Sunday, September 25, 2011

Acadians and Britons

At sunrise on October 1710 was raised for the last time in Port Royal Nova Scotia. Later that morning Francis Nicholson’s men fell into ranks to watch Daniel Subercase formerly surrender. Then the French marched out and the British and Americans marched in, to hoist the Union Jack, drink to Queen Anne’s health and to give the town the queen’s name to be known as Annapolis Royal. The French officials, and the garrison and their families total of 258 boarded ships and sailed home. Nicholson sailed at the end of October leaving Vetch in command of 200 royal marines and 250 New Englanders. They were a big force but not big enough for the job they had to do. By 1710 there were almost 2000 Acadians. They were a well settled, widely scattered independent minded and surpassingly stubborn people. They had seen Britons come and they had seen them go. Vetch had urged an expulsion for the French inhabitants in Canada. In a letter sent to Queen Anne, Nicholson and Vetch proposed that in order to bring the native Indians under her majesty’s subjection and to convert them to the protestant religion it would be necessary to transport all the French from the country except those who wanted to convert to protestant . Again the next January Vetch recommended expulsion. He would have sent the Acadians to Newfoundland or the Caribbeans. But no one in London was willing to take responsibility and later when it seemed they might leave of their own free will, Vetch had second thoughts” the departure would leave emptiness where now there were men and women, farms and cattle. Without them ,Britain’s new province would be nothing but trees. Someone had to raise crop, care for the cattle and chop the wood. They might not be the most trustworthy population he thought but they were better than no population at all. And so began a half century of coexistence. The Acadians coped by interacting as little as possible with the Britons who governed them, the Britons would also keep to themselves in forts or enclaves and the Indians would not admit to being anyone’s subjects.

The Micmacs who were freedom loving had gone their separate way, trying to maintain their way of life in the face of alien intrusion. They got along well with the French. But things were different now, Nicholson and Vetch brought a new set of rules and the Indians knew they had to fight them. They knew that the Britons were not like the French, they grabbed their lands, had no respect for their customs and rights. The micmacs were never strong enough to throw the Britons out but when their Acadian friends marched to reconquer Acadie ,they marched at their side.

So as you can see, the expulsion or deportation of 1755 was already being mentioned in the ealier part of the 1700s. For more on this story I would suggest you read A Land of Discord Always by Charles D Mahafee Jr. It is very interesting and goes into a lot of details. Thanks for reading my blog and I would now just like to change the subject and invite you to check out my Acadian items and genealogy items at* and check out what I have done at*


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