Although Grand Pre has become the symbol of the expulsion of the Acadians, the deportation actually began on Aug.11 1755 at Fort Beausejour . The people in the area were rounded up and imprisoned in the fort prior to being shipped to the British Colonies. One month later the deportation of the Acadians began at Grand Pre the most populated settlement. The male inhabitants were ordered by Colonel John Winslow, to assemble in the church Saint Charles des Mines on Sept. 5 at 3pm. The men of Pisiquit were ordered by Captain Alexander Murray to present themselves at Fort Edward. In both places the assembled Acadians were told that their lands, homes and livestocks would be taken from them and that they and their family would be transported out of the province. Here are the orders read to them by Colonel John Winslow in Grand Pre.
" Gentlemen, I have received from his excellency Governor Lawrence, the King's Commisssion which I have in my hand and by whose orders your are convened together to Manifest to you his Majesty's final resolution to the French inhabitants of this his Province of Nova Scotia who for almost half a century have had more indulgence granted them than any of his subjects in any part of his Dominions. What use you have made of them you yourself best know.
The part of duty I am not upon is what though necessary is very disagreeable to my natural make and temper as I know it must be grevious to you who are of the same specia.
But it is not my business to annimedvert, but to obey such orders as I receive and therefore without hesitation shall deliver you his Majesty's orders and instructions viz.
That your lands and tenements, cattle of all kinds and livestock of all sorts are forfitted to the Crown with all other you effects saving your money and household goods and you yourself be removed from this province.
Thus it is preeptorily his Majesty's orders that the whole French inhabitants of these districts ,be removed, and I am through his Majesty's goodness directed to allow you liberty to carry of your money and household goods as many as you can without discommoding the vessels you go in. I shall do everything i my power that all those goods be secured to you and that you are not molested in carrying them and also that whole families shall go in the same vessel and make this remove which I am sensible must give you a great deal of trouble as easy as his Majesty's service will admit and hope that in what every part of the world you may fall you may be faithful subjects, a peaceable and happy people.
I must also inform you that it is his Majesty's pleasure that you remain in security under the inspection and Direction of the troops that I have the Honour to command. (source History of Nova Scotia).
More people were deported from Grand Pre than from any other location because not only was it the most populated area ,it was also the most important Acadian agricultural and commercial center. A total of about 2200 Acadians were thus removed from the greater Grand Pre area between October and December 1755. Within a short time, all their homes and barns were burned.Following orders to burn and lay waste the British troops travelled from village to village burning every building in sight. It is estimated that there were about 6000 Acadians deported from Nova Scotia in 1755. And can you imagine? They were deported in the winter months, October it starts to get cold, November and December it is cold, and on the water it must have been so cold and the oceans so rough for our ancestors who were sent away .
I was reading the Acadians of Nova Scotia by Sally Ross and Alphonse Deveau, it is an interesting book if you have the chance to read it ,do so. Maybe your library may have it or maybe you can order it through your library.
Now to you readers if you come from Britain, this has nothing to do with any of you, I mean what the British did. It was long long ago and it was a terrible thing to do to the Acadians. But it has happened and it is in the past, I am sure that if our ancestors were able to talk to us, they would say, let it go, and show your children that you are a proud people and that they should be proud of who they are, we cannot change the past, we can only make the future a better place.
Thanks for the visit and do stop by again.
Have a great day.