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Exile Destination: New Brunswick
 
 
Before the exile, there were only a few Acadian settlements scattered around the New Brunswick area.  These included the St. John River (the oldest settlement), Memramcook, Miramichi, Petitcodiac, and on the northern coast of New Brunswick. 
Around 1755, many Acadians migrated to New Brunswick to escape the English. 
     One of the ships carrying exiled Acadians, bound for South Carolina, was overtaken by the Acadians and sailed north.  Thirty-two families made it to the St. John River.  When pressured by the English, they moved further inland.  By 1756, about 1000 Acadians were settled along the St. John River.  The French commander, Charles Boishebert, sent many of them to Quebec; but many remained and settled the area around present-day Frederickton. 
     In September 1758, the English raided New Brunswick and the smaller French forces retreated.  The following month, Monckton captured 100 Acadians and sent them to Halifax.  They were later transferred to Europe. 
     In November 1756, an English raid on the St. John River area destroyed the homes and farmland.  The Acadians escaped and fled to Quebec, though some of them later returned. 
 
     At the end of January 1759, the English raided the largest St. John River settlement (Ste Anne) and desroyed the homes.  Twenty-five Acadians were taken prisoner.  Those who refused to help burn the homes were killed, including women and children.  Some of the Acadians escaped further inland or to Quebec.  But not long after they arrived in Quebec, it too fell to the British.  So meny of them returned to the St. John River area
     In October 1759, there were still some hardy Acadian settlers along the St. John River ... many of whom remained until 1767.  In that year, England finally agreed to allow them to stay if they took the British oath of allegiance.  They did so, and even lived up to their word by helping the British side in the American Revolution.  But as soon as the war was over, Loyalists were allowed to come in and take the Acadians’ land. 
MADAWASKA by Robert Dafford
     These “French Squatters” as they were called, protested to the government.  The officials told them to move upriver to the Madawaska region.  If they settled that land for 3 years, they were told, they could obtain the title.  Now, a small group of Acadians had been in the Madawaska area since 1768.  In June of 1785, the St. John River Acadians moved to Madawaska.  More followed in 1786 and settled in nearby Verte River Valley. After 3 years, they found out that the deal had changed and the British wanted 5 years of service for the land.  This was just too much for some of the Acadians, and they left. 
    Another area that found itself inhabited by Acadians was the northern coast of New Brunswick.  Father Le Guerne led many of the 4000 Acadians who migrated to the Miramichi area.  Some of the women from Beaubassin who had their husbands deported were in this group.  Most of them had nothing but the clothes on their back. 
     Hundreds of Acadians died that first winter.  Before the next harsh winter, many migrated to Quebec ... though many also remained. 
     In 1758, the British were working on conquering Quebec.  As part of this campaign, they came in and destroyed the minimal settlement at Miramichi.  Similar problems would also occur in the Petit Codiac area.  Most of the Acadians in the Petit Codiac River Valley had been there before 1755.  When the British took Acadia, the Petit Codiac Acadians retained their weapons.  Before long, Joseph Broussard dit Beausoleil led a group of Acadians in conducting guerilla warfare raids 
into Nova Scotia, as it was now called.  They also manned a privateer in the Bay of Fundy. 
     When Louisbourg fell in 1758, the Petit Codiac Acadians surrendered also.  They were sent to Halifax, where they were kept until the end of the war in 1763.  Some were allowed to work on the dykes in work-release type programs.  Some would later move to St. Pierre & Miquelon. 
     In 1764, many of the Halifax Acadians, led by Joseph Broussard, set sail for Saint Domingue.  The Acadians who had gone there before had asked them to come to the island, and then they would all make their way up the Mississippi River and settle in Illinois.  But when the Halifax Acadians made it to Saint Domingue, they found the remaining Acadians in poor shape, without the funds to pay for transportation to Louisiana.  So the 231 Halifax Acadians took another ship to Louisiana, arriving in 
February of 1765. 
     There were still other areas of Acadian settlements in New Brunswick that relatively escaped the British raids.  These included Cocagne, Restigouche, the mouth of the Miramichi, Memramcook, Caraquet, Nepisiguit, and the Baie des Chaleurs area.  For example, Restigouche alone had about 1000 Acadians in 1760.  But in 1761, the British found and raided these areas.  They took 787 prisoners.  Some of these were allowed to remain due to illness or age.  Others stayed because the English didn’t have enough room on their ships.  Of the 787 prisoners, 335 were sent to Halifax.  The Acadians that 
escaped the raids fled to Baie des Chaleurs, Quebec, and Gaspe until things died down enough for them to return. 
     Finally, in 1764, the British said it was okay for them to stay in those settlements. At the beginning of the 19th century, almost 90% of the 3600+ Acadians in New Brunswick were in or near those early settlements. 
The 1755 Exile
The 1758 Exile
The "End" of the Exile
Exile Destinations
England | Quebec | New Brunswick | Prince Edward Island | Nova Scotia | France
St. Domingue | Martinique | French Guiana | Falkland Islands | St. Pierre & Miquelon | Louisiana
American Colonies
Connecticut | Georgia | Maryland | Massachusetts | New York | Pennsylvania | South Carolina
Copyright © 1997-09 Tim Hebert