| 1763 - Brittany Accomodates Acadians Deportees
Posted: 21-May-2005, 09:46 AM
Lady of the mists
Realm: Brest - Brittany
| Sorry for the translation, it's an automatic one...so
In May and June 1763, the gabarres the Warbler and the Sturgeon unload on the Acadian quays of Morlaix 384 coming from the English ports of Falmouth, Liverpool, Southampton and Bristol. For seven years, with nearly seven hundred other compatriots, they had been assigned there with residence. Sealed by the treaty of Paris of February 10, 1763, the end of the Seven year old War finally enables them to escape from the sad fate which confines them at the hereditary enemy. But when they press the Breton ground, it is in an unknown country that it is necessary for them to relearn to live.
Photograph: The Arrival of the acadian refugees with Belle-île-en-mer (Beautiful-Island-in-Sea), in October 1765, of Claude Picard, 1993. Oil on fabric. (historical Museum of the Vauban Citadel to Belle-île-en-mer).
The Acadian Ones? A long history, animated, tragic, fertile in bounces. In 1524, the navigator Florentin Verrazzano baptizes Arcadie, "because of the beauty of his trees", and in reference to the pastoral area of old Greece, the Eastern littoral of the American coast which it explores for the account of François 1er.
But it should be waited until 1604 so that the serious things really start. This year, a gentleman of Saintonge, Pierre of Gua, sior of Mounts, obtains from Henri IV the monopoly of the trade of the furs and the title the "viceone with the country of Cadie". It assembles a forwarding, which includes/understands Samuel de Champlain, "geographer of the roy", which, four years later, will found the town of Quebec.
In August 1605, on the northern slope of current Nova Scotia, one of the seaboard provinces of Canada, Gua and his/her friends melt Port-Royal, first durable colonial establishment in the north of Florida. Two years later, in 1607, the English settle in Jamestown in Virginia and will not have of cease to drive out the French of North America.
The reconquest of Acadie starts from Auray
It is only from 1632-1635 that the true French colonization of Acadie starts. Meanwhile, the territory was annexed by the British.
The reconquest leaves the wearing of Saint-Goustan, when, July 4, 1632, Isaac de Razilly, appointed governor of Acadie by Richelieu, leaves the port of Auray to begin again Port-Royal.
Originating in Touraine, of Anjou, of Poitou -- in particular of Loudunois --, the families of the colonists settle, Martin, Trahan, the White, Terriot, Landry, Granger, Boudrot, and all the others which will build of the acadian people.
Against winds and tides, in spite of hard atmospheric conditions, against the covetousness and the hatred of the English, always with the mounting, but thanks to the indéfectible friendship of the Indians Intrigue, they affirm the French presence on the southernmost shore of French bay (today of Fundy). From 1670, pioneers who name Terriot, Mélanson, Martin leave Port-Royal and melt of the establishments more in north, Beaubassin, the Largeone...
But courage, work, industry, are not great help vis-a-vis with the enemy who does not disarm. Multiplying the raids on Acadie, the English plunder, burn, kill. Despite everything, the Acadian ones cling to this ground which they created of all parts. With the end however, it is necessary for them to return the weapons. In 1713, by the treaty of Utrecht, Acadie becomes English, definitively.
The Great Disturbance
At the beginning, the British tolerate this French-speaking and catholic, happy population to benefit from the labour of these farmers clearers who do not spare their sorrow. The Acadian ones profit from a statute of neutrality. But in 1755, a new governor, Charles Lawrence, decide to make clear place.
With the autumn 1755, whereas France and England are not in war, it orders what will remain known like "the Great Disturbance", in less modest terms, the deportation of the entire acadian people.
The Acadian ones are gathered, embarked of force in vessels and directed on the English colonies of North America. The villages, the farms, the one century old product and half of constant efforts, are entirely burned, the grounds reassigned with British colonists. On an acadian population of some 10.000 inhabitants, 7.000 are off-set, the others escaping from it only while fleeing in the forest where the Indians collect them.
The "ethnic purification" of Acadie involves the dispersion of its inhabitants on all the Atlantic littoral of English America. The 1.200 Acadian ones intended for Virginia know a particular fate. As the colony refuses to receive them, they are finally dispatched in England, where they arrive at the end of June 1756.
78 families with Belle-Ile-en mer
Seven years later, much of them are accomodated in Brittany, in Morlaix and Saint-Malo. In Morlaix, the 384 Acadian ones are summarily placed in military buildings occupied by the regiment of Vermandois, then in shift. But what to make the these poor people, stripped of all if not courage and hope to start again a new life?
During two years, many projects are échaffaudés then abandoned.
Thanks to the efforts combined of the governor of Belle-ile-en-mer, the baron of Warren, and the chaplain of Acadian, the abbot the Otter, originating in Morlaix, the installation on the large Breton island of 78 acadian families (363 people) -- 57 coming from Morlaix, 21 of Saint-Malo -- is concluded.
The families receive grounds, afféagées by the king, of which they become owners, a small house which they will build partly themselves, of the cattle (a pair of oxen, a cow, a horse) and "six grounds per day that Its Majesty agreed to grant to them for the subsistence and maintenance with their families".
The temptation of Louisiana
With the passing of years, the acadian colony of Belle-île will be reduced. Several families, of many young people, leave the island, attracted by other prospects: the installation in Lorient or Concarneau, the departure, via Nantes, for Louisiana.
Because, meanwhile, a many Acadian scattered in the English colonies of America, ended up moving towards a new destination, presumedly accessible, Louisiana, then Spanish and thus catholic.
Temptation large for the Acadian ones is dispersed in France, to find parents, old close and friendly, on a ground, it was unknown, where, together, they could set out again. Others try their chance with Saint-Pierre-and-Miquelon, in Guyana and even in the Falklands.
In spite of the defections, many Granger, the White and other Trahan made stock on Belle-ile-en-mer where their descendants make a significant part of the population. As are numerous on the southernmost littoral of Brittany, thus that in Morlaix and Brest, the Breton ones which have acadian ancestors.
Moreover, the first acadian association in France was "Beautiful-Island-Acadie", which, on this side of the Atlantic, awoke the conscience of these people. From now on, a regional grouping, "Brittany-Acadie", cultivate the memory of the dark moments like happy periods, weave bonds, popularize the destiny, painful and exceptional, of the valiant community.
Cajuns of Louisiana
After a long period of sleep, the Acadian ones took again conscience of their identity. In Canada, Acadie perdure, either in Nova Scotia, but more in north, New Brunswick. At present, the acadian people are mainly fixed in three areas: Acadie Canadian, Louisiana where Cajuns (deformation of the word Acadiens), with much of tenacity and merit, maintain a presence French-speaking, and France -- and singularly Brittany.
Que restera-t-il de notre sang mêlé au sel, sans trace dans les mémoires ? Une ultime navigation, trompeuse. Et des souvenirs, illuminés d'embruns. Mais condamnés au silence de la mer... Loïc Finaz.
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