The Acadians began as a group of (primarily French) settlers in 17th century
Canada. Over the years, they have been subjected to numerous hardships
that usually result in the disappearance or assimilation of a culture.
The Acadians were able to retain large portions of their identity, even
after their homeland was taken and they were exiled. Although some were
later incorporated into other cultures and societies, their heritage is
still evident in the lives of their descendants.
This online presentation will begin with the origin of the Acadians. We will then look at the Acadians as they settled a new
land and created their own culture. The next major chapter in Acadian
history is the Grand Derangement ... when the Acadians
were stripped of their land and exiled. Following this tragic dispersion,
the Acadians found themselves in new lands.
Although scattered, there still remained large numbers of Acadians in two
places. Those who escaped (and returned) to Canada developed their own Acadian
culture (in Canada) in several areas. The other major group of Acadians
found themselves in Louisiana and became today's Cajuns.
Along the way, you will find several other aids, such as a History
Timeline, Maps, and Additional
Accounts of Old Acadie
... 1632 to 1755
• Acadian Settlements
History - Acadians in Louisiana
|Acadian History thru the years in books
Raynal wrote about Acadia in 1779 (A
Philosophical and Political History of the Settlements and Trade
of the Europeans in the East and West Indies). He was born
in 1713, but never visited the country. But the work does reflect
the ideas of France at that time. Thomas Chandler Haliburton wrote
a history of Nova Scotia 40 years after Raynal. He stated that Raynal’s
account wasn’t far from the truth. He lived in the area, and in fact
was a judge there. His book was published in 1829. Rameau
wrote La Franceaux Colonies in 1859 and Une Colonie
Feodale en Amerique in 1889. Beamish Murdoch wrote the History
of Nova Scotia in 1865. The volumes of Nova Scotia Archives were started in 1857
and completed in 1869, though the compilation by Akins may have omitted
a lot of material that held the Acadian point of view. Both the History
of Nova Scotia by Campbell and Histoire de l’Acadie by Moreau were completed in 1873. Hannay completed his History
of Acadia in 1879. Philip H. Smith wrote Acadia - A
Lost Chapter in American History in 1884. Casgrain wrote Pelerinage
au Pays d’Evangeline in 1888. Parkman’s work Montcalm
and Wolfe, which included information on Acadia, was done in 1884.
Murdoch really didn’t express his own opinion. Most (except for Parkman
and Hannay) held the same view as Haliburton. Richard's Acadia (written in 1895) tries to take the Acadian point of view. It focuses
most of its attention on the deportation and the events leading to it.
Bona Arsenault's History of the Acadians, done in the 1950s,
also tries to be fair to the Acadians' plight. Many other works,
such as the recent (1995) A Land of Discord Always by Charles
Mahaffie, try to explain the true story that was hidden for so long.