed the govt. of 44 Acadians that needed care. There were sent to various places (Bedford, New Castle, etc.). Nine were distributed on Oct. 16, 1756. In July 1757, a group of Acadians from Westchester escaped and were captured near Ft. Edward, on their way to Crown Point. In Aug. 1757, the N.Y. council ordered that Acadians in their counties be put into the jails. This was done to the male Acadians by Aug. 13. A N.Y. merchant (Daniel Jauncey) offered the council to pay to ship the Acadians away (on behalf of the Acadians), but it didn’t work out. In 1765, the Marquis de Fenelon said he’d accept 150 of them in the West Indies, but the offer was ignored.
On Aug. 25, 1768, a small group came in on the sloop Swallow from Quebec. On April 28, 1756, a sloop arrived with Acadians from Cap Sable, but were refused landing.
On Aug. 6, 1756, an Acadian (Jacques Morris) arrived with 2 vessels of Acadians from GA (via Barnstable), but were refused landing. The sloop Lemmon also brought 50 Acadians but was refused landing. Benj. Smith took some Acadians to his house (the book lists them). Their daily allowance (per 5 people) was: 3 1/2 pecks of Indian meal, 1 peck of rye, pork, beef and sauce, and 2 quarts of milk.
There are various notes of Acadian news in the area, such as: on May 13, 1763, Benj. Fitch took in James Eber and family (from Dartmouth) as tenants. On Sept. 15, 1762, a number of vessels arrived at Boston harbor from Halifax with Acadians. The ships were the: Lyon, Exchange, Charming Nancy, schooner Charming Nancy, Despatch, Hopson.
The South Carolina Gazette noted on Nov. 6, 1755 that the Baltimore Snow was expected soon with Acadians. This concerned the population. In a few weeks, 1020 Acadians had arrived. In Feb. 1756, two groups attempted to escape. On the 12th, all but 30 had been brought back. The Acadians were saying that they could make their way back to Canada over land.
A group of Acadians arrived from Georgia on April 1. They planned to keep going up to Acadia. On the 15th, 80 Acadians left in 7 canoes as far as Sullivan’s Island. They had obtained passports. The following morning, they put to sea, headed for Acadia. They were followed by 300 more.
In Charleston, they planned to spread them out. They dispersed 80% of them throughout the province. The churches were to take care of their needs for the first 3 months. They were allowed to bind them out. The other 20% were to be put in the towns by the church of St. Philips. They were not allowed to have firearms. Most Acadians in the area eventually left, though a few (ie. Lanneau in Charleston) remained. Worcester received 11 people.
Those that were left in 1767 made their way to Canada. Some from Grand Pre were put down in Baltimore. Things were a bit better here, where even some private homes were opened to them. Some stayed in an old mansion (the Reverdy Johnston house, at the NW corner of Calvert & Fayette St., where the courthouse now stands), where they also made a small chapel for themselves. They later built homes on South Charles St., near Lombard. The area was known as “French Town”. They built a church (St. Peter’s Church) at St. Charles and Saratoga St. Later, on July 7, 1806, they laid the cornerstone to a bigger cathedral to be built. Marshfield, Plymouth County, MA has records of the Acadians. One of the houses they lived in had belonged to Col. John Winslow.
On June 4, 1760, 22 vessels, led by a brig of war, arrived. They found 60 ox-carts and yokes … left by the Acadians. They found bones of starved animals and ruins of homes. The dykes had broken in a 1759 storm (and Acadians helped repair them). The Grand Pre and Gaspereau area was now called Horton. [Herbin, 128-148].
Acadians deported at Grand Pré 1755
[Col. John Winslow compiled this list of male Acadians being deported at Grand Pré in 1755]
Jean Batiste AUCOIN
Jean a Pierre AUCOIN
Pierre Ilasis BLANA
Joseph BOUDRO sits
Michel BOUDRO Jr.
Norez Michel BOUDRO
“Old” Rener BOURG
Vicar Francis BRAUX
Jean LANDRY fils
Jean Pos LEBLANC
Jean Pauque LEBLANC
Simon Pierre HEBERT
Jean Battiste HEBERT
Le Petis Clauds LANDRY
Jean Battiste LEBLANC
Brounos LE GRANGER
Pierre LE CLANE
Pierre Jean LEBLANC
Jean Baptiste LEBLANC
Jean Charle LEBLANC
Jean a Pierre LANDRY
Pierrs a GOUITIN
Jean Battis GRANGER
Jean Robs CHOC
“le Vieuc COMMO”
Jean Louis BOUDRO
habitant in formis
Jean Battiste BOUDRO
Charles JEAN SONNE
Jean Battiste COMMO
Jean Beautiste DAIGREE
Jean Baxirles DAIGREE
Oliver DAIGRE fils
Jean Batiste DUPUIS
Jean Battiste DAVID
Lewis Pierre CLOATRE
Joseph LEBLANC du
Charles LEBLANC Cems
Jean Pierrs LEBLANC
Jean Le SOUR
Jeanm Batptiste MASIER
Pierre Jane MELANSON
Jean Battis MELANSON
Charle a Claude TERRIOT
Pierre Jean MELANSON
Anselmer ales MANGEAN
Jean Batistes TRAHAN
From “The Acadian Miracle” by Dudley J. LeBlanc. Spellings are as recorded by Winslow.
NOTE: Leblanc sometimes made errors in his transcriptions.
The End of the Exile
When the war was over in 1763, a few thousand Acadians headed for Canada. In 1766, about 800 of them gathered in Boston and left by land, headed for Acadia. Four months later, they had gotten to the isthmus of Shediac and heard that Grand Pre was settled by others. So many of them stayed right there. About 50-60 continued on to see their former settlements in Acadia. The men and women there were threatened and angry at the pitiful travelers. They eventually reached the deserted shore of St. Mary’s Bay and settled down.
They built log homes and started fishing, hunting, and clearing the land. Remember, Lawrence had 70 deputies imprisoned in Halifax. Of those, 50 were deported separate from their families. The rest were put in a ship that went to Port Royal to pick up more Acadians. Acadians who made their way back to their homeland found they could not settle together in large groups and their land was now occupied by people brought over by the English.
Acadians in Exile, 1763
New York 249
South Carolina 280
Nova Scotia 1249
St. John River Valley (NB) 87
Baie des Chaleurs 700
The Acadians at Philadelphia sent a petition to the king at this time. It mentions how Rene LeBlanc (while in the king’s service) was taken by the Indians to the French fort and kept for 4 years. Shortly before being made prisoners, their papers, deeds, records, etc. were taken from them (and they haven’t seen them since). They had thought that they were being summoned to renew their former oath. It talks about the haste and little regard that took place with the deportation. It says “Parents were separated from children, husbands from wives, some of whom have not to this day met again; and we were so crowded in the transport vessels that we had not room even for all our bodies to lay down at once.” They couldn’t even bring anything with them. By 1763, there were 154 families at Horton and 128 families at Cornwallis. The English settlers sent a note to the governor asking him to allow the Acadians to remain, because they were needed as laborers (ie. to help repaire dykes). But the Acadians working with the new settlers at Kings and Annapolis were ordered to go to Halifax, where 130 were deported in 1762. In 1764, there were 2,600 Acadians in Acadia. In 1768, Nova Scotia had 1068. The govt. tried to find settlers in 1759. Canard and Habitant were now called Cornwallis. The English arriving in 1761 found Acadians who had not eaten bread in 5 years. Lawrence offered the land to New Englanders, who sent agents to look it over. [Herbin, 142-147]
As a result of the Grande Derangement, two “New Acadias” were formed … one in Louisiana and one in New Brunswick. Only in these places (and small settlements nearby) did the Acadians manage to maintain their identity into the 20th century.