Wednesday, March 18, 2009

A journey back Home.

I came across this little tidbit while looking in the Societe Historique Acadienne today and I wanted to share it with you.
In the collections published by the French Canadian and reproduced by the Canadian Archive Reports in 1905 ,we find the following article of one Mister Fraser of Miramichi in 1815 which we have transcribed from the Dr Brown collection.
"Michel O Bask (Bastarache) , his brother Pierre O Bask and twelve others travelled through the woods from South Carolina ,some say from New Orleans right up to the top of the Saint Laurent river and from there travelled by canoe to Cumberland where they joined their wives, familes and homeland. These two Bask families were said to be still living around Miramichi.
Placide Gaudet added that that many of the acadians followed the shores to return to their homeland in Acadie. Many did the journey on foot ,through the woods and on May 8 1756 we find fifteen which we notice Pierre and Michel Bastarache, and the old Broussard dit Beausoleil who was their leader and which left from South Carolina and arrived in Quebec at the end of September of the same year. They had to cross the United States on foot.
This story has been handed down from generation to generation and in 1971 a mister Girouard
from Sainte Marie told this story. Mister Girouard was a descendant from Pierre Bastarache
on his maternal side.
"Pierre Bastarache and his brother Michel were among the many prisoners in Grand Pre during the deportation. There were crucifixes attached along the sides of the church for the station of the cross. A native american was among the prisoners and he removed five crosses and gave one of them to Pierre.
These Bastarache brothers were deported to south Carolina, and were held prisoners in a potato cave. During the night, they escaped and hid under the wharf.
To flee to the south they had to pass by an area guarded by a dog, who was there to warn the guards by barking daytime or night time.In order to go by the dog, there were 27 prisoners in all, one of them took a twenty cent coin and put it under the heel of his left foot in order to keep the dog from barking. It worked they crossed without waking the guards and the dog tried to bark and he couldnt.
During their journey they found fruits that they did not recognize, the oldest said he would eat the first one and if the fruit was poison all they would have to do was bury him. After a two hour wait, the old man was not dead and everyone ate the fruit. A little further on they found a horse , killed it for meat. Finally they arrived as far as Mississippi.
There they were made prisoners by the native americans. The chief wanted to kill them, but one of his daughters had married a french man from france, and the frenchman talked the chief into letting them have their freedom. The chief even gave them guns, hatchets and food and canoes to take on their journey. The voyage from South Carolina to Memramcook took them two years. When Pierre arrived , he found his mother and it seems then when they were away his mother would say everynight at bedtime," No Pierre,noMichel".
The descendants of Pierre settled in Bouctouche, Joseph ,Isidore and Michel Bastarache settled in northern New Brunswick.
As for the crucifix, Joseph had it in his possession and took it to church at each of his daughters weddings. The youngest one married Simon LeBlanc , her name was Brigitte and she received the crucifix. Father Desire Allain was one of the descendents of the LeBlancs and he had this crucifix from Pierre Bastarache in his possession.
I hope you have enjoyed todays blog. I found this an interesting story.
Have a great day, thanks for the visit.


Anonymous said...

What a great story, I would love to read more like this, if anyone has any, please share them....Have a great Weekend....Norm

alineskee said...

Thank you Norm, yes stories like these are great.And sharing them is very important.