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´╗┐Title: The Acadian Exiles : a Chronicle of the Land of Evangeline
Author: Doughty, Arthur G. (Arthur George), Sir
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "The Acadian Exiles : a Chronicle of the Land of Evangeline" ***

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Edited by George M. Wrong and H. H. Langton
In thirty-two volumes

Volume 9

A Chronicle of the Land of Evangeline




The name Acadia, [Footnote: The origin of the name is
uncertain. By some authorities it is supposed to be
derived from the Micmac algaty, signifying a camp or
settlement. Others have traced it to the Micmac akade,
meaning a place where something abounds. Thus, Sunakade
(Shunacadie, C. B.), the cranberry place; Seguboon-akade
(Shubenacadie), the place of the potato, etc. The earliest
map marking the country, that of Ruscelli (1561), gives
the name Lacardie. Andre Thivet, a French writer, mentions
the country in 1575 as Arcadia; and many modern writers
believe Acadia to be merely a corruption of that classic
name.] which we now associate with a great tragedy of
history and song, was first used by the French to
distinguish the eastern or maritime part of New France
from the western part, which began with the St Lawrence
valley and was called Canada. Just where Acadia ended
and Canada began the French never clearly defined--in
course of time, as will be seen, this question became a
cause of war with the English--but we shall not be much
at fault if we take a line from the mouth of the river
Penobscot, due north to the St Lawrence, to mark the
western frontier of the Acadia of the French. Thus, as
the map shows, Acadia lay in that great peninsula which
is flanked by two large islands, and is washed on the
north and east by the river and gulf of St Lawrence, and
on the south by the Atlantic Ocean; and it comprised what
are to-day parts of Quebec and Maine, as well as the
provinces of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward
Island. When the French came, and for long after, this
country was the hunting ground of tribes of the Algonquin
race--Micmacs, Malecites, and Abnakis or Abenakis.

By right of the discoveries of Jean Verrazano (1524) and
Jacques Cartier (1534-42) the French crown laid claim to
all America north of the sphere of Spanish influence.
Colonial enterprise, however, did not thrive during the
religious wars which rent Europe in the sixteenth century;
and it was not until after the Edict of Nantes in 1598
that France could follow up the discoveries of her seamen
by an effort to colonize either Acadia or Canada. Abortive
attempts had indeed been made by the Marquis de la Roche,
but these had resulted only in the marooning of fifty
unfortunate convicts on Sable Island. The first real
colonizing venture of the French in the New World was
that of the Sieur de Monts, the patron and associate of
Champlain. [Footnote: See The founder of New France in
this Series, chap. ii.] The site of this first colony
was in Acadia. Armed with viceregal powers and a trading
monopoly for ten years, De Monts gathered his colonists,
equipped two ships, and set out from Havre de Grace in
April 1604. The company numbered about a hundred and
fifty Frenchmen of various ranks and conditions, from
the lowest to the highest--convicts taken from the prisons,
labourers and artisans, Huguenot ministers and Catholic
priests, some gentlemen of noble birth, among them Jean
de Biencourt, Baron de Poutrincourt, and the already
famous explorer Champlain.

The vessels reached Cape La Heve on the south coast of
Nova Scotia in May. They rounded Cape Sable, sailed up
the Bay of Fundy, and entered the Annapolis Basin, which
Champlain named Port Royal. The scene here so stirred
the admiration of the Baron de Poutrincourt that he
coveted the place as an estate for his family, and begged
De Monts, who by his patent was lord of the entire country,
to grant him the adjoining lands. De Monts consented;
the estate was conveyed; and Poutrincourt became the
seigneur of Port Royal.

The adventurers crossed to the New Brunswick shore, turned
their vessel westward, passed the mouth of the river St
John, which they named, and finally dropped anchor in
Passamaquoddy Bay. Here, on a small island near the mouth
of the river St Croix, now on the boundary-line between
New Brunswick and Maine, De Monts landed his colonists.
They cleared the ground; and, within an enclosure known
as the Habitation de l'Isle Saincte-Croix, erected a few
buildings--'one made with very fair and artificial
carpentry work' for De Monts, while others, less ornamental,
were for 'Monsieur d'Orville, Monsieur Champlein, Monsieur
Champdore, and other men of high standing.'

Then as the season waned the vessels, which linked them
to the world they had left, unfurled their sails and set
out for France. Seventy-nine men remained at St Croix,
among them De Monts and Champlain. In the vast solitude
of forest they settled down for the winter, which was
destined to be full of horrors. By spring thirty-five of
the company had died of scurvy and twenty more were at
the point of death. Evidently St Croix was not a good
place for a colony. The soil was sandy and there was no
fresh water. So, in June, after the arrival of a vessel
bringing supplies from France, De Monts and Champlain
set out to explore the coasts in search of a better site.
But, finding none which they deemed suitable, they decided
to tempt fortune at Poutrincourt's domain of Port Royal.
Thither, then, in August the colonists moved, carrying
their implements and stores across the Bay of Fundy, and
landing on the north side of the Annapolis Basin, opposite
Goat Island, where the village of Lower Granville now

The colony thus formed at Port Royal in the summer of
1605--the first agricultural settlement of Europeans on
soil which is now Canadian--had a broken existence of
eight years. Owing to intrigues at the French court, De
Monts lost his charter in 1607 and the colony was
temporarily abandoned; but it was re-established in 1610
by Poutrincourt and his son Charles de Biencourt. The
episode of Port Royal, one of the most lively in Canadian
history, introduces to us some striking characters.
Besides the leaders in the enterprise, already mentioned
--De Monts, Champlain, Poutrincourt, and Biencourt--we
meet here Lescarbot, [Footnote: Lescarbot was the historian
of the colony. His History of New France, reprinted by
the Champlain Society (Toronto, 1911), with an English
translation, notes, and appendices by W. L. Grant, is a
delightful and instructive work.] lawyer, merry philosopher,
historian, and farmer; likewise, Louis Hebert, planting
vines and sowing wheat--the same Louis Hebert who afterwards
became the first tiller of the soil at Quebec. Here,
also, is Membertou, sagamore of the Micmacs, 'a man of
a hundred summers' and 'the most formidable savage within
the memory of man.' Hither, too, in 1611, came the Jesuits
Biard and Masse, the first of the black-robed followers
of Loyola to set foot in New France. But the colony was
to perish in an event which foreshadowed the struggle in
America between France and England. In 1613 the English
Captain Argall from new-founded Virginia sailed up the
coasts of Acadia looking for Frenchmen. The Jesuits had
just begun on Mount Desert Island the mission of St
Sauveur. This Argall raided and destroyed. He then went
on and ravaged Port Royal. And its occupants, young
Biencourt and a handful of companions, were forced to
take to a wandering life among the Indians.

Twenty years passed before the French made another
organized effort to colonize Acadia. The interval, however,
was not without events which had a bearing on the later
fortunes of the colony. Missionaries from Quebec, both
Recollets and Jesuits, took up their abode among the
Indians, on the river St John and at Nipisiguit on Chaleur
Bay. Trading companies exploited the fur fields and the
fisheries, and French vessels visited the coasts every
summer. It was during this period that the English Puritans
landed at Plymouth (1620), at Salem (1628), and at Boston
(1630), and made a lodgment there on the south-west flank
of Acadia. The period, too, saw Sir William Alexander's
Scots in Nova Scotia and saw the English Kirkes raiding
the settlements of New France. [Footnote: See The Jesuit
Missions in this Series, chap. iv.]

The Baron de Poutrincourt died in 1615, leaving his estate
to his son Biencourt. And after Biencourt's own death in
1623, it was found that he had bequeathed a considerable
fortune, including all his property and rights in Acadia,
to his friend and companion, that interesting and
resourceful adventurer, Charles de la Tour. This man,
when a lad of fourteen, and his father, Claude de la
Tour, had come out to Acadia in the service of Poutrincourt.
After the destruction of Port Royal, Charles de la Tour
had followed young Biencourt into the forest, and had
lived with him the nomadic life of the Indians. Later,
the elder La Tour established himself for trade at the
mouth of the Penobscot, but he was driven away from this
post by a party from the English colony at Plymouth. The
younger La Tour, after coming into Biencourt's property,
built Fort Lomeron, afterwards named St Louis, at the
place now known as Port Latour, near Cape Sable. This
made him in fact, if not in name, the French ruler of
Acadia, for his Fort St Louis was the only place of any
strength in the whole country.

By 1627 the survivors of Biencourt's wandering companions
had settled down, some of them in their old quarters at
Port Royal, but most of them with La Tour at Cape Sable.
Then came to Acadia seventy Scottish settlers, sent hither
by Sir William Alexander, who took up their quarters at
Port Royal and named it Scots Fort. The French described
these settlers as 'all kinds of vagabonds, barbarians,
and savages from Scotland'; and the elder La Tour went
to France to procure stores and ammunition, and to petition
the king to grant his son a commission to hold Acadia
against the intruders. But the elder La Tour was not to
come back in the role of a loyal subject of France. He
was returning in 1628 with the ships of the newly formed
Company of One Hundred Associates, under Roquemont, when,
off the Gaspe coast, appeared the hostile sail of the
Kirkes; and La Tour was taken prisoner to England. There
he entered into an alliance with the English, accepted
grants of land from Sir William Alexander, had himself
and his son made Baronets of Nova Scotia, and promised
to bring his son over to the English side. Young La Tour,
when his father returned, accepted the gift, and by some
means procured also, in 1631, a commission from the French
king as lieutenant-general of Acadia. Later, as we shall
see, his dual allegiance proved convenient.

The restoration of Acadia to France in 1632, by the Treaty
of St Germain-en-Laye, was to Cardinal Richelieu the
signal for a renewal of the great colonizing project
which he had set on foot five years earlier and which
had been interrupted by the hostile activities of the
Kirkes. [Footnote: See The founder of New France, chap.
v, and The Jesuit Missions, chap. iv.] Richelieu appointed
lieutenant-general of Acadia Isaac de Razilly, one of
the Company of One Hundred Associates and commander of
the Order of Malta, with authority to take over Acadia
from the Scots. Razilly brought out with him three hundred
settlers, recruited mainly from the districts of Touraine
and Brittany--the first considerable body of colonists
to come to the country. He was a man of more than ordinary
ability, of keen insight and affable manners. 'The
commander,' wrote Champlain, 'possessed all the qualities
of a good, a perfect sea-captain; prudent, wise,
industrious; urged by the saintly motive of increasing
the glory of God and of exercising his energy in New
France in order to erect the cross of Christ and plant
the lilies of France therein.' He planned for Acadia on
a large scale. He endeavoured to persuade Louis XIII to
maintain a fleet of twelve vessels for the service of
the colony, and promised to bring out good settlers from
year to year. Unfortunately, his death occurred in 1635
before his dreams could be realized. He had been given
the power to name his successor; and on his death-bed he
appointed his cousin and companion, Charles de Menou,
Sieur d'Aulnay Charnisay, adjuring him 'not to abandon
the country, but to pursue a task so gloriously begun.'

Years of strife and confusion followed. Razilly had made
La Heve his headquarters; but Charnisay took up his at
Port Royal. [Footnote: Charnisay built his fort about
six miles farther up than the original Port Royal, and
on the opposite side of the river, at the place thenceforth
known as Port Royal until 1710, and since then as Annapolis
Royal or Annapolis.] This brought him into conflict with
Charles de la Tour, who had now established himself at
the mouth of the river St John, and whose commission from
the king, giving him jurisdiction over the whole of
Acadia, had, apparently, never been rescinded. The king,
to whom the dispute was referred, instructed that an
imaginary line should be drawn through the Bay of Fundy
to divide the territory of Charnisay from that of La
Tour. But this arrangement did not prevent the rivalry
between the two feudal chiefs from developing into open
warfare. In the struggle the honours rested with Charnisay.
Having first undermined La Tour's influence at court, he
attacked and captured La Tour's Fort St John. This happened
in 1645. La Tour himself was absent; but his wife, a
woman of heroic mould, made a most determined resistance.
[Footnote: This follows the story as told by Denys (see
p. 18 note), which has been generally accepted by
historians. But Charnisay in an elaborate memoir (Memoire
Instructif) gives a very different version of this affair.]
La Tour was impoverished and driven into exile; his
remarkable wife died soon afterwards; and Charnisay
remained lord of all he surveyed. But Charnisay was not
long to enjoy his dominion. In May 1650 he was thrown by
accident from his canoe into the Annapolis river and died
in consequence of the exposure.

In the year following Charnisay's death Charles de la
Tour reappeared on the scene. Armed with a new patent
from the French king, making him governor and lieutenant-
general of Acadia, he took possession of his fort at the
mouth of the St John, and further strengthened his position
by marrying the widow of his old rival Charnisay. Three
years later (1654), when the country fell again into the
hands of the English, La Tour turned to good account his
previous relations with them. He was permitted to retain
his post, and lived happily with his wife [Footnote: They
had five children, who married and settled in Acadia.
Many of their descendants may be counted among the Acadian
families living at the present time in Nova Scotia and
New Brunswick.] at Fort St John, so far as history records,
until his death in 1666.

By the Treaty of Breda in 1667 Acadia was restored to
France, and a period ensued of unbroken French rule. The
history of the forty-three years from the Treaty of Breda
until the English finally took possession is first a
history of slow but peaceful development, and latterly
of raids and bloody strife in which French and English
and Indians were involved. In 1671 the population,
according to a census of that year, numbered less than
four hundred and fifty. This was presently increased by
sixty new colonists from France. By 1685 this population
had more than doubled and the tiny settlements appeared
to be thriving. But after 1690 war again racked the land.

During this period Acadia was under the government of
Quebec, but there was always a local governor. The first
of these, Hubert de Grandfontaine, came out in 1670. He
and some of his successors were men of force and ability;
but others, such as Brouillan, who issued card money
without authority and applied torture to an unconvicted
soldier, and Perrot, who sold liquor by the pint and the
half-pint in his own house, were unworthy representatives
of the crown.

By 1710 the population of Acadia had grown to about
twenty-one hundred souls, distributed chiefly in the
districts of Port Royal, Minas, and Chignecto. Most of
these were descended from the settlers brought over by
Razilly and Charnisay between 1633 and 1638. On the whole,
they were a strong, healthy, virtuous people, sincerely
attached to their religion and their traditions. The most
notable singularity of their race was stubbornness,
although they could be led by kindness where they could
not be driven by force. Though inclined to litigation,
they were not unwilling to arbitrate their differences.
They 'had none who were bred mechanics; every farmer was
his own architect and every man of property a farmer.'
'The term Mister was unknown among them.' They took pride
in their appearance and wore most attractive costumes,
in which black and red colours predominated. Content with
the product of their labour and having few wants, they
lived in perfect equality and with extreme frugality. In
an age when learning was confined to the few, they were
not more illiterate than the corresponding class in other
countries. 'In the summer the men were continually employed
in husbandry.' They cultivated chiefly the rich marsh-lands
by the rivers and the sea, building dikes along the banks
and shores to shut out the tides; and made little effort
to clear the woodlands. 'In the winter they were engaged
in cutting timber and wood for fuel and fencing, and in
hunting; the women in carding, spinning, and weaving
wool, flax, and hemp, of which their country furnished
abundance; these, with furs from bears, beavers, foxes,
otters, and martens, gave them not only comfortable, but
in some cases handsome clothing.' Although they had large
herds of cattle, 'they never made any merchantable butter,
being used to set their milk in small noggins which were
kept in such order as to turn it thick and sour in a
short time, of which they ate voraciously.' [Footnote:
Public Archives, Canada, Brown Collection, M 651a, 171.]

The lands which the Acadians reclaimed from the sea and
cultivated were fertile in the extreme. A description
has come down to us of what was doubtless a typical
Acadian garden. In it were quantities of 'very fine
well-headed cabbages and of all other sorts of pot herbs
and vegetables.' Apple and pear trees brought from France
flourished. The peas were 'so covered with pods that it
could only be believed by seeing.' The wheat was
particularly good. We read of one piece of land where
'each grain had produced six or eight stems, and the
smallest ear was half a foot in length, filled with
grain.' The streams and rivers, too, teemed with fish.
The noise of salmon sporting in the rivers sounded like
the rush of a turbulent rapid, and a catch such as 'ten
men could not haul to land' was often made in a night.
Pigeons were a plague, alighting in vast flocks in the
newly planted gardens. If the economic progress of the
country had been slow, the reason had lain, not in any
poverty of natural resources, but in the scantiness of
the population, the neglect of the home government, the
incessant turmoil within, and the devastating raids of
English enemies.



Almost from the first England had advanced claims, slender
though they were, to the ownership of Acadia. And very
early, as we have seen, the colony had been subjected to
the scourge of English attacks.

Argall's expedition had been little more than a buccaneering
exploit and an earnest of what was to come. Nor did any
permanent result, other than the substitution of the name
Nova Scotia for Acadia, flow from Sir William Alexander's
enterprise. Alexander, afterwards Lord Stirling, was a
Scottish courtier in the entourage of James I, from whom
he obtained in 1621 a grant of the province of New Scotland
or Nova Scotia. A year later he sent out a small body of
farm hands and one artisan, a blacksmith, to establish
a colony. The expedition miscarried; and another in the
next year shared a similar fate. A larger company of
Scots, however, as already mentioned, settled at Port
Royal in 1627 and erected a fort, known as Scots Fort,
on the site of the original settlement of De Monts. This
colony, with some reinforcements from Scotland, stood
its ground until the country was ceded to France in 1632.
On the arrival of Razilly in that year most of the Scottish
settlers went home, and the few who remained were soon
merged in the French population.

For twenty-two years after this Acadia remained French,
under the feudal sway of its overlords, Razilly, Charnisay,
La Tour, and Nicolas Denys, the historian of Acadia.
[Footnote: He wrote The Description and Natural History
of the Coasts of North America. An edition, translated
and edited, with a memoir of the author, by W. F. Ganong,
will be found in the publications of the Champlain Society
(Toronto, 1908).] But in 1654 the fleet of Robert Sedgwick
suddenly appeared off Port Royal and compelled its
surrender in the name of Oliver Cromwell. Then for thirteen
years Acadia was nominally English. Sir Thomas Temple,
the governor during this period, tried to induce
English-speaking people to settle in the province, but
with small success. England's hold of Acadia was, in
fact, not very firm. The son of Emmanuel Le Borgne, who
claimed the whole country by right of a judgment he had
obtained in the French courts against Charnisay, apparently
found little difficulty in turning the English garrison
out of the fort at La Heve, leaving his unfortunate
victims without means of return to New England, or of
subsistence; but in such destitution that they were forced
'to live upon grass and to wade in the water for lobsters
to keep them alive.' Some amusing correspondence followed
between France and England. The French ambassador in
London complained of the depredations committed in the
house of a certain Monsieur de la Heve. The English
government, better informed about Acadia, replied that
it knew of no violence committed in the house of M. de
la Heve. 'Neither is there any such man in the land, but
there is a place so called, which Temple purchased for
eight thousand pounds from La Tour, where he built a
house. But one M. le Borny, two or three years since, by
force took it, so that the violence was on Le Borny's
part.' The strife was ended, however, as already mentioned,
by the Treaty of Breda in 1667, in the return of Acadia
to France in exchange for the islands in the West Indies
of St Christopher, Antigua, and Montserrat.

Nearly a quarter of a century passed. France and England
were at peace and Acadia enjoyed freedom from foreign
attack. But the accession of William of Orange to the
throne of England heralded the outbreak of another
Anglo-French war. The month of May 1690 saw Sir William
Phips with a New England fleet and an army of over a
thousand men off Port Royal, demanding its surrender.
Menneval, the French governor, yielded his fortress on
the understanding that he and the garrison should be
transported to French soil. Phips, however, after pillaging
the place, desecrating the church, hoisting the English
flag, and obliging the inhabitants to take the oath of
allegiance to William and Mary, carried off his prisoners
to Boston. He was bent on the capture of Quebec in the
same year and had no mind to make the necessary arrangements
to hold Acadia. Hardly had he departed when a relief
expedition from France, under the command of Menneval's
brother Villebon, sailed into Port Royal. But as Villebon
had no sufficient force to reoccupy the fort, he pulled
down the English flag, replaced it by that of France,
and proceeded to the river St John. After a conference
with the Indians there he went to Quebec, and was present
with Frontenac in October when Phips appeared with his
summons to surrender. [Footnote: See The Fighting Governor
in this Series, chap. vii.] Villebon then went to France.
A year later he returned as governor of Acadia and took
up his quarters at Fort Jemseg, about fifty miles up the
St John river. Here he organized war-parties of Indians
to harry the English settlements; and the struggle
continued, with raid and counter-raid, until 1697, when
the Treaty of Ryswick halted the war between the two

The formal peace, however, was not for long. In 1702
Queen Anne declared war against France and Spain. And
before peace returned the final capture of Acadia had
been effected. It was no fault of Subercase, the French
officer who in 1706 came to Port Royal as governor, that
the fortunes of war went against him. In 1707 he beat
off two violent attacks of the English; and if sufficient
means had been placed at his disposal, he might have
retained the colony for France. But the ministry at
Versailles, pressed on all sides, had no money to spare
for the succour of Acadia. Subercase set forth with
clearness the resources of the colony, and urged strong
reasons in favour of its development. In 1708 a hundred
soldiers came to his aid; but as no funds for their
maintenance came with them, they became a burden. The
garrison was reduced almost to starvation; and Subercase
was forced to replenish his stores by the capture of
pirate vessels. The last letter he wrote home was filled
with anguish over the impending fate of Port Royal. His
despair was not without cause. In the spring of 1710
Queen Anne placed Colonel Francis Nicholson, one of her
leading colonial officers, in command of the troops
intended for the recovery of Nova Scotia. An army of
about fifteen hundred soldiers was raised in New England,
and a British fleet gathered in Boston Harbour. On October
5 (New Style) this expedition arrived before Port Royal.
The troops landed and laid siege once more to the
much-harassed capital of Acadia. The result was a foregone
conclusion. Five days later preliminary proposals were
exchanged between Nicholson and Subercase. The starving
inhabitants petitioned Subercase to give up. He held out,
however, till the cannonade of the enemy told him that
he must soon yield to force. He then sent an officer to
Nicholson to propose the terms of capitulation. It was
agreed that the garrison should march out with the honours
of war and be transported to France in English ships,
and that the inhabitants within three miles of the fort
should 'remain upon their estates, with their corn,
cattle, and furniture, during two years, in case they
are not desirous to go before, they taking the oath of
allegiance and fidelity to Her Sacred Majesty of Great
Britain.' Then to the roll of the drum, and with all the
honours of war, the French troops marched out and the
New Englanders marched in. The British flag was raised,
and, in honour of the queen of England, Port Royal was
named Annapolis Royal. A banquet was held in the fortress
to celebrate the event, and the French officers and their
ladies were invited to it to drink the health of Queen
Anne, while cannon on the bastions and cannon on the
ramparts thundered forth a royal salute.

The celebration over, Subercase sent an envoy to Quebec,
to inform Vaudreuil, the governor of New France, of the
fall of Port Royal, and then embarked with his soldiers
for France. A few days later Nicholson took away most of
his troops and repaired to Boston, leaving a garrison of
four hundred and fifty men and officers under the command
of Colonel Samuel Vetch to hold the newly-won post until
peace should return and Her Majesty's pleasure concerning
it be made known.

As far as he was able, Vetch set up military rule at
Annapolis Royal. He administered the oath of allegiance
to the inhabitants of the banlieue--within three miles
of the fort--according to the capitulation, and established
a court to try their disputes. Many and grave difficulties
faced the new governor and his officers. The Indians were
hostile, and, quite naturally in the state of war which
prevailed, emissaries of the French strove to keep the
Acadians unfriendly to their English masters. Moreover,
Vetch was badly in want of money. The soldiers had no
proper clothing for the winter; they had not been paid
for their services; the fort stood in need of repair;
and the military chest was empty. He could get no assistance
from Boston or London, and his only resource seemed to
be to levy on the inhabitants in the old-fashioned way
of conquerors. The Acadians pleaded poverty, but Vetch
sent out armed men to enforce his order, and succeeded
in collecting at least a part of the tribute he demanded,
not only from the inhabitants round the fort over whom
he had authority, but also from the settlers of Minas
and Chignecto, who were not included in the capitulation.

The first winter passed, in some discomfort and privation,
but without any serious mishap to the English soldiers.
With the month of June, however, there came a disaster.
The Acadians had been directed to cut timber for the
repair of the fort and deliver it at Annapolis. They had
complied for a time and had then quit work, fearing, as
they said, attacks from the Indian allies of the French,
who threatened to kill them if they aided the enemy.
Thereupon Vetch ordered an officer to take seventy-five
men and go up the river to the place where the timber
was being felled and 'inform the people that if they
would bring it down they would receive every imaginable
protection,' but if they were averse or delayed to do so
he was to 'threaten them with severity.' 'And let the
soldiers make a show of killing their hogs,' the order
ran, 'but do not kill any, and let them kill some fowls,
but pay for them before you come away.' Armed with this
somewhat peculiar military order, the troops set out.
But as they ascended the river they were waylaid by a
war-party of French and Indians, and within an hour every
man of the seventy-five English was either killed or
taken captive.

Soon after this tragic affair Vetch went to Boston to
take a hand in an invasion of Canada which was planned
for that summer. This invasion was to take place by both
sea and land simultaneously. Vetch joined the fleet of
Sir Hovenden Walker, consisting of some sixty vessels
which sailed from Boston in July. Meanwhile Colonel
Nicholson stood near Lake Champlain, with a force of
several thousand colonial troops and Six Nation Indians,
in readiness to advance on Canada to co-operate with the
fleet. But the fleet never got within striking distance.
Not far above the island of Anticosti some of the ships
ran aground and were wrecked with a loss of nearly a
thousand men; and the commander gave up the undertaking
and bore away for England. When news of this mishap
reached Nicholson he retreated and disbanded his men.
But, though the ambitious enterprise ended ingloriously,
it was not wholly fruitless, for it kept the French of
Quebec on guard at home; while but for this menace they
would probably have sent a war-party in force to drive
the English out of Acadia.

The situation of the English at Annapolis was indeed
critical. Their numbers had been greatly reduced by
disease and raids and the men were in a sorry plight for
lack of provisions and clothing. Vetch could obtain
neither men nor money from England or the colonies. Help,
however, of a sort did come in the summer of 1712. This
was in the form of a band of Six Nation Indians, allies
of the English, from the colony of New York. [Footnote:
Collections of the Nova Scotia Historical Society, vol.
iv, p. 41.] These savages pitched their habitations not
far from the fort, and thereafter the garrison suffered
less from the Micmac and Abnaki allies of the French.

The Acadians were in revolt; and as long as they cherished
the belief that their countrymen would recover Acadia,
all attempts to secure their allegiance to Queen Anne
proved unavailing. At length, in April 1713, the Treaty
of Utrecht set at rest the question of the ownership of
the country. Cape Breton, Ile St Jean (Prince Edward
Island), and other islands in the Gulf were left in the
hands of the French. But Newfoundland and 'all Nova Scotia
or Acadia, with its ancient boundaries, as also the city
of Port Royal, now called Annapolis Royal,' passed to
the British crown.



We have now to follow a sequence of events leading up to
the calamity to be narrated in a later chapter. By the
Treaty of Utrecht the old king, Louis XIV, had obtained
certain guarantees for his subjects in Acadia. It was
provided that 'they may have liberty to remove themselves
within a year to any other place with all their movable
effects'; and that 'those who are willing to remain
therein and to be subject to the kingdom of Britain are
to enjoy the free exercise of their religion.' And these
terms were confirmed by a warrant of Queen Anne addressed
to Nicholson, under date of June 23, 1713. [Footnote:
'Trusty and Well-beloved, We greet you Well! Whereas Our
Good Brother the Most Christian King hath at Our desire
released from imprisonment on board His Galleys, such of
His subjects as were detained there on account of their
professing the Protestant religion, We being willing to
show by some mark of Our Favour towards His subjects how
kindly we take His compliance therein, have therefore
thought fit hereby to Signifie Our Will and Pleasure to
you that you permit and allow such of them as have any
lands or Tenements in the Places under your Government
in Acadie and Newfoundland, that have been or are to be
yielded to Us by Vertue of the late Treaty of Peace, and
are Willing to Continue our Subjects to retain and Enjoy
their said Lands and Tenements without any Lett or
Molestation as fully and freely as other our Subjects do
or may possess their Lands and Estates or to sell the
same if they shall rather Chuse to remove elsewhere--And
for so doing this shall be your Warrant, And so we bid
you fare well. Given at our Court at Kensington the 23rd
day of June 1713 in the Twelfth Year of our Reign.'--Public
Archives, Canada. Nova Scotia A, vol. iv, p. 97.] The
status of the Acadians under the treaty, reinforced by
this warrant, seems to be sufficiently clear. If they
wished to become British subjects, which of course implied
taking the oath of allegiance, they were to enjoy all
the privileges of citizenship, not accorded at that time
to Catholics in Great Britain, as well as the free exercise
of their religion. But if they preferred to remove to
another country within a year, they were to have that

The French authorities were not slow to take advantage
of this part of the treaty. In order to hold her position
in the New World and assert her authority, France had
transferred the garrison which she had formerly maintained
at Placentia, Newfoundland, to Cape Breton. This island
she had renamed Ile Royale, and here she was shortly to
rear the great fortress of Louisbourg. It was to her
interest to induce the Acadians to remove to this new
centre of French influence. In March 1713, therefore,
the French king intimated his wish that the Acadians
should emigrate to Ile Royale; every inducement, indeed,
must be offered them to settle there; though he cautioned
his officers that if any of the Acadians had already
taken the oath of allegiance to Great Britain, great care
must be exercised to avoid scandal.

Many Acadians, then, on receiving attractive offers of
land in Ile Royale, applied to the English authorities
for permission to depart. The permission was not granted.
It was first refused by Governor Vetch on the ground that
he was retiring from office and was acting only in the
absence of Colonel Nicholson, who had been recently
appointed governor. The truth is that the English regarded
with alarm the removal of practically the entire population
from Nova Scotia. The governor of Ile Royale intervened,
and sent agents to Annapolis Royal to make a formal demand
on behalf of the Acadians, presenting in support of his
demand the warrant of Queen Anne. The inhabitants, it
was said, wished to leave Nova Scotia and settle in Ile
Royale, and 'they expect ships to convey themselves and
effects accordingly.' Nicholson, who had now arrived as
governor, took the position that he must refer the question
to England for the consideration of Her Majesty.

When the demand of the governor of Ile Royale reached
England, Vetch was in London; and Vetch had financial
interests in Nova Scotia. He at once appealed to the
Lords of Trade, who in due course protested to the
sovereign 'that this would strip Nova Scotia and greatly
strengthen Cape Breton.' Time passed, however, and the
government made no pronouncement on the question. Meanwhile
Queen Anne had died. Matters drifted. The Acadians wished
to leave, but were not allowed to employ British vessels.
In despair they began to construct small boats on their
own account, to carry their families and effects to Ile
Royale. These boats, however, were seized by order of
Nicholson, and the Acadians were explicitly forbidden to
remove or to dispose of their possessions until a decision
with regard to the question should arrive from England.

In January 1715 the accession of George I was proclaimed
throughout Acadia. But when the Acadians were required
to swear allegiance to the new monarch, they proved
obdurate. They agreed not to do anything against His
Britannic Majesty as long as they remained in Acadia;
but they refused to take the oath on the plea that they
had already pledged their word to migrate to Ile Royale.
John Doucette, who arrived in the colony in October 1717
as lieutenant-governor, was informed by the Acadians that
'the French inhabitants had never own'd His Majesty as
Possessor of this His Continent of Nova Scotia and
L'Acadie.' When Doucette presented a paper for them to
sign, promising them the same protection and liberty as
the rest of His Majesty's subjects in Acadia, they brought
forward a document of their own, which evidently bore
the marks of honest toil, since Doucette 'would have been
glad to have sent' it to the secretary of state 'in a
cleaner manner.' In it they declared, 'We shall be ready
to carry into effect the demand proposed to us, as soon
as His Majesty shall have done us the favour of providing
some means of sheltering us from the savage tribes, who
are always ready to do all kinds of mischief... In case
other means cannot be found, we are ready to take an
oath, that we will take up arms neither against His
Britannic Majesty, nor against France, nor against any
of their subjects or allies.' [Footnote: Public Archives,
Canada. Nova Scotia A, vol. viii, p. 181 et seq.]

The attitude of both France and England towards the
unfortunate Acadians was thoroughly selfish. The French
at Louisbourg, after their first attempt to bring the
Acadians to Ile Royale, relapsed into inaction. They
still hoped doubtless that Acadia would be restored to
France, and while they would have been glad to welcome
the Acadians, they perceived the advantage of keeping
them under French influence in British territory. In
order to do this they had at their hand convenient means.
The guarantee to the Acadians of the freedom of their
religion had entailed the presence in Acadia of French
priests not British subjects, who were paid by the French
government and were under the direction of the bishop of
Quebec. These priests were, of course, loyal to France
and inimical to Great Britain. Another source of influence
possessed by the French lay in their alliance with the
Indian tribes, an alliance which the missionary priests
helped to hold firm. The fear of an Indian attack was
destined on more than one occasion to keep the Acadians
loyal to France. On the other hand, the British, while
loth to let the Acadians depart, did little to improve
their lot. It was a period of great economy in English
colonial administration. Walpole, in his desire to reduce
taxation, devoted very little money to colonial development;
and funds were doled out to the authorities at Annapolis
in the most parsimonious manner. 'It is a pity,' wrote
Newton, the collector of the customs at Annapolis and
Canso, in 1719, that 'so fine a province as Nova Scotia
should lie so long neglected. As for furs, feathers, and a
fishery, we may challenge any province in America to
produce the like, and beside that here is a good grainery;
masting and naval stores might be provided hence. And
was here a good establishment fixt our returns would be
very advantageous to the Crown and Great Britain.' As it
was, the British ministers were content to send out
elaborate instructions for the preservation of forests,
the encouragement of fisheries and the prevention of
foreign trade, without providing either means for carrying
out the schemes, or troops for the protection of the

Nothing further was done regarding the oath of allegiance
until the arrival of Governor Philipps in 1720, when the
Acadians were called upon to take the oath or leave the
country within four months, taking with them only two
sheep per family. This, it seems, was merely an attempt
to intimidate the people into taking the oath, for when
the Acadians, having no boats at their disposal, proposed
to travel by land, and began to cut out a road for the
passage of vehicles, they were stopped in the midst of
their labours by order of the governor.

In a letter to England Philipps expressed the opinion
that the Acadians, if left alone, would no doubt become
contented British subjects, that their emigration at this
time would be a distinct loss to the garrison, which was
supplied by their labours. He added that the French were
active in maintaining their influence over them. One
potent factor in keeping them restless was the circulation
of reports that the English would not much longer tolerate
Catholicism. [Footnote: Public Archives, Canada. Nova
Scotia A, vol. xi, p. 186.] The Lords of Trade took this
letter into consideration, and in their reply of December
28, 1720, we find the proposal to remove the Acadians as
a means of settling the problem. [Footnote: 'As to the
French inhabitants of Nova Scotia, who appear so wavering
in their inclinations, we are apprehensive they will
never become good subjects to His Majesty whilst the
French Governors and their Priests retain so great an
influence over them, for which reason we are of opinion,
that they ought to be removed so soon as the forces which
we have proposed to be sent to you shall arrive in Nova
Scotia for the protection and better settlement of your
Province, but as you are not to attempt their removal
without His Majesty's positive orders for that purpose,
you will do well in the meanwhile to continue the same
prudent and cautious conduct towards them, to endeavour
to undeceive them concerning the exercise of their
religion, which will doubtless be allowed them if it
should be thought proper to let them stay where they
are.'--Public Archives, Canada. Nova Scotia A, vol. xii,
p. 210.] This, however, was not the first mooting of the
idea. During the same year Paul Mascarene, in 'A Description
of Nova Scotia,' had given two reasons for the expulsion
of the inhabitants: first, that they were Roman Catholics,
under the full control of French priests opposed to
British interests; secondly, that they continually incited
the Indians to do mischief or disturb English settlements.
On the other hand, Mascarene discovered two motives for
retaining them: first, in order that they might not
strengthen the French establishments; secondly, that they
might be employed in furnishing supplies for the garrison
and in preparing fortifications until such time as the
English were strong enough to do without them.
[Footnote: 'A Description of Nova Scotia,' by Paul
Mascarene, transmitted to the Lords of Trade by Governor
Philipps.--Public Archives, Canada. Nova Scotia A, vol.
xii, p. 118.]

It does not appear that either the English or the French
government had any paternal affection for the poor
Acadians; but each was fully conscious of the use to
which they might be put.

In a letter to the Lords of Trade Philipps sums up the
situation. 'The Acadians,' he says, 'decline to take the
oath of allegiance on two grounds--that in General
Nicholson's time they had signed an obligation to continue
subjects of France and retire to Cape Breton, and that
the Indians would cut their throats if they became

   If they are permitted [he continues] to remain upon
   the footing they propose, it is very probable they
   will be obedient to government as long as the two
   Crowns continue in alliance, but in case of a rupture
   will be so many enemies in our bosom, and I cannot
   see any hopes, or likelihood, of making them English,
   unless it was possible to procure these Priests to be
   recalled who are tooth and nail against the Regent;
   not sticking to say openly that it is his day now,
   but will be theirs anon; and having others sent in
   their stead, which (if anything) may contribute in a
   little time to make some change in their sentiments.

He further suggests an 'oath of obliging the Acadians to
live peaceably,' to take up arms against the Indians,
but not against the French, to acknowledge the king's
right to the country, to obey the government, and to hold
their lands of the king by a new tenure, 'instead of
holding them (as at present) from lords of manors who
are now at Cape Breton, where at this day they pay their
rent.' [Footnote: Public Archives, Canada. Nova Scotia
A, vol. xii, p. 96.]

There were signs that the situation was not entirely
hopeless. The Acadians were not allowed to leave the
country, or even to settle down to the enjoyment of their
homes; they were employed in supplying the needs of the
troops, or in strengthening the British fortifications;
yet they seem to have patiently accepted the inevitable.
The Indians committed acts of violence, but the Acadians
remained peaceable. There was, too, a certain amount of
intermarriage between Acadian girls and the British
soldiers. In those early days of Nova Scotia, girls of
a marriageable age were few and were much sought after.
There was in Annapolis an old French gentlewoman 'whose
daughters, granddaughters, and other relatives' had
married British officers. These ladies soon acquired
considerable influence and were allowed to do much as
they pleased. The old gentlewoman, Marie Magdalen Maisonat,
who had married Mr William Winniett, a leading merchant
and one of the first British inhabitants of Annapolis,
became all-powerful in the town, not only on account of
her own estimable qualities, but also on account of the
position held by her daughters and granddaughters. Soldiers
arrested for breach of discipline often pleaded that they
had been 'sent for to finish a job of work for Madame';
and this excuse was usually sufficient to secure an
acquittal. If not, the old lady would on her own authority
order the culprit's release, and 'no further enquiry was
made into the matter.' One British officer, who had
incurred her displeasure, was told that 'Me have rendered
King Shorge more important service dan ever you did or
peut-etre ever shall, and dis is well known to peoples
en autorite,' which may have been true if, as was asserted,
she sometimes presided at councils of war in the fort.
[Footnote: Knox, An Historical Journal of the Campaigns
in North America, Edited, etc., by A. G. Doughty. Vol.
i, pp. 94-6. (Toronto: The Champlain Society, 1914.)]

It was with the Indians, rather than with the Acadians,
that the authorities had the greatest trouble. After
several hostile acts had been committed, the governor
determined to try the effect of the gentle art of
persuasion. He sent to England an agent named Bannfield
to purchase a large quantity of presents for the Indians.
Bannfield was thoroughly dishonest, and appropriated
two-thirds of the money to his own use, expending the
remainder on the purchase of articles of 'exceeding bad
quality.' A gorgeous entertainment was prepared for the
savages, and the presents were given to them. The Indians
took away the presents, but their missionaries had little
difficulty in showing them the inferiority of the English
gifts; and Philipps noted that they did not appear
satisfied. 'They will take all we give them,' he wrote,
'and cut our throats next day.' At length the Indians
boldly declared war against the British, an action which
Philipps attributed to the scandalous conduct of the
agent Bannfield. At the instigation of the French of Ile
Royale, they kept up hostilities for two years and
committed many barbarities. The Micmacs seized fishing
smacks, and killed and scalped a number of English soldiers
and fishermen. It was not until a more attractive supply
of presents arrived, and were distributed among the
chiefs, that they could be induced to make peace.

During the progress of the Indian war Governor Philipps
had prudently refrained from discussing with the Acadians
the question of the oath; but in 1726 Lawrence Armstrong,
the lieutenant-governor, resolved to take up the matter
again. In the district of Annapolis he had little trouble.
The inhabitants there consented, after some discussion,
to sign a declaration of allegiance, with a clause
exempting them from the obligation of taking up arms.
[Footnote: This oath applied only to the inhabitants of
the district of Annapolis.] But to deal with the Acadians
of Minas and of Beaubassin on Chignecto Bay proved more
difficult. Certain 'anti-monarchical traders' from Boston
and evil-intentioned French inhabitants had represented
in these districts that the governor had no authority in
the land, and no power to administer oaths. No oath would
these Acadians take but to their own Bon Roy de France.
They promised, however, to pay all the rights and dues
which the British demanded.

The death of George I in 1727, and the accession of George
II, made it necessary for the Acadians to acknowledge
the new monarch. This time the lieutenant-governor was
determined to do the business in a thorough and
comprehensive manner. He chartered a vessel at a cost of
a hundred pounds, and commissioned Ensign Wroth to proceed
from place to place at the head of a detachment of troops
proclaiming the new king and obtaining the submission of
the people. Wroth was eminently successful in proclaiming
His Majesty; but he had less success in regard to the
oath. Finding the Acadians obdurate, he promised them on
his own authority freedom in the exercise of their
religion, exemption from bearing arms, and liberty to
withdraw from the province at any time. These 'unwarrantable
concessions' Armstrong refused to ratify; and the Council
immediately declared them null and void, although they
resolved that 'the inhabitants... having signed and
proclaimed His Majesty and thereby acknowledged his title
and authority to and over this Province, shall have the
liberties and privileges of English subjects.'
[Footnote: Public Archives, Canada. Nova Scotia B, vol.
i, p. 177.] This was all the Acadians wished for.

The commission of Ensign Wroth did not extend to the
district of Annapolis, which was dealt with by the Council.
The deputies of the Acadians there were summoned to appear
before the Council on September 6, 1727. But the
inhabitants, instead of answering the summons, called a
meeting on their own account and passed a resolution,
signed by seventy-one of their people, which they forwarded
to the Council. In this document they offered to take
the oath on the conditions offered by Wroth. This the
Council considered 'insolent and defiant,' and ordered
the arrest of the deputies. On September 16 Charles
Landry, Guillaume Bourgois, Abraham Bourg, and Francois
Richard were brought before the Council, and, on refusing
to take the oath except on the terms proposed by themselves,
were committed to prison for contempt and disrespect to
His Majesty. Next day the lieutenant-governor announced
that 'they had been guilty of several enormous crimes in
assembling the inhabitants in a riotous manner contrary
to the orders of government both as to time and place
and likewise in framing a rebellious paper.' It was then
resolved: 'That Charles Landry, Guillaume Bourgois and
Francis Richard, for their said offence, and likewise
for refusing the oath of fidelity to His Majesty which
was duly tendered them, be remanded to prison, laid in
irons, and there remain until His Majesty's pleasure
shall be made known concerning them, and that Abraham
Bourg, in consideration of his great age, shall have
leave to retire out of this His Majesty's Province,
according to his desire and promise, by the first
opportunity, leaving his effects behind him.' [Footnote:
Public Archives, Canada. Nova Scotia B, vol. i, p. 159.]
The rest of the inhabitants were to be debarred from
fishing on the British coasts. It is difficult to reconcile
the actions of the Council. The inhabitants who cheerfully
subscribed to the oath, with the exceptions made by Ensign
Wroth, were to be accorded the privileges of British
subjects, while some of those who would have been glad
to accept the same terms were laid in irons, and the
others debarred from fishing, their main support.

Shortly after this Philipps was compelled to return to
Nova Scotia in order to restore tranquillity; for his
lieutenant Armstrong, a man of quick temper, had fallen
foul of the French priests, especially the Abbe Breslay,
whom he had caused to be handled somewhat roughly.
Armstrong, seeking an alliance with the Abnakis, had been
foiled by the French and had laid the blame at the door
of the priest, demanding the keys of the church and
causing the presbytery to be pillaged. In the end Breslay
had escaped in fear of his life. It was his complaints,
set forth in a memorial to the government, that had
brought about Philipps's return. The Acadians, with whom
Philipps was popular, welcomed him in a public manner;
and Philipps took advantage of the occasion to approach
them again on the subject of the oath. He restored the
Abbe Breslay to his flock, promised the people freedom
in religious matters, and assured them that they would
not be required to take up arms. Then all the Acadians
in the district of Annapolis subscribed to the following
oath: 'I promise and swear on the faith of a Christian
that I will be truly faithful and will submit myself to
His Majesty King George the Second, whom I acknowledge
as the lord and sovereign of Nova Scotia or Acadia. So
help me God.' In the spring of 1728 Philipps obtained
also the submission of the inhabitants of the other
districts, on similar terms; and even the Indians professed
a willingness to submit. This was a triumph for the
administration of Philipps, and laid at rest for a time
the vexed question of the oath. The triumph was, however,
more superficial than real, as we shall see by and by.



When Philipps had set at rest the question of the oath
of allegiance, he returned to England, and Armstrong,
less pacific than his chief, again assumed the
administration, and again had some trouble with the
priests. Two Acadian missionaries had been expelled from
the country for want of respect to the governor; and
Armstrong informed the inhabitants that in future he must
be consulted regarding the appointment of ecclesiastics,
and that men from Quebec would not be acceptable. Brouillan,
the governor of Ile Royale, had taken the ground that
the Acadian priests, not being subjects of Great Britain,
were not amenable to the British authorities. This view
was held by the priests themselves. The president of the
Navy Board at Paris, however, rebuked Brouillan, and
informed him that the priests in Acadia should by word
and example teach the obedience due to His Britannic
Majesty. This pronouncement cleared the air; the
disagreements with the missionaries were soon adjusted;
and one of them, St Poncy, after being warned to cultivate
the goodwill of the governor, was permitted to resume
his pastoral duties at Annapolis Royal.

On the death of Armstrong, on December 6, 1739, from
wounds supposed to have been inflicted by his own hand,
John Adams was appointed lieutenant-governor and president
of the Council. In the following spring, however, Adams
was displaced by a vote of the Council in favour of Major
Paul Mascarene. 'The Secretary came to my House,' wrote
Adams to the Duke of Newcastle, 'and reported to me the
judgment of the Council in favour of Major Mascarene,
from whose judgment I appealed to His Majesty and said
if you have done well by the House of Jerubable [Jerubbaal]
then rejoice ye in Abimelech and let Abimelech rejoice
in you.' [Footnote: Public Archives, Canada. Nova Scotia
A, vol. xxv, p. 9.] After this lucid appeal, Adams, who
had deep religious convictions, retired to Boston and
bemoaned the unrighteousness of Annapolis. [Footnote:
Writing from Boston to the Lords of Trade, Adams said:
'I would have returned to Annapolis before now. But there
was no Chaplain in the Garrison to administer God's word
and sacrament to the people. But the Officers and Soldiers
in Garrison have Prophaned the Holy Sacrament of Baptism
and Ministeriall Function, by presuming to Baptize their
own children. Why His Majesty's Chaplain does not come
to his Duty I know not, but am persuaded it is a Disservice
and Dishonour to our Religion and Nation; and as I have
heard, some have got their children Baptized by the Popish
Priest, for there has been no Chaplain here for above
these four years.'--Public Archives, Canada. Nova Scotia
A, vol. xxv, p. 176.]

It was under Mascarene's administration that Nova Scotia
passed through the period of warfare which now supervened.
For some time relations between France and England had
been growing strained in the New World, owing chiefly to
the fact that the Peace of Utrecht had left unsettled
the perilous question of boundary between the rival
powers. There was the greatest confusion as to the
boundaries of Nova Scotia or Acadia. The treaty had given
Great Britain the province of Acadia 'with its ancient
boundaries.' The 'ancient boundaries,' Great Britain
claimed, included the whole mainland of the present
maritime provinces and the Gaspe peninsula; whereas France
contended that they embraced only the peninsula of Nova
Scotia. Both powers, therefore, claimed the country north
of the isthmus of Chignecto, and the definition of the
boundary became a more and more pressing question.

The outbreak of the war of the Austrian Succession in
Europe in 1741 set the match to the fuse. By 1744 the
French and English on the Atlantic seaboard were up in
arms. The governor of Ile Royale lost no time in attacking
Nova Scotia. He invaded the settlements at Canso with
about five hundred men; and presently a band of Indians,
apparently led by the Abbe Le Loutre, missionary to the
Micmacs, marched against Annapolis Royal. Towards these
aggressions the Acadians assumed an attitude of strict
neutrality. On the approach of Le Loutre's Micmacs they
went to their homes, refusing to take part in the affair.
Then when the raiders withdrew, on the arrival of
reinforcements from Boston, the Acadians returned to
their work on the fort. During the same year, when Du
Vivier with a considerable French force appeared before
Annapolis, the Acadians aided him with provisions. But
when the French troops desired to winter at Chignecto,
the Acadians objected and persuaded them to leave, which
'made their conduct appear to have been on this occasion
far better than could have been expected from them.'
[Footnote: Nova Scotia Documents, p. 147.] Once more the
Acadians resumed their work on the fortifications and
supplied the garrison with provisions. They frankly
admitted giving assistance to the French, but produced
an order from the Sieur du Vivier threatening them with
punishment at the hands of the Indians if they refused.

In May of the following year (1745) a party of Canadians
and Indians, under the raider Marin, invested Annapolis.
Again the Acadians refused to take up arms and again
assisted the invaders with supplies. By the end of the
month, however, Marin and his raiders had vanished and
the garrison at Annapolis saw them no more. They had been
urgently summoned by the governor of Ile Royale to come
to his assistance, for Louisbourg was even then in dire
peril. An army of New Englanders under Pepperrell,
supported by a squadron of the British Navy under Warren,
had in fact laid siege to the fortress in the same month.
[Footnote: See The Great Fortress in this Series, chap.
ii.] But Marin's raiders could render no effective service.
On the forty-ninth day of the siege Louisbourg surrendered
to the English, [Footnote: June 17, Old Style, June 28,
New Style, 1745. The English at this time still used the
Old Style Julian calendar, while the French used the
Gregorian, New Style. Hence some of the disagreement in
respect to dates which we find in the various accounts
of this period.] and shortly afterwards the entire French
population, civil and military, among them many Acadians,
were transported to France.

The fall of Louisbourg and the removal of the inhabitants
alarmed the French authorities, who now entertained fears
for the safety of Canada and determined to take steps
for the recapture of the lost stronghold, and with it
the whole of Acadia, in the following year. Accordingly,
a formidable fleet, under the command of the Duc d'Anville,
sailed from La Rochelle in June 1746; while the governor
of Quebec sent a strong detachment of fighting Canadians
under Ramesay to assist in the intended siege. But disaster
after disaster overtook the fleet. A violent tempest
scattered the ships in mid-ocean and an epidemic carried
off hundreds of seamen and soldiers. In the autumn the
commander, with a remnant of his ships, arrived in Chebucto
Bay (Halifax), where he himself died. The battered ships
finally put back to France, and nothing came of the
enterprise. [Footnote: See The Great Fortress, chap.
iii.] Meanwhile, rumours having reached Quebec of a
projected invasion of Canada by New England troops, the
governor Beauharnois had recalled Ramesay's Canadians
for the defence of Quebec; but on hearing that the French
ships had arrived in Chebucto Bay, and expecting them to
attack Annapolis, Ramesay marched his forces into the
heart of Acadia in order to be on hand to support the
fleet. Then, when the failure of the fleet became apparent,
he retired to Beaubassin at the head of Chignecto Bay,
and proceeded to fortify the neck of the peninsula,
building a fort at Baie Verte on the eastern shore. He
was joined by a considerable band of Malecites and Micmacs
under the Abbe Le Loutre; and emissaries were sent out
among the Acadians as far as Minas to persuade them to
take up arms on the side of the French.

William Shirley, the governor of Massachusetts, who
exercised supervision over the affairs of Nova Scotia,
seeing in this a real menace to British power in the
colony, raised a thousand New Englanders and dispatched
them to Annapolis. Of these only four hundred and seventy,
under Colonel Arthur Noble of Massachusetts, arrived at
their destination. Most of the vessels carrying the others
were wrecked by storms; one was driven back by a French
warship. In December, however, Noble's New Englanders,
with a few soldiers from the Annapolis garrison, set out
to rid Acadia of the Canadians; and after much hardship
and toil finally reached the village of Grand Pre in the
district of Minas. Here the soldiers were quartered in
the houses of the Acadians for the winter, for Noble had
decided to postpone the movement against Ramesay's position
on the isthmus until spring. It would be impossible, he
thought, to make the march through the snow.

But the warlike Canadians whom Ramesay had posted in the
neck of land between Chignecto Bay and Baie Verte did
not think so. No sooner had they learned of Noble's
position at Grand Pre than they resolved to surprise him
by a forced march and an attack by night. Friendly Acadians
warned the British of the intended surprise; but the
over-confident Noble scouted the idea. The snow in many
places was 'twelve to sixteen feet deep,' and no party,
even of Canadians, thought Noble, could possibly make a
hundred miles of forest in such a winter. So it came to
pass that one midnight, early in February, Noble's men
in Grand Pre found themselves surrounded. After a plucky
fight in which sixty English were killed, among them
Colonel Noble, and seventy more wounded, Captain Benjamin
Goldthwaite, who had assumed the command, surrendered.
The enemies then, to all appearances, became the best of
friends. The victorious Canadians sat down to eat and
drink with the defeated New Englanders, who made, says
Beaujeu, one of the Canadian officers, 'many compliments
on our polite manners and our skill in making war.' The
English prisoners were allowed to return to Annapolis
with the honours of war, while their sick and wounded
were cared for by the victors. This generosity Mascarene
afterwards gratefully acknowledged.

When the Canadians returned to Chignecto with the report
of their victory over the British, Ramesay issued a
proclamation to the inhabitants of Grand Pre setting
forth that 'by virtue of conquest they now owed allegiance
to the King of France,' and warning them 'to hold no
communication with the inhabitants of Port Royal.' This
proclamation, however, had little effect. With few
exceptions the Acadians maintained their former attitude
and refused to bear arms, even on behalf of France and
in the presence of French troops. 'There were,' says
Mascarene, 'in the last action some of those inhabitants,
but none of any account belonging to this province...
The generality of the inhabitants of this province possess
still the same fidelity they have done before, in which
I endeavour to encourage them.'

Quite naturally, however, there was some unrest among
the Acadians. After the capture of Louisbourg in 1745
the British had transported all the inhabitants of that
place to France; and rumours were afloat of an expedition
for the conquest of Canada and that the Acadians were to
share a similar fate. This being made known to the British
ministry, the Duke of Newcastle wrote to Governor Shirley
of Massachusetts, instructing him to issue a proclamation
assuring the Acadians 'that there is not the least
foundation for any apprehension of that nature: but that
on the contrary it is His Majesty's resolution to protect
and maintain all such of them as shall continue in their
duty and allegiance to His Majesty in the quiet and
peaceable possession of their habitations and settlements
and that they shall continue to enjoy the free exercise
of their religion.' [Footnote: Newcastle to Shirley, May
30, 1747.--Canadian Archives Report, 1905, Appendix C,
vol. ii, p. 47.]

Shirley proceeded to give effect to this order. He issued
a proclamation informing the inhabitants of the intention
of the king towards them; omitting, however, that clause
relating to their religion, a clause all-important to
them. The document was printed at Boston in French, and
sent to Mascarene to be distributed. Mascarene thought
at the time that it produced a good effect. Shirley's
instructions were clear; but in explanation of his omission
he represented that such a promise might cause
inconvenience, as it was desirable to wean the Acadians
from their attachment to the French and the influence of
the bishop of Quebec. He contended, moreover, that the
Treaty of Utrecht did not guarantee the free exercise of
religion. In view of this explanation, [Footnote: Bedford
to Shirley, May 10, 1748.] Shirley's action was approved
by the king.

In Shirley's proclamation several persons were indicted
for high treason, [Footnote: Canadian Archives Report,
1906, Appendix C, vol. ii, p. 48.] and a reward of 50
pounds was offered for the capture of any one offender
named. These, apparently, were the only pronounced rebels
in the province. There were more sputterings in Acadia
of the relentless war that raged between New France and
New England. Shirley had sent another detachment of troops
in April to reoccupy Grand Pre; and the governor of Quebec
had sent another war-party. But in the next year (1748)
the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle, by which Ile Royale (Cape
Breton) and Ile St Jean (Prince Edward Island) were
restored to France, brought hostilities to a pause.



In Nova Scotia England was weak from the fact that no
settlements of her own people had been established there.
After thirty years of British rule Mascarene had written,
'There is no number of English inhabitants settled in
this province worth mentioning, except the five companies
here [at Annapolis] and four at Canso.' Now the restoration
to France of Cape Breton with the fortress of Louisbourg
exposed Nova Scotia to attack; and in time of war with
France the Acadians would be a source of weakness rather
than of strength. Great Britain, therefore, resolved to
try the experiment of forming in Nova Scotia a colony of
her own sons.

Thus it came to pass that a fleet of transports carrying
over twenty-five hundred colonists, counting women and
children, escorted by a sloop-of-war, cast anchor in
Chebucto Bay in July 1749. This expedition was commanded
by Edward Cornwallis, the newly appointed governor and
captain-general of Nova Scotia. He was a young officer
of thirty-six, twin-brother of the Rev. Frederick
Cornwallis, afterwards Archbishop of Canterbury, and
uncle of the more famous Lord Cornwallis who surrendered
at Yorktown thirty-two years later. With the colonists
came many officers and disbanded soldiers; came, also,
the soldiers of the garrison which had occupied Louisbourg
before the peace; for the new settlement, named Halifax
in honour of the president of the Lords of Trade, was to
be a military stronghold, as well as a naval base, and
the seat of government for the province.

While Cornwallis and his colonists laid the foundations
of Halifax, cleared the land, formed the streets, put up
their dwellings and defences, and organized their
government, the home authorities took up the problem of
securing more settlers for Nova Scotia. Cornwallis had
been instructed to prepare for settlements at Minas, La
Heve, Whitehead, and Baie Verte, the intention being that
the newcomers should eventually absorb the Acadians living
at these places. It had been suggested to the Lords of
Trade, probably by John Dick, a merchant of Rotterdam,
that the most effective means to this end would be to
introduce a large French Protestant element into Nova
Scotia. The government thereupon gave instructions that
the land should be surveyed and plans prepared dividing
the territory into alternate Protestant and Catholic
sections. Through intercourse and intermarriage with
neighbours speaking their own tongue, it was fondly hoped
that the Acadians, in course of time, would become loyal
British subjects. The next step was to secure French
Protestant emigrants. In December 1749 the Lords of Trade
entered into a contract with John Dick to transport 'not
more than fifteen hundred foreign Protestants to Nova
Scotia.' [Footnote: Public Archives, Canada. Nova Scotia
A, vol. xxxv, p. 189.] Dick was a man of energy and
resource and, in business methods, somewhat in advance
of his age. He appears to have understood the value of
advertising, judging from the handbills which he circulated
in France and from his advertisements in the newspapers.
But as time passed emigrants in anything like the numbers
expected were not forthcoming. Evil reports concerning
Nova Scotia had been circulated in France, and other
difficulties arose. After many delays, however, two
hundred and eighty persons recruited by Dick arrived at
Halifax. The character of some gave rise to complaint,
and Dick was cautioned by the government. His troubles
in France crept on apace. It began to be rumoured that
the emigrants were being enrolled in the Halifax militia;
and, France being no longer a profitable field, Dick
transferred his activities to Germany. Alluring handbills
in the German tongue were circulated, and in the end a
considerable number of Teutons arrived at Halifax. Most
of these were afterwards settled at Lunenburg. The
enterprise, of course, failed of its object to neutralize
and eventually assimilate the Acadian Catholic population;
nevertheless several thousand excellent 'foreign Protestant'
settlers reached Nova Scotia through various channels.
They were given land in different parts of the province
and in time became good citizens.

Cornwallis's instructions from the British ministry
contained many clauses relating to the Acadians. Though
they had given assistance to the enemy, they should be
permitted to remain in the possession of their property.
They must, however, take the oath of allegiance 'within
three months from the date of the declaration' which the
governor was to make. Liberty of conscience should be
permitted to all. In the event of any of the inhabitants
wishing to leave the province, the governor should remind
them that the time allowed under the Treaty of Utrecht
for the removal of their property had long since expired.
The governor should take particular care that 'they do
no damage, before such their removal, to their respective
homes and plantations.' Determined efforts should be
made, not only to Anglicize, but to Protestantize the
people. Marriages between the Acadians and the English
were to be encouraged. Trade with the French settlements
was prohibited. No episcopal jurisdiction might be
exercised in the province, a mandate intended to shut
out the bishop of Quebec. Every facility was to be given
for the education of Acadian children in Protestant
schools. Those who embraced Protestantism were to be
confirmed in their lands, free from quit-rent for a period
of ten years. [Footnote: Canadian Archives Report, 1905,
Appendix C, vol. ii, p. 50.]

Armed with these instructions, Cornwallis adopted at
first a strong policy. On July 14, 1749, he issued a
proclamation containing 'the declaration of His Majesty
regarding the French inhabitants of Nova Scotia,' and
calling on the Acadians to take the oath of allegiance
within three months. At a meeting of the Council held
the same day, at which representatives of the Acadians
were present, the document was discussed. The deputies
listened with some concern to the declaration, and inquired
whether permission would be given them to sell their
lands if they decided to leave the country. The governor
replied that under the Treaty of Utrecht they had enjoyed
this privilege for one year only, and that they could
not now 'be allowed to sell or carry off anything.' The
deputies asked for time to consult the inhabitants. This
was granted, with a warning that those who 'should not
take the oath of allegiance before the 15th of October
should forfeit all their possessions and rights in the
Province.' Deputies from nine districts appeared before
the Council on July 31 and spoke for the Acadians. The
Council deliberated and decided that no priest should
officiate without a licence from the governor; that no
exemption from bearing arms in time of war could be made;
that the oath must be taken as offered; and that all who
wished to continue in the possession of their lands must
appear and take the oath before October 15, which would
be the last day allowed them. [Footnote: Public Archives,
Canada. Nova Scotia B, vol. iv, p. 14.]

A month later they presented to Cornwallis a petition
signed by one thousand inhabitants to the effect that
they had faithfully served King George, and were prepared
to renew the oath which was tendered to them by Governor
Philipps; that two years before His Majesty had promised
to maintain them in the peaceable enjoyment of their
possessions: 'And we believe, Your Excellency, that if
His Majesty had been informed of our conduct towards His
Majesty's Government, he would not propose to us an oath
which, if taken, would at any moment expose our lives to
great peril from the savage nations, who have reproached
us in a strange manner as to the oath we have taken to
His Majesty... But if Your Excellency is not disposed to
grant us what we take the liberty of asking, we are
resolved, every one of us, to leave the country.' In
reply Cornwallis reminded them that, as British subjects,
they were in the enjoyment of their religion and in
possession of their property. 'You tell me that General
Philipps granted you the reservation which you demand;
and I tell you gentlemen, that the general who granted
you such reservation did not do his duty... You have been
for more than thirty-four years past the subjects of the
King of Great Britain... Show now that you are grateful.'
[Footnote: Public Archives, Canada. Nova Scotia B, vol.
iv, p. 49.]

The Acadians, however, showed still a decided aversion
to an unqualified oath; and Cornwallis apparently thought
it best to recede somewhat from the high stand he had
taken. He wrote to the home government explaining that
he hesitated to carry out the terms of his proclamation
of July 14 by confiscating the property of those who did
not take the oath, on the ground that the Acadians would
not emigrate at that season of the year, and that in the
meantime he could employ them to advantage. If they
continued to prove obstinate, he would seek new instructions
to force things to a conclusion. [Footnote: Public
Archives, Canada. Nova Scotia A, vol. xxxv, p. 48.] The
Acadians, used by this time to the lenity of the British
government, were probably not surprised to find, at the
meeting of the Council held on October 11, no mention of
the oath which had to be taken before the 15th of the month.

The winter passed, and still Cornwallis took no steps to
enforce his proclamation. He had his troubles; for the
French, from Quebec on the one side and from Louisbourg
on the other, were fomenting strife; and the Indians were
on the war-path. And, in February 1750, the Lords of
Trade wrote that as the French were forming new settlements
with a view to enticing the Acadians into them, any
forcible means of ejecting them should be waived for the
present. Cornwallis replied that he was anxious to leave
matters in abeyance until he ascertained what could be
done in the way of fortifying Chignecto. 'If a fort is
once built there,' he explained, 'they [the Indians] will
be driven out of the peninsula or submit. He also wished
to know what reinforcements he might expect in the spring.
Until then he would 'defer making the inhabitants take
the oath of allegiance.'

Meanwhile the Acadians were not idle on their own behalf.
In October 1749 they addressed a memorial to Des Herbiers,
the governor of Ile Royale, to be transmitted to the
French king. They complained that the new governor intended
to suppress their missionaries, [Footnote: Cornwallis
had denied the jurisdiction of the bishop of Quebec, but
had intimated that he would grant a licence to any good
priest, his objection being to missionaries such as Le
Loutre, who stirred up the Indians to commit hostilities.]
and to force them to bear arms against the Indians, with
whom they had always been on friendly terms. They therefore
prayed the king to obtain concessions from Great Britain--
the maintenance of the Quebec missionaries, the exemption
from bearing arms, or an extension of a year in which
they might withdraw with their effects. [Footnote:
Canadian Archives Report, 1905, Appendix N, vol. ii, p.
298.] Two months later they sent a petition to the Marquis
de la Jonquiere, the governor of Canada, actuated, they
said, by the love of their country and their religion.
They had refused to take the oath requiring them to bear
arms against their fellow-countrymen. They had, it is
true, appeared attached to the interests of the English,
in consequence of the oath which they had consented to
take only when exempted from bearing arms. Now that this
exemption was removed, they wished to leave Nova Scotia,
and hoped that the king would help them with vessels, as
they had been refused permission to build them. Great
offers had been made to them, but they preferred to leave.
[Footnote: Ibid., p. 301.]

In the spring of 1750, unable to obtain permission from
Cornwallis to take a restricted oath, the Acadians almost
unanimously decided to emigrate. On April 19 deputies
from several settlements in the district of Minas--the
river Canard, Grand Pre, and Pisiquid--appeared before
the Council at Halifax and asked to be allowed to leave
the province with their effects. [Footnote: Public
Archives, Canada. Nova Scotia B, vol. iv, p. 130.]
According to Cornwallis, they professed that this decision
was taken against their inclination, and that the French
had threatened them with destruction at the hands of the
Indians if they remained. [Footnote: Public Archives,
Canada. Nova Scotia A, vol. xxxvii, p. 7.] On May 25 the
inhabitants of Annapolis Royal came with a like petition.

In reply to these petitions Cornwallis reminded the
inhabitants that the province was the country of their
fathers, and that they should enjoy the product of their
labours. As soon as there should be tranquillity he would
give them permission to depart, if they wished to do so;
but in the present circumstances passports could not be
granted to any one. They could not be permitted to
strengthen the hand of Great Britain's enemy.

But in spite of the prohibition, of the forts that were
built to enforce it, and of British cruisers patrolling
the coasts to prevent intercourse with the French, there
was a considerable emigration. A number of families
crossed to Ile St Jean in the summer of 1750. They were
aided by the missionaries, and supplied with vessels and
arms by the French authorities at Louisbourg. By August
1750 we know that eight hundred Acadians were settled in
Ile St Jean.



By the terms of the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle the question
of the limits of Acadia had been referred to a commission
of arbitration, and each of the powers had agreed to
attempt no settlement on the debatable ground until such
time as the decision of the commissioners should be made
known. Each, however, continued to watch jealously over
its own interests. The English persisted in their claim
that the ancient boundaries included all the country
north of the Bay of Fundy to the St Lawrence, and Cornwallis
was directed to see to it that no subjects of the French
king settled within these boundaries. The French, on the
other hand, steadily asserted their ownership in all land
north of a line drawn from Baie Verte to Chignecto Bay.
The disputants, though openly at peace, glowered at each
other. Hardly had Cornwallis brought his colonists ashore
at Halifax, when La Galissoniere, the acting-governor of
Canada, sent Boishebert, with a detachment of twenty men,
to the river St John, to assert the French claim to that
district; and when La Galissoniere went to France as a
commissioner in the boundary dispute, his successor, La
Jonquiere, dispatched a force under the Chevalier de la
Corne to occupy the isthmus of Chignecto.

About the same time the Indians went on the war-path,
apparently at the instigation of the French. Des Herbiers,
the governor of Ile Royale, when dispatching the Abbe Le
Loutre to the savages with the usual presents, had added
blankets and a supply of powder and ball, clearly intended
to aid them should they be disposed to attack the English
settlements. Indians from the river St John joined the
Micmacs and opened hostilities by seizing an English
vessel at Canso and taking twenty prisoners. The prisoners
were liberated by Des Herbiers; but the Micmacs, their
blood up, assembled at Chignecto, near La Corne's post,
and declared war on the English. The Council at Halifax
promptly raised several companies for defence, and offered
a reward of 10 pounds for the capture of an Indian, dead
or alive. Cornwallis complained bitterly to Louisbourg
that Le Loutre was stirring up trouble; but Des Herbiers
disingenuously disclaimed all responsibility for the
abbe. The Indians, he said, were merely allies, not French
subjects, and Le Loutre acted under the direction of the
governor of Canada. He promised also that if any Frenchman
molested the English, he should be punished, a promise
which, as subsequent events showed, he had no intention
of keeping.

In November 1749 a party of one hundred and fifty Indians
captured a company of engineers at Grand Pre, where the
English had just built a fort. Le Loutre, however, ransomed
the prisoners and sent them to Louisbourg. The Indians,
emboldened by their success, then issued a proclamation
in the name of the king of France and their Indian allies
calling upon the Acadians to arm, under pain of death
for disobedience. On learning that eleven Acadians obeyed
this summons, Cornwallis sent Captain Goreham of the
Rangers to arrest them. The rebels, however, made good
their escape, thanks to the Indians; and Goreham could
only make prisoners of some of their children, whom he
brought before the governor. The children declared that
their parents had not been free agents, and produced in
evidence one of the threatening orders of the Indians.
In any case, of course, the children were in no way
responsible, and were therefore sent home; and the governor
described Goreham as 'no officer at all.'

When spring came Cornwallis took steps to stop the
incursions of the savages and at the same time to check
the emigration of the Acadians. He sent detachments to
build and occupy fortified posts at Grand Pre, at Pisiquid,
and at other places. He ordered Major Lawrence to sail
up the Bay of Fundy with four hundred settlers for
Beaubassin, the Acadian village at the head of Chignecto
Bay. For the time being, however, this undertaking did
not prosper. On arriving, Lawrence encountered a band of
Micmacs, which Le Loutre had posted at the dikes to resist
the disembarkation. Some fighting ensued before Lawrence
succeeded in leading ashore a body of troops. The motive
of the turbulent abbe was to preserve the Acadians from
the contaminating presence of heretics and enemies of
his master, the French king. And, when he saw that he
could not prevent the English from making a lodgment in
the village, he went forward with his Micmacs and set it
on fire, thus forcing the Acadian inhabitants to cross
to the French camp at Beausejour, some two miles off.
Here La Corne had set up his standard to mark the boundary
of New France, beyond which he dared the British to
advance at their peril. At a conference which was arranged
between Lawrence and La Corne, La Corne said that the
governor of Canada, La Jonquiere, had directed him to
take possession of the country to the north, 'or at least
he was to keep it and must defend it till the boundaries
between the two Crowns should be settled.' [Footnote:
Canadian Archives Report, 1906, Appendix N, vol. ii, p.
321.] Moreover, if Lawrence should try to effect a
settlement, La Corne would oppose it to the last. And as
Lawrence's forces were quite inadequate to cope with La
Corne's, it only remained for Lawrence to return to
Halifax with his troops and settlers.

Meanwhile Boishebert stood guard for the governor of
Quebec at the mouth of the river St John. In the previous
year, when he had arrived there, Cornwallis had sent an
officer to protest against what he considered an
encroachment; but Boishebert had answered simply that he
was commissioned to hold the place for his royal master
without attempting a settlement until the boundary dispute
should be adjusted. Now, in July 1750, Captain Cobb of
the York, cruising in the Bay of Fundy, sighted a French
sloop near the mouth of the St John, and opened fire.
The French captain immediately lowered his boats and
landed a party of sailors, apparently with the intention
of coming to a conference. Cobb followed his example.
Presently Boishebert came forward under a flag of truce
and demanded Cobb's authority for the act of war in
territory claimed by the French. Cobb produced his
commission and handed it to Boishebert. Keeping the
document in his possession, Boishebert ordered Cobb to
bring his vessel under the stern of the French sloop,
and sent French officers to board Cobb's ship and see
the order carried out. The sailors on the York, however,
held the Frenchmen as hostages for the safe return of
their captain. After some parleying Cobb was allowed to
return to his vessel, and the Frenchmen were released.
Boishebert, however, refused to return the captain's
commission. Cobb thereupon boarded the French sloop,
seized five of the crew, and sailed away.

So the game went on. A month later the British sloop
Trial, at Baie Verte, captured a French sloop of seventy
tons which was engaged in carrying arms and supplies to
Le Loutre's Indians. On board were four deserters from
the British and a number of Acadians. Among the papers
found on the Acadians were letters addressed to their
friends in Quebec and others from Le Loutre and officers
of Fort St John and of Port La Joie in Ile St Jean. From
one of these letters we obtain a glimpse of the conditions
of the Acadians:

  I shall tell you that I was settled in Acadia. I have
  four small children. I lived contented on my land. But
  that did not last long, for we were compelled to leave
  all our property and flee from under the domination of
  the English. The King undertakes to transport us and
  support us under the expectation of news from France.
  If Acadia is not restored to France I hope to take my
  little family and bring it to Canada. I beg you to let
  me know the state of things in that country. I assure
  you that we are in poor condition, for we are like the
  Indians in the woods.
  [Footnote: A. Doucet to Mde Langedo of Quebec,
  August 5, 1750.]

By other documents taken it was shown that supplies from
Quebec were frequently passing to the Indians, and that
the dispatches addressed to Cornwallis were intercepted
and forwarded to the governor of Quebec. [Footnote:
Cornwallis to Bedford, August 19, 1750.]

These papers revealed to Cornwallis the peril which
menaced him. But, having been reinforced by the arrival
from Newfoundland of three hundred men of Lascelles's
regiment, he resolved to occupy Chignecto, which Lawrence
had been forced to abandon in April. Accordingly Lawrence
again set out, this time with about seven hundred men.
In mid-September his ships appeared off the burnt village
of Beaubassin. Again the landing was opposed by a band
of Indians and about thirty Acadians entrenched on the
shore. These, after some fighting and losses, were beaten
off; and the English troops landed and proceeded to
construct a fort, named by them Fort Lawrence, and to
erect barracks for the winter. La Corne, from his fort
at Beausejour, where he had his troops and a body of
Acadians, addressed a note to Lawrence, proposing a
meeting in a boat in the middle of the river. Lawrence
replied that he had no business with La Corne, and that
La Corne could come to him if he had anything to
communicate. Acts of violence followed. It was not long
before a scouting party under the command of Captain
Bartelot was surrounded by a band of Indians and Acadians.
[Footnote: La Valliere, one of the French officers on
the spot, says that the Indians and Acadians were encouraged
by Le Loutre during this attack.--Journal of the Sieur
de la Valliere.] Forty-five of the party were killed,
and Bartelot and eight men were taken prisoners. A few
weeks later there was an act of treachery which greatly
embittered the British soldiers. This was the murder of
Captain Howe, one of the British officers, by some of Le
Loutre's Micmacs. It was stated that Le Loutre was
personally implicated in the crime, but there appears
not the slightest foundation for this charge. One morning
in October Howe saw an Indian carrying a flag of truce
on the opposite side of the Missaguash river, which lay
between Fort Lawrence and Fort Beausejour. Howe, who had
often held converse with the savages, went forward to
meet the Indian, and the two soon became engaged in
conversation. Suddenly the Indian lowered his flag, a
body of savages concealed behind a dike opened fire, and
Howe fell, mortally wounded. In the work of bringing the
dying officer into the fort ten of his company also fell.

Meanwhile an event occurred which seemed likely to promote
more cordial relations between the French and the English.
Early in October Des Herbiers returned to Halifax thirty-
seven prisoners, including six women, who had been captured
by the Indians but ransomed and sent to Louisbourg by
the Abbe Le Loutre. It is difficult to reconcile the
conduct of the meddlesome missionary on this occasion
with what we know of his character. He was possessed of
an inveterate hatred of the English and all their works;
yet he was capable of an act of humanity towards them.
After all, it may be that generosity was not foreign to
the nature of this fanatical French patriot. Cornwallis
was grateful, and cheerfully refunded the amount of the
ransom. [Footnote: Des Herbiers to Cornwallis, October
2, 1750.--Public Archives, Canada. Nova Scotia A, vol.
xxxix, p. 13.]

But the harmony existing between Des Herbiers and Cornwallis
was of short duration. In the same month the British
sloop Albany, commanded by Captain Rous, fell on the
French brigantine St Francois, Captain Vergor, on the
southern coast. Vergor, who was carrying stores and
ammunition to Louisbourg, ran up his colours, but after
a fight of three hours he was forced by Rous to surrender.
The captive ship was taken to Halifax and there condemned
as a prize, the cargo being considered contraband of war.
La Jonquiere addressed a peremptory letter to Cornwallis,
demanding whether he was acting under orders in seizing
a French vessel in French territory. He likewise instructed
Des Herbiers to seize ships of the enemy; and as a result
four prizes were sold by the Admiralty Court at Louisbourg.

Open hostilities soon became the order of the day. During
the winter a party of Canadians and Indians and Acadians
disguised as Indians assembled near Fort Lawrence. They
succeeded in killing two men, and continued to fire on
the British position for two days. But, as the garrison
remained within the shelter of the walls, the attackers
grew weary of wasting ammunition and withdrew to harry
the settlement at Halifax. According to the French
accounts, these savages killed thirty persons on the
outskirts of Halifax in the spring of 1751, and Cornwallis
reported that four inhabitants and six soldiers had been
taken prisoners. Then in June three hundred British troops
from Fort Lawrence invaded the French territory to attempt
a surprise. They were discovered, however, and St Ours,
who had succeeded La Corne, brought out his forces and
drove them back to Fort Lawrence. A month later the
British made another attack and destroyed a dike, flooding
the lands of the Acadians in its neighbourhood.

And during all this time England and France were
theoretically at peace. Their commissioners sat in Paris,
La Galissoniere on one side, Shirley on the other, piling
up mountains of argument as to the 'ancient boundaries'
of Acadia. All to no purpose; for neither nation could
afford to recede from its position. It was a question
for the last argument of kings. Meanwhile the officials
in the colonies anxiously waited for the decision; and
the poor Acadians, torn between the hostile camps, and
many of them now homeless, waited too.



The years 1752 and 1753 were, on the whole, years of
peace and quiet. This was largely due to changes in the
administration on both sides. At the end of 1751 the
Count de Raymond had replaced Des Herbiers as governor
of Ile Royale; in 1752 Duquesne succeeded La Jonquiere
at Quebec as governor of New France; and Peregrine Hopson
took the place of Cornwallis in the government of Nova
Scotia. Hopson adopted a policy of conciliation. When
the crew of a New England schooner in the summer of 1752
killed an Indian lad and two girls whom they had enticed
on board, Hopson promptly offered a reward for the capture
of the culprits. He treated the Indians with such consistent
kindness that he was able in the month of September to
form an alliance with the Micmacs on the coast. He
established friendly relations also with Duquesne and
Raymond, and arranged with them a cartel of exchange
regarding deserters.

Towards the Acadians Hopson seemed most sympathetic. From
the experience of Cornwallis he knew, of course, their
aversion to the oath of allegiance. In writing to the
Lords of Trade for instructions he pointed out the
obstinacy of the people on this question, but made it
clear how necessary their presence was to the welfare of
the province. Meanwhile he did his best to conciliate
them. When complaints were made that Captain Hamilton,
a British officer, had carried off some of their cattle,
Hamilton was reprimanded and the cattle were paid for.
Instructions were then issued to all officers to treat
the Acadians as British subjects, and to take nothing
from them by force. Should the people refuse to comply
with any just demand, the officer must report it to the
governor and await his orders. When the Acadians provided
wood for the garrison, certificates must be issued which
should entitle them to payment.

The political horizon at the opening of the year 1753
seemed bright to Hopson. But in the spring a most painful
occurrence threatened for a time to involve him in an
Indian war. Two men, Connor and Grace, while cruising
off the coast, had landed at Ile Dore, and with the
assistance of their ruffianly crew had plundered an Indian
storehouse. They were overtaken by a storm, their schooner
became a total wreck, and Connor and Grace alone survived.
They were rescued by the Indians, who cared for them and
gave them shelter. But the miserable cowards seized a
favourable moment to murder and scalp their benefactors.
Well satisfied with their brutal act, they proceeded to
Halifax with the ghastly trophies, and boldly demanded
payment for the scalps of two men, three women, and two
children. Their story seemed so improbable that the
Council ordered them to give security to appear in the
court at the next general session. [Footnote: Hopson to
Lords of Trade, April 30, 1753, p. 30. Deposition of
Connor and Grace, April 16, 1753, p. 30 et seq.--Public
Archives, Canada. Nova Scotia A, vol. liii.] The prospect
of a permanent peace with the Indians vanished. They
demanded that the Council should send a schooner to Ile
Dore to protect their shores. The Council did send a
vessel. But no sooner had it arrived than the Indians
seized and massacred the whole crew save one man, who
claimed to be of French origin and was later ransomed by
the French.

In September the inhabitants of Grand Pre, Canso, and
Pisiquid presented a petition to the Council at Halifax,
praying that their missionaries be excused from taking
the ordinary oath. The Acadians were entitled to the free
exercise of their religion, and the bishop of Quebec
would not send priests if they were required to become
British subjects. The Council deliberated. Fearing to
give the Acadians a pretext for leaving the country on
the plea that they had been deprived of the services of
their priests, the Council decided to grant the petition,
providing, however, that the priests should obtain a
licence from the governor.

The Lords of Trade approved Hopson's policy, which appeared
to be bearing good fruit. Later in the autumn came another
delegation of Acadians who had formerly resided at Pisiquid
but had migrated to French territory, asking to be allowed
to return to their old homes. They had left on account
of the severe oath proposed by Cornwallis, but were now
willing to come back and take a restricted oath. For fear
of the Indians, they could not swear to bear arms in aid
of the English in time of war. They wished also to be
able to move from the province whenever they desired,
and to take their effects with them. Evidently they had
not found Utopia under the French flag. The Council gave
them the permission they desired, promised them the free
exercise of their religion, a sufficient number of priests
for their needs, and all the privileges conferred by the
Treaty of Utrecht.

On the whole, the situation in the autumn of 1753 was
most promising. The Acadians, said Hopson, behaved
'tolerably well,' though they still feared the Indians
should they attach themselves to the English. Of the
French on the frontier there was nothing to complain;
and an era of peace seemed assured. But before the end
of the year another page in the history of Nova Scotia
had been turned. Raymond, the governor of Ile Royale,
gave place to D'Ailleboust. Hopson was compelled to return
to England on leave of absence through failing eyesight,
and Charles Lawrence reigned in his stead.



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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