Acadian-Cajun Genealogy & History » Français  
History of the Acadians
     The Acadians began as a group of (primarily French) settlers in 17th century Canada. Over the years, they have been subjected to numerous hardships that usually result in the disappearance or assimilation of a culture. The Acadians were able to retain large portions of their identity, even after their homeland was taken and they were exiled. Although some were later incorporated into other cultures and societies, their heritage is still evident in the lives of their descendants.
     This online presentation will begin with the origin of the Acadians. We will then look at the Acadians as they settled a new land and created their own culture. The next major chapter in Acadian history is the Grand Derangement ... when the Acadians were stripped of their land and exiled. Following this tragic dispersion, the Acadians found themselves in new lands. Although scattered, there still remained large numbers of Acadians in two places. Those who escaped (and returned) to Canada developed their own Acadian culture (in Canada) in several areas. The other major group of Acadians found themselves in Louisiana and became today's Cajuns. Along the way, you will find several other aids, such as a History Timeline, Maps, and Additional Resources.
Acadia, 1755

 • Acadian Origins

 • First-Hand Accounts of Old Acadie

 • Acadia ... 1632 to 1755

 • Acadian Settlements

 • The Exile

 • Resettlement

 • Acadians in Canada

 • Cajun History - Acadians in Louisiana

Acadian History thru the years in books
     Raynal wrote about Acadia in 1779 (A Philosophical and Political History of the Settlements and  Trade of the Europeans in the East and West Indies).  He was born in 1713, but never visited the country.  But the work does reflect the ideas of France at that time.  Thomas Chandler Haliburton wrote a history of Nova Scotia 40 years after Raynal.  He stated that Raynal’s account wasn’t far from the truth.  He lived in the area, and in fact was a judge there.  His book was published in 1829.   Rameau wrote La Franceaux Colonies in 1859 and Une Colonie Feodale en Amerique in 1889.  Beamish Murdoch wrote the History of Nova Scotia in 1865.   The volumes of Nova Scotia Archives were started in 1857 and completed in 1869, though the compilation by Akins may have omitted a lot of material that held the Acadian point of view.  Both the History of Nova Scotia by Campbell and Histoire de l’Acadie by Moreau were completed in 1873.  Hannay completed his History of Acadia in 1879.  Philip H. Smith wrote Acadia - A Lost Chapter in American History in 1884.  Casgrain wrote Pelerinage au Pays d’Evangeline in 1888.  Parkman’s work Montcalm and Wolfe, which included information on Acadia, was done in 1884.   Murdoch really didn’t express his own opinion.  Most (except for Parkman and Hannay) held the same view as Haliburton.  Richard's Acadia (written in 1895) tries to take the Acadian point of view.  It focuses most of its attention on the deportation and the events leading to it.  Bona Arsenault's History of the Acadians, done in the 1950s, also tries to be fair to the Acadians' plight.  Many other works, such as the recent (1995) A Land of Discord Always by Charles Mahaffie, try to explain the true story that was hidden for so long.


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