The history of Acadians

1604 The land known as Acadia was first visited by a traveler Samuel de Champlain. The French settlers built a colony on Dochet Island (Île Sainte-Croix) in the Saint Croix River near New Brunswick in Canada.

1621    Many settlers began to arrive and expand in Acadia.

1750    Acadia population exceeded 10,000.

1755    British government demanded that the Acadian sign an unconditional oath of allegiance to the Crown. Those who would not were forced to leave causing what is known as the Great Deportation. The Acadians were thought to be a threat to England. 

            Records show Acadian deportation to the following lands:

            2,000   Massachusetts

            700      Connecticut

            300      New York

            500      Pennsylvania

            1,000   Maryland

            400      Georgia

            1,000   Carolinas

            1,200   Acadians were also deported to Virginia, but not taken off the ships for several months until they were sent to the England prisons.

1758    Hundreds of lives were lost at sea when the Duke William and the Violet went down, during the deportation of Acadians back to France.           

            Some Acadians escaped deportation settled in Malpèque, Prince Edward Island.  Some of these families are those who would later become the founders of the town Tignish. The families consisted of Arsenault, Bernard, Chiasson, DesRoches, Doucet, Gaudet, Poirier and Richard.          

1763    Approximately 10,000 Acadians, were deported to the New England Colonies, and to England where they would be imprisoned for years before being expatriated to France by the signing of the Treaty of Paris.   

1765    Nearly 500 Acadians were exiled to Santo Domingo

1766    About 600 sailed for the French West Indies, eventually finding their way to Louisiana. Another group of over 200 settled in Louisiana           

1774    The Spanish government finally came to the rescue with an offer of land in Louisiana.     

1785    Nearly 1600 Acadians left for the Spanish colony in Louisiana.       

1816    The migrations left the Acadians displaced around the Atlantic Rim, but their self identity remained strong. Today, the five main concentrations of Acadian descendants are found in the east coast of Canada’s maritime provinces, Quebec, Louisiana, New England, and France. (YVON L. CYR, 2000)   

Written by Ocean Hui & edited by Jeffrey Miles