falls ... another exile follows
| Louisbourg was in trouble, and
Villejouin got 200 men from Ile St. Jean to go to its aid on July 1. But 100 had to be abandoned because they
had no shoes. The rest proved useless, since Louisbourg surrendered
on July 26, 1758. England’s policy was now to get rid of the
French completely. All were to be sent to France. [Harvey,
On Aug. 8, Amherst had Lord Rollo & Lieut.
Spry (engineer) take 4 ships of war and 500 men to Ile
St. Jean. He was to build a fort. M. Crucour sent 2
officers from Louisbourg to inform the French to surrender. If they
resisted, kill them. All of the inhabitants were to be brought to
Louisbourg. [Harvey, p. 189]
Rollo arrived and started work on Ft. Amherst.
After hearing from the French officers, the settlers offered no resistance,
though many in outlying settlements escaped to Quebec and Miramichi ...
carrying or destroying as much household goods and livestock as possible.
Indians (150) on the north shore destroyed property so the English wouldn’t
get it. The chaplain at Port La Joye had escaped the day before Rollo
arrived, but the priests at Northeast River, St. Peters, and Point Prim
were deported with the settlers. The first group of 692 was sent
out from Port La Joye. The commandant Villejouin wrote a note on
Sep. 8, 1758. [Harvey, p. 190]
He had made preparations to defend the island,
but with the fall of Louisbourg it was unnecessary. He knew he couldn’t
advise the people to take arms. Even if he had time to evacuate the
island, it would have been impossible. [Harvey, p. 191]
Miramichi was the closest place, but it was
so lacking in provisions that some who went there have since returned ...
better to be deported than to starve to death. The inhabitants asked
Rollo if they could keep their lands. He forworded the request to
Louisbourg, which refused it ... apparently they planned to totally rid
themselves of the French. Though Rollo had evacuated about 700 (including
the commandant), there were still 4000 on the island. He infers that
they have been slow in turning themselves in due to the treatment of the
English. It’s been 3 years since the last of the refugees arrived
on the island. Provisions and clothing had been scarce. There
were heavy losses and hardship in their getting there. It seems that
no one actually starved. [Harvey, p. 192]
They are headed to France. He has “seen
them plunged into the most frightful misery that they have ever experienced,
such as I can scarcely paint for you. These people will be without
food and clothing, unable to procure lodgings and firewood, in a strange
world, timid by nature, and knowing not whither to turn in their hour of
need.” He thought the English should leave some of the Acadians on
the island to care for the livestock (incl. 6000 cattle). [Harvey,
A letter from Boscawen to Pitt (Sept. 13,
1758), based on Rollo’s information, shows how the English didn’t know
much about Ile St. Jean. He said
they had over 10,000 cattle and many inhabitants said they grew 1200 bushels
of corn a year. Quebec was their only market. They were Quebec’s
only supply of corn and beef in the New World. Those from this island
have been killing the English inhabitatants to sell their scalps to the
French. [Harvey, p. 194]
They had thought the island held 400-500 inhabitants,
but M. Drucour said there might be as many as 1500. The story
of the French paying Indians (not Acadians) for English scalps may
have been true, but the claims of supplying livestock to Quebec was
all wrong. The Acadian Gautier (Nicolas’ son) was the only one who
went with Indians on scalping raids. [Harvey, p. 195]
Over 700 people were on the 2 largest ships
... the Duke William and the Violet.
With the 5 smaller ones holding 600, there would be a total of 3500 deported
in 1758. Of these, 700 were drowned. But, were these 7 ships
part of the 16 mentioned by Durrell?
SHIPS TAKING ACADIANS INTO EXILE by Claude Picard
| The deportation of Ile
St. Jean went slowly. Some were escaping (with French help)
from the north shore, but Capt. Hay in charge of the transports wouldn’t
allow any of them to go there. On Oct. 29, Lord Rollo reported 1500
embarked. On Nov. 5, Admiral Durell reported 2000 embarked on 16
transports and sent as cartel ships to France. On Nov. 6, Whitmore
reported to Pitt that 2200 were embarked but Rollo had to leave a whole
parish (of a far part of the island) behind. Rollo returned to Louisbourg
on Nov. 14.
It’s hard to determine the exact number deported.
Besides the 2000 Durell said were deported before Nov. 5, 7 transports
left Canso on Nov. 25 led by Captain Nicholls on the Duke William. [Harvey,
Of the 3100 Acadians deported from Ile St. Jean, it is estimated that about 1650 of them drowned or died of disease.
Many of them escaped from the north shore
to Quebec on French schooners. Others fled to Miramichi, but they
had no food. A Sept. 24, 1758 report from Murray to Wolfe stated
that those at Miramichi were starving and preparing to go to Canada. [Harvey,
Some found their way to St. Pierre and Miquelon;
a 1767 census there shows 81 from Ile St. Jean.
The parish of Malpeque and some around the
Northeast River had escaped deportation. They soon become good at
hiding in the woods. [Harvey, p. 199]
When ships were sent to Ile
St. Jean in spring 1759 to pick up the remaining inhabitants, the
person in charge (Capt. Johnson) said they had all gone off to Canada.
A report by Gov. Wilmot (June 2, 1764) estimates 300 Acadians on the island
... who declared “recently in a most solemn manner” that they would recognize
no king except the King of France. Capt. Holland estimated 30 Acadians
families on the island in 1765. Capt. Morris estimated 207 Acadians
there in 1767. [Harvey, p. 200]
Those Acadians deported to France were joined
in 1763 by those who had been kept at England. In 1763,
there were 2400 living on welfare in France.
More material on those exiled in 1758
is on the Ile St. Jean page.
Visit the Exile pages for more information on specific exile locations.
in the American colonies ...
| Meanwhile, the Acadian exiles
in the American colonies weren't doing very well. Only Connecticut
had made any arrangements (in Oct. 1755) to accept the refugees.
| In Boston, one vessel had sick people, with
40 on deck (they were overcrowded). Another also had 40 on deck.
And another was sick with bad water. There hadn’t been enough food
for the trip. A few were allowed to land. Two thousand landed
at Boston, 200 at N.Y, and 300 and Connecticut. The rest went to
PA, MD, the Carolinas, and GA. In Philadelphia, the 3 ships held
the passengers on board for 2 months.
| A petition was filed there in
1766 for payment of coffins for the Acadians (called French Neutrals).
From 450, many had died ... leaving 217. SC gave the Acadians vessels
and they (1/2 made it) sailed up to the St. John River. Those in
GA were allowed to make boats and headed north. They got as far as
MA when Lawrence had their boats seized and imprisoned them. Things
were also hard in MD; many left for Canada when they could. Those
sent to VA were refused landing, and were taken to England. Four
of the 20 ships never made it. One was lost. Storms blew two
to Santo Domingo. Another was taken by the Acadians back to Acadia.
In the N.Y. counties of Kings, Queens, Richmond,
Suffolk, and Westchester, 93 people (18 families) were settled. A
May 6, 1756 list names them: An act was passed on July 9, 1756 allowing
Justices to bind out French Neutrals. It says how they arrived “poor, naked,
and destitute of every convenience.”
It only applied to those who were useful/employed.
Their service was to be contracted, with a time limit and amount to be
paid. Under this act, 110 Acadians (58 girls, 52 boys ... almost
all <21) who came from Georgia in August 1756 were bound out.
For a while, some of them were kept on Governor’s Island, N.Y. Bay, until
distribution to Winchester and Orange counties by
Aug. 26, 1756.
A list of family head and number of children
is given in the book. In the N.Y. colony, 332 Acadians arrived
in May and August 1756. The counties received: Kings (9), Orange
(81), Queens (44), Richmond (13), Suffolk (44), and Westchester (141).
The county had 55 minors bound out.
Every now and then, Acadians arrived
in NY from GA. On Aug. 29, 1756, the sheriff (Willet) informed the
govt. of 44 Acadians that needed care. There were sent to various
places (Bedford, New Castle, etc.). Nine were distributed on Oct.
In July 1757, a group of Acadians from Westchester
escaped and were captured near Ft. Edward, on their way to Crown Point.
In Aug. 1757, the N.Y. council ordered that Acadians in their counties
be put into the jails. This was done to the male Acadians by Aug.
13. A N.Y. merchant (Daniel Jauncey) offered the council to pay to
ship the Acadians away (on behalf of the Acadians), but it didn’t work
out. In 1765, the Marquis de Fenelon said he’d accept 150 of them
in the West Indies, but the offer was ignored.
On Aug. 25, 1768, a small group came in on
the sloop Swallow from Quebec. On April 28, 1756, a
sloop arrived with Acadians from Cap Sable, but were refused landing.
On Aug. 6, 1756, an Acadian (Jacques Morris)
arrived with 2 vessels of Acadians from GA (via Barnstable), but were refused
landing. The sloop Lemmon also brought 50 Acadians but was
refused landing. Benj. Smith took some Acadians to his house (the
book lists them). Their daily allowance (per 5 people) was: 3 1/2
pecks of Indian meal, 1 peck of rye, pork, beef and sauce, and 2 quarts
There are various notes of Acadian news
in the area, such as: on May 13, 1763, Benj. Fitch took in James Eber and
family (from Dartmouth) as tenants. On Sept. 15, 1762, a number of
vessels arrived at Boston harbor from Halifax with Acadians. The
ships were the: Lyon, Exchange, Charming Nancy, schooner Charming Nancy, Despatch, Hopson.
The South Carolina Gazette noted on Nov. 6,
1755 that the Baltimore Snow was expected soon with Acadians. This
concerned the population. In a few weeks, 1020 Acadians had arrived.
In Feb. 1756, two groups attempted to escape. On the 12th, all but
30 had been brought back. The Acadians were saying that they could
make their way back to Canada over land.
A group of Acadians arrived from Georgia on
April 1. They planned to keep going up to Acadia. On the 15th,
80 Acadians left in 7 canoes as far as Sullivan’s Island. They had
obtained passports. The following morning, they put to sea, headed
for Acadia. They were followed by 300 more.
In Charleston, they planned to spread them
out. They dispersed 80% of them throughout the province. The
churches were to take care of their needs for the first 3 months.
They were allowed to bind them out. The other 20% were to be put
in the towns by the church of St. Philips. They were not allowed
to have firearms. Most Acadians in the area eventually left, though
a few (ie. Lanneau in Charleston) remained. Worcester received 11 people.
Those that were left in 1767 made their way
to Canada. Some from Grand Pre were put down in Baltimore.
Things were a bit better here, where even some private homes were opened
to them. Some stayed in an old mansion (the Reverdy Johnston house,
at the NW corner of Calvert & Fayette St., where the courthouse now
stands), where they also made a small chapel for themselves. They
later built homes on South Charles St., near Lombard. The area was
known as “French Town”. They built a church (St.
Peter’s Church) at St. Charles and Saratoga St. Later, on July 7,
1806, they laid the cornerstone to a bigger cathedral to be built.
Marshfield, Plymouth County, MA has records of the Acadians. One
of the houses they lived in had belonged to Col. John Winslow.
On June 4, 1760, 22 vessels, led by a brig
of war, arrived. They found 60 ox-carts and yokes ... left by the
Acadians. They found bones of starved animals and ruins of homes.
The dykes had broken in a 1759 storm (and Acadians helped repair them).
The Grand Pre and Gaspereau area was now called Horton. [Herbin,