|GEORGIA - about 400 Acadians
Two vessels, escorted by the H.M.S. Syren (under
Capt. Charles Proby), left Beaubassin for Georgia. Gipson says that
the Syren arrived at Tybee Island (in the Savannah River) with 120 Acadians
... mostly children and women. He goes on to say that it led "3"
vessels ... a sloop with 124 Acadians, a brigantine with 137 Acadians,
and a ship with 210 Acadians. Gipson also adds that another sloop
arrived the next day with 127 Acadians who had come from Acadia via Boston.
The number of 400 Acadians above is by Brasseaux, but according to Gipson
the number would be closer to 600.
| When the Acadians arrived in Georgia, the
government basically ignored them. By March 1756, they had gotten permission from Gov. Reynolds to build boats and head for Nova Scotia. Ten boats carrying about 200 Acadians had reached Wappoo Creek by the end of the month, where ascout boat led them the few miles from Port Royal to Charlestown, SC [SC Gazette, April 1, 1756]. When
they got to North Carolina, the officials suggested that they settle down.
But some continued the journey. Seven ships (with 90 of the original 200)
reached Boston in July 1756, where they were arrested by the British. The
Acadians who stayed behind in Georgia lived in poverty. Some worked on
plantations, while some worked in the shipping industry; but they never
got above poverty level. Though most would have preferred to leave, they
couldn’t afford it.
When the war ended, the 1763 treaty offered an 18 month
period during which they could resettle to French territory. Most of the
Acadians left in Georgia at this time migrated seem to have gone to South Carolina and sailed for Saint Domingue. A list was made on Aug. 23, 1763 listing the Acadians in South Carolina, and a letter with the list noted they were from Savannah, GA. Of the 400 acadians that arrived there, 185 were left at that time.
An August 25, 1763, the Georgia Gazette had an article that noted the Acadians had boarded a sloop headed for Monte Cristi, St. Domingue. About 21 more Acadians left on Dec. 21 in the sloop Savannah Packet for New Orleans (via Mobile). We know they were in Mobile on Jan. 22, 1764 because the marriage of Jean POIRIER & Madeleine RICHARD was blessed on that day.
The last of these Acadians (44 of them) left the second week of January 1764 on the Polly and Deborah and sailed to Cap Francois, St. Domingue. Some of those seem to have joined other Acadians in going to Louisiana.
In Oak Grove Cemetery at St. Mary's (Camden County) in Georgia is a plaque inscribed "Tomb of Acadians - Acadians deported from Grand Pre, Nova Scotia first found refuge in St. Domingo. Later, insurrection of natives drove them to St. Marys. Evangeline's friend buried here."