The Last Acadian Migration
Though a small group arrived by boat
in 1788, the Acadian migration had ended. The schooner Brigite left St. Pierre on Oct. 16, 1788. The vessel with 19 Acadians was
captained by Joseph Gravois. Most (17) of the group were his relatives.
They arrived at Pass a L'Outre on Dec. 11, 1788. After securing a
passport from a Spanish official (Ygnacio Balderas), they sailed up to
New Orleans. The group consisted of Anne Marguerite Babin, Charles
Babin, Francois Laurent Babin, Marie LeBlanc Babin, Mathurin Babin, Pierre
Moise Babin, Victoire Babin, Jean Baptiste Boudrot, Madeleine Bourg, Jean
Frederic Gravois, Jean Hubert Gravois, Joseph Gravois, Madeleine Blanche
Gravois, Marguerite Angelique Gravois, Marie Felicite Gravois, Marie Susanne
Gravois, Marie Tharsille Gravois, and Victoire Gravois. They eventually
joined their relatives in today’s Ascension Parish (the second Acadian Coast). (The
Founding of New Acadia, Brasseaux, p. 105, 208)
By 1790, pretty much all of the Acadians who
came to Louisiana were settled in, though some Acadians were probably in the group that migrated to Louisiana when 10,000 refugees escaped St. Domingue in 1809. The largest communities were in
Attakapas, Opelousas, the Acadian Coast, and Bayou Lafourche. Smaller
groups were found in a few areas. There were also small pockets of
Acadians in the cities (ie. New Orleans, Baton Rouge), along smaller bayous,
and in other settlements.
The French Revolution and Louisiana
The French Revolution (circa 1789), though
across the ocean, was felt in Louisiana. When Louis XVI was beheaded, Spain declared war on France. Rumors of rebellion
started in Louisiana. So Carondelet issued a proclamation that people
couldn't read aloud or discuss the French Revolution. To do so meant
a fine or imprisonment at Morro Castle. He force 70 people to leave
Louisiana and sent 6 leaders to prison. He reorganized the military
and repaired fortifications around the city. He build boats to patrol
the Mississippi River. A long letter from the French in France was
published in Philadelphia and smuggled to Louisiana. It was titled
"The Freemen of France to their brothers in Louisiana: 2nd year of the
French Republic" and urged Louisiana colonists to rebel against Spain.
Carondelet encouraged French to come from France, hoping the horror stories
they brought would discourage the sympathizers in the colony. [Eakin,
Culbertson: p. 159-160]
The Acadians, by this
point, were staying out of it. Their heritage was French. But
France hadn't really helped them during the Exile period. Spain,
on the other hand, had given them a chance to build a New Acadia.
There is no evidence that Acadians took part in any activities caused by
the French Revolution.