In 1762, the officials of French Guianna and
the Antilles (and later, St. Pierre and Micquelon) were told to recruit
colonists. Though colonists were found for the Antilles, finding people
to settle Guiana proved much more troublesome. The Acadians feared the
harsh tropical climate. So the officials offered bigger incentives and
tried to find recruits in other countries. The results were better than
expected, with thousands of Germans volunteering for the trip.
Father Hebert's book, Acadians in Exile,
has church records of Acadians in the colony and a couple of censuses.
Starting in 1763, thousands of settlers began
arriving at the colony. Eventually, some Acadians submitted to the offer.
Suggestions (and incentives) were made for ships to bring Acadian exiles
(in the American colonies) to the colony. Hundreds of Acadians made their
way to the colony from France. There were even 100 Acadians who left Miquelon
in 1765 and sailed to Cayenne, Guiana. The arriving settlers found that
things were not running smoothly. Upon reaching the colony, many died of
disease while awaiting transportation to their settlements. There were
too many people arriving too fast. The colony wasn’t prepared to handle
the 9000 settlers that had arrived by 1765. In addition, the officials
in France were not supporting the colony financially.
Faced with the bleak prospects, thousands
of colonists returned to France. By the late 1780’s, there was only one
Acadian family in the colony. The 1794 census does not show a single Acadian