ACADIA or ARCADIA.
The name of the new land of Acadie comes from one of the first explorers of the Atlantic Coast,Giovanni de Verrazzano,a captain from Florence,who had been sent to the new world by Francois1,King of France in 1524. Although Giovannie de Verrazzano did not enter the Bay of Fundy,he gave the name Arcadia to a stretch of coastline with beautiful forests. Very quickly the word grew to indicate on maps first the southeastern shores of Nova Scotia (the only part he had seen) and finally the entire Nova Scotia peninsula. After 1548 the maps carried the name Acadia instead of Arcadia.
Why did the French originally come to Acadie? The most obvious reason was economic. In the 17th century ,people in predominantly Catholic countries such as France were forbidden to eat meat for more than 160 days a year,so demand for fish was high. The most obvious choice was cod .There were plenty found on the banks of Newfoundland and Nova Scotia, and in the gulf of St Lawrence. According to Champlain in 1618 it was possible to fish a million cod annually. The Parisians prefered salt cod,the Italians and Portuguese prefered dried cod. source: The Acadians by Henri-Dominique Paratte.
When the Acadians settled in Acadie, many of them relied on hunting for food.Wild game such as moose, deer, beavers,rabbits,bear,porcupine,raccoons, all kinds of birds,doves, ,pheasants,pigeons,ducks,partridge. Can you imagine how plentiful wild animals were? Although probably the native americans also hunted for their food, and possibly they must have given the Acadians some ideas of how to hunt and trap. The Native Americans had survived our cold winter seasons and they shared their knowledge of how to make winter clothing out of furs and hides with our ancestors. They must also have shown our ancestors what plants to eat, and what ones to use for medecin, how to make tools and maybe even show them how to trap.
Now when our ancestors relocated near the water, many turned to the sea for food, and again the oceans were abundant with fish, especially Cod, and they could eat all the delicacies ,lobster, scallops, clams, quahawgs,mussels, (gee I wish I could go back in time ,just long enough to eat all the good things.grin). So our ancestors did not want for food at the beginning, plus they had their chicken, hogs, cattle, their gardens, and their fruit trees and berries.
Can you imagine after the deportation, and when they were attacked and had to flee for their lives into the woods for long periods of time? Then the food was not as plentiful, the winter weather was ferocious, many starved to death and many froze to death. I sit back and think about this, and imagine how it must have been such a terrible time for them. We may wonder what happened to Joe Savoie, or Marie LeBlanc, or Isabelle Cormier ,and wonder why we cannot find any records of deaths, it could very well be possible that they died while fleeing their enemies and we will never ever know for sure except we know they deserve to rest in peace.
I do hope you have enjoyed today's blog and will return. I see I now have 13 followers, my first goal is to reach 25, can I do it?
Have a great day.