Expulsion of the Acadians

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Expulsion of the Acadians
Part of French and Indian War
A View of the Plundering and Burning of the City of Grymross, by Thomas Davies, 1758.JPG
St. John River Campaign: "A View of the Plundering and Burning of the City of Grimross" (1758)
Watercolor by Thomas Davies
DateAugust 10, 1755 – July 11, 1764
Canada's Maritimes

Union flag 1606 (Kings Colors).svg  Great Britain

Royal Standard of the King of France.svg  France

Wabanaki Confederacy

Commanders and leaders
Units involved

The Expulsion of the Acadians, also known as the Great Upheaval, the Great Expulsion, the Great Deportation and Le Grand Dérangement, was the forced removal by the British of the Acadian people from the present day Canadian Maritime provinces of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island — parts of an area also known as Acadia . [lower-alpha 2] The Expulsion (1755–1764) occurred during the French and Indian War (the North American theatre of the Seven Years' War) [lower-alpha 3] and was part of the British military campaign against New France. The British first deported Acadians to the Thirteen Colonies, and after 1758, transported additional Acadians to Britain and France. In all, of the 14,100 Acadians in the region, approximately 11,500 Acadians were deported. [5] [lower-alpha 4] A census of 1764 indicates that 2,600 Acadians remained in the colony, presumably having eluded capture. [7]

British Empire States and dominions ruled by the United Kingdom

The British Empire comprised the dominions, colonies, protectorates, mandates and other territories ruled or administered by the United Kingdom and its predecessor states. It originated with the overseas possessions and trading posts established by England between the late 16th and early 18th centuries. At its height, it was the largest empire in history and, for over a century, was the foremost global power. By 1913, the British Empire held sway over 412 million people, 23% of the world population at the time, and by 1920, it covered 35,500,000 km2 (13,700,000 sq mi), 24% of the Earth's total land area. As a result, its political, legal, linguistic and cultural legacy is widespread. At the peak of its power, the phrase "the empire on which the sun never sets" was often used to describe the British Empire, because its expanse around the globe meant that the sun was always shining on at least one of its territories.

Nova Scotia Province of Canada

Nova Scotia is one of Canada's three Maritime Provinces, and one of the four provinces that form Atlantic Canada. Its provincial capital is Halifax. Nova Scotia is the second-smallest of Canada's ten provinces, with an area of 55,284 square kilometres (21,300 sq mi), including Cape Breton and another 3,800 coastal islands. As of 2016, the population was 923,598. Nova Scotia is Canada's second-most-densely populated province, after Prince Edward Island, with 17.4 inhabitants per square kilometre (45/sq mi).

New Brunswick province in Canada

New Brunswick is one of four Atlantic provinces on the east coast of Canada. According to the Constitution of Canada, New Brunswick is the only bilingual province. About two thirds of the population declare themselves anglophones and a third francophones. One third of the population describes themselves as bilingual. Atypically for Canada, only about half of the population lives in urban areas, mostly in Greater Moncton, Greater Saint John and the capital Fredericton.


During the War of the Spanish Succession, the British captured Port Royal, the capital of the colony, in a siege. The 1713 Treaty of Utrecht, which concluded the conflict, ceded the colony to Great Britain while allowing the Acadians to keep their lands. Over the next forty-five years, however, the Acadians refused to sign an unconditional oath of allegiance to Britain. During the same period, some also participated in various military operations against the British, and maintained supply lines to the French fortresses of Louisbourg and Fort Beauséjour. [8] As a result, the British sought to eliminate any future military threat posed by the Acadians and to permanently cut the supply lines they provided to Louisbourg by removing them from the area. [9]

War of the Spanish Succession major European conflict (1700–1714) after the death of Charles II

The War of the Spanish Succession (1701–1714) was a European conflict of the early 18th century, triggered by the death of the childless Charles II of Spain in November 1700. His closest heirs were members of the Austrian Habsburg and French Bourbon families; acquisition of an undivided Spanish Empire by either threatened the European balance of power.

Siege of Port Royal (1710) military siege by British regular and provincial forces against a French Acadian garrison and the Wabanaki Confederacy at the Acadian capital, Port Royal

The Siege of Port Royal, also known as the Conquest of Acadia, was a military siege conducted by British regular and provincial forces under the command of Francis Nicholson against a French Acadian garrison and the Wabanaki Confederacy under the command of Daniel d'Auger de Subercase, at the Acadian capital, Port Royal. The successful British siege marked the beginning of permanent British control over the peninsular portion of Acadia, which they renamed Nova Scotia, and it was the first time the British took and held a French colonial possession. After the French surrender, the British occupied the fort in the capital with all the pomp and ceremony of having captured one of the great fortresses of Europe, and renamed it Annapolis Royal.

Louisbourg Unincorporated town in Nova Scotia, Canada

Louisbourg is an unincorporated community and former town in Cape Breton Regional Municipality, Nova Scotia.

Without making distinctions between the Acadians who had been neutral and those who had resisted the occupation of Acadia, the British governor Charles Lawrence and the Nova Scotia Council ordered them to be expelled. [lower-alpha 5] In the first wave of the expulsion, Acadians were deported to other British North American colonies. During the second wave, they were deported to Britain and France, and from there a significant number migrated to Spanish Louisiana, where 'Acadians' eventually became 'Cajuns'. Acadians fled initially to Francophone colonies such as Canada, the uncolonized northern part of Acadia, Île Saint-Jean (present-day Prince Edward Island) and Île Royale (present-day Cape Breton Island). During the second wave of the expulsion, these Acadians were either imprisoned or deported.

Charles Lawrence (British Army officer) British Army officer

Brigadier-General Charles Lawrence was a British military officer who, as lieutenant governor and subsequently governor of Nova Scotia, is perhaps best known for overseeing the Expulsion of the Acadians and settling the New England Planters in Nova Scotia. He was born in Plymouth, England and died in Halifax, Nova Scotia. According to historian Elizabeth Griffiths, Lawrence was seen as a "competent", "efficient" officer with a "service record that had earned him fairly rapid promotion, a person of considerable administrative talent who was trusted by both Cornwallis and Hopson." He is buried in the crypt of St. Paul's Church (Halifax).

Nova Scotia Council former upper house and executive of Nova Scotia Legislature

The Nova Scotia Council (1720–1758) was the British administrative and judicial body in Nova Scotia. The Nova Scotia Council was also known as the Council of Nova Scotia, the Annapolis Council and the Halifax Council. After 1749, the Nova Scotia Council was limited to administrative powers and the judicial courts are set separately.

Louisiana (New Spain) Administrative district of the Viceroyalty of New Spain

Louisiana was the name of an administrative district of the Viceroyalty of New Spain from 1763 to 1801 that consisted of territory west of the Mississippi River basin, plus New Orleans. Spain acquired the territory from France, which had named it La Louisiane in honor of King Louis XIV in 1682. It is sometimes known as Spanish Louisiana. The district was retroceded to France, under the terms of the Third Treaty of San Ildefonso (1800) and the Treaty of Aranjuez (1801). In 1802, King Charles IV of Spain published a royal bill on 14 October, effecting the transfer and outlining the conditions.

Along with the British achieving their military goals of defeating Louisbourg and weakening the Mi'kmaq and Acadian militias, the result of the Expulsion was the devastation of both a primarily civilian population and the economy of the region. Thousands of Acadians died in the expulsions, mainly from diseases and drowning when ships were lost. On July 11, 1764, the British government passed an order-in-council to permit Acadians to legally return to British territories, provided that they take an unqualified oath of allegiance. The American poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow memorialized the historic event in his poem about the plight of the fictional character Evangeline , which was popular and made the expulsion well known.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow American poet

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was an American poet and educator whose works include "Paul Revere's Ride", The Song of Hiawatha, and Evangeline. He was also the first American to translate Dante Alighieri's Divine Comedy and was one of the Fireside Poets from New England.

<i>Evangeline</i> poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Evangeline, A Tale of Acadie is an epic poem by the American poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, written in English and published in 1847. The poem follows an Acadian girl named Evangeline and her search for her lost love Gabriel, set during the time of the Expulsion of the Acadians.

Historical context

Acadians at Annapolis Royal by Samuel Scott, 1751, earliest known image of Acadians; only pre-deportation image of Acadians Acadians 2, inset of painting by Samuel Scott of Annapolis Royal, 1751.jpg
Acadians at Annapolis Royal by Samuel Scott, 1751, earliest known image of Acadians; only pre-deportation image of Acadians

After the British gained control of Acadia in 1713, the Acadians refused to sign an unconditional oath of loyalty to become British subjects. Instead, they negotiated a conditional oath that promised neutrality. Some Acadians remained neutral and refused the unconditional oath. The difficulty was partly religious, as the British monarch was the head of the Protestant Church of England and the Acadians were Roman Catholic. They also worried that signing the oath might commit male Acadians to fight against France during wartime, and that it would be perceived by their Mi'kmaq neighbours as an acknowledgement of the British claim to Acadia, putting Acadian villages at risk of attack from Mi'kmaq. [11]

Church of England Anglican state church of England

The Church of England is the established church of England. The Archbishop of Canterbury is the most senior cleric, although the monarch is the supreme governor. The Church of England is also the mother church of the international Anglican Communion. It traces its history to the Christian church recorded as existing in the Roman province of Britain by the third century, and to the 6th-century Gregorian mission to Kent led by Augustine of Canterbury.

Other Acadians refused to sign an unconditional oath because they were anti-British. Various historians have observed that some Acadians were labelled "neutral" when they were not. [12] By the time of the Expulsion of the Acadians, there was already a long history of political and military resistance by Acadians and the Wabanaki Confederacy to the British occupation of Acadia. [13] The Mi'kmaq and the Acadians were allies through their Catholicism and numerous inter-marriages. [14] While the Acadians were the largest population, the Wabanaki Confederacy, particularly the Mi'kmaq, held the military strength in Acadia even after the British conquest. [15] They resisted the British occupation and were joined on numerous occasions by Acadians. These efforts were often supported and led by French priests in the region. [16] The Wabanaki Confederacy and Acadians fought against the British Empire in six wars, including the French and Indian Wars, Father Rale's War and Father Le Loutre's War, over a period of seventy-five years.

Wabanaki Confederacy Native American and First Nations confederacy

The Wabanaki Confederacy are a First Nations and Native American confederation of five principal nations: the Mi'kmaq, Maliseet, Passamaquoddy, Abenaki, and Penobscot.

The French and Indian Wars is a name used in the United States for a series of conflicts that occurred in America between 1688 and 1763, some of which indirectly were related to the European dynastic wars. The title French and Indian War in the singular is used in the United States specifically for the warfare of 1754–63. The French and Indian Wars were preceded by the Beaver Wars.

Father Le Loutres War colonial war between Britain and France

Father Le Loutre's War (1749–1755), also known as the Indian War, the Micmac War and the Anglo-Micmac War, took place between King George's War and the French and Indian War in Acadia and Nova Scotia. On one side of the conflict, the British and New England colonists were led by British Officer Charles Lawrence and New England Ranger John Gorham. On the other side, Father Jean-Louis Le Loutre led the Mi'kmaq and the Acadia militia in guerrilla warfare against settlers and British forces.

French and Indian War

Charles Lawrence GovernorOfNovaScotiaCharlesLawrence.jpg
Charles Lawrence

In 1753, French troops from Canada marched south and seized and fortified the Ohio Valley. Britain protested the invasion and claimed Ohio for itself. On May 28, 1754, the war began with the Battle of Jumonville Glen. French Officer Ensign de Jumonville and a third of his escort were killed by a British patrol led by George Washington. In retaliation the French and the Indians defeated the British at Fort Necessity. Washington lost a third of his force and surrendered. Major General Edward Braddock's troops were defeated in the Battle of the Monongahela, and William Johnson's troops stopped the French advance at Lake George.[ citation needed ]

In Acadia, the primary British objective was to defeat the French fortifications at Beauséjour and Louisbourg and to prevent future attacks from the Wabanaki Confederacy, French and Acadians on the northern New England border. [17] (There was a long history of these attacks from Acadia – see the Northeast Coast Campaigns 1688, 1703, 1723, 1724, 1745, 1746, 1747.) The British saw the Acadians' allegiance to the French and the Wabanaki Confederacy as a military threat. Father Le Loutre's War had created the conditions for total war; British civilians had not been spared and, as Governor Charles Lawrence and the Nova Scotia Council saw it, Acadian civilians had provided intelligence, sanctuary, and logistical support while others had fought against the British. [18] During Le Loutre's war, to protect the British settlers from attacks along the former border of New England and Acadia, the Kennebec River, the British built Fort Halifax (Winslow), Fort Shirley (Dresden, formerly Frankfurt) and Fort Western (Augusta).[ citation needed ]

After the British capture of Beauséjour, the plan to capture Louisbourg included cutting trade to the Fortress in order to weaken the Fortress and, in turn, weaken the French ability to supply the Mi'kmaq in their warfare against the British. According to historian Stephen Patterson, more than any other single factor – including the massive assault that eventually forced the surrender of Louisbourg – the supply problem brought an end to French power in the region. Lawrence realized he could reduce the military threat and weaken Fortress Louisbourg by deporting the Acadians, thus cutting off supplies to the fort. [19] During the expulsion, French Officer Charles Deschamps de Boishébert led the Mi'kmaq and the Acadians in a guerrilla war against the British. [20] According to Louisbourg account books, by late 1756 the French had regularly dispensed supplies to 700 natives. From 1756 to the fall of Louisbourg in 1758, the French made regular payments to Chief Jean-Baptiste Cope and other natives for British scalps. [21]

British deportation campaigns

The British deportation campaigns began in August 1755. Throughout the expulsion, Acadians and the Wabanaki Confederacy continued a guerrilla war against the British in response to British aggression which had been continuous since 1744 (see King George's War and Father Le Loutre's War). [8]

Bay of Fundy (1755)

The first wave of the expulsion began on August 10, 1755, with the Bay of Fundy Campaign during the French and Indian War. [22] The British ordered the expulsion of the Acadians after the Battle of Beausejour (1755). The campaign started at Chignecto and then quickly moved to Grand-Pré, Piziquid (Falmouth/Windsor, Nova Scotia) and finally Annapolis Royal. [8]

Deportation of the Acadians, Grand-Pre Deportation Grand-Pre.jpg
Deportation of the Acadians, Grand-Pré

On November 17, 1755, George Scott took 700 troops, attacked twenty houses at Memramcook, arrested the remaining Acadians and killed two hundred head of livestock to deprive the French of supplies. [23] Acadians tried to escape the expulsion by retreating to the St. John and Petitcodiac rivers, and the Miramichi in New Brunswick. The British cleared the Acadians from these areas in the later campaigns of Petitcodiac River, Saint John River, and the Gulf of St. Lawrence in 1758.

The Acadians and Mi'kmaq resisted in the Chignecto region and were victorious in the Battle of Petitcodiac (1755). [13] In the spring of 1756, a wood-gathering party from Fort Monckton (former Fort Gaspareaux) was ambushed and nine were scalped. [24] In April 1757, the same band of Acadian and Mi'kmaq partisans raided Fort Edward and Fort Cumberland near present-day Jolicure, New Brunswick, killing and scalping two men and taking two prisoners. [25] July 20, 1757, Mi'kmaq killed 23 and captured two of Gorham's rangers outside Fort Cumberland. [26] [27] In March 1758, forty Acadians and Mi'kmaq attacked a schooner at Fort Cumberland and killed its master and two sailors. [28] In the winter of 1759, the Mi'kmaq ambushed five British soldiers on patrol while they were crossing a bridge near Fort Cumberland. They were ritually scalped and their bodies mutilated as was common in frontier warfare. [29] During the night of April 4, 1759, a force of Acadians and French in canoes captured the transport. At dawn they attacked the ship Moncton and chased it for five hours down the Bay of Fundy. Although Moncton escaped, one of its crew was killed and two were wounded. [27]

Charles Deschamps de Boishebert et de Raffetot Marquis de Boishebert - Charles Deschamps de Boishebert et de Raffetot (1753) McCord Museum McGill.jpg
Charles Deschamps de Boishébert et de Raffetot

In September 1756, a group of 100 Acadians ambushed a party of thirteen soldiers who were working outside Fort Edward at Piziquid. Seven were taken prisoner and six escaped back to the fort. [30] In April 1757, a band of Acadian and Mi'kmaq partisans raided a warehouse near Fort Edward, killed thirteen British soldiers, took what provisions they could carry and set fire to the building. Days later, the same partisans raided Fort Cumberland. [25] By November 1756, French Officer Lotbinière wrote about the difficulty of recapturing Fort Beausejour: "The English have deprived us of a great advantage by removing the French families that were settled there on their different plantations; thus we would have to make new settlements." [31]

The Acadians and Mi'kmaq fought in the Annapolis region. They were victorious in the Battle of Bloody Creek (1757). [32] Acadians being deported from Annapolis Royal on the ship Pembroke rebelled against the British crew, took over the ship and sailed to land. In December 1757, while cutting firewood near Fort Anne, John Weatherspoon was captured by Natives—presumably Mi'kmaq— and was carried away to the mouth of the Miramichi River, from where he was sold or traded to the French, taken to Quebec and was held until late in 1759 and the Battle of the Plains of Abraham, when General Wolfe's forces prevailed. [33]

Raid on Lunenburg (1756) RaidOnLunenburgByDonaldMacKay1955.jpg
Raid on Lunenburg (1756)

Approximately 55 Acadians, who escaped the initial deportation at Annapolis Royal, are reported to have made their way to the Cape Sable region—which included south western Nova Scotia—from where they participated in numerous raids on Lunenburg, Nova Scotia. [34] The Acadians and Mi'kmaq raided the Lunenburg settlement nine times over a three-year period during the war. Boishebert ordered the first Raid on Lunenburg (1756). In 1757, the second raid on Lunenburg occurred, in which six people from the Brisson family were killed. [35] The following year, March 1758, there was a raid on the Lunenburg Peninsula at the Northwest Range (present-day Blockhouse, Nova Scotia) when five people from the Ochs and Roder families were killed. [36] By the end of May 1758, most of those on the Lunenburg Peninsula had abandoned their farms and retreated to the protection of the fortifications around the town of Lunenburg, losing the season for sowing their grain. [37]

For those who did not leave their farms, the number of raids intensified. During the summer of 1758, there were four raids on the Lunenburg Peninsula. On July 13, 1758, one person on the LaHave River at Dayspring was killed and another seriously wounded by a member of the Labrador family. [38] The next raid happened at Mahone Bay, Nova Scotia on August 24, 1758, when eight Mi'kmaq attacked the family homes of Lay and Brant. They killed three people in the raid, but were unsuccessful in taking their scalps, a common practice for payment from the French. [39] Two days later, two soldiers were killed in a raid on the blockhouse at LaHave, Nova Scotia. [39] On September 11, a child was killed in a raid on the Northwest Range. [40] Another raid happened on March 27, 1759, in which three members of the Oxner family were killed. [35] The last raid happened on April 20, 1759 at Lunenburg, when the Mi'kmaq killed four settlers who were members of the Trippeau and Crighton families. [41]

Cape Sable

Major Jedidiah Preble General Jedediah Preble, Siege of Boston, 1776.jpg
Major Jedidiah Preble

The Cape Sable campaign involved the British removing Acadians from present-day Shelburne County and Yarmouth County. In April 1756, Major Jedidiah Preble and his New England troops, on their return to Boston, raided a settlement near Port La Tour and captured 72 men, women and children. [42] [43] In the late summer of 1758, Major Henry Fletcher led the 35th regiment and a company of Gorham's Rangers to Cape Sable. He cordoned off the cape and sent his men through it. One hundred Acadians and Father Jean Baptistee de Gray surrendered, while about 130 Acadians and seven Mi'kmaq escaped. The Acadian prisoners were taken to Georges Island in Halifax Harbour. [44]

En route to the St. John River Campaign in September 1758, Monckton sent Major Roger Morris of the 35th Regiment, in command of two men-of-war and transport ships with 325 soldiers, to deport more Acadians. [45] On October 28, Monckton's troops sent the women and children to Georges Island. The men were kept behind and forced to work with troops to destroy their village. On October 31, they were also sent to Halifax. [46] [40] In the spring of 1759, Joseph Gorham and his rangers arrived to take prisoner the remaining 151 Acadians. They reached Georges Island with them on June 29. [43] [47] November 1759 saw the deportation to Britain of 151 Acadians from Cape Sable who had been prisoners on George's Island since June. [48] In July 1759 on Cape Sable, Captain Cobb arrived and was fired upon by 100 Acadians and Mi'kmaq. [49]

Île Saint-Jean and Île Royale

The second wave of the expulsion began with the French defeat at the Siege of Louisbourg (1758). Thousands of Acadians were deported from Île Saint-Jean (Prince Edward Island) and Île Royale (Cape Breton Island). The Île Saint-Jean Campaign resulted in the largest percentage of deaths of the deported Acadians. The sinking of the ships Violet (with about 280 persons aboard) and Duke William (with over 360 persons aboard) marked the highest numbers of fatalities during the expulsion. [50] By the time the second wave of the expulsion had begun, the British had discarded their policy of relocating the Acadians to the Thirteen Colonies, and had begun deporting them directly to France. [51] In 1758, hundreds of Île Royale Acadians fled to one of Boishebert's refugee camps south of Baie des Chaleurs. [44]

Petitcodiac River Campaign

The Petitcodiac River Campaign was a series of British military operations that occurred from June to November 1758 to deport the Acadians who either lived along the river or had taken refuge there from earlier deportations. Benoni Danks and Gorham's Rangers carried out the operation. [8] Contrary to Governor Lawrence's direction, New England Ranger Danks engaged in frontier warfare against the Acadians. On July 1, 1758, Danks began to pursue the Acadians on the Petiticodiac. They arrived at present day Moncton and Danks' Rangers ambushed about thirty Acadians who were led by Joseph Broussard (Beausoleil). The Acadians were driven into the river where three of them were killed and scalped, and the others were captured. Broussard was seriously wounded. [52] Danks reported that the scalps were Mi'kmaq and received payment for them. Thereafter, he went down in local lore as "one of the most reckless and brutal" of the Rangers. [44]

St. John River Campaign

Colonel Robert Monckton led a force of 1,150 British soldiers to destroy the Acadian settlements along the banks of the Saint John River until they reached the largest village of Sainte-Anne des Pays-Bas (Fredericton, New Brunswick) in February 1759. [53] [lower-alpha 6] Monckton was accompanied by New England Rangers led by Joseph Goreham, Captain Benoni Danks, Moses Hazen and George Scott. [53] The British started at the bottom of the river, raiding Kennebecais and Managoueche (City of St. John), where they built Fort Frederick. Then they moved up the river and raided Grimross (Gagetown, New Brunswick), Jemseg, and finally reached Sainte-Anne des Pays-Bas. [53]

Contrary to Governor Lawrence's direction, New England Ranger Lieutenant Hazen engaged in frontier warfare against the Acadians in what has become known as the "Ste Anne's Massacre". On February 18, 1759, Hazen and about fifteen men arrived at Sainte-Anne des Pays-Bas. The Rangers pillaged and burned the village of 147 buildings, two Mass-houses and various barns and stables. The Rangers burned a large store-house, containing a large quantity of hay, wheat, peas, oats and other foodstuffs, and killed 212 horses, about five head of cattle and a large number of hogs. They also burned the church located just west of Old Government House, Fredericton. [54] The leader of the Acadian militia on the St. John river, Joseph Godin-Bellefontaine, refused to swear an oath despite the Rangers torturing and killing his daughter and three of his grandchildren in front of him. The Rangers also took six prisoners. [55] [lower-alpha 7]

Gulf of St. Lawrence Campaign

A view of Miramichi, a French settlement in the Gulf of St. Laurence, destroyed by Brigadier Murray detached by General Wolfe for that purpose, from the Bay of Gaspe, (1758) Burnt Church, c. 1768.jpg
A view of Miramichi, a French settlement in the Gulf of St. Laurence, destroyed by Brigadier Murray detached by General Wolfe for that purpose, from the Bay of Gaspe, (1758)
Raid on Miramichi Bay - Burnt Church Village by Captain Hervey Smythe (1758) A View of Miramichi, 1760, oil painting by Francis Swaine after a view by Captain Hervey Smyth. Credit National Gallery of CanadaNo 4976.jpg
Raid on Miramichi BayBurnt Church Village by Captain Hervey Smythe (1758)

In the Gulf of St. Lawrence Campaign, also known as the Gaspee Expedition, British forces raided French villages along present-day New Brunswick and the Gaspé Peninsula coast of the Gulf of Saint Lawrence. Sir Charles Hardy and Brigadier-General James Wolfe commanded the naval and military forces, respectively. After the Siege of Louisbourg (1758), Wolfe and Hardy led a force of 1500 troops in nine vessels to Gaspé Bay, arriving there on September 5. From there they dispatched troops to Miramichi Bay on September 12, Grande-Rivière, Quebec and Pabos on September 13, and Mont-Louis, Quebec on September 14. Over the following weeks, Hardy took four sloops or schooners, destroyed about 200 fishing vessels, and took about 200 prisoners. [56] </ref>


The Acadians took refuge along the Baie des Chaleurs and the Restigouche River. [57] Boishébert had a refugee camp at Petit-Rochelle, which was probably located near present-day Pointe-à-la-Croix, Quebec. [58] The year after the Battle of Restigouche, in late 1761, Captain Roderick Mackenzie and his force captured over 330 Acadians at Boishebert's camp. [59]


Monument to Imprisoned Acadians on Georges Island (background), Bishops Landing, Halifax Acadian memorial Halifax.JPG
Monument to Imprisoned Acadians on Georges Island (background), Bishops Landing, Halifax

After the French conquered St. John's, Newfoundland in June 14 1762, the success galvanized both the Acadians and the natives, who gathered in large numbers at various points throughout the province and behaved in a confident and, according to the British, "insolent fashion". Officials were especially alarmed when natives gathered close to the two principal towns in the province, Halifax and Lunenburg, where there were also large groups of Acadians. The government organized an expulsion of 1,300 people and shipped them to Boston. The government of Massachusetts refused the Acadians permission to land and sent them back to Halifax. [60]

Mi'kmaq and Acadian resistance was evident in the Halifax region. On April 2, 1756, Mi'kmaq received payment from the Governor of Quebec for twelve British scalps taken at Halifax. [61] Acadian Pierre Gautier, son of Joseph-Nicolas Gautier, led Mi'kmaq warriors from Louisbourg on three raids against Halifax Peninsula in 1757. In each raid, Gautier took prisoners, scalps or both. Their last raid happened in September and Gautier went with four Mi'kmaq, and killed and scalped two British men at the foot of Citadel Hill. Pierre went on to participate in the Battle of Restigouche. [62]

Arriving on the provincial vessel King George, four companies of Rogers Rangers (500 rangers) were at Dartmouth April 8 until May 28 awaiting the Siege of Louisbourg (1758). While there they scoured the woods to stop raids on Dartmouth. [63]

In July 1759, Mi'kmaq and Acadians killed five British in Dartmouth, opposite McNabb's Island. [49] By June 1757, the settlers had to be completely withdrawn from Lawrencetown (established 1754) because the number of Indian raids prevented settlers from leaving their houses. [64] In nearby Dartmouth, in the spring of 1759, another Mi'kmaq attack was launched on Fort Clarence, located at the present day Dartmouth Refinery, in which five soldiers were killed. [65] Before the deportation, the Acadian population was estimated at 14,000. Most were deported, [66] but some Acadians escaped to Quebec, or hid among the Mi'kmaq or in the countryside, to avoid deportation until the situation settled down. [67]


A map of the British and French settlements in North America in 1755. The province of Nova Scotia had expanded to encompass all of Acadie, or present-day New Brunswick. A map of the British and French settlements in North America (4071880581).jpg
A map of the British and French settlements in North America in 1755. The province of Nova Scotia had expanded to encompass all of Acadie, or present-day New Brunswick.

In present-day Maine, the Mi'kmaq and the Maliseet raided numerous New England villages. At the end of April 1755, they raided Gorham, killing two men and a family. Next they appeared in New Boston (Gray) and went through the neighbouring towns destroying the plantations. On May 13, they raided Frankfort (Dresden), where two men were killed and a house burned. The same day they raided Sheepscot (Newcastle) and took five prisoners. Two people were killed in North Yarmouth on May 29 and one taken captive. The natives shot one person at Teconnet, took prisoners at Fort Halifax and two prisoners at Fort Shirley (Dresden). They also captured two workers at the fort at New Gloucester. During this period, the Maliseet and Mi'kmaq were the only tribes of the Wabanaki Confederacy who were able to fight. [68]

On August 13, 1758, Boishebert left Miramichi, New Brunswick with 400 soldiers, including Acadians whom he led from Port Toulouse. They marched to Fort St. George (Thomaston) and unsuccessfully laid siege to the town, and raided Munduncook (Friendship) where they wounded eight British settlers and killed others. This was Boishébert's last Acadian expedition; from there he and the Acadians went to Quebec and fought in the Battle of Quebec (1759). [69]

Deportation destinations

Destinations for deported Acadians [5]
Colony# of Exiles
Massachusetts 2,000
Virginia 1,100
Maryland 1,000
Connecticut 700
Pennsylvania 500
North Carolina 500
South Carolina 500
Georgia 400
New York 250
TOTAL11, 316 [lower-alpha 8]

In the first wave of the expulsion, most Acadian exiles were assigned to rural communities in Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland and South Carolina. In general, they refused to stay where they were put and large numbers migrated to the colonial port cities where they gathered in isolated, impoverished French-speaking Catholic neighbourhoods, the sort of communities Britain's colonial officials tried to discourage. More worryingly for the British authorities, some Acadians threatened to migrate north to French-controlled regions, including the Saint John River, Île Royale (Cape Breton Island), the coasts of the Gulf of St. Lawrence and Canada. [70] Because the British believed their policy of sending the Acadians to the Thirteen Colonies had failed, they deported the Acadians to France during the second wave of the Expulsion.


Approximately 1,000 Acadians went to the Colony of Maryland, where they lived in a section of Baltimore that became known as French Town. [71] The Irish Catholics were reported to have shown charity to the Acadians by taking orphaned children into their homes. [72]


Approximately 2,000 Acadians disembarked at the Colony of Massachusetts. There were several families deported to the Province of Maine, a large, but sparsely populated exclave of the colony of Massachusetts. [73] For four long winter months, William Shirley, who had ordered their deportation, had not allowed them to disembark and as a result, half died of cold and starvation aboard the ships. Children were taken away from their parents and were distributed to various families throughout Massachusetts. [74] The government also arranged the adoption of orphaned children and provided subsidies for housing and food for a year. [75]


The Colony of Connecticut prepared for the arrival of 700 Acadians. [76] Like Maryland, the Connecticut legislature declared that "[the Acadians] be made welcome, helped and settled under the most advantageous conditions, or if they have to be sent away, measures be taken for their transfer." [77]

Pennsylvania and Virginia

The Colony of Pennsylvania accommodated 500 Acadians. Because they arrived unexpectedly, the Acadians had to remain in port on their vessels for months. The Colony of Virginia refused to accept the Acadians on grounds that no notice was given of their arrival. [78] They were detained at Williamsburg,[ citation needed ] where hundreds died from disease and malnutrition. They were then sent to Britain where they were held as prisoners until the Treaty of Paris in 1763. [79]

Carolinas and Georgia

The Acadians who had offered the most resistance to the British—particularly those who had been at Chignecto—were reported to have been sent to the southernmost colonies (the Carolinas and the Colony of Georgia), [80] where about 1,400 Acadians settled and were "subsidized" and put to work on plantations. [81]

Under the leadership of Jacques Maurice Vigneau of Baie Verte, the majority of the Acadians in Georgia received a passport from the governor Reynolds. [82] Without such passports, travel between borders was not allowed. [83] As soon as the Acadians bearing passports from Georgia reached the Carolinas, the colonies granted passports to the Acadians in their territories. [82] Along with these papers, the Acadians were given two vessels. [84] After running aground numerous times in the ships, some Acadians returned to the Bay of Fundy. [81] Along the way, they were captured and imprisoned. [85] Only 900 managed to return to Acadia, less than half of those who had begun the voyage. [81] Others also tried to return home. The South Carolina Gazette reported that in February, about thirty Acadians fled the island to which they were confined and escaped their pursuers. [86] Alexandre Broussard, brother of the famed resistance leader Joseph Broussard, dit Beausoleil, was among them. [87] About a dozen are recorded to have returned to Acadia after an overland journey of 1,400 leagues (4,200 miles (6,800 km)). [88]

France and Britain

Memorial des Acadiens de Nantes Acadiens Nantes.JPG
Mémorial des Acadiens de Nantes

After the Siege of Louisbourg (1758), the British began to deport the Acadians directly to France rather than to the British colonies. Some Acadians deported to France never reached their destination. Almost 1,000 died when the transport ships Duke William, [89] Violet, and Ruby sank in 1758 en route from Île Saint-Jean (Prince Edward Island) to France. About 3,000 Acadian refugees eventually gathered in France's port cities and went to Nantes.[ citation needed ] Many Acadians who were sent to Britain were housed in crowded warehouses and subject to plagues due to the close conditions, while others were allowed to join communities and live normal lives. [90] In France, 78 Acadian families were repatriated to Belle-Île-en-Mer off the western coast of Brittany after the Treaty of Paris. [91] The most serious resettlement attempt was made by Louis XV, who offered 2 acres (8,100 m2) of land in the Poitou province to 626 Acadian families each, where they lived close together in a region they called La Grande Ligne ("The Great Road", also known as "the King's Highway"). About 1,500 Acadians accepted the offer, but the land turned out to be infertile, and by the end of 1775, most of them abandoned the province. [92]

Fate of the Acadians


Thomas Jefferys (1710-71) was a royal geographer to King George III and a London publisher of maps. He is well known for his maps of North America, produced to meet commercial demand, but also to support British territorial claims against the French. This map presents Nova Scotia and Cape Breton Island in the wake of the "great upheaval". A New Map of Nova Scotia, and Cape Breton Island- With the Adjacent Parts of New England and Canada, Composed from a Great Number of Actual Surveys; and Other Materials Regulated by Many New WDL24.png
Thomas Jefferys (1710–71) was a royal geographer to King George III and a London publisher of maps. He is well known for his maps of North America, produced to meet commercial demand, but also to support British territorial claims against the French. This map presents Nova Scotia and Cape Breton Island in the wake of the "great upheaval".

Acadians left France, under the influence of Henri Peyroux de la Coudreniere, to settle in Louisiana, which was then a colony of Spain. [93] The British did not deport Acadians to Louisiana. [94]

Louisiana was transferred to the Spanish government in 1762. [95] Because of the good relations between France and Spain, and their common Catholic religion, some Acadians chose to take oaths of allegiance to the Spanish government. [96] Soon the Acadians comprised the largest ethnic group in Louisiana. [97] They settled first in areas along the Mississippi River, then later in the Atchafalaya Basin, and in the prairie lands to the west—a region later renamed Acadiana.

Some were sent to colonize places as diverse as French Guiana and the Falkland Islands under the direction of Louis Antoine de Bougainville; these latter efforts were unsuccessful. Others migrated to places like Saint-Domingue, and fled to New Orleans after the Haitian Revolution. The Louisiana population contributed to the founding of the modern Cajun population. (The French word "Acadien" evolved to "Cadien", then was anglicized as "Cajun".) [98]

Nova Scotia

On July 11, 1764, the British government passed an order-in-council to permit Acadians to legally return to British territories, provided that they take an unqualified oath of allegiance. Some Acadians returned to Nova Scotia (which included present-day New Brunswick). Under the deportation orders, Acadian land tenure had been forfeited to the British crown and the returning Acadians no longer owned land. Beginning in 1760 much of their former land was distributed under grant to the New England Planters. The lack of available farmland compelled many Acadians to seek out a new livelihood as fishermen on the west coast of Nova Scotia, known as the French Shore. [99] The British authorities scattered other Acadians in small groups along the shores of the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Saint Lawrence. It was not until the 1930s, with the advent of the Acadian co-operative movements, that the Acadians became less economically disadvantaged. [100]

Historical comparisons

According to historian John Mack Faragher, the religious and ethnic dimensions of the Expulsion of Acadians are in addition to, and deeply connected to, the military exigencies cited as causes for the Removals. There is significant evidence in the correspondence of military and civil leaders for Anti-Catholicism. Faragher writes, "The first session of the Nova Scotia Assembly ... passed a series of laws intended to institutionalize Acadian dispossession" including an act titled "An Act for the Quieting of Possessions to Protestant Grantees of land formerly occupied by the French." In it and two subsequent acts, the Church of England was made the official religion. These acts granted certain political rights to Protestants while the new laws excluded Catholics from public office and voting and forbade Catholics from owning land in the province. It also empowered British authorities to seize all "popish" property (Church lands) for the crown and barred Catholic clergy from entering or residing in the province, as they wanted no repeat of Le Loutre and his type of war. In addition to other anti-Catholic measures, Faragher concludes "These laws—passed by a popular assembly, not enacted by military fiat—laid the foundation for the migration of Protestant settlers." [101]

In the 1740s William Shirley hoped to assimilate Acadians into the Protestant fold. He did so by trying to encourage (or force) Acadian women to marry English Protestants and statutes were passed which required the offspring of such unions to be sent to English schools and raised as "English Protestants" (quote from a letter by Shirley). This was linked to larger anxieties in the realm over the loyalty of Catholics in general—as Charles Stuart's Jacobite Rebellion was a Catholic-led rebellion as was Le Loutre's rebellion in Nova Scotia. Shirley, who in part was responsible for the Removals, according to historian Geoffery Plank, "recommended using military force to expel the most 'obnoxious' Acadians and replace them with Protestant immigrants. In time the Protestants would come to dominate their new communities." Shirley wanted "peaceable [loyal] subjects" and specifically, in his own words, "good Protestant ones." [102]

Faragher compared the expulsions to contemporary acts of ethnic cleansing. In contrast, numerous leading historians have objected to this characterization of the expulsion. Historian John Grenier asserts that Faragher overstates the religious motivation for the expulsion and obscures the fact that the British accommodated Acadians by providing Catholic priests for forty years prior to the Expulsion. Grenier writes that Faragher "overstates his case; his focus on the grand dérangement as an early example of ethnic cleansing carries too much present-day emotional weight and in turn overshadows much of the accommodation that Acadians and Anglo-Americans reached." [103] As well, the British were clearly not concerned that the Acadians were French, given the fact that they were recruiting French foreign protestants to settle in the region. Further, the New Englanders of Boston were not banishing Acadians from the Atlantic region; instead, they were actually deporting them to live in the heart of New England: Boston and elsewhere in the British colonies.

While there was clear animosity between Catholics and Protestants during this time period, many historians point to the overwhelming evidence which suggests that the motivation for the expulsion was military. The British wanted to cut off supply lines to the Mi'kmaq, Louisbourg and Quebec. They also wanted to end any military threat which the Acadians posed (See Military history of the Acadians). A.J.B. Johnston wrote that the evidence for the removal of the Acadians indicates that the decision makers thought the Acadians were a military threat, therefore the deportation of 1755 does not qualify as an act of ethnic cleansing. Geoffery Plank argues that the British continued the expulsion after 1758 for military reasons: present-day New Brunswick remained contested territory and the New Englanders wanted to make sure that British negotiators would be unlikely to return the region to the French as they had done after King George's War. [104]

Other historians have observed that it was not uncommon for empires to move their subjects and populations during this time period. For Naomi E. S. Griffiths and A.J.B. Johnston, the event is comparable to other deportations in history, and it should not be considered an act of ethnic cleansing. [103] In From Migrant to Acadian, Griffiths writes that "the Acadian deportation, as a government action, was a pattern with other contemporary happenings." [105] The Expulsion of the Acadians has been compared to similar military operations during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. The French carried out expulsions in Newfoundland in 1697 when they occupied the British portion of Newfoundland during Pierre d'Iberville's Avalon Peninsula Campaign, burning every British settlement and exiling over 500 inhabitants. [106] A.J.B. Johnston notes that in 1767, French authorities forcibly removed nearly 800 Acadian and French inhabitants from Saint-Pierre and Miquelon, transporting them against their will to France [107] and compares the expulsions to the fate of the United Empire Loyalists, who were expelled from the United States to present-day Canada after the American Revolution. [108] Another deportation was the Highland Clearances in Scotland between 1762 and 1886. [109] Another North American expulsion was the Indian Removal of the 1830s, in which the Cherokee and other Native Americans from the South-East United States were removed from their traditional homelands. [109]

Further, other historians have noted that civilian populations are often devastated during wartime. For example, there were five wars fought along the New England and Acadia border over the 70 years prior to the expulsion (See French and Indian Wars, Father Rale's War and Father Le Loutre's War). During these wars, the French and Wabanaki Confederacy conducted numerous military campaigns killing British civilians and taking them captive. (See the Northeast Coast Campaigns 1688, 1703, 1723, 1724, 1745, 1746, 1747, 1750.) [110]

Acadian historian Maurice Basque writes that the term "'genocide'... does not apply at all to the Grand Derangement. Acadie was not Armenia, and to compare Grand-Pré with Auschwitz and the killing fields of Cambodia is a complete and utter trivialization of the many genocidal horrors of contemporary history." [111] Concerning the use of 20th century terms such as "ethnic cleansing" and "genocide" to understand the past, historian John G. Reid states, "I'm not sure that it's the best way to understand 18th century realities... What happened in the 18th century is a process of imperial expansion that was ruthless at times, that cost lives…. But to my mind, you can't just transfer concepts between centuries." [112]


In 1847, American poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow published a long, narrative poem about the expulsion of the Acadians called Evangeline , depicting the plight of the fictional character Evangeline [113] The poem became popular and made the expulsion well known. The Evangeline Oak is a tourist attraction in Louisiana. The song "Acadian Driftwood", recorded in 1975 by The Band, portrays the Great Upheaval and the displacement of the Acadian people. [114] Antonine Maillet wrote a novel, called Pélagie-la-Charrette , about the aftermath of the Great Upheaval. It was awarded the Prix Goncourt in 1979. Grand-Pré Park is a National Historic Site of Canada situated in Grand-Pré, Nova Scotia, and preserved as a living monument to the expulsion. It contains a memorial church and a statue of Evangeline, the subject of Longfellow's poem. The song "1755" was composed by American Cajun fiddler and singer Dewey Balfa and performed on his 1987 album Souvenirs, and later covered by Steve Riley and the Mamou Playboys on their 1994 live album. According to Acadian historian Maurice Basque, the story of Evangeline continues to influence historic accounts of the deportation, emphasising neutral Acadians and de-emphasising those who resisted the British Empire. [111] In 2018, Canadian historian and novelist A. J. B. Johnston published a YA novel entitled The Hat, inspired by what happened at Grand-Pré in 1755. [115]

In December 2003, Governor General Adrienne Clarkson, representing Queen Elizabeth II (Canada's head of state), acknowledged the expulsion but did not apologize for it. She designated July 28 as "A Day of Commemoration of the Great Upheaval." [116] This proclamation, officially the Royal Proclamation of 2003, closed one of the longest cases in the history of the British courts, initiated in 1760 when the Acadian representatives first presented their grievances of forced dispossession of land, property and livestock. December 13, the date on which the Duke William sank, is commemorated as Acadian Remembrance Day. [117] There is a museum dedicated to Acadian history and culture, with a detailed reconstruction of the Great Uprising, in Bonaventure, Quebec. [118]

See also


  1. He was a leader of the mutiny on the Pembroke. [1]
  2. The term "forced removal" is being used intentionally. For the academic discussions about referring to this event as "ethnic cleansing" or a "deportation" see the Historical Comparisons section.
  3. This conflict is also referred to as "Anglo French Rivalry of 1749–63" and War of British Conquest.
  4. Stephen White calculated the number of Acadians in 1755. [6]
  5. British officer John Winslow raised his concern that officials were not distinguishing between Acadians who rebelled against the British and those who did not. [10]
  6. Note that Faragher (2005), p. 405, indicates that Monckton had a force of 2000 men for this campaign.
  7. A letter from Fort Frederick which was printed in "Parker's New York Gazette or Weekly Post-Boy". April 2, 1759. provides additional details of the behaviour of the Rangers.
  8. Total exiles for Britain and France found in Leblanc, Robert A. (April 1979). "Les migrations acadiennes". Cahiers de géographie du Québec. 23 (58): 99–124. doi:10.7202/021425ar.

Related Research Articles

Joseph Broussard leader of the Acadian people in Acadia

Joseph Broussard (1702–1765), also known as Beausoleil, was a leader of the Acadian people in Acadia; later Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and New Brunswick. Broussard organized a Mi'kmaq and Acadian militias against the British through King George's War, Father Le Loutre's War and during the French and Indian War. After the loss of Acadia to the British, he eventually led the first group of Acadians to southern Louisiana in present-day United States. His name is sometimes presented as Joseph Gaurhept Broussard; this is likely the result of a transcription error. Broussard is widely regarded as a hero and an important historical figure by both Acadians and Cajuns.

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History of the Acadians

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The Siege of Annapolis Royal in 1744 involved two of four attempts by the French, along with their Acadian and native allies, to regain the capital of Nova Scotia/Acadia, Annapolis Royal, during King George's War. The Siege is noted for Governor of Nova Scotia Paul Mascarene successfully defending the last British outpost in the colony and for the first arrival of New England Ranger John Gorham to Nova Scotia. The French and Mi'kmaq land forces were thwarted on both attempts on the capital because of the failure of French naval support to arrive.

John Gorham was a New England Ranger and was the first significant British military presence on the frontier of Nova Scotia and Acadia to remain in the region for a substantial period after the Conquest of Acadia (1710). He established the famous "Gorham's Rangers". He also commissioned two armed vessels: the Anson and the Warren, who patrolled off Nova Scotia.

Battle at St. Croix

The Battle at St. Croix was fought during Father Le Loutre's War between New England Rangers and Mi'kmaq at Battle Hill in the community of St. Croix, Nova Scotia. The battle lasted for three days in the spring of 1750, March 20–23.

Raid on Dartmouth (1751)

The Raid on Dartmouth occurred during Father Le Loutre's War on May 13, 1751 when a Mi'kmaq and Acadia militia from Chignecto, under the command of Acadian Joseph Broussard, raided Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, destroying the town and killing twenty British villagers and wounding British regulars. The town was protected by a blockhouse on Blockhouse Hill with William Clapham's Rangers and British regulars from the 45th Regiment of Foot. This raid was one of seven the Natives and Acadians would conduct against the town during the war.

Petitcodiac River Campaign

The Petitcodiac River Campaign was a series of British military operations from June to November 1758, during the French and Indian War, to deport the Acadians that either lived along the Petitcodiac River or had taken refuge there from earlier deportation operations, such as the Ile Saint-Jean Campaign. Under the command of George Scott, William Stark's company of Rogers Rangers, Benoni Danks and Gorham's Rangers carried out the operation.

Siege of Grand Pré

The Siege of Grand-Pré happened during Father Le Loutre's War and was fought between the British and the Wabanaki Confederacy and Acadian militia. The siege happened at Fort Vieux Logis, Grand-Pré. The native and Acadia militia laid siege to Fort Vieux Logis for a week in November 1749. One historian states that the intent of the siege was to help facilitate the Acadian Exodus from the region.

Bay of Fundy Campaign

The Bay of Fundy Campaign occurred during the French and Indian War when the British ordered the Expulsion of the Acadians from Acadia after the Battle of Fort Beauséjour (1755). The Campaign started at Chignecto and then quickly moved to Grand-Pré, Rivière-aux-Canards, Pisiguit, Cobequid, and finally Annapolis Royal. Approximately 7,000 Acadians were deported to the New England colonies.

Acadian Exodus

The Acadian Exodus happened during Father Le Loutre's War (1749–1755) and involved almost half of the total Acadian population of Nova Scotia deciding to relocate to French controlled territories. The three primary destinations were: the west side of the Mesagoueche River in the Chignecto region, Isle Saint-Jean and Île-Royale. The leader of the Exodus was Father Jean-Louis Le Loutre, whom the British gave the code name "Moses". Le Loutre acted in conjunction with Governor of New France Roland-Michel Barrin de La Galissonière who encouraged the Acadian migration. A prominent Acadian who transported Acadians to Ile St. Jean and Ile Royal was Joseph-Nicolas Gautier. The overall upheaval of the early 1750s in Nova Scotia was unprecedented. Present-day Atlantic Canada witnessed more population movements, more fortification construction, and more troop allocations than ever before in the region. Along with Acadians, Mi'kmaq and Foreign Protestants joined in the Exodus from Nova Scotia. The greatest immigration of the Acadians between 1749 and 1755 took place in 1750. Primarily due to natural disasters and British raids, the Exodus proved to be unsustainable when Acadians tried to develop communities in the French territories.

Battle at Chignecto

The Battle at Chignecto happened during Father Le Loutre's War and was fought by 700 troops made up of British regulars led by Charles Lawrence, Horatio Gates, Rangers led by John Gorham and Captain John Rous led the navy. This battle was the first attempt by the New Englanders to occupy the head of the Bay of Fundy since the disastrous Battle of Grand Pré three years earlier. They fought against a militia made up of Mi'kmaq and Acadians led by Jean-Louis Le Loutre and Joseph Broussard (Beausoliel). The battle happened at Isthmus of Chignecto, Nova Scotia on 3 September 1750.

Military history of Nova Scotia Provincial military history

Nova Scotia is a Canadian province located in Canada's Maritimes. The region was initially occupied by Mi'kmaq. During the first 150 years of European settlement, the colony was primarily made up of Catholic Acadians, Maliseet and Mi'kmaq. During the latter seventy-five years of this time period, there were six colonial wars that took place in Nova Scotia. After agreeing to several peace treaties, this long period of warfare ended with the Burial of the Hatchet Ceremony between the British and the Mi'kmaq (1761) and two years later when the British defeated the French in North America (1763). During these wars, Acadians, Mi'kmaq and Maliseet from the region fought to protect the border of Acadia from New England. They fought the war on two fronts: the southern border of Acadia, which New France defined as the Kennebec River in southern Maine. The other front was in Nova Scotia and involved preventing New Englanders from taking the capital of Acadia, Port Royal, establishing themselves at Canso.

Fort Sackville (Nova Scotia)

Fort Sackville was a British fort located in present-day Bedford, Nova Scotia that was built during Father Le Loutre's War. The British built the fort adjacent to present-day Scott Manor House, on a hill overlooking the Sackville River to help prevent French, Acadian and Mi'kmaq attacks on Halifax. The fort consisted of a blockhouse, a guard house, a barracks which housed 50 soldiers, and outbuildings, all encompassed by a palisade. Not far from the fort was a rifle range. The fort was named after George Germain, 1st Viscount Sackville.

Military history of the Miꞌkmaq people

Miꞌkmaq militias were made up of Miꞌkmaq warriors (smáknisk) who worked independently as well as in coordination with the Wabanaki Confederacy, French and Acadian forces throughout the colonial period to defend their homeland Miꞌkmaꞌki against the English. The Miꞌkmaq militias deployed effective resistance for over 75 years before the Halifax Treaties were signed (1760–61). In the nineteenth century, the Miꞌkmaq "boasted" that, in their contest with the British, the Miꞌkmaq "killed more men than they lost". In 1753, Charles Morris stated that the Miꞌkmaq have the advantage of "no settlement or place of abode, but wandering from place to place in unknown and, therefore, inaccessible woods, is so great that it has hitherto rendered all attempts to surprise them ineffectual". Leadership on both sides of the conflict employed standard colonial warfare, which included scalping non-combatants. After some engagements against the British during the American Revolution, the militias were dormant throughout the nineteenth century, while the Miꞌkmaq people used diplomatic efforts to have the local authorities honour the treaties. After confederation, Miꞌkmaq warriors eventually joined Canada's war efforts in World War I and World War II. The most well-known colonial leaders of these militias were Chief (Sakamaw) Jean-Baptiste Cope and Chief Étienne Bâtard.

Military history of the Acadians

Acadian militias were units of Acadian part-time soldiers who fought in coordination with the Wabanaki Confederacy and French forces during the colonial period, to defend Acadia against encroachment by the English. Some other Acadians provided military intelligence, sanctuary, and logistical support to the resistance movement. The Acadian militias achieved effective resistance for more than 75 years and through six wars before their eventual demise. According to Acadian historian Maurice Basque, the story of Evangeline continues to influence historic accounts of the deportation, emphasising neutral Acadians and de-emphasising those who resisted the British. While Acadian militia was briefly active during the American Revolution, the militias were dormant throughout the nineteenth century. After confederation, Acadians eventually joined the Canadian War efforts in World War I and World War II. The most well-known colonial leaders of these militias were Joseph Broussard and Joseph-Nicolas Gautier.

Lunenburg Campaign (1758)

The Lunenburg Campaign was executed by the Mi'kmaq militia and Acadian militia against the Foreign Protestants who the British had settled on the Lunenburg Peninsula during the French and Indian War. The British deployed Joseph Gorham and his Rangers along with Captain Rudolf Faesch and regular troops of the 60th Regiment of Foot to defend Lunenburg. The Campaign was so successful, by November 1758, the members of the House of Assembly for Lunenburg stated "they received no benefit from His Majesty's Troops or Rangers" and required more protection.

Cape Sable Campaign

The Cape Sable Campaign occurred during the French and Indian War when Colonel Roger Morris led a force of 325 British soldiers, Captain Joseph Gorham led 60 rangers and Roger's Rangers to destroy the Acadian settlements in present-day Shelburne County and Yarmouth County, Nova Scotia, Canada, in the fall of 1758.


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General references