Thursday, October 22, 2009

Acadian Transportation

Have you ever wondered how our ancestors travelled from Acadie to Lower Canada? Lower Canada being Quebec. Well again I am reading a book called the Road to Canada, and it is quite interesting. During the French period, the main route ran between Riviere du Loup Quebec and Fort Beausejour. The secondary routes led towards Old Mission Point,on the Bay of Chaleur,the forts at the mouth of the St John River,Prince Edward Island,Cape Breton, and Port Royal.
When the first people arrived in what is called New Brunswick today between 6000 and 10000 years ago they found a system of interlocking rivers that was well suited for transportation. The central feature was the St John River. Rising in the northern part of Maine, the St John River flowed around 725 kilometres to the Fundy Bay with very little obstacles. The first obstacle was the Reversing falls at the mouth of the river ,which could be used at high tide or bypassed using a portage.There were rapids at Meductic, so the only other obstacle was at Grand Falls where the St John River plunged 22 metres and rushed through a two kilometres gorge, they also used a portage there. Then once the rapids at the mouth of the Madawaska River at Edmundston were passed the way was clear up the Madawaska to Lake Temiscouata. Then two series of rivers and lakes led to Trois Pistole on the St Lawrence River.Later a portage road was cut from Cabano to give a direct route to St Andre and Riviere du Loup. All total the route from Riviere du Loup to St John was approximately 515 kilometres where 435 kilometres was by water.
The natives of the region built birch bark canoes and were ideally suited for the travelling.
When the french explored arrived in the 17th century four main groups of Native people lived along this system. Archaeological evidence show that this route was used for trading,hunting,fishing and war. At that time probably the french traders, missionaries or travellers used that route.
Joseph Robineau de Villebon commander of Acadie kept a daily journal . He arrived in Acadie in 1690 to find that Port Royal was captured by an expedition led by sir William Phipps. Villebon went to Fort Jemseg and explained the situation to the natives and acadian settlers there.
He then went to Quebec on this same route (called the Communication Route) then on to France. That is the first mention of the Acadians using that route, not necessary that it was the first time, but Villebon's journal mentions the route in his journals. Phipps had also captured supply ships in Port Royal and some of those supplies were meant for the native american, so Villebon arranged for more supplies to be sent to the natives from Quebec. This was the first recorded mention of supplies being moved on this route from Quebec to Acadie.
Now all the while that I am typing this, I am also imagining it being so. I can see the natives going up and down the rivers, and the trappers, and hunters, and Acadians.
Later on the Loyalists made use of this same route and how many others did too?
Now changing the subject, did you notice at the bottom of this page I have a store I created? I made two different Acadian Calendars, and one Cajun Calendar. The cajun calendar is green with an alligator on the front, the Acadians ones are red and blue. Now that Christmas is just around the corner, I hurried and made different things that may be nice to give your friends or family.
If you cannot see the store at the bottom, go to .
As soon as I have more ideas, I will add more stuff.
So thank you for the lovely visit, do stop by again.
have a great day
I hope you enjoyed todays blog. I have been wanting to do this one for a while now.

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