BOOK TWO:  British Nova Scotia



BOOK ONE:        French Acadia

BOOK THREE:     Families, Migration, and the Acadian "Begats"

BOOK FOUR:      The French Maritimes

BOOK FIVE:         The Great Upheaval

BOOK SIX:          The Acadian Immigrants of Louisiana

BOOK SEVEN:     French Louisiana

BOOK EIGHT:      A New Acadia

BOOK NINE:        The Bayou State

BOOK TEN:          The Louisiana Acadian "Begats"

BOOK ELEVEN:  The Non-Acadian "Cajun" Families of South Louisiana

BOOK TWELVE:  Acadians in Gray


The British arrive at Chebouctou Bay, June 1749 ...01d

The Geography of British Nova Scotia

By the time Port-Royal fell to the British on 13 October 1710, the major Acadian communities, as well as the outlying settlements, had been occupied for decades.  Established families first appeared at Port-Royal in the late 1630s, at Cap-Sable in the 1650s, Chignecto in the 1670s, and Minas in 1680s.  Only recently, the trois-rivières, west of Chignecto, had accommodated new settlers from the lower Fundy.  The shift in population from the Port-Royal Basin to the upper Fundy settlements, already underway for several decades, would continue under British rule.  But the old French port in its lovely basin, for the next four decades at least, would, under a new name provided by its conquerors, remain the colony's administrative center as well as its major entrepôt.  Here one would begin a geograpical survey of Britain's newest province.

Annapolis Royal, described as "the old 'home' settlement of the Acadians," founded in 1605, two years before Jamestown in Virginia and three years before Québec in Canada, differed from the other Acadian settlements in several ways.  First, there was Fort Anne, which stood on a wide point of land along the south bank of the lower Annapolis River seven miles or so above Goat Island, which stood at the confluence of the river and the lower basin.  Until the summer of 1749, the fort was one of only two fortified garrisons in all of peninsula Nova Scotia (the other, on Great Canso Island, was so ramshackle an affair and contained so few troops that it hardly deserved the name of fortification, and, in fact, had no name).  A fort of some kind had stood on the site of Fort Anne, or close to it, since the time of the Scots in 1629, and d'Aulnay had built his fort on this exact spot during the late 1630s.  No place in Acadia/Nova Scotia had seen more military action than the site of this old fort.  During the 1720s and 1740s, in fact, the old fort would see action again.  For the first four and a half decades of British occupation, Fort Anne held around a hundred officers and men, as well as a small community of officials.  Here, until July 1749, met the colonial Council.  Near the fort, in Annapolis Royal village, dwelled several New English traders.  They, along with the garrison, "lived a life apart from the general Acadian community," Andrew Hill Clark reminds us, "although a few Acadian families, generally those living near the fort, effected a partial integration by marriage of their daughters to soldiers of the garrison."  Here, in the so-called banlieu, Clark observes, stood "a special sort of area that consumed and did not produce.  It provided a market for agricultural products, although the residents of the basin below the fort, and of the valley above it, felt that it was a forced market with prices kept at as artificially low a level as the garrison dared try to enforce."  No other major Acadian community lay farther in time and distance from French-controlled Canada and Île Royale, but none stood nearer to Boston and the rest of New England.  The water approach to Annapolis Royal required careful navigation, however.  Ships had first to negotiate the Gut, called today the Digby Gut and also St. George's Strait, a narrow, windy, tide-distracted, often fogged-plagued cut through the heights of the Granville Peninsula lying to the east and Point Prim to the west.  Once through the Gut and into the lower basin one now entered the lower reaches of what the French called Rivière-au-Dauphin and the British the Annapolis River.  Proceeding upriver, a ship had to take care to approach Goat Island along its deeper north channel.  There, however, the tides were even more dangerous than the ones plaguing the Gut, so a pilot likely would wait for a strong leading wind before negotiating the river channel past Goat Island.  The five-mile stretch of river from Goat Island up to Annapolis Royal "formed a commodious harbor with six fathoms even at extreme low tide.  The river was navigable for small vessels about eighteen miles above the fort," to present-day Bridgetown.  Boats could continue the nine miles farther up to "the falls" of the haute rivière if the tide allowed it and if the boat was maneuverable enough to be beached when the tide pulled out.  Back at the colonial capital, thanks to commerce and the trappings of government, "Such hints of elegance or of exotic sophistication as there were in housing, clothing, and furniture, were confined closely to the banlieu of the fort," with perhaps one exception.  Bellaire, the home of Joseph-Nicolas Gauthier, a merchant born in Rochefort, stood on a capacious plot of land along the river above the fort.  Gauthier's wife was Marie, daughter of blacksmith and landowner Louis Allain and Marguerite Bourg, so the merchant was connected to "regular" Acadians by marriage.  By the 1740s, Gauthier, who operated a small commercial fleet of his own, was worth about 80,000 livres, making him one of the wealthiest men in the colony, if not the richest.  A hand full of Acadian merchants lived at Annapolis Royal, but their connections with Boston could not match that of their English contemporaries.  According to Clark, from the 1680s well into the early 1700s, the Acadian population of the Annapolis valley tended to be older than in the upper Fundy communities, due mainly to the migration of recently-married couples into the newer communities like Chignecto and Minas, where, among other things, they could find more dykable marshland on which to start their own families.  In the Annapolis valley, Acadian farms dotted the basin and riverside from Goat Island "to as far as five leagues above the fort as early as 1720."  The location of the dykable marshland tended to create a settlement pattern of "nodes, almost hamlets, commonly of five to ten families."  The largest hamlet circled the Belle Île marsh, which lay six to eight miles above the fort.  There, "within a space of two miles," dwelled 30 families of 150 to 200 people.  Annapolis valley Acadians, as they had since the late 1630s, engaged not only in farming, but also in hunting, fowling, trapping, and fishing.  Some also engaged in lumbering and used mills of their own making, either tide- or wind-driven, to fashion their planks and shakes.  During the summer, between planting and the harvest, it was not unusual for fathers and sons of large families who enjoyed a surplus of workers on their farms to hire themselves out to the cod fishery as seasonable labor.  As in other Acadian communities, the farm houses of the Annapolis valley, as well as the houses of the Acadians in Annapolis Royal, were modest affairs, described by a 1745 visitor as "'... wretched wooden boxes, without conveniences, and without ornaments, and scarcely containing the most necessary furniture...."  Stone cutting and masonry skills were in short supply throughout the colony, so the typical Acadian house would have been built of wood.  Two church parishes continued to serve the Acadians of the Annapolis area, St.-Jean-Baptiste on the lower river, and St.-Laurent on the haute rivière.  Both structures also were built of wood and were no more prepossessing than the parishioners' houses.128 

If one traveled up the Annapolis River, past "the falls," to the stream's farthest reaches, one would enter a rocky upland where there were no villages, only an occasional house or two, for a number of miles.  Traveling eastward along the old Indian track, now a wagon road, which ran through the high valley between North and South mountains, one would reach an almost imperceptible divide before descending to the headwaters of today's Cornwallis River, called by the Acadians of the 1600s Rivière-St.-Antoine and in the 1700s Rivière-des-Habitants.  If one abandoned the wagon road, which continued eastward, and followed this small, winding tidal stream down to its mouth, one soon would encounter more dykable marshes and, beside them, a series of Acadian hamlets.  Here was the breadbasket of British Nova Scotia and the colony's most populous district.  Comprising the western valley of the basin, "between North Mountain and the mouth of the Pisiguid (Avon) estuary," geographer Andrew Hill Clark calls it Minas Proper.  Clark notes that, during the time Britain controlled the colony, "Annapolis grew more slowly and Minas more rapidly than the Acadian average."  Rivière-des-Habitants was only one of five important tidal streams that flowed from the highlands west of the Annapolis valley into the Minas Basin.  Farthest north was Rivière Pereau, more a creek than a river.  A few miles farther south flowed Rivière-de-la-Vieille-Habitation, also called Rivière-des-Vieux-Habitants, River of the Old Inhabitants; and then Rivière-aux-Canards, or River of the Ducks, all north of Rivière-des-Habitants.  The most southern of the four streams was Rivière Gaspereau, named for the local alewife so much favored by the Acadians.  The Gapereau, which drained the upland at the northern edge of South Mountain, began as a dramatic little stream, tumbling through a 500-foot gorge it had carved out of granite before slowly winding through its own series of tidal marshes, the first of which lay five miles above its mouth.  Acadian habitants lived also along a creek they called Rivière-de-l'Ascension.  According to Clark, "There were settlements along all of these [streams] by 1714," the year in which Father Félix Pain conducted his census of British Nova Scotia for the governor of Île Royale.  In that year, Father Pain counted 530 settlers at Minas:  37 on Rivière Gaspereau; 287 at Grand-Pré, which lay between des-Habitants and the Gaspereau; 95 on des-Habitants; 76 on Rivière-aux-Canards; and 36 on rivières Pereau and Vieux-Habitants.  The following year, acting governor Thomas Caulfeild called Minas "'by much the best improvement in This Collony.'"  In 1720, colonial engineer and future lieutenant-governor Paul Mascarene described Grand-Pré as "'... a platt of Meadow, which stretches along for near four leagues, part of which is damn'd in from the tide, and produces very good wheat and pease.'"  In Grand-Pré itself, Mascarene added, "'the houses which compose a kind of scattering Town, lyes on a riseing ground along two Creeks which runns betwixt it, and the meadow, and makes of this last a kind of Peninsula.'"  The marsh, or meadow, was at least a thousand acres in extent.  As many as 200 houses, spread along two or three miles of the ridge overlooking the great meadow, comprised the village of Grand-Pré, which remained the largest population center in the district until the British destroyed it in 1755.  Here stood the church of St.-Charles-des-Mines, where Lieutenant-Colonel John Winslow of the New English regiment would detain the Grand-Pré men and boys in September and October of that terrible year before sending them and their families to the deportation ships waiting off Pointe-des-Boudrot, a central point lying northwest of Grand-Pré between rivières aux-Canards and des-Habitants.  On the lower Gaspereau were two settlements, Gaspereau and Village Melanson, that sometimes were considered part of Grand-Pré.  It was here, in early February 1747, that Canadian officers encountered a wedding feast in the midst of a raging snow storm on their way to destroying a New English force billeted at Grand-Pré.  One of the few New English officers who survived the attack described the dwellings in Grand-Pré village as "'low Houses fram'd of timber and their Chimney fram'd with the Building of wood & lined with Clay except the fireplace below....'"  At the center of town were a few stone houses, in one of which the New English commander was shot in his bed.  "So scattered were the individual houses that '... our Quarters must have been extended above a mile (even) had we taken up the nearest houses in the thickest part of it....'"   The second most populous area in Minas Proper was Rivière-aux-Canards, also with its own church, dedicated to St.-Joseph.  Canards "had a comparable stretch of marshland in its broad river valley" and, according to Clark's estimation, boasted a population of 2,500 people by the early 1750s.  New English engineer Captain Charles Morris, who survived the Grand-Pré attack of 1747 and surveyed the Fundy settlements during the spring and summer of 1748, noticed at Canard an unusually large use of uplands for agriculture and reported that '... for the production of Grain (it) well answer'd their Labour; but not like their Marshes, but much more uplands are here improved then (sic) in any other District.'"  Andrew Hill Clark adds:  "Apart from homes, barns, and stables, the only buildings [in these villages] were the churches and mills."129 

South of Grand-Pré, at the southeastern edge of the Minas Basin, stood the communities of Pigiguit, an area of settlement in the basin second only in size and population to Minas Proper.  Andrew Hill Clark estimates its population in the mid-1700s at 1,400 to 1,500 individuals, a dramatic increase from the 351 people Father Pain counted there in 1714.  Here, Rivière Pigiguit, today's Avon River, flowed westward and then northward from the highlands of the central peninsula.  After being joined by Rivière St.-Croix and then Rivière Quenetcou, now Kennetcook, two smaller streams emptying into it from the east, the Pigiguit transformed into an impressive channel flowing slightly northwestward and emptying into the basin west of Grand-Pré.  Below the Kennetcook, on the opposite side of the Pigiguit, a small stream later called Halfway River emptied into the Pigiguit at today's Hantsport, Nova Scotia.  The navigational approach to Pigiguit, then, was up the wide eponymous river, which did not produce dykable marshes until its confluence with the Kennetcook.  Above the Kennetcook, a wide peninsula was formed by the confluence of the St.-Croix with the Pigiguit; the name Pigiguit, in fact, was Mi'kmaq for "junction of the waters."  However, "The great tidal range," even more dramatic here than at Minas Proper, "created problems for water communication.  Large vessels usually had to lie well out and even then were usually aground at low tide, but small vessels could come up to all the settlements if they could withstand beaching.  Anchorage was also a problem so rapidly did the tidal race enter and leave the channel."  In 1720, to facilitate overland movement, "a road," which probably had been nothing more than a cart track from earlier times, "was opened from Grand Pré over the Ridge, crossing the Gaspereau River by means of a log-floored ford at [present-day] Walbrook, crossed the South Mountain to the east end of Bishopville, forded the Halfway River and crossed Grey Mountain to French Mill Brook, where it entered Lower Falmouth."  A ferry across the Pigiguit, near the bridges connecting today's Falmouth and Windsor, linked the westside settlements with those on the east.  The largest concentration of settlement seems to have been up and down the west bank of the Pigiguit above and below today's Falmouth.  Here stood the parish of Ste.-Famille, or Holy Family, created in 1698, not long after the settlement was founded.  Along the east bank of Rivière Pigiguit and on both banks of the St.-Croix, above and below present-day Windsor and as far up as today's St. Croix, stood the parish of Notre-Dame-de-l'Assomption, usually called L'Assomption.  This newer parish was created in June 1722 to address the difficulties faced by settlers living east of the river in crossing the wide, muddy tidal flats to the church of Ste.-Famille.  Beginning probably in the late 1680s, Étienne Rivest or Rivet farmed the marshes along lower Halfway River, but most of the Acadians in the area settled farther up the Pigiguit in "villages" named after a family or family head.  Along the St.-Croix, on the l'Assomption side of the Pigiguit, stood Village LeBlanc, Village Thibodeau, and Village Vincent.  Also on the l'Assomption side, between the St.-Croix and the upper reaches of the Pigiguit, stood Village Trahan, Village Breau, and Village Abraham Landry.  Farther down the Pigiguit, still on its east side, stood Village Pierre-Germain Landry and Village Pierre Landry.  On the west, or Ste.-Famille, side of the Pigiguit, above the Rivets, stood Village Babin and Village Forest.  After 1749, the upper, or southern, hamlets at Pigiguit became, via a "much-used foot trail," the closest Fundy settlements to the new British base at Halifax, on the Atlantic side of the peninsula.  On orders from the British governor, this trail was widened into a proper road that ran from Halifax all the way across the peninsula to Grand-Pré.  An improved road later connected the upper Pigiguit villages with Lunenburg, down the coast from Halifax, which the British populated with Foreign Protestants in 1753.  Beginning in the autumn of 1749, Indian raids against Halifax and the other coastal Protestant settlements often came through Pigiguit, the attackers making good use of the governor's new roads.  Typically, British authorities blamed the Pigiguit Acadians for taking part in these bloody attacks.  There was no question that settlers at Pigiguit had aided the Canadians and Indians in their attack on Grand-Pré in February 1747.  However, except for the occasional settler assisting Acadian partisans from Minas or Chignecto, the Pigiguit habitants usually were innocent bystanders during the bloody raids against the coastal settlements.  British authorities nonetheless punished the Acadians at Pigiguit by forcing them to labor on the governor's road to Halifax, allowing the British garrison there to project power deep into the Minas Basin.  Here was a wake-up call for some of the habitants.  Beginning in 1749, Pigiguit Acadians, such as Honoré Trahan and his wife Marie Corporon, resettled at Chignecto, Tatamagouche, Île St.-Jean, or Île Royale--as far away as they could get from their British oppressors.130

Northeast of the Minas Basin, at the far end of an interior bay, lay the sprawling community of Cobeguit, after which the bay took its name.  According to Andrew Hill Clark, when the seigneur of Cobeguit, Mathieu Martin, died in 1724, "his rights [were] assumed by the Crown ..., but as far as we know the area never had been properly surveyed or assessed and the hand of the government from Annapolis, tentative enough in its reach at Minas and Pisiquid, scarely ever poked its fingers into Cobeguid's affairs."   In other words, Cobeguit, like Chignecto and trois-rivières, was one of those settlements to which Acadians could flee to escape the prying eyes of British officials.  Here, Clark says, "the settlers were much more scattered in pockets over more than a hundred miles of shoreline and had much less social cohesiveness than" other settlements, even those of the Annapolis valley.  Along the south shore of the bay, Cobeguit habitations ran from Tennycape eastward to the head of the bay, and along the north shore from Grosse Île, today's Parrsboro, to the the head of the bay at present-day Truro, which lies on the south bank of the flood plain of today's Salmon River, just above the river's mouth.  Tradition says that the original Acadian name for the settlement at Truro was Ville Bois-Brûlé, or village of the burnt wood.  The original name for the Truro area was Wecobequitk, Mi'kmaq for "end of the water's flow" and from which the word Cobeguit evolved.  As at Rivière-aux-Canards at the west end of the Minas Basin, the relatively limited stretches of tidal marshland compelled some Cobeguit settlers to cultivate the wooded uplands lying along the bay.  According to Clark: "The densest settlement was, naturally enough, close to the most extensive marshes," which on the south shore could be found from the mouth of Rivière Shubenacadie up to Wecobequitk, and on the north shore from Cove, also called Cap, d'Église, today's Masstown, up into Rivière Wecobequitk.  The Shubenacadie, which flowed northward from the interior highlands into the Minas Basin, was an important route into the interior and, via a portage, to the Atlantic coast community of Chebouctou, where the British built Halifax.  Cobeguit's church parish was dedicated to SS. Pierre et Paul, and included two churches, or chapels, at Wecobequitk and Cove d'Église.  A third church in the area could be found at the Ste.-Anne mission for Mi'kmaq 20 miles up the Shubenacadie near present-day Stewiacke, south of Truro.  Here was the nation's "major interior rendezvous" point, important for communication throughout the interior.  Clark estimates that in 1748 the population of the Cobeguit region numbered around 900 individuals.  Starting on the south shore of the bay and moving eastward, there were 25 at Tennycape; 50 at Ville Noël; 25 at Ville Robert, today's Maitland; 25 on the west side of the Shubenacadie estuary; 100 along the Shubenacadie up to the Ste.-Anne mission; and 180 from the Shubenacadie estuary east to Wecobequitk, including villes Percé, Bourq, Michel Aucoin, Jean Doucet, and others.  On the north shore of the bay moving westward from the mouth of Riviére Wecobequitk, there were 100 at Rivière Chiganois and Isgonish, today's Lower Onslow; 100 at Cove d'Église, today's Masstown; 75 from Debert to Point Economy; 30 at the Five Islands; and 40 from the Five Islands westward to Cap d'Or, which lies on the northern shore of the entrance to the Minas Basin, west of and on the opposite shore from Cape Split.  Cobeguit lay only a few dozens miles south of the Mer Rouge, today's Northumberland Strait, and was connected to the North Shore settlements of Tatamagouche, Remsheg, and Baie-Verte by narrow overland tracks.  Due to the limited numbers of dykable salt marshes at that end of the bay, as well as the distance to the legitimate New England markets via the Bay of Fundy, the Cobeguit villages, settled in the final years of French control, grew slowly at first.  With the construction of the French fortress at Louisbourg, however, and the "insatiable appetite" of its large population, an accessible market opened up to the community.  By the 1740s, Cobeguit, like nearby Chignecto, had become an important cattle-producing area.  Along the valley of Rivière Chiganois, up a trail that ascended to a rocky divide hundreds of feet above the port at Tatamagouche, the Cobeguit Acadians ran their herds of cattle for transportation to Louisbourg.  The trade of course was entirely illegal, but the profits it produced could be considerable.131  

In the mid-1750s, there were a dozen families living in settlements along the so-called North Shore facing the Mer Rouge--a thin population that "must have spread through an extent of one hundred square miles along the present French and Waugh rivers" above Tatamagouche, Andrew Hill Clark tells us.  This was the far southern shore of the Gulf of St. Lawrence, not an inlet of the Bay of Fundy, so the tidal ranges here were not dramatic.  Consequently, there was little dykable marshland along the shore or on any of the rivers that flowed into the Gulf.  The habitants who engaged in farming here would have been forced to clear the forests and cultivate the uplands.  As a result, most Gulf shore settlers made a living more from "ferry services to Isle St-Jean and Cape Breton than in agriculture."  Their arrival, compared to other Acadian settlements, was late in coming.  During French control of Acadia, from c1680 to 1710, seigneurs in this area, devoted to the fur trade, were expected to establish settlements along the shore, but few, if any, bothered.  After the creation of the French colony of Île Royale in 1713, however, and the subsequent erection of the French fortress at Louisbourg, an attractive market for cattle and produce "brought Acadians in fair number to a coast without promising marshlands."  Clark avers that "Tatamagouche was second only to Baie-Verte as a depot of illegal export and emigration, and the connection with Cobequid by land may have allowed greater secrecy for such movements than that from and via the Chignecto isthmus."  Future British lieutenant-governor Paul Mascarene observed the illegal trade via the North Shore as early as 1720.  Archaeologist John S. Erskine attests that during the period of French control, "The harbour [at Tatamagouche] was a magnificent gathering place for the fur trade, but the low tide of the strait built no marshlands to attract Acadians."  However, "In the Louisbourg period, this was an excellent harbour where French ships could collect Acadian food, and Acadians could collect money and trade goods.  So there seem to have been two groups of Acadian settlers, traders to store the goods and act as middlemen, and farmers to feed the small community and to keep the cattle until a ship arrived."  When war came to the region in 1744, Baie-Verte became a staging area for Canadian forces operating in British Nova Scotia, and Tatamagouche and other local harbors also were used for strategic purposes.  On the eve of Le Grand Dérangement, a British official found at Baie-Verte "four families who cut hay for their cattle in their 1,000-acre 'midden,' but who 'subsist wholly on their trade to and with Louisbourg and Canada.'"  In the Pictou area east of Tatamagouche "There was some exploitation of the forests ... by the French from Cape Breton...."  Clark reminds us:  "... whatever the English claims to the peninsula, the Gulf of St. Lawrence was a French sea and protests from Annapolis Royal or Canso were ineffective."  While the settlers at Baie-Verte, Pugwash, Remsheg (today's Wallace), Tatamagouche, and Cape John (now River John) thrived on the illegal traffic to the French-controlled islands, the lack of an agricultural base kept the North Shore population small and scattered.  By the early 1750s, other settlements had appeared along the shore east of Tatamagouche and Cape John, at Pictou, Caribou, Little Harbour, Merigomish, and perhaps at Antigonish and Tracadie.  Again, no agricultural base developed there, so these settlements remained scattered and small.132

Continuing northwestward and then northward up the Gulf of St. Lawrence shore from Baie-Verte, settlements became even more scattered, their inhabitants even fewer in number.  Here lay the old seigneuries of Nicolas Denys, which he had secured from Richelieu's Company of New France beginning in the 1640s but which he largely had lost by the time of his death in 1688.  Miscou, an island on the south side of the entrance to the Baie des Chaleurs, was Denys first venture, though missionaries, first the Récollets in 1620 and then the Jesuits in 1636, had "settled" there earlier.  Denys's main possession in the region was Nepisiguit.  Established by him in the early 1650s, it lay deeper into the Baie des Chaleurs, also on its southern shore, and stood at the mouth of an eponymous river--as remote a settlement as one could find.  Deeper into the bay, northwest of Nepisiguit, lay Restigouche, named after the great river that drains much of today's northern New Brunswick and which forms the head of the Baie des Chaleurs.  East of Restigouche lay the southern shore of the Gaspé peninsula--Gaspésie--where even fewer French settlements could be found.  At the tip of the great peninsula lay Percé, facing the upper Gulf, where Denys's concessions had begun.  Like Miscou to the southwest, Percé also was the site of missionary activity during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.  It may be that, after the time of Nicolas Denys, Jean-François Lefebvre dit de Bellefeuille "'was the only seigneur who established himself permanently on a Gaspé seigneury during the French regime.'"  Back down the Gulf, first west and then south of Île Miscou, on the northern and southern shores of the large peninsula that dominates the littoral of present-day eastern New Brunswick, lay the tiny communities of Caraquet, founded by Gabriel Giraud dit St.-Jean in the early 1730s, and Miramichi, near the mouth of the river that empties into Miramichi Bay.  Here, at Miramichi, in the 1680s, stood the manor house of Nicolas Denys's son, Richard de Fronsac.  Further down the coast, heading back towards the North Shore of British Nova Scotia, one would have found scattered Acadian families at Richibouctou; Bouctouche; Cocagne; Gédaique, today's Grande-Digue; Shediac; Cap-Pélé; and, finally, Baie-Verte, gateway to the isthmus of Chignecto.132a   map

Second only to the Annapolis valley in tenure of settlement, the Chignecto isthmus lay in an area claimed by both Britain and France after 1713.  Unlike the Gulf of St. Lawrence shore, where intensive agriculture was not possible, the southern end of the isthmus, touched by the Fundy tides, was an agricultural paradise only Minas could overshadow.  Following Andrew Hill Clark, one could use the name Chignecto Proper for that part of the isthmus facing what is called today the Cumberland Basin.  At the center of Chignecto Proper was Rivière Missaguash, which forms part of the present boundary between the Canadian provinces of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, but no "boundary" between French and British claims existed along this river until the summer of 1750.  The oldest Chignecto settlement, Beaubassin, dating back to the early 1670s, lay just east of the Missaguash and was aptly named.  Charles Morris, a New English engineer surveying the colony during the spring and summer of 1748, observed that the area, with its "panorama of the ridges rising like islands or peninsulas in a sea of marshy grassland was '... one of the most Beautiful prospects the Bason of Chignecto affords in Summer for which Cause it is called by the French Beau Basin here may be seen a Number of Villages built on gentle rising Hills interspers'd with Gardens and Woods the Villages divided from each other with long intervalls of marshes and they at a great distance bounded by Hills covered with Trees the Natural growth of the Country here may be seen Rivers turning and winding among the Marshes then Cloath'd with all the Variety of Grain.'"  Both the French and British "were uniformly impressed with the potential of the area and recognized its strategic location for trade with the Indians and for commercial, military, or ecclesiastical intercourse with Quebec, Isle St-Jean, and Cape Breton."  The British noticed the coal deposits at present-day Joggins, overlooking the shore of the Baie de Chignecto west of Rivière-des-Héberts; "its veins could be seen in sailing by but the lack of labor and the range and rapidity of the tides made it difficult to exploit."  But Chignecto was especially noted for its agricultural potential.  At the northwestern edge of Chignecto Proper, in today's New Brunswick, lay the Tintamarre, also called the Tantramar and Tantamare, "the greatest of the North American Atlantic tidal marshes," drained by rivières Tintamarre and Aulac.  East of the Aulac flowed the Missaguash, and east of that, in today's Nova Scotia, flowed Rivière La Plance, all four streams running down from a slight divide southwest of Baie-Verte into the Cumberland Basin.  South of the La Plance, flowing northward into the eastern arm of the basin, was Rivière Maccan and its tributary, Rivière Nappan.  Between the Maccan and the southeastern shore of the Baie de Chignecto, also running northward and into the eastern arm of the basin, was Rivière-des-Héberts, also called Rivière-des-Mines or Minas River, which, with the Maccan, formed a prominent estuary at the southeast end of the Cumberland Basin.  Along the lower stretches of each of these streams and along both sides of their estuaries stood miles and miles of dykable marsh--much of it still waiting to be exploited when Acadian dispersal came early to the eastern half of Chignecto proper.  The upper stretches of Rivière-des-Héberts and of Rivière Chignecto, today's Parrsboro River, served as an overland route from the Cumberland Basin south to the Minas Basin; engineer Morris observed that the sources of "these two Rivers are within a mile of each other this was a safe Passage to them [Chignecto and Minas Acadians] clear of all English Cruisers" menacing the Baie de Chignecto; this inland route also may have been used to drive cattle between the basins.  By the mid-1740s, settlements in the Chignecto area numbered over a dozen:  from west to east stood Veskak, also called Weskak and Westcock; Wehehauk; Oneskak; and Peshkak, all on the western arm of the basin; Pré-des-Bourg, today's Sackville, north of Veskak; Pré-des-Richard, today's Middle Sackville; Tintamarre, today's Upper Sackville; La Butte; Le Lac on the Jolicoeur Ridge in the middle of the isthmus; Portage, at the head of the Missaguash near Baie-Verte; Le Coupe; Aulac, just west of the Missaguash, overlooking the basin; Pointe-de-Beauséjour, a prominent ridge overlooking the Missaguash; Beaubassin village, across the Missaguash from Beauséjour; Maccan, also spelled Makan, farther east; Nappan or Nepane; Rivière-des-Héberts to the south; and Menoudy, also spelled Menoudie and Minudie, north of Rivière-des-Héberts on the peninsula formed by the arms of the Cumberland Basin.  Even more so than Cobeguit, the Chignecto settlements were a place to go if one sought to escape the watchful eyes of the colonial authorities at Annapolis Royal.  Chignecto's distance from the colonial capital also affected the accuracy of the censuses taken there.  Father Pain counted about 350 settlers at Chignecto in 1714.  In 1720, colonial engineer and future lieutenant-governor Paul Mascarene counted 450.  By 1748, population estimates in the area ran as high as 3,000 to 4,000.  Clark notes:  "In the late forties the situation became confused with the coming and going of armed bands and activity in trade and emigration by way of Baie-Verte to Isle St-Jean and Cape Breton.  It was further complicated by [Abbé Jean-Louis] Le Loutre's policy of attempting to get all the Acadians in the area east and south of the Missaguash to move to de facto French territory."  Clark provides population estimates for the Chignecto area on the eve of the abbé's scorched-earth policy, which began in the fall of 1750:  175 at Menoudy, 125 on Rivière-des-Héberts, 75 on Rivière Maccan, 150 along Rivière Nappan, 50 along Rivière La Planche, and 275 at Beaubassin village, for a total of 850 east of the Missaguash; 225 along Beauséjour Ridge, 150 at Aulac and La Coupe, 150 at Tintamarre, 25 at Pré-des-Bourg, 75 at Pré-des-Richard, and 25 at Baie-Verte, for a total of 650 west of the Missaguash.  Clark also includes 100 individuals scattered around the Cumberland Basin.133 

West of Chignecto Proper, well inside territory not only claimed but also controlled by Versailles and Québec, lay the settlements of the trois-rivières--Chepoudy, Petitcoudiac, and Memramcook.  The first of these settlements was located between the mouth of Rivière Chepoudy, which flowed westward into the Baie de Chepoudy, and the mouth of Rivière Petitcoudiac, which lay farther up the coast.  Like the Baie de Chignecto to the east, the Baie de Chepoudy was an arm of the upper Bay of Fundy.  The other two settlements ran along the Petitcoudiac and its tributary to the east, the Memramcook.  An important feature of the area was an ancient portage route connecting Chepoudy with lower Rivière St.-Jean via the divide between the upper Petitcoudiac and the upper Kennebecasis, which flowed into the St.-Jean near its mouth.  From the lower St.-Jean "and thence up that river towards Quebec; this artery was much used by the Canadians, especially in winter."  After 1713, it allowed wandering Canadians and their Acadian brethren to avoid British warships menacing the all-water route from the mouth of the St.-Jean to Québec via the Gulf of St. Lawrence.  As early as the 1680s, Fundy Acadians, along with immigrants from Canada, established farming communities on the St. Jean's lower reaches above Jemseg--at Ékoupag, Ste.-Anne-du-Pays-Bas, and Nashouat.  Here also could be found thinly-populated fur-trading seigneuries awarded to the La Tours in the first days of the colony and to Canadian aristocrats from the 1670s.  The Petitcoudiac-Kennebecasis portage gave the St.-Jean settlers and seigneurs ready access to Chignecto via the trois-rivieres settlements without having to take the round-about route via the mouth of the St.-Jean and the tide-churned Bay of Fundy.  The trois-rivières settlements had the distinction of the being the last ones founded in the Fundy region, during the final years of French control of the colony.  They also were the only Fundy settlements that remained continually under French control from 1713 into the 1750s.  All of these factors transformed the trois-rivières into the most strategic point in the entire Fundy region.  Moreover, the Fundy itself gave promise that, if left to itself, the Acadian presence in the trois-rivières could grow exponentially.  Here were some of the highest tides on the Bay of Fundy, creating dykable marshes of such magnitude that many more Acadians could have settled there.  Here was the ultimate refuge for Acadians who sought to escape British authority in Nova Scotia without moving on to the Maritime islands.  Here were the largest percentage of Acadians who spurned neutrality and took up the gun as partisans.  Joseph Broussard dit Beausoleil, the most notorious Acadian partisan, whose fight against the British began in 1726, lived with his older brother Alexandre and their families at Village-des-Beausoleils, today's Boundary Creek, above the present-day city of Moncton--as high up the Petitcoudiac as aboiteaux-builders would have wanted to settle.  According to Andrew Hill Clark, in 1750, before refugees from Chignecto flooded into the area, the trois-rivières population consisted of 500 at Chepoudy, 400 along the Petitcoudiac, and 300 on the Memramcook.134


The so-called outlying settlements--those along the lower south shore of the Bay of Fundy and the southwest and southeastern Atlantic coasts from the mouth of Baie Ste.-Marie down to Cap-Sable and back up the coast northeast to Canso--were spread over a vast area that circumscribed much of the peninsula.  Except at Halifax and its adjacent communities after 1749, each of these settlements contained small year-round populations, and all of them were isolated from other population centers along the dozens of miles of coast.  Andrew Hill Clark points out that these Acadian settlements "were largely fishing and trading stations."  The region, in fact, also was called "the fishing settlements."  During the late 1680s, M. de Gargas, a French official conducting a census of the outlying settlements, found "that they were most precariously situated, depending for food on fishing, hunting, or what they could obtain from trading vessels," and recommended "that the settlers should be obliged to cultivate the soil and establish deeper roots," which proved to be more difficult than le Monsieur could know.  Archaeologist John S. Erskine offers a pattern for the development of Acadian coastal "fishing-farming sites":  "The storm-waves beat against the shore, and where they find little opposition, they rush inland and return with a rush of gravel.  Where the rocks resist, a sea-cliff develops.  As the fisherman's boat is of first importance, his house must be near to the developing cove, and the stretches behind the sea-cliffs remain empty."239

Clark says of Acadian settlement patterns along the southwestern coast facing the Atlantic, today's South Shore:  "It is ironic that we have no record of any pre-dispersion occupation or exploitation of St. Mary's Bay or the Digby Shore where the greatest post-dispersion concentration of Acadians in Nova Scotia was to take place."  This area lay at the juncture between the lower Bay of Fundy and the southwestern coast facing the open Atlantic.  No settlement seems to have survived at Cap-Forchu, today's Yarmouth, although colonial Commander Villebon found a small one there in 1699 supporting a cod fishery.  South of Forchu, an Acadian settlement arose at Chebogue, also spelled Tibogue, Tebak, and Thebok, in the 1740s despite the refusal of British officials to grant permits to raise dykes there or even to farm the upland.  The Acadians who had applied to go there were allowed only to spend a season fowling or fishing.  Typically, they did what they pleased, and by 1748 a dozen families had settled at Point Chebogue.  However, a lack of dykable marshes forced them to clear the upland forests for cultivation.  Southeast of Chebogue, farther down the South Shore, there had been settlement at Pobomcoup, today's Pubnico, since the mid-1600s.  The soil was generally poor there as well, so the upland forests also had to be cleared for cultivation.  However, at Bas-de-Tousket, below today's Tusket, west of Pobomcoup, dykable marshes lined the wide estuary and were put to use by the hand full of Acadians there.  In this region, since July 1653, lay the seigneurie of Philippe Mius d'Entremont and his descendants, which encompassed the littoral and its hinterland from Pobomcoup down to Cap-Sable and around to Cap-Nèigre, including Port-La Tour.  In September 1714, Denis and Bernard Gaudet of haute-rivière in the Annapolis valley reported three habitants at "the Passage de Baccareau," today's Barrington Passage, on the mainland north of Cap-Sable Island, but the Gaudets said these settlers had moved on to Île Royale.  By 1750, Acadians had established a small settlement at Ministigueshe on the north side of Cap-Sable Island, though this may have been the same settlement the Gaudets had mentioned.  Despite efforts by the descendants of Mius d'Entremont and Charles La Tour to lure Acadian farmers to their seigneurie, the Pobomcoup/Cap-Sable area remained lightly settled:  14 individuals in 1671; 15 in 1686; 22 in 1687/88; 24 in 1689; 32 in 1693, 40 in 1702, 53 in 1708; and only 15 to 20 Acadian families, as well as a few Indian families, by the 1750s.135

Above Cap-Sable, along the lower end of the southeastern Atlantic shore, settlements could be found at Port Razoir and Port Rochelois, today's Shelbourne; Port Mouton; and Port Rossignol, today's Liverpool, each supporting the offshore fishery.  A small fur-trading settlement stood at Petit-Rivière, today's Little La Have River.  Jacques de Meulles, the intendant of New France who conducted a colony-wide census of Acadia in the mid-1680s, was critical of the occupation of the hand full of settlers at Petit-Rivière, but he also was aware of their recent history.  "As he correctly pointed out," A. H. Clark relates, "the fur trade did not result in people's striking their roots in the country, as they would if they became farmers.  Although they liked to fish, they had been pillaged so many times they had pretty well given it up."  During the late 1690s, Commander Villebon believed that La Hève retained the qualities Isaac de Razilly had seen there in 1636.  Engaging in a bit of hyperbole, Villebon reported that La Hève possessed "... the best harbor and the most magnificent situation on the east coast.  Like the others it is surrounded by hills but has much more land suitable for cultivation.  It is true that there is not much beach available for a large fishery industry, but it could be extended; moreover, flakes could be used, and they without question produce the finest quality of fish.  The old fort is at the mouth of the very beautiful river, and vessels of 50 guns can enter and anchor under its cannon.  Lumber mills could be built, for pine and spruce fir (?) are plentiful.  Two families are at present living there.  There is plenty of hunting, and many good things to eat, such as herring and mackerel in season, eels at all times, as well as plaice, lobsters, oysters and other shell fish."  By the mid-1700s, the largest settlement in the area was Mirliguèche, where, since the late 1600s, Acadians, mostly traders and boatmen, lived alongside Indian families, as they did at nearby La Hève.  A fort stood at Mirliguèche in Villebon's day, such was its importance to the defense of the colony.  The commander's description of Mirliguèche was concise:  "... the soil was fair and ... there was a large number of red oaks."  Populations at La Hève and Mirliguèche, like at Pobomcoup/Cap-Sable, always had been small during French control of the colony:  13 individuals in 1686, 22 in 1687/88, 20 in 1689, 6 in 1693, 75 (including Métis and Indians) in 1701, and 42 in 1708.   After the British took over the colony in 1713, the population of the two settlements seems to have shrunk; in September 1745, the governor-general and the intendant of New France reported only eight individuals at Mirliguèche and two at nearby Petit-Rivière.  A few years later, Abbé Jean-Louis Le Loutre, chaplain of the Indians in the region, found a dozen "French" families at Mirliguèche, eight families at La Hève, and 200 to 300 "sauvages" in the area.  In 1749, Nova Scotia Governor Edward Cornwallis, founder of Halifax, visited Mirliguèche and reported:  "There are but a few families with tolerable wooden houses covered with bark--a good many cattle and cleared ground more than serves themselves....  (They) say they ... have their grants from Colonel Mascarene, the governor of Annapolis," Cornwallis's predecessor.  In June 1753, on the eve of Le Grand Dérangement, The British settled German Protestants at nearby Lunenburg, which quickly overshadowed the tiny Acadian/Indian community.  Farther up the eastern coast, Clark informs us, "There are no references to Mahone Bay, the Chester area, or St. Margaret's Bay" in regard to Acadian settlement before 1755.136 

Along the southeastern shore above St. Margaret's Bay only a hand full of small Acadian settlements arose--at Chebouctou, Chezzetcook, Musquodoboit, Jeddore, and Rivière Ste.-Marie, all devoted to the offshore fisheries.  In 1686, Intendant Jacques de Meulles found only three or four settlers at Chebouctou, which in Mi'kmaq meant "a large harbour extending far into a great forest."  A year later, Gargas found only a single house at Chebouctou, three French settlers, and 33 Indians.  In the 1690s, Cadillac called Chebouctou "the most beautiful and best harbor on the coast."  Villebon evidently was not impressed with the place.  That Chebouctou was indeed one of the finest harbors in North America, where an entire fleet of oceangoing vessels could take shelter from the storm, was demonstrated in the fall of 1746, during King George's War, when the remnants of the duc d'Anville's fleet took refuge in the harbor after a stormy passage from La Rochelle.  From this superb harbor ran two overland tracks.  One, via a portage to the head of Rivière Shubenacadie, headed north to Cobeguit.  The other, a much shorter one, ran eastward across the peninsula to the upper villages at Pigiguit.  Chebouctou also served as "a common resort" for Mi'kmaq bands.  Despite its many attributes, only a hand full of Acadians involved in the offshore fishery bothered to settle on Chebouctou Bay during British control of the peninsula.  The same held true for Chezzetcook, just up the coast, where only "a man and his three children" were living in the summer of 1745.  By 1748, seven or eight families were reported there.  Farther up the coast, the first Acadian census of 1671 had counted 13 people at Musquodoboit, also called Mouscoudabouet.  Here New-French officials would grant Mathieu de Goutin, Acadia's lieutenant général civil et criminel, a seigneurie in 1691.  Evidently de Goutin did not put much effort into populating his holding.  Although a fort stood on present-day Francis Nose Island in 1700, only a few settlers were living at Musquodoboit during the late 1740s.  The demographics of this part of the Atlantic coast changed dramatically when the British transformed Chebouctou into Halifax beginning in June 1749.  Later in the year, another fortified British settlement arose at Bedford, west of Halifax, at the head of the harbor.  In 1750, Dartmouth was founded across the harbor from Halifax.  In June 1754, a year before the Acadian dispersal, Lawrencetown appeared at Chezzetcook, just up the coast.137

Before the founding of Halifax, Canso and its fortified fishing post was the most important British "settlement" on Nova Scotia's Atlantic coast.  Perhaps the oldest "settlement" in peninsula Nova Scotia, Canso was the landing site of one of de Monts's ships in the spring of 1604.  When difficulties arose at de Monts's Port-Royal a few years later, the survivors retreated to Canso.  Even at that early date, Canso had long served as a rendezvous point and a drying station for offshore fishermen.  There, in 1607, the French writer Marc Lescarbot met an old Basque fisherman named Savalet who was on his fifty-second annual trip to the Acadian coast.  Canso's location guaranteed continued occupation and active service as a fishing station throughout the century of French control in Acadia.  In the late 1680s, Gargas reported that "Canseau is one of the best places for codfishing.  There are several fine beaches to dry the fish on and several small islands where ships can be sheltered.  In this place," he reminded the officials in France, the Compagnie des Pêches Sédentaires de l'Acadie, "have established their fishing station."  Lack of dykable marshes, however, would have forced any farmers who chose to live there to cultivate the highlands.  As a result, the population at Canso remained relatively small and was almost exclusively devoted to the fishery.  New Englanders began fishing out of Canso two years after the British took control of Nova Scotia.  "[R]epeated difficulties with French and Indians in the next few years led to the fishermen themselves building a small fort and the detachment of a few of the Annapolis garrison to occupy it in 1720."  The fort with its small garrison lay on the western end of Great Canso Island, which overlooked Canso Harbor.  The fort also controlled the important watering station on the mainland facing the harbor.  "The fishery in the Canso area was simply an extension of the New England schooner fishery on the various banks (from Georges to Grand...) which had developed so strongly in the previous two or three decades," Clark tells us.  "No residents or byeboatmen were involved; there was virtually no shore-based boat fishery there in the period nor did fishing ships come from England.  The schooners came from New England in spring, from late March to early May, and returned home in late September or early October.  The voyages to the banks, fifty to one hundred miles away, lasted from ten days to a month, depending on the fishing and the weather, during which time they caught, split (headed and cleaned), and temporarily put down in salt 150 to 250 quintals (hundredweight) of cod.  This took a hogshead of salt for each ten or twelve quintals of fish.  Upon arriving at Canso the fish were washed out in the sea and then laid out on clean gravel beaches or roughly constructed tables, or 'flakes,' to dry.  A rather elaborate process of repiling and respreading went on until the fish were completely hardened and cured.  Many entrepreneurs (usually with one schooner, but some operators had four or five) had some shore hands in the season but most of the work on land and sea was done by the five hands (rarely fewer or more) who, including the master, manned each vessel.  The schooner crews generally worked on a share basis.  From three to five trips to the bank and back from Canso might be ventured each season."  Here was employment for young Acadians as far away as the Fundy settlements whose labor could be spared on the family farm.  The number of New England schooners working out of Canso varied from a few dozen to over 200 a year.  The old fishing station also served as a center of trade "involving England, New England, the Mediterranean, and the West Indies."  Sack ships, as they were called, arrived from Britain or Boston each year, bringing supplies and returning with dried fish.  The largest market for the best of the dried cod were the Mediterranean countries of southern Europe; the lower quality fish found a market in the West Indies and the southern English colonies, where they fed the many slaves there.  "From four to a dozen sack ships came from England each year and as many as eight (perhaps also partly to fish) from the American colonies."  The physical plant for this activity, involving "many buildings to store gear, supplies, and fish and to shelter the shoremen during the season, dozens of stages for loading or unloading vessels, and acres of flakes for drying them, was spread over many miles of beach of both mainland and adjacent islands and must have been an impressive sight in mid-season."  The soldiers on Great Canso and the "half dozen or fewer permanent residents" lived away from the fishing plant and, during the season, their numbers were dwarfed by the fishermen.  During the winter, the local residents, including servants from southern Ireland and Newfoundland, occupied themselves by watching and repairing the flakes, stages, and buildings owned by the New Englanders.  There were 10 to a dozen licensed taverns to serve the locals and especially the fishermen, but many unlicensed grogshops also could be found in the storage buildings.  British officials also were troubled by the fishery based on Île Madame, only 10 miles to the north, which belonged to the French colony of Île Royale.  The Frenchmen were not supposed to fish in Canso waters, but they did so anyway.  A thriving smuggling trade also plagued officials of both colonies.  The boom years of the late 1720s and early 1730s ended in the late 1730s.  After 1739, the French and Indians harassed the New English fishermen, who chose to go elsewhere.  As a result, "Canso became something of a ghost town during the many years of the open English-French hostilities of the forties and fifties, although some New England schooners continued to come each year."138

West of Canso lay Chédabouctou Bay, approached from Canso Harbor via narrow channels.  Geographer Andrew Hill Clark reminds us that "Chedabucto Bay ... was too open and deficient in coves to provide shelter" for a fishery, with two exceptions.  At Martingaud, present-day Whitehaven, just west of Canso, Cadillac found "a sedentary fishery" in c1690, that of the Compagnie des Pêches Sédentaire de l'Acadie, but, he reported, "'the war has ruined their project and their means.'"  At the head of Chédabouctou Bay, "in the estuary now known as Milford Haven, behind a treacherously shallow bar, there was a natural harbor ... and soil more suitable for cultivation than at any place on the south coast east of Mirliguèche."  The site, today's Guysborough, the French named after the bay; it was there that Nicolas Denys had lived with his family in the 1660s until an armed clash with neighboring concessionaires forced him back to France to assert his rights again.  In 1682, directors of the Company of Acadia, with "permission" from Denys, sent one of their associates, Huguenot merchant Clerbaud Bergier of La Rochelle, to Acadia to select a site for the Compagnie des Pêches Sédentaire de l'Acadie.  Bergier chose Chédabouctou and built Fort Louis "with a storehouse and a barracks for the men."  Named the King's lieutenant for Acadia in 1684, Bergier boasted that he "had sowed wheat, rye, and barley on May 28, reaped it on September 16," and took it to France to prove that Chédabouctou could provide an agricultural base for the area.  Bergier claimed that "he had taken out vines and all sorts of fruit trees from France and that flax, hemp, peas, beans, and all manner of vegetables did well.  He thought it comparably superior to Quebec."  Over the years, a dry-fish and seal fishery developed at the site, and at one time the "sedentary fishery" supported 150 settlers, but later visitors were not impressed with what they found there.  In 1686, New France's intendant de Meulles reported only 15 or 20 "domestics" and four families "working the land" at Chédabouctou.  In 1687, "Gargas was openly depreciatory; he thought the soil not very good and said little land had been cleared."  He did find the fishing "fairly good," and reported the presence of an iron mine.  Saccardy, the engineer, visited Chédabouctou in September 1689 and found little to recommend the place:  "'There is no natural wood or wood for carpentering; nor are there three acres of meadow in ten leagues of the countryside," he wrote the following year.  "It is scarcely possible to make a garden, for the sand is too dry and too light, and water is too scarce and too distant to be used.  The house (block hour, or fort) is built of stone and mud, and is about to fall down.'"  He found only seven settlers and 12 soldiers, "who depended entirely on imported food and other supplies."  New Englanders had sacked Fort Louis in 1688 and would sack it again in June 1690.  The French abandoned it for a time, and the Company of Acadia and its sedentary fishery disappeared with the fall of Port-Royal in 1710.  After 1713, taking advantage of the vagueness of the Treaty of Utrecht on the subject of imperial boundaries in the region, the French on nearby Île Royale asserted their sovereignty over Chédabouctou as the French Canadians were doing at Chignecto.  In September 1718, in the opening action of a new frontier war, Fort Louis, now home to some 300 fishermen, many of them Acadians, was attacked by a British warship, the HMS Squirrel, under Cyprian Southack.  On September 23, Southack pillaged and burned the village next to the old fort.  After the British left, the survivors abandoned Chédabouctou and moved on to Île Madame and Petit-Degrat, off the south coast of Île Royale.  The British garrisoning of nearby Canso in 1720 discouraged anymore French settlement in the Chédabouctou area.238

Nevertheless, the entire Atlantic littoral, especially Canso, retained its importance in the eyes of European shakers and movers from the beginning of Acadian history; the offshore cod fishery was there in the beginning, and it never lost its significance.  Andrew Hill Clark provides the grand perspective:  "A final observation on the cod fishery is that in the eyes of officials in London and Paris it was of such critical nation importance as to make all the enterprises and activities of all the Acadians fade into relative insignificance.  Canso meant far more to London and Boston than Annapolis, Minas, and Chignecto combined.  As has been observed, there were many more men engaged in the fishery operating from Nova Scotia's Atlantic coves in any normal year than farmed Fundy's tidal marshlands.  Furthermore between the activities of the Acadians and the New Englanders the cod fishery made the whole coastline of Acadia known in much detail, even if it was not always adequately charted."240

Still, any detailed geographical survey of Nova Scotia reveals that from the time of d'Aulnay in the late 1630s until the great dispersal of the 1750s, the Bay of Fundy stood at the center of Acadian life, while the Atlantic and Gulf of St. Lawrence shores remained on its periphery, at least in relation to the Fundy's impact upon Acadian culture.  Interestingly, during the four and a half decades of British rule in Nova Scotia, no new Acadian settlements appeared in the Fundy region, though the many that existed grew dramatically in population mostly through natural increase.  But it was not overcrowding that drove more and more Acadians from the Annapolis Basin to the outlying settlements up the Fundy shore.  Living farther up the bay made it easier to engage in commerce, legal or otherwise, away from the prying eyes of colonial officials.  Andrew Hill Clark reminds us that "Above all, the Acadians sought to live their own lives in their own way and outward expansion had in it much of the same search for freedom and escape from restraint that sparked so much of the westward movement by other European settlers to the west and south in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries."  Wherever they did settle, the Acadians expanded their agricultural boundaries to the farthest limits of the tidal marshes, and farming remained their chief occupation.  "The economy of the Acadians in the major settlements did include fishing, hunting, lumbering, the building of boats and small vessels, a great many household industries, blacksmithing, trading locally with the Indians for furs, and trading their surplus livestock and grain to the New Englanders or to vessels from France for a wide variety of goods which they could not produce themselves," Clark tells us.  "But, for the vast majority, for most of each year, the occupation was farming and, so far as cropping was concerned, almost exclusively the cultivation of the tidal marshlands after these had been dyked in from the sea.  Indeed this had been so since soon after the reestablishment of settlement in the Port Royal area in the late 1630's."232

Evolution of Acadian Culture

By the beginning of British rule, then, the Acadians had been dyking the marshes of the Annapolis valley for over seven decades; four decades at Chignecto; three decades at Minas Proper and Pigiguit; and two decades at Cobeguit and in the trois-rivières.  As long as the Fundy tides delivered their water-born sustenance to the region's coastal marshes, the Acadians were certain they could count on Nature, and their own ingenuity, to provide more farmland for their growing families.  "The tides carry along with them great quantities of sediment (fine sands, silts, and clays) as they erode, transport, and deposit," Andrew Hill Clark has observed.  "In the tidal creeks this sediment is commonly up to 2 per cent by volume.  Unquestionably the high tides deposit the sediment across the flatter areas on their flood and they also take sediment out again into the deep parts of the bay on their ebb, but the very existence of the marshes supports the opinion that the tides deposit more than they erode:  one tide can deposit up to two inches of sediment.  Examination of the strata of the tidal marshes of the Fundy area indicate that, essentially, they have all been built up in this way.  Borings have indicated that in depth they may reach thicknesses of at least eighty feet...."  The region's tides had varying ranges, but none more dramatic than in the Bay of Fundy.  "The tidal range on the coast of the Strait of Northumberland," along the southern shore of the Gulf of St. Lawrence," Clark tells us, varies from more than two to less than five fee.  At Halifax on the Atlantic," which originally was called Baie de Chebouctou, "it is about four feet, at Cape Sable six feet, and at Yarmouth," originally Port-Forchu, facing the Atlantic north of Cap-Sable, "over twelve feet.  But it is within the bay that spectacular ranges of thirty to forty feet at normal tides, and fifty feet or more at spring tides, occur.  The ranges are still higher when gales are combined with spring tides...."  As the Acadians learned, the Fundy tides had their predictable seasons, but also their sudden, violent surprises:  "... the highest ranges occur in spring and fall and there is special danger of floods between August and November when the prevailing winds drive up the bay from the southwest sometimes reinforced by the tail-end effect of hurricanes which, every few years, can be felt even this far north along the coast."223 

Although major tidal flooding was rare, when it did come, it could be devastating.  Andrew Hill Clark relates:  "In a report of 1706 [colonial official Mathieu] De Goutin described the great flood of November 5, 1705, that had overflowed 'tous ceux du pays sans exception [all of the country without exception].'  While the extent of the damage may have been exaggerated (he was arguing for the turning of attention to the uplands), there is no question that the land flooded would regain its previous level of production only after a desalinization period following rebuilding of the dykes.  There is a good deal of disagreement on the length of such a period after chance inundation, doubtless depending upon how long the land had remained under salt water.  A mémoire of 1701 states that four years were necessary, but during that time drains could be dug and increasing use made of the marshes for hay and pasture, as the vegetation association changed rather rapidly."  The great flood reported by de Goutin occurred in wartime, a year and a half after Colonel Church and his New Englanders had destroyed the aboiteaux at Grand-Pré and Beaubassin.223a

There was another price the Acadians were forced to pay for their intense dyking operations.  Andrew Hill Clark explains:  "Natural processes have been markedly affected by the dyking of the marshes to exclude salt water, the cutting of drainage channels on their surfaces, and the construction of sluice gates (aboiteaux), large and small, which allow the fresh water to drain out at low tide but exclude the salt water automatically when they close with the incoming tide.  When the dykes were built high enough and maintained well enough to keep out the salt water and its silt over long periods, the natural settling, together with the compaction attributable to the working of the land, brought them to steadily lower elevations.  The French [Acadians] rarely used deliberately the remedy that would have helped to maintain them best--that is, the compartmentalization of the marshes into polders with dividing dykes, and the periodic admission of silt-laden salt water to build up their level again.  To be sure, however, nature did the job whenever unusually high tides, neglect of the dykes, or their destruction by marauders from New England, admitted the salt water.  But clearly there was a good deal of interference with what could be called 'natural' processes.'"224

But there was good reason for the Acadians to embrace such labor-intensive agriculture.  Clark says:  "...under no circumstances existing since Europeans first attempted to use them for agriculture have any of Nova Scotia's soils, apart from the dyked tidal marshland, been considered of high fertility, and at no time has more than a small proportion of the province's surface been improved for agricultural or pastoral use."  D'Aulnay saw this in the early 1630s, and it motivated his movement of the first Acadian families from La Hève to Port-Royal in 1636.  Whether they had experience with the process from their time in France, or learned it from Razilly's saltmakers or from d'Aulnay himself, these first families resorted to dyking the Fundy marshes in response to the challenges of a particular frontier environment.  Their reasoning was clear:  They were farmers as well as trappers and fishermen; the upland soil was rocky, thin, and infertile; here stood the coastal marshes with their potential for fertility; so up went the aboiteaux.  Without this innovation, farming would have been so impractical in the region that only a small population engaged in the meanest of subsistence agriculture could have survived there.  Acadia would have remained an industrial colony devoted to furs, fish, and lumber, not a agricultural colony with a settled population.224a 

The Sieur de Dièreville, a French botanist and surgeon, who visited Port-Royal in the autumn of 1699, was the first to describe the dyking process in detail:  "... it is done in this way; five or six rows of large logs are driven whole into the ground at the points where the tide enters the Marsh, & between each row, other logs are laid, one on top of the other, & all the spaces between them are so carefully filled with well-pounded clay, that the water can no longer get through.  In the centre of this construction, a Sluice is contrived in such a manner that the water on the Marshes flows out of its own accord, while that of the Sea is prevented from coming in.  An undertaking of this nature, which can only be carried on at certain Seasons when the Tides do not rise so high, costs a great deal, & takes many days, but the abundant crop that is harvested in the second year, after the soil has been washed by Rain water compensates for all the expense.  As these Lands are owned by several Men, the work upon them is done in common;  if they belonged to an Individual, he would have to pay the others, or give to the Men who had worked for him an equal number of days devoted to some other employment; that is the manner in which it is customary for them to adjust such matters among themselves."  Andrew Hill Clark points out that the first problem in constructing the aboiteau, regardless of where it was located, "was to get the dyke built in the face of the rapidly moving tides.  This was done by cutting deep sods (held together by the matted roots of salt-marsh grasses) in rectangular or trapezoidal shapes (rather like peat-turf) and erecting a barrier perhaps five feet high and with a base twice or more the width."  The peripheral shape of the dyke was dictated by the shape of the tidal marsh to be enclosed.  Some were built in narrow strips along a coast or a river, others in huge blocks, "where single units of up to one thousand acres of marshland existed," like at Grand-Pré at Minas, at Prée Ronde on the haute rivière above Port-Royal, and at Tintamarre at Chignecto.  The typical dyke stood up to two meters high, and some were four meters wide.  Isaac Deschamps, a native of Switzerland (some sources say England), came to Nova Scotia in 1749 and became chief justice of the Nova Scotia Supreme Court after the Acadian dispersal.  While touring his new home, he was much impressed with what he saw of the Acadians' handiwork.  "'The dykes,'" he wrote in an unpublished, undated manuscript, "'are in General on the Main Rivers 11 and 12 feet thick at bottom and gradually slope till they become a foot & half thick at top, and are five feet in height.'"  They were so sturdy, in fact, that most of them supported foot paths and even cart paths along their crests.224b 

Andrew Hill Clark's research reveals that "The methods of dyking, the building of aboiteaux ... to drain the fresh water and exclude the salt, and the digging of intra-marsh ditches apparently changed very little from the mid-seventeenth century to the mid-eighteenth."  But there were changes in dyke construction over the years, and they revealed a mastery of physics, hydrography, and topographical engineering acquired by these largely illiterate farmers in the school of trial and error.  "The earliest seventeenth-century dykes had been 'running dykes' protecting small areas of river margin," Clark tells us, "closed off by local high spots or by turning the dykes inland and thinning them out up-slope.  But no considerable area could be so enclosed without some exit lest it become water-logged and swampy:  it had to be drained.  Many of the marshes had natural creeks that drained not only the uplands behind but the marshes themselves at low-tide.  The aboiteau was placed as near the sea on the creek as possible to provide the largest possible area of marsh behind and to minimize the amount of 'running dyke' required.  The more seaward it was placed the higher the bounding dyke had to be and the stronger the aboiteau itself to withstand the tide."  Deschamps stood before these marvels and described them for posterity:  "'Across the large Creeks are considerable dams composed of spruce Brush and sods from the salt marshes with large Sluices in which are two or three gates or valves for stopping the sea water and drawing off the fresh water, and the dimensions of the trunk is according to the size of the creek, or sluice.  From these dams the dikes run along the sides of the main Rivers.'"224c

The results of this labor were just as impressive as the daykes and aboiteaux they built:  "The Acadians harvested for hay the grasses that naturally colonized the marsh areas.  When they had dyked a section ... they sometimes grew crops of wheat, peas, and other grains, pulses, or vegetables, and sometimes simply let volunteer grass colonize the area for grazing.  The silts were rich and, as the salt was slowly washed out and the water table lowered by ditching, the better grasses and clovers took over naturally.  Whether as permanent pastures or as rotational leys with other crops, these improved grasslands were important in supporting the livestock for which the Acadians became locally noted."   According to Andrew Hill Clark, "That the marshlands were of high and lasting fertility is attested abundantly."  New English engineer Charles Morris, who surveyed parts of Nova Scotia in 1749, proclaimed that "'They are Naturally of a Fertile Soil and produce (communibus annis) about twenty  Bushells of Wheat from an Acre English Measure and they are of so strong and Lasting a Nature that their Crops are not Diminished in ten or twenty Years Constant Tillage.'"  The amazing fertility of the dyked marshland allowed the Acadians to keep much of it out of cultivation at any given time, which, like crop rotation, only enhanced the soil's fertility.  Clark observes:  "It must be borne in mind that much more marshland was dyked at any one time than was actually in use.  The breaking of dykes, overflowing at excessively high tides, concentrating of salt in old fields, and the constant bringing of new land into production, with a desalination period under ordinary rainfall of two or three years, lead us to conclude that in any given year a substantial area cannot have been in crop.  Moreover some of it was used for pasture.  Perhaps as little as two-thirds of the dykeland was cropped in a given season. ...  One must also remember that much of the undyked marshland provided salt hay, cut at low tide and dried and cured on dry land, so that the use of dyked lands for grazing may not have been very extensive."225

Dyking the salt marshes had its critics, of course, mostly outsiders who were ignorant of Acadian geography.  A New English historian, describing Colonel Church's assault on Grand-Pré in the summer of 1704, during which the colonel ordered his men to destroy the local dykes, informed the reader that "They [the Acadians] made the mistake of cultivating the low meadows instead of the uplands, to avoid the labor of felling the timbers."  One could argue that it was no mistake to "cultivate the low meadows" as long as others did not tamper with the dykes and aboiteaux, though, as in November 1705, there were times when Mother Nature emulated Colonel Church and his New England raiders.  Considering the prodigious effort it took to build and maintain these structures, the implication in the New English historian's statement that the Acadians were lazy because they avoided chopping down forests can be attributed to English prejudice against all things French.  The bias was shared by British officials.  Governor Richard Philipps, who spent little time in the colony but enough to imagine he understood the Acadians, was caustic in his evaluation of their farming practices as well as their collective behavior.  "Writing in 1734, he found them '... rather a pest & Incumbrance, than of an advantage to the Country being a proud, lazy, obstinate and untractable people, unskillfull in the methods of Agriculture.... they have not in almost a Century clear'd the Quantity of 300 Acres of Wood Land.  From their Corn and Cattle they have plenty of Dung for manure which they make no use of it but when it increases to become troublesome then instead of laying in on their Lands they get rid of it by moving their barnes to another Spot....'"  Two decades later, New Englishman Charles Morris also revealed his ignorance of what he was observing throughout the colony.  He saw the Acadians as "'... but indifferent Husbandmen in General, and do no more labour than what necessity urges them to, and their Land being so easily Cultivated, it does not take up one third of their time."  Even their fellow Frenchmen had disdained the Acadians' reliance on dyking the region's marshlands.  A French official at Port-Royal disdainfully called the Acadians défricheurs d'eau, or "water clearers."  Another complained that the Acadians "diked the marshlands because they were 'unwilling to clear the uplands (where) the work is too hard.'"  Still another pontificated during the late 1680s:  "'it would be a good plan to force the inhabitants to clear the higher ground.  Most of them, as at Port Royal, Minas etc., take pleasure only in building levees in the marshes where they sow their wheat ... having already built the dykes, they do not wish to undertake new labours, and the country will always remain unchanged...."  Governors, engineers, and census takers, French and British alike, echoed these official complaints.  Geographer Andrew Hill Clark concludes:  "There is an air of unreality about all the complaints regarding failure to use the uplands; the observers were making comparisons with France and with much better soils than the Nova Scotia uplands provided.  In the conditions of the time and place the Acadians followed what was, for them, the most sensible policy.  As long as there was productive marshland to be dyked they preferred to move to where it was easily available....  They were not afraid of axe-work as they amply demonstrated.  They simply observed the comparatively poor yields and short life of unfertilized upland soils and made, for their situation, a good judgment."  Clark found two studies from the early twentieth century which "estimated that there is ten times as much dyked marsh land around the Bay of Fundy as along the entire Atlantic coast of the United States."226 

One cannot overstate the role of dyking in the creation of a unique Acadian culture.  The aboiteaux even dictated the shape of Acadian habitation.  Andrew Hill Clark asserts:  "Every farm [in Acadia] that amounted to anything had its small parcel of marsh above an aboiteau."  The natural and therefore uneven distribution of dykable marshland contributed to a contour for Acadian farms that was unique in New France.  The rotures of Canada facing the St. Lawrence as well as the Chaudière and other tributaries of the St. Lawrence, were "of severely oblong rectangularity," says Clark.  This shape also could be found at Chéticamp on Île Royale, and along the lower Mississippi River after the founding of New Orleans.  However, as Clark points out, "The conditions that created and maintained parallel strips with dimensions of ten or twenty to one elsewhere simply did not exist in Acadia."  Moreover, the labor necessary to build and maintain the aboiteaux in these oddly-shaped tidal marshes required a substantial work force which, in warmer climates, was provided by slaves imported from West Africa.  In Acadia, the workers were neither human chattel nor hired hands but rather sons and grandsons, uncles, cousins, friends, and neighbors.  Cooperation, not rugged individualism, sustained the Acadian way of life.  "Dièreville remarked that the dyked fields were sometimes jointly owned, sometimes the property of a single farmer, but always jointly worked.  Payment for labour might be in kind, the owner working in his turn for those who gave him labour, or in coin."  The land itself, created by their own hands, was as precious to Fundy Acadians as anything in their lives.  "The French families of Acadia won this land from the sea by their unceasing labor," David Hackett Fischer reminds us, "and they became strongly attached to it.  They developed a different attitude from other colonists in North America, who favored extensive agriculture, mining the soil, and moving on to new land  when it wore out.  The Acadians," on the other hand, "gained a reputation for clinging stubbornly to the land when others tried to remove them."  Professor Fischer contends that building and maintaing dykes and aboiteaux also shaped political attitudes among the Acadians.  "Unlike the habitants of Quebec, the people of Acadia adopted a customary practice of local self-government.  Historian Peter Moogk writes, 'Only in Acadia was there a form of village self-government provided by elders.'  He thinks that this exception was 'due to the French government's indifference to what happened in Acadia.'  That 'attitude of indifference' might explain how this practice could persist," Professor Fischer agrees, "but not why it emerged in the first place.  Clearly it came from the interplay of a cultural heritage with a new environment.  The people of some provinces in southwestern France during the early seventeenth century still maintained parliamentary bodies that preserved traditional legislative powers of self-government, long after the parlements of northern France had become administrative and judicial bodies.  The Acadians brought something of that heritage to North America.  And in the new environment they found opportunities for economic development that required collective effort in the construction of dykes and aboiteaux.  These complex hydraulic systems required constant maintenance and regulation.  The people of Acadia responded by developing political systems of self-government and maintaining them for many generations.  The land system of Acadia reinforced a heritage of local self-government."226a  

The dyking process and what it produced also dictated the Acadians' seasonal routines.  During the final years of their tenure in British Nova Scotia, Isaac Deschamps described the Acadians' working of the land:  "They plougd the land Intended to be sown with wheat, between the month of august or middle of September, and the month of Decr. and if the whole intended to be sown was not plough'd by that time and that they found the Ground (which in some seasons was the Case) clear of snow in february, they ploughd more, and as soon as possible in the month of april they sewed wheat, & they laid it down as a rule, never to sowe Wheat, after the month of april....  There is a particular nicety required in ploughing them, & ploughs are constructed on purpose; about an inch and half is the depth of the first ploughing, and must never Exceed three inches, the Crop of Grass will yield two tons of hay to an acre."226b

What the Acadians grew on their oddly-shaped fields and on the land they cleared above the marshes provided plenty to eat and plenty to trade.  Antoine Laumet dit Lamothe, known to history as the sieur de Cadillac, future founder of Détroit and governor of Louisiana, conducted a survey of Acadian farms in the Port-Royal Basin during the early 1690s.  He noted that the Acadians produced wheat and rye, which was "'sown about 15 of April, and is reaped towards the end of August,'" Indian corn, "'every kind of legumes (vegetables?) and pot herbs, especially headed cabbages....'"  According to Andrew Hill Clark, "Cabbages were grown so extensively as often to be considered a field crop but the residents also depended upon beans and a wide variety of other garden truck."  Cabbages and white turnips were made into a soup.  "Interestingly," Clark says, "the turnips were stored in cellars (possibly usually under houses) whereas the cabbages were left in the fields after being pulled and covered with snow."  Joseph Robinau de Villebon, commander of French Acadia during the 1690s, noted that the Acadians grew in abundance cabbages, beets, onions, carrots, chives, shallots, turnips, parsnips, peas, "and a variety of salad greens."  Peas and wheat were especially important in the Acadian diet and were sown together.  Acadian grain fields held not only wheat but also oats, rye, and barley, but Indian corn was rare.  The Acadians grew flax, which the women could transform into linen, and hemp for rope, "but," according to Clark, "apparently less than enough for domestic needs."  "[M]ost farmers also kept pigs, sheep (for wool), and poultry.  Every farm had a kitchen garden."  During the 1700s, as new markets opened up to them, Acadians experimented "with a few specialty crops like tobacco."226c 

Cadillac also commented on the fruit the Acadians produced.  Known for the native blueberries and cranberries they grew on their dyked lands, they also maintained orchards of apple, plum, pear, and cherry on the borders of the marshland or on the higher ground above the marsh.  During the early 1630s, Razilly's habitants had planted apple trees above the fields at La Hève, and a visitor found these trees still flourishing in 1701.  Villebon described the Port-Royal valley as "'a little Normandy for apples.  They might have a great many more, and could easily make cider,'" he said of them, "'but apart from the fact that they are not very industrious and most of them work only enough for a bare living, they neglect the propagation of fruit trees for use as the country opens up.'"  At Port-Royal and the other settlements, the Acadians grew Calvilles, akin to Calvados, green or yellow Rambours, also called Rambures, Reinettes, "and three or four other varieties" of apple.  The Sieur de Dièreville noted that the Acadians at Port-Royal kept their apples "'carefully in their cellars to eat during the Winter.'"  Dièreville also compared the Port-Royal apples to the ones he had seen in his native Normandy, "but with the difference that the trees [in Acadia] were not grafted."  He was especially impressed with the Acadians' Calvilles, and observed the production of apple cider, though he made a bigger fuss over "the brewing of spruce beer (new tips [of the tree] fermented with yeast and molasses), a well-known anti-scorbutic of the seventeenth century that had apparently caught on in Acadia."  The Acadians also grew two kinds of cherries, red ones and red-and-white ones, though the more severe winters at Chignecto may have prevented their cultivation there.  As late as 1757, two years after the Acadian dispersal in Nova Scotia, an English observer noted the "extensive groves of apple and pear trees, the boughs bending under the weight of their fruit:  '... finer-flavoured apples, and greater variety, cannot in any other country be produced; there is also great plenty of cherry and plumb trees; but the fruit were either gathered, or had rotted and fallen off.'"227 

The Acadians were noted for their livestock; they raised hogs, sheep, cattle, and dairy cows for milking in each of their communities, but horses and oxen for heavy pulling probably came late to the colony, perhaps not until the late 1600s.  Chignecto was especially suited for cattle production, though beef was produced in the other Fundy settlements as well.  An observer noted in the 1680s the "vast extent of meadows, thought capable of supporting a hundred thousand cattle, and the upland borders with virgin forests" at the head of the Baie de Chignecto, where the cattle also pastured.  He also found at Chignecto "More than a score of dwellings had been built on the borders of the marsh or on the 'islands' above the tide.  Each farmstead had many outbuildings and had perhaps a dozen to twenty cattle, a dozen pigs, and as many sheep.  The livestock were stabled only for two or three months in the winter or for fattening before butchering...."  The observer believed that this open-range method of cattle raising "resulted in undue loss from wolves."  Also, "The dependence on livestock had meant a neglect of field crops but he thought they had cultivated enough land to raise the hope that they might soon be independent in bread grains."  (That two gristmills appeared at Chignecto by the late 1680s attests to the habitants' success in the cultivation of bread grains as well.)  The number of cattle held at any given time was dictated by the seasons.  Winters were long and cold, so the cattle had to be taken in during the coldest months.  Winter fodder was always in short supply, so the autumn slaughter could be heavy.  This created a great demand for salt since the beef could not be kept frozen over the entire winter, as in the colder climate of Québec.  As a result of the autumn slaughter, "December counts may have been 30 per cent to 40 per cent less than those of the previous June in some years."  Andrew Hill Clark's research reveals that "The major role of cattle in supplying much needed surplus agricultural commodities for sale is stressed again and again."  Perhaps because of this trade, the number of cattle Acadians held in their various settlements tended to remain stable, while the numbers of their swine and sheep gradually increased.  Many Britons and New Englanders, however, especially the garrison at Annapolis Royal, were not impressed with the quality of Acadian beef:  "scrawny and poor would sum up the many comments," A. H. Clark tells us.  He adds:  "If these comments do not reflect simply the anti-French bias of the English garrison they describe a situation not unusual for colonial cattle during a winter season when, as wintering feed grew short, the least promising animals were butchered.  All reports tend to emphasize that adequate amounts of wild marsh hay were made but it was not a very nutritious feed.  However, there are other suggestions that the best animals were killed in the autumn to be salted away for sale or use, or were driven and shipped at that season to Cape Breton or sold to the New England trading ketches."227a

Evidently Acadian sheep were another matter.  Cadillac observed that they were "as fat and big as in the Pyrenees, and their wool is as fine....  The ewes bear young twice a year and have two young each time.'"  Dièreville also was impressed with the sheep he found at Port-Royal, insisting that they were "as big as those of Beauvais," which weighed as much as a hundred pounds.  He noted that since the Acadians kept their sheep for wool the sheep were rarely slaughtered.  Andrew Hill Clark explains:  "The function of sheep in Acadia was chiefly to provide wool, especially for caps, stockings, and other knitwear.  How heavily they depended on homespun woven clothe we don't know.  In their increasingly active trade the Acadians imported much cloth, including woolens and linens.  Sheep must have had some care to have allowed steady increases in numbers in the face of active predators such as wolves, bears, and wild dogs."   Dièreville noted that Acadian pigs were "wintered on scraps of turnip and cabbage and on the offal of slaughtering:  'The Acadians are great lovers of fat bacon ...," he observed, "which they prefer before partridges and rabits (sic)....  They never eat veal, nor lamb, but let them all grow up, and throw the sheeps heads, trotters and pluck to their swine."  Clark tells us:  "Swine, like sheep, were ubiquitous and apparently present in comparable numbers.  Pork was an important element of the diet; indeed with wheaten bread, peas, and cabbages it was one of the four mainstays of the daily fare.  The pigs appear to have had little attention and may have subsisted largely on offal, garbage, deadfalls, and other waste, together with mast and roots in the forest."  The Acadians also raised horses, but they did not become important until the eighteenth century.  This was due to "the infrequent use of plows ... and the very poor roads" in the colony.  No horses were reported in French Acadia until the end of the 1680s.  Cadillac, in the early 1690s, insisted:  "'The horses there are of fine build, broad-shouldered, well legged, with lasting hoofs, the head a little large, but no care is taken in raising them.,'" but he was the only one to comment so glowingly on Acadian horses.  Cadillac also "observed that 'there is also much poultry,' including geese and pigeons as well as barnyard fowl (coqs d'Inde)."  Dièreville also commented on the "plenitude of poultry but felt that, in a country of such abundant game, it did not serve much purpose."  Commander Villebon, noting that Acadian livestock had suffered from "long and unselective inbreeding," reported in October 1699:  "... another thing which appears indispensable is our need to obtain from them [New Englanders] mares and stallions for breeding purposes and for trade in the Islands [French West Indies], and cattle, so that the stock may be changed entirely.  The Acadian cows do not yield a third of the amount of milk which the cows of Boston give, and even that with difficulty."  Acadian butter "was not considered good; the settlers made and kept only a small supply, preferring to use the milk.  Of the latter Dièreville thought they were too fond:  '... on y aime trop le lait [they love milk too much].'  This desire for milk he saw as a major reason that calves were rarely killed for veal, for '... it is the peculiarity of the Cows in that Country, that if a Calf is taken from its Mother, her udder yields nothing more.'"  Charles Morris, a New Englishman who surveyed parts of Nova Scotia during the late 1740s, quipped about Acadian dairy products:  "'a little bad Butter but no Cheese.'"228

Livestock nevertheless remained an important part of Acadian agriculture.  "In all the settlements, cattle represented the major focus of livestock interest throughout" the late 1600s and early 1700s.  "In general sheep and swine are seen to have advanced in proportion slightly through the period.  Of the two, through time, swine declined and sheep increased in relative importance.  At any time swine were somewhat more prominent in the newer settlements than in Port Royal, sheep increasing in significance only as fields were abandoned to pasture from cultivation, perhaps, or as more forest land was opened, offering both more grazing and less danger of predators."  But "in any settlement at any time, there was a good deal of variation as between different farming families in the proportions of different livestock held."  And throughout the period, livestock, especially cattle, when held in surplus, served as an essential component in Acadian commerce with French Canada and especially New England.  As long as the Fundy Acadians lived close to water, whether on an estuary, as at Chepoudy; up a river, as at Port-Royal, Petitcoudiac, and Memramcook; or inside a basin, as at Port-Royal, Minas, Cobeguit, and Chignecto, their livestock, either alive or slaughtered, could be taken aboard ship and sent to distant markets, licit or otherwise.228a

According to Canadian archaeologist John S. Erskine, "Acadian roads were designed for oxen which were magnificently strong and desperately slow.  For them the most efficient road was as straight as possible and showed a splendid contempt for gradients.  Many such roads retain remnants of hedges, a necessity until this [the twentieth] century, since those with no pasture turned their cows onto the road to live as best they could.  It was up to the residents to protect their own gardens and fields.  In some Acadian areas, stone walls were used and in others snake-fences of rails, but neither of these fencings have been found among the dyking Acadians.  Forgotten roads can often be suspected by daphne, meadowsweet, caraway, chicory, tansy and European oak, as well as the hedge-trees.  Along these roads one can find traces of dwellings not depending upon dykes:  blacksmiths, millers, and the motels of the slow traffic, usually a hedge and traces of an indestructible Acadian orchard, the roots of which sprout new trees forever."228b

Throughout Acadian history, however, water remained the chief means of transportation.  Perhaps the first ship built in greater Acadia appeared at the Sieur d'Aulnay's seigneurie at Pentagouët, on the coast of Maine, during the mid-1630s.  This "presaged the later construction of any number of small craft capable of exploiting the coastal waters, crossing the Bay of Fundy, and linking the mouth of the Mirimachi[sic], Canso, Cape Breton, and Port Royal."  The Acadians also learned to travel efficiently along inland waterways as well as across coastal inlets, bays, and straits.  Andrew Hill Clark notes:  "The stringing out of population along lines of communication was characteristic of a great deal of North American settlement, both French and English.  And in the Acadian areas it had a powerful incentive beyond the concentration of attention on the marshlands.  The roads or tracks along the river were slow to be made suitable for vehicles; the river itself was the major avenue of communication in all seasons--by canoe for most of the year, and by snowshoe when it was frozen over and snow-covered--and this perpetuated the stringing out" of the homesteads.  But even by open water, Acadian travel could be frightfully slow.  Naomi Griffiths reminds us:  "... travel within Acadia was both commonplace and time-consuming, an everyday matter and yet an exhausting undertaking."  During the mid-1680s, the intendant of New France, Jacques de Meulles, in the colony to conduct a census, noted that the Acadians "built boats capable of coastal travel."  He also "recorded that the journey from Beaubassin to Port Royal by sea could easily take twelve days in the best of circumstances and the overland route, during the winter, could well take a month and occasionally more.  To journey from Port Royal to La Hève overland took most of a week."  Only the Mi'kmaq used the colony's inland trails with any frequency, but they, too, favored water-borne transportation.  To be sure, they taught the Acadians how to fashion snowshoes and toboggans for movement along snowy trails, but they also taught them how to construct and guide a canoe.  Clark tells us:  "The dependence of the Acadians on canoes and the skill of men, women, and children in using them was cause of frequent comment by observers.  Cadillac remarked:  'The creolles (i.e., the Acadians) ... travel most of the time by bark canoes.  Their wives do the same, and are very bold on the water.'"  Clark describes this essential craft:  "The canoe had few distinctive features other than an inverted, double-cusp, undulating profile of the gunwale which suggests diffusion to or from Newfoundland where a similar peculiarity was noted in Beothuk canoes.  Essentially it was the same vessel made and used almost everywhere in North America that Betulus papyrifera [the paper birch] could be found in abundance.  Locally, slats were made of white fir, the ribs, of cedar; spruce roots were used to sew the bark, and spruce gum (or often an adhesive made by boiling the gum with animal or fish fat) to seal the stitches or tears that might appear.  A canoe might take a week or two to build and with reasonable care might last twenty years (spruce and birch for repair work was ubiquitous in ... Acadia)."  Meneval, who was governor during the late 1680s "described the use by Acadians of '... canots d'escorse comme les sauvages, ou d'autres petits canots qu'ils font eux mesme d'une troue d'arbre creusé.' [smaller versions of canoes like the ones the Indians made from hollowed tree trunks].  Longer and stronger boats of the fishing-skiff type were also used, especially for moving heavier goods."  During the late 1740s, New English engineer Charles Morris described the short, sturdy "Canoes made of Pine Loggs" used by Chignecto Acadians in moving goods along the sometimes difficult 18-mile portage route between the mouth of the Missaguash and Baie-Verte on the Mere-Rouge.  During British control of the colony, "all vessels of five tons or more had to have an official license from Annapolis before engaging in trade."  Clark concludes:  "... all the Acadians lived close to tidewater and they had a more than adequate supply of canoes, boats, and small vessels.  If their transport problems did not involve secrecy or the dangers of apprehension by an official British vessel, they moved themselves, their animals, and their good largely by sea.  The problems of the great tidal range, as a result of which vessels might have to be anchored far off-shore or be able to withstand 'beaching' at low tides, had been familiar to them for generations and they coped with them successfully."229 

Water provided the Acadian not only with a means for transportation, communication, and seaborne commerce, but also with a good meal and, for some, a livelihood that was older than the colony itself.  The cod fishery, as much as the fur trade, created French Acadia.  Naomi Griffiths observes:  "The sea was the constant background of early Acadian life and often enough a crucial food source when there was a poor harvest, followed by a severe winter and poor hunting."  During the early days, the arrival of the fishing fleets "off the Acadian coasts meant at least, minimal trade and, at best, considerable profits from the sale of furs and fresh food."  By the late 1600s, however, the great majority of Acadians had turned to agriculture, and the fisheries played a smaller role in the evolution of their culture.  If an Acadian wished to lead the life of a cod fisherman, he would have to move to the Atlantic side of the peninsula, to the so-called outlying settlements, especially Canso, where he would find "a shore-based boat fishery and ... drying grounds for fish caught on the offshore banks."  The great majority of Acadians, however, lived along the Fundy shore, where only in summer, and only at the mouth of the bay, did the codfish migrate in any numbers, but nothing compared to the Atlantic offshore banks.  Still, young Acadian men from large families, freed from work on the families' farms, sometimes hired themselves out to the Atlantic fishery until they were needed on the farm again.  Andrew Hill Clark found that, during the final decades of French control, "Sometimes the Acadians did go out to the open Atlantic to participate in the increasingly international fishery there.  Encouraged by Bergier, of the Company of Acadia, who was established at Chedabucto [in the early 1680s], the inhabitants of Port Royal once fitted out six small craft for the fishery, but these were taken by New England buccaneers and although Acadians continued to have some interest in the Atlantic fisheries, it was a relatively haphazard one."  One historian hints that Pierre Landry of Port-Royal may have been one of these cod fishermen.  Evidently conditions did not improve for the Acadian fishery, such as it was.  In 1701, the colony's new commander, Jacques-François Momberton de Brouillan, former governor of Plaisance in Newfoundland, was distressed to see that fishing, which he said "might well become the country's principal industry, ... had been completely ruined by 50 years of war and privateering."  He found "The settlers no longer possessed barks or riggings; they were discouraged, and no longer even knew how to fish.  Brouillan offered to build barks, asked for rope to make nets with, and suggest bringing in fishermen from Placentia [Plaisance] to initiate the Acadians in the art of fishing.  Above all," he added in his report to his superiors in France, "one or two frigates were needed to cruise along the shores, in order to protect the fishermen."  Undaunted, Acadians persisted in exploiting what cod fish they could find in Fundy waters, especially after 1713, when New Englanders became their fellow British subjects and no longer posed a threat to them.  Acting governor Caulfeild observed at Minas in 1715 "'between Thirty and fourty Sale of vessells which are employed in fishing, Built by themselves."  Clark reminds us that "The Acadians were intricately involved with the activity of the fishery and the fishermen, but they were not of them to any significant degree."  He adds:  "The number of New Englanders making fish along Nova Scotia's Atlantic coast in any summer season of the 1720's and 1730's, at least, was far greater than the total number of Acadian settlers there.  Although they were concentrated at Canso, they frequented many other coves as far as Cape Sable, despite the ever-present threat of Indian attack.  Although a scattering of Acadians lived in these same coves, their participation was relatively insignificant."  In the late 1740s, New English engineer Charles Morris described the Fundy Acadians' pursuit of the codfish, a seasonal pasttime they probably had enjoyed since the beginning of British rule:  "... they had some shallops, in which they employ'd themselves in the catching of Fish just upon their Harbours; being out but a few days at a Time; This was rather for their Home Consumption then foreign Market the Surplusage being no great Quantity was generally sent to Boston for a Market in the New England Traders.  The present Inhabitants being settled Chiefly in the Bay of Fundy are not conveniently situated for the Fishery.  It is only in the Summer Season that the Fish strike into the Bay they are then to be taken in the greatest plenty on two small Barks, one a league north of Grand Passage the other about three Leagues West of Long Island (Digby peninsula).  The Borders of the Shores afford fishing but they are not in so great plenty as to make any considerate Tairs."  The so-called "refuse codfish" from Acadian waters that made their way to the docks at Boston "went to tropical plantation areas as slave food."229a

Cod, of course, was not the only fish caught in Acadian waters.  During his 1686 tour of Acadia, Québec Bishop Saint-Vallier noted that the habitants at Chignecto not only planted crops and raised cattle, but also fished "for both salmon and cod."  In 1699, Commander Villebon visited Port-Royal and remarked that "'The settlers catch codfish for food, and there are small rivers opening into the Basin which yield many fish such as bass, shad, sardines, gaspereau and plaice.  Large numbers are taken in weirs built across the rivers so that the fish are caught when the tide goes out.'"  That same year, Villebon visited what would become the most populous Acadian settlement, Minas.  "He remarked on the lack of cod fishing but on the presence of shad and gaspereau (alewives) in the tidal streams."  The Minas settlement of Grand-Pré, in fact, lay north of Rivière Gaspereau, a stream named after Alosa pseudoharengus, commonly known as the alewife, a kind of shad.  John S. Erskine relates:  "From the first settlement, the Gaspereau River was of great importance to Grand Pré.  In April, the smelts would move up the river as far as Melanson, the top of the tide, and would hesitate there while they adapted themselves to fresh water, and then would move on.  In May and June, the alewives (called gaspereaux from the Micmac name of casplakah) repeated the performance and were caught and salted down for winter food.  And before the run of gaspereaux had moved upstream, the salmon were coming in."  One suspects that the Acadians at Minas and in the other Fundy communities devoured the bony but delicious shad, baked Indian style over hot coals, during the spring spawning runs before salting the rest of their catch for the lean months of winter.  As Erskine and others relate, the gaspereaux's natural enemies, the striped bass and the Atlantic salmon, both highly edible and also anadromous, could be found in the bay and its tributaries, along with eels, herring, mackerel, halibut, and the mighty sturgeon.  Shell fish abounded in the mudflats, as did the American lobster in deeper water.  For centuries, all of these sea creatures, and fresh-water fish as well, had been important food sources for the Mi'kmaq and other coastal tribes.  As part of the local "Columbian exchange," the Indians taught the Acadians not only how to catch but also how to cook and eat these aquatic delicacies.  They could, in fact, serve as a kind of emergency food source.  Andrew Hill Clark tells us:  "Although food shortages were rare in the settlements at Minas and Chignecto they did occur periodically at Port Royal where the garrison, officials, and merchants put an extra strain on the food supply.  No doubt when storms and unusually high tides flooded the dyked marshlands, or when English raiders disrupted the economy by cutting dykes and burning haystacks and harvests stored in barns, interest in fishing, as in hunting, took an upswing.  Indeed at such times local supplies of fish were of the utmost importance; once, of a population of 753 at Port Royal, one-third were said to be living on shellfish."47

The great majority of Acadians, then, lived on or near water.  The typical Acadian homestead lay "on the edge of the marsh and the few acres of dyked marshland that each [habitant] cultivated."  Although this arrangement, dictated by the vagaries of the marshland, did not lead to a series of uniform long-lots facing the nearest water course, as along the St. Lawrence or on the lower Mississippi above and below New Orleans, there generally was a greater depth than width in the configuration of the typical Acadian homestead.  As old maps of the colony reveal, the Acadians also tilled the higher ground above their homesteads if the soil was fertile enough and not too rocky, but, again, these patches of cultivation were miniscule in size and numbers compared to the dyked fields below.  Archaeologist John S. Erskine offers a "pattern of development" of a typical Fundy homestead, "based upon that of Minas," where his work was concentrated, "and applied only partially to other settlements," each phase of development typical, perhaps, of the changing socioeconomic status of the settler:  "I.  Near the edge of marshland and beside a runnel of water, there will be an indentation in the ground partially surrounded by native hawthorns, choke-cherries and occasionally an apple tree.  This was a hut of a new arrival without wealth or helpful kin.  He dyked a field of marshland, a low three-foot dyke of alternate layers of clay and spruce branches.  For three years the salt in the soil would prevent the growth of a crop other than hay, so he would need no cellar and must depend largely upon his livestock, wild fruit and game.  The hawthorns defended the house from the encroachments of cattle.  In the few sites that I have sampled," Erskine tells us, "I have found no refuse to suggest long occupation.  Instead there is another house-site further up the runnel.  II.  The second phase has a rather larger house and with it, or in it, is a small circular cellar without stonewalling.  Now there was produce to be stored for the winter.  Dièreville tells of white turnips and cabbages.  Apple trees are more in evidence.  Dièreville also says that the livestock pastured in the forest.  If they were left there in the winter, this would explain the usual shortage of manure and the rapid retreat of the forest, hastened also by demands for firewood and boards.  Each growing son would need another dyked field beyond that of his father, more livestock and a new house.  A second cellar on the other side of the the runnel is usual, but there were no villages.  III.  By now the family would have mastered the situation well enough to plan for comfort.  An orchard replaces the rare apple trees.  The new house would be several rods farther from the marsh, and the root-cellar would be dug and walled before the building.  A well may replace dependence upon the runnel.  The vegetable garden would have a number of pot-herbs, medicinal herbs, and plants for flavouring cider.  A road edged with hawthorns or buckthorns links the house to others of the same standing.  IV.  The last phase of house has European shade-trees and abundant flowers, a demonstration of rooted security."  Erskine sadly concludes:  "There was no further development, for at this point the Expulsion came, erasing all phases."230b

In a larger context, one must assume that the style of domestic architecture slowly evolved during the Acadian century along the Bay of Fundy.  Andrew Hill Clark notes:  "Rameau [whose major study was published in 1889] describes housing in the colony in general at the turn of the [eighteenth] century; how much he depends on documentary sources not available to the writer and how much on his imagination or inference is uncertain.  Many houses, he says, were built by driving large piles (presumably side by side) in the earth and filling in the cracks with moss and clay.  The chimneys were built with posts and pounded clay and the roof covered with reeds, bark, or on occasion even with sod.  The better ones were built en pièce-sur-pièce, that is to say with stout logs, squared off, piled one on the other and interlocked (s'enchévetrant) at each corner.  These were easily built from the abundant wood and at the first alarm they could be abandoned without worry and lost without excessive regret, a matter of some importance in a place [Port-Royal] so frequently attacked.  We have nothing to go on for the houses of the farming community away from the town but presumably they were at least as roughly if perhaps more solidly built."  John S. Erskine asserts:  "Acadian houses have been described in many ways.  Rameau, who may never have seen them, included mud-and-wattle huts, but this type of architecture, thought it might have served in necessity, would not have survived a single autumnal downpour.  Gargas described the Minas houses as 'low, built of logs one on top of the other, and roofed with thatch.'  Dièreville says:  'far apart and with clay chimneys.'"  Erskine describes the remains of an Acadian house cellar he had excavated at "New Minas":  "One end of the cellar had been distorted by a large pinetree, but the dimensions seemed to be 25 x 12 feet.  The wall may have been 8 feet high, probably of squared logs.  There were no corner uprights as there would be in the 'pigpen' type of log cabin.  Not a nail was found in the whole site, which makes it probable that the roof was of thatch.  The very thorough burning of the logs confirmed this.  The walls had fallen outward, suggesting the 'half and half' dovetailing of the logs at the corners.  The root-cellar had been only some four feet wide at the bottom, and the hammered dry-stone walls sloped outward to a height of four feet.  The raised foundation supporting the vanished sills suggested that the house-floor would have been about six feet above the rough stone paving of the cellar.  At the western kitchen end of the cellar, a ramp with slate steps led, presumably, to the trapdoor.  The northwestern end of the kitchen was paved with long blocks of slate driven edgewise into the soil.  At the corner was part of a hearth walled with stone mortared with clay which had baked to a bricklike colour.  Above it was a pile of much clay and occasional stones, the collapsed chimney."  Naomi Griffiths observes of such dwellings:  "... small houses place a premium on civil behaviour among those who live in them.  Acadian houses, like those of New England, were mostly a storey or a storey and a half, log-built, almost always with a basement, and the ground floor was rarely subdivided.  While more definite description must await further archeological research, it would be a mistake to imagine Acadian houses as all the same.  Dièreville rented one that he said was the largest in Port Royal, with three rooms on the ground floor, a basement, and a loft.  Further, many farming families would have outbuildings near or attached to the living quarters.  However, for much of the year, the ground floor of the house would be a crossroads of activity."230

Near their homesteads and villages, Acadians engaged in a basic form of industry related to farming.  Along the stream variously called Rivière Allain, Petite Rivière, and the Lequille River, just below today's Annapolis Royal, Poutrincourt built a grist-mill in the spring of 1607--perhaps the first one built in North America.  A large mill complex, built and owned by blacksmith turned merchant Louis Allain, appeared on the site of Poutrincourt's old mill during the late 1680s.  Mills also appeared on the river above Port-Royal.  Pierre Thibodeau, for instance, built a grist-mill at Prée-Ronde, halfway up the valley, and did very well with it.  The first mills were current-driven, and, in the upper Fundy settlements, some may have been powered by the tides.  John S. Erskine says of the first type of mill:  "Acadian mills were small, frequent and various. ...  The major part of the work fell to steep brooks, usually small ones.  One type damned[sic] a brook high on the slope and released the water to rush down the mill-race to spin the millstone for a glorious few minutes.  Such mills were found at Gaspereau, New Minas, Paradise [on the upper Annapolis River, above Prée Ronde] and southwestward from Annapolis.  It is recorded that they [the Acadians] bought their millstones from New England.  The Acadians were very skillful with wood, but they do not seem to have been good workers in stone."  Erskine says the tidal mills at Minas, and probably at other upper Fundy settlements as well, worked "on the principle opposite of that of the aboiteau of the dykes.  This let the water of the high tide enter and held it there, and released it through the mill at low tide."  The Acadians also constructed windmills, "a sound idea, for an occasional summer drought (as that of 1707) stopped the water mills."  Erskine has found the remains of windmills "on the ridges of Grand Pre and Canard" in the Minas Basin.  Evidently the French at Louisbourg and the New Englanders with whom the Acadians traded were not impressed with the quality of flour produced by these Acadian grist-mills.  During the late 1740s, New Englishman Charles Morris "reported flour of 'a moist Quality.'"  As a result, New English traders used Acadian wheat and flour "to make ship's biscuits."230a

Acadians used their water-powered mills not only for grinding grain but also for sawing timber.  In 1692, Cadillac noted that the sawmill at Port-Royal "was neglected because of a lack of market."  Nevertheless, "The Acadians could make planks of pine of any desired length, width, or thickness because of the height and diameter of the trees."  Cadillac reported that "They used cherry wood, the best wood they had and better than anything in France; it was a bit heavy but very durable.  Oak was rare but there was ample material for ship-building."  Andrew Hill Clark gives us the larger picture of lumbering in Acadia:  "All rural settlements of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries in eastern North America were heavily dependent on a  plentiful supply of wood, and that of the Acadians more than most.  From the forests came their fuel, their building material for houses and barns, furniture, sluice gates, fences (where they existed), and bridges, and most of the material for the construction of implements, tools, household utensils, carts, and sheds.  To the degree that they built their own boats and vessels the forest supplied most of the raw material.  Thus, although the Acadians cleared relatively little land for agriculture, they must have been felling timber constantly, and without its bountiful supply the relatively comfortable life they led would have been impossible.  Yet they made very little use of it as a raw material for export, a matter of some surprise since they had many sawmills scattered throughout the settlements and their economy was, indeed, commercial to a degree."   Clark explains:  "A major reason may be that timber for masts, chiefly white pine, was not plentiful near the Acadian settlements and it was masts, above all, which interested the French before 1710 and the British afterward."  In 1715, acting governor Caulfeild believed he found mast-quality trees at Chignecto, and pines for shorter masts could be found in the Cap-Sable area, but the tallest, straightest white pines in the region, perfect as main masts for naval ships and large merchant vessels, could be found on the north shore of the Bay of Fundy and along the Gulf of Maine.  The Royal Navy was so determined to monopolize the trade in colonial white pines that Parliament passed the first of the "obnoxious White Pines Acts" in 1711; others followed in the early 1720s and 1729.  New Englanders were so stunned by this assertion of royal privilege, and the violation of their trading rights, that they did what they could to prevent the laws' enforcement.  The only wood in the settlements of British Nova Scotia that ever generated conflict between King and settler related to the firewood the Acadians provided for the garrison at Annapolis Royal; reacting to what they considered exorbitant prices, the colonial council insisted that "... his Majesty hath an undoubted right to the woods & they [His Majesty's settlers] only to the Herbage & Vesturage of the Lands And Entitled only to the benefit of Such Woods as they may have immediate Occasion for their own proper use of buildings'"--a tightfisted way for British officials to save a pound or two in their trade with Acadians.  It was hardly a cause célèbre that helped foment all-out revolution.  The French, meanwhile, found white pines adequate for their masts, and especially oaks that served well for ships' planking and timber for their fortifications, growing in abundance near Pictou, on the Gulf of St. Lawrence shore between Remsheg and George Bay.  This was British territory after 1713.  Nevertheless, in the early 1740s, French lumbermen from Louisbourg wintered at Pictou and harvested the trees in late winter before a Royal Navy man of war arrived at Canso in the spring for the annual re-supply.  Trees along the Fundy shore were not so valued.  In the late 1740s, Charles Morris insisted that in his thorough investigation of the settlements there he found not a single oat tree standing, which also helps explain the dearth in Acadian exportation of timber.  The Fundy Acadians, Morris tells us, were forced to use ash, beech, and maple to build their vessels.  As a result, Acadian fishing vessels, unlike their sturdy birch bark canoes, tended to last "not above four or five Years after which they are unfitt for any sea Voyage."241 

By the mid-1700s, a relatively small percentage of the Acadian population had congregated in villages.  Annapolis Royal remained the largest one, and Grand-Pré and Beaubassin also could boast an impressive population.  Villages, or, more accurately, hamlets, tended to congregate around parish churches, which, on the eve of the Grand Dérangement, numbered a little more than a dozen in greater Acadia.  Acadian villages, however, were devoted more to agriculture, commerce, and industry than to worship.  "We know that there was much specialized activity and exchange of labor throughout the settlements and particularly in the village of Port Royal and the quasi-villages of Grand-Pré and Beaubassin," Andrew Hill Clark relates.  "Even the agricultural activities required a good deal of artisan skill at times, notably in planning and building of dykes and sluice-gates.  It is quite possible, indeed probable, that many of the tradesmen were also farmers and that farming may have absorbed most of their time in summer.  But in the winter season, when the varied household industries were unusually active, the specialists could make wider use of their particular skills."  Occupations found in the first census of 1671, other than farmer, included surgeon, weaver, cooper, farrier, gunsmith, joiner, mason, carpenter, tailor, and edge tool maker.  These occupations, and others, such as sawyer, shingle-maker, locksmith, nail-maker, and stocking maker, could be found among the Acadians of subsequent generations.231 

Cobblers would have found less work in Acadia than the other specialists. "[W]e know that to some degree the Acadians followed the Indian practice of using the skins of wild animals for moccasins," Andrew Hill Clark observes.  They preferred skin from the moose and the seal as well as from the deer.  "There is no record of special shoemakers," another historian asserts.  "The better kind wore moccasins of well-cured hide; the larrigans [knee-high leggings attached to moccasins] were made from the forelegs of moose or cow, the tough knee-pad serving for a heel, and these were crude and often smelly."  What a sight it must have been to see an Acadian surgeon making his summer rounds in moose-skin moccasins, well-oiled larrigans protecting his lower legs from rocks and brambles.231a

That they lived simply and with few material needs is a typical description of Acadian life, but, like most stereotypes, the actual picture was more complex.  François-Marie Perrot, the Acadian governor who restored Port-Royal as the colony's capital in 1684, "painted a picture of a contended, if sparse and simple, pastoral existence among the Port Royal folk in the 1680's," Andrew Hill Clark tells us.  "He reported that they lived better than the Canadians, and never were without meat and bread, although they were less industrious and never thought of saving against bad harvests or other disasters.  He attempted to gauge the meagerness of their life by an accounting of their dowries; seldom, he indicated, did a dowry amount to more than twenty or twenty-five francs in goods, a cow in calf, a ewe, a sow, and, in the case of the better-off families, perhaps a feather bed.  In the Acadian context this sounds quite satisfactory."  As to their material culture, another observer from the 1680s noted of the Acadians at Chignecto:  "The women made both linen and woolen cloth for clothing and, for shoes, both sexes wore Indian moccasins that they made themselves."  Thus, Naomi Griffiths explains, "spinning wheels and looms were also part of the technology available to the Acadians," and "spinning and weaving were equally tasks for Acadian women."  Of female fashion, a student of Acadian material culture observes:  "There are contradictions in our few records of their clothing.  The traditional dress of grown girls for great occasions was white with black bodice and black head-kerchief, the festive peasant dress through much of Europe.  A New England pedlar[sic] recorded their hunger for scarlet cloth which they could not dye for themselves.  This was used to make tassels, but these may have been intended for the oxen."  One suspects that the cloth for girls' and women's dresses were woven either from flax they grew themselves or from cloth they acquired in trade with the New Englanders, and that men and women wore garments of wool sheared from their own sheep, rather than of skins acquired in the wild.  Clark notes of Acadian dependence on Mother Nature:  "The role of hunting and gathering in providing food (meat and berries), and articles for trade (feathers, hides, and fur) may have been very large.  Yet references by observers to such dependence on the wilds is rather infrequent and generally unfavorable when it appears.  This was 'la vie sauvage,' too much like that of the Indians and too distracting from a settled agricultural life to appeal to governor, trader, priest, or casual observer from France."233

But a simple life need not have been an austere life devoid of material comfort.  The Acadians did have material needs that their self-reliance could not provide; "even in their closely knit group of communities," the Acadians "were by no means self-sufficient. ..."  Clark asserts: "The romantic picture of the self-sufficient Acadian household, which Longfellow's Evangeline has imprinted so firmly, needs a good deal of modification."  The Acadians, like other modern-age people, relied on trade to provide not only the luxuries, but also the simple necessities of life.  From the earliest days of farming in the Port-Royal basin, Naomi Griffiths observes, "The back-breaking toil of clearing land, farming, and household work could be mitigated for those who had money.  The purchase of a fair amount of meat, bread, and flour outside the colony suggests either an unwillingness on the part of the local populace to sell their surplus to their neighbours or the lack of same.  There is not really a sufficiency of evidence to decide the matter."  To be sure, during the four decades after 1670 when the French "controlled" the colony, administrative officers from both Old and New France did what they could to encourage Acadian trade, ideally within the context of French mercantilism (though at least one governor, Meneval, during the late 1680s, engaged in lucrative trade of his own with Boston and tended to look the other way when the Acadians did the same).  "In so far as they gave any attention to the agricultural settlements at Port Royal, in Minas Basin, and at the heads of Chignecto Bay, [these French administrators] were concerned chiefly with trade.  They wished to encourage Acadian commerce with France and Canada and to prohibit or greatly diminish that with New England."  The Acadians, after all, were subjects of Louis XIV.  Their establishment at Port-Royal in the late 1630s had been for the benefit of a French commercial venture in fish and furs, not to provide another market for New English merchants.  In the eyes of French and Canadian elites, the fur trade was still the primary raison d'être for French presence in North America.  During those three decades after 1670, "The fur trade from the peninsula declined steadily but continued to yield cargoes for France up until the time of the British takeover.  On the Saint John and the other rivers leading from the Gulf of Maine into the interior the French interest in furs was more active.  The fur supply was diminishing there, too, but the strategic problems of attack and defense vis-à-vis the New Englanders were inextricably tied up with their relations with the Indians, who, in turn, remained closely associated with the trade."  Clark points out that British governor Vetch "thought most of the fur trade went to Canada and that the Acadians derived substantial imports therefrom, but there is no evidence to support his view."  The "water clearers" in Acadia were just not that important in the grand scheme of French North American commerce--until the French created their new Maritimes colony of Île Royale in 1713.233a 

Perceiving the peripheral nature of their commercial relationship with old and New France, the Acadians tended to write off their fellow Frenchmen as viable trade partners.  They turned, instead, to nos amis les ennemis--"our friends the enemy."  Dating from the English conquest of 1654 and continuing virtually unabated until the Acadians no longer were around to trade, their commerce with New England, illegal after 1670, became essential to the Acadian way of life.  By the end of the seventeenth century, "Although very much a part of the French Empire, Acadia functioned as an offshoot of the Massachusetts economy."  Not surprisingly, from the beginning, actual friendships arose between Acadians and New Englanders, laying "the groundwork for a transnational, bilingual, cosmopolitan community that would bind the two colonies even as imperial tensions rose."  Jacques Bourgeois, surgeon turned fur trader turned merchant, who had come to Port-Royal in 1641, learned English and served as an interpreter.  He befriended John Nelson, English governor Sir Thomas Temple's nephew, who came to Boston in 1670 "as a precocious teenager."  The young Nelson learned French and Algonquian to facilitate his deals with the Acadians and the local Indians.  It was Nelson's money that allowed Bourgeois to build lumber and flour mills at his new Chignecto settlement, which Bourgeois had chosen for its substantial distance from the prying eyes of French officials.  Nelson profited enough from his illicit trade in Acadia to marry a daughter of Massachusetts governor William Stoughton.  Bourgeois was able to retain "valuable property" at Port-Royal from which he could serve as an interpreter whenever Anglophones appeared at the capital; though he was counted at Beaubassin in 1698, Bourgeois died at Port-Royal, not Chignecto, in 1701.233b 

Such commerce had its costs, of course, in more ways than one.  A French observer lamented in the 1680s that "The New Englanders were now the suppliers of Acadian needs, taking furs in exchange and thus depriving France of both furs and markets for manufactured goods.  The New England connection also led to Acadians' seeking work with the English, especially in the fishery, to pay off debts, or simply to earn the money that was so often in short supply" in French Acadia.  Except for the years when the English controlled the colony--1654 to 1670, and after 1710--this trade was illicit, and French officials did what they could to suppress it, though more often than not it was more convenient to look the other way.  When mercantilist policies were enforced, it only pushed more Acadians away from prying eyes and on to more distant settlements up the Fundy shore.  By the mid-1670s, there were enough settlers at distant Beaubassin to welcome New English traders to the upper reaches of the Baie de Chignecto.  At Minas, by the mid-1680s, "the small vessels out of Boston made the journey through the tidal race north of Cape Split, allowing themselves to be stranded far 'inland' at low tide for friendly trades as the privateers [larger ships] could hardly risk doing."  In each of their communities, the Acadians "imported a good deal in the way of tools, implements, and other hardware."  From the late 1600s into the 1700s, their basic farm tools "were still of the simplest:  pickaxes, spades, axes, hoes, sickles, scythes, flails, and wooden forks and rakes for the most part," the spade, pickax, and hoe especially important for construction of their aboiteaux.  Spades, especially, were "vital for dyking and making drains, but it also, with the hoe, was a major tillage implement."  Although they eschewed clearing the forested uplands, Acadians needed axes, saws, and other wood working tools as much as other North American frontiersmen.  Wood was essential for fuel and for building many of the things in their lives.  The aboiteaux, framed with logs and planks, as well as the sluices and clapper valves placed within them, required much timber that only axes, saws, and adzes could fashion.  The Acadians seldom used plows, but, until they had enough blacksmiths of their own, they likely traded for sickles.  Also important in their trade were "carpenters' tools, blacksmithing equipment, and bar iron with which some of the needed tools could be made.  Similarly the import of much of the necessary hardware, sails, and rigging for small vessels made their modest but vital building of boats and small vessels possible."  When the French, either from the homeland or from Canada, could not provide these essential tools and implements or the metal to make them, and they generally did not, the Acadians got them from New England.  In exchange for these essential products, the Acadians offered furs, timber, cattle, either on the hoof or transformed into salted beef, salted pork, wool from their sheep, and salted fish from their coasts and streams.  From Minas, the colony's bread basket, came wheat and other grains.  Acadian trade goods, however, were as varied as the products of their farms.  "Almost every year the Acadians shipped furs, feathers, wheat, and beef to New England," which remained their primary commercial market.  The New English trade network was so extensive that Acadian products found their way all the way down to the tropical West Indies (a cold irony for the French mercantilists who had long dreamed of, but never established, Acadian trade with the French Antilles), and products from the West Indies--brandy, sugar cane, molasses, among other things--found their way into Acadian homes through their New English suppliers.  In 1720, "Governor Philipps made an estimate of the annual value of the New England-Acadian trade as L10,000 (probably in New England currency, but still a substantial amount) and said that it was carried out by four or five sloops from Boston, bringing English woolens, West Indies goods, and New England provisions to the Acadians for fur and feathers, and that he estimated they [the New Englanders] were making a profit of 400 per cent to 500 per cent and paid no duty."  A decade later, Philipps issued a proclamation to regulate currency and exports in the colony, which testified to the continued vigorousness of the trade "and the disinclination of the Acadians to accept the paper money of the garrison...."234 

After 1710, British officials in "control" of Nova Scotia found themselves in the unenviable position of trying to suppress illicit trade between the Fundy Acadians and the new French colony of Île Royale, centered at Louisbourg on Cape Breton Island.  This trade began as soon as Louisbourg was established in 1713, flourished from the 1720s to the early 1740s, and was only slightly interrupted by the coming of global war in 1744.  Livestock generally went overland from Cobeguit to Tatamagouche, but the Acadians drove their beeves and sheep also to Baie-Verte from Chignecto and to Chebouctou from Minas and Pigiguit; bulky grain and flour generally made its way to Baie-Verte.  This trade occurred while New English trading schooners, often without the proper license, found their way to the Fundy settlements in greater numbers; in fact, New English merchants often used Acadian goods in their own clandestine trade with Louisbourg.  Competition increased the prices of Acadian agricultural products, which was a boon for the Acadians, but it was a problem for the commissary officers at Annapolis Royal, who were forced to pay ever higher prices to the locals in order to sustain the British garrison.  Typically, the Acadians lost little sleep over the troubles and tribulations of their overlords.  Not even a strongly-worded proclamation by Governor Philipps in 1731 diverted Acadian products from the clandestine trade to the hard pressed British garrison; moreover, the war years of 1744-47 brought the garrison close to starvation.  Andrew Hill Clark affirms that "Every effort was made to get Acadians to take out papers for their vessels at Annapolis before they did any trading, but with little success."  "Such trading, especially to Cape Breton," A. H. Clark explains, "is often referred to as clandestine although it was so widely known and so openly practiced that the adjective loses much of its meaning.  What is meant is that the trade to Louisbourg was completely, and that with the New England vessels, intermittently, illegal and contrary to the frequent proclamations of a governor and council powerless to stop it."  Along with the usual "textiles, metal goods, brandy, rum, [and] tobacco," the Acadians acquired from this vigorous trade something for which they had "developed a peasant passion that observers described as miserly"--precious specie, which, like in most colonies, was chronically in short supply and was essential in supplementing their barter trade.250

Andrew Hill Clark offers this insightful observation on the Acadians and their commerce:  "The activity of the Acadians in trade sheds much light on the Acadian character.  Observed by the British most closely at Annapolis Royal, they have been pictured as dull, unenterprising peasants whose chief noticeable activity apart from farming was squabbles with neighbors over land boundaries and who were content to eke out a subsistence with a minimum of labor, having no interest in the Yankee summum bonum of 'getting ahead.'  But, by this evidence, at least in the settlements up the Bay from Annapolis where the vast majority of Acadians lived, the picture by mid-century is quite a different one.  We have a great deal of energy and initiative going into the raising of surpluses and shrewd trading operations not only with the French at Louisburg but with the sharpest dealers of their time--the Yankee sea peddlers.  When opportunity presented itself the Acadians were quick to grasp it.  It is perhaps remarkable that they achieved as high a commercial level in their economy as they did in view of the obstacles placed in their path at every turn."251


Agriculture and commerce stood at the center of their material culture, but the Acadians also enjoyed a rich internal life that reflected their common frontier experience.  Outsiders, engaging in what sociologists call cultural ascription, were quick to perceive peculiar, even stereotypical, traits among these self-reliant farmers and traders.  By the dawn of the new century, the French spoken by Acadian habitants "was already distinct from that of their native France and the nobles and coureurs-de-bois of Quebec."  By then, the Fundy Acadians, through the process of creolization, had "gained a reputation in New France as a distinct people, deeply attached to their land, and strong in their determination to endure."  During the summer of 1701, Acadia's new commander and soon-to-be royal governor, Jacques-François de Mombeton de Brouillan, landed at Chebouctou on the Atlantic coast, today's Halifax.  Using the Rivière Shubenacadie portage, he traveled to Cobeguit, at the northeastern end of the Minas Basin, only then being settled, and on to the Minas settlements along the western shore of the basin before continuing on to Port-Royal.  As a result, the new commander had an opportunity to observe the Acadians of Minas, who soon would become the most heavily-populated community in the colony.  After reaching Port-Royal, he reported to his superiors the impressive numbers of cattle and the quantity of wheat among the settlers at Minas, but he lamented that "the inhabitants were half-republican, of very independent character, and accustomed to deciding things for themselves!"  The arrogant Frenchman would learn soon enough that this "half-republican" independent-mindedness was characteristic of most Acadians.  Brouillan's predecessor, Joseph Robinau de Villebon, was among a number of French officials who had complained of the Acadians' "laziness," concluding that "they worked only to maintain themselves and showed little ambition to 'get ahead.'"  What an ambitious French aristocrat perceived as lack of ambition, the Acadian would have seen as contentment with his lot in life.  After 1713, "the easy going attitude of the Acadians mystified and irritated the observers from both New and old England."  Even French native Paul Mascarene, who understood the Acadians better than any other British official, believed of them in 1720, when he was serving in the colony as an army engineer:  "'... for the generallity [they are] very little industrious, their land not improved as might be expected, they liveing in a manner from hand to mouth, and provided they have a good feild of Cabages and bread enough for their familyes, with what fodder is sufficient for their Cattle they seldome look for much further improvement.'  He went on to point out that they spent their time in hunting and trapping," as if those activities were idle pursuits for farmers trying to feed their families.46 

Over the decades, Acadians developed another attitude that infuriated their social "betters"--an abiding sense of egalitarianism, also a consequence of their shared frontier experience.  From the earliest days, they "managed to integrate most French, Irish, English, and even Basque migrants into their little societies with admirable equanimity."  To be sure, economic inequalities developed among them--their communities, after all, were human creations.  Historian Christopher Hodson reminds us that "In Port Royal, for example, four prominent families--Boudrot, Bourg, Dugas, and Melanson--intermarried with astonishing frequency, preserving their wealth by excluding all but the best-heeled outsider."  The gap between "rich" and "poor" in Acadia, however, was nothing like in the Europe of that day or in modern-day capitalist societies.  Again, it was the frontier, coupled with geography, that made it so.  Their northern climate, well above the middle latitudes, precluded the production of lucrative cash crops such as tobacco, indigo, rice, sugar, or cotton.  What they could grow during the relatively short growing season had to be limited to grains and vegetables--healthy, even essential products to be sure, but nothing that could create a plantation economy with a master class and exploited labor.  As a result, slavery could not take hold in French Acadia, as it did in Louisiana and even in Canada.50

Enslavement of Natives from far western tribes, especially the Pawnee--called Panis in New France--began in Canada as early as 1671, but their presence in such small numbers did little to mitigate a chronic shortage of labor in the St. Lawrence valley.  In 1688, as Acadians were filling the Port-Royal basin and building more aboiteaux at Chignecto and Minas, authorities in Canada beseeched King Louis XIV for permission to import Africans into New France.  The King approved the request the following year but warned his Canadian subjects of the ill effects of their harsh northern climate on West Africans, who hailed from the tropics.  From 1689 to 1697, however, King William's War prevented imports of Africans into Canada.  The same held true from 1702 to 1713 during Queen Anne's War.  Meanwhile, in 1709, Intendant Raudot issued an ordinance at Québec legalizing the holding of slaves in Canada, both Panis and African, which was approved by French authorities.  Following the death of Louis XIV, the Regency of the Duc d'Orléans, also aware of the shortage of labor along the St. Lawrence, encouraged the importation of Africans into Canada, but no slave ship ever came to Québec while France controlled the colony.  The 13 or so Africans recorded in Canada from 1689 to 1713 had been brought there as spoils of war, but most of the slaves held in Canada during that period were hard-luck Panis.  When French Acadia became British Nova Scotia in 1713, African slavery thrived in Britain's Chesapeake and middle colonies and even in New England, but the British exported no slaves to speak of to Nova Scotia.  Nor did enslavement of Natives ever take root in the settlements along the Bay of Fundy.  The Mi'kmaq, like many North American nations, were too proud and too numerous to allow Europeans to enslave them.  Moreover, most Acadian families were so large and healthy, and their communities so tight-knit, that no shortage of labor in their fields and pastures burdened agricultural production.  Cooperation, not the exploitation of others, lay at the heart of the Acadian economy.50b

But cooperation even among the Acadians had its limits.  Andrew Hill Clark observes:  "The Acadians evidently had a very keen property sense from the number of boundary disputes that are reported.  If a more readily available legal apparatus had existed they might well have proved as litigious as their Canadian neighbors.  Thus they were careful to mark divisions between individual holdings on the upland with barriers or fences of wood--or at least piles of brush and trunks of  trees.  The marshland drainage ditches, shared with a neighbor, seem to have served such purposes admirably."50a

To the other important culture in the colony, boundary markers had no meaning.  Although not free from the typical prejudices of their times, Acadians looked upon the Mi'kmaq and other native nations as more or less their equals.  They learned much from these wandering hunters and gatherers, and, thanks to the efforts of French missionaries, they shared a common faith with them.  Many families also shared a common blood.  Pierre Martin, fils, born at St.-Germain de Bourgueil, France, four years before he came to the colony in 1636, married Anne Questnorouest dit Petitous, probably a Mi'kmaq, at Port-Royal in c1660; although Pierre, fils remarried 20 years later, all of his children came from his first wife.  Claude Guédry dit Grivois dit La Verdure, progenitor of an important Acadian family, married Kesk8a, a Mi'kmaq, in c1680, before remarrying to Marguerite Petitpas, who gave him his sons.  Martin Lejeune dit Briard married Jean, also called Marie, Kagigconiac, a Mi'kmaq, and lived in the Métis community at La Hève during the 1680s; one of their sons married a Gaudet.  Amazingly, recent yDNA tests reveal that Germain, fils, younger son of Acadian pioneer Germain Doucet, sieur de La Verdure, may have been a full-blooded Mi'kmaq adopted by the captain at arms and raised as his own; Germain, fils married a Landry and is the ancestor of many Doucets in Canada and the United States.  Such close ties among these and other families helped foster a kinship between the two people.  Although Acadian-Mi'kmaq relations turned sour by the early 1750s, when the British deported the Acadians en masse a few years later, the Mi'kmaq and their Algonquin kinsmen were not happy to see them go.49 

Acadian virtue had its limits of course.  An incident that occurred during the early 1680s seems to demonstrate that Acadians "were not uniformly welcoming," that they, too, were victims of a universal human failing, xenophobia.  In September 1684, at Beaubassin, Sr. Jean Campagna, or Campagnard, was arrested by Michel Haché dit Gallant on orders from his master, the Sieur de La Vallière.  Campagna was accused of sorcery, or witchcraft, specifically, "causing the death of both men and animals by the evil eye ....," and held until his trial in late June 1685.  Naomi Griffiths adds, "it appears that he was a good workman who was owed money by a number of the inhabitants," so the charges against Campagna may have been disingenuous.  Some of the leading colonists, including Thomas Cormier and his wife Madeleine Girouard, were deposed in the case, which "ended with an order for the release of the accused."  Griffiths concludes that "the case can be considered almost an exception that proves the rule," that is, "the trial ... bears all the marks of distrust of an outsider by a closed community," though Campagna had come to Chignecto 10 years before, not long after the earliest settlers, such as the Cormiers and the Girouards, had settled there.  This hardly made him a stranger to his fellow habitants.  Other factors, such as personal animus and religious superstition, may have contributed as much to Campagna's woes as his neighbors' xenophobia.49a

A concomitant to the Acadian sense of egalitarianism was another stereotypical attitude that also came of their relative isolation from the rest of New France--anticlericalism.  In the beginning, there were almost as many Protestants as Catholics in Acadia.  However, as a result of Jesuit, Récollet, and Capuchin influences and the devout Catholicism of the Bourbon kings who succeeded Henri IV, when French families finally were established in the colony, Protestantism had been largely purged from the Acadian population.  For the rest of French rule in the colony, Huguenots were not welcomed there.  Pierre Melanson dit La Verdure, an important Acadian family progenitor, was a devout Protestant, but his presence in the colony during the 1660s was the result of English occupation, not tolerance for his religion.  When the English left in 1670, he, with his English wife and youngest son, also left the colony for Boston; his two older sons, Pierre, fils and Charles, remained, because by then they had converted to Catholicism in order to take Acadian wives.  Laurent Granger, an Englishman who also came to the colony during the late 1650s, converted to marry his Acadian bride, a Landry.  So did Geyret de Forest of Leyden, Holland, who married an Hébert and changed his given name to Michel, perhaps at his baptism.  Scotsman William "Billy" Johnson, who came to Acadia as a British soldier in 1710, had to denounce Protestantism before he could marry a Corporon even while the British controlled the colony.  Acadians clung tenaciously to their Catholicism after the British took control in 1710, but there were limits to their devotion.  An historian of the Acadian experience notes:  "Acadians had come to view the Catholic church in the same light as the colonial government--that is, an agency established solely to provide essential services.  Such services were to be provided without disruption of the parishioners' routine secular activities and without undue financial burden.  Any deviation from this conceptual framework precipitated spontaneous outbursts....  For many if not most late seventeenth- and eighteenth-century Acadians, Catholic missionaries were shadowy figures who provided the settlers minimal contact with the church hierarchy.  Forced to fend for themselves, even to the point of conducting paraliturgical services, the [Acadians] ultimately came to divorce religion from the area's traditionally dominant religious institution.  Priests consequently became little more than petty religious administrators, stripped of their cloak of religious invincibility and vulnerable to personal criticism...."  Another historian of the Acadians has quipped:  "the Acadians were scarcely more willing to pay tithes than quitrents."  As early as 1685, priests complained about the Acadians' peculiar religious practices.  A cleric "rambling through the 'coasts of Acadia'" that year "marveled at discovering 'eighty-year-old men who remain unconfirmed.'  In Beaubassin, the hardy few who heard mass did so in a rudimentary shelter with wall of 'cob encased in stone,' their heads shielded from the elements by 'a roof made only of straw.'  Worse, complained the bishop of Québec in 1688, the village cemetery sat at some distance from the church, forcing grief-stricken villagers to 'carry the bodies across a river for burial."  But one might view the plight of Jean Campagna at Beaubassin in 1685 as evidence that Acadians, even the anti-clericals among them, were not immune to the religious hysteria of their day.48a

Another incident at Beaubassin, this one only a few years after the Campagna brouhaha, reveals the sort of action taken by a man of the cloth that would have fueled Acadian anticlericalism, not to mention disdain for, and fear of, their social "betters."  In 1688, perhaps while her father was in France, Demoiselle Marie-Josèphe Le Neuf, the 17-year-old daughter of the seigneur of Beaubassin, gave birth to an illegitimate child.  Louis, second son of Chignecto habitant Pierre Morin dit Boucher, a Norman who had come to the colony two dozens years before, was suspected to be the baby's father.  Evidently the demoiselle had become close to the Morin family--in January 1685, when she was a few months shy of her fourteenth birthday, she stood as godmother to Pierre dit Boucher's eleventh child and eighth son, Simon-Joseph.  A year later, she stood as godmother again, this time to the family's twelfth and youngest child, Jacques le jeune.  The boys' older brother Louis was 26 years old and still unmarried when he impregnated the powerful seigneur's daughter.  (From 1678 to 1684, when daughter Marie-Josèphe was still a girl, Michel Le Neuf, sieur de La Vallière et de Beaubassin, had served as commandant and then as royal governor of the colony!)  The local priest, Sulpician Father Claude Trouvé, then 44 years old, was an old hand at missionary work among the Iroquois in Canada, but he had only just arrived at Beaubassin, and this was his first ministry among the Acadians.  As arbiter of his flock's morality, Abbé Trouvé took it upon himself to punish the young habitant who had despoiled the even younger daughter of a powerful seigneur.  After an inquiry, in which witnesses were heard, the priest adjudged Louis guilty and had him thrown into the dungeon at Port-Royal.  Following the priest's judgment, and under intense pressure, no doubt, from the aggrieved father, Governor Meneval "was obliged" to deport to France aboard the ship La Fripone "a young boy[sic] named Louis Morin, aged twenty-six years, the son of a resident of Chignitou."  The governor added in his report, dated 10 September 1688:  "He might have deserved a rougher punishment for those things of which he was accused.  This affair concerned an important family," which he did not name, "who contented themselves with this punishment all the more readily because they could not pursue this through normal procedures, there being no officers of justice here, and to do it at Québec would not have been possible.  I believe the Court will approve of my conduct," the governor was certain.  "This fellow has the making of a good sailor in France, where he will serve the King well.  It was dangerous to leave him in this country."  But, contrary to what the governor wrote, banishment of their loved one was not the only punishment meted out to Louis and his family.  On 2 October 1690, Mathieu de Goutin, the recently-appointed King's lieutenant général civil et criminel, or general representative for justice, wrote an "'Instructive Memorial to the Court, regarding the means of preserving Acadia for the King, and concerning the proceedings that MM. the missionary priests have held there,'" excoriating the actions of Governor Meneval, his political enemy, but especially those of the Beaubassin priest.  "The son of an inhabitant of Beaubassin named Louis Morin having begotten a child with a gentlewoman of the said place," de Goutin recounted, "M. Trouvé, the priest, lodged a complaint against him, heard witnesses, pronounced judgement against the said Morin, and had him imprisoned, notwithstanding that officers of the King were available, (and) obtained from M. de Meneval an order that his father and mother and sisters be banished from Beaubassin and the colony, and even the sons-in-law, because there was one among them who had talked about the said Sr Trouvé and the gentlewoman.  The property of these families was confiscated to the profit of the gentlewoman's father," whom de Goutin did not name, "without any formality of justice.  In such a way," de Goutin went on, "the colony has lost nineteen persons who were included in this banishment, which has made Sr Trouvé so odious to the inhabitants of Beaubassin that they obliged him to abandon the parish.  He wanted to withdraw to Les Mines, but the inhabitants there refused to receive him.  This affair has caused a great deal of unrest, these nineteen persons being relatives of a third of the colony.  Sr Trouvé was obliged to go to Port-Royal, where the authority of M. de Meneval silenced all complaints against him."48b 

De Goutin, married to a daughter of Pierre Thibodeau, a prominent Port-Royal habitant, was only slightly exaggerating when he said that the Morins of Beaubassin were kin to a third of the colony.  In 1686, Intendant Jacques de Meulles had counted 885 settlers in the colony, only 127 of them at Chignecto.  The loss of 19 persons there would have diminished the settlement by at least 15 percent.   Moreover, Louis Morin's mother was Marie-Madeleine, whose father, Pierre Martin, had come to Acadia aboard the St.-Jehan in April 1636.  By 1687, Marie-Madeleine's family, among the oldest in the colony, had married into the Questnorouest dit Petitous (Mi'kmaq), Rousselière, Bourg, Pellerin, Mercier dit Caudebec, and Godin dit Châtillon families, which made them kin also to Parisés, Landrys, and Picards.  Marie-Madeleine's brother Mathieu soon would become the seigneur of Cobeguit.  Marie-Madeleine's Morin children had married into the Chiasson dit La Vallée and Cochu families, which made them kin also to Bernards and La Grands.  The Bourgs and the Landrys alone made up a significant element in the colony.48c 

So what was the lesson for all Acadians as they gossiped quietly about this sordid affair?  It was a lesson they had learned from the earliest days in the colony, that priests, too, were part of the colonial power structure, that they, along with weak-willed governors like Meneval, could not be counted on to defend habitants' interests against the Acadian seigneurs.

A few years after the incidents at Chignecto, French authorities in France were apprised of another mess caused by an overzealous priest among the Acadians.  Pierre Thériot, youngest son of his family's progenitor, had married Cécile, daughter of René Landry le jeune, at Port-Royal in c1678.  Four years later, they moved to the Minas Basin, where they pioneered the settlement on Rivière St.-Antoine, today's Cornwallis River.  Pierre was "a popular and generous man" who "supplied wheat without interest and housed many while their homes were being built."  He and Cécile were not blessed with children, but nephews Germain, Jean, Claude, fils, and Joseph, sons of Pierre's older brother Claude, followed their uncle to Minas and spawned a large extended family.  During the early 1690s, the priest at Minas was Father Jean-Baptiste Buisson de Saint-Cosme of the Québec seminary, who had come to Grand-Pré in 1692.  Father Saint-Cosme was only 25 years old when he came to Acadia; Grand-Pré was his first parish.  It was not a happy assignment--"... certain of his superiors said that they were 'distressed' by his 'attitudes' and by his 'supply of conceit' which modest talents did not redeem."  The abbé's inadequacies as a pastor among people who were not always enamored of their priests was demonstrated, perhaps not for the first time, in the spring of 1694.  Again, scrivener de Goutin was tasked with reporting the incident to the Minister of Marine:  "A man named Pierre Thériot, one of the judges appointed by M. de Champigny at the said place of Les Mines, (came to tell me) that on Sunday ... the 23rd of May, M. Saint-Cosme, the missionary, had chased his wife from the church saying that she had caused a scandal with a man named Jean Thériot, her nephew, who lodged in her household....  (That gave rise to much grumbling, and) most of those in attendance began to weep and in going out from the Mass said loudly that they were no longer safe ... and that it only remained for the said Sr Saint-Cosme to do the same to them whenever he wanted...."  De Goutin continued:  "(T)he said Thériot is the most important resident at Les Mines, of which he is considered to be the founder, having helped nearly everyone who has come here to live, his house being a shelter for the widows, orphans, and other needy people, so that one should not be surprised if one of his nephews stays in his home, for three or four of his other nephews did the same while waiting for their dwellings to be made habitable.  In addition, the said Jean Thériot is married to his aunt's sister.  I have done my best to reassure all these good people...."  Unfortunately for the parishioners at St.-Charles-des-Mines, Father Saint-Cosme remained there four more years, before his superiors in Québec packed him off to the Mississippi valley to minister to Indians.48d

The precarious relationship between the pastors and their congregations did not change much after the fall of French Acadia.  Under British rule, "There were never more that five priests, at any one time, working within the colony and usually only three or four," so their influence, in both the ecclesiastical and the civil realm, was limited.  Among them, however, were priests who threw themselves into the imperial struggle with such enthusiasm and force, even violence, that they would use any means at their disposal to work their will on hapless parishioners.  As a result, Acadian anticlericalism was only hardened by the activities of priests like Sébastien Râle, Pierre Maillard, and Jean-Louis Le Loutre, whose fanatical devotion to Mother France would cause the Acadians no end of trouble with the Indians and British officials.48 

As an incident on Île Royale revealed that even Acadians who fled the British in peninsula Nova Scotia still were not free of zealous Roman priests.  Maurice Vigneau, a Canadian carpenter who had married a daughter of Acadian Pierre Comeau l'aîné at Port-Royal in c1701, took his family to Île Royale between 1719 and 1722.  Evidently the charpentier du roi was an outspoken fellow.  In August 1722, the Bishop of Québec "absolved Sr Maurice Vigneau, from Port-Toulouse, of the excommunication issued against him by Father Justinien Durand, the vicar general.  Sr Vigneau had advanced publicly certain propositions contrary to the Catholic faith."  One wonders what it was the carpenter advocated, and why Bishop Saint-Vallier, known for his firmness in matters of doctrine, felt compelled to overrule his vicar general.48e 

As the Le Neuf/Morin incident at Beaubassin reveals, Acadian anticlericalism also extended into the secular realm.  The French had looked upon Acadia as a civil as well as a commercial backwater, and the Acadians took full advantage of this.  Deferring to their elders or their priests in everyday matters, they avoided as much as possible appealing to the colony's judicial officers or to the governor, who, if he did not reside in distant Pentagouët, Nashouat, or Beaubassin, often was absent from the colonial capital.  Canadian historian Peter Moogk notes:  "Only in Acadia was there a form of village self-government provided by elders, and that exception was due to the French government's indifference to what happened in Acadia."  Under British rule, the Acadians continued their ad hoc form of self-rule, appealing to the colonial Council in Annapolis Royal only if they could not resolve a local matter among themselves.  By the 1730s, however, unresolved squabbles between neighbors became more frequent.  Land disputes, complaints of unruly cattle destroying fences and other property, and habitants who did not bother to repair their aboiteaux, provided much business for a commission set up by the colonial Council to handle such disputes.  Lieutenant-Governor Armstrong, no friend of the Acadians, complained to the Lords of Trade in London that "'... they are a Litigious Sort of people and so ill natur'd to one another as Daily to Encroach upon their Neighbours propertys....'"  This led to yet another stereotypical view of them which had a solid basis in fact:  they were a stubborn, independent-minded, even intransigent people accustomed to getting their own way.  That they were difficult to govern is an understatement, as their British overlords learned soon enough.51

Acadian intransigence was especially apparent in the realm of land tenure.  This problem had vexed seigneur and habitant alike during the last 70 years of French control of Acadia and did not end when the British gained control of peninsula Nova Scotia in 1710.  If anything, under the British the question of land tenure became even more complicated.  British governors insisted that seigneurial payments be "made to the Crown, but with little success."  In 1729, Nova Scotia Governor Richard Philipps, seeking to annul former French seigneurial grants in the colony so that the land could be given to Protestant settlers from New England, ordered a survey of the properties in question.  His efforts stirred a hornet's nest.  Agathe La Tour Campbell, widow of two British military officers and granddaughter of Acadian pioneer Charles de Saint-Étienne de La Tour, seeing an opportunity, asserted her rights to the seigneuries of her grandfather so that she could sell the land to the British and secure her wealth.  She produced a copy of the decree, dated 20 March 1703, which her uncle, Charles La Tour, fils, had secured for the family from Louis XIV's Council of State, granting the La Tours "a fifth of the Cape Sable fief and two of the seven parts making up the seigneuries of Port-Royal and Les Mines...."  Though Agathe owned "only a quarter of what had fallen to her family...," she, through her second husband, Hugh Campbell, in June 1725, nevertheless asserted that "she had laid claim to all of her ancestor's seigneuries, alleging that her brother and sisters, as well as her uncles and aunts, had given their shares over to her when Acadia had become English territory."  In 1730, Philipps complained of the widow's efforts to assert her rights, which he refused to honor.  Madame Campbell refused to give in.  She journeyed to London and petitioned the Lords of the Board of Trade and Plantations.  In October 1733, she won a substantial settlement in her favor and the right "to collect her own rents."  The following March, the Board "recommended that she be paid L2,000 for the purchase of all her seigneurial rights."  Agathe, who, like her uncle, obviously had inherited some of the finer qualities of her famous grandfather, had beaten the governor.  The Board of Trade warned Philipps that "the purchase of the La Tour lands was crucial if the government was to be able to grant any land in Nova Scotia, and the secretary of the Board, Popple, pointing out the widow's precarious state of health, urged an immediate purchase, which occurred a few years later.  "With the purchase of Mrs Campbell's rights, the seigneurial system came to an end in Nova Scotia, although other members of the La Tour family later demanded recognition of their inheritance rights" as well.119a 

One suspects that the Acadians of Annapolis Royal, Minas, and Cap-Sable observed the struggle between the widow and the governor with amusement mixed with trepidation.  Andrew Hill Clark observes:  "Thereafter [1733] the collection of old seigneurial dues and some rents now clearly owed to the crown involved much discussion, accounting, and correspondence but never much cash or kind.  Various detailed accounts of cens et rentes and fines of alienation are scattered through the documents.  In 1734 rents due for the two previous years for the Annapolis district were thus recorded:  for cens, 20 deniers parisis, 72 deniers tournois, and 6 oboles parisis; for rentes, a  beaver tail, 4 partridges, 2 pullets, roughly 150 capons, 200 bushels of wheat, and a few small payments of cash.  Commuting to cash values in New England currency the amount due was only about L68 (including some L8 or more in fines of alienation) and of this some L48 was collected.  On this amount a little more than L7 was paid in commission, and the net yield of nearly L41, when converted to sterling at 260 per cent discount, amounted to only slightly more than L11 for the two years.  In 1745 [Lieutenant-Governor] Mascarene observed that the settlers paid no taxes but '... only a small Quit-Rent for their Lands in Fowles and Wheat amounting in the whole to about L15 Sterling excepting what they voluntarily allow to their Priests....' Rents, seigneurial dues, and fines of alienation on land were no burden to the Acadians."  In the fringe settlements of the peninsula, especially in the Chignecto area, one would suspect that independent-minded habitants did not bother to pay even this pittance.119

Land squatting, in fact, was endemic among the Acadians.  A British official noted in 1748:  "'Their Title of Lands arise from Old French Grants, but these extend only to their Old Settlements; But since the Rendition of that Country (i.e., in 1713) many are settled contrary to the order of Government and have no other Title than the Law of Possession.'"  This was especially evident in the trois-rivières area--Chepoudy, Petitcoudiac, and Memramcook--a favored destination of Acadians who, such as the Beausoleil Broussards, sought to put distance between themselves and British officials at Annapolis Royal.  That the trois-rivières area also was claimed by France meant little to these British officials, who believed that their imperial claims extended beyond the Chignecto isthmus into present-day eastern New Brunswick.  Moreover, the farther one lived from Annapolis Royal, the less likely ones land had been properly surveyed.  During the 1720s and 1730s, British efforts to settle Irish and German Protestants in Nova Scotia led to surveys of the proposed areas of settlement, but these surveys were halted when the settlement schemes fell through.  In 1731, Lieutenant-Governor Armstrong proposed a general survey of the colony so that the inhabitants could be forced to pay taxes to the crown.  By December 1733, when Armstrong appointed Acadian syndic Prudent Robichaud, père to collect "all quitrents, fines of alienation, etc." along the Annapolis River, only that area of the colony had been properly surveyed.  During the years following, Armstrong, either through priests or deputies, instructed the Acadians at Minas, Chignecto, and even faraway Chepoudy, to submit to the council their land records, but few likely complied.120

Another indication of Acadian stubbornness and independence was the difficulty of British officials in controlling their movements within the colony.  Habitants were required to petition the colonial council to go anywhere in Nova Scotia even for a seasonal visit--a sort of internal passport system.  For example, during the summer of 1740, eight Acadians from an unspecified settlement applied for permission to winter at Chebogue on the western Atlantic coast, south of present-day Yarmouth.  They went there before permission was granted--that is, before they could be issued the required passports--"were called back, and finally allowed to go for the one season provided they engaged only in fowling and fishing and dyked no land."  In other words, they were not allowed to settle there, but they remained there anyway.  One suspects that if there had been a expanse of salt marsh suitable for dyking at Chebogue, yet another substantial Acadian settlement would have appeared on the peninsula, British officials and their quitrents be damned.121 

Andrew Hill Clark concludes:  "... the Acadians themselves had always had a rather specific conception of their own plots of land, that they were ready to argue with anyone about their limits, that they paid the token fees involved in seigneurial dues without too ill a grace, and that most Acadians, in 1710, had some sort of tradition of individual tenure of the lands they occupied and worked.  As the British intentionally or unwittingly destroyed or undercut the old system, the Acadians became increasingly uncooperative.  They appeared to associate the payment of quitrents to the British government with the hated oaths which they were being pestered to take.  The hope of restoration of French sovereignty remained strong and was fanned by officials of the nearby French areas of Cape Breton, Isle St-Jean, and Quebec, and by the French missionaries.  As with most conquered people they tended to act as independently as circumstances allowed and they very quickly discovered that British power as represented by the governor and council at Annapolis had little bit to it."122

Perhaps the most satisfying aspect of Acadian life contributed to another stereotype based in fact, that the Acadians placed family above everything else.  Many of them did establish large, healthy families essential to sustaining their way of life, and many of them enjoyed a kinship network that reached into every corner of the colony.  The creation of large families began early at Port-Royal.  One study claims that, by the end of the French period, four families made up "the kernel of Port Royal society":  the Boudrots, the Bourgs, the Dugass, and the Melansons.  Historian Naomi Griffiths explains:  "All four families were neighbours of one another on either side of the Rivière-du-Dauphin, close to its mouth."  These families allied with many of the other early families:  the Boudrots with the Thériots and Landrys; the Bourgs with the Duboiss, Robichauds, Gaudets, and LeBlancs; the Dugass with the Bourgeoiss and LeBlancs; and the Melansons with the Grangers, Petitots, and Babineaus.  The same study claims that the extensive kinship networks created by these and other early families "was one of the reasons why Acadians assimilated newcomers after 1685 with a minimum of hostility.  Family connections were expected to provide help and support to the kin group.  Once married to an Acadian, a person quickly assumed the obligations and benefits of the partner's kin."  By the early 1700s, these networks, fueled by children and grandchildren who created families of their own, extended out from Port-Royal to Chignecto, Minas, Pigiguit, Cobeguit, and the trois-rivières, as well as to the so-called outlying settlements on the Atlantic coast and along Rivière St.-Jean.124 

Two stereotypes of Acadian family life--the frequency of consanguineous marriage and the rarity of extra-marital affairs--have solid bases in fact.  Andrew Hill Clark observes:  "The Acadian population has been supposed to have been rather highly inbred genetically and the records, especially those at Annapolis, tend to bear this out."  St.-Jean-Baptiste parish marriages recorded between 1727 and 1755 reveal dispensations for consanguinity, especially between second cousins, in 44 per cent of the 297 unions recorded.  "Pre-marital pregnancy, a standard reason for such dispensations and less than a major sin if followed by marriage, may have been the usual reason for the dispensation--the officiating priest or missionary often adds that it was for good reasons known to him."  Clark maintains that the "reputation of the Acadians for the avoidance of extra-marital liaisons" is "undoubtedly deserved" and "may have carried over to pre-marital experience between young lovers (although the latter is common enough in farming communities and generally condoned if followed by marriage).  What is reflected, unquestionably, is simply the degree of isolation, whether the marriages were forced or not, and the sheer difficulty of finding someone to marry who was not a second cousin."127

Acadians embraced with enthusiasm the creation of children within their church-sanctioned marriages.  Andrew Hill Clark explains:  "We have no evidence on which to base birth and death rates.  We conclude that there was no substantial loss of life in military action during the period [of British control of Nova Scotia] nor have we any record of epidemic disease or of serious shortages of food.  Most young people married at least by their early twenties and set up for themselves as soon as they could.  There were few spinsters over thirty and widows were quick to remarry.  However, the nominal censuses of [the French period] often included many young men and women in their twenties as children in families and so unmarried and the parish registers show very few marrying before eighteen.  Indeed, most Acadian girls were in their twenties when they wed.  Anything approaching child marriage was unknown."  Naomi Griffiths adds:  Acadian women, like their contemporaries in other North American frontier societies, tended to marry younger than their European contemporaries.  Acadian women who married before age 20 had an average of 10 children, between ages 20 and 24 an average of nine, and between ages 25 and 29 an average of seven.  Even more amazing was the survival rate of their children, reflecting, among other things, the quality of their diet.  "Thus, one of the most striking aspects of Acadia, at the close of the seventeenth century, was the omnipresence of children."126

Living on the North American frontier, Acadians raised their offspring not unlike members of other frontier cultures.  Naomi Griffiths explains:  "For both men and women, the parenting of children was a given.  Women, inevitably, were primarily responsible for the early years of child raising.  The birthrate would often mean that an individual woman had four children under six to look after; while she carried out the daily household routine.  Both parents, however, were closely involved in preparing the young for adult life.  As was normal in rural society until recently, even young children were given chores to do and the idle adolescent would be rare indeed.  Dièreville commented that children helped their parents from a young age, this allowing them to save the daily wages that otherwise would have been paid to casual labour.  Particular skills--weaving, woodworking, food preservation, and animal husbandry--were handed down through the generations.  Perhaps the most vital discipline that would be inculcated was the knowledge that one was at the beck-and-call of forces beyond one's control.  Sheep have their own timetable, cows need milking twice a day, and the weather dictates rhythms of sowing and harvesting.  No family, however successful in establishing itself, could survive without community support.  Interdependence was the crux of Acadian life, not only because of the demands of the dykes but also for the host of tasks that needed doing, from barn building to ploughing and harvesting.  Acadians valued children and the community gave considerable support to young parents."  The smallness of the typical Acadian farmhouse, however, required the establishment of close relations.  This would have been especially important in households that included three or even four generations.  "There would be little chance of solitude within the home.  If continual bickering and quarreling was not to be the norm, a conscious effort had to be made to establish an affectionate relationship.  The spacing of the children roughly two years apart meant that, for the first year or so, a child had a relatively secure and tranquil time, breast-fed and frequently nursed, although the pattern of babe-in-arms, toddler, and small child must have left many a woman physically exhausted.  Several lullabies, some traceable to France, others seemingly of Acadian origin, show adult pleasure in the new life.  Even if the infant was one of the younger siblings, there would still be a sense of intimacy in the household and, once the eldest sibling was seven or eight, an increase in the number of people ready to comfort the baby.  Further, words for toys and for group play, such as hide-and-seek and catch-as-catch-can, are part of Acadian vocabulary and argue for a tradition that accepted the right of children to amusements."125 

But there was a dark side even to this fulfilling part of Acadian life.  Naomi Griffith observes:  "... Acadian family life was not uniformly pleasant for all.  Even in a generally healthy community like Acadia, illness occurred and could produce great stress for the family.  Not only that, but in-laws could be oppressive as well as supportive; closeness could be suffocating as well as nurturing; and sibling relationships could result in bitter rivalries as easily as they could give rise to life-long affection.  While family size would mean that aging parents had greater possibilities for support when health failed and strength diminished, such support might come, often enough, with the loss of personal control.  My point, then, is not that the Acadians built an exceptionally loving community on the strength of their family connections, but that such connections did exist and were a crucial two-way conduit between choices made within the home and the level of support for those choices which was to be found in the community."  The strength of their family connections was often sorely tested, by land disputes, personal conflicts, and especially war, when some members of the family chose to cling to neutrality, while others took up the gun and became partisans.  The greatest test would come during their Grand Dérangement, which would reveal the stereotype's essential reality, that the Acadians' obsession with family was their principal weapon in the struggle to maintain their unique identity.114

A more subtle test, less dramatic but no less trying, began to burden most Acadian families decades before the coming of their Grand Dérangement.  Again, historical influences beyond their control played a crucial role in transforming their national character.  During the decades following the creation of British Nova Scotia, the Acadian tradition of escape and rebirth, manifested first at Chignecto and Minas and most dramatically in the trois-rivières, conflicted with the culture's equally compelling tendency to cling to the land their fathers had made.114a


The "French Neutrals"

The treaty signed at Utrecht in 1713 decreed that the French inhabitants of Nova Scotia who "are willing to remain there and to be subject to the Kingdom of Great Britain, are to enjoy the free exercise of their religion according to the usage of the Church of Rome, as far as the laws of Great Britain do allow the same."  If any of them chose to leave the colony and forgo British rule, the treaty gave them a year to do it.218  

At first, many Acadians gave serious thought to abandoning the colony and moving to Canada or some other French possession.  In 1714, the King's lieutenant of the new French colony of Île Royale, Joseph de Brouillan de Saint-Ovide, taking full advantage of the Utrect treaty, sent two French officers to Nova Scotia to solicit Acadians for Île Royale.  During the following months, 139 family heads at Minas and 17 at Cobeguit signed on to the venture.  "But," being Acadians, Andrew Hill Clark reminds us, "they were canny enough to send a few of their number to Cape Breton to look things over.  This group was not impressed:  the main body did not move and then it was ruled that the time for allowing them to do what probably very few of them wanted to do had elapsed."  The British, meanwhile, had contemplated a policy of deportation to rid the province of these troublesome Frenchmen, but they wisely rejected that radical measure.  Sensing this, most Acadians decided to remain, for several compelling reasons.218a  

First was the confusion created in North America by the Peace of Utrecht.  The treaty also said that "all of Nova Scotia or Acadia comprised in its ancient limits, as also the city of Port Royal" now belonged to the victorious British.  A provision of the treaty empowered commissioners from Britain and France to determine the exact boundaries between the two nations in the region around the Bay of Fundy.  The commissioners argued for months over what exactly were the "ancient limits" of Acadia.  Did the old French colony include not only peninsula Nova Scotia but also Maine, the valley of the Rivière St.-Jean, Île St.-Jean, Cape Breton Island, and Newfoundland as well?  Such was the view of the British commissioners.  The French commissioners saw things differently.  They conceded to the British only Newfoundland and the peninsula of Nova Scotia; the rest of old Acadia--the region east of the Kennebec in Maine, including the Ste.-Croix and St.-Jean valleys, and all of the Maritimes islands in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, including Île St.-Jean and Cape Breton Island--still belonged to France.  In the end, nothing was settled, and for the next half century the boundaries remained a bone of contention between the two powers.  Kept informed of this dispute by their parish priests, the inhabitants of Chignecto and the trois-rivières insisted that they still resided in French territory.  The inhabitants of the Minas Basin were confident that, although they clearly resided in territory awarded to the British, their new masters in Annapolis Royal would be able to control them no more effectively than the French officials had done from Port-Royal.  Moreover, who could say that the British would remain in "control" of the peninsula?  They had "ruled" it before and given it back.  Why would this time be different?219

There was also a strong psychological reason for Acadians to remain in British Nova Scotia:  despite the lure of French Canada and the kinsmen who had gone there, as well as incentives for them to resettle in the new French colony of Île Royale, Acadians still viewed their Fundy settlements as the heart and soul of their identity as a people.  Their roots were deep there.  By 1713, some families had lived in these communities for nearly three-quarters of a century.  They had followed d'Aulnay to Port-Royal in the late 1630s.  The pioneers of Beaubassin had farmed the Chignecto peninsula for over 40 years. The inhabitants at Minas had been transforming that incomparable basin into an agricultural paradise for three decades now, time enough to see their children produce children of their own.  They had expended so much time and energy wresting their pastures and fields from the bay and its tributaries, why would they want to abandon their lands simply because of a temporary change of masters?  Queen Anne, in her final days, had given them incentive to stay.  In late 1713, Louis XIV, in a rare fit of compassion, had "emptied France's prisons of all Protestants jailed because of their religious beliefs.  Queen Anne was so moved that she felt compelled to reciprocate, and she wrote her new governor in Nova Scotia 'to continue our subjects, to retain and enjoy their said lands and tenements without molestation, as fully and freely as our other subjects do or to sell the same, if they shall rather choose to remove elsewhere'"--a clear rejection of deportation.  A few families, lured by French blandishments to the Maritime islands or by economic opportunities elsewhere, chose to leave the province, but most of them remained.  They would take their chances with the British, come what may, as their ancestors had done before them.220

There was a price to pay for staying, however.  After the year of decision was up, the Utrecht treaty authorized the British authorities in Annapolis Royal to impose on the remaining habitants an oath of allegiance to the new British monarch, George I, who had succeeded his cousin Anne upon her death in 1714.  In their attempts to compel the Acadians to take this oath, British officials learned first hand how stubborn these putative Frenchmen could be.  Refusing to take up arms against their fellow Frenchmen and their Indian friends, the Acadians resisted swearing unconditional allegiance to the British monarch, playing a dangerous game of cat and mouse with their new overlords at Annapolis.  This game went on for over four decades and was played skillfully by these simple farmers, until history, again, came crashing down on them, with unimaginable consequences.221


At first the mouse had certain advantages over the cat.  For nearly four decades after the fall of Port-Royal, the only British presence of any consequence in Nova Scotia were two small garrisons at Annapolis Royal and on Great Canso Island on the Atlantic side of the peninsula.  Sustaining these garrisons with annual re-supplies from Britain or even New England would be expensive and inefficient.  Even more onerous would be the trouble and expense of resettling Nova Scotia with British Protestants, even New Englanders.  And where would the Acadians go if they were compelled to leave the colony?  Many likely would move to Canada, but most of them probably would resettle on Île Royale, where, Lieutenant-Governor Caulfeild and other officials warned, they would strenghtened the French presence in the region.  If the Acadians remained in Nova Scotia, they could serve as "a settled farming population to supply the garrison" at Annapolis Royal.  And so they did, more often than not retaining a subtle control over trade with the garrison.222 

It did not take the Acadians long to see that Britain was neglecting its Nova Scotia colony as much as France and New France had eschewed Acadia in their day.  From the beginning, British governance at Annapolis Royal was riddled with confusion and corruption.  Port-Royal's conqueror, Francis Nicholson, was formally named governor of Nova Scotia and Placentia in Newfoundland in October 1712 and also appointed royal commissioner to audit the accounts of the failed Walker expedition against Québec.  Typically, Nicholson performed these duties in Boston, while his second-in-command, Samuel Vetch, or Vetch's designee, served at Annapolis Royal.  Meanwhile, military engineer George Vane, who had been serving at Annapolis since 1711, accused Vetch of extorting money from the inhabitants and treating them "more like slaves then[sic] anything else."  Nicholson supported Vane, turned on Vetch, and accused him of "maladministration."  Vetch evaded charges by fleeing to Britain in April 1714, leaving behind his wife and two children.  British authorities named Major Thomas Caulfeild, who had previously served at Annapolis Royal, to replace the ousted Vetch.  Again, Nicholson remained at Boston, and Caulfeild served at Annapolis.  Nicholson was at Annapolis from August to October 1714 to oversee Acadian resettlement on Île Royale, but then he was summoned to London to answer charges laid against him by Caulfeild and Vetch.  George I had only recently ascended to the throne of Great Britain and appointed a Whig ministry.  This was unfortunate for Nicholson, who was a noted Tory.  The Whigs replaced him with Samuel Vetch in January 1715.  Vetch, who was never popular with the Acadians, was governor of Nova Scotia, in absentia, until 1717.  Again, Thomas Caulfeild served at Annapolis, and it was he who dealt with the Acadians on a regular basis until his death in March 1717.  In August of that year, Richard Philipps, colonel of the 40th Regiment of Foot, succeeded Vetch as governor of Nova Scotia, but, during the 32 years that Phillips held the post, he spent most of his time in England.  A long series of lieutenant-governors, Andrew Hill Clark tells us, "sometimes without the title and usually without the emoluments of office, sometimes two at once (at Canso and Annapolis Royal), sometimes overlapping in terms of appointment, and sometimes without command of the troops with whose presence, weak although they invariably were in numbers and morale, the actual power lay," acted for Philipps, who spent no more than five years in the colony.  Philipps himself understood the limits of British power in Nova Scotia.  In 1720, he "called his administration 'a mock Government' whose 'authority never yet extended beyond Cannon reach' of the fort" at Annapolis Royal.222d

The confusion extended to participation in colonial governance.  The British created for Nova Scotia a colonial Council, to sit at Annapolis, "for which the governor when in residence, the lieutenant-governor, or the senior councillor present (in the absence of either of the above) served as president." Andrew Hill Clark informs us.  "This body, as well as it could, exercised not only the executive but the judicial and ... de facto legislative powers of the province."  Councillors were not chosen, of course, among the Acadian population but consisted entirely of Anglophone army and naval officers still on active duty, or influential British merchants living at Annapolis Royal, most of whom were former officers.  Unlike its sister colonies to the south, Nova Scotia was not given a legislative assembly.  The reason was simple--the great majority of the population were French, not English, and, more importantly, their Roman Catholic religion "barred the inhabitants from assuming any of the duties upon which the design of government, to be modeled after Virginia, was based.  The Test and Corporation Acts forbade their taking oaths allowing them to vote for, or serve in, the required elective assembly."  As in Virginia and other British colonies, Roman Catholics were barred from voting and thus serving in any elective or appointed capacity.  A. H. Clark goes on:  "Excepting Celtic Britain and, possibly, the beginnings of New York and Jamaica overseas, this was the first attempt of a British government to rule a large number of alien people."222e 

This form of governance certainly was novel for the British, but the Acadians had grown accustomed to it during the decades of French rule.  They had no assembly then.  After 1670, Acadian governors answered to the governors-general and royal intendants of New France, headquartered at Québec.  Canada's Superior Council had no equivalent in Acadia, which the French looked upon as a civil and commercial backwater.  Nor was French Acadia given anything like the Superior Council a proprietary government created for French Louisiana.  As a result, the Acadians had more or less "governed" themselves, looking to their elders, as well as their priests, to help them resolve everyday matters.  If an issue could not be resolved locally, only then would they appeal to the colony's chief judicial officer, the King's lieutenant général civil et criminel, or "general representative of the King in civil and criminal matters," who, during the 1680s, was Michel Boudrot, one of their own.  Or, as last resort, they would appeal to the governor himself, who was never one of their own.  Under British rule, the Acadians did what they had always done, but this time they appealed unresolved local issues to "a largely military council [composed of British officers and officials which] had to meet on call in a civil judiciary capacity to decide matters of meum and tuum ... usually brought to them by deputies who were elected, or otherwise chosen, to represent each district."  This "quasi-representative system" was created informally in 1710 by Captain Paul Mascarene, formalized under Lieutenant-Governor Caulfeild by 1714, and continued even after the British moved the colonial administration to Halifax in 1749.  By that time, "the system had become formalized and elaborated:  according to Mascarene, eight deputies were chosen from eight districts on the Annapolis River and Basin and sixteen others from the outlying districts around Minas and Chignecto."  These deputies were generally appointed at first, and so the inhabitants viewed them as simply another arm of the colonial government.  To compel the Acadians to take their own deputies and, with them, the colonial government, more seriously, in 1730, Philipps's lieutenant-governor, Lawrence Armstrong, insisted that all of them be elected.  By the late 1730s, on the local level, "in theory at least, there was also in each district a messenger called a constable and a notary, who acted as a recorder of legal documents and receiver of quitrents."  Alexandre Bourg dit Bellehumeur served as percepteur des redevances, or rent collector, at Minas, until December 1737.  "At Canso, justices of the peace were appointed from the garrison soldiers or the three or four settlers wintering there."222f 

In the spring of 1748, Massachusetts Governor William Shirley, anticipating mass deportation of the Acadians once the current war ended, sent one of his militia officers, Captain Charles Morris, an engineer, "to survey land in the Bay of Fundy area for English settlement."  Morris's report included a description of the Acadians' "quasi-representative system" as seen through the eyes of a disdainful New Englishman:  "Indeed they have some officers of Publick capacity call'd Deputys, but they have no Power Committed to them being only servants to the People, they are annually chosen by the several Districts ....  The use of these Deputys is to call the District together, to Publish Proclamations and orders to receive the minds of thee People and to transmit their results to the Govr and Councill....  Besides the Deputy they have a Register or Clark in each District ... to record orders of Government, Deeds and Conveyances and to keep the Publick papers, besides these I know of no other Civil Officer among them....'"222g


An element of political life in British Nova Scotia involving another kind of "Civil Officer" greatly troubled the Protestant overlords sitting at Annapolis Royal.  Captain Morris' prejudice against the Acadians was especially discernible when describing the role of French missionaries in Acadian life.  Morris "thought the priest's judgment ('Sentence') '... generally Definitive, for if the offending Party comply's not he excommunicates them which to a People so Superstitious is very terrible ....'"  British and New English prejudice against the "Superstitions" of Roman Catholicism blinded these devout Protestants to the true nature of Acadian anti-clericalism, but perception was more compelling than truth.  Although the Treaty of Utrecht guaranteed the free exercise of their religion according to the usage of the Church of Rome, as far as the laws of Great Britain do allow the same," the British viewed their Acadian subjects as simple-minded people who were pawns in the hands of troublesome French clerics.  These priests, sent from the Seminary at Québec, numbered no more than five at any one time, and sometimes only three or four.  They answered not to British authority at Annapolis Royal but to the Bishop of Québec, or to ecclesiastical superiors residing at Paris or Louisbourg.  British officials at Annapolis Royal "were confident, with reason, that the missionaries were not always careful to distinguish between inculcating loyalty to the Roman Catholic faith and to His Most Christian Majesty in France."  This mindset, communicated to the ministers in London, led to orders that all missionaries in Acadia be approved, if not selected, by Annapolis authority "and that their location and movements should be closely regulated by British orders."  Lieutenant-governors on several occasions attempted to expel troublesome priests--Father Félix Pain of Grand-Pré among them--but the pastors generally ignored the expulsion order and went about their business.  In one instance, however, two priests--Fathers Claude-Jean-Baptiste Chauvreulx at Pigiguit and Claude de La Vernède de Saint-Poncy at Annapolis Royal--defied the irascible Lieutenant-Governor Armstrong and paid dearly for it. 

Father Saint-Poncy had come to the colony in 1732, during Armstrong's tenure, and immediately ran afoul of the irrascible lieutenant-govnernor.  Noting that the Annapolis church, dedicated to St.-Jean-Baptiste, lay within range of the guns of Fort Anne, Father Saint-Poncy began saying mass in private homes farther up the valley, in violation of Council regulations and in defiance of Armstrong's orders.  Father Chauvreulx came to the colony in 1735 to serve the two churches at Pigiguit.

In May 1736, Armstrong ordered the priests to go to Cap-Sable to convince a party of Mi'kmaq to repair the damage done to a shipwrecked brigantine, the Baltimore, which the Indians had pillaged.  The abbés refused, and Armstrong summoned them before the Council on May 18.  Heated words were exchanged, and Father Chauvreulx claimed that "he was not under the governor's jurisdiction."  The following month, Armstrong ordered the two priests to leave the colony, essentially deporting them to Louisbourg.  Father Saint-Poncy complied with the order but remained at Louisbourg only briefly.  By autumn, he had returned to Annapolis Royal to petition the Council to allow him to resume his ministry there.  Over a hundred Annapolis men signed a petition in support of the priest's cause.  "The parishioners complained that they would be in spiritual danger if the government blocked their access to a priest."  By a single vote, the Council agreed to allow Father Saint-Poncy to say mass in the Fort Anne chapel until the bishop replaced him.  When his successor arrived that winter, Father Saint-Poncy relinguished the post at Annapolis but refused to leave the province.  He moved on to Chignecto, where official control was weakest, and, in direct defiance of the Council's orders, resumed his clerical duties.  From 1738 to 1740, he was an avid correspondent with Paul Mascarene, the Huguenot chief-engineer-turned-lieutenant-governor, whose attempt to convert the priest to Protestantism was no more successful than the priest's attempt to convert the francophone official to Catholicism.  But, despite their amicable relationship, Father Saint-Poncy was no more compliant to the will of Lieutenant-Governor Mascarene as he had been to that of Armstrong.  Father Chauvreulx, as defiant as his Annapolis colleague, did not comply with Armstrong's expulsion order in May 1736 but took refuge with the d'Entremonts at their seigneurie at Pobomcoup, near Cap-Sable, determined to return to his ministry when things cooled down.  Meanwhile, the governor at Louisbourg, Saint-Ovide, informed the Minister of Marine in Paris of the priests' actions.  The Minister agreed that "'these gentlemen have been lacking in politeness towards Armstrong and have laid themselves open to his vengeance.'"  After Armstrong's suicide at Fort Anne in December 1739, Father Chauvreulx slipped back to his parishes at Pigiguit, where he continued his ministry into the 1750s. 

Armstrong also clashed with the Bishop of Québec's vicar general in the colony, Father Charles de La Goudalie at Grand-Pré.  More often than not, however, the Seminarians appeared before the colonial Council to endure nothing more than a verbal reprimand, and only rarely did any of them spend time in the dilapidated prison inside Fort Anne.  "Perhaps the greatest pressure came from refusal to allow new churches to be built or old ones to be repaired," Andrew Hill Clarks asserts.  "Yet somehow the churches got built and the government did not risk having them torn down."222h

To be sure, the missionaries performed a substantive role in Acadian communities, but they, too, had to contend with Acadian reluctance to submit to distant authority.  Andrew Hill Clark explains:  "The chief civil function performed by the priests, and one which profoundly irritated the governors, was the settlement of a host of minor civil differences between their parishioners.  Presumably their ukase was usually accepted gracefully; when it was not and the priests resorted to ecclesiastical penalties the reaction sometimes reached Annapolis.  Certainly the Acadians who felt put upon were not above appealing to Annapolis from the discipline of the church.  [Lieutenant] Governor Mascarene wrote menacing letters to Abbé Desenclaves, one of the missionaries, because he refused absolution to some individuals who did not wish to make some retributions he had ordered them to do.  But since there was almost no workable alternative to the clergy acting as substitute minor civil magistrates, it is clear that they continued to do so.  The criteria they applied in their judgments came from the only bodies of law they knew, those of the church and the ancient coûtumes of France, which often differed sharply from the precedents of English common law."222i

British and New English prejudice against all things French and papist resulted in two attempts to eliminate these influences among the Acadians.  One proved to be an utter failure, the other an annoying accommodation.  Authorities in London, Boston, and Annapolis Royal failed repeatedly in their attempts to convert the Acadians to Protestantism.  Equally dismal were their efforts "to bring in substantial numbers of Protestants to be settled among them to dilute their faith and allegiance."  Not even the creation of a British enclave along the Atlantic at mid-century achieved this grand ambition.222j  


Another, less draconian, effort to transform Acadians into proper British subjects was hardly more successful:  the administering of an unqualified oath of allegiance to the present British sovereign.  Naomi E. S. Griffiths reminds us that oaths of allegiance were "nothing out of the ordinary for the subjects of either France or England.  It was also a common enough procedure both in New France and in Britain's North American colonies.  Admittedly, in the latter, the issue was a little more complex.  Since there was considerable variation of belief among the various settlements--in principle Virginia was Anglican, Massachusetts was founded to foster a particular form of Protestant belief, and Pennsylvania was committed to allowing all variations of Protestant doctrine--the linking of an oath of allegiance and oaths involving a more specific religious creed was to be avoided.  But, that said, oaths of allegiance on the transference of a colony from one empire to another was an accepted practice of international law, in North America and Europe alike."  In August 1695, for instance, English authorities in occupied Port-Royal imposed on the French inhabitants an oath of allegiance to King William III.  No matter, oaths of allegiance meant little to the typical Acadian, whose actions were dictated by his own peculiar circumstance, not by imperial custom, international law, or his relationship, cultural or political, to the imperial powers who proposed to rule him.  Professor Griffiths continues:  "A distinct Acadian identity was unimaginable to those, whether British or French," who attempted to rule these people.  As a result, both the British and the French failed to grasp the nuances of Acadian identity, including an evolving Acadian sense of "neutrality" in the struggle between the imperial powers.  An integral but as yet unarticulated part of their collective identity by the fall of Port-Royal, Acadian neutrality was based on "the belief, which had developed from the days of first settlement and particularly between 1670 and 1710, that they were the rightful inhabitants of the land on which they lived, not just negotiable assets to be moved about as pawns for the purposes of a distant empire."  This unarticulated perception, after 1713, evolved into a policy of Acadian neutrality, "something that was never fully accepted as a reality by either British or French."222l

As to an unqualified oath to a distant British monarch, in 1713 and 1714, following the dictates of the Treaty of Utrecht, Acadian attention was focused more on the decision to remain on their traditional lands or to move on to Île Royale, where their fellow Frenchmen promised them new lands.  After 1714, when deputies stood before the Council at Annapolis representing the majority of Acadians who remained in Nova Scotia, "any request from the British officials was transmitted to the generality of the inhabitants through men who had been approved by the British; of these, some had also been selected by the British, but most were chosen by their villages.  Thus, when the question of an oath of allegiance arose" after 1714, Professor Griffiths explains, "it became a subject of debate between the Acadians and the British, rather than a matter of immediate compliance.  All the responses that the Acadians gave reaffirmed their conviction that they had a group existence and the right to debate the political conditions of their lives.  Indeed, the very fact that they were represented by deputies meant that their response to the demand for the oath was more than the expression of the opinions of a number of separate individuals; it was an expression of group opinion.  And the oath of allegiance demanded of the Acadians was at the centre of their political relationship with the British."  The oath, in fact, took center stage in the struggle to maintain their sense of "neutrality."222k 

From the very beginning of their dominance in the colony, the British imposed an oath of allegiance on at least a part of the subject population.  After taking Port-Royal in October 1710, Colonel Nicholson forced an unqualified oath of allegiance to Queen Anne upon the residents of the Port-Royal banlieue, and the Acadians, as in 1695, took it without protest.  When word reached Nova Scotia in the winter of 1714 of Queen Anne's death in August, another oath was demanded of the Acadians at Annapolis, this time to the new monarch, George I, the dead queen's German cousin.  A few years later, one of Nicolson's successors, Lieutenant-Governor John Doucett, extracted an unconditional oath from Annapolis Royal fishermen, who could not receive licenses to fish in provincial waters if they refused to take the oath.  But what of the rest of the province Britain now controlled? 

In January 1715, officials in London sent instructions containing the text of an oath to George I, to be administered by Lieutenant-Governor Thomas Caulfeild to all the inhabitants of Nova Scotia.  The new oath, in English translation, read:  "We the french inhabitants whose names are underwritten now dwelling in Annapolis Royal and the adjacent parts of Nova Scotia or Lacadie formerly subjects to the late french King who by the peace concluded att Utrecht did by articles therein deliver up the whole country of Nova Scotia and Lacadie to the late Queen of Great Britain, wee doe hereby for the aforesaid reason and for the protection of us and our Familys that shall reside in Annapolis Royall or the adjacent parts of Nova Scotia or Lacadie, now in the possession of his most sacred Majesty George, by the Grace of God King of Great Britain, and doe declare that we acknowledge him to be the Sole king of the said country and of Nova Scotia and Lacadie and all the islands depending thereon and we likewise doe declare and most solemnly swear before God to own him as our Sovereign King and to obey him as his true and Lawfull subjects in Witness whereof we set our hands...."   Caulfeild promptly sent Peter Capon, commissary of the Annapolis garrison, and Ensign Thomas Button, "to proclaim His Majesty King George. att ye several ports of Mines, Shekenecto, River St. Johns, Pasmacody, [and] Penopscot," to complete the task in the outlying settlements.  The Acadian response probably surprised the lieutenant-governor:  they created conditional oaths of their own in which they acknowledged George I as their sovereign, but they included such qualifications as "as long as I stay in Acadie or Nova Scotia and it is permitted that I shall go there where I judge proper with all my moveable goods and effects when I judge it right without being hindered by anyone."  The Acadians at Minas included a similar qualification, adding that "while we remain here, in Acadia, to do nothing against His British Majesty King George."  During the next few years, whenever the official oath was pressed on them, the Acadians responded with similar conditions, refusing to take an unqualified oath to a King who soon might no longer be their sovereign.  By 1720, the qualification included not only the possibility of emigration to French territory--"we promise you we shall be equally as faithful as we have hitherto been and that we shall not commit any act of hostility against any right of his Britannic Majesty, so long as we shall continue to remain within the limits of his dominions"--but also a stipulation about taking up arms--"they will Oblige themselves to be good subjects in every respect excepting that of taking up arms against the King of France."222o 

Following a war with the Wabanaki Confederacy during the early 1720s that included a failed attack by the Indians on the fort at Annapolis Royal, the new lieutenant-governor, Lawrence Armstrong, called the Annapolis deputies to a Council meeting in September 1726 and asked them to retake the oath of allegiance, which he himself had fashioned.  The Acadians, after hearing the oath read in French, "requested that a clause be inserted into it 'whereby they might not be Obliged to Carry Arms.'  Armstrong responded by saying that 'they had no Reason to fear Any Such thing as yt it being Contrary to the Laws of Great Britain yt a Roman Catholic Should Serve in the Army.'"  Nevertheless, Armstrong reluctantly "'Granted the same'--the right not to bear arms 'to be writt upon ye Margent of the french Translation in order to gett them over by Degrees.'"  After receiving word of the death of George I in 1727, Armstrong took advantage of a new king's elevation by sending Ensign Robert Wroth to the Fundy settlements to secure oaths from the habitants there.  In his report to the Council in November, the ensign acknowledged that he had "succeeded by giving the following written assurances:  that they would have the free exercise of their religion and missionaries to instruct them in the beliefs of Roman Catholicism; that they would never be required to bear arms under any circumstances; that their rights and those of their heirs to their lands were recognized; and that they were at liberty to leave the province as and when they wished."  The Council was not pleased with so many concessions to the habitants and declared the oaths null and void.  The councilors, wisely, soon relented, but Armstrong was determined to punish the Acadians for their insolence.  He denied them permission to trade with English merchants for their grain, and he persisted in pressuring the habitants to take an unqualified oath to the new King George.  In September 1727, he jailed two Annapolis delegates, Charles dit Charlot Landry and Guillaume Bourgeois, and former delegate Abraham Bourg, "for 'alleged opposition" to taking the oath.  Armstrong fumed that the three "had assembled the inhabitants" of Annapolis Royal "a day earlier than they had been ordered" and insisted that "'instead of persuading" their fellow Acadians "'to their duty by solid arguments of which they were not incapable they (the deputies) frightened them ... by representing the oath so strong and binding that neither they nor their children should ever shake off the yoke.'"  Bourg, "'in consideration of his great age'"--he was 65--was "allowed to leave the province as quickly as possible, without taking any of his property," though he likely did not go.  Armstrong threw the younger delegates into the Fort Anne dungeon.  In October, Charlot Landry, still in prison, "became dangerously ill, and his wife requested the Council's permission to bring him home where he could be better looked after, but the Council refused, saying that he was 'a very Great Offender.'"  Landry's wife, Catherine-Françoise Broussard, older sister of local hotheads Alexandre and Joseph dit Beausoleil of the haute rivière, had reason to be concerned about her husband's health.  Charlot died in early November after his release, only 39 years old.222m 

Two years later, in November 1729, Governor Philipps made a rare appearance in the colony.  After hearing the Acadians' many complaints about Armstrong's heavy-handedness, Philipps informed them that he was in the colony to administer an unconditional oath of allegiance to them.  By Christmas, Philipps and the new priest at Annapolis Royal, Father René-Charles de Breslay, administered an oath to 194 men over the age of 16 residing at the colonial capital.  The oath had been read to the habitants in French, of course, but Philipps submitted to the Lords of Trade an English translation, which read:  "'I promise and swear on the faith of a Christian that I will be truly faithful and will submit myself to His Majesty King George the Second, whom I acknowledge as the Lord and Sovereign of Nova Scotia or Acadia.'"  Philipps described it as an unconditional oath, but secretary to the Board of Trade, Sir William Popple, insisted that the French version of the oath and the submitted translation did not completely agree with one another, leaving the possibility that clever "'French Jesuits may explain this ambiguity so as to convince the people ... that they are not under any obligation to be faithful to his Majesty.'"  Meanwhile, the two priests in the Minas area, Father Charles de La Goudalie at Grand-Pré, a Sulpician, and Father Noël-Alexandre de Noinville at Pigiguit, drew up a certificate, dated 25 April 1730, which "stipulated simply" that the Acadians at Minas "would be 'completely loyal' to the king of England, who was recognized as 'the Sovereign Lord of Nova Scotia and Acadia."  But the Minas oath, witnessed by notary Alexandre Bourg dit Bellehumeur and evidently agreed to by the governor, included an important caveat:  the Acadians at Minas would be exempt "'from the war against the French and Indians and (that) the aforementioned inhabitants ... have promised never to take up arms in the event of war against the kingdom of England and its government.'"  Here was a qualified oath of allegiance not unlike the one that Armstrong had rejected three years earlier.  Nevertheless, in a dispatch sent from Canso in September 1730, Philipps assured his superior, the Duke of Newcastle, that "he had, personally, obtained 'the entire submission of all those so long obstinate people.'"  In truth, the governor had allowed these "obstinate people" to get one over on him.222p

No matter, here was a policy of neutrality that most Acadians could cling to.  For decades to come, in fact, many Englishmen and even British officials disdainfully referred to the Acadians of Nova Scotia as "the Neutrals" or "the Neutral French."  But there always was a price to pay for such a policy.  Andrew Hill Clark reminds us that, after the fall of Port-Royal, "The Acadians continued to live on their ancestral lands for the next four decades without any resolution of the vexing questions of their right to the lands they farmed or their duties to their new sovereign and his representatives.  There was no lack of pronouncements, ordinances, warnings, and exhortations, but until mid-century either the will or the means (or both) were of insufficient strength to enforce the political anglicization of the population."  And what of their playing the scapegoat?  During the decades under British rule, many of the forays conducted by the Mi'kmaq in Nova Scotia "were often charged to the Acadians' account.  And should the Acadians have decided to sacrifice their friendship for the Indians to their fear of British accusations they ran, themselves, the risk of becoming victims of the 'hit and run' raids which the Micmac, despite their limited population, could manage so successfully, easily foiling retributive pursuit by dispersing in the forested, lake-strewn interior wilderness."  So here was a policy that had its drawbacks, and also its terrors.222c 


Just as dangerous to the Acadians in Nova Scotia was an element of their own population, always a minority in the principal settlements but troubling nonetheless:  those habitants who refused even the pretense of neutrality--the partisans.  "That there was widespread sympathy and even passive support for the French among many of the Acadians is unquestioned," Andrew Hill Clark tells us.  "[U]nderstandably this was greater in Minas than Annapolis, stronger in Pisiquid and Cobiquid than at Grand Pré, and most evident in the Chignecto settlements.  Indeed the principal support for the authorities in Canada and Cape Breton (and through them for France) lay in the Chignecto region--the Acadian fringe and the doorway to Quebec and Cape Breton Island."  The active partisans were few in numbers, even during times of war.  Canadian historian Bernard Pothier, in his biography of "Acadian patriot" Joseph LeBlanc dit Le Maigre of Minas, insists that "the Skinny" "was one of only a dozen patriots who actively supported the French at this time [during King George's War of the 1740s]...."  Le Maigre was a son-in-law of Minas judge and notary Alexandre Bourg dit Bellehumeur, who, like most of his fellow settlers at Minas, was inclined towards a more neutral point of view in the struggle between the Acadians and their British overlords than was his thin-shanked son-in-law.  Many Acadians families, in fact, were torn by political differences, especially at Annapolis and Minas.  The Acadians most supportive of the French and most likely to become partisans in the struggle against the British lived not only at Chignecto, but also along the trois-rivières west of Beaubassin, where political differences among family members were few.  When Samuel Vetch attempted to overawe the residents of the haute rivière in early 1711, one of the habitants he ordered arrested and jailed was 58-year-old François Broussard, married to a daughter of former soldier Michel Richard dit Sansoucy and patriarch of a large family of his own.  Two of Broussard's sons, Alexandre and Joseph, both called Beausoleil, were ages 12 and 9 at the time of their father's incarceration.  Alexandre married a daughter of Michel Thibodeau at Annapolis Royal in February 1724, and Joseph married his brother's wife's sister in September 1725.222q 

The younger brother, Joseph, was a natural-born leader and not a man to cross.  In 1723, during the so-called Father Râle's War, young Beausoleil had been brought before the colonial Council at Annapolis and charged with consorting with local Mi'kmaq, a criminal offense at the time.  Found guilty, he spent time in the same dungeon that had held his father a dozen years earlier.  A few months after his marriage, Joseph faced charges of assaulting a fellow colonist, Louis Thibeau, but unusual circumstances at Annapolis led to dismissal of the charge.  A year or so later, Joseph again was hauled before the colonial Council and accused, this time, of fathering the illegitimate granddaughter of Marie Daigre and refusing to provide for the child's care.  Again, he spent time in custody while details of the matter were being worked out. 

Joseph dit Beausoleil appeared first before a Council led by Lieutenant-Governor John Doucett, who, despite his name, was "'a Stranger to the French Tongue.'"  Joseph's second appearance would have been before a Council presided over by the irascible Lawrence Armstrong of His Majesty's 40th Regiment of Foot, who despised the Acadians more than Doucett ever did.  Beausoleil would have understood Mi'kmaq as well as French if those languages had been allowed in Council chambers, but he may not have understood, much less spoken, much English at this time in his life.  The language barrier alone would have sharpened his sense of alienation from these arrogant, disdainful "betters," but he also would have noted the many other differences that stood between them--national, ethnic, religious, cultural.  Except, perhaps, for the merchants among them, the councilors would have been clueless about Acadian folkways and expressions, nor would they have cared to know of such things.  They were intent on overawing this proud young miscreant, and in that they largely failed.  Joseph had no choice but to submit to their discipline, to be bound and taken away to the dungeon in Fort Anne, but he would not have accepted their dominion over him.  He may even have begun to plot his revenge.222n

Joseph's standing in the Annapolis community now ruined, and no doubt shaken by the untimely death of brother-in-law Charles dit Charlot Landry as a result of Landry's own imprisonment, Joseph and Alexandre moved their families from the haute rivière to Chepoudy on the upper Fundy shore, a community founded by Pierre Thibodeau, their wives' grandfather, two dozen years earlier.  After quarreling with their neighbors over land claims, the Broussards moved north and farther inland to upper Rivière Petitcoudiac, where, by 1740, they founded Village-des-Beausoleil, above present-day Moncton--a quiet refuge from British authority and quarrelsome cousins.  The Broussards and many of their neighbors in the trois-rivières would have nothing to do with neutrality.  They lived in a region claimed by both imperial powers, but no British official possessed the temerity to demand an oath of allegiance from them.  If--more likely, when--another war broke out between Britain and France, there was no question that these outlyers would become a part of it, not as neutrals but as allies of the French and Indians, Acadian solidarity be damned.222r

Father Râle's War and the Acadians, 1718-1726

The Acadians' choices were not happy ones during the unending struggle between the imperial rivals and their Indian allies.  The three-decade-long peace before the early 1740s was, in truth, a hit and miss affair.  With a single exception, conflict, as during previous wars, did not burst directly upon the habitants during this "golden age" of Acadian life, but it did come uncomfortably close, and the stress of imperial rivalry was a constant presence among them.  Just as ominously, conflict in the region usually involved their oldest, most cherished neighbors, the Mi'kmaq and their fellow Wabanaki.244  

The European diplomats who negotiated and signed the treaties at Utrecht in 1713 ignored an important player in the rivalry for North America.  No representative of the Wabanaki Confederacy was invited to take part in the treaty negotiations, nor did any of the imperial officials take it upon themselves to give Native wishes much heed.  Representatives of the Confederacy did sign the Treaty of Portsmouth with Massachusetts and New Hampshire representatives in 1713, but, again, no definitive boundaries were set, at least none acknowledged by the signers.  The Wabanaki chiefs at Portsmouth insisted that they, not the French, and certainly not the British, owned Lnue'gati--greater Acadia.  European refusal, on both sides of the Atlantic, to acknowledge ancient Indian claims in the region served only to sour relationships between the Wabanaki and the New English.  With the coming of peace, New Englanders in Maine continued to push their trading posts and settlements into the disputed area between the Kennebec and the Penobscot.  The result was an almost continuous petit-guerre between the Abenaki and the New English interlopers.  After 1714, Bernard-Anselme de Saint-Castin's younger brother Joseph, who considered himself more of an Abenaki than a Frenchman, led his fellow tribesmen in the struggle against the English, and Governor-General Vaudreuil in Québec quietly sanctioned the resistance.185 

Another French response to New English aggressiveness was the fortifying of their established missions at major Confederation villages in the disputed territory.  These included the Jesuit missions at Nanrantsouak, today's Norridgewock, on the Kennebec, the major eastern Abenaki village; at Indian Island on the lower Penobscot, where the Penobscot dwelled; and at the Maliseet village of Meductic on Rivière St.-Jean, above the Acadian settlements.  A fourth Wabanaki mission in the region, this one assigned to the Seminarians of Québec, appeared in British Nova Scotia--Ste.-Anne's for the Mi'kmaq on Rivière Chibenacadie, more commonly called Shubenacadie.  The mission lay south of the Acadian settlement of Cobeguit, athwart "a major route from the Atlantic coast to the Bay of Fundy."  From Shubenacadie, Mi'kmaq warriors could strike new British outposts in peninsula Nova Scotia wherever they appeared.  Their first opportunity came after May 1715, when Englishman Cyprian Southack established a settlement on the southeast end of the peninsula at what he called Cape Roseway, today's Shelbourne, Nova Scotia, near the former Acadian settlement of Port-Razoir.  The few Acadians who had lived on the little harbor had abandoned the site after enduring privateer raids during Queen Anne's War.  Southack hoped to establish a permanent fishing station at Cape Roseway, but in July Mi'kmaq, probably from Shubenacadie, burned him out.  Southack was determined to avenge the destruction of his fishing station.  When he acquired the wherewithal to do it, he chose to attack not the mission at Shubenacadie but the same place he had struck a quarter of a century earlier, during the early months of King Williams' War.222a 

On 17 September 1718, in what may have been the opening action of a new frontier war, Southack, aboard the HMS Squirrel, after clearing out the French fishermen still at Canso, attacked the even larger settlement at Chédabouctou, west of Canso, in what is called the Squirrel Affair.  Most of the 300 fishermen who lived at Chédabouctou were Acadians, and it was they who manned Fort St.-Louis, protecting the harbor, which Southak had reduced so many years before.  On September 18, British marines landed at nearby Lasconde's Grave and sealed the entrance to the harbor.  Southack besieged the fort for three days, taking aboard the Squirrel Acadians in the area who had not taken refuge inside the fort.  He executed some and imprisoned others, so his goal was to destroy this Acadian settlement as thoroughly as the Mi'kmaq had destroyed his fishing station down the coast three years before.  On September 19, British troops from the Squirrel landed at nearby Salmon River and worked their way around to the rear of Chédabouctou village.  Meanwhile, the Squirrel attempted to enter the harbor but was driven back by cannon fire from the fort.  The redcoats captured the village later in the day, cutting the Acadians' escape route.  On the following day, the Squirrel managed to force its way into the harbor and battered the walls of Fort St.-Louis with its cannon.  On September 23, Southack pillaged and burned the village, loading his plunder onto several Acadian vessels he had captured in the harbor.  But the Englishman was not done with the hapless Acadians.  He transported his prisoners to Canso and left them stranded there without food or extra clothing.  The refugees made their way to Île Madame and Petit-Dégrat, off the southern coast of Île Royale.222b 

Southack encouraged Nova Scotia's new governor, Richard Philipps, to fortify Canso.  In August 1720, in retaliation for the raid on Chédabouctou, a force of 50 to 73 Mi'kmaq, probably from Shubenacadie, with French and Acadian fishermen from Petit-Degrat, attacked the British fort at Canso while Philipps's New Englanders were still building it.  But the cycle of conflict did not end there.187 

At Norridgewock, the priest assigned to the eastern Abenaki was Jesuit Father Sébastien Râle (sometimes spelled Rasle or Rasles).  Born at Pontarlier, near Besançon, France, in January 1657, Father Râle had come to New France with Frontenac in October 1689.  The black robe served at the Abenaki missions at the falls of Rivière Chaudière, south of Québec, and at St.-François, near Québec, mastering their language and compiling a dictionary of their tongue, before moving on to the Mississippi River mission at Kaskaskia among the Illinois.  By the early 1690s, he was back with his beloved Abenaki at St.-François.  In 1694, in the midst of King William's War, he established a mission for them at Norridgewock, also called Narantsouak, on the Kennebec, in the heart of their ancestral land.  During the rest of King William's War and especially during Queen Anne's War which followed, the middle-aged priest accompanied his Abenaki on several of their raids against New England towns.  After the especially bloody raid on Wells, Maine, in August 1703, the New Englanders offered a bounty for the black robe's head.  In the summer of 1704, New-English Colonel Benjamin Church, following his raid against the Fundy Acadians and the French settlements along the Maine coast, was ordered to move up the Kennebec and attack Norridgewock to finish off Father Râle.  To the chagrin of the Boston authorities, however, Church did not bother to go.  In the winter of 1705, 250 New Englanders and 20 Indians led by Colonel Winthorp Hilton, who had been a part of Church's offensive the year before, raided Norridgewock to capture the priest.  Father Râle and his charges eluded them, but the New Englanders burned his chapel and the Abenaki houses.  Father Râle returned to the St. Lawrence, created a mission for his Abenaki at Bécancour, across from Trois-Rivières, and returned to Norridgewock in 1710.  By 1713, now in his late 50s, the Jesuit had become one of those black robes who considered the English nothing more than heretic demons encroaching on ancestral Indian land.  He did not welcome the peace that came with the Treaty of Portsmouth in 1713, in which the New Englanders insisted that the Abenaki had sworn allegiance to Britain and that their territory now included Abenaki land.  Hoping to rid the tribe of Catholic influence, the New English offered to rebuild the church at Norridgewock if the Abenaki would send the Jesuit back to Canada and allow a Protestant missionary, the Reverend Joseph Baxter, to live among them.  The Abenaki shrewdly allowed the English to rebuild their church, but it was so poorly done they turned to Father Râle not only for their spiritual guidance but also for a new church, which the priest, with financial assistance from France, completed in 1720.  Meanwhile, Father Râle was especially disturbed by an agreement to allow the New English to build trading posts on coastal Abenaki land.  When land-hungry New Englanders moved to the trading posts along the lower Kennebec and erected fortifications at each of their settlements, the Jesuit feared that more Protestant missionaries would come to the region and use religion as well as trade to wrest the tribe from French influence.  In August 1717, Massachusetts Governor Samuel Shute called a conference of chiefs to meet at Arrowsic Island in the Kennebec estuary.  To the Jesuit's chagrin, the pro-New English faction among the Abenaki proved to be more influential than the anti-English faction.  Refusing to admit defeat, in October 1719 Father Râle sent the Abenaki chiefs to Québec to reassure Governor General Vaudreuil that they would oppose New English encroachments on their land.  Father Râle, on the Kennebec, saw to it.  The result was a resumption in 1720 of the frontier warfare that had plagued the region during the previous two conflicts between Britain and France.  In July of that year, the New England council offered L100 for the capture of Father Râle.  The death of the old Abenaki chief soon after the resumption of warfare led to entreaties by the new chief of the tribe to stop the fighting.  He offered the New Englanders compensation in beaver pelts for damages to their homesteads and agreed to send them hostages to guarantee peace.  Enraged by this virtual surrender, Father Râle continued to incite "his" warriors against the New Englanders, and the frontier conflict resumed.188 

In the summer of 1721, Abenaki reinforcements from the St.-François and other Canadian missions arrived at Norridgewock.  Ominously, they were painted for warfare and carried a French banner.  Father Râle, along with his superior, Father Pierre de la Chasse, led a flotilla of 90 canoes holding 250 Indians to the Maine settlement of Georgetown on Arrowsic Island, where he demanded the return of the Abenaki hostages and withdrawal of all New English, traders as well as settlers, from Abenaki land.  If they refused to comply, they would be killed and their settlements destroyed.  The New Englanders notified Governor Shute of the tribe's demands.  The response was predictable.  In January 1722, Colonel Thomas Westbrook and 300 militia surrounded Norridgewock for the purpose of capturing the troublesome priest.  Father Râle and most his people were on a hunting expedition and were warned of the attack by two young hunters.  Colonel Westbrook, though unable to capture the Jesuit himself, nevertheless seized the priest's papers, in which was a letter from Governor-general Vaudreuil at Québec promising assistance in the fight against New England.  They also found attached to the door of the new church a proclamation in Father Râle's hand promising retribution if the New English destroyed the edifice.  In retaliation for Westbrook's raid on Norridgewock, Râle and his Abenaki sacked Brunswick, near Georgetown, and other villages in the area.  On 25 July 1722, Governor Shute declared war against the Wabanaki Confederation and ordered his lieutenant governor, William Dummer, to lead the fight in New England.  The resulting conflict spread from the Kennebec into other parts of Maine and into most of upper New England.  Blood was spilled in northern Massachusetts, in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, even in the Green Mountains of present-day Vermont.  It returned to the Atlantic coast of Nova Scotia, and spread to the Gulf of St. Lawrence shore and even to the shores of the Bay of Fundy.  Contemporaries and historians have given the conflict many names--Lovewell's War, Dummer's War, Greylock's War, the Three-Years' War, the Fourth Indian War, The Wabanaki-New England War of 1722-25, and, preferred by Anglophile historians, Father Râle's War.189 

The first major battle following Governor Shute's formal declaration of war occurred on the Atlantic side of the Nova Scotia peninsula, up the coast from the Acadian settlement at Mirliguèche.  In their raids against the British following the sacking of Canso two years before, the Mi'kmaq had captured dozens of New English fishermen from vessels off the coast of Nova Scotia, including the Bay of Fundy.  Governor Philipps, still in the colony, anticipating Massachusetts Governor Shute's declaration of war against the Wabanaki Confederacy, ordered the rescue of the New English fishermen, some of whom were being held in seven captured vessels at Winnepang, today's West Jeddore, near Musquodoboit.  Philipps sent Ensign John Bradstreet with a force of militia and fishing captains John Elliot and John Robinson with two sloops to Canso to secure the fishing station, after which the New Englanders would sail down coast to take on the Mi'kmaq.  On 22 July 1722, three days before the formal declaration of war, Bradstreet and Elliot sailed into the harbor at Winnepang, surprised the 39 Mi'kmaq guarding the prisoners, and engaged in a two-hour naval fight with the Indians.  Bradstreet's boarding party, at the coast of five men killed and several injured, including a badly wounded Elliot, overwhelmed the natives with hand grenades and gunfire, burned the captured vessels, and forced the remaining Mi'kmaq to swim to shore.  The New Englanders gave no quarter.  They shot 35 Mi'kmaq in the water but found only five of their corpses, which they beheaded.  Back at Canso, they set the heads along the palisade for all to see.  Although as many as 82 New English fishermen were known to have been captured, Bradstreet and Elliot found nine of them dead and rescued only 15 at Winnepang.  A prisoner exchange arranged at Canso by James Blinn secured the release of 24 others.  It was Blinn who later attacked a Mi'kmaq camp at on Cap-Sable Island and brought in several more natives to exchange for other fishermen.  Even Cyprian Southack got back into the action; he attacked a party of Mi'kmaq in the Gut of Canso, killed one of them and took five more as prisoners.  Captain Robinson, meanwhile, conducted his own raid against the Mi'kmaq.  On his foray along the Gulf of St. Lawrence shore, he captured 10 vessels and killed three Mi'kmaq.  At Malagash, near Tatamagouche, he ransomed 20 prisoners the Mi'kmaq were holding on five fishing vessels.  Robinson reminded the Mi'kmaq that Lieutenant Governor Doucett was still holding some of their warriors at Fort Anne, and their lives would be forfeit if they harmed or captured anymore New English fishermen.190

During the summer of 1724, three French priests--Seminarian fathers Charlemagne Cuvier of Annapolis Royal, Félix Pain of Grand-Pré, and Antoine Gaulin--called a special "service" at the church at Grand-Pré, which was attended by Acadians from all along the Fundy shore, including Joseph Broussard dit Beausoleil of haute rivière.  The year before, Broussard had been charged and convicted by the Annapolis Council of consorting with the Indians, so his presence at Grand-Pré surprised no one.  As soon as they arrived, the Acadians were apprised of the priests' true intentions:  they wished to confiscate the Acadians' canoes and boats to assist a force of nearly a hundred Mi'kmaq and Maliseet to free 22 Mi'kmaq hostages being held at Fort Anne!  The priests recruited several young Minas Acadians, including, perhaps, Joseph LeBlanc dit Le Maigre, "the Skinny," a budding merchant, to gather subsistence for the expedition.  Some of the Indians, meanwhile, refused to go on, but a force of 60 or 70 pressed the attack.  On July 4, they ambushed a small detachment of soldiers unlucky enough to be away from the fort when the Indians approached.  The Indians wounded four and killed and scalped two of the soldiers, including a sergeant.  The attack on the fort was easily repulsed.  During the assault, the Indians burned two English houses near the fort and captured two soldiers and an English woman and two of her children.  Before fleeing the area, the Indians turned their captives over to the Acadians, who promptly returned them to the fort. 

After the Indians no longer were a threat, Lieutenant-Governor Doucett and his officers called a Council meeting, and their response was swift and brutal.  The dead sergeant, a fellow named McNeil, had served as aide to the lieutenant-governor, who regarded the sergeant as a friend.  Doucett ordered that one of the Mi'kmaq hostages, who had been held in the fort for two years and who had nothing to do with the raid, be taken out to the place where Sergeant McNeill had fallen.  There, the hapless warrior was shot and scalped in similar fashion.  Doucett then turned on the Acadians and their priests and ordered an inquiry into why none of the habitants had warned the fort about an impending attack.  The Council summoned all three priests to testify, but only Father Cuvier complied.  Doucett and the Council grilled the priest about aiding hostile Indians.  Doucett and the councilmen also questioned one of their own, former British officer and prominent local merchant William Winniett, whose wife was a daughter of French privateer Jean-Baptiste Maissonat of Queen Anne's War fame.  While on business at Minas on July 1, Winniett had learned of a possible attack againt Fort Anne, but the habitants there had reassured him that the garrison already had been warned.  The Council summoned several Acadians from Grand-Pré, as well as two young troublemakers from the Annapolis area, Jacques Michel, fils and Joseph Broussard.  Beausoleil was summoned not only because the officials suspected his involvement in the attack, but also because he had been accused of assaulting a fellow colonist, newcomer Louis Thibaut Broussard's remarkable defense was that, at time of the alleged assault on Thibaut, he, Broussard, had been not at Annapolis but at Minas, with the priests and the Indians!  The Council concluded that the priests had organized, or at least approved, the attack, and ordered their removal from the province.  Doucett brought no charges against any of the settlers, not even against Broussard, whose assault charge he conveniently ignored.  Doucett knew that if he imprisoned Acadians for helping the Indians, he did not have the resources to quell a rebellion, especially among the hotheads along the haute rivière.  He dismissed Michel and Broussard after giving them stern warning that if he heard of their consorting with the Indians again, their punishment would be severe.  The lieutenant-governor rationalized, with some justification, that sending the priests out of the colony would be punishment enough for the other Acadians.191 

The affair at Annapolis complicated life for all of the Fundy Acadians.  British officers and soldiers hardened their attitudes not only against the Indians, but also against the habitants.  In May 1725, Annapolis merchant and Acadian syndic Prudent Robichaud, a friend of British officials from the time of their arrival, was ordered chained and hung by the wrists outside the walls of Fort Anne; his offense:  entertaining a Mi'kmaw visitor in his home.  For a decade now, Acadians like Robichaud had been trading legally with New England merchants, but they feared now that their trading partners might perceive them as belligerents once again.  Merchants at Annapolis Royal, led by William Winnett, wasted no time exploiting the situation.  Winniett appeared before the Council in 1725 and urged them "to restrict trading up the Bay of Fundy to the Annapolis settlers," thus making the upper Fundy settlements "more dependent on Annapolis Royal for supplies and less able to support the Indians in their expeditions against the English."  Winniett's logic evidently failed to persuade the Council; he appeared before them two years later and made the same self-serving appeal. 

Winniett, of course, was well aware that the Acadians' relations with area Natives was as important to them as sources of trade.  Always reluctant to disturb their generally happy relationship with the Mi'kmaq and the Maliseet, resumption of warfare so close to their settlements complicated this delicate balancing act and risked attack from their well-armed neighbors.  Although the major Acadian settlements along the Bay of Fundy stood 300 miles east of the Kennebec, disturbances in Maine between the Indians and the New Englanders always affected the Acadians.  Moreover, the Mi'kmaq, with the Abenaki and the Maliseet, belonged a powerful Algonquian confederacy, so the enemy of one was the enemy of all.  Mi'kmaq warriors, some perhaps from the mission at Shubenacadie, had raided the British fishing station at Canso in 1720, 1722, 1723, and 1725, and captured New England trading vessels in sight of Acadian settlements along the Bay of Fundy in 1722, bringing the conflict between the New Englanders and the Wabanaki Confederacy much too close to home.  What more could the habitants do but go about their business and cling tenaciously to their policy of neutrality.192 

The end came for Father Râle and his Abenaki mission in August 1724.  A militia force guided by three Mohawks and led by Captains Johnson Harmon and Jeremiah Moulton moved up the Kennebec from Fort Richmond and struck the Norridgewock mission in the middle of the afternoon.  Captain Moulton ordered his men to take the missionary alive.  Amazingly, Father Râle had allowed the mission stockade to fall into disrepair, and at the time of the raid the palings were gone.  The Abenaki and their priest put up a spirited resistance, but the element of surprise, followed by the cool, steady fire of the New Englanders, left 26 dead and 14 wounded, including women, children, a sachem, and one of the old chiefs.  Among the dead was the 67-year-old Jesuit, shot in the head while reloading his musket.  The New Englanders and the Mohawks scalped the dead, including Father Râle, and returned downriver from whence they had come.  The Jesuit's scalp was taken to Boston for payment of the price the colonial council had put on his head.  Before departing, the Mohawks fired the village, which the surviving Abenaki soon abandoned.  By 1725, they had relocated to St.-François and Bécancour on the St. Lawrence.193

By then, both sides were exhausted after years of bloodshed.  After the attack on Norridgewock, the Penobscot beseeched Lieutenant Governor Dummer to open peace talks.  French authorities in Canada, determined to drive the New Englanders from coastal Maine, refused to sanction any talks.  Ignoring the French, in March 1725 the Penobscot chiefs, Loron and Wenemouet, opened negotiations with Dummer, and he declared a ceasefire at the end of July.  Dummer agreed to let the Penobscot retain their Catholic priests, but he refused to budge on land titles in the region and insisted on language that recognized British sovereignty over the entire Wabanaki Confederation.  When Chief Loron heard the treaty in his own language, he immediately repudiated the language over British sovereignty and urged his Wabanaki brothers to do the same.  He was determined, however, to maintain the ceasefire.  More chiefs were brought into the negotiations, including those of the Abenaki, Maliseet, and Mi'kmaq.  Treaties, collectively named after Dummer, were signed in Maine on 15 December 1725 and at Annapolis Royal on 15 June 1726.  Peace conferences followed at Falmouth, Maine, in late 1726 and during the summer of 1727, where the peace was confirmed by all but one of the Wabanaki sagamores.194 

Peace had come to the region at last. 

In Nova Scotia, Governor Philipps and his successors now were compelled by the implications of the treaties to negotiate directly with Mi'kmaq and Maliseet elders whenever conflicts arose between them.  The two nations, pointing to their long history of independence and to their own interpretation of the treaty, refused to consider themselves subjects of a British monarch.  As they had declared so often in the last century and a half, their part of Lnue'gati belonged to them, not to the British, and not even to the French, whom they had chosen as their friends, not their masters.248 

The war did not end soon enough for two Acadians from Mirliguèche and their Indian neighbors.  According to New English authorities, in early September 1726, 42-year-old Jean-Baptiste Guédry, his teenaged son Jean-Baptiste, fils, and some Mi'kmaq  perpetrated at Mirliguèche an act of piracy "against the person of Samuel Daly, of Plymouth, Massachusetts, and his crew."  Guédry, his son, and three Mi'kmaq were convicted of the deed and hanged at Boston on November 13.195 


King George's War and the Acadians, 1744-1748

For decades after the British acquired the colony in 1713, the Acadians had insisted that they were "neutrals" in the interminable struggle between France, Britain, and their Indian allies.  They steadfastly held on to their culture, their French language, their French customs, their Roman Catholic faith, but most of them scrupulously avoided aiding their fellow Frenchmen when conflicts erupted between the imperial rivals.  Still, the "Neutral French," as they came to be called, were not above trading illegally with Louisbourg.  They drove entire herds of cattle from Chignecto east to North Shore settlements, where cattle could be loaded aboard sea-going vessels bound for the French fortress.  Distrustful of these Frenchmen with their foreign ways and their clever trade arrangements, British officials at Annapolis Royal tried mightily to compel the Acadians to take an unqualified oath of allegiance to the British crown.  The Acadians refused to take such an oath and clung stubbornly to neutrality.  For the most part, the British governors shrugged off the matter; only the Acadians and their fecund farmsteads could guarantee steady subsistence to the garrisons in Nova Scotia.  The Acadians along the Fundy lived as they had always done, constructing more aboiteaux to create new grain fields, providing the necessities of life for themselves and their burgeoning families, as well as a substantial surplus for their trading partners.  The 1730s was "the golden age of Acadia," Naomi Griffiths reminds us.  "It is important to understand what happened in these years because it was then that the Acadian vision of life began to take shape.  They were the years that would be imagined by Longfellow in his poem and that would be remembered as a time of innocence and plenty, the formative era of the Acadian community"--a time when they prospered under generally benevolent British rule, which they believed would remain benevolent as long as they maintained a strict neutrality whenever war should come again.57  

This handy arrangement began to unravel in the spring of 1744 with the coming of another war in North America.  The British were alarmed to learn that not-so-neutral Acadians, especially in the Chignecto/trois rivières area, were eager to aid their fellow Frenchmen in the fight against Britain.  For the great majority of the region's inhabitants, however, here would be the first major test of their neutrality since they had taken Philipps's oath 14 years earlier. 


The seeds of this new war had been planted in Europe not long after the War of the Spanish Succession finally ended in 1713.  The Sun King, after reigning for 72 years, breathed his last at Versailles two years later.  His successor, a great-grandson, Louis, duc de Anjou, was only five years old.  After the usual maneuvering, a Regent was chosen for the young king--his uncle, Philippe, duc d'Orléans, who wasted no time reversing many of the policies of Louis XIV.  The Regent created a Triple Alliance between France, Britain, and Holland.  This led to a brief war between France and its former Bourbon ally, Spain, in 1719.  In October 1722, the young King Louis XV, now 12, was officially crowned at Reims.  The Regent died in December 1723, replaced as chief minister by the duc de Bourbon and then by the King's former tutor, André-Hercule de Fleury, Bishop of Fréjus.  Known as Cardinal Fleury, he assumed office in 1726.  The cardinal expended much effort in the improvement of life in France.  Foreign trade increased exponentially, but, as usual, the court generally ignored its remaining colonies.  Fleury, when he gave any thought to the colonies, seemed interested only in throwing more money into the fortress at Louisbourg while maintaining the shaky alliance with Britain and pursuing reconciliation with Spain.  Peace, of course, was a good thing, especially for neglected colonies, but in 1733, Louis XV, having married a Polish princess in September 1725, threatened the European peace by intervening in the Polish War of Succession.  The only happy result for France was the seizure and retention of the duchy of Lorraine, which had been falling under Austrian Hapsburg influence.  Peace returned in November 1738 with the Treaty of Vienna, but it did not last. 

In Britain, George II succeeded his father to the British throne in June 1727.  Like his father, George II retained his title as Elector of Hanover; unlike his father, the second George was a militarist, always eager for war.  Britain fought Spain from 1727 to 1729 during the first years of the new king's reign.  During the Polish War of Succession, Britain supported Spain and France against Austria, but only diplomatically; the war was essentially a continuation of the struggle between the Hapsburg and Bourbon dynasties for influence on the Continent.  In October 1739, again over the issue of commercial dominance, war broke out between Britain and Spain--the so-called War of Jenkins's Ear.  The fighting lasted until the early 1740s and was confined to the Caribbean, Central and South America, Florida, and Georgia, but it soon merged into a greater conflict, yet another imperial world war. 

In 1740, Hapsburg Emperor Charles VI died and was succeeded by his daughter, Maria Theresa.  Sensing an opportunity, King Frederick II of Prussia invaded Silesia in December 1740, precipitating a war with Austria--the War of the Austrian Succession.  Cardinal Fleury, now elderly and ailing, could not resist the anti-Austrian element at the court.  King Louis XV, who, like his great-grandfather, soon would rule without a chief minister, threw France into the fight on the side of Prussia.  In 1742, Maria Theresa found allies in Britain and Holland.  Britain joined the fight in 1743; King George himself led the allied army to victory against the French at Dettingen, Bavaria, in June of that year; he would prove to be the last British monarch to lead troops in battle.  France and Britain declared war against one another in March 1744, and the war soon spread to North America, where it was called King George's War.54 


There had been many changes in the governance of Nova Scotia during the "quiet" years in Europe.  John Doucett, Richard Philipps's first lieutenant-governor, whom the Acadians managed to tolerate, was replaced by Lieutenant-Colonel Lawrence Armstrong in May 1725.  Doucett remained at Annapolis as a member of the colonial Council, but, despite this awkward situation, the two men worked well together, until Doucett died at Fort Anne in November 1726 after a short illness.  Doucett's replacement wasted little time alienating the Acadians.  Soon after he came to office, Armstrong petitioned the Board of Trade to move the headquarters in Nova Scotia from Annapolis to Canso, away from the troublesome Acadians and closer to the communication route with Britain, but the Board of Trade ignored the request.  During his long service of 14 years as lieutenant-governor, Armstrong clashed with the Acadians incessantly, especially over their trading rights and the status of their priests.  One of Armstrong's favorites was Parisian merchant François Mangeant dit Saint-Germain, who, after spending some time at Québec, moved to British Nova Scotia and married a Caissie dit Roger from Chignecto in April 1713.  As his friendship with Armstrong demonstrated, Mangeant was not a typical Acadian.  In September 1726, he appeared before the colonial Council at Annapolis in hopes of dodging a murder charge in Canada and being allowed to remain at Beaubassin.  Evidently his taking the unqualified oath of allegiance not only won his right to settle near his in-laws, but also the affection of Armstrong, who used him as his go-between with the Acadians.  Except perhaps for his wife's kin, "real" Acadians despised the Parisian for playing the sycophant to an Englishman who obviously hated Acadians.  Perhaps through family influence, Mangeant received a pardon from King Louis XV in 1732, and in December 1737 Armstrong appointed him collector of quitrents at Minas, replacing the popular Alexandre Bourg dit Bellehumeur--only one of many incidents in which Armstrong angered the "real" Acadians.  On the morning of 17 December 1739, Armstrong was found in his room at Fort Anne with five puncture wounds in his chest, his sword lying "carelessly" near him.  An inquest of officers concluded that the lieutenant-governor, in a state of "Lunacy," had committed suicide; the question of murder was never brought up.  After Armstrong's death, Alexander Cosby, Governor Philipp's brother-in-law, who also had quarreled incessantly with Armstrong, looked after Philipp's interests in Nova Scotia, but he did not succeed Armstrong as head of government in Philipps's absence.  A dispute arose as to the proper succession, and it was not until April 1740 that a new lieutenant-governor could assume his duties at Annapolis Royal.55 

Their new lieutenant-governor was a native of France, a familiar face to the Acadians, and a welcome relieve from Armstrong and Cosby.  Thirty years earlier, while serving as an army officer in the colony, the Frenchman-turned-Englishman had initiated the role of district deputies to represent Acadian interests before the colonial Council.  A native of Castras in Languedoc, Paul Mascarene's parents were French, but, being Huguenots, they had been banished from the kingdom in 1685 when son Jean-Paul was an infant.  Paul, as he came to be called, was raised by a grandmother until he was 12 years old and sent to Geneva.  After receiving a solid education in the Protestant city, he emigrated to England in his early 20s.  Choosing the life of a soldier, he secured an ensigncy in the Regiment of French Foot, recruited among Huguenot immigrants like himself.  By April 1706, he was a lieutenant.  Three years later, he went to North America for the first time as part of the British force gathered at Boston to invade Canada.  After drilling colonial troops for a planned offensive against Port-Royal, Mascarene was promoted to captain in the spring of 1710.  He participated in Nicholson's assault on Port-Royal in October of that year.  After Subercase's surrender, Mascarene "'had the honour to take possession of [the captured town] in mounting the first guard.'"  Thus began his long relationship with British Nova Scotia.

Mascarene's command of French, which after all was his native language, his "attention to detail, and a capacity for analysis," made him a valuable asset to the colonial government at Annapolis Royal.  He served under Samuel Vetch, for whom he acted as a kind of strongman in extorting money from the inhabitants.  His first experience with the Acadians was in November 1710, only a month after the fall of Port-Royal.  Sent to extract 6,000 livres in "tribute" from the habitants at Minas, he "could assemble only a small portion, the Acadians pleading poverty...."  He spent a week in the place and learned much about these people, who he soon understood were a class of Frenchman different from all others.  For the rest of his tour in the colony, he served as Vetch's secretary and interpreter.  He followed Vetch to Boston in October 1711 and remained there for the next year and a half; he, in fact, considered the city his home now.  It may have been during this time that he married Elizabeth Perry of Boston, who gave him four children.  In early 1714, he returned to Acadia with a fellow captain to discuss terms with French officers from Île Royale about Acadian immigration to the new French colony.  For the next five years, he spent time in Boston with his family and at Placentia, Newfoundland, where he served as captain of infantry.  In August 1717, he was given a captaincy in the newly-formed 40th Regiment of Foot, whose colonel was Richard Philipps.  Mascarene's superiors considered him an accomplished engineer and artilleryman, as well as a commander of infantry.  On a visit to England he was appointed as an engineer on the Board of Ordnance.  He returned to Boston in 1719 and, as an engineer, was sent to Annapolis to report on the condition of Fort Anne.  Richard Philipps, appointed governor of Nova Scotia in 1717, spent a winter in Boston and "gained his favourable opinion of Mascarene."  The governor and the engineer arrived at Annapolis Royal in April 1720, while Doucett was still lieutenant-governor.  Philipps appointed Mascarene as the colony's chief engineer and a member of the colonial Council.  Mascarene surveyed the colony, rebuilt the fortifications at Canso, and did what he could for crumbling Fort Anne.  Escaping the onerous work of a colonial official, he visited his growing family at Boston as often as he could.

Mascarene was at Annapolis when Governor Philipps failed to exact an unqualified oath of allegiance from the Acadians in 1720.  It was Mascarene who was the first to express the true relationship between the pitifully weak garrisons at Annapolis and Canso and the scattered Acadian communities along the Fundy shore.  Philipps asked him to write a report for the Board of Trade on the condition of the colony.  Mascarene's analysis became a blueprint on how British authorities should best handle the Acadian situation:  "He recommended a stronger military force, to be divided among the major settlements, and the administration, once this force was sent, of an unqualified oath, with those who still demurred being moved to French territory.  English-speaking Protestant settlers should be introduced in any event.  He noted that the French authorities were themselves not anxious to receive the Acadians, since it was to their advantage to have a self-sufficient population on the mainland [peninsula], accessible to influence from Île Royale through their priests."  Here was a cold analysis of the situation, containing seeds of a harder policy that would be nurtured by conflict. 

Following the war with the Wabanaki Confederacy, Mascarene went to Boston in 1725 to represent Nova Scotia in peace negotiations with the Indians.  He returned to Annapolis Royal in 1729, while Armstrong was lieutenant-governor.  Affairs at Annapolis had become so chaotic during Armstrong's misrule that Philipps, who had returned to England in 1722, returned to Annapolis in November 1729 to set things straight in his colony.  Philipps alienated Mascarene by appointing his former brother-in-law, Major Alexander Cosby, as president of the Council in May 1730.  Cosby lacked seniority in the governing body; his only qualification for president seemed to be his relationship with the governor.  To Philipps's surprise, the usually tractable Mascarene "objected strenuously" and spent as much time in Boston as he could manage to avoid the mess in Nova Scotia.  Having failed to overawe the Acadians and to end the chaos at Annapolis Royal, Philipps returned to England in 1731, and Armstrong resumed his role as lieutenant-governor.  While quarreling bitterly with Cosby, Armstrong used Mascarene as a go-between with Massachusetts governor Jonathan Belcher, Sr. in urging New Englanders to follow Mascarene's blueprint and emigrate to Nova Scotia.  During the rest of the decade, Mascarene spent most of his time in Boston, "building his 'Great Brick house'" and raising his children, now motherless.  By then, he had been promoted to major of the 40th Regiment of Foot.  He did not remarry. 

Hearing of Armstrong's suicide, Mascarene returned to Annapolis Royal in March 1740 and asserted his right to succession as the president of the Council and the colony's lieutenant-governor.  Senior councilor John Adams, age 68, a petty merchant from Boston who, with Mascarene, had witnessed the fall of Port-Royal in 1710 and who had settled at Annapolis, opposed Mascarene's succession, complaining of his long absences from Nova Scotia.  Later, in his complaints to the Board of Trade, Adam also tried to use Mascarene's French nativity to disqualify him from office.  Upon Armstrong's death, Adams had been elevated to president of the Council and thus the head of civil government.  "In a stormy meeting of the council on 22 March 1740, both Mascarene and Adams claimed the right of presiding."  The other councilors decided unanimously in favor of Mascarene, elevating him to the lieutenant-governorship; he was 55 years old.  Unfortunately for Mascarene, on the same day as the stormy Council meeting and the confrontation with Adams, Alexander Cosby was promoted to lieutenant-colonel of the 40th Regiment, which made him Mascarene's superior officer!  This proved a complication for the new lieutenant-governor until Cosby's sudden death at Annapolis in December 1742.  Mascarene was promoted to lieutenant-colonel in Cosby's place.

War having broken out again in Europe, and Britain's war with Spain, in its second year, likely to drag Britain into a war also with France, Mascarene looked to the colony's sad state of defense.  Fort Anne was falling apart again, and the garrison at Canso "had scarcely a roof over its head."  In June 1740, soon after he became lieutenant-governor, Mascarene warned the Duke of Newcastle, the British secretary of state for the colonies, that "He did not think that the Acadians 'could be depended upon in the event of war with France, it is as much as can be expected if they can be kept from acting against the government.'  He went on to say:  'The Government of Cape Breton [Île Royale], by means of emissaries may stir them up, and to their bigotry to the Romish religion may contribute.'  Mascarene pointed out that 'there are not above half a dozen English families in the Province, except those belonging to the garrison here and at Canso, so that there are at least thirty French to one British subject, including officers and soldiers in both garrisons.'"  Despite his wording in the missive to Newcastle, Mascarene believed the Acadians were British subjects, "however imperfect their behaviour might be...."   He was especially concerned about the Acadians at Chignecto, who lived farthest from the British capital.  He did what he could to appease them, as well as their cousins in the other Acadian settlements.  Ignoring his blueprint of the 1720s and remembering the failures of his predecessors, he did not push for an unqualified oath; he believed "that the matter of the oath of allegiance had been settled ten years before," when Philipps had assured the Acadians that they would not be compelled to take up arms in future comflicts.  Ever the pragmatist, Mascarene would give them good reason to cling to their neutrality by "administering impartial justice ..., and in all other respects treating them with lenity and humanity, without yielding anything wherein His majesty's honor or interest were concerned.'"  At every opportunity, he warned them through their deputies that the coming of war would complicate their relationship with the British crown and urged them not to give His Majesty's government any reason to suspect their loyalty.  The Annapolis Acadians assisting in the repair of Fort Anne seemed to be proof of loyalty at least in that community.  Mascarene was especially concerned about the missionary priests, who he insisted were "in the colony as foreigners, on sufferance from His Majesty's government."  Eschewing Armstrong's confrontational style, he opened communication with Fathers Claude de La Vernède de Saint-Poncy and Jean-Baptiste de Gay Desenclaves at Annapolis, Charles de La Goudalie at Minas, and even Jean-Louis Le Loutre at Shubenacadie.  He met with them and attempted to befriend them, hoping to mitigate their influence over the habitants.  His "wide experience of life in France, Great Britain, and Massachusetts" allowed him to believe "strongly that he would be able to bring the Acadians to a state of contentment with British rule, 'to wean them from their old masters,' although he admitted that 'to do this effectually a considerable time will be required.'"56 

As to the state of the colony's defenses, Mascarene faced the same attitude in London that he had witnessed over the previous three decades.  Seeing no help from that quarter, he turned, instead, to the new governor of Massachusetts, William Shirley, for assistance in preparing Nova Scotia for war.  Mascarene hoped Shirley could raise a force of New English militia that could overawe the Acadians if they abandoned neutrality.  The governor responded to Mascarene's proposals sympathetically.  For the actual raising of troops and the dispatch of supplies, however, much depended on Shirley's control of the assembly in Boston.  Both Shirley and his assembly were very much aware of the importance of Annapolis Royal in protecting New English shipping from the depredations of French privateers sailing out of Île Royale.  Shirley, like Mascarene, thought regionally, not locally, which had much to do with the depth of their relationship.  Time would show that the grand-strategic vision of the Massachusetts governor would greatly influence the history of the Acadians of Nova Scotia.76


At Louisbourg, the governor of Île Royale, Jean-Baptiste-Louis Le Prévost Duquesnel, received instructions from Jean-Frédéric Phélypeaux, Comte de Maurepas, the French Minister of Marine, to attack the British in Acadia as soon as war was formally declared.  Duquesnel had before him two attacks plans, one written by François Dupont Duvivier, fils, a great-grandson of Charles La Tour and Philippe Mius de'Entremont, who was serving in the Louisbourg garrison.  In his memorandum, Duvivier was certain his fellow Acadians would be eager to assist the French in recovering Acadia.58 

News of a war declaration reached Louisbourg in early May 1744, before it reached Annapolis Royal.  Duquesnel wasted little time in commencing hostilities.  His first target was the British fishing station at Canso, from which British guard vessels for years had attempted to interdict trade between Acadia and Louisbourg.  That spring, in fact, Louisbourg had suffered a food shortage because of this harassment.  After fighting commenced, possession of Canso would secure Duquesnel's only reliable supply base--the north shore of peninsula Acadia.  On May 23, Duvivier, a 39-year-old French captain with no combat experience, left Louisbourg with two privateers, including the Succés, a supply sloop, and 14 fishing boats carrying 20 Swiss and French officers, 80 French soldiers, 37 Swiss mercenaries, and 212 sailors.  One of the privateer leaders in Duvivier's force was 58-year-old fire-ship captain Louis-Pierre, called Pierre, Morpain, hero of Queen Anne's War, whom the New English called the dreaded "Morpang."  His wife Marie-Josèphe, who gave him no children, was a daughter of Louis D'Amours de Chauffors, one of the Rivière St.-Jean seigneursDuvivier's would be the first combat operation not only for the expedition's commander, but also for the Louisbourg garrison.  The British commander of the fortified fishing post, Captain Patrick Heron of the 40th Regiment of Foot, unaware that war had been declared, surrendered his 87 officers and men soon after Duvivier's flotilla appeared on May 24.  One of the prisoners taken at Canso was Parisian François Mangeant dit Saint-Germain, formerly of Chignecto and Minas, married to an Acadian.  From 1726 to 1739, Mangeant had been a friend of Nova Scotia's lieutenant-governor, Lawrence Armstrong, who had appointed the Frenchman to an important office.  Duvivier took Mangeant and his British captives to Louisbourg, where Mangeant, fluent in English as well as French, served as a sort of agent between the governments at Louisbourg and Boston after the French conveyed the prisoners to New England in July.59 

Duquesnel, meanwhile, gathered a force for the inevitable attack against the Nova Scotia capital; he "planned a combined land-and-sea assault on Annapolis Royal and he waited upon ships from France."  Concerned about Mascarene's efforts to suppress Acadian trade with Louisbourg, Duquesnel urged Father Jean-Louis Le Loutre, still serving in Nova Scotia, to use Indians and Acadians to stop the British governor's efforts.  Mascarene, having learned of the war declaration at the same time he had learned of the fall of Canso, was forced to react to French initiatives, whenever they might come.  He may have been aware of Father Le Loutre's hold on the local bands of Mi'kmaq, but he may not have been aware of the priest's changing views towards the peace-loving majority of his Acadian parishioners.77 

Son of papermaker Jean-Maurice Le Loutre Després and Catherine Huet, daughter of a paper maker, Jean-Louis Le Loutre was born in the parish of St.-Mathieu, Morlaix, Brittany, in September 1709.  In 1730, his parents now dead, Jean-Louis entered a seminary in Paris.  Seven years later, his studies completed, he transferred to the Seminary of the Foreign Missions to fulfill his dream of serving the Church in some foreign land.  During the late 1730s, most of his fellow priests from the Paris Foreign Missionary Society were being sent to Asia, but Father Jean-Louis was tapped, instead, for a mission in New France, so he prepared to go to the New World.  He arrived at Louisbourg in the fall of 1738, the replacement for Abbé de Saint-Vincent.  Before moving on to his mission station at Shubenacadie, Le Loutre spent time at Maligouèche, also called Malagawatch, now Merigomish, on the western shore of Île Royale, to learn the Mi'kmaq language from fellow Seminarian Pierre Maillard.  With Le Loutre's help, Abbé Maillard developed a written form of the Algonquian tongue.  Abbé Le Loutre, as he was now being called, left Île Royale for Mission Ste.-Anne four days after his twenty-ninth birthday.  His enthusiasm for the work and love for the people made him immediately popular with his Native charges.  Like the hand full of other priests in Nova Scotia, Le Loutre served not only as a spiritual guide to Acadians and Indians but also as an informal military agent for the French.  Abbé Maillard and the French officials on Île Royale no doubt had apprised the new priest of regional politics, including their views of the Acadians and their character.  The late 1730s was still a time of peace in the region.  The Acadians, having taken their "Oath of neutrality" at the start of the decade, clung stubbornly to the concept, which the new missionary to the Mi'kmaq respected, at least at first.  By 1744, Le Loutre had been named vicar-general of the Bishop of Québec in "French Acadia," an influential position.  When war broke out in the region that year, he no longer could stomach the idea of Acadian neutrality and was determined to put an end to it.  The directive from Louisbourg likely was welcomed by the now-militant priest.237 

Not until the second week of July was Le Loutre able to gather a force of 300 Mi'kmaq, Maliseet, and Acadian partisans under Joseph dit Beausoleil Broussard for an attack on Fort Anne.  By then, Mascarene and his 150 officers and men had been given two months to prepare their defenses.  On July 5, a week before Le Loutre's attack, Governor Shirley had come through for Mascarene and sent reinforcements to Annapolis.  The ship then carried the fort's women and children to safety in Boston.  Le Loutre's attack, when it came, "was a desultory affair."  On July 16, another ship, the Prince of Orange, arrived from Boston with 53 additional soldiers for Mascarene.  Lacking heavy weapons and receiving no reinforcements themselves, Le Loutre's force returned to Minas.  After the Indians and partisans retreated, Mascarene was pleased when Annapolis Acadians helped restore the garrison's provisions and "'testified their intention to keep to their fidelity along long as the fort is kept.'"  Meanwhile, a force of Mi'kmaq "were molesting the Acadian farmers in the Beaubassin area, killing cattle and looting instead of harassing the English."  This alienated more Acadians from the French, who the Acadians believed were responsible for stirring up the Indians.  The following October, New England declared war against the Mi'kmaq nation, which only served to stir up deeper fears among the neutral Acadians, especially those who shared blood with the local Indians.60

In late July, one of the ships from France, the Caribou, reached Louisbourg, and Duquesnel's force finally departed for Nova Scotia, its mission the conquest of the British province.  Duvivier, the hero of Canso, at the head of 50 colonial regulars, 100 or so Mi'kmaq from Île Royale led by Abbé Pierre Maillard, about 30 Mi'kmaq from Nova Scotia, and 70 or so Maliseet from Rivière St.-Jean, landed at Baie-Verte on August 8.  Abbé Le Loutre, though he was still in the area, did not join this expedition.  Mindful of his Acadian roots, Duvivier "cast himself as the Acadian liberator back among his own."  The typical Fundy Acadian would have viewed him in a different light:  a French aristocrat who considered the great majority of Acadians to be little more than common peasants.  Expecting to pick up a large reinforcement of Acadian fighters along the route of march from Chignecto to Annapolis, Duvivier, according to one account, "despite strong emotional appeals ... succeeded in detaching no more than a dozen Acadians from [their] strict neutrality...."   It was harvest time, so even if the Acadians had chosen to abandon neutrality, they could have provided only a small number of young recruits for Duvivier's polyglot force.  Without active Acadian cooperation, Duvivier could depend on no reliable source of resupply as he moved against the British capital, so he exacted from them a promise to "hold the region tranquil" and to continue their trade with Louisbourg.62 

Although Duvivier picked up few Acadian recruits at Chignecto, he did receive a substantial reinforcement, as well as subsistence, from an element of the Acadian population who spurned their cousins' neutrality.  A student of the Acadian partisan movement says that "many of the able-bodied men in the Petitcodiac region" followed Alexandre and Joseph Beausoleil Broussard to the mouth of the Petitcoudiac, where they awaited transports that would take them across the bay to Minas for a rendezvous with Duvivier's force.  From the Missaguash valley at Chignecto, Pierre Surette, fils and his brothers Joseph, Paul, and Honoré, along with Jean and Michel Bourg, provided the boats that took the Petitcoudiac fighters across the bay.  The Acadians from Petitcoudiac and Chignecto also took along substantial supplies--"food, clothing and ammunition"--to sustain Duvivier's offensive.  Meanwhile, wealthy Annapolis Royal merchant Joseph-Nicolas, called Nicolas, Gauthier dit Bellaire, who for years had served as a spy for the Louisbourg commanders, sent one of his vessels to Louisbourg to pick up supplies for Duvivier's force.  Gauthier's ship sailed along the Atlantic shore, slipped into the Bay of Fundy, and joined Duvivier at Minas.  On board Gauthier's ship "were fifty French marines and 170 Mi'kmaq and Malicite warriors, as well as supplies for the battle ahead."  Added to the 60 or so resistance fighters and Mi'kmaq reinforcements from trois-rivières and Chignecto, Duvivier's force numbered about 450 men.  At Minas, a hand full of local Acadian hotheads also joined the group.  They included Amand Breau and Joseph LeBlanc dit Le Maigre, "the Skinny."  Accoring Dianne Marshall, LeBlanc had a long history of paritsan involvement.  With the Broussards, Marshall insists, he had joined Fathers Cuvier and Pain and their Mi'kmaq warriors in an attack against Fort Anne during the spring of 1724.  What is certain is that Le Maigre served as Duvivier's impromptu commissary at Minas, purchasing 104 knives from two blacksmiths, four axes from local farmers, and employed a local gunsmith for the repair of French and Indian weapons.  Here was the hardcore of an Acadian resistance that could only grow larger as the habitants were forced by incessant war to choose one side or the other.63 

Despite the support of Acadians from trois-rivières, few Acadians at Minas joined Le Maigre LeBlanc in supporting Duvivier's efforts.  Even the priest at Rivière-aux-Canards, Father Jean-Pierre Miniac, angered the French commander "by challenging his view that the laws of England were fundamentally anti-Catholic."  Duvivier accused Father Miniac of being "a little pope" and clashed also with the priest at Pigiguit, Father Claude-Jean-Baptiste Chauvreulx, who also discouraged his parishioners from taking up arms.  Revealing his true nature, Duvivier ordered the Minas deputies, "on pain of death," to gather the habitants to hear his commands.  He threatened the Minas Acadians with the usual reprisals if they did not provide him horses and powder.  He warned them that "disobedience would be treated as rebellion and those who did not obey would be given up for punishment to the Indians."  He then imposed "a pledge of fidelity" on the populace, refusal of which also would result in Indian reprisals.  He later claimed that his threats against the Minas Acadians were a ploy to protect them against future British reprisal, but the habitants would have viewed the ersatz Acadian's threats in a different light.  Despite the larger population of the Minas Basin, Duvivier recruited no more reinforcements there than he had at Chignecto, so it was lucky for Duvivier that 70 Maliseet warriors from the mainland arrived at Minas while he was there.65

"After a few days rest and a much-needed blessing from the priests," on August 30 Duvivier's force moved against Annapolis by land and sea and arrived there a week later.  On the land route to Annapolis, 11 Minas Acadians, led probably by Le Maigre LeBlanc, "drove wagons loaded with general supplies, including munitions," which, according to one historian, "was probably the most important help Duvivier received" from the Fundy Acadians.  Duvivier hoped that the presence of fighters from trois-rivières, Chignecto, and Minas would stir the Annapolis Acadians to action, but, again, he misjudged their commitment to strict neutrality.  Some of them, in fact, helped the British during the siege.  One such collaborator was Louis, son of Prudent Robichaud, père; the elder Robichaud was an Annapolis syndic and judge who had a long history of cooperating with British officials; during the siege, Louis passed on information about the French and Indians to Lieutenant Governor Mascarene.  Not so Nicolas Gauthier, who, in spite of his French birth, considered himself an Acadian, at least by marriage; his father-in-law was Annapolis valley blacksmith turned merchant Louis Allain, who married a Bourg.  Moreover, Gauthier's daughter Marie-Josèphe was the wife of Michel Dupont de Gourville, Duvivier's youngest brother.  Duvivier used Gauthier's fine house, Bellaire, as his headquarters, and much of Duvivier's force encamped on Gauthier's substantial estate, which lay on the north side of the basin just above Prée RondeDuvivier naively hoped that the superiority of his force--approximately 400, as opposed to Mascarene's 250--would overawe the British commander, but Mascarene refused to surrender, though at the beginning of the siege he seems to have promise to lay down his arms when a French naval force expected from Louisbourg appeared in the basin.  From September 7, Duvivier struck the crumbling walls of Fort Anne in a series of "desultory attacks," but failed to exploit the tactical and psychological advantages afforded by the sad condition of the British fortifications and the low morale of Mascarene's men.  On September 15, Duvivier demanded an immediate surrender, but Mascarene demurred.  A week of parlaying followed, with Duvivier insuring the British commander that a flotilla of three warships carrying hundreds of reinforcements soon would arrive in the basin.  Frustrated, on the 22nd, Duvivier turned to Le Maigre LeBlanc and ordered him "to go to Louisbourg post-haste, 'on pain of being handed over to the mercy of the savages,'" implying that the Acadian partisan had protested when told that he would be sent from the scene of action to deliver dispatches to a distant base.  LeBlanc did as he was told, more or less.  Displaying Acadian stubbornness wedded to a clever opportunism, he returned to Minas, rounded up a flock of sheep and a herd of black cattle, and drove them to the Gulf of St. Lawrence shore, either to Tatamagouche or Baie-Verte, from whence he could take passage to Louisbourg.  There, he not only delivered Duvivier's dispatches to the governor, but also sold his livestock probably for a tidy profit.  LeBlanc, despite his orders to proceed "post-haste," did not return to Nova Scotia until October 18, but by then Duvivier was no longer besieging Mascarene's rickety old fort.  The French commander resumed his attacks against Fort Anne on September 23.  Three days later, two ships sailed into the basin, but, luckily for the British, the vessels were not French; Governor Shirley had dispatched more supplies and reinforcements to succor the Annapolis garrison under Captain Edward Tyng, son of a former New English "governor" of French Acadia.  Aboard one of the ships was Captain John Gorham and 60 of his fearsome Mohawk "rangers."  Duvivier failed to stop the reinforcement, which worsened the morale of the besiegers.  On October 2, French Captain Michel de Gannes de Falaise arrived from Louisbourg via Baie-Verte and informed Duvivier that the naval squadron had not yet sailed when he had left the French fortress.  He presented orders to Duvivier recalling him to Louisbourg and assumed command of Duvivier's force.64 

The French flotilla still not having arrived, on October 4, de Gannes, over Duvivier's objections, led the French and Indian force back to Minas, which they reached on October 10.  (Only later did they learn that Duquesnel had ordered the French naval vessels "intended" to rendezvous with Duvivier to protect, instead, the fisheries and local sea lanes from British privateers). They had received precious little sustenance from the Annapolis Acadians before they left the valley, so they were forced to forage for supplies at Minas.  Joseph LeBlanc dit le Maigre, back from his mission to Louisbourg, again came to the rescue; he secured food for the French and Indians and boats to ferry the Maliseet back across the bay to Rivière St.-Jean.  Other Minas Acadians helped the French, including Jean Landry and Pierre LeBlancDe Gannes's orders called for his 54 troupes de la marine and 80 Mi'kmaq to winter at Minas, but the great majority of the habitants, clinging tightly to neutrality and fearing for the welfare of their families, refused to provide lodging and subsistence to the French and Indians.  Minas deputy and notary Alexandre Bourg dit Bellehumeur gave de Gannes a letter detailing the situation in that settlement.  Professor Griffiths tell us, "The letter argued that, because the harvest had been much less prolific than expected, providing the French with the grain and beef requested would force the settlers to kill all their cattle and use up their seed grains for next year's crops.  The letter went on to express the hope that de Gannes could not wish to plunge them and their families into the misery of complete destitution and that, as a result, he would withdraw both the Indians and his troops from the settlements.  'We are,' the text continued, 'under an easy and peaceful regime and we have every reason to be content with it.'"  Undone by the Acadians' plea, de Gannes moved his men to Chignecto, which they reached on October 19.  Waiting for de Gannes there was a reprimand from Louis Dupont Duchambon, former King's lieutenant and now acting governor of Île Royale, who had replaced Duquesnel after the latter's death on October 9.  Unfortunately for de Gannes, Duchambon was Duvivier's uncle.  Duvivier, after he had been relieved of command, hurried back to the citadel, which he reached on October 23.  De Gannes returned via Port-Toulouse and reached Louisbourg three weeks later.  This gave Duvivier plenty of time to turn his uncle and the townspeople against his fellow officer.  De Gannes produced Alexandre Bourg dit Bellehumeur's letter in his defense, but to no avail.  Meanwhile, a small flotilla commanded by Claude-Élisabeth Denys de Bonnaventure, consisting of one merchantman and a privateer brigantine and carrying 50 reinforcements, reached the Annapolis Basin on the night of October 25-26.  Finding no French force there, Bonnaventure returned to Louisbourg and reported the failure of the French offensive, which Duchambon blamed on de Gannes.  In November, Duvivier returned to France with his uncle's dispatches and was so successful in touting his small successes in Nova Scotia the King awarded him the coveted cross of St.-Louis at Brest the following May.61 

While the French at Louisbourg were pointing fingers of blame at one another, Mascarene informed his correspondents that he "had held out at Annapolis with a decaying fort and a dispirited garrison 'only through a combination of personal courage, New England aid, poor French leadership, and the honest neutrality of the great majority of the Acadians.'"  On the final day of the siege, John Gorham and his rangers introduced to Nova Scotia a form of warfare that had been all too common on the New English frontier.  On October 4, as Duvivier's French and Indians retreated to Minas, the rangers hurried from the fort, fell upon a camp of local Indians, and "massacred Mi'kmaq men along with five women and three children" in several wigwams; frontier warfare had come to stay in British Nova Scotia, with all of its attendant horrors to guilty and innocent alike.  But, as Mascarene acknowledged, a more civilized approach to warfare also had helped to save his garrison.  Mascarene attributed much of the forbearance of the local Acadians to the priest at Annapolis, Sulpician Father Jean-Baptiste de Gay Desenclaves, who had come to the colony in 1739.  Serving first at Grand-Pré and Rivière-aux-Canards before moving on to Annapolis in June 1742, from the beginning of his service in the colony Abbé Desenclaves proved to be the antithesis of his colleague, Séminarian Father Jean-Louis Le Loutre, who had come to Nova Scotia a few months before Desenclaves's arrival.  The Sulpician, unlike the Séminarian, was one of those priests who preferred cooperation rather that conflict in his dealings with the British authorities, so much so that French officials watched for every opportunity to traduce Father Desenclaves.  During Duvivier's siege, Father Desenclaves, in the words of French Minister of Marine Maurepas, evidently had "'informed the English governor exactly of all that he could learn of the proceedings of the French and exhorted his parishioners to be loyal to the king of England.'"  Father Desenclaves could have gotten the information he passed on to Mascarene only from his Acadians, and the minister may have been describing not so much their loyalty "to the king of England" as their adherence to a tradition of Acadian neutrality.  Mascarene, on the other hand, could only praise the Sulpician's actions and contrast them to that of the abbés Le Loutre and Maillard, who seemed determined to menace the British however they could.52 

Not all of the area Acadians had remained neutral, of course.  During late winter and early spring of 1744-45, Mascarene and the Council launched investigations of their own.  Acadian deputies and habitants were questioned about their actions during Duvivier's campaign.  The deputies from Cobeguit insisted that none of them joined "the enemy" or gave them sustenance unless they were forced into it.  Mascarene was especially interested in the illicit trade between the Minas and Chignecto Acadians and Louisbourg via Baie-Verte and Tatamagouche.  Cobeguit resident Claude Pitre informed Mascarene that two Acadians, Joseph LeBlanc dit Le Maigre and Joseph Dugas of Minas, were responsible for "two droves of black cattle and sheep" going to the French fortress.  Le Maigre was summoned to Annapolis Royal to appear before the Council.  He demurred at first, complaining that "so many things were falsely imputed to him which made him afraid.'"  When he finally appeared before the colonial leaders, the clever partisan "pleaded ignorance of any wrongdoing, 'not being enlightened enough to distinguish between a time of war and a time of untroubled peace.'"  Amazingly, his testimony satisfied the councilors, who ordered him to do no more than post L100 "as a bond of good behaviour."  Meanwhile, Mascarene and the Council clamped down on trade from Minas, especially in merchandise, such as blankets, favored by the Indians.  The Council decreed that all the Acadian deputies inform their communities that Nova Scotia was formally at war with France, Canada, and Île Royale and that no assistance to the enemy, including trade, would be tolerated.  The deputies also were tasked with informing their communities that they were obligated to forward information about French and Indians movements and to refrain from sharing information about the British with the enemy.  This was the councilors' way of reminding the Acadians that they "were British subjects who, even though they were to be considered as non-combatants in any war with France, nonetheless owed a measure of obligation to the British crown."  Closer to home, Mascarene uncovered the actions of Nicolas Gauthier before and during the siege.  He ordered Gauthier's immediate arrest and the confiscation of his substantial properties.  These included a 40-ton vessel and its cargo, valued at 6,000 livres, as well as Gauthier's estate, Bellaire, perhaps the finest in the colony.  Gauthier had fled, so Mascarene jailed the merchant's wife, Marie Allain, and 13-year-old son Nicolas, fils, "'their feet in irons.'"  On the last night of January 1746, after 10 months of confinement, Marie and her son, along with several more recently-imprisoned partisans, escaped the Fort Anne dungeon by prying their way through the prison bars, slipping past a sleeping guard, and scaling the fort's walls with a borrowed length of rope.  After making their way to safety through the wintry darkness, they joined a growing number of Acadians being forced into exile by the lingering war with Britain.66

War had changed many things for a people caught in the middle.  Naomi Griffiths explains:  "As the winter months passed, the picture of the Acadian behaviour that emerged was of a people caught, unexpectedly, in a situation where political beliefs had immediate and uncomfortable consequences.  The colony had been without major strife for thirty-four years, and any settler younger than thirty-four had been born under the British regime.  But the influence of France was a part of their lives, intertwined with the religious practices of the majority.  During 1744, the existence within the villages of a minority who felt passionately about the political situation of the colony, whether those who had made terms with the British administration or those who cherished the links that remained with Louisbourg, raised the level of political consciousness of all Acadians.  Nothing was as certain or as simple in the fall of 1744 for the settlers as it had been earlier in the spring and summer.  Then, the public actions of particular individuals were very much their own affair and had only an economic or social, rather than a political, impact on the community; now, actions such as a trading trip to Louisbourg or supplying wood for the repair of the fort at Annapolis Royal were liable to be seen as representative of the political views of a much greater part of the community."  Governor Shirley and many New Englanders looked askance at the Acadians who had assisted Duvivier and began to doubt the population's commitment to the British crown; Shirley not only sent frontier fighters like John Gorham and his rangers to help subdue the population, but also broached the subject of Acadian deportation again.  At the same time, French officials at Louisbourg, despite the continuing trade with the Nova Scotia settlements, were chagrined by the Acadians' refusal to give more support to Duvivier.  Mascarene alone remained open-minded about Acadian neutrality, but his forbearance had its limits.  His personal experience as "a member of a family that was ideologically split" gave him insight into the Acadian dilemma.  "He could appreciate the extent to which Duvivier's expedition was, for some of the Acadians, as much a civil conflict as a war between competing states."  However, after noting that area Acadians, at the point of the gun, furnished "guides, cattle, and nearly two hundred draft horses" to the French during the second attack against Fort Anne, the aging Huguenot speculated that "if the Acadians could be removed and Protestant subjects established in their place, the interests of Britain and New England would be well served."  Back at Village-des-Beausoleil on the upper Petitcoudiac, there were no political dilemmas.  Joseph Broussard, brother Alexandre, and many of their neighbors had learned much from their months in Nova Scotia, first with Abbé Le Loutre and then with the incompetent Duvivier.  The abbé, with his undisguised hatred of the Protestant interlopers and his hold on the Mi'kmaq of Nova Scotia, would loom large in their lives now that they were committed to destroying the farce of Acadian neutrality.  As the war continued and these forces collided, militarily as well as politically, the age of Acadian contentment, if there ever had been one, slowly, inexorably, came to an end.  Leaders on both sides, believing "that neutrality was an unacceptable moral choice," were determined to overawe the Acadian population, with force if necessary.67


In May 1745, while Duvivier was being awarded a royal decoration he did not deserve, a force of several hundred Canadians and Mi'kmaq led by Paul Marin de La Malgue appeared at Annapolis Royal--the third attempt by the French and Indians to seize the British capital.  Marin had departed Québec in January at the head of 200 Canadians and Indians, including Abenaki, Algonquin, and Huron.  Moving down the St. Lawrence to Rivière-du-Loup on the southern shore, they followed the Rivière St.-Jean portage route to Chignecto, which they reached a month later.  At Chignecto, they awaited orders from the governor at Louisbourg, who had promised to launch a combined land-and-sea attack on Annapolis Royal.  Marin moved to Minas in early April, securing the assistance of Joseph LeBlanc dit Le Maigre, who evidently thought little of his L100, as well as Nicolas Gauthier, now on the run.  From Minas, Marin moved on to Annapolis Royal via the trail along the base of North Mountain.  By then, Marin likely had been joined by a substantial force of local Mi'kmaq, and the size of his force may have risen to 700.  Mascarene received intelligence on the French force, probably from local Acadians, only a few days before it reached the Annapolis Basin.  Marin did not remain long before Fort Anne; as soon as he reached the capital, he received word from Duchambon at Louisbourg that Shirley's New English force had appeared before the citadel.  Duchambon ordered Marin to hurry to his assistance, so the promised attack from Louisbourg was not forthcoming.  After capturing two English schooners in the basin, Marin's force retired, and, for the third time in only a year, Mascarene and his garrison emerged triumphant.  Le Maigre LeBlanc was not so lucky; he lost more than his L100 bond in the venture.  During Marin's short stay in front of Fort Anne, the British captured him, convicted him of aiding the enemy, and sentenced him to six months in the "'frightful dungeon, laden with chains," still occupied by Mme Gauthier and her son, as well as fellow partisan Paul Surette.  Le Maigre escaped with them on the last night of January 1746 and hurried to rejoin his fellow partisans.68 

Mascarene's struggle with the French from Louisbourg and Québec held the rapt attention of a man who would loom large in Acadian history.  Governor Shirley "had become convinced that the defence of Annapolis Royal, indeed the security of all New England, required the reduction of the French stronghold at Louisbourg."  This was not a new idea among British shakers and movers; one historian contends that "the idea had not originated with" Shirley, "but had been suggested by [William] Vaughn, a merchant of New-Hampshire."  Earlier plans to capture Louisbourg, however, had posited a naval expedition from England with overwhelming British force and only a minor role for colonial troops.  Shirley was advocating a different sort of venture, one "financed, directed, and carried out by the colonies alone, with perhaps some support from the British naval units stationed in American waters."  John Bradstreet, whose mother, Agathe La Tour, was a granddaughter of the famous Acadian governor, was one of the British officers captured by his cousin Duvivier at Canso in May 1744.  While serving at Canso, Bradstreet, taking advantage of his Acadian heritage and ignoring warnings of a well-placed friend, traded with the French at Louisbourg.  After Bradstreet's capture, he spent time at the citadel before being exchanged and transported to Boston.  Bradstreet described for Governor Shirley the sad state of the Louisbourg fortifications and the poor morale among the French troupes de la marine standing behind them.  The Massachusetts assembly was unenthusiastic at first with Shirley's proposal, but pressure from colonial zealots, led by influential New England merchants William Pepperell and William Vaughan, secured approval for the enlistment of 3,000 volunteers and whatever funds were necessary to capture the French citadel.  Pepperell, 50 years old at the time and a native of Kittery Point in Maine, had assumed control of his family's mercantile business at an early age, transformed it into one of the most successful maritime ventures in New England, had long served as judge and then chief justice of his native county court, and, most important of all for Temple's plan, had risen through the ranks of the Maine militia and now served as the region's commanding colonel.  Pepperell also was a member of the Massachusetts General Court.  Governor Shirley and Pepperell's fellow New Englanders could see that "The task of raising an army, keeping it intact, maintaining a respectable standard of discipline, and keeping relations with the Royal Navy on an even keel demanded those personal qualities" for which Pepperell was noted, and so the governor beseeched the colonel to lead the expedition.  Pepperell demurred at first but then accepted the command.  He and his fellow militia commanders knew that colonial troops would be no match against French troupes de la marine in open battle even if they greatly outnumbered them.  Their plan, drafted by Shirley with the assistance of other colonial leaders in February, called for a surprise attack against the French fortress and avoiding battle in the open field.  Pepperell's orders, however, gave him wide discretion on how to deploy his troops at Louisbourg.69 

Luckily for the New Englanders, the fortress at Louisbourg was indeed in the sad condition young Bradstreet had described.  "The fort itself needed repairs, especially the barracks," writes Naomi Griffiths.  "The solders were in poor condition, many old and sick, and the garrison generally needed supplies and reinforcements."  Morale was so poor in the French garrison, in fact, that the new commandant, Duchambon, had to quell a mutiny of French and Swiss soldiers in December 1744.  Part of the problem was the colony's financial commissary, François Bigot, who sold the best of the troops' rations to the townspeople for his own profit and issued to the troops inadequate rations in both quality and quantity.  The rigors of winter, combined with the arrogance of the officers, only made things worse.  Two days after Christmas, the Swiss contingent in the garrison presented a list of grievances to their officers.  The troupes de la marine soon joined the protest, and Duchambon, who was proving to be an indecisive leader, gave in to the demands of the mutineers.  As a result, the quality and quantity of their food increased, but, French officers and officials being who they were, morale still remained a problem for the garrison of 1,300.  This was not the worst of Duchambon's problems, however.  Louisbourg's chief source of supply was not an agricultural base in the vicinity of the fortress or even an annual re-supply from France; the isolated French garrison derived the major part of its subsistence from trade with New England merchants and the Acadians of British Nova Scotia!  Professor Griffith notes:  "In 1743 seventy-eight vessels from New England and Acadia traded with Louisbourg, a number not only greater than the fifty-eight ships from France but also greater than the number of ships, from France, New France (seven), and the French West Indies (thirty-two) combined."  One can be certain that these merchants noted every flaw in the defenses of the French fortress during their frequent visits to Louisbourg, information they passed on to Governor Shirley, who shared it with General Pepperell.  In France, Minister of Marine Maurepas, from the beginning of the war, had hoped to dispatch ships and reinforcements to Louisbourg, but French interests in the Mediterranean and the Caribbean held priority over those in North America.70 

In early 1745, not long after he had "quelled" the mutiny, Duchambon received word from Québec that preparations were being made in Boston for an assault against Louisbourg.  An historian of the Acadian resistance movement relates that Duchambon summoned both Abbé Le Loutre and Joseph Broussard to the citadel to consult on the use of the Mi'kmaq and Acadian partisans against a British attack.  When Broussard joined Le Loutre, probably at the abbé's Shubenacadie mission, 300 Mi'kmaq warriors were ready to take the warpath.  They hurried on to Canso, from which Duchambon's ships would ferry them up to the fortress.73

Pepperell's troops, aboard a fleet of transports, including smelly fishing boats commandeered for the purpose, left Boston for Canso on 24 March 1745.  After a stormy passage, the first of the New England vessels arrived at the former British fishing base on April 4, not long after Le Loutre and Broussard reached the area.  That morning, an Indian scout alerted the priest and the partisan of the arrival off Great Canso Island of many vessels flying the Union Jack.  Unable to rendezvous with Duchambon's vessels, Le Loutre and Broussard could only watch from concealment as more enemy ships arrived.  Here were contingents from New Hampshire, Connecticut, New York, and Rhode Island joining the Massachusetts vessels, followed by a British naval squadron of 11 ships, carrying 550 guns, commanded by Commodore Peter Warren, commander of British naval forces in the West Indies who at first had declined to support the campaign.  After the arrival of Warren's squadron, Le Loutre was certain that the route to Louisbourg was closed to him.  Unable to warn, much less help, their compatriots in the soon-to-be beleaguered fortress, the Indians and the partisans packed up their gear and disappeared into the interior.74 

With the arrival of the other colonials, Pepperell commanded an estimated 5,000 men--one of the most formidable forces ever assembled in colonial North America.  They remained at Canso for three weeks, waiting for the coastal ice to break up.  During this time, the armed colonial vessels, under New English privateer John Rous, and Warren's warships drove off a French frigate, the Renommée, and blockaded Louisbourg's harbor, still choked with ice.  Pepperell's force arrived off Louisbourg at the end of April.  Governor Shirley's naive plan to surprise the enemy while they slept was quickly abandoned.  On May 11, "[w]ith the help of good luck, good weather, and good boatmanship, nearly 2,000 men gained the beach at the head of Gabarus Bay"--specifically, Pointe-Plate--"within the space of eight or ten hours."   Pepperell's arrival was not a surprise, but his choice of landing place took the French unawares.  Louis-Pierre Morpain--the dreaded "Morepang," hero of Queen Anne's War, now 60 years old--along with Antoine Le Poupet de La Boularderie, urged Duchambon to give them 300 to 400 men to attack the New English before it was too late.  Duchambon, "inept and paralyzed by fear, procrastinated until the bridgehead had been secured."  He then allocated 80 men for the venture.  With too little, too late, Morepang and La Boularderie launched an ineffective, almost suicidal, sortie against the British lodgment in which the 40-year-old La Boularderie was captured.  Despite having taken fewer and lighter cannon than the French could use against him, Pepperell resorted to a formal siege.  The French expected the New Englanders to approach the fortress walls by digging parallel trenches and zigzag approaches, advancing their guns in slow, successive stages--by the book.  The New Englanders, ignoring traditional tactics, dragged their heavy guns through peat bogs and marshes the French were certain was impassable and moved more guns into position under cover of night and fog.  More successes followed.  "The second morning of the landing, a small party under William Vaughan discovered that one of the key points of the [French] defences--the Grand (Royal) battery--had been abandoned.  Vaughan occupied it, and soon the guns of the battery were brought into action against the town."71 

After so many early successes, Pepperell's siege dragged on longer than he had anticipated.  Commodore Warren's command of the sea and heavy foraging from the surrounding countryside sustained the New English force during the siege, but "several unsuccessful and costly attacks against the Island battery," which commanded the entrance to Louisbourg harbor, damaged New English morale.  When Pepperell's men "established a battery on Lighthouse Point, overlooking the Island battery," however, Warren's ships could enter the harbor with impunity.  Despite the heroic efforts of Morepang and a handful of other officers, the French fortress was doomed.  On June 15, though he had lost only 50 men, Governor Duchambon asked for terms.  After two days of negotiating, the seven-week long siege finally ended, having cost New England 180 lives.  "The terms of the capitulation included permission for the officers and townspeople to remain in their homes and to enjoy the free exercise of their religion until they could sail for France, and a guarantee that no personal property would be disturbed."  The surrender also encompassed the rest of Île Royale; without their military base at Louisbourg, the French could not hold any part of the colony.  One of the fatalies of the siege was Michel dit Miguel Daccarrette, noted fisherman/habitant and merchant, former privateer captain, a marguillier, or warden, of the Louisbourg church, and one of the scions of Île Royale's créole elite. 

In July, the captured troupes de la marine were transported to France, to be exchanged for British prisoners of war.  With them went the inhabitants of Louisbourg and its surrounding settlements, including some Acadians--2,000 men, women, and children, the most substantial deportation of Europeans in North America up to that time.  In July, detachments of Pepperell's New Englanders descended on Île St.-Jean.  They burned a small Acadian settlement on the east end of the island, and then drove off a small force of 20 French troupes de la marine at Port-Lajoie under command of François Dupont Duvivier, fils's younger brother, Joseph, before burning the settlement.  Pursuing Duvivier and his troops upriver, the New Englanders ran into a force Acadian militia and Mi'kmaq, who, along with Duvivier's men, counterattacked, killing, wounding, and capturing nine of the New Englanders.  In the melee, the New Englanders captured six of the Acadians.  Retreating to their boats, they took them back to Louisbourg as hostages.  Duvivier and his force retreated to Québec, abandoning the island to the British.  Shortly thereafter, two warships under John Rous, with 200 redcoats of the 29th Regiment of Foot, under orders from Commodore Warren, returned to Port-Lajoie to overawe the population.72 

Joseph Duvivier's victory on Île St.-Jean certainly delighted the island Acadians, but they must have seen the triumph for what it was--a successful resistance against a British raid and little more.  The French were gone, taking their trophies with them, but the British were still there and, worse, held some of their kinsmen as hostages.  What happened next certainly infuriated French authorities, but it would not have surprised the majority of their cousins still living in British Nova Scotia.  Sometime that July, John Mack Faragher relates, "the island Acadians sent deputies to Louisbourg with an offer to become British subjects and take the oath of allegiance if they might remain in their homes and communities."  Commodore Peter Warren, conqueror of Île St.-Jean and lieutenant-governor at Louisbourg, had hoped to clear both islands of French inhabitants--the beginning of the "extirpation of the French from North America," as Faragher puts it.  The garrison and the inhabitants of Louisbourg and its surrounding communities were promptly deported, and, if the New Englanders had succeeded at Port-La-Joye, Warren would have deported the Île St.-Jean Acadians as well.  However, after hearing the delegates' offer, he "was unwilling to agree to a long-term arrangement" as the British had attempted in Nova Scotia.  Duvivier's small force, with Acadian assistance, had soundly thrashed Pepperell's New Englanders.  Moreover, there were even more immigrant Acadians on Île St.-Jean than there were on Île Royale.  Lacking an adequate force to follow through on another mass deportation, Warren "was forced to negotiate" with the island delegation.  "'We have made a treaty with them to be neuter, and to remain there during our pleasure,' he reported to Newcastle, the colonial secretary.  But, he added, 'I hope they will be sent away next spring, as we see the ill consequences in Nova Scotia that attend in keeping any of them in our territories.  And indeed it would be a good thing if those now at Annapolis could be remov'd.'" 

Such was the thinking of a high British official a full decade before the Acadians' Great Upheaval.  The fall of Louisbourg also motivated local officials to "put the removal of Acadians on the agenda once again."  Perhaps motivated by the commodore's suggestion, as well as recent events at Annapolis Royal, the Nova Scotia Council formed a special committee to study the issue.  The report they delivered in November "amounted to a complete repudiation of Mascarene's policy" and would have warmed the heart of Governor William Shirley and other advocates of Acadian removal.  The members of the committee, John Mack Faragher relates, insisted that the Acadians "had been coddled and indulged, but in the end had still failed to be faithful to their oath of allegiance.  Instead, they proved themselves to be 'entirely devoted to the Interest of France.'  They had refused to supply the British with adequate warning and intelligence.  They had furnished the invaders with provisions, horses, boats, and even guides.  They had embraced the French.  'Both men, women and children frequented the Enemies Quarters at their Mass, prayers, dancing and all other ordinary occasions.'  In short, 'it appears that their actions in favour of the Enemy proceeded rather from a Natural disposition that force.'  As for those 'terrifying orders of Duvivier and Marin,' the committee supposed they had been 'purposely contriv'd' as a cover for treasonous conduct.  There was no hope of the Acadians ever becoming loyal British subjects.  'Upon the whole,' the report concluded, 'it is most humbly submitted whether the said French Inhabitants may not be transported out of the Province of Nova Scotia and be replac'd by good Protestant Subjects.'"  The Council promptly adopted the report.  Mascarene, feeling the sting of rebuke, "waited almost a month" before forwarding copies of the report to Shirley in Boston and Newcastle in London.  With it he sent a letter of his own, in which he declared the report "slanted too much in one direction."  Knowing full well that the great majority of Acadians clung stubbornly to neutrality despite the activities of a relative hand full of their cousins, Mascarene insisted that "The report made the worst possible case against the Acadians, 'so as to make them all equally guilty and involved in the same threatened ruin.'" 

The lieutenant-governor's plea likely swayed few of his superiors, especially Governor Shirley.  Mascerene himself concluded his letter with a seeming volte-face on the question of Acadian removal.  "It might indeed be time for a change in policy," Faragher characterizes the harried governor's thinking. "'If new measures are to be taken and these Inhabitants can be remov'd and good Protestant Subjects transplanted in thei room, nothing can be of greater advantage to the British interest in general and to that of the Northern Colonies in particular and especially to that of this Province.'  But there were practical problems to be considered," Faragher notes.  "How were the Acadians to be rounded up?"  Mascarene "estimated their number at not less than twenty thousand souls, which would 'make that removal to be attended with great difficulties.'"  He assured his superiors that the Acadians in Nova Scotia were fully aware of British efforts to deport their island brethren.  He urged caution in discussing such a radical measure lest many of the Acadians in Nova Scotia flee "into the arms of the French."  Mascarene assured his superiors that he and his Council lacked the resources to remove the Acadians from Nova Scotia.  "If, after careful consideration, it was determined that it was in His Majesty's service to remove them all," Faragher explains, "it would be up to the authorities in London and Massachusetts to set the scheme in operation.  'Any revolution in this Province cannot be brought about butt by means of the neighbouring Colonies, in which your Province will always bear the greatest Share,' he wrote to Shirley.  If Mascarene's policy was to be overthrown, if Shirley chose to make a revolution in l'Acadie by removing the Acadians, he would have to do it himself."81b

Governor Shirley, in fact, was contemplating such "a revolution in l'Acadie."  But he and his British colleagues first had to finish a war. 

When news of the victory at Louisbourg reached Boston, the townspeople celebrated as wildly as Puritan decorum allowed.  They of course viewed the fall of the French citadel "as affirmation that they were much favoured of God...."  London also celebrated the victory, more remarkable because of the nature of the besieging force.  King George II commissioned Pepperell a colonel in the regular forces, gave him his own infantry command--the 66th Regiment of Foot--and conferred on him a baronetcy; he now was Sir William Pepperell.  At Louisbourg, the victorious New Englanders chafed under orders against plundering and threatened to mutiny.  Relations between the colonials and the blue jackets deteriorated after rumors spread that the commodore was claiming chief credit for the victory although the Royal Navy fired not a single shot at the fortress and had lost only one sailor during the entire siege.  The colonial troops simmered down only after Governor Shirley appeared at the citadel in mid-August and promised to deliver on the large increase in pay that Pepperell had promised them.  Reinforcements arrived, but most of Pepperell's men remained at Louisbourg and at an outpost on a headland between Baie-des-Indiennes and Baie-Glace, literally Frozen Bay, up the coast from Louisbourg.  During the siege, New English patrols had scouted up the coast to Baie-de-Miré to see what they could find--and destroy--there.  Following the capture of Louisbourg, the New Englanders occupied themselves in implementing a "scorched-earth policy" along the coast from Gabarus Bay down and around to Île Madame.  The stretch of coast from Havre-Forché, today's Fourchu, to Petite-Framboise, which lay between Gabarus and St.-Esprit, they burned out completely, before moving on to the French outpost at Port-Toulouse.  They also destroyed the small French village at Port-Dauphin on Baie Ste.-Anne, which for a short time in the mid-1710s had served as the capital of Île Royale, and the fishery century at Niganiche up the coast, including the manor house of the seigneur there, the late Louis-Simon Le Poupet de La Boularderie.  Back in garrison at Louisbourg, the winter and spring took a dreadful toll on the colonial conquerors; the estimated number of deaths among them ranged from 1,200 to 2,000!53

Meanwhile, in late July, Pepperell summoned Abbé Le Loutre to Louisbourg, but the priest was too clever to fall into his trap.  Le Loutre went to Québec instead, taking several of his Mi'kmaq with him.  He would return to Nova Scotia only if Canadian authorities could promise him more power over French activities there and enough food and arms for his Mi'kmaq and the Acadian partisans to be effective against the stronger British presence in the region.  The Canadians informed him that France already was preparing a major expedition to recover Louisbourg and that Le Loutre, his Mi'kmaq, and the partisans were expected to play a significant part in it.  Meanwhile, in retaliation for the capture of Louisbourg, the Wabanaki Confederacy launched an offensive against New English settlements in Maine.  Le Loutre returned to Nova Scotia in September 1745 and learned that the British had placed a 100-livre bounty on his head.  Unconcerned, he traveled through the province whenever and wherever his business sent him and spent the winter of 1745-46 at Minas, from whence he kept a close eye on Mascarene at Annapolis Royal.75

Not all of the priests in Nova Scotia shared Abbé Le Loutre's passion for the cause.  Father Desenclaves at Annapolis already had revealed his determination to help his parishioners cling to their traditional neutrality.  Abbé Jean-Pierre Miniac of Rivière-aux-Canards, who also served as the Bishop of Québec's vicar general in "English Acadia," "expressed great anxiety over the impact that LeLoutre's aggressive actions against the British were having on neutral Acadians."  Abbé Miniac believed that his colleague's and the partisans' attacks in Nova Scotia "had placed the Acadians in an untenable position."  French military leaders in Québec decried Father Miniac's calls for Canadian restraint.  However, the bishop at Québec, Henri-Marie Dubreil de Pontbriand, who had taken office in 1741, supported Abbé Miniac and his colleague at Pigiguit, Abbé Chauvreulx, in their efforts to encourage neutrality among their parishioners.  For good reason, the bishop fretted over the military involvement of his missionary priests in the coastal provinces.  The price paid by Abbé Maillard was especially high:  the British captured him in late 1745, held him at Boston, and then sent him on to France.  Le Loutre ignored his peach-loving colleagues as well as his ecclesiastical superiors.  He would follow the orders of the governor-general, not the wishes of his bishop or his vicar general, and continue to wage war against the Protestant enemy however and wherever he could.79


When Minister of Marine Maurepas learned of the fall of Louisbourg in mid-August 1745, he cobbled together a plan to recapture the fortress, which secured nearly universal support at Court.  The governor-general of New France, Charles de Beauharnois de La Boishe, and the intendant, Gilles Hocquart, urged Maurepas to hurry along his plans to recover the fortress--the British were preparing to send redcoat regulars there to reinforce Pepperell's New Englanders.  Maurepas instructed Beauharnois to send another force to the Chignecto area, "prepared to attack Annapolis Royal once a massive fleet had arrived in the region."  The commander of the fleet, Jean-Baptiste-Louis-Frédéric de La Rochefoucauld de Roye, marquis de Roucy et duc d'Anville, was chosen for his rank, not his experience.  D'Anville's fleet sailed from La Rochelle on 22 June 1746, its destination a fine harbor in Chebouctou Bay on the Atlantic coast of Nova Scotia.  Evidently the duc and his officers let the rumor circulate among the men that they were heading to Britain to aid Bonnie Prince Charles and his Jacobite rebels to restore the Catholic Stuarts to the British throne.  D'Anville commanded 45 troop transports, supply ships, and merchantmen, escorted by 10 ships of the line, a hospital vessel, three frigates, and two corvettes.  Aboard were 3,500 infantrymen and an artillery train, as well as Abbé Pierre Maillard.  Counting the many sailors and auxiliaries, the young duc's force numbered an astonishing 11,000 men "embarked in over 25,000 tons of shipping."  D'Anville's mission was the height of French hubris:  he not only would recapture Louisbourg, but also liberate Acadia and Newfoundland, protect Canada, and ravage the New England coast from Maine down to Boston and beyond!  Beset by storms in its trans-Atlantic crossing, the fleet took three months to cross to North America.  A quarter of the vessels never reached Nova Scotia, and those that did arrived at Chebouctou in dreadful condition.  Five months after it had departed La Rochelle, what was left of the duc d'Anville's formidable fleet limped back to France or to the French West Indies, none of its lofty goals accomplished.  It was, by any measurement, one of the most disastrous French failures in modern military history.  "Somewhere between a half and two-thirds of the eleven thousand men who had set sail had been lost," Professor Griffiths relates.80 

The Canadian offensive against Annapolis Royal never materialized.  On 5 June 1746, seven ships commanded by Jean-Baptiste-Nicolas-Roch de Ramezay, carrying 700 troupes de la marine and a contingent of Abenaki under Captain Jacques Legardeur de St.-Pierre, sailed from Québec to Baie-Verte, which they reached on July 10.  Ramezay's orders from the governor-general and the intendant "were drawn up in the belief that the Acadians were only waiting for the right circumstances to declare their wholehearted support for France," Professor Griffiths relates.  On July 15, Ramezay sent Captain Louis de La Corne with 200 men to Minas to cut communications between those settlements and Fort Anne at Annapolis.80a

Abbé Le Loutre, back from Québec the previous autumn, also took a prominent part in the operation.  With him was an assistant, Abbé Maurice de La Corne, whose mission was to assume Le Loutre's post among the Mi'kmaq if someone collected the 100-livre bounty still placed on the head of his fellow priest.  After learning of Maurepas's plan to recapture Louisbourg and liberate Acadia, Le Loutre and his Mi'kmaq, along with trois-rivières partisans led by Beausoleil Broussard, took station at Chebouctou Bay to rendezvous with d'Anville's fleet and a smaller naval force from the French West Indies.  Le Loutre sent messengers to all of the Mi'kmaq villages in the area with orders to report to him at Chebouctou.  The Canadians, Indians, and Acadian partisans were eager not only to help recapture Louisbourg, but also to attack the New English stronghold at Boston.  Anticipating the size of d'Anville's force, Le Loutre oversaw the task of gathering food, especially fish, for the French armada.  Drying huts were set up on Île Ronde, also called Île de la Raquette, future Georges Island, in the middle of the harbor; firewood was cut, split, and stacked; and Mi'kmaq and Acadians herded cattle along an Indian trail that ran from Minas to Chebouctou.  Acadian partisans not only from the trois-rivières, but also from other Fundy settlements shook hands and exchanged stories at their campsites along the heights overlooking the beautiful bay.  The Broussards were joined by Pierre Surette, fils and his brothers Paul and Joseph; and by Nicolas Gauthier, no longer the wealthiest man in Nova Scotia.81 

Preparations at Chebouctou progressed to the point that Le Loutre could return to his priestly duties.  He returned to Chebouctou in time to see the arrival of two French frigates, L'Aurore and Le Castor, which had been cruising in the area.  One of the Surettes piloted the big ships safely into the harbor, out of sight of any British vessels that might sail into the bay.  Le Loutre, seeing an opportunity, hurried a message to Ramezay suggesting that he attack Annapolis Royal immediately with the force he had.  Not bothering to consult their captains, the priest assumed that the Aurore and the Castor would be ready to raise sail immediately and rendezvous with Ramezay in the Annapolis Basin.  Ramezay ignored Le Loutre and turned to another direction, his vulnerable rear.  He had sent one of his finest young officers, 19-year-old Ensign Charles des Champs de Boishébert, who happened to be his nephew, on a reconnaissance to Port-La-Joye on nearby Île St.-Jean to see what the British were doing there.  Despite the nephew's tender age, he had already participated in several expeditions along the New York frontier, and his superiors considered him to be an officer of promise.  Boishébert slipped across the Mer Rouge and found two warships, the frigate HMS Shirley, commanded by Captain John Rous, and the HMS Ruby, anchored at the port.  Aboard the vessels were 200 redcoats from the 29th Regiment of Foot.  Boishébert likely secured much of his information from island Acadians, who may have gone aboard the vessels to treat with British officers.  He learned that the British were holding aboard one of the warships at least two of the Acadian hostages the New Englanders had taken at Port-Lajoie the year before.  Hearing his nephew's detailed report, Ramezay saw his opportunity to strike a blow at an isolated British outpost and to clear a possible threat to his rear.  Not knowing how many warships and redcoats would be at the port at the moment of attack, he would need to employ most of his force from Baie-Verte, including Indians, to provide an effective attacking force.  To lead the expedition, he chose 29-year-old newly-wed Ensign Joseph-Michel Legardeur de Croisille et de Montesson, a veteran of Bienville's Chickasaw campaign in Louisiana; this would be Montesson's first independent command, but his relations with the Indians was nonpareil.  Montesson, probably with Ensign Boishébert in his party, led 500 of Ramezay's men, including 200 Mi'kmaq, across the Mer Rouge and approached Port-La-Joye undetected, at least by the British.  What he found there on July 11 was an easier target than he had anticipated.  The British lieutenant-governor of Île Royale, Commodore Lord Charles Knowles, had ordered the Shirley, with a schooner in tow, to assist in rounding up more supplies for Louisbourg, especially Acadian cattle; the Ruby, evidently, had moved on to Louisbourg.  The powerful frigate carried a complement of several dozen redcoats of the 29th Foot commanded by Captain Hugh Scott When Montesson's raiders slipped up to the port, 40 of the redcoats and blue jackets were bivouacked in an open field overlooking the harbor, cutting hay to feed the cattle.  Evidently unconcerned about the local militia, much less a French and Indian raiding party, the Britons had stacked their weapons in a nearby tent and wielded only scythes and sickles!  Montesson's men took them completely by surprise, killing 34 outright and capturing the rest in what the British later called a massacre.  The troupes de la marine suffered no casualties, the Mi'kmaq only four (two dead and two knocked in the head by a firelock).  Rous and Scott, aboard the Shirley, fired ineffectively at the attackers.  After Montesson and his force retreated with their captives, Scott rounded up 40 local Acadians to hold as hostages.  Montesson and his men returned to Baie-Verte and displayed their captured redcoats.  After holding the hapless Britons at Baie-Verte for a time, Ramezay sent them under heavy guard to the prison camp at Québec, along with a glowing report of Montesson's performance.81a 

Across Mer Rouge, French presence in Nova Scotia remained precarious despite the triumph on Île St.-Jean.  By the end of August, having distributed his forces from Baie-Verte to Minas but moving only against Port-La-Joye, the inevitable consequences of remaining in camp too long during the hot summer months began to take their toll on Ramezay and his men.  Illness struck them hard, and Ramezay was forced to detail some of them to guard British prisoners.  The deputies at Minas complained about having to feed La Corne's men as well as their own families; the Acadians were especially concerned about their livestock.  They also reminded Ramezay of what the British would do to them if they abandoned neutrality.  Ramezay told them that he was only following orders and promised to forward their concerns to his superiors in Québec.  In hopes of securing more food for his men, on September 1 Ramezay moved to Beaubassin, leaving a detachment at Baie-Verte to guard his rear.  Unfortunately, the Chignecto area was in the midst of a summer drought, so Ramezay's men found little food at Beaubassin.  The Acadians in the area also did their best to cling to neutrality, which meant helping this new invasion force as little as they could.  Other Acadians, of a very different sort, were unhappy with the incessant waiting.  At Chebouctou, Beausoleil Broussard and some of his men, joined by Mi'kmaq eager to fight the enemy, turned one of the supply schooners that had accompanied the frigates into a privateer vessel and set out in search of British booty.  A few days later, to the cheers of their compatriots on shore, they returned to Chebouctou with two English prizes.  Le Loutre, perhaps not realizing the irony of his words, claimed in his memoirs that he was hard-pressed to protect the captives "'from outrages by the savages.'"82 

The French West Indian flotilla reached the rendezvous at Chebouctou in mid-summer and waited until the first of September for d'Anville's fleet to arrive.  By then, d'Anville's armada was a month overdue.  Le Loutre dispersed his Mi'kmaq, knowing that he could call them back to the rendezvous at a moment's notice.  He provided the Acadian partisans who chose to remain at Chebouctou the secret codes for communicating with d'Anville's warships and showed them the best places along the coast from which to perform lookout duty.  Le Loutre, the Broussards, and the remainder of their force moved overland to Chignecto in early September.  Soon after their arrival, however, they received a message from Chebouctou announcing the arrival of 44 of d'Anville's ships, including the duc himself, and Abbé Maillard, on September 14.83 

Ramezay, his force reduced to 300 by disease and detachment, led his troupes de la marine to Minas to prepare for a fourth assault against Annapolis Royal.  Le Loutre sent messengers to the Mi'kmaq chiefs, calling their warriors back to arms, and, with the Broussards and other partisans, hurried back to Chebouctou.  What they found there disheartened them.  Diseases of every kind--scurvy; pulmonary, venereal, and other infections; as well as typhus and smallpox--killed hundreds of the Frenchmen, while en route to, as well as at anchor in, the bay.  Thousands more were rendered hors de combat; so many sailors were too ill to perform their jobs that French naval officers, among the most arrogant of martinets, had to join the few able-bodied seamen in manning the lines that raised and lowered the sails of their ships.  "Using sails and spars, the French set up a make-shirt hospital on the shore of the inner bay of the harbour ... and the dying continued."  Le Loutre, now assisted by his colleague Maillard, sent messages to all of the Fundy communities, beseeching them to hurry supplies to the French at Chebouctou Bay.  D'Anville himself was not immune to the terrors that plagued his venture--he died "of an attack of apoplexy" aboard his flagship on September 27, having just celebrated his 37th birthday.  Some suspected murder, others suicide.  The duc was buried on Île de la Raquette without ceremony.  His second in command did not succeed him, having attempted suicide, so command of the venture fell to the vice-admiral aboard the flagship Northumberland, who also was the newly-promoted governor-general of New France, Jacques-Pierre de Taffanel de La Jonquière, marquis de La Jonquière.  The marquis cancelled the attack not only against Louisbourg, but also against Annapolis Royal, which he had set in motion by ordering Ramezay to invest Fort Anne.  Other than four of the transports, escorted by the warship Renommée, which went on to Canada, the remnant of the fleet, still commanded by La Jonquière, returned to France, the expedition an utter failure.84

At Annapolis, Ramezay, now joined by Le Loutre and the Broussards, stood before Fort Anne for three weeks, his force too weak for a direct attack.  Mascarene's garrison had been reinforced, was well provisioned, and the old fort's walls had been repaired again, so Ramezay had no choice but to wait for the fleet to arrive.  During the siege, Ramezay's force was sustained by a herd of 230 cattle from Minas driven to Annapolis by Joseph LeBlanc dit Le Maigre, who evidently had recovered from his stay in the Fort Anne dungeon.  When Ramezay finally received a message from La Jonquière on November 3, the new governor-general informed him that he was returning to France and ordered Ramezay to abandon the attack on Fort Anne.  Ramezay returned to Minas by November 8 and waited there two weeks for an early snow storm to abate.  He and most of his force then returned by water to Beaubassin, while a detachment, including the now-ruined LeBlanc dit Le Maigre and Nicolas Gauthier, marched overland from Minas to Baie-Verte, from which they could protect the rear of Ramezay's main force.  Frustrated by defeat and the rigors of campaigning, the troupes de la marine, now only 200 of them, were certain that the local Acadians were informing the British of their miserable condition.84a 

Hearing of the arrival of a French vessel at Chebouctou after La Jonquière had departed, Le Loutre and the Broussards hurried back to the harbor, where they found La Sirène sitting at anchor.  The priest and the partisan beseeched the captain of the vessel to assist them in an attack on Annapolis Royal.  Learning of d'Anville's fate and seeing the paucity of Le Loutre's force, the captain refused to join in such a venture.  Instead, he took on stores and returned to France, taking the abbé with him.85


D'Anville's expedition was so grandiose the British had no trouble learning from their many spies the size and destination of the duc's fleet.  At Louisbourg, Shirley's and Pepperell's militia force, now much reduced, were replaced by British regulars under lieutenant-colonels Peregrine Thomas Hopson and John Horsman of the 29th and 59th Regiments of Foot, and the New Englanders finally could go home.  At Annapolis Royal, Mascarene had little time to celebrate the withdrawal of Ramezay's force.  In November, he and his council learned that French plans for a fifth attack on Fort Anne were underway.  Shirley and the governors of Rhode Island and New Hampshire sprang to action, gathering a thousand troops at Boston and hurrying them on to Nova Scotia.  A storm and a French privateer turned back part of the fleet, but 450 men under Lieutenant-Colonel Arthur Noble of the 2nd Massachusetts Regiment made it to Annapolis.86

By then, Acadian anxiety was running higher than ever.  They had heard that the townspeople at Louisbourg had been deported along with the French garrison after the fall of the fortress the previous summer, and rumors were circulating that the Acadians of Île St.-Jean, which also had fallen, would meet a similar fate.  If Ramezay's troupes de la marine and Le Loutre's Indians failed to capture Annapolis Royal, the Fundy Acadians feared similar treatment at the hands of the British.  Mascarene got wind of this disturbing rumor and knew that Ramezay and Le Loutre were behind it.  Mascarene reminded the authorities in London that British control of Nova Scotia could not endure if the Acadians, succumbing to pressure from the French, abandoned their neutrality.  The Board of Trade ordered Governor Shirley "to issue a proclamation effectively reassuring Acadians that they had nothing to fear from a British victory."  By then, Shirley, who had given serious consideration to mass deportation, "had changed his mind about the desirably of evicting the Acadians."  He issued a proclamation, signed on September 12, before d'Anville's fleet reached Chebouctou, "asserting that he knew of no intention on the part of the British ministers in London to deport the Acadians."  But his proclamation included these words:  "'those who shall do otherwise and join the Enemy, Especially those from Canada ... they may expect to be treated as his Majesty's English subjects are treated in the like provoking cases.'"  Mascarene, of course, did what he could to distribute the message in all of the Acadian communities.  In late November, Shirley reported to the Board of Trade that some of the couriers sent out to the Acadian communities had been intercepted by Canadians and partisans but that, through word of mouth, the Acadians had received his message.  He was confident they were reassured that they would not be removed from their lands.87

With Ramezay's troupes de la marine still hovering at Minas, British control of the Acadians along the Fundy shore was difficult if not impossible to maintain.  On December 5, an advanced force of 100 New Englanders, under Captain Charles Morris of Boston, left Annapolis and marched to Minas.  Lieutenant-Colonel Noble, with 400 more Yankees, followed in late December and reached Grand-Pré on New Year's Day 1747.  Ramezay and the Acadian partisans, apprised by Mi'kmaq scouts of the New English movement, wisely remained at Chignecto.  After six months of fruitless effort, Broussard's partisans were tired and dispirited and wanted to rejoin their families during this coldest time of winter.  Beausoleil had to use all of his considerable powers of persuasion to keep his men in the field with Ramezay.  At Grand-Pré, Noble rendezvoused with his ships from Annapolis, aboard which he had stacked pre-fabricated blockhouses to be used by his men to occupy the Minas villages, but the frozen ground prevented their erection until spring.  Noble then forced his remaining New Englanders upon the Grand-Pré Acadians, "while he and his officers took over a small stone house at the centre of the village."  Among his officers were commissary Edward How, who "had extended kin connections among the Acadian elite," and Nova Scotia councilman Erasmus James Philipps, whose task was to inform Mascarene of the state of neutrality among the Acadians.  In early February, Noble sent Gorham and his rangers back to Fort Anne with orders to return to Minas in the spring.88 

One of Noble's missions was to choose new deputies among the Minas Acadians and send them on to Annapolis as soon as possible.  Back in late November, deputies from Grand-Pré and Pigiguit had attended a Council meeting at Annapolis to deliver a letter that gave an "'account of their Miserable state during the war with Acknowledgments of Obligations to govr Shirley for his Letter and Promises strictly to observe and adhere to their Oath of neutrality.'"  They described the French occupation of their villages, recently ended, and the impact it had on their lives.  Always concerned about their state of neutrality, Mascarene pressed them to name those individuals who cooperated with Ramezay and his Canadians.  The deputies demurred, reminding the lieutenant governor that they would be forced to name their own kin, and this they would not do.  Naomi Griffiths explains:  "The Acadian sense of neutrality clearly encompassed a belief that individuals were not obliged to offer information, to either party, about the activities of others within their communities.  Family arguments about information given to either side, and about the amount of aid that would be offered to those faced with an armed force, were arguments within families and among the villagers.  To outsiders, whether French or British, Acadians proffered little about the activities of their kin."  Could even Mascarene have been so naive as to think that new deputies would violate this code?108

By late January, snow was still falling and the streams were frozen, but Noble and his men should not have rested peacefully.  "No serious notice was taken of warnings from the Acadians that Ramezay planned an offensive against Minas," Noble's biographer tells us.  More ominously for the New Englanders, walking among them were Acadian spies reporting everything they saw and heard to Broussard and Ramezay at Beaubassin.  On January 8, an Acadian spy reported to Ramezay that Noble's force numbered 220 or so and that 300 more were expected in the spring.  The spy also described the pre-fabricated blockhouses lashed to the deck of Noble's vessels.  He may also have reported the fact that Noble had left "the shot for the cannon on boats in the river rather than with the gun emplacements in the village...."  With this information, Ramezay threw together a plan for a winter attack on Noble's garrison.  He would use the troupes de la marine still with him, the Acadian partisans, and as many Indians as abbés Maillard and Girard could assemble at Cobeguit in time to join him.  He also asked the priests to scour the outlying settlements for provisions.  His troupes de la marine and Indians had been in the Chignecto area, off and on, since the previous summer, so provisions there were scarce.  His forward base at Minas was now occupied by hundreds of enemy soldiers, which also cut him off from any provisions he could have obtained from the Annapolis valley.  Recapturing Minas was essential for another strike against Fort Anne.  Without occupying Grand-Pré himself, Ramezay could not liberate Acadia.78 

Ramezay was suffering from an injured knee, so he handed the Grand-Pré operation to his second in command.  Captain Nicolas-Antoine Coulon de Villiers, age 39, was an experienced Canadian officer who had seen action against the Fox in the Lake Michigan region and had earned promotion for gallantry.  With Coulon de Villiers was another talented officer, Captain Louis de La Corne, now second in command, who had operated in the Minas area under Ramezay's command a year and a half before.  La Corne was four years older than Coulon de Villiers, but, unlike the younger officer, had not seen combat of any note.  He nonetheless was respected by his fellow Canadians and the troupes de la marine and would prove his mettle in the fight ahead.  Also with the attacking party would be Ramezay's nephew, Ensign Charles des Champs de Boishébert, who had done so well on Île St.-Jean the previous summer.  The Broussards and their fellow partisans also would go to Minas, where they would draw blood for the first time in many months.  Also coming to Chignecto were several dozen Mi'kmaq and Maliseet under Abbé Charles Germain, as well as "a group of Acadian insurgents from Île St.-Jean...," whom Ramezay's men had liberated the previous summer.101 

On January 21, Coulon de Villiers and his men began their journey overland from Baie-Verte through Remsheg, Tatamagouche, Cobeguit, Shubenacadie, and Pigiguit, picking up Acadian partisans along the way.   The long line of men--Indians, Canadians, Frenchmen, and Acadians--trudged cross country on snowshoes, using dog teams to haul wicker sleighs heavily laden with supplies and arms through blizzards that piled snow ever higher and turned every stream into an icy obstacle.  At Cobeguit, they were joined by Abbé Maillard and more Acadian partisans.  By then, Coulon de Villiers commanded 300 troupes de la marine and dozens of partisans and Indians--substantially more than the New English force encamped at Grand-Pré.  The Mi'kmaq contingent would have been larger were it not for the epidemic that swept through their villages after they had stripped the clothing from the dead soldiers and sailors at Chebouctou the previous autumn.102 

Along Coulon de Villiers's line of march Acadian families provided them shelter against the wind and snow as well as food to fill their backpacks.  The Acadians at Pigiguit were especially accommodating.  Some expected compensation, others did not.  That a good part of the force consisted of Acadian partisans, many of them their cousins, must have stirred their ancient hatred of all things English.  Joseph Broussard, universally known if not universally respected, commanded the loyalty of many, who were eager to reveal to the partisan leader the exact location of the New English intruders.  As a result, "about a score of young men joined their ranks and acted, above all, as guides and as informants about the organization of the British force."  After a 17-day, 120-mile trek through ice and snow, the attacking party reached the vicinity of Grand-Pré on midday of February 10.  Determined to attack the enemy after nightfall, Coulon de Villiers awarded his men a few hours rest along Rivière Gaspereau, only two miles from Grand-Pré.  In the house where Coulon de Villiers and his officers chose to rest, Acadians were holding a wedding feast!  "The guests were much startled at this sudden irruption of armed men; but to the Canadians and their chief the festival was a stroke of amazing good luck, for most of the guests were inhabitants of Grand Pré, who knew perfectly the houses occupied by the English, and could tell with precision where the officers were quartered.  This was a point of extreme importance.  The English were distributed among twenty-four houses, scattered ... for the distance of a mile and a half" along a ridge overlooking the dyked marshes.  That such a large attacking force made it so close to the New English garrison without an alarm ringing out gives an idea of the quality of Noble's security and the loyalty of the local habitants.  Before darkness fell, some of the partisans slipped unobtrusively into the village to conduct a final reconnaissance.  While local spies pointed out to them which of the houses sheltered a certain number of Noble's New Englishmen, there can be little doubt that some of the Grand-Pré residents recognized their partisan cousins.103

What followed was, for the Acadians, the most significant moment of King George's War. 

At three o'clock in the morning of February 11, in the midst of yet another snow storm, Abbé Maillard granted absolution to the combatants.  Coulon de Villiers then led his force into the sleeping village, divided his men into 10 groups of 50 each, and directed them to follow the Acadian partisans to the houses where Noble's men were billeted.  Coulon de Villiers, with the Broussards and the Surrettes, crept up to the stone house where Noble and some of his officers slept.  The attackers already knew that the small cannon at the front of the building were unmanned.  When the signal was given, the attackers raised their muskets, stormed each building, and opened fire on the soldiers within.  One participant, Lieutenant Daniel-Hyacinthe-Marie Liénard de Beaujeau of Montréal, who kept a detailed journal of the campaign, described what happened to his group of attackers:  "'A sentry who spotted us cried Who goes there?  ... We saw the watchkeeper come at once to the door.  But the night was so dark, and we were hugging the ground so carefully, making no noise, that although we were within thirty paces, he considered it a false alarm and went back inside again....  In less than ten minutes we took the guardhouse....  All around we could hear musket fire.  In every direction we could see men moving without being able to distinguish if they were our people or the enemy....  We had almost all lost our snowshoes and the amount of snow prevented us from moving smartly....  We would have been more gratified with our achievements if we had been able to learn that the other detachments had had as good success.'"   Despite the confusion in the darkness and snow, Coulon de Villiers's men scored a signal victory over the New English militiamen.  Most of the British killed or wounded were shot in their beds--Lieutenant Colonel Noble, his brother Francis, an ensign, and three other officers among the dead.  One of the most severely wounded officers was 45-year-old Edward How, a former member of Armstrong's colonial Council; How's second wife, one of the Winniett sisters, was a great-granddaughter of François Bourg of Annapolis, so the New England native was intimately familiar with the colony and its people.  How's wound was so severe it cost him the use of his left arm.  The attacking force lost six dead--an Acadian partisan, two Indians, and three troupes de la marine.  Fourteen of the attackers were wounded, including Coulon de Villiers himself, whose left arm was shattered by a musket ball; and Ensign Boishébert, whose wound was less severe.  Coulon de Villiers fell wounded soon after the attack began, so it was Louis de La Corne who commanded the attacking force during most of the action.104 

The remaining New Englanders, under Commissary Captain Benjamin Goldthwait and Captain Charles Morris, resisted as best they could but were forced to surrender by afternoon of the following day.  When the dead and wounded were tallied, the engagement proved to be "the bloodiest fight ever to take place in the colony...."  Noble's garrison suffered from 154 to 174 casualties--76 dead, including six officers; 38 wounded; and between 40 and 60 captured.  Coulon de Villiers's "articles of capitulation" were generous:  the New English troops who had surrendered with Goldthwait must leave Grand-Pré within two days; they would be accorded "the honours of war" and given "six days of provisions, their knapsacks, a pound of shot and one of powder'"; those taken prisoner before the capitulation would remain; the boat and schooner in the basin would remain in Canadian hands, as would the British possession pillaged by the Indians; most generous of all, the seriously wounded and the sick would be taken to nearby Rivière-aux-Canards and cared for by the habitants there until Mascarene could collect them; finally, no one who had fought at Grand-Pré could serve at Minas, Pigiguit, Cobeguit, or Chignecto for the next six months (this essentially confined them to the Annapolis valley or compelled their return to New England).  On the eve of his departure, Captain Goldthwait invited the Canadian officers to share an evening meal with him and his New Englanders "so that they all might become better acquainted over a bowl of punch."  On February 14, the New Englanders who could manage began their journey back to Annapolis Royal.  When he learned of the fate of Noble's force and how the Canadians had treated them, Mascarene "expressed his sincere gratitude for the chivalrous behaviour of the French" who had just killed so many of his men.105 

Such was the nature of eighteenth-century warfare. 

On February 19, less than a week after the New Englanders departed, the Minas delegates approached Captain La Corne and pointed out to him how difficult it would be to provision his force for the rest of the winter.  Accordingly, La Corne left Grand-Pré on February 23, and most of his men had returned to Baie-Verte by March 7.  By then, Ramezay had received orders to send most of his officers and men back to Québec, this time via the St.-Jean portage.  Ramezay would remain at Beaubassin with a part of his force until June.  Frustrated over his failure to hold Grand-Pré and having failed to liberate the province, he sent a message to the Minas Acadians, reminding them that they now were under French jurisdiction and would suffer reprisal if they communicated "'with the inhabitants of Port Royal'"--that is to say, their cousins.  Abbé Desenclaves, still at Annapolis, had served at Minas before going to the colonial capital.  Although he had "agreed to pass on information about the activities of the English" to Ramezay and his officers, the abbé, a man of peace as well as good sense, was more determined to see the Canadians vacate the colony and provide relief to his hard-pressed parishioners.  Perhaps hypocritically, he made an agreement with Mascarene to urge the Minas Acadians to cling to their neutrality.  But the good father need not have bothered.  Most of the Acadians had seen this cycle of conflict and retribution before:  the British were certain to retaliate, and any abandonment of neutrality would be duly noted and used against them, even as a pretext to send them out of the country!  Acadians in all of the Minas settlements sat down with his families and neighbors to discuss their predicament.  Most of them would have concluded that even the perception of movement towards one side or the other could result in dire consequences for all of them.  Mascarene and his garrison had not been defeated; no Acadian in the province could ignore that.  The Canadians, despite their signal victory at Grand-Pré, were the ones who were quitting the country, leaving the habitants to the mercy of the British once again.  Such was the inescapable logic of their circumstance.  It was best to cling to neutrality as if it were life itself.106 

In March 1747, sure enough, a hundred New Englanders from Colonel Samuel Waldo's regiment, under John Winslow and Silvanus Cobb, escorted by naval Captain John Rous, returned to garrison Grand-Pré, and Minas was part of the British realm again.  The Minas deputies communicated with both Ramezay, to whom they explained their predicament, and to Mascarene, to whom they pledged their loyalty to the British crown.  Ramezay's response was unwelcome:  he ordered the Minas settlers to remove themselves to Chignecto, where they would take up arms against Britain "or face certain death."  Having heard this threat before, few, if any, complied.  Mascarene demonstrated his usual constraint, but his mentor, Governor Shirley of Massachusetts, now the most influential leader in New England, "was more than ever convinced that only the establishment of garrisons throughout the peninsula could provide 'an effectual Security to the Province against the enemy and oblige the Inhabitants in a little time to contribute towards the protection & Expence of the Government....'"  The governor also revealed his darker side.  During late autumn 1747, having learned of the role played by Acadian partisans in the attack on Grand-Pré, he "issued a proclamation declaring twelve of them outlaws and offering a reward of L50 sterling for the capture of each, if delivered within six months."  He offered a pardon to any of them who turned in the others, revealing a towering ignorance of the Acadian mindset.  The dozen outlaws named in Shirley's proclamation were Beausoleil Broussard, Joseph-Nicolas Gauthier, his older sons Joseph and Pierre, Amand Bugeaud, Joseph LeBlanc dit Le Maigre, Pierre Guédry, Charles and François Raymond, Charles and Philip LeRoy, and Louis Hébert.  Mascarene believed that the Acadian partisans who had helped the French were "chiefly outlaws" from "the Island of St. John and from St. Peter on Cape Breton."  Ironically, Bugeaud, the Gauthiers, and Le Maigre LeBlanc escaped British retribution by moving to those French Maritimes settlements.  When the offer of pardon expired the following spring, neither Mascarene nor Shirley held a single outlaw in any of their dungeons, though one would have been hard put to find an active Acadian partisan in any of the settlements of British Nova Scotia.  But by then the sense of urgency had cooled--King George's War was over.107 

A Tenuous Peace and the Construction of Halifax, 1748-1749

Despite the amazing victory of a New England militia force at Louisbourg in June 1745 and the near-destruction of the British army in western Europe, the War of the Austrian Succession proved as indecisive as the earlier world conflicts between the imperial powers.  A preliminary cease-fire was negotiated at Aix-la-Chapelle in April 1748, and a formal declaration of peace followed in October.  By this treaty, The Britain retained Nova Scotia but not the Maritime islands.  Despite previous intentions to hold on to them, British negotiators exchanged Île Royale and Île St.-Jean for Madras in India and French withdraw from the Netherlands.  As a result, the fortress at Louisbourg was back in French hands, and they were determined to make the most of it.  Unfortunately for the Acadians of peninsula Nova Scotia and their kinsmen at the head of the Bay of Fundy, the treaty failed to resolve the decades-long dispute over the boundaries between French and British North America.  Versailles insisted, as it had done since 1713, that France had yielded to Britain only "the peninsula formed by the bay of Fundy, the Atlantic and gulf of St. Lawrence," while London "claimed all the land to the south of the river St. Lawrence," which included not only present-day New Brunswick, Gaspé, and Maine, but also the Ohio valley and much of the pays d'en haut.98    

Dramatic changes had occurred in New France during the final months of King George's War.  Charles de Beauharnois de La Boische, marquis de Beauharnois, had served as governor-general of New France since August 1726.  In 1747, Beauharnois was age 76, having been born at his family's chateau at La Chaussée near Orléans in the year the first Acadian census was taken!  His replacement was Jacques-Pierre de Taffanel de La Jonquière, marquis de La Jonquière, age 62, a native of Albi, France.  It was La Jonquière, as a rear admiral, who had come to Nova Scotia with the duc d'Anville in September 1746.  After succeeding the duc in command of that disastrous expedition, La Jonquière had returned to France that autumn, intending to take his post as governor-general at Québec as soon as he could manage it.  In May 1747, he left Île d'Aix with a division of three frigates and two ships of the line, including his flagship, the 64-gun Sérieux, and a convoy of merchant vessels.  Only four days out, a British squadron under Vice-Admiral George Anson, whose second in command was Rear-Admiral Peter Warren, the victor at Louisbourg, waylaid the marquis and his vessels off Cape Ortegal, Spain.  The merchant ships managed to escape, but the British engaged the French men of war, who were greatly overmatched, in a five-hour exchange of fire and blood.  Anson and Warren captured all of the French warships, as well as the admiral/governor-general, wounded in the fray.  La Jonquière spent the rest of the war at Portsmouth, England, unable to take up his post at Québec until August 1749, nearly a year and a half after the peace was signed.109 

Back at Québec, La Jonquière's place was taken by Roland-Michel Barrin de La Galissonière, a native Rochefort, who had first come to Canada in 1711 while still a midshipman.  He, too, was a naval officer, the son of a lieutenant-general of naval forces, and, on his mother's side, a nephew of Michel Bégon, intendant of New France.  La Galissonière spent most of his naval service at his native Rochefort, but he also sailed to Canada and Île Royale during his time at sea.  In May 1738, more as a result of family connections than distinguished service, he was awarded the coveted Cross of St.-Louis.  He saw much service during the War of the Austrian Succession, holding the rank of captain.  His administrative skills were such that he was offered the governor-generalship of St.-Domingue in early 1747, but he refused the office, preferring to continue his naval career.  A few months later, after the capture of La Jonquière, Minister of Marine Maurepas offered La Galissonière the interim governor-generalship of New France, and the marquis reluctantly agreed to take it.  He left Rochefort for Québec aboard the Northumberland in September 1747.  He had been to Canada a number of times, but he knew the place only as a sailor.  At Québec, he consulted with his predecessor, Charles de Beauharnois, who, because the war was still on, had not yet returned to France, and with Intendant Hocquart, who was staying.110

Although the war was going well for the French in Europe, it had not gone well for them in North America.  After evaluating the condition of New France, the new governor-general chose a purely defensive policy--there would be no more expeditions against Annapolis Royal or Louisbourg, only the strengthening of positions still held by the French.  In Canada, La Galisonnière believed that an alliance with the Iroquois would do much to strengthen the colony's defensive position.  In order "to draw the Indians into the French orbit," he dusted off part of La Salle's old plan of joining Canada and Louisiana with "a line of posts along the Ohio valley...."  Unfortunately for such an expensive scheme, the colony's finances were in shambles.  There were no funds available, for instance, to mount on the fortifications of Québec and Montréal new guns that had been authorized two years before after the sudden loss of Louisbourg!111 

When the war ended in April 1748, La Galissonière was still serving as interim governor-general.  Clinging to his idea of fortifying the Ohio valley and winning over the Indians there, in June 1749, about the time King Louis XV transferred jurisdiction of the Ohio country from Louisiana back to Canada, La Galissonière sent a trusted officer into the disputed region.  Captain Pierre-Joseph Céloron de Blainville, commander at Crown Point on Lake Champlain, took 200 troupes de la marine and militia, along with 30 Indians, on a 3,000-mile, five-month-long circuit from Montréal to Lake Erie via Niagara, down the Allegheny River to the Forks of the Ohio, down the Ohio as far as the mouth of the Great Miami River, near present-day Cincinnati, overland via Pickawillany and Fort des Miami to Lake Erie, and then back to Montréal, with the loss of only a single man.  Céloron's mission was to evaluate Indian alliances and British influence throughout the region, as well as to seal French claims to it.  Having fought the Chickasaw in upper Louisiana a decade earlier, Céloron was well acquainted with this part of the pays d'en haut--an essential gateway to the Gulf colony.  Along the way, he buried a series of "engraved lead plates claiming the land for France" and left plaques bearing the French royal arms attached to rocks and trees.  Encountering small groups of British traders on the Ohio River, he ordered them to retun from whence they had come.  With one group of Pennsylvanians, he left a letter addressed to their governor "protesting the trespass on French soil of men from his jurisdiction."  Back at Montréal, Céloron reported growing British influence among the western nations, especially the Mingo (western Iroquois), Shawnee, and Miami, primarily because of Pennsylvania traders such as George Crogham, who offered cheaper goods to these nations than any Canadian trader could match.  Miami chief Memeskia, known as La Demoiselle, of Pickawillany, north of the Ohio, was especially adamant about clinging to the Pennsylvanians.  Céloron proposed the construction of a series of fortified outposts from Lake Erie down into the Ohio valley from which the French could counter British influence.  New French finances were still precarious, and peace had come to North America, so La Galissonière concentrated on building a single post on Lake Ontario in hopes that Canadians could compete with British traders among the Iroquois and other nations.  The Great Lakes and the Ohio, and the growing British influence there, would occupy French attention for years to come.112

And then, briefly, La Galissonière turned his attention eastward, to Acadia.  With Île Royale back in French hands, he was determined to protect the lines of communication between Québec and Louisbourg.  A naval career officer who was fully aware of the power and reach of the Royal Navy, as well as the vagaries of Nature, the overland route between the two citadels was essential in maintaining reliable movement between the two halves of New France during every season.  Winter ice blocked access to Québec via the Gulf of St. Lawrence for half of the year; voyages to Baie-Verte via the lower St. Lawrence, such as that of Intendant Jacques de Meulles during the fall of 1685, provided object lessons in the great distances, as well as the difficulties, in reaching the Acadia by the all-water route.  So fur traders, missionaries, and emigrants followed the ancient Indian portage that connected the lower St. Lawrence with the Bay of Fundy.  From the Québec end, the great portage began at Rivière-du-Loup on the southern shore of the lower St. Lawrence, once described as "'the last habitation in Canada.'"  From there, the traveler endured a long haul southeastward past Lac Témiscouata or Lac Pohénégamook to the upper reaches of Rivière St.-Jean.  Next came a weeks-long descent of that magnificent river, portaging around falls and rapids like the Grand Sault St.-Jean-Baptiste at present-day Grand Falls, and canoeing down the more peaceful stretches through much of what was still impenetrable wilderness.  Once past the Maliseet enclave at Meductic and the Acadian settlements at Nashouat, Ste.-Anne-du-Pay-Bas, and Ékoupag, the river's widening reaches below Jemseg, including the magnificent Long Reach, allowed a relatively short haul all the way down to the reversing falls and the Baie Française.  If the big French bay was clear of enemy vessels, one could follow the north shore with a small sailing vessel up into the Baie de Chignecto to the mouth of Rivière Missaguash.  But if one wished to avoid enemy vessels in the bay, or the bay's troublesome tides, one could turn at Île Kennebecasis, less than five miles above the mouth of the St.-Jean, and ascend Rivière Kennebecasis to a portage that led to upper Rivière Petitcoudiac.  This stream flowed northeastward and then eastward, past the habitation of the Broussard brothers, and then southward into the Baie de Chepoudy, the northern arm of the Baie de Chignecto.  A short trail from the eastern shore of Chepoudy Bay below the mouth of Rivière Memramcook led to the settlements at Chignecto, where a short, boggy portage from the headwaters of Rivière Missaguash ended at Baie-Verte.  There the land route connected to the all-water route.  To complete the connection to Louisbourg, one could sail eastward from Baie-Verte through the Mer Rouge, today's Northumberland Strait, into St. George's Bay and the Gut of Canso.  If enemy vessels were known to be threatening that passage, one could follow the primitive roads southeastward along the Gulf of St. Lawrence shore to Remsheg or Tatamagouche and sail from either of these settlements to the Gut of Canso.  For fortified garrisons at the Acadian end of the St.-Jean portage, La Galissonière chose three strategic sites--the mouth of Rivière St.-Jean, the lower Missaguash, and Baie-Verte.  Other palisades could be erected in the trois-rivières settlements to protect the approaches to and from Rivière Kennebecasis.  But strategically-placed fortifications were only part of the governor-general's Acadian scheme.  Canada could provide a cadre of talented officers to command these new outposts, but Canadian militia and French troupes de marines were too few in numbers to man them for any length of time.  The Acadians themselves would have to man the palisades as well as provision the garrisons.  La Galissonière was convinced that only a mass resettlement of the Acadians from Nova Scotia could sustain French power in the region.  This could be achieved by persuasion or coercion--by the carrot or the stick.112a

La Jonquière finally reached his post at Québec in August 1749, a month after Louisbourg officially was returned to France.  Unfamiliar with New France, he conferred with La Galissonière, who would be returning to France.  La Jonquière agreed with his predecessor's policies for the Ohio country, as well as the Acadian scheme.  He complained to the governors of New York and Pennsylvania about the incursion of their traders into French territory.  When these British officials ignored him, he "put his threats into execution, by the seizure of the persons and goods of several British traders...."  The strengthening of the fortifications at Louisbourg, the rebuilding of the outpost at Port-Toulouse, and the projection of French power into the Maritimes region, he deferred to the new governor of Île Royale, fellow naval officer Charles des Herbiers de La Ralière, who had reached Louisbourg in June 1749.  La Gallisonière, meanwhile, with La Jonquière's approbation, had sent two Canadians officers, both heroes of the fight at Grand-Pré, to establish a French presence on the Baie Française.  Lieutenant Charles des Champs de Boishébert, at the head of 180 troupes de la marine, was tasked with constructing a fort at the mouth of Rivière St.-Jean.  Captain Louis de la Corne went to Chignecto to supervise matters there.113 

By then, British response to the return of Louisbourg had taken material form.


Reaction in New England to the loss of Louisbourg was "immediate and visceral."  Not only their governors, but also the people of the region were appalled by the diplomatic surrender.  Men from every one of the New English colonies had captured the French citadel, and hundreds of them were still buried there, lost during the first brutal winter of occupation.  British diplomats, and King George himself, could brush off New English sacrifice, but the colonials could not, and talk in Boston turned to revolution.90 

In Nova Scotia there would be no peace in spite of the "peace" signed in a city on the far side of France.  By the summer of 1748, while the peace was being finalized, even Paul Mascarene had grown weary of Acadian recalcitrance.  John Grenier insists the war had convinced the lieutenant-governor "that the British possessed little real authority over the Acadians and Indians, and all his careful and fair handling of them had resulted in only a miniscule level of obedience without allegiance.  'I cannot possibly avoid being moved to find so small a Correspondence between your words and actions,' he chided the Acadian deputies in late August 1748, 'which may undoubtedly Cause the Sincerity of your Promises to be much suspected and consequently render all my Endeavours to promise your happiness abortive.'"  He "thus, was disinclined to offer more carrots and instead preferred more sticks."  He was especially annoyed by reports of habitants concealing "that Banditi who are, surely seeking your ruin as well as their own...."  He was referring, of course, to the Acadian partisans, the sons, brothers, and cousins he was determined to suppress.  Piqued by their insolence and their spirit of independence, he ordered the deputies at Minas to remove Alexandre Bourg dit Bellehumeur from the office of judge and replace him with René LeBlanc, fils, a noted accomodator, who the Council had appointed as notary at Minas four years earlier.  In October, Mascarene sent John Gorham and his Mohawk rangers, "who loathed the Acadians and whom the locals equally despised and feared," to Minas and other settlements to "collect" more oaths of allegiance, but, again, the Acadians refused to take an unqualified oath.  Gorham, with orders "'not to commit any hostility,'" then crossed to the north side of the Bay of Fundy to inform the Acadians on Rivière St.-Jean that they were required to send deputies to Annapolis Royal despite their living in territory essentially controlled by France.  The Acadians in that area, "long accustomed to receiving such demands from the British," acquiesced to the lieutenant-governor's dictum and selected their deputies.  If the Acadians resented the words and actions of the Huguenot governor, they would have been clever enough to hide it, especially from the likes of John Gorham and his fearsome rangers.  Not so the local Indians and partisans.  Two of Gorham's men were killed from ambush, prompting him to seize two Indians and grant them "an opportunity 'to clear themselves of having a share in that outrage and to bring to light the Offenders.'"  The war in Europe may have ended, but not the war on the Acadian frontier.  Meanwhile, in a letter to the Secretary of State for the Southern Department, the Duke of Bedford, dated 8 September 1748, Mascarene informed his superior:  "It will require time and good care to bring these French Inhabitants to be good subjects and to wean them of that inclination they naturally have for the French interest from their ties of consanguinity and religion."  These potentially "good subjects" could not have known it, but the aging Mascarene's days in the colony were numbered, that soon they would have to treat with a different man, who knew or cared little about them.89

The British response to the outrage over the return of Louisbourg changed not only the geography, but also the tempo of imperial conflict in North America.  For decades Nova Scotia had been "an imperial backwater" in the minds of British officials.  Relative few resources had been expended there compared to Britain's other colonies, but this could not continue.  The King's Privy Council retired Richard Philipps, now in his late 80s.  Passing over the sexagenarian Paul Mascarene, they chose 47-year-old Colonel Edward Cornwallis to replace Philipps as governor.  A former courtier and a career army officer from a well-connected family, Cornwallis was still a bachelor in 1749.  His combat experience included a stint as major of the 20th Regiment of Foot in Belgium during King George's War and the pacification of Scotland at Culloden as the regiment's lieutenant-colonel.  Ill health drove him from field command, so he secured an appointment as groom of the royal bedchamber and won promotion to colonel in March 1749.  His rank, experience, and connections secured for him appointment as Philipps's successor, and he promptly organized an expedition for Nova Scotia, which sailed from Portsmouth in mid-May.  The Lords on the Board of Trade and Plantations, headed by George-Montague Dunk, second earl of Halifax, provided a clear mission for their new governor, whose formal title would be Captain-General, Governor-in-Chief, and Vice-Admiral in the King's Province of Nova Scotia or Acadie.  The British Lords understood that "'it was essential to provide in that area a British military station of comparable strength as a protection for New England and her trade.'"  But there was more.  Fred Anderson asserts:  "One of the earl of Halifax's pet projects [was] to Anglicize Nova Scotia and make it a bastion of defense against New France."  To that end, Lord Halifax "promoted immigration by New Englanders and other Protestants" to Nova Scotia.  Cornwallis, then, could expect the full cooperation of New England, especially from Massachusetts Governor William Shirley, in the reassertion of British power in the region.  The New Englanders, in fact, with Shirley in the lead, had spearheaded the effort to convince Lord Halifax to erect a British stronghold on the Atlantic side of the peninsula to counter the French presence at Louisbourg, which would officially be returned to France on 3 July 1749.  During the spring of 1748, in fact, Shirley had sent one of his militia officers to Nova Scotia to survey the province in the event that the peace treaty then being negotiated in Europe presented an opportunity to rid the province of the "Neutral French" Catholics and replace them with proper New Englanders.235e

On 21 June 1749, ignoring the Mi'kmaq and the treaty of June 1726, Cornwallis arrived with 13 transports and the HMS Sphinx at Chebouctou Bay.  Aboard were not only British redcoat regulars, but also over 2,000 settlers, many of them disbanded soldiers and sailors, some of them sturdy Swiss, who would provide an economic foundation for the new British stronghold.  On June 29, Captain John Rous arrived in his 14-gun sloop, the Albany, escorting a convoy of settlers from Nore, east of London.  On their way to Portsmouth at the south of England, where they took ship to Halifax, the recruits evidently rebelled against their handlers, and Rous had to use "a firm hand" to get them to their destination.  They landed at Île de la Raquette in early July and "put up storehouses there, along with a guard post."  A most unpleasant task for the first settlers was the reburial of the remains of the duc d'Anville's dead, lying on the beaches at Chebouctou since the autumn of 1746, many of the skeletons still clothed in tattered French naval uniforms.  In September, a French warship, with permission from Governor Cornwallis, appeared suddenly at Chebouctou and dropped anchor beside Île de la Raquette, the small island at the entrance to the harbor.  The "curious onlookers gathered along the beach to watch as French soldiers retrieved the body of the duc d'Anville from his island grave.  They placed it on board Le Grand Saint Espirt for the return to French territory and reburial beneath the Louisbourg chapel."  Here was evidence that the British, not the French, would control this part of Nova Scotia.235

Cornwallis had been directed by the Board of Trade to place the new stronghold at Chebouctou, but when he got there he found no consensus among his fellow officers for the exact location of the new citadel.  Commodore Charles Knowles, who had briefly governed at Louisbourg during King George's War and had charted some of the Nova Scotia coast, recommended a high bluff deep inside the Chebouctou basin, but Cornwallis rejected it as too far inland.  Knowledgeable advisors in England had recommended a point, today's Point Pleasant, at the mouth of the harbor, but Cornwallis was not impressed with the rocky soil or the point's exposure to high seas in winter.  Someone recommended the generally level ground along the east side of the harbor with its easy access to the bay, but Cornwallis could see that higher ground along the opposite side of the harbor commanded the east side at nearly every point. 

Cornwallis the soldier chose the site for the new citadel.  Along the west side of the deep inlet flowing into Chebouctou Bay, on the gentle lower slope of a height that commanded the countryside in every direction, Cornwallis ordered the construction of Halifax, named after his superior.  In July, he forwarded detailed plans of the town to the Board of Trade.  By August, under the supervision of New English surveyor Charles Morris, who remained as a resident, "lots had been drawn and every settler knew where he was to build."  The redcoats from Louisbourg arrived in late July aboard a French vessel, and New Englanders also came to help populate the new community.  Atop the commanding height above the town, dubbed Citadel Hill, Cornwallis built a wooden palisade he named Fort George.  On September 11, he reported to the Board of Trade:  "The Square at the top of the Hill is finished.  These squares are done with double picquets, each picquet ten foot long and six inches thick.  They likewise clear a Space of 30 feet without the line and throw up the Trees by way of Barricade.  When this work is compleated I shall think the Town as secure against Indians as if was regularly fortif'yd."  The complex of defenses above Halifax included four other stockades--Horsman Fort, Cornwallis Fort, Fort Lutrell, and Grenadier Fort--all connected by walls of double "picquets."  Here was a formidable barrier for the town below against attack via the interior

In 1750, Cornwallis ordered the construction of another fortification, this one to protect Halifax from sea-borne attack.  On the island at the entrance to the harbor where the settlers had first landed and from whence the French duc's remains had been removed the year before, Cornwallis ordered the construction of a new palisade.  He named it Fort Charlotte, after Britain's Queen.  The glacial drumlin on which the new fort would stand, Île de la Raquette, he renamed after the King himself--George, later Georges, Island.  "By the end of 1750," Canadian historian Ronnie-Gills LeBlanc relates, "the British had nearly completed a palisade to encircle the island, and had built a seven-cannon battery on the western side of the island (facing the town site) to prevent a naval attack on the town."  But this was only the beginning.  In 1751-52, German-speaking settlers provided the manpower "to move huge amounts of earth, transforming the topography of the island and building a mound at the centre, where fortifications and a battery were then erected.  Another battery, with ten cannons, was also constructed at the southern extremity of the island (toward the harbour mouth)."  In the years following, workers also built on the western side of the island, facing the town, "a fortification with three bastions and an earthworks parapet.  During the summer of 1754, they put up a cavalier, or raised artillery platform, at the northeast side of the island, along with two wooden buildings, each 100 feet long and 25 feet wide, 500 feet apart.  In 1755," on the eve of the Acadians' Grand Dérangement, "the fortifications on the central high ground were developed further, and a ten-cannon battery was installed at the northeastern side of the fortification, supplementing the ten cannons of the chevalier and the six cannons of the parapeted western battery.  Inside the fort were the following structures:  an underground powder magazine, a storehouse, a small barracks for officers, and a barracks to accommodate 40 men." 

Other fortifications went up soon after the founding of Halifax.  Bedford, named for another of Cornwallis's superiors in London, the Duke of Bedford, arose at the western end of the basin, at the place which had so impressed Commodore Knowles.  The palisade here, Fort Sackville, built by John Gorham and his rangers and later commanded by Captain Alexander Murray of the 45th Regiment of Foot, would give the Halifax area a defense in depth from attack via the interior and provide a springboard for offensives by Gorham's rangers into the Acadian settlements across the peninsula.  Dartmouth also arose in 1750 on the lower ground along the inner harbor, across from Halifax. 

"'Time has approved the wisdom of (Cornwallis') choice'" of location for the new citadel, a Scotsman noted many years later.235b 

The Board of Trade was determined to do more for the defense and sustenance of the new British citadel.  In 1750 and 1751, they sent more colonists, so-called Foreign Protestants, mostly Rhinelander Germans, to Halifax.  Recruitment of more Britons for Halifax had dried up after the frenzied efforts of 1748-49.  The poor of Great Britain and Ireland had every reason to emigrate to the New World, but most preferred more southern climes than the frozen wastes of the north.  So British officials lured most of the new settlers from the upper Rhine principalities of western Germany, especially Württemberg; from the Protestant regions of northeastern France, especially Montbéliard; and from Switzerland and the Netherlands.  Cornwallis was not impressed with the first group of Foreign Protestants, who arrived aboard the Alderney and the Ann in August 1750.  They were, he complained, "'in general old miserable wretches,'" though he was more impressed with the Swiss.  More Foreign Protestants came in 1751, perhaps a less miserable bunch, and joined their fellow Germans in the "squalid huts" at Halifax.235c

Once British troops cleared land and built appropriate shelter at the new headquarters, Cornwallis moved the colonial capital from Annapolis Royal to Halifax and appointed a new colonial Council, which met at first aboard the transport Beaufort anchored in the harbor at Halifax.  Acadians who had to appear before the Council now would have to travel to the Atlantic side of the peninsula, dozens of miles from their major settlements.  John Gorham, who Cornwallis detested, was a member of the new Council, as was merchant-turned-militia-officer Edward How, who had served on the Council at Annapolis from Armstrong's day but, unlike Armstrong, was respected by the Acadians.  Also on the Council were Benjamin Green, John Salisbury, and Hugh Davidson.  Paul Mascarene journeyed from Annapolis to be part of the Council as well, perhaps the first time he set eyes on the new governor.  Superseded by a man nearly half his age, whose entire time in the colony could be marked by days, as opposed to Mascarene's 39 years there, the old engineer could not have been happy with what he heard in the first Council meeting, held on July 14.  "The first item of discussion was the oath of allegiance," Mascarene's biographer tells us.  He reviewed for the governor and his fellow councilors "the history of the question, including Philipps's exemption.  The ensuing Council resolution that an unqualified oath be administered," and the inevitable reaction, "must have seemed terribly familiar to Mascarene the ageing pragmatist."  The engineer had been replaced by the courtier-turned-infantryman, with predictable results.235f

While Cornwallis's policies of coercion unfolded, Mascarene returned to Annapolis in August, "doubtless feeling very much an anachronism."  He remained at Annapolis as commander for a few more months, but his days in the colony were numbered.  "In 1750," his biographers tells us, "he disposed of his lieutenant-colonelcy in the 40th regiment and received a brevet colonel's rank."  Cornwallis sent him to New England the following year "to renew the 1726 treaty" with the Abenaki Confederacy--a treaty that Cornwallis had conveniently ignored when he established his base at Chebouctou.  Mascarene "corresponded with his Annapolis friends for several years, but he did not return to Nova Scotia."  The old widower "was content to settle in Boston--reading, playing chess, and cutting the modest figure of a comfortably retired officer, who had at least arrived 'thanks to Almighty God in my own house amongst my Children and ... grandchildren."  He died at Boston on 22 January 1760, age 76, having lived long enough to see his work in Nova Scotia battered and broken by lesser men.235d


Despite the potentially troubling developments in Halifax, the great majority of the Acadians clung to their neutrality, but they were eager to convince the new governor of their loyalty to the British crown.  Responding to Cornwallis's deadline, at the end of July 1749, 11 deputies representing the major Acadian communities--Claude LeBlanc for Grand-Pré; Jean Melanson for Rivière-aux-Canards; Alexandre Hébert and Joseph Dugas for Annapolis Royal; Baptiste Gaillard (perhaps Jean dit Petit Jean Chavet dit La Gerne) and Pierre Landry for Pigiguit; Pierre Gautrot for Cobeguit; Pierre Doucet and François Bourg for Chignecto; and Alexandre Broussard dit Beausoleil for Chepoudy (though he actually lived on Rivière Petitcoudiac)--following on the heels of a delegation of Mi'kmaq and Maliseet chiefs, met with Governor Cornwallis aboard the HMS Beaufort, anchored in Halifax harbor.  They reviewed the history of their oaths and pledges not only to George I, but also to the present monarch, George II, reminding the new governor of Philipps's oath tendered to them two decades before.  And, again, they respectfully refused to submit to an unqualified oath.  Cornwallis, who "had a low opinion of Philipps," "explained that as all inhabitants of Nova Scotia, without exception, would be expected to defend themselves and their communities in the event of attack, an exemption was out of the question.  Further, he informed them that Acadians who refused to take the oath would lose all possessions and rights" as subjects of King George.  The Acadians had heard such threats before, even from Cornwallis's predecessor, Paul Mascarene, but they could see that the new governor was no Mascarene.  One suspects that Cornwallis resembled in their minds the dearly departed Lawrence Armstrong.  Their feelings towards the new governor could only have been hardened when Cornwallis deported Father Charles de La Goudalie, the elderly priest at Minas and the colony's vicar general, in retaliation for his parishioners' refusal to take the unqualified oath.236a

The Acadian deputies returned to their communities and recounted for their constituents the meeting with Cornwallis.  To their minds, nothing they had said to him, or he had said to them, ended their status as "Neutral French."  As such, they could continue to trade with Louisbourg and the new French post on Île St.-Jean, as well as the scattered British outposts in Nova Scotia, both old and new.  This was a dangerous game for the independent-minded habitants, but one they had played for a very long time and were certain they could play for many years to come.  The fortress at Louisbourg had limited agricultural resources, so the French there paid good prices for cattle and grain transported not only from New England but also from Baie-Verte and Tatamagouche.  Protestant settlers in Nova Scotia now numbered in the hundreds, but their settlements were in their infancy and were located on what the Acadians knew was inferior farmland.  The Protestants could not produce enough food to provision Halifax or any other garrison the new governor might build; as at Annapolis Royal when it had served as the capital, the British depended on the Acadians for much of their subsistence.  To facilitate trade with Halifax (but also on orders from Cornwallis), the Acadians widened the road running south from Pigiguit and drove their cattle and grain-laden wagons to the new capital facing the sea.236b 

Continued Acadian trade with Louisbourg, coupled with their refusal to submit to a new oath, so angered Cornwallis that in August he set a deadline for the Acadians still in Nova Scotia to take an unqualified oath of allegiance--October 25.  As they had done so often with the other British governors, they politely but firmly refused to submit to a new oath.  The Acadian deputies, this time bearing the signatures or marks of over a thousand of their compatriots, returned to Halifax on September 18 to deliver a petition, which stated that they would leave the country if the governor insisted on an unqualified oath.  After talking with the deputies in private, no doubt to determine the seriousness of the threat, Cornwallis allowed them to return to their homes, and there the matter stood ... for now.  Cornwallis had no choice; he could not budge these people from their misguided notion of serving the King as neutral subjects.  Their farms alone could sustain the colony until his own settlements could come into their own.  While he awaited instructions from the Board of Trade on what to do about the Acadians, he would overawe them and bend them to his will without driving them from the country.115 

In the minds of a growing number of Acadians, it was time to quit the country.  Here, again, was the same nagging issue:  that damned unqualified oath of allegiance.  And here was a governor whose words and demeanor reminded them too much of the suicidal Armstrong.  Troubled by the deadline and responding to French blandishments, Acadians began a slow, quiet exodus from the land of their fathers.  They packed up their belongings, their animals, and their children, and relocated to French territory.  That the great majority of them remained and went about their business, expecting their new neighbors to do the same, is a testament to the hold of the land upon them and a faith in their own capabilities.

Father Le Loutre's War and the First Acadian Dispersal, 1749-1754

As every student of American history knows, the final war between Britain and France over control of North America erupted in the upper Ohio valley, where the French established posts to deny the British access to tribes in the region.  In the spring of 1754, Robert Dinwiddie, the royal governor of Virginia, a province whose ancient charter claimed the western country all the way to the Pacific, sent a militia force to the Forks of the Ohio to assert Virginia's claims to that region.  In the opening round of the new war, Virginia militiamen on their way to the Forks ambushed a small force of French troupes de la marine, killed a Canadian officer, and built a fort of their own near the ambush site as a base for further operations.  Before the Virginians could attack the French at the Forks, however, the French surrounded and captured them and sent them trudging back to Virginia.  The British retaliated the following year by sending a column of regulars under Major-General Edward Braddock to obliterate the French presence in the Ohio country.  Using their Indian allies to good effect, the French ambushed the redcoats, mortally wounded Braddock, and forced a British retreat from the Ohio country.  What had started as a dispute over frontier territory erupted into another trans-Atlantic war.01a  

But there was more to the war's beginning than that.  Sadly, the Acadians of peninsula Nova Scotia, some of them eagerly, more of them reluctantly, played an important role in the coming of the last French and Indian War.  After 1749, the French were quick to respond to British creation of a new power center facing Louisbourg, and especially to the importation of hundreds of Protestants to populate the area around Halifax in Nova Scotia.  The authorities at Québec and Louisbourg were determined to coax the Acadians and the Indians into joining their effort not only to resist British encroachment, but also to regain what they had lost in 1710.  Acadian hotheads like Joseph Broussard dit Beausoleil of Petitcoudiac were eager to fight them once again.  Most Acadians, however, expressed their usual reluctance to abandon neutrality.

The Mi'kmaq, on the other hand, were eager to take up the tomahawk against the redcoat interlopers.  Naomi Griffiths explains:  "For their own reasons, the Mi'kmaq responded favourably to the proposals of the French.  Although they were encouraged in their hostility to the British by the French, it was the British intrusion into land that the Mi'kmaq considered their own territory, particularly in the region of Halifax, that was the real basis for the disputes between them and Cornwallis.  ... [T]hroughout the years of the European exploration and settlement of Acadia, the Mi'kmaq never ceased to consider themselves the rightful tenants of the land.  Further, the Mi'kmaq were not so much allies of the French in the 1750s as they were a people convinced of their own autonomy, who were taking all means within their power to ensure their continued independence.  Their use of land might not have given them the type of territorial imperative that European politics had inculcated in the inhabitants of that continent, but the very importance that the Europeans attached to land ownership had taught the Mi'kmaq a great deal.  The Mi'kmaq had long-established gathering places, some of which were inhabited year-round, on the sites which the British were now attempting to build.  After 1748, British settlement seemed to pose a much greater threat to Mi'kmaq control over their lives than possible French expansion."  Only three months after Cornwallis had arrived at Halifax, "the Mi'kmaq formally declared their hostility to the British plans for settlement without more formal negotiations."01 

The closest Mi'kmaq presence to the new British capital was Ste.-Anne at Shubenacadie, the Catholic mission south of Cobeguit.  Head of the mission in 1749 was a man who would become one of the most controversial figures in Acadian history.  Abbé Jean-Louis Le Loutre had come to Shubenacadie in 1738 and soon established influence not only among the Mi'kmaq, but also among many of the Acadians in the regions, who probably admired his youthful spirit.  At first he understood and respected Acadian neutrality, but that soon changed.  Two months after news of a war declaration in Europe had reached Louisbourg, Le Loutre led an attack on Annapolis Royal in July 1744.  When a French force from Louisbourg attacked Annapolis Royal for a second time the following September, Le Loutre, though still in the colony, did not participate in the operation, but only because he was busy elsewhere.  After the fall of Louisbourg in June 1745, authorities at Québec turned to Le Loutre to organize and maintain a force of Mi'kmaq on the peninsula to co-operate with future French operations there.  As a result, the British placed a 100-livre bounty on the abbé's head.  In the summer of 1746, Le Loutre, from his post at Chebouctou Bay on the Atlantic side of the peninsula, urged yet another attack on Annapolis Royal, but this operation also failed.  Le Loutre then returned to France, probably to report to his superiors in Paris.  He attempted to return to his mission later in the war, but the British captured and held him twice.  Not until 1749, the war having ended, did they allow him to return to Nova Scotia.01c 

The British soon would realize their mistake. 

Le Loutre returned to Louisbourg in late June 1749--only a week after Cornwallis's flotilla had appeared at Chebouctou.  Having crossed from Rochefort with Charles des Herbiers de La Ralière, the new governor of Île Royale, the abbé and the governor no doubt had discussed the role of Le Loutre and his Mi'kmaq, as well as of the Acadians, in French plans to overawe the British in the region.  Back at Shubenacadie, Le Loutre, now more than ever a military leader, could see for himself how perilously close was his mission to the new British stronghold at Halifax.  Just north of him stood the Acadian settlement of Cobeguit, as yet unfortified, but he could not know how long Cornwallis would wait before stationing a garrison there.  Such a move would isolate Shubenacadie and render it useless as a military base.  Even before blood was spilled between his Mi'kmaq and the British, Le Loutre had no choice but to abandon the Ste.-Anne mission and move his Mi'kmaq closer to their lines of communication with Louisbourg and Québec.  Later in the year, he transferred his base of operations from Shubenacadie to Pointe-à-Beauséjour, on the west side of Rivière Missaguash.  The new camp at Beauséjour stood three times as far from Halifax as the old mission at Shubenacadie.  However, a base at Chignecto possessed easy access to Baie-Verte with its seaborne communication with Louisbourg and Québec.  Chignecto's location at the northwestern end of the Bay of Fundy and its proximity to an overland line of communication with Québec via Rivière St.-Jean not only would open up more points of attack for his Mi'kmaq raiders, but also make it easier to protect flanks and rear from British incursions.  Around, in front, and behind Le Loutre and his Mi'kmaq were the Acadian fields and pastures of Chignecto and the trois-rivières, as well as the forces of Boishébert and La Corne.  On the upper Petitcoudiac, the abbé visited the homes of Acadian partisans, including the Broussard brothers, men who harbored no illusions about neutrality, who had grown up among the Mi'kmaq and Maliseet and could be just as deadly with tomahawk and knife.  Le Loutre likely shared with his partisan friends his new mission for the region, handed to him recently by his fellow ship's passengers of the summer before:  Using the Mi'kmaq, as well as the partisans, as a weapon of Gallic righteousness against the new British settlements in Nova Scotia, the abbé would supervise a mass resettlement of their fellow Acadians from the peninsula to the French-controlled areas at the head of the Bay of Fundy.  The Acadians would man and sustain new French forts in the region and create a Nouvelle-Acadie that could assist their fellow Frenchmen in the re-conquest of Acadia.01b 

As for the peninsula Acadians, Le Loutre was determined to do whatever it took to end their annoying refusal to join the struggle against Britain.  Le Loutre had not been around when Canadians, Frenchmen, Indians, and Acadians had won a bloody victory over the New Englanders at Grand-Pré in February 1747, but, along with French authorities at Québec and Louisbourg, he was certain of the result:  "... the victory at Grand-Pré had made the Acadians once more subjects of France."  French/New French policy was clear now:  there would be no more Acadian "neutrality."  It was time for them to acknowledge that they were, and always had been, Frenchmen, that their true and everlasting allegiance was to their motherland France, not to Britain.03  

Le Loutre's new mission as the savior of Acadia had been brewing for months, even years.  When he and des Herbiers reached Louisbourg, the new Maritimes governor's immediate superior was Roland-Michel Barrin de La Galissonière, the governor-general of New France.  La Galissonière had taken up the post as interim governor-general in 1747.  The governor-general-designee, Jacques-Pierre de Taffanel de La Jonquière, marquis de La Jonquière, had been captured by the British on his way to Québec.  During La Galissonière's tenure as La Jonquière's stand-in, he had taken the North American bull by the horns.  He suspended assaults against the British in Nova Scotia and deployed a largely defensive strategy to maintain what the French still held in the vast reaches of New France and the pays d'en haut.  Turning to Acadia, he ordered the fortification of the lower end of the great portage route between Québec and the Acadian settlements at Chignecto.  An integral part of this Acadian scheme was a mass resettlement of the Acadians in Nova Scotia to French-controlled territory west of Chignecto.  Only with a large Acadian population controlled exclusively by the French could these fortifications be garrisoned and subsisted.  When La Jonquière reached Québec in August 1749, two months after Cornwallis's arrived at Chebouctou, he approved of his predecessor's plans for Acadia, which now seemed more essential than ever.  Québec, however, was too distant from the scene of action for him to oversee any of the details of the new Acadian policy.  He turned to des Herbiers at Louisbourg to supervise the scheme.  Des Herbiers, busy with the reconstruction of Louisbourg, tasked Abbé Le Loutre to be his agent in Nova Scotia.  Le Loutre and his Mi'kmaq would cooperate with the Canadian officers the governor-general had sent to the French-controlled area west of Chignecto, but only surreptitiously.  Lieutenant Boishébert, the first to arrive, received careful instructions from Governor-General La Jonquière not to allow his soldiers, even the local inhabitants, to participate openly in harassing the British in Nova Scotia.  The "savages," led by their missionaries, Germain and Le Loutre, would perform the essential task.  This would allow La Jonquière and des Herbiers to address the inevitable British complaint with calm reassurance that the French had nothing to do with the latest Indian atrosity.23    

Negotiated peace had come again in the autumn of 1748, but the abbé would have none of it.  Cornwallis, however, was the first to make yet another act of provocation.  In July 1749, the new governor sent Captain John Rous, the colony's naval commander, aboard the 14-gun sloop Albany to reconnoiter Rivière St.-Jean and to overawe the Maliseet there.  With Rous were councilman Edward How, who was considered a "friend" of the regional Natives, and ship's master Silvanus Cobb.  Rous and his cohort found more than Maliseet when they reached the St.-Jean.  At the river's mouth, across from where Charles La Tour's Fort St.-Jean once stood, they found 180 French troupes de la marine under 22-year-old Lieutenant Charles des Champs de Boishébert standing behind the newly-built walls of Fort Ménagouèche.  Luckily for both sides, How took charge of the negotiations and avoided an armed confrontation.  How reminded the young Canadian that the question of local boundaries was still under negotiation and suggested that if Boishébert remained on the river he not fortify the mouth, which lay in disputed territory.  How then turned to the Maliseet, reminded them that they were subjects of His Britannic Majesty, and invited them to Halifax to treat with the new governor.  Boishébert, despite his youth, was a shrewd, intelligent, combat-hardened veteran.  He, like How, had been wounded in the fight at Grand-Pré two and a half years earlier, a fight which Cobb had missed by only a few days.  Boishébert could see that How was there to negotiate, not to start a fight, though Rous, Cobb, and their blue jackets probably were eager to let loose on him with the Albany's guns.  Boishébert informed his visitors that "he would remain until the boundaries were settled."  According to Cobb's biographer, the middle-aged New Englander told the young Canadian that "'if he maintained the land, I would the sea.'"  After the Britons departed, Boishébert left only a small force of militia at Ménagouèche and pulled his troupes de la marine back upriver to the most strategic point he could find.  There, above Île Kennebecasis at the confluence of the St.-Jean and Rivière Nerepis, he constructed another fort, which he named after the Nerepis, at an important junction on the portage route between Québec and Chignecto.34

Responding to How's blandishments, Mi'kmaq and Maliseet chiefs--Joannes Pedousagtigh from the Chignecto band, and François Aurodowish, Simon Sactawino, and Jean-Battiste Maddouanhook from Rivière St.-Jean--with an Acadian interpreter, returned with How to Halifax, where they met with Cornwallis aboard a warship, perhaps the Albany.  Cornwallis plied them with the usual gifts, and the chiefs "agreed to a peace treaty, provided their respective tribes approved."  On July 23, Cornwallis wrote to his superiors in London, "'The Indians are hitherto very peaceable.'"  Cornwallis also may have been lulled into a false sense of security by the visit two weeks later of Father Jean-Baptiste Desenclaves from Annapolis Royal, who had been summoned to the new colonial capital "to receive instructions concerning the policy of the British government towards the Acadians."  During the late war, Father Desenclaves, much to the satisfaction of Lieutenant-Governor Mascarene, had urged his parishioners to cling to their neutrality and even had helped the British in their fight against the Canadians.  A man of peace, if not common sense, Desenclaves was determined to cooperate with the new governor as well.  He would go so far as to urge his parishioners to take the unconditional oath of allegiance and get the British off their backs once and for all.  But Abbé Desenclaves was an exception, not the rule, among the pastors in the region.  Another kind of priest was still haunting the colony, doing what he could to influence the Acadians to abandon their neutrality once and for all.  When Abbé Le Loutre learned of the meeting between the Mi'kmaq and Cornwallis, he flew into a rage.  "He would not, he declared, allow this or any other agreement with the British to stand."27 

The result was the commencement of a petite guerre, what Anglophile historians call Father Le Loutre's War--a six-year conflict that consumed the region and did as much as anything to seal the fate of the Acadians in Nova Scotia.  In August, Mi'kmaq fell upon the British fishing station at Canso.  They seized a vessel belonging to Joseph Goreham, younger brother of ranger leader John Gorham, captured 20 New Englanders (but not Goreham), and sailed the vessel, with prisoners in tow, to Louisbourg.  Three New Englanders and seven Mi'kmaq died in the encounter.  That same month, Mi'kmaq attacked two English vessels in the basin at Chignecto, killing three Englishmen and losing seven of their own.  On September 18, several Mi'kmaq and Maliseet ambushed and killed three more Englishmen at Chignecto.  Six days later, on September 24, Mi'kmaq elders issued a proclamation protesting the British occupation of Chebouctou, one of the main Mi'kmaq gathering places on the peninsula.  Written in French and Mi'kmaq by Abbé Maillard and asserting Mi'kmaq independence, the proclamation was followed on September 30 by a Mi'kmaq raid at Dartmouth across from Halifax.  The Indians, and perhaps Acadian partisans dressed as Indians, attacked a working party of British soldiers under command of a Major Gilman, who were cutting trees near a sawmill.  Four of the soldiers were killed outright, one was captured, and the others, including the major, escaped into the surrounding woods.  The Mi'kmaq scalped two of the dead and beheaded the others before hurrying away.  Cornwallis's response was swift and decisive.  On October 2, he issued a proclamation of his own.  He instructed all British subjects in the colony "to Annoy, distress, take or destroy the Savages commonly called Micmacks, wherever they are found."  The governor offered a 10-guinea bounty for Mi'kmaq scalps and placed a L50 bounty on the head of "'a good for nothing Scoundrel as ever lived," the Abbé Le Loutre.  On October 5, Cornwallis sent the 20-gun sloop Sphinx under Commander White to the small coastal community of Mirliguèche west of Halifax, where a small band of Mi'kmaq had settled near their Acadian relatives.  Despite the inhabitants' declaration four months earlier that they intended to live peacefully with their new British neighbors, White and his men destroyed the village in retaliation for the raid at Dartmouth.28

The cycle of attack and retribution provoked the infantryman-turned-governor to respond with what force and authority he could muster.  To supplement John Gorham's 100-man unit, which had been operating in the colony since 1747, he raised two more companies of rangers, to be manned by New Englanders and Foreign Protestants under captains Francis Bartelo and William Clapham.  To give the rangers added mobility in attacking coastal enclaves and to enhance military communication in the region, Cornwallis created a "sea militia" under former privateer turned Royal Navy Captain John Rous, whose service in Nova Scotia dated back to the first days of King George's War.  Commanding one of the three 14-gun sloops in Rous's flotilla would be New Englander Silvanus Cobb, whom Cornwallis described "as a settler who 'knows every Harbour and every Creek in the Bay (of Fundy), a man fit for any bold enterprise.'"  Cobb had helped Charles Morris survey the south Fundy settlements during the summer of 1748, so Cornwallis' boast about Cobb's knowledge of the country was not an idle one.  Cobb's first mission would have been the capture of Le Loutre at Chignecto, but a breach of security in Boston, where Cobb was outfitting his ship, ruined the element of surprise, and the mission was canceled.  Cornwallis, meanwhile, attempted to assert his authority over the entire peninsula by sending redcoats from Halifax to several of the largest Acadian settlements.  There they built palisade forts to house and protect what Cornwallis intended to be permanent garrisons.  In late 1749, near Grand-Pré, not far from the battlefield of February 1747, appeared Fort Vieux Logis, or the Old Lodge, named for the site on which it was built near a landing on Rivière Gaspereau.  Vieux Logis at first was only three abandoned Acadian houses surrounded by a palisade, but it would serve for now as the first fortified position in the colony's most populated district.  Its commander was Captain John Handfield, whose wife, Élisabeth, was a daughter of former New Hampshire officer-turned-merchant Sr. William Winniett of Annapolis Royal and granddaughter of François Bourg and French privateer Pierre Maissonet dit Baptiste; Handfield's son John, Jr., a lieutenant, also was in the garrison at Grand-Pré.  At nearby Pigiguit, Fort Edward, named for Cornwallis, arose in the spring of 1750 on a height overlooking the forks of Rivière Pigiguit.  Here was the site of the parish church of L'Assomption, which the British ordered the Acadians to tear down to provide a foundation for a new fort--as clear a sign as anything to the local Acadians that there would be no peace in their corner of the colony.  Captain Alexander Murray of the 45th Regiment of Foot arrived at Fort Edward in September 1751; except for a short tour of duty at Halifax in 1753 after being cited for abusing the local inhabitants, Murray commanded at Fort Edward for seven years.  A third palisade would be constructed at Chignecto as soon as Cornwallis could muster the troops to do it.  Annapolis Royal already had its Fort Anne, which the British improved as best they could.  Cornwallis did not have enough regulars to occupy Cobeguit, where Gorham's rangers had built a blockhouse during King George's War.  Until a palisade could be built at Cobeguit, the rangers would continue to overawe that community during their forays into the interior.  Cornwallis asked London for two more regular regiments to shore up his new positions.  The Board of Trade lectured him "on the necessity of frugality in public spending" and then sent him what redcoats they could spare.236

Prompted by Mi'kmaq threats (that is to say, by Abbé Le Loutre), at the end of November 1749, a dozen Minas Acadians joined 300 Mi'kmaq and Maliseet in an attack on British troops at Fort Vieux Logis.  The Acadians killed the sentries who fired on them and captured two lieutenants, John Hamilton, the commander's future son-in-law, and John Handfield, Jr., the commander's son, as well as 18 redcoats who were unlucky enough to be away from the recently-built stockade.  Over the following week, the Indians and Acadians essentially held the fort under siege.  Learning of the attack, Cornwallis sent Gorham's rangers to relieve the post and rescue the redcoats, but the Indians and Acadians had made off with their captives before the rangers arrived.  Two weeks later, Honoré Gautrot of Cobeguit, younger brother of the Pierre Gautrot who had represented that community before Cornwallis's Council the previous July, also appeared before the Council at Halifax, but for a very different purpose.  Swearing "upon the Gospel," Gautrot delivered to the British authorities a list of 10 Acadian miscreants, "all residents of the river Gembert at Pizziquid," one of them his first cousin.  According to Gautrot, "Joseph [Vincent dit] Clément[,] Charles Hébert[,] François La Prience [Leprince,] Claude La Prience[,] [Alexandre dit] M[isgucess] La Gorne [La Gerne,] C[harles, père] La Gorne[,] Petit Jean La Gorne[,] [René dit] Renauchon Ancoin [Aucoin,] Joseph Vincent[,] François La Vache[, and] Charles La Gorne (Junr.)" had been "with the savages, when they came, and attacked the fort of Captain Handfield, that they carried arms with the savages and assisted them in every way."  But Cornwallis and his Council were not assuaged by Acadian assistance.  They had noted Le Loutre's move to Chignecto about the time of the attack at Minas.  It was time to deal harshly with the troublesome priest and his roving band of savages, but their response had to wait until the weather improved; only Canadians, Acadians, and Indians attacked during a Nova Scotia winter.  For now, Cornwallis could do little more than send a letter to the governor at Louisbourg requesting that he recall Le Loutre to French territory.  In the letter, Cornwallis threatened to punish "any other French subjects" who "breached the security of Nova Scotia to consort with warring Natives."  Des Herbiers feigned ignorance of the abbé's activities and expressed sympathy for Cornwallis's plight.  One historian insists that "Cornwallis naively believed him," but the new British governor was anything but naive.  He was determined to destroy the Natives' hold on Nova Scotia despite their numbers.  Two days before Christmas, he ordered "the arrest of certain inhabitants of Pisiguit accused of having taken up arms with the Indians...," including the La Gernes, François Leprince, and his youngest son Claude, whom Honoré Gautrot had traduced a few weeks earlier.  Cornwallis sent his rangers on search-and-destroy missions to eliminate concentrations of Mi'kmaq fighters.  To reinforce his new garrisons with even greater dispatch and to project even more power into the Fundy settlements, Cornwallis ordered the Acadians to widen the old cart road from Pigiguit to Halifax.  As a result, Le Loutre and his Mi'kmaq, hard pressed by the rangers and by forays from the new garrisons, had no choice but to abandon the peninsula and return there only as raiders.02 

Evidently Honoré Gautrot was not the only Acadian who angered the abbé and his allies that fall and winter.  René LeBlanc, fils, the notary of Grand-Pré, age 67 and the father, by two wives, of nearly two dozen children, including a set of triplets and three sets of twins, evidently was, like Gautrot, a staunch accommodator.  In the eyes of the abbé and the Acadian partisans, this made him "the friend of the English."  According to Thomas Pinchon, a French scribe who later spied for the British, "M. LeLoutre had René LeBlanc taken prisoner by the Indians in his own home, which he had them pillage.  His son Simon was brought along with him.  M. LeLoutre sent the father to Beausoleil's place on the Petitcodiac and the son as a messenger to Canada, where he had him detained.  He had the father held for nearly two years; the Indians made him suffer a great deal."  Pinchon adds:  "It was December 25th when they made him come from Les Mines.  Later they made his wife and some of his children come, too.  This woman, seeing her husband thus detained, and hearing M. LeLoutre say that he would not go back, died of chagrin."  René's wife at time, his second one, Marguerite, daughter of Pierre Thébeau and Marie-Jeanne Comeau, was age 45 in December 1749 and had given René 17 children, the youngest one, daughter Marie-Jeanne, only a year and a half old at the time of her father's kidnapping.  In 1752, after his release, René remarried to a woman whose name has been lost to history, so Pinchon's account of Marguerite's death has the ring of truth to it.

Here was the abbé's message not only to suspected accommodators like Gautrot and LeBlanc, but also to the great majority of Acadians still living under British rule:  no matter who you were, no matter where you lived, if you chose to remain in British-controlled villages, the Mi'kmaq and their partisan allies could get at you.02a

When spring finally came, it did not take long for Cornwallis's rangers and Le Loutre's Mi'kmaq to come to blows.  In March 1750, on their way to build Fort Edward at Pigiguit on the site of the church of L'Assomption, John Gorham's men came upon a party of Mi'kmaq at the Five Houses settlement on Rivière Ste.-Croix.  The Mi'kmaq, assisted by Acadian partisans, drove the rangers into a sawmill and two abandoned houses, wounded Gorham, and held the rangers under siege for two days.  One of Gorham's men managed to slip away and bring news of the fight to Halifax.  Not until Clapham's rangers and a company of redcoats, pulling along two field guns, arrived at the Five Houses did the Mi'kmaq and Acadians slip away and the blockhouse could be constructed.04


Cornwallis made his move on Chignecto soon after the fight at Pigiguit.  In late April, Major Charles Lawrence reached the head of the basin below Beaubassin with a small flotilla of transports commanded by John Rous.  Aboard were 400 redcoats, including field artillery, ready to do battle with whatever force opposed them.  Lawrence's orders were to destroy any fort that the French had erected at the isthmus and to construct a palisade of his own at Beaubassin from which he would assert British authority in the area.  As his boats approached the landing at Beaubassin, the major was dismayed to see the lower village in flames.  Legend insists that the abbé himself set fire to the village church and assisted his Mi'kmaq in torching the houses and barns so that the approaching British could not use the place as a base of operations.  The most interesting man on the scene, however, was not the dour priest in black but the florid-faced officer in the red-coated uniform at the head of this force of Britons.235g 

Forty years old and a lifelong bachelor, Lawrence had come to Halifax with his regiment the previous July, one of the regular officers who had served in the Louisbourg garrison after most of Pepperell's New Englanders had gone home.  Lawrence's military career had been a distinguished one.  Commissioned in the 11th Regiment of Foot in 1727 in his late teens, he had served in the West Indies during the 1730s before returning to London to work in the War Office.  After promotion to lieutenant in 1741 and to captain in 1742, he fought in the Battle of Fontenoy, Belgium, in May 1745 and fell seriously wounded.  After his recovery, he was promoted to major in the 45th Regiment of Foot and joined it at Louisbourg in 1747 as part of the occupying force commanded by Lieutenant-Colonel Peregrine Thomas Hopson of the 29th Foot.  One of the captains in the 45th under Lawrence was Alexander Murray, who also would figure large in Acadian history.  At the end of July 1749, soon after assisting Hopson in evacuating the British troops to Halifax, Lawrence was selected as a member of Governor Edward Cornwallis's colonial Council.  Beginning on August 1, he took his seat next to Hopson aboard the HMS Beaufort, where the Council met while the new governor's house at Halifax was under construction.  Most who had known him would have agreed that Lawrence's rapid rise in rank was due mainly to his competence as an officer--"He was popular in the army and was known to be strong, energetic, and direct in his methods," his biographer tells us--but he also enjoyed the patronage of the second earl of Halifax through an influential family connection.  At Halifax, he served as a company commander in the 40th Regiment of Foot.  And here he was, with a battalion-sized force, facing the French at Chignecto.235a 

Le Loutre's Mi'kmaq were not the only armed force to meet Lawrence and his redcoats.  Captain Louis de La Corne, who wore a Cross of St.-Louis for his heroism at Grand-Pré, had come to Chignecto the year before to secure oaths of allegiance from the local habitants as well as from those he could lure from Acadian settlements on the British side of the bay.  He also had been tasked with organizing the Acadian partisans of the trois-rivières and building whatever fortifications were needed to protect those strategic settlements.  From there, he had moved to the Beauséjour ridge at Chignecto with his troupes de la marine and Acadians.  He encouraged the newly-arrived abbé and his Mi'kmaq to coax more of the Acadians still living east of the Missaguash to remove themselves to the French-secured areas west of the river.05

Apprised of the approach of Lawrence and his redcoats, La Corne met the major at the Beaubassin landing, the lower village still smoldering behind him.  Lawrence had expected resistance at the landing.  Cornwallis had instructed him, if he should meet La Corne, to order him back to Canada, or he would be "treated as an Incendiary" (strangely prophetic words).  Lawrence asked why La Corne was there with a force of Frenchmen in British territory.  La Corne replied that he was under orders from his governor-general to take possession of the settlements in the region until a commission could decide the exact boundaries between the two powers.  Whether it was La Corne's words or the tone in which he delivered them, Lawrence lost his temper and demanded to see the Canadian's orders.  La Corne ignored the demand.  Lawrence asked where were the Acadian deputies from the area and why were they not there to meet with him.  La Corne informed the major that many of the local Acadians had come over to the French and that there were no more deputies among them.  He added that the Indians, not he and his men, had burned Beaubassin.  The sharp-eyed Lawrence could see that he did not have force enough to overawe La Corne and Le Loutre, so he wisely broke off the tête-à-tête and retreated to Minas. 

La Corne and his troupes de la marine occupied the Beauséjour ridge west of the Missaguash, with Le Loutre and his Mi'kmaq encamped behind him.   In May, at Baie-Verte, the British ship Trial overpowered a 70-ton French sloop, the London, carrying supplies, arms, and ammunition for Le Loutre and his Mi'kmaq at Beauséjour.  Also aboard were four deserters from Cornwallis's garrison at Halifax and an Acadian family.  Perhaps the most important seizure were dispatches from New-French intendant François Bigot to Le Loutre detailing French plans for the Chignecto area.

Lawrence, recently promoted to lieutenant-colonel of the 45th Regiment, returned to Beaubassin in September with Rous and a force nearly twice as large as the one he had brought in April.  La Corne and his Frenchmen did not resist him, but Le Loutre's Mi'kmaq and Acadian militia led by Beausoleil Broussard put up a spirited fight from behind a breastwork disguised as a dyke.  Outnumbered and outgunned, the Acadians and Indians retreated back across the swollen Missaguash, losing more men to drowning.  Having secured the landing site, Lawrence ordered the construction of a log palisade--Fort Lawrence--on the ashes of Beaubassin village, the fort itself rising on the site of the village church.  La Corne countered by constructing on the west bank of the Missaguash at Pont-à-Buot, the End Bridge, a blockhouse that could hold 30 men and stop, or at least slow, a British advance beyond the stream.  The following spring, reinforcements from Canada under Claude-Antoine de Bermen de La Martinière began construction of a proper fort that would assert their presence in the region.  Standing atop the prominent ridge west of the Missaguash and aptly named Fort Beauséjour, the French edifice was larger and more elaborate than its British counterpart atop the Beaubassin Ridge east of the Missaguash.  The Canadians, as per the governor-general's instructions, also constructed another fort in the area, at the mouth of Rivière Gaspereau near Baie-Verte, to protect the northern approach to Chignecto.06

After 37 years of arguing, maneuvering, negotiating, and fighting, Britain and France had their "boundary" at last. 

And so the Acadians at Chignecto were the first large group of their countrymen to endure a violent disruption of their lives--a petit dérangement, one might call it.  Before Lawrence's return to Beaubassin and his construction of a fort there, La Corne launched a scorched-earth campaign to deny the British subsistence from the area.  He ordered the evacuation of the hundreds of Acadians still living east of the Missaguash.  They, too, were compelled to take an oath of allegiance to France and were used as unpaid labor in constructing the Chignecto forts.  After Lawrence's return, the Frenchmen, Mi'kmaq, and Acadian partisans, under the direction of La Corne and Le Loutre, burned the farms south and east of Fort Lawrence, including crops not yet harvested, so that there would be nothing left for the Acadians to return to and nothing in the area to sustain the redcoats.  Soon the area was a smoking wasteland.  Menoudy, Maccan, Nappan, Rivière-des-Hébert, La Planche, Beaubassin--communities that had stood for half a century were no more.  Many of the Chignecto Acadians remained in the crowded settlements west of the Missaguash and at Baie-Verte, or moved on to Memramcook.  Something the British feared, and the French had long encouraged, finally was coming to pass:  hundreds of Acadians, most of whom had considered themselves neutral in the struggle between the imperial rivals, now were living in French-controlled territory, driven there by two of their greatest fears, the threat of "a general massacre by savages...'" or the imposition of an unqualified oath of allegiance that would force them to fight against their fellow Frenchmen.  La Jonquière's Acadian policy was working.  The ranks of the Acadian partisans swelled with new recruits, while neutralists in the area became few and far between, especially after the French imposed on them an oath of their own, to King Louis XV, without qualification.  In October, six or seven hundred Acadians from the region, "in pitiable condition," left the scene of conflict entirely.  From Baie-Verte, they sailed or rowed across the Mer Rouge to Île St.-Jean, where many of their cousins had gone.  More refugees followed in 1751, so that by 1752 a total of 1,188 Acadians from mainland villages, most of them fleeing the chaos at Chignecto, had resettled in dozens of new communities on the French-controlled island.07 

Only two years after the conclusion of King George's War, the final French and Indian war had come to Acadia.10   


After the clash at Chignecto, the petite guerre between Le Loutre and Cornwallis only heated up.  As the fight at Baie-Verte in May 1750 revealed, the undeclared war was being fought also at sea.  In mid-September 1750, French Captain Louis Dupont Duchambon de Vergor, a veteran of the siege of Louisbourg and a son of the commandant who had surrendered the citadel to Pepperell, left Québec with the armed brigantine St.-François and the supply schooner Aimable-Jeanne.  The supply vessel contained food and munitions for Charles de Boishébert's fort on Rivière St.-Jean.  Vergor cleared the Gulf of St. Lawrence and slipped past Halifax, but his luck ran out off Cap-Sable.  On October 16, Captain John Rous in the HMS Albany, a 14-gun sloop, intercepted the French flotilla ten leagues west of the cape.  Despite inferior firepower, Vergor turned and engaged the Albany while the Aimable-Jeanne hurried on her way.  The naval engagement lasted most of the day, until the St.-François, dismasted and foundering, struck its colors.  Most of Vergor's men lay dead or wounded, but only three of Rous's crew were killed.  Rous found a substantial amount of military supplies, including arms and uniforms, aboard the battered vessel.  He took Vergor into custody and hurried back to Halifax to display his prize.  For the second time in a span of only five months, Cornwallis had proof that the French at Québec were building up their forces on the Bay of Fundy.  When La Jonquière learned of the fight off Cap-Sable and its result, he ordered Des Herbiers to seize four New English sloops trading at Louisbourg.  Cornwallis, aware of the diplomatic fallout from the incident, released Vergor, who hurried to France to report in person to the Minister of Marine and to stir things up against Cornwallis, whom he accused of insulting him.37

One of the strangest incidents generated by the escalating conflict was the murder at Chignecto of an esteemed member of Cornwallis's colonial Council.  Edward How was a 20-year-old New Englander when he appeared at Canso in 1722.  The British had fortified the fishing center two years before, and How was part of a small migration from the New England colonies that had come to exploit the fisheries there.  How became a merchant "and was prominent enough by 1725 to be recommended by Lieutenant Governor Lawrence Armstrong for a seat on the Nova Scotia council; he was not, however, appointed on this occasion."  That same year, he received a grant of 12.6 acres on an island in Canso harbor, today's How's Island, with the hopes of establishing a permanent settlement there.  This was the same year that Armstrong had beseeched the Board of Trade to move his headquarters from Annapolis Royal to Canso.  If the Board had not ignored the irascible lieutenant governor, How and his fellow settlers at Canso would have benefited significantly from the move.  How, meanwhile, learned the Mi'kmaq language and parleyed with the local bands.  He was commissioned captain in the Canso militia in 1725 but never considered himself as anything more than a subject of the King performing his civic duty.  In 1728, he financed the construction of barracks and a guardhouse at Canso and used his own schooner for government business.  By 1730, he was serving as justice of the peace at Canso, as well as sheriff, and later in the decade built two warehouses for the King's provisions and repaired the barracks, at his own expense, in 1739.  Meanwhile, How clashed with the commander of the garrison at Canso, who attempted to assert his authority over the settlers as well as his soldiers.  How and his fellow residents won the dispute, which resulted in a reprimand for the redcoat commander.  Towards the end of Armstrong's tenure as lieutenant-governor, in August 1736, How finally received an appointment to the colonial Council at Annapolis Royal.  By the end of the decade, however, the Canso fishery had entered a period of decline, and most of How's neighbors moved away.  How tried to resurrect the community by creating a township at the fishing post, but he met resistance from the local military officers.  The Council finally approved the township plan in April 1744--a month before a French force from Louisbourg destroyed the settlement and carried off the garrison to Louisbourg.  Ruined financially, How, now a widower, took his children to Annapolis Royal, where he resurrected his mercantile interests.  In June 1744, he remarried to Marie-Madeleine, daughter of former British army officer and fellow merchant William Winniett at Annapolis Royal; How's mother-in-law was the daughter of French privateer Pierre Maissonat dit Baptiste, who had married a Port-Royal Bourg.  Still holding his commission as a militia officer and retaining his seat on the Council, How was an active participant in King George's War.  Mascarene sent him to Rivière St.-Jean and Minas to secure from the habitants their allegiance to the British, or at least their promise of strict neutrality, in the fight with France.  During the various sieges of Annapolis Royal, How performed heroically.  In August 1746, he led a reconnaissance up the Bay of Fundy and secured important intelligence about Ramezay's force from Canada that saved Annapolis Royal once again.  How did what he could to delay Ramezay's offensive against the capital, boasting later that he had kept "'the inhabitants in Due Allegiance punishing some offenders and reducing the Cattle and Grain, In order to render the Approaches of the Enemy less formidable than before.'"  (One wonders if his actions in the Fundy settlements at this time earned the enmity of Acadian habitants, who would have been aware of his connection to the Bourgs.)  How went to Grand-Pré as Lieutenant-Colonel Arthur Noble's commissary in January 1747 and, unfortunately for him, was still there on the morning of February 11, when Coulon de Villiers's force struck the New England garrison.  How was seriously wounded in the firefight and lost the use of his left arm.  The French took him prisoner and exchanged him for six of their countrymen.  Later in the year, back in Annapolis Royal, How was appointed a judge on the colony's vice-admiralty court.  In July 1749, Cornwallis named him as a member of his new Council at Halifax and sent him with privateer-turned-British naval captain John Rous to Rivière St.-Jean to remind the Maliseet that they were still subjects of the British crown and to invite them to Halifax to treat with the new governor.  The following year, Cornwallis passed over How, in favor of Charles Lawrence, when he selected a lieutenant-governor for the colony, not because How lacked the capacity for the office but because he was a civilian, not a regular army officer.  How evidently accepted the rejection good naturedly; he accompanied the new lieutenant-governor to Chignecto in September 1750, serving as Lawrence's commissary and assisting in the construction of Fort Lawrence.  How's familiarity with the geography of the area, as well as with the Indians and the Acadians who lived there, made him a valuable asset on Lawrence's staff.  In early or mid-October, accounts vary, Lawrence chose him to meet with French officers from across the Missaguash under a flag of truce to secure the release of English prisoners.  According to How's biographer, "after several meetings" with the Mi'kmaq, "How was returning from a parley at the river when a shot rang out and he fell, seriously wounded.  He died either that day or within several days of the attack."  Many blamed the murder on hostile Indians, especially Mi'kmaq chief Étienne Bâtard of Miramichi, who had clashed with How at Port-Toulouse a decade earlier.  The British attempted to implicate Abbé Le Loutre and his Mi'kmaq fighters in the murder as well, especially Chief Jean-Baptiste Cope of Shubenacadie.  How's biographer concludes:  "Whoever the guilty party might have been, How's death certainly made conditions throughout Acadia more tense."  And the petite guerre spiraled on.33

About the time of How's murder, a band of Mi'kmaq struck at Halifax itself.  They surprised Cornwallis's gardener and the gardener's sons, along with half a dozen other settlers, in the woods near the settlement.  The Indians tortured and scalped the gardener and his son, buried the son, left the gardener's body to the elements, and made off with their prisoners before the alarm could be sounded.  They took their prisoners to Grand-Pré, where they were held in secret for five months, and then sold them, along with other prisoners from raids on British settlements, to the French at Chignecto.  In 1751, the Mi'kmaq struck again at Halifax, this time at the North Blockhouse, where they killed a guard.  They also killed two men near the South Blockhouse before disappearing into the woods. 

Attacking Halifax was a dangerous game, however.  Le Loutre's Mi'kmaq chose Dartmouth, which they had hit hard in 1749, as their favorite target for repeated raids.  Halifax, with its Citadel Hill, was too well fortified to attack directly, but Dartmouth, across the harbor, with its forested approach, was an easy target for the Indians and the Acadian partisans.  The Mi'kmaq struck next at Dartmouth in July 1750, killing and scalping a seven-man work detail.  In August, 353 Britons arrived at Dartmouth to transform it into a proper settlement.  The Mi'kmaq gave them little time to settle in.  They struck at the end of September, killing five more residents.  In October, eight men foolishly left the protection of the palisade to shoot waterfowl.  The Mi'kmaq captured all eight of the sportsmen, scalped one of them, and threw him into the ocean.  The settlement was left alone during the winter months, but in late March 1751 the Mi'kmaq struck again, killing 15 settlers and wounding seven, three of whom died of their wounds.  The Mi'kmaq made off with six captives and ambushed the British regulars who were foolish enough to pursue, killing the redcoat sergeant.  Two days later, the Mi'kmaq struck again, capturing two more settlers. 

In May 1751, Acadian partisan leader Beausoleil Broussard led 60 Mi'kmaq and fellow partisans to the bloodied outpost, where they surprised and killed 20 more settlers and took more prisoners.  The British insisted that Beausoleil and his men scalped and mutilated the women and children as well as the men, including a redcoat sergeant.  Beausoleil and the Indians also put the torch to all of the settlement's buildings.  Clapham's rangers were on duty at a nearby blockhouse.  Their counter fire killed six Mi'kmaq, but they were able to retrieve only one of them to display his scalp in Halifax.  A relief force from Dartmouth Cove hurried to the main settlement but arrived too late.  Upon returning to the cove, they found that the Mi'kmaq had struck their homes as well and made off with another captive. 

In retaliation for the raid on Dartmouth, Cornwallis ordered Major Lawrence at Chignecto to attack the enemy there.  Lawrence sent Captain Francis Bartelo and his company of rangers to spearhead the assault.  The rangers killed a few troupes de la marine in the hit-and-run raids, but the Mi'kmaq and Acadians ambushed Bartelo and his rangers and killed many of them, including Bartelo.  The most successful operation was against the local farmers.  Lawrence's men breached several of the area's dykes, ruining hundreds of acres of pasture and cropland the Acadians had wrested from the bay.26


The raids on Chignecto and the breaching of the dykes brought ruin not only to the hard-pressed Acadians, but also to Abbé Le Loutre's plans for creating a Nouvelle-Acadie west of the Missaguash.  Just as troubling, the supply ship from Québec had not reached Baie-Verte by the spring of 1751.  As his biographer relates, Le Loutre reported to his superiors that "consumption was greater than had been anticipated, the settlers were on the point of running out of meat and had received no wine whatever.  Le Loutre was forced to divert certain presents intended for the Micmacs to the Acadians and the garrison at Fort Beauséjour."  Unable to feed their families on hopes and promises, Acadians slipped back into British-controlled territory or moved on to the French Maritime islands, where conditions also were dismal.  The abbé considered the Acadians on nearby Île St.-Jean as part of his patrimony.  He "accused François-Marie de Goutin, the storekeeper and subdelegate of the financial commissary on Île Saint-Jean, of having left the settlers to starve when the warehouses were full of supplies.  After asking the authorities in Louisbourg to put the bad administration on Île Saint-Jean to rights, Le Loutre complained of the commandant and the storekeeper at Baie Verte...."  By the summer of 1752, conditions among the Acadians had improved little at Chignecto and on Île St.-Jean.35

The abbé had to act quickly to save his New Acadia.  "To stabilize the Acadian settlements, within the territory controlled by the French, by strengthening the development of traditional Acadian farming practices," in August 1752, Le Loutre hurried to Québec to consult with the new governor-general, Michel-Ange Duquesne de Minneville, and Intendant François Bigot about the deepening crisis.  Le Loutre likely shared with them his grandiose plan for the expansion of the aboiteaux within the Tintamarre, "the greatest of the North American Atlantic tidal marshes," drained by Rivière Aulac.  It had the potential to be, one historian attests, "the most elaborate [dyking] project undertaken."  Smaller projects would be launched at Chepoudy and Memramcook to draw Chignecto Acadians to the trois-rivières settlements and away from starvation on Île St.-Jean.  Bigot promised him more supply ships but little else.15

Le Loutre, dissatisfied with his mission to Québec, was determined to secure more than promises.  He returned to Chignecto, entrusted his Mi'kmaq to his assistant, Abbé Jean Manach, and made his way carefully back to France probably via Louisbourg.  He arrived in France at the end of December and asked for an audience with the Minister and the King.  Three years before, Antoine Louis Roullié had replaced Jean-Frédéric Phélypeaux, comte de Maurepas, as Minister of Marine.  Rouillié  received the abbé at the ministry in Paris on 15 January 1753.  Both Roullé and Abbé de L'Isle-Dieu, Le Loutre's superior, had discouraged Le Loutre's voyage, but the Séminarian soon re-established a cordial relationship with both of these powerful men.  Roullé went so far as to forward Le Loutre's testimony and reports to former New French governor-general Roland-Michel Barrin de La Galissonière, who was leading the effort to negotiate North American boundaries with the British.  Le Loutre recommended a hard line in the boundary negotiations, especially in regards to Acadia and the Acadians, and insisted that the British abandon not only their fort at Chignecto, but also surrender the entire north shore of the peninsula north of Cobeguit.  Le Loutre advocated the removal of the Acadians from Annapolis Royal and Minas and their resettlement at Chignecto and along the trois-rivières--a major expansion of his Nouvelle-Acadie and a justification for his proposed dyking operations.  He predicted that in four years the newly-resettled Acadians, with their expanded aboiteaux, would be able to produce more than they consumed, the excess to be traded with Louisbourg.  Satisfied with Le Loutre's conservative estimate for the cost of the dyking operation, the court granted him 50,000 livres, to be disbursed by Intendant Bigot from Québec.  Le Loutre knew, of course, that his plan would cost the government much more than that, but he shrewdly asked for so little at first in order to secure permission to commence the grandiose project.38

Le Loutre also consulted with the Minister and Abbé de L'Isle-Dieu about his mission in Acadia.  What was the morality of employing his Mi'kmaq in killing the Protestant enemy, of "encouraging the Indians to attack and scalp British settlers in peace-time"?  Even more perplexing were questions on how to deal with the many Acadians who refused to go over to the French.    "What means could he use to persuade them to leave British territory?  As for those Acadians who had taken the oath of allegiance to Great Britain, could he ask that they be deprived of the sacraments?  Was he empowered to threaten them with excommunication in order to persuade them to take refuge in territory claimed by France, or again could he ask his Micmacs to force recalcitrants to abandon their lands?"  Evidently his consultations eased his conscience, and his pockets also benefited substantially from his sojourn in France.  The court granted him an annual pension of 1,200 livres for his work among the Mi'kmaq.  He also received from the King a 2,438-livres annuity to buy flour at Louisbourg, 2,740 livres "for various liturgical articles," and 600 livres for medicines, all for the benefit of his Indians of course.  Le Loutre also recruited new missionaries for Acadia and obtained 600-livre gratuities for them as well.39 

Le Loutre sailed for Acadia in April 1753 aboard the ship Bizarre.  Back at Chignecto in August, he did what he could to end a "peace" signed by one of his chiefs with the British, and the petite guerre heated up again.40

The abbé also commenced his dyking operation at Tintamarre.  By then, 2,000 Acadians and 300 Mi'kmaq were encamped west of the Missaguash, with another 400 natives at Baie-Verte, so there was adequate security from British raids out of Fort Lawrence.  This gave the abbé a substantial workforce not only to construct the massive aboiteaux, but also to build a "Cathedral," complete with bell tower, just outside the walls of Fort Beauséjour.  By early 1754, the dyking project was well along and gave promise of providing substantial harvests once the aboiteaux leeched the dyked-in marshes of their briny residue.  And then disaster struck, not from the British at Fort Lawrence but from the fickle Bay of Fundy.  The spring storm tides that year were especially high and broke through the main cross-dyke on the lower Aulac.  Within hours, Mother Nature ruined what it had taken the Acadians months to build.  Disheartened, "A large group of refugees represented by Paul Doiron and Olivier Landry, had petitioned the governor-general  for permission to return to their homes on the peninsula.  When Le Loutre saw the petition, he could barely contain his rage."  Others slipped away unobtrusively.  In late August, six families composed of 28 individuals who had emigrated to Île Royale in 1750, were so determined to return to British territory that they made their way to Halifax and petitioned the colonial Council to allow them to remain.  After winning the Council's permission, they submitted to an oath of allegiance "unqualified by any reservation."  In October, Lawrence sent them to Mirliguèche, near the German settlement at Lunenburg, "where they were provisioned and provided with land.  They told of starvation conditions in French territory, and complained bitterly of the French regime at Chignecto, where abbé Le Loutre exercised absolute and theocratic rule."  From the altar of his new "Cathedral," the abbé threatened to deny deserting Acadians the sacraments and thus bar their entry into heaven.  "Anyone caught attempting to cross back into British territory, he warned, 'would be shot.'"  A member of the garrison at Fort Beauséjour, Thomas Pichon, who just happened to be a spy, reported to his British handlers that Le Loutre "'preached a most vehement sermon' and continually exhorted the Acadians to prepare for and expect war with the British."  Governor-General Duquesne at Québec agreed with Le Loutre; he insisted that the Acadians who returned to the British-controlled areas of the province be treated as rebels and deserters.  As to their cousins still living in those settlements who insisted on clinging to neutrality, the abbé would smite them with the righteous hand of God--that is, the tomahawks of his Mi'kmaq--when the opportunity presented itself.25


Abbé Le Loutre returned to an Acadia that had seen significant changes on the British side of the Missaguash.  By the autumn of 1751, Governor Cornwallis's lingering dispute with the Board of Trade had come to a boiling point.  The Board was not satisfied with his control of expenditures, nor with his progress in developing the colony.  The British Lords were especially miffed by the tone of his messages; in September he had the temerity to inform the British Lords that "he had reached the end of his patience" with them!  Cornwallis also was frustrated with his lack of progress in subduing the troublesome colony.  After listing his difficulties and frustrations and complaining about his health, he "ended with a wish that his successor be appointed" and set his mind to returning home.  He resigned the governorship in the spring of 1752 and left Halifax the following October.  Though he lived for another 24 years, he never returned to North America.  He married a viscount's daughter, rose to the rank of lieutenant-general during the Seven Years' War, and was governor of Gibraltar, a place he detested, when he died there in January 1776, in his early 60s.  His biographer concludes about his years in Nova Scotia:  "... there emerges a picture of a stern man with a strong sense of duty, one who became convinced of the importance of his mission to develop a British presence in Nova Scotia and who was not averse to lecturing the authorities for failing to provide the means he felt necessary to carry out this task.  He was sometimes too outspoken, and probably took advantage of friends at court to offer criticisms of a kind and in a manner that no ordinary governor would have done.  None could question his intention do what he thought best for Nova Scotia, however; almost no one has questioned the basic decisions he made relating to Halifax. Because bad luck or personal weakness dogged his European ventures, the three years Cornwallis spent in Nova Scotia may well have been the most successful of his career."29 

Cornwallis's successor, Peregrine Thomas Hopson, was a different sort of man.  Little is known of his private life--his birth date, his birth place, even the identity of his parents.  He likely was born in England, and may have been a son of British Admiral Sir Thomas Hopsonn.  Unlike Cornwallis, Hopson was well along in age when he came to North America.  His long military career, which would span five and a half decades, began in 1703 with appointment as a lieutenant in a regiment of marines.  He served at Gibraltar from the late 1720s until 1745.  By then, he had risen to the rank of major in the 14th Regiment of Foot and was promoted lieutenant-colonel of the 48th Regiment of Foot in January 1740/41.  He never married.  In the spring of 1746, the seasoned soldier, probably in his early 60s, came to occupied Louisbourg as the senior officer, but still a lieutenant-colonel, of the 29th Regiment of Foot.  By then, Hopson seems to have secured the patronage of the powerful Duke of Newcastle.  In September 1747, the old soldier was named lieutenant-governor at Louisbourg, succeeding Admiral Charles Knowles.  More than a year after the French raid at Port-La-Joye, the colony had fallen quiet.  Hopson's tenure as the Maritimes commander was little more than "a caretaking operation, punctuated by minor French and Indian raids on the outlying areas and worries about the threat they posed to the fuel supply of the colony."  Hopson received promotion to colonel of the 29th Regiment in June 1748.  A year later, in June 1749, still in command at Louisbourg, he negotiated with Charles des Herbiers de La Ralière the retrocession of the colony to France.  After the formal transfer at the end of July, Hopson oversaw the transportation of his men and supplies to the new British post at Halifax, where he served briefly on Cornwallis's colonial Council before returning to England to resume his military career.30  

His time in England was short.  The Board of Trade chose him to replace Edward Cornwallis as governor of Nova Scotia.  Hopson returned to Halifax and assumed the office on 3 August 1752, two months before Cornwallis left the colony.  What Hopson found in Nova Scotia disturbed him.  "He admitted to the Board," his biographer relates, "that he had no effective jurisdiction over much of the area he nominally commanded from Halifax, and saw the Acadians and Indians, encouraged from Quebec and Louisbourg, as tools of an active French policy of encroachment on the English."31 

Unlike Cornwallis, who thought little of the Acadians, Hopson understood their precarious position in the unfolding imperial conflict.  Like Cornwallis, he could see clearly that, despite the settlement of hundreds of Britons and Foreign Protestants at Halifax, the Acadians remained "the only established farmers" in the province and so were essential to its survival.  Cornwallis had pushed for an unconditional oath, and hundreds of Acadians had quit the colony.  Hopson, who "had been told to demand the oath when the circumstances of the province allowed" it, took the opposite tack:  he would accept at face value the Acadians' profession of loyalty to the British crown while they clung to their strange notion of neutrality.  He informed the Board of Trade that he would not press the colony's providers for an unconditional oath, nor would he support an ill-advised scheme concocted in London to settle Foreign Protestants among them.36b 

Hopson settled the Foreign Protestants, instead, in a coastal enclave west of Halifax.  In clear violation of every agreement made with the local Mi'kmaq, Lunenburg, populated by German Protestants, as its name implies, arose in June 1753 on a bay near the site of the old Acadian settlement of Mirliguèche, which Cornwallis had destroyed four years earlier.  Hopson chose Lieutenant-Colonel Charles Lawrence and Major Patrick Sutherland to supervise the erection of the settlement.  "There," Lawrence's biographer tells us, "the French would not be able to stir up trouble for them, although Indian raids were to be expected.  Lawrence accompanied the settlers to Lunenburg in June and supervised the establishment of the colony.  The settlers found cleared land, but most of the work remained to be done.  Soured by years of living in squalid huts in Halifax and serving as forced labor on Halifax defenses, they were impatient to stake their claims and to start cultivation.  Lawrence had seen the effects of Indians raids on different parts of the province and had to persuade the settlers to build defences before anything else.  It was human to ignore a danger which few of them had experienced and it required artifice on Lawrence's part to make them do communal work.  'Decent people,'  he noted, had to be cajoled into sleeping in communal shelters for protection and sharing them with those who were 'dirty (and) full of Vermin.'  Building supplies were pilfered and fights over favoured sites were frequent.  But little by little this 'inconceivably turbulent' crew was brought to see that they must either 'proceed in another manner, or have (their) throats cuts.'  By a mixture of bribery, bullying, and verbal persuasion, Lawrence gained their affection--'not only their hats but their hearts,' as he described it--and retained it, to his political advantage, after his return to Halifax...."  Surveyor-general Charles Morris and his assistant, James Monk, Jr., "with ten settlers to cut the brush," were staking out individual lots by June 18, while Morris "prepared a plan setting out the town and blockhouses and indicating existing clear land" for the settlement's farmers.  On September 15, Morris submitted to the colonial Council a "'Plan of Thirty Acre Farm Lotts continuous to the Town of Lunenburg,'" which the Council approved.  "The actual laying out of the town lots went on until the summer of 1754," Morris's biographer tell us.  "Since it was impossible to make complete surveys of hundreds of lots in the heavily wooded country around Lunenburg, the surveyors ran the baselines, established the corners, and blazed enough of the dividing lines to shower their courses, leaving the settlers to continue them."  The result, says historian Naomi Griffiths, was impressive by that day's standards:  "... by 1754 the new town was in existence, built, without compromise, on a gridiron pattern across the steep hillside with relatively horizontal streets running parallel to a narrow waterfront and cross streets running at right angles straight up the hill.  That year, sawmills were in operation, houses had been built and some farms established, and the settlers were beginning to adapt to a new life."   But this was no Halifax.  Mi'kmaq threats of retaliation prompted Hopson to send John Gorham's rangers, as well as several naval vessels, to shore up the new settlement's defenses.36 

Soon after assuming office, Hopson negotiated with the new governor-general of New France, Michel-Ange Duquesne de Menneville, marquis Duquesne, on the problem of deserters along the Missaguash.  On 8 November 1752, they agreed to exchange deserters "with the stipulation that neither side would impose the death penalty."  Here, again, was proof that Nova Scotia's new governor, though a renown soldier, also was an accomplished diplomat.36a

Hopson's Indian policy resembled Mascarene's more than it did Cornwallis's; as in his dealings with the French, he preferred to negotiate, not to confront.  In the end, however, because of his insouciance about Mi'kmaq land rights and the influence of Abbé Le Loutre, Hopson's Indian policy failed just as miserably as Cornwallis's.  In September 1752, Mi'kmaq scalped a settler outside the palisade of Fort Sackville at Bedford.  That same month, perhaps hearing that Abbé Le Loutre was out of the colony, Hopson and his Council began peace negotiations with Chief Jean-Baptiste Cope of Shubenacadie, a Le Loutre confederate, and other Mi'kmaq leaders, including two headmen named Martin.  A treaty, which, among other things, reaffirmed the earlier treaties of 1725 and 1726, was signed at Halifax on November 22.  Governor Raymond at Louisbourg denounced both the treaty and Jean-Baptiste Cope, insisting that the chief was "a drunkard and a bad lot.'"  Raymond was certain that the other Mi'kmaq would disown the volatile Cope, but he need not have fretted over the matter.  Within months of the document's signing, the petit guerre flared up again.  In February 1753, Mi'kmaq from Antigonish, on the Gulf of St. Lawrence shore, made their way overland to present-day Country Harbor, on the Atlantic side of the peninsula, and attacked an English schooner from Canso.  After firing on the vessel and driving it to shore, the Indians killed two of the four-man crew and captured the rest.  In April, the captives turned on their captors, killed six of them, and escaped.  Cope soon found an opportunity to abandon the treaty and assuage his fellow Mi'kmaq.  In February, two English soldiers, James Grace and John Conner, had attacked a group of Mi'kmaq.  Cope sought revenge for this act as well.  In the spring, while still at "peace" with the redcoats, "he sent his son Joseph to Halifax to ask for a boat and an escort, supposedly to take provisions there.  Captain Bannerman was sent, accompanies by seven men, one of whom was Anthony Casteel," who recounted the incident.  Off Jeddore, Cope's Mi'kmaq sprung their ambush, killing all aboard the schooner except Casteel, "who, knowing French, passed himself off for a Frenchman."  Cope's Mi'kmaq took Casteel to Cobeguit, Baie-Verte, and on to Louisbourg, where Casteel was freed in late June, but only after enduring weeks of physical and psychological torture at the hands of the Mi'kmaq, including some of their women.  By killing the redcoats and holding Casteel, Cope redeemed himself in the eyes of his fellow Indians.  By ceremoniously burning the treaty he had signed with Hopson, he also proved his loyalty to the French and, most importantly, to Abbé Le Loutre, who soon returned to Chignecto.  Cope's speech on the occasion blamed the British--Grace and Conner specifically--for breaking the "peace."  In May, Mi'kmaq scalped two redcoats stationed at Fort Lawrence.32

There would be no peace with the Mi'kmaq. 

Not long after the resumption of the petite guerre, Hopson's health failed him--he suffered a bout of "severe eye trouble"--and he was compelled to hand the reins of government to his second in command, Charles Lawrence.  Hopson left for England at the beginning of November 1753.  Lawrence, who in August had returned to the capital from his duties at Lunenburg, took Hopson's place at Halifax, as lieutenant governor.11


Charles Lawrence, who neither trusted nor respected the Acadians, served as lieutenant-governor for Hopson the next two and a half years.  The contrasts between the two men could not have been greater.  A much older man of quiet pragmatism and delicate health gave way to a younger man of towering competence and unrivaled energy.  Charles Lawrence would be another Edward Cornwallis--without the petulance and whining.12

Lawrence's first crisis as the colony's lieutenant-governor came soon after his assumption of power and from an unexpected quarter.  Le Loutre, filled with renewed vigor for his holy mission, had returned from his French sojourn in August.  Hearing of the new Protestant settlement at Mirliguèche, the abbé decided not to attack it but to take advantage of whatever antipathy there may have been between the British and the Germans there.  He found a malcontent in John Hoffman, who, in December 1753, organized the disgruntled settlers at Lunenburg into what is known as Hoffman's Rebellion.  A rebel mob, with Hoffman in the lead, overwhelmed Major Sutherland and his troops and held them captive in one of the blockhouses.  Lawrence's response was swift and decisive.  He sent a relief force of 200 men under Lieutenant-Colonel Robert Monckton of the 47th Regiment of Foot, who had commanded at Fort Lawrence two years earlier and now was serving on the colonial Council.  Monckton released Sutherland and his men, arrested Hoffman, and brought him to Halifax to stand trial before the colonial Council.  After his conviction, Hoffman was held in close confinement on Georges Island, now serving as the capital's prison.  In the wake of the rebellion, "a number of the French and German-speaking Foreign Protestants left the village to join Le Loutre and the Acadians."  Hearing of it, Lawrence refused to allow anymore Acadians to settle at nearby Mirliguèche for fear of contaminating the minds of the remaining Protestants at Lunenburg.  He relented only in October 1754, when two dozen Acadians from Pigiguit, fleeing starvation on Île Royale and Abbé Le Loutre at Chignecto, took the unqualified oath of allegiance and agreed to live peaceably near the Foreign Protestants.14

The next crisis came at Lawrencetown, which Lawrence had ordered built in early 1754 on an inlet above Halifax near the Acadian fishing village of Chezzetcook.  Like Lunenburg the previous summer, it, too, had been established in violation of treaties with the Mi'kmaq.  In late April 1754, Acadians partisans led by Beausoleil Broussard and a large band of Mi'kmaq slipped past Fort Lawrence and portaged their way across the peninsula.  In mid-May, during the pre-dawn hours, they struck the new settlement at Chezzetcook, where some of the inhabitants were still living in tents.  The settlers, as well as the soldiers held there to defend them, had virtually no protection:  the palisade was still under construction, and only a single blockhouse had been finished.  Beausoleil and the Mi'kmaq killed and scalped four settlers and two soldiers before hurrying back into the interior.  During the following weeks, they struck Lawrencetown so often and so hard that, by August, Lawrence ordered the settlers to return to Halifax.41 

War Comes to the Ohio ... and North America, 1752-1755

By the spring of 1754, Lieutenant-Governor Lawrence in Nova Scotia had opened a correspondence with a man whose words he could take at face value.  Beginning in August 1741, except for a four-year hiatus during the early 1750s, William Shirley served as governor of Massachusetts Bay colony.  It had been Shirley who had planned and organized the capture of Louisbourg in 1745.  After the fall of the citadel, Shirley urged London to attack Québec, again with colonial assistance.  From Québec, British regular and colonial forces would continue to the Mississippi River valley, subduing and occupying Canada, Illinois, even Louisiana--bringing all of New France into the British realm.  In May 1746, on the anniversary of the fall of Louisbourg, Shirley received plans from London for a grand offensive against Québec and Fort St.-Frédéric at Crown Point on Lake Champlain.  Taking the British Lords at their word, Shirley stepped up recruiting in Massachusetts and beseeched other royal governors to raise troops and stockpile arms and provisions for the grand offensive against New France.  In his correspondence with the Duke of Newcastle, secretary of state for the Northern Department and his benefactor in London, Shirley turned his attention to Nova Scotia, where, to his mind, a hostile population would threaten the strategic rear of a British offensive against New France.  "'If a thousand French troops should land in Nova Scotia,'" Shirley assured the duke, "'all the people would rise to join them besides all the Indians.'"  If Annapolis Royal fell, Shirley was certain, then the French would promptly invade New England.  "This would provide them with 'such an hold of the Continent as to make 'em think in time of pushing with the assistance of the Indians for the Mastery of it.'  While this chain of events might 'seem remote,' he admitted, it was 'not impossible.'"  Shirley's solution to this dilemma perhaps raised an eyebrow of the secretary of state.  "Moving decisively against the Acadians thus was a 'matter of the highest consequence," the governor went on, "and he urged 'the immediate removal of some at least of the French inhabitants of Nova Scotia.' and the settlement of English families 'in their room.'"  British aid for an grand offensive never materialized, however, even after the collapse of the d'Anville expedition that autumn; the grand offensive against New France was postponed indefinitely.  Meanwhile, Shirley suffered a personal tragedy when his wife died of fever in August 1746.  A year later, pressed by a huge mob of Bostonians protesting the impressments of colonials into the Royal Navy by Admiral Charles Knowles, Shirley ordered armed men protecting his State House to fire into the crowd; General Pepperell intervened just in time to prevent a bloody tragedy, and Shirley's popularity plummeted throughout the colony.92 

By war's end, Shirley's military measures, including expenses incurred for the grand offensive that never was, had crippled the Massachusetts economy.  His political enemies turned on him, and he was recalled to England in September 1749 to answer questions about colonial finances.  It was common knowledge that he had profited from supply operations related to the Louisbourg expedition, using the proceeds to purchase an estate at Roxbury, south of Boston, where he built an impressive mansion, but he was careful not to appropriate royal funds for his or his friends' personal gain.  After examining the colony's financial records, the Board of Trade exonerated Shirley, and he was free to return to his duties.  Shirley preferred to remain in England, however, while his trusted lieutenant-governor, Spencer Phips, ran the colony and looked after his interests in Boston.  Hearing that his political ally, Admiral George Clinton, would soon resign as governor of New York colony, Shirley solicited for the position.  The Board of Trade and Plantations, which answered to the King's Privy Council, refused to appoint him, so he next sought a seat on the joint commission on North American boundaries, which would allow him to advance his expansionist views on an even larger stage.  The Duke of Bedford, secretary of state for the Southern Department in the King's Privy Council, approved his appointment as co-commissioner.  In December 1749, Shirley went to Paris with another British negotiator, William Midmay, to sit across a table from Roland-Michel Barrin de La Galissonière, former governor-general of New France, and push his expansionist agenda.  In 1751, Shirley caused a minor scandal by remarrying to his French landlord's daughter; it also alienated him from his patron, the Duke of Newcastle.  Shirley also had a falling out with his fellow commissioner and was recalled to London.  By then, he was fully committed to the expansion of British interests in North America.  He asked again for the governorship of New York colony but was told he must remain in Massachusetts.  Leaving his new wife in London, he returned to Boston.  Opposition against him had died down in Massachusetts, and colonial attention was focused elsewhere.  Armed incidents between British and Canadian traders, especially in the Ohio country, were heating up the western frontier; another war with France in North America seemed imminent.  Massachusetts likely would bear the brunt of it, again, but at the moment he found "the colony as a whole less enthusiastic about further adventures in Nova Scotia."94 

During his time in office, Shirley had established close relations with the regular army officer who governed British Nova Scotia, Paul Mascarene.  During King George's War, Shirley had, in fact, rescued Mascarene more than once when French, Canadian, and Indian forces threatened Annapolis Royal.  He also had discussed with Mascarene the subject of forced Acadian removal, which Mascarene opposed.  Determined to push his removal scheme, which included plans to transplant New Englanders to Acadian lands on the Bay of Fundy, Shirley urged his London superiors to place Nova Scotia--and Mascarene--under his jurisdiction, but nothing came of it.  Shirley's official relationship with Mascarene's successors, Edward Cornwallis and Peregrine Thomas Hopson, if it existed at all, would have been brief and cursory:  Cornwallis reached Halifax only three months before Shirley was recalled to London, and Hopson was at Halifax only three months after Shirley returned to Boston.  Hearing of Lawrence's ascendancy to the lieutenant-governorship, Shirley wasted little time in communicating with his new colleague at Halifax.  The result was a collegial relationship similar to the one he had enjoyed with Mascarene, now Shirley's neighbor at Boston, but without the backdoor intrigues.43 

Shirley's work on the boundary commission had opened his eyes to the totality of the imperial struggle in North America.  In the eyes of the influential Massachusetts governor, two points of conflict stood out in sharp relief:  the isthmus of Chignecto, which already was fortified, and the Ohio valley, which soon would be.  By the spring of 1751, due to the efforts of his rival on the boundary commission, La Galissonière, three French forts stood in the Chignecto area--on the lower St.-Jean, overlooking the Missaguash, and at the other end of the isthmus near Baie-Verte.  The latter forts had been built in response to Cornwallis's construction of Fort Lawrence near the Missaguash.  Shirley's correspondence with Lawrence would have caught him up on the status of these forts, as well as the petite guerre that had been shaking Nova Scotia for five long years.93 


By early 1754, while the conflict in Nova Scotia was still smoldering and Shirley and Lawrence were becoming acquainted, a dispute with the potential to ignite another war was heating up in the Ohio country.  In spite of its distance from Nova Scotia, whatever erupted on the upper Ohio, or anywhere else along the Canadian frontier, would affect the Acadians wherever they lived.  Such was the nature of imperial conflict. 

Geography and distance, as well as the insouciance of La Galisonnière's successor, La Jonquière, slowed French reaction to British commercial incursions in the Ohio River valley.  La Jonquière died at Québec in March 1752 after a lengthy illness.  After his successor, the Marquis Duquesne, reached Québec on July 1, French neglect of the Ohio country ended abruptly.  Duquesne, like his predecessors La Galissonière and La Jonquière, was a naval officer of some renown.  And like La Galisonnière, his patron, he also was a man of action.  By the time he reached New France, however, the Virginians and their Ohio Company had joined the Pennsylvanians in moving deep into the Ohio wilderness, and blood had already been spilled there.  The Pennsylvanians, from their trading post at Pickawillany, a Miami town near present-day Piqua in western Ohio, relied on huge pack trains to reach Indians villages in the Ohio country and along the southern shores of the lower Great Lakes.  The Virginians, on the other hand, relied on waterborne transportation past the falls of the Potomac up to their first fortified storehouse at the confluence of Wills Creek and the north branch of the Potomac, at present-day Cumberland, Maryland.  From there, they followed the old Indian portage route to the Youghiogheny River, which flowed north into the Monongahela, the southern branch of the Ohio.  But the Ohio Company of Virginia was more than a trading company.  Chartered by the British crown in 1747, it also was a land company, funded by wealthy speculators such as its founder, Thomas Lee of Stratford on the Potomac, and included in its membership Virginia's new lieutenant-governor, Scotsman Robert Dinwiddie, who himself had been a surveyor in the old country.  Just as troubling to the French were the Virginians' successes in negotiating land and trade deals with the Indians of the Ohio region, especially the western Iroquois.  This allowed the Virginians to build a new post, Red Stone Fort, at the mouth of Red Stone Creek on the Monongahela, only 37 miles upstream from its confluence with the Allegheny.  Such a post would open the way for the construction of a fortified settlement at the confluence of the Monongahela and the Allegheny--the Forks of the Ohio.96 

In June 1752, Charles-Michel Mouet de Langlade, a Canadian officer of troupes de la marine whose mother was an Ottawa, led a party of 180 Chippewa, 30 of his Ottawa kinsmen, and 30 troupes de la marine out of Détroit and struck the Miami-Pennsylvania enclave at Pickawillany.  The Miami had been allies of the French since the days of Cadillac, but, as Céloron had learned three years earlier, now they were friends of the Pennsylvanians.  When Langlade arrived with his French and Indians, most of the men of Pickawillany were away hunting.  Langlade's men captured the women who were working in the fields and exchanged fire with the 20 or so men remaining in the village.  After six hours of fighting, Langlade called for a cease-fire and offered to hand over the women if the men surrendered, which they did.  Langlade and the Indians killed a wounded trader, cut out his heart, and ate it in front of the other captives.  To emphasize the fate of Indians who traded with the British, they then knocked in the head the village headman, Memeskia, called La Damoiselle by the French and Old Briton by the Pennsylvanians, and "boiled (him) and eat him all up" before heading back to Détroit with their anxious captives and as much of the booty as they could carry.  "Behind them lay the smoking ruin that, twenty-four hours earlier, had been one of the largest settlements and the richest trading post west of the Appalachians."  The Miami chiefs begged the Pennsylvanians and Virginians for assistance, but the Quaker-dominated Pennsylvania assembly refused to act, and the Virginians, focused on the upper Ohio, "found that they had no compelling reason to support so distant a people."  The Miami had no choice but to return to the French for protection.44

The French and their Indian allies had only just begun to assert their ancient claim to the Ohio country.  It was time to neutralize the Virginians as well, and the new governor-general was up to the challenge.  He had, in fact, been instructed by the Minister of Marine to keep open communication between Canada and Illinois, the upper half of French Louisiana.  The Minister's instructions were clear:  "Duquesne was to 'make our Indians understand ... that we have nothing against them, (and) that they will be at liberty to go and trade with the English in the latter's country, but that we will not allow them to receive (the English) on our lands'"--that is, the Ohio country.  If the British were allowed to fortify that region, New France would be sliced in half.  Duquesne mustered and drilled the 11,000-man Canadian militia and ordered the construction of a series of fort from the southern shore of Lake Erie, down the Allegheny valley, to the forks of the Ohio.  By the spring of 1753, under command of Paul Marin de La Malque, who had served in Acadia, two of the forts were under construction:  at Presque Isle on Lake Erie, today's Erie, Pennsylvania; and 20 miles south of Presque Isle near the headwaters of Rivière-aux-Boeufs, today's French Creek, a tributary of the Allegheny, at present-day Waterford in northwestern Pennsylvania, called Fort Rivière-aux-Boeufs or Fort LeBoeuf.  By autumn, a third post, Fort Machault, named after an important French official who soon would become the Minister of Marine, rose at a Delaware village near the confluence of Rivière-aux-Boeufs and the Allegheny.  A fourth post, to be named after the governor-general, was scheduled to be built in the spring of 1754 at the confluence of the Monongahela and the Allegheny--the Forks of the Ohio.  Here was the strategic key to the Ohio country and the site of the Virginians' proposed fortified village.  The question was, who would get there first, and, once possessed, could the place be held?95  

The French had a good head start in getting there first, and Lieutenant-Governor Dinwiddie was up to the challenge of keeping them from it.  In the summer of 1753, the Earl of Halifax, president of the Board of Trade and Plantations, had secured permission from the Duke of Newcastle, a member of the King's Privy Council, to use military force to "counter the construction of French forts in the Ohio Country."  In late August, about the time William Shirley returned to Boston from his sojourn in England and France, Robert D'Arcy, fourth earl of Hodernesse, who had succeeded the Duke of Bedford as Secretary of State for the Southern Department, the branch of the Privy Council that controlled the colonies, sent a circular letter to the royal governors in North America.  The letter instructed them "to 'repel Force by Force (within) the undoubted limits of His Majesty's Dominions,'" which the Virginians, if not the King or his Privy Council, understood included the Ohio country.  Dinwiddie, in fact, received special instructions from Holdernesse informing him "that it is his majesty's determination, that you should defend to the utmost of your power, all his possessions within your government, against any invader.  But at the same time, as it is the king's resolution, not to be the aggressor...."  Holdernesse reminded the governor that constructing a fort in the King's province was not an act of aggression, but anyone who attempted to oppose such construction would be the aggressor, as would anyone hostile to the King's authority who attempted to construct a fort in the King's province.  Dinwiddie saw clearly the implications in these instructions--he was free "to proceed militarily against the French," to use force to build the fort at the forks of the Ohio that would insure his and his partners' fortunes in the frontier trade.  Moreover, Holdernesse's promise of military assistance would allow Dinwiddie to sidestep the colony's fussy House of Burgesses, some of whose members held financial interests in competing land and trade companies.  Dinwiddie had quarreled with the assembly in Williamsburg since he had assumed the lieutenant governorship in 1751.  A dispute over his executive prerogatives--the so-called "pistole fee" controversy--was still raging among the shakers and movers in the colony, so, for now, Dinwiddie had to walk softly in dealing with the French in the Ohio country.  Instead of sending a militia force to the Forks, he would send an emissary, unannounced, bearing a letter, "to acquaint the French with George II's desire that they 'desist' from constructing more forts and withdraw from the installations they had already built."97 

He would try the carrot before wielding the stick.

The man he chose as emissary seemed, at first glance, the most unlikely candidate for such an important mission.  Major George Washington of the Virginia militia was only 21 years old in the fall of 1753, but the tall young gentleman, a surveyor in his youth, knew the wilderness well, held an interest in the Ohio country, possessed the physical stamina to endure such a mission, and was eager to go.  Moreover, he was the younger half-brother of Lawrence Washington of Fairfax County, who had served as a local justice and as adjutant general of the colonial militia before his untimely death from tuberculosis in July 1752.  Carrying a letter from Dinwiddie addressed to the French commander at Fort LeBoeuf, the young Washington stopped off in Fredericksburg to retrieve Jacob Van Braam, a Dutchman who had taught him fencing and could speak tolerable French, and then they headed into the autumn-colored wilderness.  At Wills Creek, Washington hired Ohio Company agent Christopher Gist, who had treated with the Indians and knew the country well, to guide him into the valley, and retained four other backwoodsmen to serve as hunters, horsemen, and bodyguards.  On the trek down the Youghiogeny to the Monongahela and on to the confluence with the Allegheny, Washington's surveyor-trained eye took everything in, and he was pleased by what he saw.  Logstown, inhabited by Delaware, Shawnee, and Mingo, only 15 miles downstream from the Forks, was where Gist had secured a treaty with those nations a year and a half before.  Washington was disappointed with the chiefs' response when he asked for an escort to Fort LeBoeuf.  When the party left Logstown on November 30, only four Mingo, including Tanaghrisson, an Iroquois (Haudenosaunee) Half King, joined them for the journey up the Allegheny.  The Mingo, or Ohio Iroquois, most of them Cayuga and Seneca, now belonged to the Onondaga branch of the Iroquois confederacy, centered in northwestern New York.  The Half King, dubbed by a Frenchman as "'more English than the English,'" was the head chief at Logstown, so his presence on the journey to the French was reassuring.  Washington's party reached Fort LeBoeuf in a snowstorm on December 11.  The major introduced himself to the fort's commander, Captain Jacques Legardeur de Saint-Pierre, a 52-year-old veteran of wilderness service who had held positions from Chignecto in Acadia to the lower Mississippi valley to some of the remotest outposts in the pays d'en haut.  After the death of Marin de La Marque in October, Legardeur had been summoned from his native Montréal to command the new Lake Erie fort, which made him commander also of the French in the Ohio region.  Washington was impressed with the rugged Canadian--"he is an elderly Gentleman, and has much the Air of a Soldier," the young major wrote in his diary.  An explorer, a veteran of many battles, an expert on the Indians of the western frontier, and a holder of the Cross of St.-Louis, Legardeur was bemused by the solemn young Virginian who had come so far on such a difficult journey to hand him a letter.99 

Legardeur was bemused also by Dinwiddie's letter, which was filled with high-flown British hubris.  While Legardeur and his officers retired to fashion a reply, Washington noted what he could about the fort and its garrison.  He was especially impressed with the number of canoes--some 220 already built, with many still under construction--that the French doubtlessly would use to convey men and materiel to the Forks of the Ohio when spring arrived.  "The French," he concluded, "clearly meant serious business," which was conveyed in Lagardeur's response to Dinwiddie's letter.  He informed Major Washington that he would forward the governor's letter to his own governor-general in Québec, who alone had the authority to respond to British claims on French territory.  He reminded Dinwiddie, through Washington, that he was here on lawful orders from his own superiors.  "'As to the summons you send me to retire,'" Legardeur quipped, "'I do not think myself obliged to obey it.'"100 

Washington had seen and heard enough.  The Half King and his Mingos elected to remain at Fort Le Boeuf to parley with the French.  Washington, Gist, and the others departed on December 16.  Despite the season, Washington insisted on returning to Williamsburg without delay to deliver Legardeur's response.  The hurried journey back nearly cost him his life, but in January Washington rode into the colonial capital and reported directly to the governor.  Dinwiddie, impressed by Washington's efforts, ordered him to write a detailed report of the mission for publication and summoned his provincial council, a more tractable body than the Burgesses, to ponder the situation.  The councilors heard Washington's report and agreed with Dinwiddie that the French had committed "'an hostility' within the explicit meaning of Holdernesse's instructions."  Dinwiddie spurned diplomacy and resolved on force of arms.  With the council's approval, he raised a force of several hundred militiamen; assigned 55-year-old Oxford-educated professor, surveyor, mapmaker, and legislator, Joshua Fry, as colonel to command them; promoted Washington to lieutenant-colonel; and ordered them to hurry to the Forks of the Ohio "and defend Virginia's interests against further French encroachments."  Dinwiddie also commissioned Ohio Company agents and Indian traders as officers in the Virginia militia, giving government sanction to the venture; William Trent, a storehouse manager, now was a captain with orders to raise a company of men among the settlers and traders in the western country; his lieutenant would be John Fraser, who had lost his storehouse on the Allegheny to the French and had moved south to the Monongahela; and the company's ensign would be Edward Ward, a Pennsylvanian, half brother of George Crogham, formerly of Pickawillany.  All would answer to Fry and Washington when the militiamen reached the Forks.  Plans for building the fortified village there were pushed forward from spring to late winter so that the Virginians could occupy the site before the French arrived in spring.  Dinwiddie notified his fellow royal governors from Massachusetts Bay to South Carolina that a crisis had arisen in the Ohio backcountry and "asked them to stand ready to come to Virginia's assistance."  Not until February 14 did he call the Burgesses into session to ask for funds to pay for the venture.  He handed the assembly a fait accompli, and they responded with a L10,000 appropriation burdened with attachments that guaranteed close scrutiny on how the still-unpopular Scots governor would spend the colony's money.139

Dinwiddie's frenzied efforts paid off.  Captain Trent and his "company" reached the Forks in mid-February and began construction of the log fort on 17 February 1754.  Chief Half King was there with his Mingos to assist them, and Trent proclaimed that the fort belonged to the Indians as well as the Ohio Company.  By March, Trent had run low on supplies.  He turned to the local Indians, but the Delaware, the closest tribe, refused to hunt for him despite promises of ample payment.  The Indians of the region, aware of the large French force gathering south of Lake Erie, were waiting to see which side would emerge victorious in the inevitable clash in the coming spring.  In early April, his supplies dangerously low, Trent was forced to return east of the mountains for provisions.  He left Ensign Ward to finish construction at the Forks.  Lieutenant Fraser returned to his post on the Monongahela.140 

On April 13, Ward received word that a large French force was descending the Allegheny.  He beseeched his superior, Lieutenant Fraser, for help, but the lieutenant was too absorbed in his personal business at Red Stone Fort to bother.  On April 17, Ward and his workers "had just hung the gate" on the stockade at the Forks when the French arrived.  Five hundred troupes de la marine and Canadian militia, carrying 18 cannon, beached their dozens of canoes on the river's edge near the fort and promptly deployed into line of battle.  Their commander, Captain Claude-Pierre Pécaudy de Contrecoeur, was Legardeur's replacement.  The "Elderly Gentleman" had returned to Montréal to muster Canadian militia for the coming conflict only days after Washington had departed Fort Le Boeuf.  Contrecoeur, a 48-year-old Canadian seigneur and veteran of frontier warfare, had served as second in command during Céleron's tour of the Ohio valley five years earlier. Moreover, he was a captain of artillery who had recently commanded at Fort Niagara, so he was familiar with the country as well as the weaponry needed to batter down fortifications.  He marched his troupes de la marine within musket range of the new palisade and demanded a conference with the British commander.  He gave Ensign Ward only two hard choices:  either immediate surrender, or the musket, cannon, and bayonet.  Ward had earlier expressed determination to defend his post come what may, but he commanded only 40 militiamen and carpenters, and there was not enough food in his storehouse to withstand a siege even if his men survived the first onslaught.  Arrayed before him was a battalion-sized force of French professionals, commanded by an officer of solid repute.  Contrecoeur added that if Ward chose surrender, he and his men could "leave the post with their honor and their possessions intact."  Ward chose the better part of valor, and that evening Contrecoeur treated him and his men "to a handsome, and welcome, dinner"  The following day, Ward and his men departed.  Contrecoeur, unimpressed with the pitiful palisade the Virginians had constructed, now would construct a proper fort, with barracks, bastions, and ravelins, to be named Fort Duquesne.141 

Official British reaction was swift and decisive.  News of Ward's surrender reached London in only two months time.  The King's cabinet met on 26 June 1754 to discuss "reports that 1,000 French regulars had 'invaded His Majesty's Dominions' and 'destroyed' a fort 'built by the King's orders on the Ohio.'"  David Preston notes that these "French actions were later cited by both the king and the Parliament as the point 'when actual War broke out' to justifiy military reprisals," perhaps including mass removal of dangerous subjects.  Nine hundred miles to the northeast, in the settlements along the Bay of Fundy, the "French Neutrals" went about with their daily routines, perhaps blissfully unaware, or even uncaring, of news from so far away.  When their new lieutenant-governor at Halifax received word of the "French actions," his reaction was anything but complacent.  He and two of his predecessors had endured a five-year-long petit guerre against the Mi'kmaq and Acadian partisans.  And now came word of an action that could precipitate a general conflict.  Even before he had assumed the governorship the previous November, Charles Lawrence had given much thought to the treachery of these so-called "French Neutrals."  Any more such news from the Ohio frontier and hard action likely would follow.141a

Fry and Washington, still making their way slowly up the Potomac to Wills Creek, heard of Ward's surrender on April 20.  Fry's so-called Virginia Regiment numbered only 160 men, lured not by the pittance the governor and the Burgesses had set for their pay but by their commanders' promises that they would be rewarded with land seized from the French.  After the regiment reached Wills Creek, Fred Anderson asserts, "a mature and self-confident commander might well have bided his time, awaited reinforcements, sought better intelligence, advised the government of the state of affairs."  Instead, Washington coaxed Fry into allowing him "to advance."  He would push ahead with most of the men, widening the forest track as he went, to Red Stone Fort, less than 40 miles from the Forks.  Fry agreed to the plan.  Washington's progress was slow--no more than two or three miles a day--and his slow progress was duly noted by local Indians, who apprised Contrecoeur of the approach of an armed force to the borders of the French domain.  Contrecoeur's orders precluded a strike against the Virginians unless they attacked him first, but as long as his fort lay unfinished, his position was precarious.  He decided to send an emissary of his own to learn the intension of the Virginia commander as well as the true size of his force, which the Indians said numbered several hundred.144 

Contrecoeur chose 35-year-old Ensign Joseph Coulon de Villiers de Jumonville, a younger brother of the now-deceased Nicolas-Antoine Coulon de Villiers, hero of the fight at Grand-Pré, to lead the reconnaissance.  Jumonville was a veteran of Bienville's war against the Chickasaw in Louisiana during the late 1730s and had served with his older brother in Nova Scotia during King George's War.  On May 23, he led 34 men, including an interpreter, up the Monongahela valley and then cross country towards the Youghiogheny to locate the enemy force.  His orders were to determine if the Virginians had entered French territory.  If so, he was to alert Contrecoeur by courier and then deliver a formal summons to the Virginia commander to return whence he had come.  Jumonville, evidently not expecting an armed confrontation, failed to post sentries at his bivouacs.  Washington, meanwhile, had encamped his force at Great Meadows, 50 miles northwest of Wills Creek and the half way point to Red Stone Fort.  Great Meadows lay on the portage route between the Youghiogheny and the Monongahela and was the current home of the Half King and his band of Mingo, who, with their women and children, had tied their fortunes to the Virginians, though the other Mingo bands back at Logtown preferred to wait and see.  Washington planned to erect a stockade at Great Meadows before moving on to the Forks.  On May 24, Half King's scouts alerted Washington to the approach of Jumonville's force.  On May 27, Christopher Gist arrived at Great Meadows and reported that the day before a force of Frenchmen had passed his trading post, 12 miles to the north, and their trail led into the woods not more than five miles away.  Fearing a surprise attack, Washington sent one of his captains and 75 men--half his force--to find and destroy the French canoes the probably had left on the Monongahela.  At sunset, a Mingo scout reported that Half King and his warriors had located the French camp "about seven miles northwest of Washington's position."  Having sent "half his troops off in the wrong direction," the inexperienced young militia colonel was forced to take action.  By nightfall the weather had turned miserable, but Washington, with 47 of his Virginians--half of the men still left at Great Meadows--followed the Mingo scout through the woods to Half King's campsite, where the chief convinced him that he and his warriors should strike at dawn.  The French campsite was located in a rocky glen east of present-day Uniontown, only a short distance away.  At daybreak on May 28, some of Jumonville's men were still asleep in their makeshift bark lean-tos, and others were preparing breakfast.  While the Virginians maneuvered into position on the higher ground, a shot rang out, and Washington gave the order to fire.  The Virginians loosened two volleys at the Frenchmen, killing or wounding a dozen of them.  One Virginian was killed and three wounded when the troupes de la marine returned fire.  The unwounded Frenchmen made for the shelter of the surrounding woods, but the Half King's Mingo blocked their escape.  According to some accounts, Jumonville was shot through the head during the exchange of fire.  Other accounts insist that he was only wounded during the 10-minute melee, that while Washington was interrogating him and struggling through the language barrier, the Half King appeared, said something to Jumonville in French, sunk his tomahawk into the officer's skull, and washed his hands in the blood and brains.  The Mingo then turned on the other wounded Frenchmen and killed all but one of them.  Washington and his men surrounded the 21 unwounded captives, including a Canadian officer and two cadets, and hurried them to the safety of their camp at Great Meadows.  Meanwhile, the Mingo scalped and stripped the bodies of the dead Frenchmen, beheaded one of them, and stuck the severed head on a wooden stake.  Washington and his men did not return to bury the grisly remains.142  

Generations of historians have told us that here, in a rocky glen in southwestern Pennsylvania, on a Wednesday morning during the spring of 1754, began "the greatest war of the eighteenth century," the final French and Indian War.  In Washington's many accounts of the fight, he claims that the French fired first as he and his men approached their camp and that he had no choice but to return fire.  He acknowledged that "We killed Mr. de Jumonville, the commander of that Party, and that "The Indians scalped the Dead, and took away the most Part of their Arms"--that is to say, their weapons.  But Washington refrained from any details about how, and when, Ensign Jumonville died.  Unfortunately for the Virginians, one of Jumonville's Canadians, a fellow named Monceau, hid himself in the woods when the firing began; being unarmed, he could only observe the fight and part of its aftermath.  Monceau claimed that Jumonville halted the ambush by announcing his mission to the Virginians and that when Monceau slipped away, sans shoes and stockings, Jumonville was still alive.  Contrecoeur learned of Jumonville's death from one of Half King's Mingo, who appeared at the fort soon after the fight, doubtlessly on Half King's orders.  The Indian insisted Jumonville was killed by a musket shot to the head while he was reading "the Summons" to the Virginians.  The Indian said nothing, of course, about the Half King's bloody ablution or the massacre that followed but credited his chief and his fellow warriors with saving the lives of the captured Frenchmen at the hands of the blood-thirsty Englishmen.  A lengthy account by one of Washington's own men appeared three months later.  Private John Shaw was not a witness to the May 28 fight, but he passed along the observations of many of his fellow militiamen who were there.  Shaw's account, given to the governor of South Carolina, insisted that the French fired first, followed by Washington's deadly volleys, that the Frenchmen asked for quarter, which Washington gave them, and related the Half King's murder of Ensign Jumonville, including the bloody details.143

Satisfied that Jumonville had died in "an ambush followed by a massacre," Contrecoeur reported what he had heard to Governor-General Duquesne in a letter addressed on June 2.  That same day, Washington's men completed their pitiful little stockade at Great Meadows, which Washington named, appropriately, Fort Necessity.  His report of the May 28 action, along with the French prisoners--he called them "spies"--he had sent under guard to Williamsburg the day after the fight in the rocky glen.  With the report went an urgent call for supplies and reinforcements.  Fort Necessity could hold less than half his men inside the stockade, so he ordered the construction of trenches to shelter the rest in case of attack.  It may have been during the construction of the fort that Washington learned of Colonel Fry's death at Wills Creek on May 31 from injuries suffered in a fall from his horse en route to the outpost; Washington now commanded the entire operation.  The Half King, whose family was with him at Necessity, was not pleased with the fortification.  He warned the callow officer that, since his palisade stood on marshy ground commanded by hills whose forested slopes lay within musket range, his fort "could prove a death trap."  Washington brushed off the criticism.  He had no intention of remaining there; it would serve only as a fortified base.  He was determined to move on to the Forks and drive the French away. As if on cue, during the middle of June 200 more militiamen arrived from Virginia.  A few days later, an independent company of redcoat regulars, dispatched from South Carolina, joined the Virginians at the crowded little fort; the regulars were commanded by Captain James Mackay, who refused to place himself under the command of a militia officer.  George Croghan, appointed by Dinwiddie as the militia's supply contractor, assured Washington that a supply train of "fifty thousand pounds of flour" soon would arrive.  Washington also expected Half King and Croghan to serve as intermediaries with the Delaware, Shawnee, and other Mingo bands to join him in the offensive against the French.  Fred Anderson observes:  "A more cautious commander might have expected the worst and planned for it, but Washington was too inexperienced to see prudence as a virtue."  On June 16, leaving the regulars behind under their proud captain, Washington marched his 300 Virginians towards Red Stone Fort and Fort Duquesne.145

The next two weeks were a nightmare for the feckless militiamen and their commander.  Men and horses struggled mightily to lug nine heavy swivel guns and too many baggage wagons down the wilderness trail.  At Gist's settlement, the Half King and Croghan met with representatives of the area tribes, but they refused to join the venture.  This was a clear rejection of the Half King's leadership, and he was certain the offensive was doomed.  After the conference, Half King and his Mingo returned to their families at Great Meadow, packed them up, and moved east to Croghan's mountain outpost at Aughwick, near present-day Shirleysburg, Pennsylvania.  Washington now had no Indian allies.  After the disappointing conference at Gist's settlement, he pressed on to Red Stone Fort, taking time to improve the road.  He was certain that he did not need the Indians in the coming fight with the French at Fort Duquesne.  He would wait at Red Stone Fort for the reinforcements and supplies he was certain were on their way, and then he would march the final few dozens miles to overwhelm the French garrison.  On June 28, however, friendly Indians reported that a large French force had left Fort Duquesne with the intent of driving the Virginians back across the mountains.  Washington paused for a day to contemplate a stand at Gist's settlement, and then he and his officers decided to retreat back upon their base at Great Meadows.146

The decision proved to be a wise one.  In early June, Contrecoeur, whose force already numbered 600 troupes de la marine and Canadian militia, began to receive a massive reinforcement of more than a thousand men from Canada.  Among the reinforcements was Captain Louis Coulon de Villiers, Jumonville's older brother, who arrived on June 26 from Fort de Chartres on the Mississippi with a contingent of his own.  Contrecoeur was preparing his force, along with a hundred Indian allies, to attack the Virginians regardless of their numbers.  Now he had more than enough men to deal with Washington and to push construction on Fort Duquesne as well.  Coulon de Villiers beseeched Contrecoeur to let him be the one to punish Washington and the Virginians.  Contrecoeur agreed, with the stipulation that "Despite their unheard of action, the Sr de Villiers is enjoined to avoid all cruelty so far as is within his power," and the outfitting for the attack continued.  When Coulon de Villiers left Fort Duquesne on June 28 heading south up the Monongahela, "he was at the head of the most formidable military force for a thousand miles in any direction."147

Washington's retreat from Gist's post to Great Meadows was much more precipitate than his advance had been.  More draft animals died, forcing the men to drag and push the cannon and supply wagons through the rain and mire.  They reached Fort Necessity on Tuesday, July 1, too exhausted to go on to the base at Wills Creek.  Friendly Indians again came to their assistance, warning them that the large French and Indian column, moving fast and light, was not far behind them.  Washington and Mackay strengthened their defenses as best they could and waited for the attack.  It began to rain on Wednesday night, and Great Meadows soon reverted to a watery mire.  Most of the men had no shelter other than the water-filled trenches.  At roll call on Thursday morning, July 3, only 300 of the 400 men at the fort were fit for duty.  Meanwhile, Coulon de Villiers's force, en route to Great Meadows, "came upon the site of the ambush of Jumonville's small party" at the rocky glen.  "Washington," in his haste to leave the scene, "had left the scalped corpses unburied, a prey to wolves and crows," and they had lain there for a month.  One can only imagine the Canadian commander's feelings when he looked upon the mutilated body of his younger brother Joseph. 

Coulon de Villiers attacked late on the morning of the 3rd.  Washington, prepared for a European-style battle, marched his men from the trenches out into the muddy meadow, but Coulon de Villiers refused the challenge.  He dispersed his superior force, instead, along the forested hills that commanded the fort, and the French poured musketry into the Virginia ranks.  Washington, realizing his mistake, ordered his men back to the trenches and the palisade.  For eight hours they endured the fusillade of musketry and rain.  The French and Indians, some only sixty yards from the fort, fired from beneath a forest canopy, while most of Washington's men fired from uncovered trenches, their flintlocks soon falling silent.  By dusk, a third of Washington's men were either dead or wounded.  Darkness brought fear and a breakdown of discipline; those who could manage broke into the fort's rum supply, and soon most of the remaining redcoats and Virginians were drunk and in no condition to defend themselves.  Washington feared another massacre, this time of his own officers and men and on a much more sanguineous scale.  But Coulon de Villiers, despite the pain of losing his brother, was not there to massacre anyone.  Anxious about the approach of more Virginians, he was ready to parley.  After darkness fell, he called out for an officer to discuss terms of surrender.  Washington suspected a ruse, but one of his captains, Dutchman Jacob Van Braam, who evidently understood a bit of French, offered to negotiate with the French commander.  Coulon de Villiers told the Dutchman that he had come to avenge the death of his brother.  This he had done, and now it was time for the Englishmen to withdraw from the field of battle with honor.  They could do so if their commander signed articles of capitulation he would offer to him, withdraw the Ohio Company from the region, and not return for at least a year.  Washington also had to release the prisoners he had taken when he ambushed his brother and leave officers as hostages at Fort Duquesne as a warranty for the fulfillment of the surrender terms.  If Washington agreed to these terms, he and his could march away the following day with their personal possessions, their colors, and their arms.  If they refused these terms, Coulon de Villiers and his men would destroy them.148

Washington, of course, signed the rain-soaked document Van Braam presented to him.  In it was an admission that Washington had "assassinated" Ensign Jumonville, something the Virginian evidently did not realize when he signed the paper.  If Washington and his officers wondered why Coulon de Villiers offered such generous terms, they did not discuss it before Washington signed the terms of surrender a few minutes before midnight.  In truth, the Canadians were running low on supplies and ammunition and feared the Virginians soon would receive more reinforcements from across the mountains.  Van Braam and another captain, Robert Stobo, agreed to remain as hostages.  The next morning, Friday, July 4, Washington and his men, exhausted, demoralized, many hung-over, straggled out of Fort Necessity between lines of grinning Frenchmen and Indians, and only then did they realize who their Indian adversaries had been--not warriors from the pays d'en haut brought down by their French allies but rather men from local tribes--Shawnee, Delaware, and Mingo.  Thirty of Washington's men lay in fresh muddy graves, and 70 of them were wounded, many of them seriously.  The French and Indians had buried only three of their number, and most of their 17 wounded suffered only slightly.149 

After the last of the Virginians had hurried away--they fled "so precipitately," one historian notes, "that Washington left his journal behind with the abandoned baggage"--Coulon de Villiers ordered the destruction of Fort Necessity and turned his force back towards the Forks.  On the way, they destroyed Gist's trading post and Red Stone Fort so that, by July 6, the last vestiges of British presence in the Ohio country were nothing but smoldering ash.   The Canadians and troupes de la marine were welcomed to Fort Duquesne as conquering heroes, having "completed the task Céleron had begun five years before."  Contrecoeur wasted no time notifying the governor-general of Coulon de Villiers's triumph over the Virginians.  Duquesne, delighted by the victory, "ordered the garrisons of the Ohio forts to assume a strictly defensive posture" and reduced their total to only 500 men.  He "praised not only Coulon de Villiers's valour, but also his restraint in sparing the lives of the Americans despite the bitter resentment he must have felt at the killing of his brother."  Always mindful of the Indians, Duquesne ordered that "a subsidized trade be begun to insure that the Ohio Indians would not be drawn back into Britain's commercial orbit."  Having accomplished his mission in New France, the marquis asked the Minister of Marine to accept his resignation and restore him to a naval command.  His final act as governor-general was the negotiation of a treaty at Québec in October, about the time of the Half King's death, with a delegation of western Iroquois from Onondaga.  The treaty would serve to mend the confederacy's relations with the French, including the damage the Half-King had done at Jumonville's Glen.  It also ended Iroquois neutrality in the struggle between the imperial powers.151

Washington, meanwhile, reached Wills Creek on July 9, and there he remained--poised precariously on the edge of the Ohio country, thoroughly whipped, humiliated, his militiamen deserting him in droves.  The news of Washington's defeat "fell on Robert Dinwiddie like a thunderclap."  He promptly sent dispatches to the secretary of the Southern Department and the secretary at war, as well his immediate superior, Lord Halifax, president of the Board of Trade.  Dinwiddie beseeched the other southern governors to give him aid, urged Washington to resume the offensive before summer ended, and turned to the Burgesses with a request for more funds to raise more troops.  The Burgesses spurned him.  Only the governor of North Carolina responded to his pleas, but restrictions placed on the assistance would do the Virginians little good.  "By early September, Dinwiddie was so depressed by his failure to elicit any response to the French threat that he was contemplating resignation."  Not for months would he realize what a hornet's nest his missives had stirred in London.150 

Dinwiddie's official account of Washington's defeat reached London on September 16, but Britain's leading diplomatist, the Duke of Newcastle, already had learned of the disaster.  He was determined to maintain his alliance structure--his Continental System--to limit French hegemony in Europe.  He would punish the French in North America, but not at the expense of another general war.  Even before Dinwiddie's report reached London, Newcastle had thought seriously of sending more regular troops, under a commander-in-chief, to drive the French from the Ohio country.  Washington's repulse, with its implications for national pride, compelled him to go through with the plan and to approach the captain-general of the British army, His Royal Highness William Augustus, the duke of Cumberland, his political enemy.  Cumberland was the favorite of King George II "and notable for favoring military action over diplomacy."   To allow the "Butcher of Culloden," as Cumberland was known, "too great an influence in formulating a response to the French victory on the Ohio, Newcastle knew, might be the greatest threat of all to peace."  But the disaster in the Ohio country called for a military, not a diplomatic, solution, and within a week of the arrival of Dinwiddie's dispatch, Newcastle and Cumberland had secured the King's approval for sending two regiments of regulars under a major general to North America.  The new commander-in-chief in the American colonies would be Edward Braddock of the Coldstream Guards.  Braddock had never served in North America, but he was a favorite of the Duke of Cumberland, and so there the matter stood.  The British plan of action was a relatively modest one, at first:  Braddock would drive the French away from the forks of the Ohio before moving to Lake Champlain in upper New York and driving the French from Fort St.-Frédéric at Crown Point.  Braddock, or more likely, another commander, also was tasked with driving "the French from the forts they had recently constructed on the isthmus connecting the Nova Scotia peninsula to the Canadian mainland."  Braddock was authorized to raise colonial troops to assist in his offensives.  His role as commander-in-chief in the colonies would give him power over the royal governors "and allow him to organize the defenses of the colonies as a whole."  His movements would progress in stages, allowing time for diplomatic maneuvering back in Europe to prevent all-out war with France.  When Lord Halifax, still head of the Board of Trade, heard of it, he endorsed the plan enthusiastically.  For the sake of international diplomacy as well as military security, Newcastle insisted that Braddock's plans and movements be kept secret as long as possible, but Cumberland and the secretary at war, Henry Fox, eschewed common sense as well as secrecy.  In early October, Fox made public an announcement that "'officers appointed to command regiments in America (were) to repair forthwith to their posts,'" and the French were alerted.  Meanwhile, Cumberland insisted on assaults not only against forts Duquesne, St.-Frédéric, Beauséjour, and Gaspereau, but also against Fort Niagara on Lake Ontario, all to be carried out simultaneously!  Although he knew it would be much more expensive than Newcastle's attacks in stages, Halifax endorsed Cumberland's more aggressive plan.  When Braddock received his formal orders in late November, they included instructions to create a "common defense fund" for the colonies to support his massive offensive.  Newcastle, at first the author of the scheme, had been maneuvered to the sidelines.  Even more foreboding, "events in Europe were moving in a direction that made it almost certain that when Braddock sailed, all hopes of a peaceful resolution to the disputes in America would sail with him."152


The new commander-in-chief of British forces in North America reached Hampton Roads, Virginia, in late February 1755.  His redcoats, the under-strength 44th and 48th Regiments of Foot, recently stationed in Ireland, arrived from Cork on March 10.  From Williamsburg, while consulting with Dinwiddie, Braddock summoned other royal governors and colonial elites to a conference he planned to hold at Annapolis, Maryland, and then changed the venue to Alexandria, Virginia, closer to his line of his march.  On April 15, he met with Dinwiddie and four other royal governors--Horatio Sharpe of Maryland, Robert Hunter Morris of Pennsylvania, James De Lancey of New York, and William Shirley of Massachusetts--at the Carlyle House, the most imposing structure in the Potomac River town.  The major general informed them that he was there to raise funds for a grand offensive against the French and to present a plan of campaign to the colonial leaders who would provide most of the troops and nearly all of the supplies.  During the conference, Braddock "treated the governors as if they were his battalion commanders instead of men who would have to cajole stubborn, suspicious, locally minded assemblies into supporting the common cause."  Hearing the general's proposals, the governors refused to ask their assemblies to impose a new tax for colonial defense, insisting that Parliament should provide the funds for a North American offensive.  Braddock refused to compromise on the issue and ordered them to do it.  The governors did promise troops for the campaign, as well as supplies they could secure with the funds on hand.  When they heard the general's plan of campaign, however, which he revealed to them only in generalities, they were no more pleased with it than his plan for a common defense fund:  Vice-Admiral of the Blue, Edward Boscawen, would blockade Louisbourg and the Gulf of St. Lawrence to prevent reinforcements from reaching Québec.  Braddock would lead his redcoats against Fort Duquesne.  Turning to Shirley, the recent victor on the Kennebec, Braddock named him a major general and his second in command.  Shirley would lead the reactivated 50th and 51st Regiments of Foot from Albany to Fort Niagara, at the head of Lake Ontario.  After seizing that important position, he would wait for Braddock's regiments, which, after defeating the French at the Forks of the Ohio, would march up the Allegheny to the south shore of Lake Erie, destroying the French forts along the way, and then move on via Lake Erie to Niagara.  Sir William Johnson of the Mohawk valley, summoned to the conference to stand with the governors, would serve not only as superintendent of the Iroquois and other northern tribes, but would lead New English and New York colonials, with a force of Mohawks, against Fort St.-Frédéric at Crown Point on Lake Champlain.  Lieutenant-Colonel Robert Monckton, with Massachusetts volunteers already being raised in Boston and regulars from the Nova Scotia garrisons, would attack the forts at Chignecto and project British power into the French-held area beyond the Missaguash.  Conceived by Shirley and his colleague Charles Lawrence in the wake of Washington's defeat, "Both men were sure of Lord Halifax's support" for this part of the operation.45

Braddock's plan of campaign was ambitious, even grandiose, and amazingly unrealistic.  The French response, on the other hand, was sound and realistic, at least on paper.  By late winter of 1755, the French ministry of War had decided to send to Canada six of the kingdom's 395 infantry battalions of troupes de terre--78 companies comprising 3,000 men--to be commanded by Jean-Armand, baron de Dieskau, military governor of Brest, with the rank of major general.  Since it would be operating in the colonies, Dieskau's force would be placed under the ministry of Marine; they therefore would serve more or less as troupes de la marine but without experience in frontier warfare.  Anticipating difficulties with this unusual arrangement, Dieskau's order made clear that he would, in every way, be subordinate to the New French governor-general, who at the time of his appointment on March 1 was Duquesne's replacement, Pierre de Rigaud, marquis de Vaudreuil de Cavagnial, recently governor of Louisiana.  Vaudreuil's father, Philippe de Vaudreuil had served as governor-general of New France in the early 1700s.  Vaudreuil and his wife, an elderly French widow who he had married during his sojourn at New Orleans, would accompany the baron to Vaudreuil's native Québec.  However, the fleet could not sail from Brest until the ice at Louisbourg and in the St. Lawrence River had been broken up by warmer weather, which would not happen until the middle of April.  Dieskau's ships finally slipped away from Brest on May 3.  French diplomats, meanwhile, continued their secret negotiations with Austria, Britain's erstwhile ally in Europe.  The Duke of Newcastle's Continental System, like the ice in the St. Lawrence, was about to be broken up, and, after Dieskau's regulars reached Canada, British plans for North America would be broken up as well.  Most of Dieskau's vessels eluded Boscawen's blockade and arrived safely at their destinations.  On June 9, however, the contingent of six ships heading to Louisbourg encountered a flotilla of Boscawen's blockaders in the waters off Cape Breton Island.  Four of the vessels, using the area's ubiquitous fog banks, eluded capture; not so the Alcide and the Lys, carrying 400 of the baron's 3,000 troupes de terre, along with dozens of sailors France could not spare.  These soldiers and sailors would serve their time in North America not in the French island citadel but on an island prison in the harbor at Halifax, Nova Scotia.  The baron and the new governor-general reached Québec aboard the Entreprenant on June 23.91 

Braddock, meanwhile, caught up to this army at Frederick Town, Maryland, on April 22.  There he secured the services of Lieutenant-Colonel Washington as volunteer aide-de-camp.  The young Virginian spurned Braddock's offer to command the Virginia troops, but Washington's knowledge of the Ohio country guaranteed him a place on Braddock's staff.  The commander-in-chief also met at Frederick Town another colonial shaker and mover, Benjamin Franklin of Philadelphia, who secured wagons, draft animals, and teamsters for the expedition from the parsimonious Pennsylvania assembly.  In May, Franklin's wagons and teamsters, as well as logistical support from Dinwiddie, converged at Fort Cumberland, the new British post across the North Branch of the Potomac from the Ohio Company storehouse at Wills Creek.154 

Throughout the month, Braddock cobbled together a force of 3,000 men that included not only his redcoats, but also provincial volunteers from Virginia, Maryland, and North Carolina.  With them would march a siege train of a dozen 18-pounders to blast the French fort to pieces.  The general was an inveterate micro-manager, so days turned to weeks at the new fort-and-barracks complex, giving the French time to reinforce their garrisons in the Ohio country.  A delegation of six chiefs, including the new Half King, Scarouady of the Oneida, and Shingas, chief of the Ohio Delaware, along with Shawnee elders, came to Fort Cumberland to treat with Braddock.  William Johnson, superintendent of Indian affairs, though preparing his own expedition at Albany against Crown Point in upper New York, had instructed his deputy, George Croghan, to do what he could to provide Braddock with Indian support.  The chiefs, of course, were concerned about the encroachment of British settlers on their lands, and hoped to extract from the British commander a promise that their sovereign rights would be respected.  Braddock's response revealed not only a towering arrogance, but also an appalling ignorance of how things were done in North America.  He failed to respect the Indians as fighters--he had told Franklin back at Frederick Town that "'it is impossible that (savages) should make any impression (on disciplined troops)'" in battle--but he also had no concept of their rights to territory they had occupied for generations.  Pressed by the chiefs to recognize their rights to their own territories, Braddock responded that "'No Savage Should Inherit the Land.'"  When the advanced element of his 2,200-man force finally marched away from Fort Cumberland on May 29, only the Half King Scaroudy and seven other Mingo remained to fight with the British!  The Delaware and Shawnee had departed in anger, and soon they were allies of the French again.155 

Braddock's ponderous column of men, artillery, baggage and supply wagons, and even a contingent of carefully-inspected female camp followers, consumed the entire month of June and the first week of July to get to the lower Monongahela.  En route, dysentery felled many soldiers, including Lieutenant Colonel Washington, whose hemorrhoids gave him great discomfort as his horse labored along the forest track.  Field guns foundered at the many fords they had to cross and in the mire of the heavily-used wilderness track.  Frustrated with the slow progress, Braddock created a flying column of 300 light infantry and grenadiers under Lieutenant-Colonel Thomas Gage, followed by an independent company from New York under Captain Horatio Gates tasked with supervising the fatigue parties who had been widening Braddock's Road since they had left Fort Cumberland.  Finally, at the end of the first week of July, Braddock's redcoats came within striking distance of Fort Duquesne.  George Croghan and the seven Mingo had served as Braddock's scouts during the ponderous march, and they were especially alert now for an ambush.  On the morning of July 9, as they forded the Monongahela near the burnt-out post of Virginia trader John Fraser, Gage's column had advanced to within 10 miles of Fort Duquesne.156 

Contrecoeur, still commanding at the now-finished Fort Duquesne, was well aware of Braddock's advance.  Unlike his British counterpart, the Canadian could count on hundreds of Indian allies, who had been probing Braddock's flanking columns for several days.  Unfortunately, Contrecoeur could accommodate only 200 of his 1,600 men inside the walls of the fort.  He knew that if the British reached the fort, his Indian allies, averse to sieges, would promptly abandon him.  If he were to use them as an effective fighting force, he must ambush the British column before it could get close enough to invest him.  On the morning of July 9, he assigned command of a force that included 36 officers, 72 troupes de la marine, 146 Canadian militiamen, and 637 Indians, nearly 900 men, to his second in command and replacement, Captain Daniel-Hyacinthe-Marie Liénard de Beaujeu, a 43-year-old native of Montréal who had fought at Grand-Pré in February 1747.  Recently in command at Fort Niagara, Beaujeu had angled for a post farther to the west so that he could add to his already-substantial fortune via a more lucrative fur trade.  The Ohio country was just such a place, so the Canadian seigneur welcomed his new command.  Beaujeu had left Lachine, above Montréal, with a relief column in late April and made the 500-mile journey to the Ohio via forts Frontenac and his old post at Niagara, stopping to order the construction of a fort at Venango, south of Fort LeBoeuf.  He had reached the Forks at the end of June but deferred to Contrecoueur until the crisis ended.157 

At 8 a.m. on July 9, after haranguing his Indian allies--Ottawa, Huron, and Abenaki he had brought from the St. Lawrence mission, as well as local Delaware and Mingo--Beaujeu led his force up the Monongahela valley to ambush the enemy's advanced force, estimated to be 1,500 strong.  This was a substantially larger force than his own, so the element of surprise, as well as the choice of location, was essential to his success.  Around 1 p.m., however, before the ambush could be set up, Beaujeu's advanced party unexpectedly met the British advance.  Gage's redcoats and Gates's New Yorkers opened fire on the head of the French column, killing Beaujeu early in the encounter.  Instead of discouraging the French and Indians, the death of their commander only provoked them to destroy the British intruders.  The new French commander, 34-year-old Captain Jean-Daniel Dumas of the troupes de la marine, a native of France, a veteran of the petit-guerre in Acadia, and a favorite among the Indians, rallied his men to extraordinary exertion, earning for himself the Cross of St.-Louis.158 

Braddock's advanced force, despite the surprise encounter, gave a good account of itself in the first minutes of the battle.  The woods along most of their line of march had been choked with thick summer growth.  But after crossing the Monongahela for the final push against Fort Duquesne, they had entered an Indian hunting ground where the woods had been burned away before every annual hunting season, and such was the terrain in which they now were fighting.  Facing forward in a narrow line of battle, the woods around them seemed filled with screaming Indians firing at them from every direction.  After their initial volleys, the redcoats and New Yorkers fell back upon the main column.  The party of unarmed laborers broke for the rear.  Braddock ordered the rest of his force forward and then, with his staff, hurried towards the sound of battle.  Unfortunately for British command and control, the units of the main body collided in the road with the retreating companies of Gage's advance.  The two regiments became a tangled mess, which their officers tried mightily to sort out.  Mounted on horses, waving swords, polished silver gorgets dangling at their throats, they provided the most tempting targets to the Canadians and the Indians; 15 of the 18 officers in Gage's advance fell within the first 10 minutes of battle.  Braddock himself tried to restore order by posting the two stands of colors in their proper firing positions, but the ranks of his regulars were hopelessly confused.  The vaunted discipline of "The Old Standers," as they had been called in Ireland, held under the steady fire of a largely unseen enemy, but the amazing discipline of the British regulars soon became their worst enemy.  Their steady platoon fire, delivered in the midst of the smoke and confusion, was sometimes loosed into the ranks of an adjoining unit!  Braddock, meanwhile, a paragon of composure, attempted to bring order to the iron discipline of his regulars.  He sat atop his horse, peering into the smoke, or rode amongst them, sword in hand, several horses falling beneath him.159 

The regulars held, refusing to break, until a musket ball slammed into Braddock's back, knocking him out of the saddle.  The battle to that point had lasted three long hours.  The colonials, meanwhile, had broken ranks and either fled to the rear or took whatever cover they could find in the surrounding woods and ravines.  Crouching behind trees or burnt out stumps, some were mistaken for Indians or Canadians and fell under the fire of devastating British volleys.  Captain Adam Stephens's Virginians at  the rear of the main column took to the woods and fought like Indians, but Stephens also fell wounded in the melee.  Even the camp followers driving cattle at the rear of the main column suffered from the well-directed enemy fire; fewer than half of the 50 or so women who had marched with the column that morning were taken captive by the French and Indians; the others fell.160 

And then the regulars, witnessing or hearing of Braddock's fall, without formal orders, began to retreat towards the Monongahela ford they had crossed that morning.  The retreat was orderly until they reached the river, where they endured a charge of screaming, tomahawk-wielding Indians.  Taking counsel of their fears, which had been building up from the time they had left Fort Cumberland, "The Old Standers" finally broke.  Believing they were about to be massacred, "Men fled screaming in terror, sometimes running for miles before they collapsed, exhausted.  Only when the panic had finally spent itself could the surviving sergeants and officers reassert control and organize the men into units once more."  By then, the battle was over.  The Indians turned away from the retreating British and fell upon the wounded, the bodies of the dead, and their bound captives back at the scene of battle.  Some of them, along with the French and Canadians, found the expedition's stock of rum, which soon rendered them hors de combat.  Many stopped to gather up what booty they could carry, which also made them useless for an effective pursuit.  Lieutenant Colonel Washington, who had stayed at Braddock's side during most of the battle, losing two horses to enemy fire, rode all night to reach the second division column so that they could provide aid to the mob of his fellow countrymen fleeing from disaster, both real and imagined.161 

After two days of flight, the survivors of Braddock's defeat made contact with the second division, and only then could they rest and eat.  Many of the seriously wounded had been left on the trail to die.  The second division units threw away weapons, supplies, and ammunition to free up wagons for the seriously wounded who had managed to survive the retreat.  Braddock, a musket ball lodged in his chest, had been carried away from the battlefield in a bouncing wagon that only prolonged his agony.  As he lay dying, Braddock "bequeathed to Washington a pair of pistols and what may have been his most treasured possession, a blood-red military sash twelve feet long that had belonged to Braddock's father," such was the general's esteem for the young Virginian.  Braddock lingered for five days, dying on July 14.  His men "buried him without ceremony in the middle of the road, then the entire army marched over his unmarked grave to keep it from being discovered by the enemy troops, who everyone believed were still in pursuit."  His resting place lay only five miles from Jumonville's Glen and about a mile from the site of Washington's Fort Necessity.  Back at Fort Cumberland, casualty figures were tabulated:  two-thirds of Braddock's flying column had been killed or wounded, and deaths among the teamsters, female camp followers, and especially the Virginia volunteers were staggeringly high in number.  The French and Indians, on the other hand, lost only 23 dead and 16 seriously wounded in the fight.  Ironically, though, despite their signal victory, Fort Duquesne was more vulnerable than ever.  Few of Contrecoeur's Indians returned to the fort after the battle; they hurried home, instead, laden with loot and captives, but they promised to return.  The remnants of Braddock's force still outnumbered the French garrisons, but the British were in no condition to resurrect the campaign.  The only surviving regular colonel, Thomas Dunbar, reorganized what was left of the two redcoat regiments, left at Fort Cumberland only a small garrison of Virginia volunteers and an independent company of regulars from South Carolina, and retreated across country to Philadelphia, where he ordered his men into "winter quarters" at the end of July.162  

This left the Pennsylvania and Virginia frontiers vulnerable to French and Indian depredation.  In response to Braddock's disastrous defeat, Governor Dinwiddie called more Virginia militiamen to arms, the Burgesses authorized funds to raise a fresh regiment of volunteers and to award 10-pound bounties for Indian scalps.  Washington, now a full colonel, would command the new provincial force.  Virginia, in other words, had gone to war.  Pity the Indian, Frenchman, or Roman Catholic who appeared in the Old Dominion during this autumn of mass hysteria.163


Braddock's offensive in the Ohio country was not the only one to fail that summer.  While Dunbar's regulars "cringed at Philadelphia," William Johnson's campaign against Crown Point in upper New York "was proceeding at a snail's pace."  From Albany, Johnson moved north towards Lake Champlain but got no farther than Lac St.-Sacrement, today's Lake George.  Ahead, near present-day Ticonderoga, at the southern end of Lake Champlain, were French troupes de terre, sent there by the Baron de Dieskau, blocking the way to Fort St.-Frédéric.  North of Lake Champlain, in the Richelieu valley, were even more French regulars prepared to move in any direction.  Dieskau's troupes de terre also were stationed with him at Fort Frontenac, on the north side of the outlet for Lake Ontario.  Although Johnson's force numbered 3,000 colonial militia and 300 Mohawks, he chose to go no farther.  The expedition against Fort Niagara, led by Governor-turned-General William Shirley, also began at Albany.  Delayed by cut-throat competition with Johnson's officers for local supplies and personnel, Shirley's expedition also had fallen behind schedule.  Complicating matters further, Shirley became embroiled in an unseemly dispute with James De Lancey, New York's royal governor and long-time political enemy of Shirley's New York associate, Admiral George Clinton.  Braddock's defeat only complicated matters for the two expeditions, especially their funding.  Shirley nonetheless pressed on with the 50th and 51st regiments of Foot to Lake Ontario.  But when he reached Fort Oswego, the old British trading post on the south shore of the lake, he found it "virtually indefensible, and therefore unsuitable to serve as a supply base for the army's advance by boat against Niagara."  Forced to rebuild the dilapidated structure, he ordered supplies to be brought up and sent his regulars into early winter quarters before hurrying back to Manhattan to establish headquarters as Braddock's successor.164 

By then, it had become apparent that the only one of the expeditions in Braddock's grand offensive had met with any success.  It just happened to be the one nearest to Shirley's heart--Monckton's offensive at Chignecto. 

Shirley, Lawrence, and the Acadians, 1754-1755

Months before Braddock designated him as his second in command during the war conference at Alexandria, Shirley had demonstrated his prowess as a military strategist as well as a political leader.  In April 1754, he convinced the General Court to authorize a military expedition to the Kennebec River to halt further French and Indian incursions and consolidate New English positions there.  Shirley promptly explained his strategic vision to the British lords in a May 8 letter to Sir Thomas Robinson, secretary of state for the Southern Department.  Once the Kennebec was secured, the governor intimated, he planned to raise "a combined force of men" from Nova Scotia and New England to drive the French away from the St. John River and the Chignecto isthmus as well.  This would clear French forces from the entire region south of their stronghold at Louisbourg.  Reports from Virginia and the Pennsylvania frontier added urgency to Shirley's regional strategy.  The General Court approved of Shirley's endeavor, and he set it into motion during the heat of summer.  Massachusetts Major-General John Winslow, with 800 Yankee militiamen, constructed two forts along the Kennebec--Fort Western, at present-day Augustus; and Fort Halifax, at Winslow--from which they could neutralize the local Abenaki or threaten French Canada if the opportunity arose.  By August 20, Shirley, writing from Casco Bay, informed Lord Halifax in London that the Kennebec operation was a glowing success and that he and his colleague in Nova Scotia, Lieutenant-Governor Charles Lawrence, were planning further operations in the region, at Chignecto and on the St. John.  Shirley reassured Lord Halifax that he was relieved to find Lawrence "'of sentiment with me, that the refusal of the revolted Inhabitants of Chignecto to comply with the terms, upon which they had permission given to come to their former possessions there, is happy for the country, and even thinks it would be fortunate, if a favourable opportunity should offer for ridding His Majesty's Government there of the French Inhabitants of the two districts of Minas and Annapolis River...."09b

Lawrence, aware of Acadian resistance during King George's War and especially during the current struggle with Le Loutre and the Mi'kmaq, was open, like Shirley, to the harshest measures to subdue a threatening population.  Naomi Griffiths reminds us that, "as has been shown earlier" in its history, "the British crown considered transportation of recalcitrant or rebellious populations, whether Scots, Cornish, or English, an acceptable procedure."  In December 1720, the Lords of Trade had informed Governor Philipps:  "'We are inclined to believe that the French inhabitants of Nova Scotia will never become good subjects of His Majesty; for that reason we think that they should be transported elsewhere as soon as the re-enforcements which we intend to send will have arrived in Nova Scotia.'"  Those "re-inforcements"--Protestant settlers--did not come, at least not for another 29 years, and Philipps viewed expulsion on any level as impractical and dangerous.  Lawrence and Shirley were well aware of the history of British and European "transportation," as well as the benefits that could accrue for New England and Great Britain if these troublesome "French Neutrals" were removed from the scene.09d 

In the spring of 1748, during the final days of King George's War, Shirley, with the approbation of Lieutenant-Governor Mascarene, had sent Captain Charles Morris, a New English militia officer who happened to be a competent cartographer, back to Nova Scotia to survey the colony "in anticipation of the settlement of Protestant emigrants" there.  Morris, a survivor of the attack at Grand-Pré the year before, had no love for the Acadian habitants and rarely missed "an opportunity to advocate their destruction."  In May, Mascarene sent him to survey the Minas Basin, and in June he moved on to Chignecto with 50 men.  In August, employing a vessel commanded by his fellow New Englander, Captain Silvanus Cobb, Morris surveyed the Bay of Fundy, which "at that time," Morris's biographer tells us, was "'Utterly unknown to the English.'  During the course of the survey," his biographer goes on, "Morris collected from every Acadian district the number of inhabitants and the state of their settlements."  Foul weather prevented his survey of the north shore of the Bay of Fundy down to Passamaquoddy Bay, but what Morris recorded along the south Fundy shore gave Shirley exactly what he had hoped for--an up-to-date, extraordinarily detailed status report on a colony which he was determined to resettle with proper New Englanders.  In February 1749, Shirley forwarded Morris's 107-page report to the Duke of Bedford, who oversaw the British colonies in North America.  Although the resettlement scheme was stifled by the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle, signed the previous October, Morris's work was eminently valuable to the British shakers and movers, especially when they drew up plans that led to the creation of Halifax and the settlement of British and German Protestants there; Morris, in fact, had recommended such a fort be built on the Atlantic side of the peninsula to counter the French presence at Louisbourg and protect the British fisheries.  Morris helped lay out the streets of Halifax; Cornwallis was so impressed with his performance that he named him provincial surveyor-general in September 1749.  In 1751, during Cornwallis's final days as governor, Morris submitted a report to his former mentor, Governor Shirley, then in Europe working as a British delegate on the joint North American boundaries commission.  In his report, Morris "argued that the province would never be secure as long as the Acadians continued in possession of the 'chief granary of the country (and) all the water communication.'  It would be impossible to settle Protestants in the province, he concluded, 'without their removal.'"  Morris "urged a military campaign against the inhabitants at Chignecto and Chipoudy Bay.  'They are at all adventures to be rooted out, and the most effectual way is to destroy all these settlements by burning down all their houses, cutting the dikes, and destroying all the grain now growing.'"  Morris submitted a similar report to Governor Hopson the following year, in which he threw in the suggestion of removing the habitants of Cobeguit, who he insisted had been supplying Mi'kmaq raiding parties as they returned to their old haunts on the Shubenacadie.  And then came news from the Ohio frontier that the French had destroyed a British fort, precipitating, perhaps, another general war between the imperial powers.  In the summer of 1754, Morris presented to Lawrence and the colonial Council a thorough plan "for the removal of all the Acadians."09c 

But Shirley and Lawrence needed a pretext beyond Acadian refusal to take an unqualified oath of allegiance to justify as radical a measure as their mass deportation; even the qualified oath they had taken under Philipps made them de facto subjects of King George II.  A dispassionate observer, such as perhaps Paul Mascarene, could testify to the fact that the great majority of Acadians took very seriously their decades-long status as "French Neutrals."  During the previous war and in the current petite guerre, many of them refused to join in the fight against the British.  Watching them suffer at the hands of French officers and Le Loutre's Mi'kmaq, one could make a case that only a minority of them were openly hostile towards Britain.  And then there was the sheer magnitude of a forced removal.  Transporting with any efficiency thousands of Acadians to who knows where would be a logistical nightmare.  And where would they go?  They could not be allowed to choose for themselves where they would build new homes; most would seek out their fellow Frenchmen and swell the ranks of the partisan bands who were doing enough damage in the province.  Shirley and Lawrence had much to ponder about the fate of the "French Neutrals."  As Shirley's August 20 missive to the Board of Trade reveals, they possessed the will, but not the wherewithal just yet, to be rid of these troublesome people.09

While he and Shirley were planning their attack against the Chignecto forts following Shirley's triumph on the Kennebec, the idea of forced removal in Nova Scotia retained a prominent place in Lawrence's thinking.  On the first of August 1754, after inspecting the destruction at Lawrencetown at the hands of Mi'kmaq and Acadian raiders, and perhaps inspired by Morris's removal plan, Lawrence expressed to the Lords of Trade his determination to "putting a stop to the many inconveniences we have long laboured under from their obstinacy, treachery, partiality to their own Countrymen, and their ingratitude for the favor, indulgence and protection they have at all times so undeservedly received from His Majesty's Government."  After reciting a list of grievances against the people who "have always affected a neutrality," he addressed the thorny question of imposing an unqualified oath on them:  "As they possess the best and largest Tracts of Land in this Province, it cannot be settled with any effect while they remain in this situation, and tho' I would be very far from attempting such a step without your Lordships approbation, yet I cannot help being of opinion that it would be much better, if they refuse the Oaths, that they were away." 

So there it was, his true feelings on the matter of the oath and expulsion, but it would take months before the Lords in London could respond to his ominous hint.  Meanwhile, he and his Council had to deal "with the day-to-day administration of a sparsely settled colony, with a minimum of troops...," Naomi Giffiths explains.  "Together they were responsible for the way in which the civil administration of the colony was carried out and for the security of its settlements.  The questions confronting them involved not only the usual difficulties of colonial administrations with matters of local government, but also the complex relationship of the British administration with the Mi'kmaq and the Acadians.  As well, there was the constant problem of France's strength on the borders of the colony and its influence upon the Acadian population."  Nor could he ignore another report of Morris's, submitted to him the year before.  In it, the surveyor-general analyzed the slow growth of Halifax and the surrounding settlements, describing them as no more than "garrison communities."  Morris pointed out the unpleasant fact that many settlers there, "lacking employment, abandoned the colony as soon as they had expended the provision bounty."  In Morris's view, "the settlement could not prosper until farmers and fishermen had migrated into the region."  In other words, four years after the founding of Halifax, the Acadians not only still held "the best and largest Tracts of Land," but they also remained the only true farmers in British Nova Scotia, and this had not changed in the intervening year.  He could do nothing about the slowness of communication with his British superiors in London, so Lawrence had no choice but to "act independently, decisive, and with dispatch on matters that were brought either directly to their attention or to his notice through meetings of the Council," including the question of removal and resettlement.09a

After the raid on Lawrencetown, the petite guerre with Le Loutre and his minions cooled a bit.  Early in the summer of 1754, representatives of a Mi'kmaq community from the southern end of the peninsula appeared at Halifax to negotiate a peace with the new lieutenant governor.  The chiefs repudiated Le Loutre and their kinsmen at Chignecto and wished to remain friends with the British.  The Council agreed to send them food, blankets, and even ammunition, and other Mi'kmaq leaders, disillusioned with Le Loutre, offered to negotiate a peace.  "Although arrogance and pure diplomatic clumsiness prevented [Lawrence] from seizing the opportunity, the initiatives suggested serious difficulties behind the French lines."  And then the abbé himself, keeping in mind what he had learned in France about negotiations on the North American boundaries, began discussions with Captain John Hussey, the commander of Fort Lawrence, and with Lawrence himself, "on the possibility of peace."  Hussey, amazingly, took the priest seriously, though Lawrence did not.  For several weeks, Le Loutre and Louis Dupont Duchambon de Vergor, the new commander at Fort Beauséjour, engaged Hussey in conversations via messenger which at least halted Mi'kmaq attacks.  Seeing that Hussey had taken the bait, Le Loutre "drew up a proposal for presentation to the Governor's Council at Halifax.  He offered a guarantee that the Mi'kmaq would no longer molest or insult the English, in return for ceding them all but the southwest corner of the province."  The proposed boundary line would run "from Cobeguit to Canso," and, "in effect," would have "required the British to give up Chignecto and with it, Fort Lawrence."  On September 9, the Council--that is, Lawrence--informed Hussey that Le Loutre's proposal was preposterous but that "they were willing to enter into peace discussions with the Mi'kmaq directly 'on reasonable terms.'"  Le Loutre was overjoyed by the response and used it to demonstrate to his Mi'kmaq followers that the British were not willing to negotiate a peace.  With that, the discussions with Hussey ended abruptly, and Le Loutre prepared his Mi'kmaq for resumption of petit-guerre.42

By then, Le Loutre had gained an ally in the fight against the British.  On Le Loutre's recommendation, the Abbé de L'Isle-Dieu sent Father Henri Daudin, a native of Blois and a fellow Séminarian, then serving "a rich parish in the diocese of Sens," to Nova Scotia.  He reached Halifax in October of 1753, was received cordially by Governor Hopson, and moved on to his new parish at Pigiguit.  Abbé Daudin wasted no time urging his parishioners "to make 'visits'" to Chignecto, specifically to Memramcook, where they could become of part of Le Loutre's Nouvelle-Acadie west of the Missaguash.  Like Le Loutre, Daudin suspected the loyalty of Abbé Jean-Baptiste Gay Desenclaves, the pastor at Annapolis Royal, and did his best to have him recalled.  Desenclaves, doubtlessly informed of the treachery of his colleagues, retreated to Pobomcoup in April 1754, and Daudin replaced him at Annapolis.  The Séminarians maintained a vigorous correspondence, some of which, unfortunately for them, was intercepted by a Frenchman spying for the British at Chignecto.  Lieutenant-Governor Lawrence now knew that there was another priest in the colony collaborating with the French against him.42a 

It did not take long for Father Daudin to run afoul of the lieutenant-governor and his Council, which included not only Lawrence as its president, but also Benjamin Green, John Collier, William Cotterell, Robert Monckton, and John Rous.  In late September, a dispute arose at Pigiguit between Captain Alexander Murray, commander at Fort Edward, and some of the habitants.  The matter seemed simple enough on the surface--settlers refused to provide wood for the garrison--but when 86 of them signed a "remonstrance" stating that their "deputies were of unanimous opinion that their oath did not bind them to supply the fort with wood but only to live in tranquillity on their lands," the matter became political.  Moreover, in his covering letter to Lawrence and the Council, Murray confided that Father Daudin, who was serving Pigiguit as well as Annapolis, likely was behind the settlers' recalcitrance.  The priest had been "'very busy,' since, before his arrival, the 'Inhabitants (had) brought in their fast ... and not one Stick since.'"  Murray said the priest had told him "that there were three hundred armed Indians in the region and that 'the inhabitants to the number of three thousand had assembled together to consult mischief against the English and that tho' they had not all arms yet they had hatchetts.'"  Murray said the priest was certain "the inhabitants personally hated" the governor, that they "disliked his Government so much, they could never be easy under it...."  Murray did add that he consulted with some of the trustworthy habitants at Pigiguit, and they refuted everything the priest had told him, that "they were astonished and declared they had no Intention ever to take up Arms...."  Lawrence ordered Abbé Daudin and the five Pigiguit delegates brought under military guard to Halifax to appear before the Council.  On the evening of October 2, Lawrence and his councilors interrogated Father Daudin and four of the delegates:  Claude Broussard, Charles LeBlanc, Baptiste Gaillaird (perhaps Jean dit Petit Jean, older brother of Alexandre dit Misgucess Chavet dit La Gerne), and Joseph Hébert.  Jacques Forest, a fifth delegate, having fallen from a barn, was too injured to accompany his fellows.  "The deputies denied any intent to disobey the commands of Captain Murray but said that not all of them had wood available for the garrison."  Daudin insisted that he acted "'only as a simple missionary to occupy himself in Spiritual affairs and not Temporal.'"  He denied advising the habitants to defy any orders from the British commander and denied be the author of the remonstrance, all of which contradicted what Captain Murray had written to the lieutenant governor.  The Council held the priest and the delegates in Halifax overnight.  On the following day, after hearing more testimony, they ordered the delegates to return to Pigiguit and "immediately bring in the Wood as had been ordered, which Duty if they neglected any longer to perform they would certainly suffer military Execution.'"  Refusing to believe the priest's defense, they accused him of fomenting sedition among the inhabitants and banished him from the colony.  However, during the following weeks, the habitants at Pigiguit and Minas petitioned the Council to allow their pastor to stay.  Father Daudin, meanwhile, had made a "solemn promise to change his conduct."  On October 21, the Council relented and allowed Father Daudin to remain with his parishioners.42c 

Lawrence no doubt was aware that Pigiguit delegate Claude Broussard was an older brother of Acadian partisans Alexandre and Joseph dit Beausoleil of Petitcoudiac, "lieutenants" of Abbé Le Loutre.  In the wake of King George's War, Shirley and Mascarene had purged the colony of active partisans east and south of the Missaguash, and Lawrence himself had seen to it that none remained in the British-controlled areas during the petite guerre with Le Loutre.  Yet here, perhaps, was a latent connection between the Chignecto partisans and a British-controlled settlement.  Lawrence and his commanders must keep a wary eye on these so-called "French Neutrals."319

The lieutenant-governor, through his spies and other informants, was aware of who among the French clergy at least were not his enemies.  Father Claude-Jean-Baptiste Chauvreulx, a Sulpician, had come to British Nova Scotia in 1735 to serve at Pigiguit and had been the only priest in the Minas Basin since 1749.  Despite a clash with Laurence Armstrong soon after he came to the colony, Father Chauvreulx, like Father Desenclaves at Annapolis, was a priest who seemed to care more about meeting the spiritual needs of his parishioners than stirring up trouble with the British.  During King George's War, in fact, Father Chauvreulx had discouraged his parishioners at Pigiguit from taking up arms to help the French.  Yet, in February 1747, the habitants at Pigiguit had materially assisted Coulon de Villiers's attack at Grand-Pré, and here they were, under the influence of a Le Loutre confederate, defying the orders of one of his commanders.42b

The Acadians at Minas and Pigiguit constituted the largest population of French settlers in the colony.  That there was discontent among them, as well as among their cousins at Annapolis and Cobeguit, there could be no doubt.  But much of it resulted from British efforts to maintain control of these people and the fruits of their labor.  On September 17, Lawrence and the Council addressed, again, the ancient problem of smuggling, which now, they believed, threatened "the Halifax Market."  Lawrence issued a proclamation forbidding the export of "Corn" without the proper permit from the governor himself.  On October 5, other grains were added to the list of proscribed items.  Here was yet another attempt to curtail an activity from which the Acadians had profited for decades.  Ironically, the trade with Louisbourg was an endeavor in which Shirley's New Englanders also engaged, on a much larger, and therefore more profitable, scale.  The previous spring, in his official report to the Lords of Trade, Lawrence had complained of the practice.  More ominously, however, Lawrence was receiving reports of Acadians at Minas trading not only with Louisbourg, but also with the French and Indians along the north shore of the Bay of Fundy.  In the dispatches that arrived in October, the Lords addressed the problem of illicit trade, but, in the end, only shrugged their collective shoulders and admitted that "there was little that could be done to prevent it."  There were not enough British warships the King could spare to intercept the hundreds of smaller vessel engaged in the contraband trade.  Lawrence's proclamations joined the stack of others issued by previous governors that, in the words of Naomi Griffiths, "had little chance of success."320

In truth, Lawrence, his councilors, and his commanders had no more control over the colony's inhabitants than they did of the illicit trade with Louisbourg and Chignecto.  Griffiths says it best:  "In many ways, the problems of Acadian trade was indicative of the broader problems that Lawrence and his Council faced in dealing with the population's general behaviour.  The Acadians were spread throughout a considerable territory, a territory that was divided into zones rule by two different and competing empires, both of which wanted to possess all of the land in question and considered the Acadians as no more than a people subject to their competing claims.  The Acadians, however, considered themselves to have rights of settlement throughout the territory, no matter who governed a particular area.  The majority of the population looked upon themselves as the rightful inhabitants of the lands they farmed, the woods they hunted, the seas they fished.  While the Acadian population was small" compared to New England or Canada "in 1754, numbering somewhere between fourteen and eighteen thousand people, and widely dispersed, it was a population that had a considerable sense of community identity.  Information, true or false, would be known from Annapolis Royal to the Chignecto isthmus, from Louisbourg to the Minas Basin, from Île Saint-Jean to Pisiquid, in a matter of weeks, if not days."  Moreover, within those settlements in British territory one could find families who, like the Robichauds in the Annapolis valley or notary René LeBlanc at Minas, had accommodated themselves to British rule for decades, "and others who hoped and worked for the arrival of French government such as members of the Theriault family in Pisiquid.  By far the majority of the population, however, went about their lives, taking as little notice as possible of the officials, secular or religious, French or British, who attempted to regularize their conduct."321

This did not mean that the great majority of the Acadians in Nova Scotia were indifferent to what was happening in the world around them.  By the autumn of 1754, Acadians even in the most quiet corners of the colony remembered the fate of their kinsmen at Chignecto five years earlier.  In the years following, many of them had seen cousins, siblings, or, most painful of all, their children emigrate to the trois-rivières or to the French Maritimes to escape the chaos along the Missaguash or the hard policies at Pigiguit and Minas.  Some had even gone themselves but could not endure what they had found there.  The settlers at Cobeguit held their collective breaths each time a herd of cattle or a shipment of grain rumbled through their community on its way to the Mer Rouge and Louisbourg.  Unlike Annapolis, Grand-Pré, or Pigiguit, where fortified British garrisons burdened the population, Cobeguit had escaped a fortification of its own.  With a word from the Council at Halifax, however, that could change very quickly.  The habitants at Cobeguit and in the "occupied" communities asked one another the same troubling question:  should they remain in their settlements and cling to neutrality or join the exodus to territory controlled by France?  Each family in each settlement had to decide for itself how to cope with the darkening conflict.322

In late October, a letter reached Halifax from London, where the Duke of Newcastle recently had been promoted to the King's head of government.  The letter, included in Lawrence's official dispatches, was dated 5 July 1754, nearly a month before his August 1 comment wishing the Acadians "were away" and months before those words could have been read at Whitehall.  Most importantly, the letter was penned by Sir Thomas Robinson, Newcastle's replacement as head of the colonial office.  In it, Robinson authorized a concerted operation against the Chignecto forts, urged continued cooperation between Lawrence and Shirley, and then expressed these ominous sentiments:  "It is certain that by the Treaty of Utrecht their becoming subjects to Great Britain (which We Apprehend they cannot be but by taking the Oaths required of Subjects) is made an express Condition of their countenance, after the Expiration of a Year, and therefore it may be a question well worth considering, how far they can be treated as Subjects without taking such Oaths, and whether their refusal to take them, will not operate to invalidate the Titles to their Lands; it is a question, however, which We will not take upon ourselves absolutely to determine, but could wish that you would consult the Chief Justice upon this Point, and take his Opinion, which may serve as a foundation for any future measure it may be thought advisable to pursue with regard to the Inhabitants in general."  Robinson goes on:  "As to those of the District of Chignecto, who are actually gone over to the French at Beau Sejour, if the Chief Justice should be of opinion that by refusing to take the Oaths without a reserve, or by deserting their Settlements to join the French, they have forfeited their Title to their Lands, We could wish that proper Measures were pursued for carrying such Forfeiture into Execution by legal Process, to the end that you might be enabled to grant them to any persons desirous of settling there, where We apprehend a Settlement would be of great utility, if it could, in the present situation of things, be effected; and as Mr. Shirley has hinted in a Letter to the Earl of Halifax that there is a probability of getting a considerable number of People from New England to settle there, you would do well to consult him upon it; but," Robinson concludes, "it appears to Us that every Idea of an English Settlement at this place would be absurd but upon a supposition that the French forts at Beau Sejour, Bay Verte &c are destroyed, the Indians forced from their Settlements, and the French driven to seek such an Asylum as they can find in the barren island of Cape Breton and St. Johns and in Canada."  Robinson later repudiated the "ill-advised letter," but not before Shirley used it as authority to push the Chignecto offensive, and Lawrence considered it official sanction for the harshest measures against the French and Indians.167a   

Shirley was the first to respond to Robinson's dispatch with a letter dated November 11.  The governor concentrated, of course, on his plans for "'driving the French of Canada out of Nova Scotia.'"  He was convinced that "war was imminent and that 'if an open Rupture should happen between the two Crowns before the French were dislodg'd,'" the French, with "'the superior number of the inhabitants there who are in the French Interest," would triumph over the British.  He "believed that, should Nova Scotia be lost, 'the Eastern parts of the Province of Massachusetts Bay, and the whole Province of New Hampshire ... together with the Rivers of St. John's, Pentagoet [Penobscot], and Kennebeck with the whole fishery to the Westward of Newfoundland' would soon be in French hands."167 

In February 1755, about the time that Major-General Edward Braddock arrived at Hampton Roads, Shirley appeared before the General Court in Boston, chaired by the formidable William Pepperell, to inform them of his plans for Nova Scotia.  Ample benefits for the colony and the nation would accrue from the capture of the Chignecto forts, he reassured the delegates.  Among these benefits would be the "'ridding the Province of its dangerous Neighbours, with all the Mischiefs that threaten'd it from their remaining so near.'"  New England merchants would reap fat profits provisioning the operation.  Although he could not say it in a public forum, the capture of the forts would benefit the governor as well.  An historian of the coming war reminds us that the success of such an operation "promised a harvest of patronage that would increase [Shirley's] influence over Massachusetts politics--but he had also realized that it would be popular among New England colonists interested in finding lands to colonize outside their own increasingly-crowded region. ...  Since the Crown had agreed to pay the wages of the troops, no political objection had been raised in the New England assemblies, and as Shirley had guessed, popular enthusiasm for the expedition quickly filled the ranks."  Here were New Englanders eager to defeat the French again as they had done at Louisbourg a decade earlier, but this time they would remain at the scene of conquest, not to die by the hundreds in a cold, hard winter but to seize from the disloyal population of Nova Scotia their possessions, their animals, and, above all, their land, on which they would make new homes for themselves and their families.  Nova Scotia would become a proper British colony, filled with loyal Anglophone Puritans, not disloyal French-speaking papists.324 

With the approbation of the General Court, Shirley recruited two battalions of Massachusetts volunteers, to be formed into a regiment named for the governor and, during their year of service in Nova Scotia, commanded by experienced officers.  Shirley chose to command his first battalion 52-year-old John Winslow of Marshfield, Massachusetts, "a member of one of the most prominent families of New England" whose grandfather and great-grandfather had served as governor of Plymouth Bay colony.  As a captain of provincial troops, Winslow had served in the "abortive" expedition against Spanish Cuba in 1740.  As a captain of regulars in Philipps's 40th Regiment of Foot, his commission secured with the help of Governor Shirley, Winslow served at Annapolis Royal, Grand-Pré, and at St. John's, Newfoundland, during King George's War.  After the war, in 1752 and 1753, Winslow represented his native Marshfield in the General Court.  His most recent service, also at the behest of Governor Shirley, was as major-general of Massachusetts militia on the Kennebec River in Maine.  Mindful of the likelihood of financial gain, Winslow, as a provincial lieutenant-colonel, agreed to command not only his battalion, but also the regiment.  His popularity helped fill the companies of volunteers and push forward the operation.  Command of the second battalion fell to George Scott, also a former regular officer.  Scott, in fact, as a regular captain, had commanded at Fort Lawrence on the Missaguash until the previous autumn, having succeeded Monckton at the post a little over a year before.  And now Scott also was a provincial lieutenant-colonel, junior to Winslow.165

Lawrence, in the meantime, did his part to help push forward the Chignecto operation.  "Without authority," his biographer tells us, he would help finance the offensive "with the annual parliamentary grant for Nova Scotia" and provide 300 redcoat regulars from his garrisons to supplement Winslow's 2,000 Yankees.  He sent his most senior officer, Lieutenant-Colonel Robert Monckton, accompanied by Captain Scott, soon to be given a Yankee battalion, to borrow money from the Boston firm of Apthorp and Hancock, which would allow Monckton to purchase from the city's merchants supplies and ordnance for the Chignecto offensive.  These included  "'12 Eighteen pound guns with Appurtenances and 100 rounds of Ammunition wch. will bee about 150 barrels of Powder, Tents, Small Arms, Ammunition Flints and other things necessary for the Troops, Harness for 50 horses, 200 Bill Hooks, 500 Pickaxes, 500 Iron Shod Shovells, 50 Wheel barrows.'"  He authorized Monckton to remain at Boston over the winter to supervise that end of the operation.323

As a new year dawned and the Nova Scotia operation took palpable form in Boston, Lawrence, from the governor's house in Halifax, gave serious consideration to what would follow the capture of the Chignecto forts.  The most pressing question was what should be done with the Acadians living near the forts.  "As far as Lawrence was concerned," Professor Griffiths tells us, "the attitude of these Acadians could be expected to be the same as that of those who had asked to be readmitted to British-controlled territory:  argumentative, disputatious, and motivated by a strong belief that they had political rights that the British must respect."  This would include title to land they either had long occupied or had taken up since the destruction of Beaubassin five years before, all of which was not yet surveyed.  The official dispatch from the Board of Trade that reached Halifax at the end of January "was not, in any way, a clear directive for decisive action."  After discussing the Lunenburg settlers, relations with the Mi'kmaq, and approval to build a fort on the Shubenacadie below Cobeguit, the Lords "then turned to the issue of the status of the Acadians as British subjects.  They were as perplexed over this issue as they had been in the dispatch they had sent him" the year before.  "The best advice they could offer was that the matter should be referred to Chief Justice Jonathan Belcher," who had assumed that office at Halifax the previous October.325 

Belcher, a native of Boston, was 44 years old and still at bachelor at the time of his elevation to chief justice.  His pedigree was as impressive as that of any Yankee who had come to Nova Scotia to seek his fortune.  The son of a leading Boston merchant and councilor also named Jonathan Belcher, the new chief justice's father had served as governor of two colonies, Massachusetts and New Hampshire, from 1730 to 1741, and New Jersey from 1747 to 1757.  Moreover, the younger Belcher's maternal grandfather had served as lieutenant-governor of New Hampshire.  Like his father, the chief justice was a graduate of Harvard College; he, in fact, held two degrees from English America's oldest institution of higher learning, an A.B. and an A.M., and had studied mathematics at Cambridge in England, which awarded him a second master's degree in 1733.  His father had founded the College of New Jersey, now Princeton University, during his tenure as governor in that colony, and so Jonathan, Jr. accepted a third A.M. from that institution as well.  Belcher, however, was trained as a lawyer, having studied at the Middle Temple in London.  He was called to the English bar in 1734, but, being a colonial, he did not fare well in his London practice.  In 1741, he emigrated to Dublin, where he had family connections, but his law practice fared no better there.  On the recommendation of Lord Hardwicke, the chief justice of Great Britain, Belcher was appointed deputy secretary to the lord chancellor of Ireland in 1746.  With another legal scholar, Belcher helped codify English law in that occupied country.  In 1754, again upon the recommendation Lord Hardwicke, Belcher was appointed the first chief justice of Nova Scotia with an annual stipend of L500.  Prior to that time, the British colony had no formally trained officers of the law to handle legal questions arising at Annapolis and Halifax.  Governor Hopson had recommended the creation of the offices of attorney general and chief justice to fill that void.  Nova Scotia never received an attorney general, but the Lords approved the office of chief justice.  Following Belcher's investiture in an impressive ceremony held in the Council chambers at Halifax, the colony's General Court, consisting of the governor and the Council, gave way to a Supreme Court presided over by the new chief justice.  The functions of the new court "were the trial of criminal cases and of debt cases above a minimum sum, the review of cases appealed from the Inferior Court of Common Pleas and the proclamation of acts passed by the Council."  Here, at last, was enough power and influence to please the prickly nature of the privileged son, the successful scholar, and the unsuccessful lawyer from provincial Boston.  Belcher's biographer goes on to say:  "Both his English training and his Irish experience equipped him to oppose the Massachusetts precedents which had dominated the Nova Scotia courts prior to his arrival."  He could not know it, but this son of privilege would spend the rest of his days serving Nova Scotia in the new high office, and his contribution to the colony's history, and to the fate of the Acadians, would be significant and enduring.326 

Lawrence, as ordered, consulted Belcher on the question of the Acadians' status and found in him a kindred spirit.  The next dispatch from the Board of Trade, written on May 7, would not reach Halifax until the following autumn, so Lawrence and his Council, to which Belcher now belonged, must decide for themselves the fate of the French inhabitants, both at Chignecto and in the colony at large.  The chief justice, as a proper English jurist, would have reviewed for the lieutenant governor and his fellow councilors the customs and precedents, both historical and legal, concerning the "transportation" of recalcitrant subjects.  "Eighteenth-century society, French or British, Germanic or Hispanic, was hierarchical and brutal and paid considerable attention to hereditary rights," Professor Griffiths tells us.  "Government measures taken to control dissidents differed from state to state but were, without exception, ruthless, without mercy.  France chose to coerce rebellious subjects to more conformist behaviour within its frontiers or force them to leave; Britain transported them to its colonies."  Belcher could point to the fate of hundreds of thousands of Huguenots forced to flee France after the revocation of the Edict of Nantes in 1685.  Beginning with King James I in 1617, England deported indigents to its Virginia colony, where they worked as indentured servants.  The English Civil War of the 1640s "provided the greatest impetus to the practice of removing difficult subjects from the care of the home government to the colonies.  In 1648, when Cromwell's forces were unquestionably victorious, transportation for the defeated Stuart forces became commonplace," and Virginia earned its sobriquet, the Old Dominion.  "Scottish covenanters, youngsters from Ireland, and Scottish military exiles," Belcher could have explained, followed the Royalist exodus to the seaboard colonies and to the British West Indies.  The Jacobite rebellions of the early 1700s led to more deportations from the British isles.  Less a decade before, at Louisbourg, Lawrence himself had seen the result of mass deportation; he had joined the British garrison there in 1747, two years after the fall of the French citadel and the deportation not only of the French garrison but also 2,000 French inhabitants, including Acadians.  Lawrence, again, a few years later, contributed to the exile of at least 1,500 Acadians from the area east of the Missaguash. "And so there was nothing original, in late 1754 and early 1755, in Lawrence considering deporting the Acadians of the Beauséjour region," Naomi Griffiths explains, "and it is clear from his correspondence with Monckton that the lieutenant governor was, indeed, thinking seriously about such a possibility."327

Perhaps after consulting with Belcher, Lawrence concocted a clever tactic to make deportation at Chignecto both legal and proper In a letter written on January 29, Lawrence told Monckton, still in Boston, that, once the Chignecto forts were taken, "he would not have the oaths of allegiance proposed to 'the French Inhabitants' of the Chignecto area 'as their taking them would tye our hands and disqualify us to extirpate them, should it be found (as I fancy it will) ever-after necessary.'"  In other words, if the Acadians swore to an unqualified oath, their status as British subjects could not be questioned, and removing them would be legally problematic.  Lawrence could not ignore the bargain he had made with Shirley and Winslow in their efforts to recruit the New English battalions essential for the success at Chignecto.  "He was hopeful of populating the Beaubassin area with English-speaking Protestants," Naomi Griffiths explains, "concluding his letter to Monckton with the suggestion that, if any of the Massachusetts troops had the 'least disposition' to settle in the lands that were already controlled by the British but had been deserted since the burning of Beaubassin, they should be told that they would receive 'all the encouragement' he had the power to offer.  Lawrence ended his dispatch by saying that 'we must have an Eye to the security of this place; particularly after the Information we have received of the extraordinary Embarkation that went lately to Canada.'"328

Lawrence was referring to information he had just received perhaps in official dispatches from London.  The recent movement of Major General Edward Braddock and two regular regiments of British infantry to North America was being countered by a similar French movement of regulars to Louisbourg and Québec.  The British espionage network in France must have been amazingly competent to have discerned such a movement so early in its planning:  not until the first of March would the French Minister of Marine order Major-General Jean-Armand, baron de Dieskau, the military governor of Brest, to take six battalions of troupes de terre, France's equivalent of redcoat regulars, to North America.  And not until April 15--the day of Braddock's conference with the colonial governors in faraway Virginia--would the baron and his white-coated battalions sail from Brest.  Whether rumor or confirmed intelligence, Lawrence passed it on to Monckton.  Griffiths explains:  "For Lawrence, however, the rumour was almost as important as reliable information would have been.  Whether it reached him from Massachusetts or from elsewhere, it would have been readily accepted and stiffened his resolve to bring to an end, by all possible means, any further incursions into Nova Scotia from the Chignecto region."329 

Interestingly, the late winter and spring of the new year were relatively quiet ones in Nova Scotia, especially at Chignecto.  It had been nearly a year since Mi'kmaq and Acadian raiders struck a British settlement in the Halifax area, though the French at Louisbourg were doing their best to succor their forces in the region.  In April, the ever-vigilant Silvanus Cobb, while patrolling the coast for New English vessels trading illegally with Louisbourg, discovered at Port La Tour, near Cap-Sable, the French schooner Marguerite, "laden with provisions, guns, and other military stores" intended for the force on the lower St.-Jean.  Cobb hurried back to Halifax with the news, and Lawrence ordered him to blockade the port until a British warship, the HMS Vulture, could help him subdue the armed French vessel.  Cobb and the Vulture's commander, Captain William Kensey, squabbled over their share of the captured prize, and both of them came away substantially richer.  Meanwhile, the biggest troublemaker of them all, Abbé Le Loutre, back from his sojourn in France, was pushing construction of dykes in the marshes at Aulac and along the trois-rivières.  "His aim," Naomi Griffiths tells us, "was to stabilize the Acadian settlements, within the territory controlled by the French, by strengthening the development of traditional Acadian farming practices.  At the same time, he worked to persuade the Acadians to recognize his authority to confirm their rights to the lands they farmed.  The Acadians were hesitant, especially those who had their lands granted to them after 1710," when the British took over the colony.  Typically, "Many had no wish to accept greater regulation of their affairs from any source, whether from the military at Beauséjour or from Le Loutre personally."  No matter, the abbé did not relent in pressuring the habitants to swear unconditional allegiance to King Louis XV, "a demand that the French government had made ever since 1751 with respect to the Acadians who came under their control."  The abbé perhaps felt that he could do what he pleased behind the walls of Beauséjour, where Vergor and his troupes de la marine stood vigilant.  Lawrence's spy at Beauséjour related much of this information to his handler at Fort Lawrence, who passed it on to Halifax.  The lieutenant-governor and the Council certainly could make the case from information they had obtained that the French were organizing the Acadian settlements west of the Missaguash into an administrative entity stretching from Chepoudy to Baie-Verte, that "All this activity seemed to presage French determination to remain an effective power in the region and perhaps the possibility of French reoccupation of Nova Scotia."  But this was old news, years in the making.  The spy was reporting nothing truly alarming.  All was quiet on the Missaguash, at least for now.  Lawrence likely felt confident that the offensive at Chignecto would end the French menace there once and for all.330  

All was quiet also in the British-controlled communities up and down the Fundy shore.  To be sure, the habitants at Minas and Pigiguit, in the breadbasket of the colony, still seethed over Lawrence's decrees of the previous autumn condemning the smuggling of grain to Louisbourg and Chignecto.  At Pigiguit, Father Daudin, still communicating with Le Loutre beyond the Missaguash, was doing what he could to stir discontent among the habitants despite his "solemn promise" to Lawrence and the Council.  No matter, the spy at Chignecto made copies of the priests' communications, and so Lawrence was aware of that potential threat as well.  The exodus from British-controlled settlements to Chignecto and Île Royale, a veritable flood in the early 1750s, had slowed considerably, for good reason.  The habitants in Nova Scotia, either by direct experience or via the Acadian grapevine, were painfully aware of the suffering in the French-controlled areas, especially on the barren coasts above and below Louisbourg and in the crowded villages beyond the Missaguash.  They of course were hearing stories of wide dykable marshes, still untouched, lying along the Petitcoudiac and the Memramcook, but to get there, even by boat, was no easy matter.  Relatively few of Lawrence's regulars, at least 500 in number, were stationed across the peninsula at Halifax or in the German communities.  Most of them stood behind fortified walls at Annapolis, Grand-Pré, Pigiguit, and Chignecto.  Patrols of redcoats, led by young officers eager for action, probed the countryside surrounding the fortifications, and New English rangers in green and buckskin still haunted the spaces in between.  The rangers were especially evident in the Cobeguit area, where there was no fort and where so much of the smuggled grain and cattle was hustled on its way to Tatamagouche.  Thanks to his spy at Chignecto, Lawrence became aware of French intentions sometimes as they were being formulated.  Militarily at least, Lawrence and his officers held Nova Scotia in thrall.331 

Sadly for the Acadians, Lawrence's competence as a leader could not be matched by anyone the French had sent to the region to oversee their interests.  Augustin de Boschenry de Drucour, a naval officer and a Knight of the Order of St.-Louis, had replaced Charles-Joseph d'Ailleboust, the Comte de Raymond's successor, at Louisbourg the previous August and possessed a reputation for fairness, if not firmness.  Île St.-Jean was commanded now by Major Gabriel Rousseau de Villejoin, a native of Newfoundland who recently had remarried to a granddaughter of the long-dead seigneur of Beaubassin Michel Le Neuf de la Vallière.  Lieutenant Charles Deschamps de Boishébert, hero of Port-La-Joye and Grand-Pré, still commanded on lower Rivière St.-Jean and was developing into a competent commander.  Fifty-four-year-old Captain Benjamin Rouer de Villeray, who had come to Baie-Verte in 1753, commanded at Fort Gaspereau.  And then there were the officers at Beauséjour, whose competence, or lack of it, soon would be tested.  Defeat, for these French officers, meant tarnished reputations and perhaps a short stay in a prisoner-of-war camp, but for the Acadians along the Missaguash and in the British-controlled communities, defeat of French forces in greater Acadia was something they dared not contemplate.  Early spring meant repairing whatever damage the hard winter had inflicted on their houses, barns, dykes, and fences.  It also meant planting a new season of crops in the fertile fields behind their aboiteaux Perhaps their routines, as well as their stoicism, made them insouciant to hints of impending doom.  Again, Naomi Griffiths says it best:  Within their communities and in the wider world of their far-flung families "little had taken place that would have alerted the Acadians to the possibility of a major outbreak of warfare in their lands.  Evidently, only the vaguest of rumours about the recruitment of volunteers in Massachusetts for an expedition against Beauséjour had reached the Acadian population.  Certainly, the possibility of a major disruption of Acadian life throughout the Acadian villages of Nova Scotia would not have entered their minds.  As Lawrence prepared to make Nova Scotia a completely secure outpost of the British empire and to establish once and for all British control of the colony, the Acadian population, as a whole, still believed British administrators in Nova Scotia continued to take Acadian reactions into account when making policy decisions.  The existence of Halifax, of a Protestant population within the colony that was more than ten times what it had been a decade before, was not something that had made the Acadians consider any revision of their political stance.  For the majority of the population, the need to alter their religious beliefs and linguistic heritage in order to remain on their lands would have been unimaginable.  Even if the French never reclaimed Nova Scotia, the strong French presence in the region meant visible support for Acadian retention of their customs and traditions.  French control of Île Royale and Île Saint-Jean did not appear to be weakening at this time, especially after the return of Louisbourg to France in 1748.  Since then, the build-up of French forces in the Chignecto area had served to strengthen the conviction, among the British as well as among the Acadians, that France was prepared to defend its presence in the area and probably had plants to expand the territory under its control."332

As winter finally gave way to spring, Charles Lawrence, the well-informed man of action, may have considered the approaching season to be the capstone of a long career.  The previous November had marked a full year since he had succeeded Peregrine Thomas Hopson as governor of Nova Scotia.  Just as significantly, the coming August would mark half a dozen years since he had arrived at Halifax, still under construction, and had taken a seat in Cornwallis's colonial Council.  No officer now in the colony had served there as long in as many important positions as Lawrence.  Holding his cards close to his chest, not until the end of April and the first of May did he allow his own Council to discuss the Chignecto operation, "'now ripe for Execution,'" as he put it.  According to Lawrence's biographer, the Council "considered how to deal with the Acadians north [west] of the Missaguash once Beauséjour had fallen."  They decided those who had left the British-controlled settlements and "deserted to the French under the blandishments of Le Loutre could be punished for breaking their limited oath of allegiance to George II if they had taken up arms or assisted the French.  The other Acadians in this area could be required to depart to whatever destination the defeated garrison chose."333

The Acadians and the Fall of Fort Beauséjour, June 1755

Shirley and Lawrence, with Braddock's approval, had chosen well the officer to command the Chignecto offensive.  Lieutenant-Colonel Robert Monckton of the 47th Regiment of Foot was only 29 years old in the summer of 1755.  Born in Yorkshire, he was the second son of a viscount, which helped garner for him a commission in the 3rd Regiment of Foot Guards at the tender age of 15.  In the War of the Austrian Succession, the teenage officer saw action at Dettingen in Germany and at Fontenoy in Belgium where Charles Lawrence was wounded, but Monckton remained in Flanders when the British army hurried to Scotland in 1745 to crush the Jacobite rebellion at Culloden.  Monckton was only 18 years old in June 1744, when he was promoted to captain in the 34th Regiment of Foot.  He became the major of that regiment in February 1747, at age 20, and lieutenant-colonel of the 47th Regiment of Foot in February 1751, at age 24.  Later that year, following his father's death, Monckton took his family's controlled seat from Pontefract in the House of Lords, but his political career was short-lived; he soon received orders to report for duty in Nova Scotia.  He reached Halifax during the final months of Edward Cornwallis's governorship.  In August 1752, the new governor, Colonel Peregrine Thomas Hopson of the 29th Regiment of Foot, sent Monckton to command Fort Lawrence.  By then, Abbé Le Loutre had gone to Québec, and the petite guerre in the Chignecto area had cooled off considerably.  During his 10 months commanding on the Missaguash, Monckton revealed a penchant for diplomacy as well as war.  He regularly communicated with his counterpart across the river, Jean-Baptiste Mutigny de Vassan, commander of Fort Beauséjour, exchanging "notes, deserters, and runaway horses."  Monckton, always the soldier, gathered what intelligence he could about the French fort, its garrisons, and the partisans living in the area.  In June 1753, Hopson recalled him to Halifax to take a seat on the colonial council.  Monckton's first assignment under Hopson's successor, Charles Lawrence, a fellow lieutenant-colonel, was the suppression of an uprising among the Foreign Protestants at Lunenburg, down the coast from Halifax.  In the operation, which took place in December 1753, and its aftermath, Monckton's humane treatment of the conspirators, especially its leader, whom he brought back to Halifax to stand trial before the council, stood in stark contrast to Lawrence's stern, unyielding attitude towards anyone who threatened the peace--that is to say, his command--of the province.166

After Monckton received word from Shirley and Lawrence that they had picked him to command the offensive at Chignecto, he spent the winter of 1754-55 in Boston planning the operation and overseeing its logistics.  The young regular officer--Monckton was only age 28 when he arrived at Boston--soon quarreled with his second in command, Lieutenant-Colonel Winslow, who was old enough to be his father.  In April, Shirley, now second in command of British forces in North America, revealed to Monckton Braddock's grand offensive and Monckton's part in it.  By the third week of May, about the time that elements of Braddock's force were rendezvousing at Wills Creek on the north branch of the Potomac, Monckton, with Winslow's and Scott's 2,000 New Englanders, was ready to sail from Boston.168 

The French at Beauséjour, now commanded by Louis Dupont Duchambon de Vergor, were ready for them, or so they may have imagined.  In late 1754, a French agent in New England had notified Vergor of Shirley's and Monckton's activities at Boston.  The fort at Beauséjour, armed with eight 18-pounder guns, 32 smaller cannon, and a mortar, was the most impressive of the French fortifications in the region.  Its regular garrison of 14 officers and 150 men, protected by five bastions, could be reinforced by 160 natives and hundreds of Acadians from Aulac and the trois-rivières.  Yet, Naomi Griffiths tells us, "There had been no concerted effort during the last weeks of winter and the first weeks of more clement weather to recruit Acadians to strengthen the fort or to assemble those who had been given militia responsibilities."  Upon his arrival at Chignecto the previous summer, Vergor, son of Louis Dupont Duchambon of Louisbourg infamy, could see that his new post, then three years old, had serious problems.  He noted that, "among other disadvantages, 'the wells are of no use.  The water is thick and muddy and can never be made pure.'"  And yet "Little had been changed in the intervening months, since most of the available labour in the area had been corralled by Le Loutre to build dykes."  Even as spring, the traditional beginning of campaigning season, approached, Vergor and his officers, including his chief engineer, artillery lieutenant Louis-Thomas Jacau de Fiedmont, felt no sense of urgency.  Fort Gaspereau at Baie-Verte was in no better condition.  As its commander later pointed out, "Gaspereau was only a depot for stores to transit to Beauséjour; being no more than a palisade on four sides and blockhouses at the corners, which were partly rotted away."168a 

But the Chignecto forts were being neglected by the French far beyond their crumbling walls.  According to Naomi Griffiths, "It appears that Vergor's judgment that 'nothing unusual will take place in Acadia this year' was based as much upon lack of intelligence about British plans as upon inadequate analysis of what information he did have.  Indeed," Griffiths adds, "the French do not seem to have had any organized network of information among the Acadian settlers in British territory."  And then there was the larger context of French insouciance in the region.  Griffiths reminds us that French authorities failed to comprehend "the importance placed upon Nova Scotia by the British after 1748."  Moreover, "France had difficulty appreciating the influence of Massachusetts on British government policy and, therefore, had little understanding of the extent to which the interests of that colony had a steering effect on British policy in the region.  For France, the most important feature of the area was Louisbourg and its links to Quebec.  Nova Scotia was 'Acadia,' whose population was made up of Mi'kmaq, who were friendly to French interests, and a French-speaking Catholic people who were anxious to be returned to French rule in the next round of international treaties.  The importance of the Mi'kmaq in the military affairs of the region has been a matter of considerable debate and it is clear that fear of Mi'kmaq attacks played a part in the development of British policies.  Certainly, the French considered them an important bulwark against the British.  In short, France believed that no plans needed to be made for a major military expedition in this area after 1748, especially since the inland route between New France and Louisiana was of much more importance.  Future events would unfold in good time and Nova Scotia would once more return to France.  There was no suspicion that there would be an Anglo-American military attack on the French positions on the Chignecto isthmus and at the mouth of the Saint John River, even after the successful Massachusetts foray on the Kennebec" in 1754.  "French military efforts in the region were concentrated upon Louisbourg and keeping open the land route, via the Saint John River and the Chignecto isthmus, from Quebec to Baie Verte."  Griffiths concludes:  "The founding of Halifax, the establishment of a considerable immigrant population of close to five thousand in less than seven years, certainly worried the French administrators in the region but had no real impact on the development of French policy."180 

Unfortunately for everyone west of the Missaguash, one of Vergor's most trusted men, 55-year-old Thomas Pichon, his chief commissary and scribe, had been spying for the British the entire time that Vergor had been commander at Beauséjour!  Born at Vire, Calvados, Normandy, in March 1700, Pichon was the son of a minor merchant who wanted him to become a priest.  Thomas studied for a career in medicine, instead, but his father cut off his funds, forcing him to work as a legal clerk and as tutor for a seigneur's children.  In Paris, the clerk/tutor lived the life of a roué, reveling in his conquests of naive younger women.  Again clashing with his father, who took advantage of his son's expertise in the law but refused to compensate him, Thomas, now in his early 40s and still a bachelor, joined the army during the War of the Austrian Succession; he served in the commissariat in upper Alsace, the lower Rhine, and in the Netherlands.  His friendship with Jean-Louis de Raymond, appointed governor of Île Royale in 1751, brought Pichon to French North America as Raymond's secretary.  In 1752, Pichon accompanied Raymond on a tour of Île Royale and Île St.-Jean, gaining intimate knowledge of the geography of the region.  Meanwhile, even with Raymond's recommendation, Pichon failed to receive a lucrative appointment to the colony's Admiralty Court, so his relationship with the imperious governor quickly soured.  Pichon grew closer to commissaire-ordonnateur Jacques Prévost de La Croix, Raymond's political enemy.  When Raymond returned to France in 1753, Pichon remained at Louisbourg.  His new patron, with the approbation of Abbé Le Loutre, secured for him the position of commissary and chief clerk at Fort Beauséjour, which Pichon reached on 3 November 1753.  Thanks to Prévost's efforts, Pichon also held the position of scrivener and subdelegate to the intendant of New France, which gave him access to the most important French records, including those of Abbé Le Loutre.  Captain George Scott, in command at Fort Lawrence, had met Pichon at Louisbourg.  Evidently aware of the Frenchman's questionable character, he invited the scrivener to Fort Lawrence and offered him money for information about his fellow Frenchmen.  Pichon promptly turned his coat, and the result was a disaster for French interests in the region.  Using the alias "Tyrell," Pichon engaged in espionage for the British "For more than a year...."  Scott's successor, Captain John Hussey, continued the elaborate subterfuge.  The easy access between the officers of the opposing forts gave Pichon plenty of opportunity to pass on what he learned from his French superiors.  He handed over to Scott and Hussey "detailed accounts of French activities in Quebec and Acadia, plans of forts Beauséjour and Gaspereau ..., comments on the defences of Louisbourg, copies of official documents, censuses of Acadian refugees," even "gossip of the French court."  Every form of military document, including layouts of the other French forts in the area, ended up in the hands of the British captains, who promptly passed them on to Lieutenant-Governor Lawrence.  Pichon also befriended Abbé Le Loutre, nine years his junior, and Acadian partisan leader Joseph Broussard dit Beausoleil, who was only two years younger than Pichon.  The French traitor came to hate the fanatical priest, who, in his dispatches to Lawrence, he called "Moses" because Le Loutre had vowed "to lead Acadians to the promised land."  Pichon managed to get his hands on correspondence between Le Loutre and other priests, including Abbé Daudin at Pigiguit, which provided details "of subversive activities and planned attacks."  Taking advantage of his friendship with the Acadians, Pichon did what he could to discourage them from fighting alongside the Indians.  After Vergor became commander at Beauséjour in August 1754, Pichon informed his handlers that the new commander was "a desperately inept soldier who could scarcely read and write his own name.  He was also quick to point out that Vergor had a close friendship with François Bigot, the corrupt intendant [of New France and former commissaire-ordonnateur of Île Royale], and that since arriving at Beauséjour, Vergor had been engaged in underhand dealings that lined his pockets to the tune of about 60,000 livres."  More than once, Pichon claimed, Vergor served "as (Bigot's) pimp.'"  Unfortunately for French interests in the area, "The defences of Fort Beauséjour were in appalling condition, but the only labourers in the area--Acadian refugees--were unavailable to carry out repairs."  The abbé was working them "non-stop" on the resurrection of his dyking project, much of it destroyed by storm tides the previous spring.  Le Loutre's "needs took precedence over all else," Pichon informed his handlers, "and Vergor was too intimidated by" the well-connected priest "to do anything about it."  Moreover, Pichon advised the naive commander that the British would not attack the fort anytime soon.  This only confirmed Vergor's belief that nothing unusual would happen during the coming season.169


"While Braddock was still fuming at Fort Cumberland and waiting for his horses to arrive," Monckton's invasion force of 41 transports and three frigates of 20 guns each, under command of Captain John Rous, left Boston for Annapolis Royal on May 23.  Two days later, the fleet was at Annapolis, where it was joined by additional vessels from Halifax carrying some of the expedition's artillery, its military engineers, and 300 redcoats from the 45th (Warburton's) Regiment of Foot.  To protect the security of Monckton's movements, on May 27, while Monckton's force still lay at anchor in the Annapolis basin, Lawrence ordered Captain Alexander Murray at Minas to round up Acadian couriers--"French Deserters," he called them--especially one "Joseph Dugat, commonly called petit Joseph Dugat of Cobeguid," known to be active in the area delivering messages for the Abbé Le Loutre.  Lawrence authorized Murray to offer "Twenty Pounds Sterling" for the apprehension of any of the couriers and followed up the offer with the usual threat, which the Acadians also likely ignored:  "I desire you would, at this time also," Lawrence instructed Murray, "[to] acquaint the Deputies that their Happiness and future welfare depends very much on their present behaviour, & that they may be assured, if any Inhabitant either old or Young should offer to go to Beausejour, or to take arms or induce others to commit any Act of Hostility upon the English,  or make any Declaration in favour of the French, they will be treated as Rebels, their Estates and Families undergo immediate Military Execution, and their persons if apprehended shall suffer the utmost Rigour of the Law, and every severity that I can inflict; and on the other Hand such Inhabitants as behave like English Subjects, shall enjoy English Liberty & Protection."170a 

Monckton's armada sailed up the Bay of Fundy on June 1 and by sunset had reached the Baie de Chignecto, where it waited for the tide to turn.  Lawrence's efforts to interdict communication between the Acadian settlements was a glowing success; not even the Mi'kmaq were able to give Vergor a heads up on the comings and goings of British vessels in Acadian waters.  On June 2, "when Braddock's engineers were blasting rocks out of the road less than twenty-five miles from Wills Creek" at the beginning of their glacial approach to the Forks of the Ohio, Monckton's "New Englanders were off-loading cannon and provisions at Fort Lawrence."  Neither French sentries, Le Loutre's Mi'kmaq, nor Acadian partisans contested the landing.  By nightfall, the majority of Monckton's men had trudged their way through the marshy terrain to the safety of Fort Lawrence.  Across the Missaguash, Vergor finally had been notified of Monckton's approach; a courier, probably an Acadian, informed him that a British fleet had passed the entrance to the Minas Basin and was sailing up the bay.  Vergor hurried dispatches to Baie-Verte and Rivière St.-Jean to inform Villeray and Boishébert of the arrival of the British.  Hearing of it, Le Loutre finally released his Acadians to repair the walls of the fort.  Vergor also sent messages to Louisbourg and Québec pleading for reinforcements--with reports of the size of the British force coming in, his 160 troupes de la marine would be pathetically inadequate.  Ironically, on that very day, as Monckton's men trudged through the gates of Fort Lawrence, Governor Drucour at Louisbourg wrote to the Minister of Marine "that 'all was quiet on the frontiers of Acadie.'"170

Le Loutre and Vergor pleaded for help among the local Acadians, but the response was lukewarm.  "Many ... were tiring of the constant disruptions to their business and family lives and preferred not to get involved," a Canadian writer says of the majority of the Acadians enduring Le Loutre's Nouvelle-Acadie.  "Among the close to 1,500 refugees living in and around the fort, there was little enthusiasm for the fight.  All they really wanted was to resume their old way of life on their homesteads south of the Missaguash, but if they fought for the French, and the English won, that would never happen.  Some clung to the old excuse of neutrality; hundreds more fled into the forest; and the rest would agree to fight only if Vergor ordered them to do so, under pain of death--and they demanded that he put the order in writing.  While their women and children were taken away to a safe location in the forest, these Acadians reluctantly took up arms."  Not so the die-hard partisans in the area, especially the Broussards from the upper Petitcoudiac.  They eagerly became a part of the 300 Acadians who answered the call to arms.171 

On June 3, Monckton supervised the landing of the tents and the organization of the camps around Fort Lawrence, which was much too small to hold all of them.  On June 4, his advance began.  His field guns, protected by an infantry column, marched two miles north along the Beaubassin ridge and then down to Pont-à-Buot, the End Bridge, on the Missaguash. Here Monckton hoped to cross his entire force.  The French were ready for him.  Vergor sent to Pont-à-Buot a force of two junior officers, 20 troupes de la marine, and 200 or so Mi'kmaq and Acadians, including Joseph Broussard dit Beausoleil, all under Lieutenant Jacau de Fiedmont.  When Monckton's column debouched from Fort Lawrence, Jacau ordered the End Bridge destroyed, confident that this would halt the British assault, at least until reinforcements reached Beauséjour.  Near the bridge stood a three-sided redoubt, built even before Fort Beauséjour had appeared on the ridge behind it.  Like the fort, the redoubt was "in bad condition."  Jacau ordered four small swivel guns placed behind its walls to blast away at the New Englanders if they tried to cross the Missaguash above or below the burnt out bridge.  Seeing no alternative, Monckton forced a crossing.  "In the first exchange of fire between French and British soldiers in Nova Scotia since King George's War," John Grenier relates, "Monckton's artillerists opened up with counterbattery fire against the French guns and suppressing fire on the small group of French, Acadian, and Indian skirmishers."  Meanwhile, New English pioneers "performed bravely under fire and made short work of constructing another bridge."  According to Lieutenant-Colonel Winslow, towards the end of the hour-long exchange of fire, the Mi'kmaq "'retreated beyond the range of the guns and most of the Acadians followed them,'" leaving only the Frenchmen at the bridge site.  Soon the lead units of Monckton's force were across the Missaguash and turning on the French position.  After losing one troupe dead and two Acadians wounded, Jacau's Frenchmen burned the redoubt and adjacent buildings before lugging their guns and what supplies they could carry back to the safety of Beauséjour.172

What followed was another sadly ironic episode in the Acadian experience.  There at the End Bridge stood not only a dilapidated redoubt, but also a hamlet of 60 or so buildings housing dozens of Acadians.  Some of them had been living there before the British built Fort Lawrence, while others, lured by the dykable marshes on the lower Missaguash or perhaps the desire to live among relatives, moved there after the opposing forts had been built.  Living beneath the guns of the hostile garrisons had its drawbacks, of course, yet here, ironically, was a quiet corner of the Chignecto area where Acadians could escape the rigors of Le Loutre's Nouvelle-Acadie.  Their location at the End Bridge facilitated trading not only with the French troupes de la marine occupying the ridge above them, but also with the redcoats at nearby Fort Lawrence.  For 10 months during the early 1750s, Monckton himself had commanded the garrison of redcoats.  In January 1752, seven months before Monckton arrived at Fort Lawrence, a French official conducted a census in the Chignecto area and found 92 Acadians living at Pont-à-Buot--Ponte Buot, he called it.  They included the families of Jean Hébert, a widower who had come there from Minas; Jean Cyr from Veskak, west of Beauséjour, and his kinsman Paul Cyr, another widower; Vincent, Paul, and Maurice Deveau; Pierre Cotard; Michel, Olivier, and Paul Bourgeois, the latter from nearby Rivière La Plance, east of Beaubassin; François Bouret or Bourel, who was married to a Doucet; two Pierre Doucets, perhaps père and fils, one of them from nearby Nappan and the husband of Marie Cormier; and Anne Brasseur dit Mathieu, widow of Michel Doucet During his time at Fort Lawrence, Monckton may have become acquainted with some of these Acadians, who were the first to feel the fire, literally, of another imperial conflict.  To deny its use to the advancing British, either Beausoleil Broussard's partisans or Jacau's retreating troupes de la marine torched the hamlet at Pont-à-Buot, which burned into the night.  "Once again," a historian of the partisans reminds us, "the Beaubassin Acadians had been burned out of their homes and possessions by their 'rescuers," perhaps, again, by their cousins.172a  

Monckton spent the next several days positioning his units for a siege.  He posted regulars and provincials in entrenched camps at several advantageous positions facing the walls of Beauséjour, including Butte-à-Roger and Butte Mirande, while he brought up more supplies from Rous's ships.  Vergor, meanwhile, also prepared for a siege "by ordering supplies to be brought into the fort and all buildings in the vicinity, including the church, destroyed."  Only by destroying Le Loutre's "Cathedral" and the homes and outbuildings clustered around it could the gunners in Beauséjour enjoy clear fields of fire in whatever direction the British came.  Vergor and his officers pleaded again with the local Acadians "to come to his aid but few responded.  One officer sent out on a recruiting mission returned with only two men, having been informed that 'the rest had refused to come and had discarded their guns and ammunition, saying that they did not intend to run the risk of being hanged, as the English had announced that this would [be] their fate if they took up arms.'"  Vergor would have to make do with the 300 or so Acadians who had answered his earlier call to arms.  Again, the local Acadians were divided among themselves, the majority of them still clinging desperately to neutrality.172b

While Monckton's men were preparing their positions, a dozen of Broussard's partisans, along with a small force of troupes de la marine, struck a New-English working party on the Missaguash near Butte Mirande, but a relief force drove them away.  On June 8, Broussard's partisans captured a redcoat officer, Ensign Hay of the 29th Regiment, who had strayed too far from the British camps.  An historian of the partisans tells us:  "He was seized, taken into the forest and stripped naked, but just as his captors were preparing to torture and kill him, Beausoleil stepped in and saved the man's life by promising instead to see him ransomed for a generous sum.  Hay was then taken to the fort and turned over to Vergor, where he was treated with civility, provided with clothing and allowed to write letters to both General[sic] Monckton and to his wife, before being confined to one of two bombproof casemates.  The other was reserved for the protection of Vergor and LeLoutre."173 

On the same day of Hay's capture, Monckton's artillery officers reconnoitered the French emplacements and determined the best position for their guns--"a small, undefended rise on the northeast side of the fort."  Monckton, obeying "the conventions governing eighteenth-century siege warfare," had placed his attack "'in the hands of engineers, who through the precise application of mathematics brought their trench network and batteries to such a position that the defending commander, caught in the toils of Euclid, could honorably yield up his fortress.'"  One of the redcoat engineers, Ensign Tongue of the 45th Regiment of Foot, "received a Shott in his thigh as he was taking a Survey of the Ground for the Trenches & Batteries to be raised against the Fort."  On June 10, Monckton's Yankees began construction of a road down which Monckton could move his heavy guns to the selected position.  Broussard's partisans struck again, this time within the Yankee lines.  Redcoats from Fort Lawrence drove them off, but not before the partisans killed an engineer and a private.  The hit-and-run attacks, however, hardly slowed the pioneers' efforts.  By June 13, the New-English lines, under the keen eye of Major Benjamin Goldthwait of Grand-Pré fame, had been pushed to within mortar range, and Monckton's "bunker-busting" bombards, including a 13-inch monster, was ready to lob their shells into Beauséjour.174 

Meanwhile, on June 9, in the waters between Newfoundland and Cape Breton Island, four French vessels from the Baron de Deiskau's fleet, with hundreds of the baron's troupes de terre aboard, were making their way to Louisbourg through a series of thick fog banks to reinforce the French citadel.  They suddenly came upon elements of Vice Admiral Boscawen's British fleet, which had been blockading Louisbourg for weeks.  Slipping in and out of the fog, two of the French vessels, the Alcide and the Lys, stumbled upon two of Boscawen's heavily-armed ships, HMS Dunkirk, carrying 60 guns, and HMS Defiance, 48.  After a five-hour battle, the French captains struck their colors, and the admiral ordered the prizes to be taken to Halifax.  The other French warships made it safely to Louisbourg, and there they were compelled to remain.  Drucour had received Vergor's plea for assistance on June 7 and replied the following day.  With Boscawen's vessels patrolling the Gulf of St. Lawrence, as well as the waters off of Île Royale, there was no chance for Drucour to send reinforcements to Chignecto even if he believed he could spare them.  The only possible reinforcement for the Acadian outposts must come from Québec via the Rivière St.-Jean portage, which, even at this season, would take weeks to accomplish.  So here was a bright spot for the British at least:  while Braddock's columns still trudged towards their inland objectives in western Pennsylvania and upper New York, the coastal offensives were progressing nicely, and one even promised imminent success.174a

Lieutenant-Governor Lawrence, however, from his headquarters at Halifax, refused to take any chances with the Chignecto offensive.  To protect Monckton's strategic rear, during the first week of June Lawrence had ordered Captain Murray at Fort Edward to disarm the Acadians in the Minas Basin.  To prevent their communication with Chignecto, Lawrence also directed Murray to push the confiscation of canoes and boats, which Murray had begun earlier in the spring to enforce the embargo on the export of wheat.  "The extent to which the Acadians complied had been a matter of debate among historians, but the evidence shows that the majority of them did surrender at least some of their guns," Professor Griffiths maintains.  A Swiss merchant at Pigiguit, Isaac Deschamps, who later became a judge in the British community there, witnessed Murray's efforts to comply with Lawrence's order to confiscate Acadian weapons.  Deschamps "stated that just under three thousand guns had been brought in."  Among the victims of Lawrence's pre-emptive policy was Pierre Melanson of Minas.  According to a "Memorial" signed by 25 Minas habitants and presented by their deputies to Captain Murray on June 10, "Melanson ... was arrested and his canoe confiscated before he was informed by any government order that his actions were illegal."  Such was the fate of dozens of Melanson's fellow Acadians, who collectively insisted in their petition to the governor that, "not only had they not violated the oath, they had 'maintained it in its entirety, in spite of solicitations and dreadful threats of another power.'"  Determined to prove "'their unshaken fidelity to his Majesty,'" they nonetheless protested the government's unwarranted actions against them.  "The loss of their canoes, it was emphasized, was particularly onerous on poor families who supported themselves by fishing."  Moreover, "the confiscation of their guns was equally burdensome, particularly because they 'regarded their guns as personal property.'  Guns were necessary," they reminded the governor, "to defend their animals against wild beasts and for protection against 'the savages.'  After all, they argued, 'It is not the gun which an inhabitant possesses, that will induce him to revolt, not then privation of the same gun that will make him more faithful, but his conscience alone which must induce him to maintain his oath.'"  Forwarding the petition to Lawrence, Murray commented that, "while the Acadians had been generally cooperative for some time before the delivery of this memorial, they had treated him with 'great Indecency and Insolence' when they brought it to him."  Murray was certain that this change in attitude followed reports of "a French fleet being then in the Bay of Fundy" and added that it was "very notorious that the said French inhabitants have always discovered an insolent and inimical Disposition towards His Majesty's Government when they have had the least hopes of assistance from France."  Sadly for the Acadians, Lawrence would use this memorial, as well as Murray's libel, to impose on them the harshest measures once the French were out of the way.174b

June 14 was a bad day for the defenders at Beauséjour.  During the relatively quiet week and a half following the fight at Pont-à-Buot, Commander Vergor and his men did what they could to strengthen the fort's defenses.  But after the first mortar round exploded within the walls of the fort, everyone inside knew the place was doomed.  That evening, Vergor received word from Drucour of the blockade of Louisbourg, so reinforcements were not forthcoming.  Following Drucour's suggestion, Vergor tried to keep the information from the Acadians, sharing it perhaps only with Abbé Le Loutre and a few of the garrison's officers.  Probably after Pichon had informed them of what the message from Louisbourg contained, 80 Acadians, most likely including the Broussards, "immediately left the fort."  Evidently their leaving was not authorized; one historian insists that 17 of the "deserters" "were soon caught and brought back to the fort."  Most of the Acadians inside Beauséjour, however, were not die-hard, battle-tested partisans eager to fight beyond the walls of the fort.  They demanded to be allowed to return to their families.  Vergor could only promise them reinforcements that he--and likely they--knew would never come.  The Acadians, doubtlessly encouraged by Pichon, chose a spokesman to express their grievances.  On the 15th, the spokesman informed Vergor "that 'as there was no hope of help, there was no possibility of further resistance to superior force, and they did not wish to remain and sacrifice themselves needlessly.'"  The French officers voiced their anger at such talk and inquired "as to whether an 'order should be issued prohibiting such statements being made by the Acadians under penalty of being shot or having their land and property confiscated.'"  According to one historian, Le Loutre stepped in, confident that his eloquence could persuade the Acadians to remain and stand with the French.  It was, the abbé declared, "'far better to be buried in the fort than to surrender it.'"  He could not have picked a more inopportune time to harangue "his" Chignecto Acadians:  "... his words no longer meant anything to them.  He'd cost them their homes and their security and in return all they had ever received from him were demands and threats.  So they ignored him ...."  They pressed their case with Vergor and his officers, "and calmer and wiser heads prevailed."175 

A lucky shot from one of Monckton's mortars dramatically ended the impasse between Vergor and the Acadians.  Around 9 a.m. on June 16, "while LeLoutre and Vergor were safely ensconced in their bombproof casemate," a massive explosion shook the fort.  One of Monckton's mortar shells had penetrated the casemate where the ill-starred Ensign Hay was being held and where five other men, all French officers, had taken refuge.  Unfortunately for them, the so-called bombproof lay near a supply of the fort's ordnance, and the ensign and three of his captors were killed and two of them wounded.  The explosion also severely damaged that part of the fort.  With no reinforcements coming, his fort in shambles, and more of the Acadians threatening to leave, Vergor promptly sent an officer to Monckton to ask for a 48-hour truce.  Monckton rejected a truce, but he offered Vergor surrender terms that were both generous and honorable.  He would allow the French garrison the full honors of war, "although," as John Grenier insists," the [French] commandant had done little to earn them."  Monckton's terms also stipulated "That the Inhabitants be Left in the Same Scituation as they were when we arrived and not Punished for what they had Done Since our being in the Country...."  This evidently included the local militia, who "had taken up arms under threat of death."  Monckton also promised to restrain his men from plundering the fort and the homes of the local inhabitants.  Vergor agreed to Monckton's terms by the 2 p.m. deadline and signed them later in the day.  Having received their paroles from Monckton's officers, the troupes de la marine marched out of the fort "with their colors flying and drums beating."  Legend has it that, after the formal surrender, following eighteenth-century military tradition, Vergor feted Monckton and his officers with a dinner, as Captain, now Major, Goldthwait and his New English officers had done at Grand-Pré eight years before.176 

Not all of the "French" leaders who had defended the fort remained for the wine and victuals.  Around 1 p.m. on June 16, likely before Vergor had agreed to Monckton's terms, Beausoleil Broussard and 60 men, including a force of Mi'kmaq and Maliseet, struck the Yankee camps at Butte Mirande and other points along the Missaguash.  The Indians suffered a number of causalities, including a Maliseet chief who was killed and a Mi'kmaq leader who was wounded.  After losing at least one man in the series of heated skirmishes, Broussard and his partisans slipped back into the marshes and returned to their places of refuge.176a 

Another major participant in the defense of Beauséjour also eschewed the celebratory dinner.  While Beauséjour was being surrendered to the hated Protestants, ever mindful of the price placed on his head, Abbé Le Loutre donned a clever disguise.  As soon as he dared, he "slipped unseen out a rear entrance to the fort, in the company of a Native escort."  He made his way to Québec, probably via the portage route up Rivière St.-Jean.  There, he was chastised for his treatment of the Acadians not only by the new governor-general, Pierre de Rigaud, marquis de Vaudreuil de Cavagnial, but also by the Bishop of Québec, Henri-Marie Dubreil de Pontbriand.  From Québec, Le Loutre made his way to Louisbourg, where he took a ship for France.  On 15 September 1755, as Lawrence's officers were rounding up the peninsula Acadians, a British squadron captured Le Loutre's ship, and the abbé was taken prisoner.  Despite the efforts of the French Minister of Marine to secure Le Loutre's release, the British held him at Elizabeth Castle, on the Isle of Jersey, for the rest of the war.  They did not release him until August 1763, six months after a peace was signed at Paris.179 

Shortly after Vergor's capitulation, via an Acadian messenger sent to the fort by the clever Thomas Pichon, the commander at Fort Gaspereau, Benjamin Rouer de Villeray, learned of Monckton's terms of surrender.  Without any of his 30 troupes de la marine having fired a shot, Villeray agreed to surrender under Monckton's terms.  Late the following day, after a 15-mile march up the Missaguash, Lieutenant-Colonel Winslow reached Gaspereau and accepted Villeray's formal surrender.  The 500 New Englanders Winslow had led up the Missaguash remained at Gaspereau four more days to occupy the fort and reconnoiter the area.  What they found there did not impress them.  The fort, only "180 foot Square," was in sad condition.  Gaspereau's water supply was so unhealthy, in fact, that Villeray's Frenchmen had been forced to drink only wine.  There was no bread or butter in Villeray's larder, but Winslow found 230 barrels of pork and eight hogsheads of molasses in his storage room.  Winslow was more impressed with the surrounding village.  "At Bay of Vert," he recorded in his Journal, "is a Village of about 25 Houses a Chaple & Priests House well Finished, the inhabitants of this Village in better Forme and more after the English maner than any I have Seen in this Province."  He noted that they "have an Open Communication with the Island of St. Johns and the Inhabitants of Cape Breton, whome they Furnish with Lumber Indians Goods &c., and from whome they receive all the Convenienceys of Life in return."  After deciding to retain the fort at Baie-Verte, Lieutenant-Governor Lawrence and his Council renamed it in honor of Lieutenant-Colonel Monckton.177a 

After the fall of the Chignecto forts, only Boishébert's small force of 120 men, including natives, on lower Rivière St.-Jean remained to menace British interests in the region.  Later in the month, while Braddock's flying column approached the Monongahela and Johnson's and Shirley's forces were still maneuvering in upper New York, Lawrence sent Captain John Rous with a flotilla of four warships to the river.  The British had heard rumors that two French vessels of 36 guns each were stationed at the mouth of the St.-Jean or in its wide lower stretches, which could accommodate vessels of up to 100 tons as far up as Ste.-Anne-du-Pay-Bas.  Reaching the river's mouth on June 27, Rous "sent in his Boats to reconnoitre."  Luckily for them, they found no French warships in the river.  Upon the approach of Rous's men, Boishébert ordered his small force in Fort Ménagouèche to spike the fort's guns, blow up its magazine, and burn all of the wooden structures in and around the fort.  He then led them upriver to his armed camped at the Nerepis, where he left some of his men to prevent, or at least slow, a British movement up the river.  To protect the river Acadians from attack via Chignecto, he continued with part of his force to Ste.-Anne-du-Pays-Bas, from whence he could move in any direction.  Rous, meanwhile, remained for a time on the lower river to evaluate the damage to Boishébert's fort, but he did not press an attack upriver.  As Lawrence later related to the Board of Trade, on the morning following the destruction of the French fort, "the Indians invited Captain Rous on shore, gave him the strongest assurances of their desire to make peace with us, and pleaded in their behalf, that they had refused to assist the French upon the occasion, tho' earnestly pressed by them."177 

Monckton renamed Fort Beauséjour after the Duke of Cumberland and hired local Acadians to help reconstruct its walls and repair the roads around it.  He sent Vergor, Pichon, the other French officers, and the troupes de la marine to Halifax, where Lawrence held them on Georges Island before sending them on to Louisbourg.  On Georges Island, Pichon, still under cover, continued spying for the British--he handed over to Lawrence's secretary "correspondence entrusted to him by a captured French naval officer, including a plan for seizing the town."  Back at Beauséjour, on June 18, perhaps to the British commander's amazement, Beausoleil Broussard appeared at the newly-named fort seeking the same amnesty for himself and his partisans that Monckton had offered to the other Acadians.  Broussard, aware of Abbé Le Loutre's hasty departure, offered to negotiate a truce with the local Indians.  Monckton agreed to the arrangement, "subject, however, to Charles Lawrence's approval."  One wonders if Monckton, while promising amnesty to the Chignecto Acadians, knew of his superiors' plans for them now that he had driven the French away.178 


The sudden fall of Beauséjour "and the lack of any immediate French response fundamentally altered the military situation in the region" and threw Lawrence into a quandary.  He possessed no orders from Braddock or Shirley on how to exploit Monckton's victory.  He and Shirley, to be sure, with the approbation of Secretary Robinson, had promised the New Englanders land in Nova Scotia if they signed up for the Chignecto expedition.  This was no idle, spur-of-the-moment promise; it was in fact part of a years-old policy "on the part of London, to make Nova Scotia as much a British colony as the other British colonies in North America," Naomi Griffiths tells us.  Lawrence was only a subordinate army officer when the policy was launched at Halifax and Lunenburg in 1749, but, Griffiths reminds us, "From the moment he was appointed as lieutenant governor, Lawrence was eager to make this decision a reality."  Replacing disloyal Acadians with loyal New English Protestants would erect a solid barrier at Chignecto between the French in the Maritimes and along the St. John and the Acadians still ensconced on the peninsula.  However, there was a snag in the policies immediate implementation.  "John Winslow was the linchpin of the plan to obtain New England settlers" for Chignecto, Lawrence's biographer reminds us, but Monckton's sudden victory and Winslow's mission at Baie-Verte did not permit him "enough time to survey the land around Chignecto after the fall of Beauséjour."  Inactivity was damaging the morale of Winslow's New Englanders, and Winslow's constant quarreling with Monckton affected his own morale.  "Winslow became embittered and lost interest in settlement," Lawrence's biographer contends, though one suspects that his officers and men were eager to take up new land as part of the spoils of victory.  Meanwhile, Shirley, still floundering in upper New York, ordered a portion of Winslow's regiment to join him in that colony.181a 

Lawrence's biographer goes on:  "Short of troops and under the impression that the French were going to counter-attack, Lawrence turned his attention to securing his communications with Chignecto and was thus forced to deal with the issue of loyalty of the Acadians of the peninsula."  Having studied the correspondence of his predecessors from the time the British had taken over the colony, he was aware of the history of the Acadians and their qualified oath.  His reading convinced him that such an oath had been tolerated by his predecessors only because imposing an oath without qualification could have driven the Acadians from Nova Scotia and, with them, the colony's principal source of supply.  But circumstances had changed dramatically in the last few years and weeks:  the Acadians, though still the largest segment of the population, were no longer the principal suppliers of the British garrisons, nor would their voluntary migration after refusing a new oath strengthen the French presence at Chignecto.  To be sure, French forces still could be found in the Maritimes and on the lower St. John, where Acadian populations likely were growing daily.  But had not the majority of disaffected Acadians in British Nova Scotia gone to these French enclaves already?  Le Loutre and his Mi'kmaq, as well as the Canadians and the French, would welcome them with open arms, but Le Loutre and his fellow miscreants no longer menaced the province from their base along the Missaguash.  Still, imperial policy was being retarded by the very presence of the so-called "Neutral French" in British Nova Scotia.  "By the summer of 1754," Naomi Griffiths tells us, "Lawrence had decided that those Acadians who refused to take an unqualified oath of loyalty to the British crown were a major stumbling block to fulfilling his plans" of transforming Nova Scotia into a British colony.  He had seen "that the French control of the Chignecto isthmus was both a constant encouragement to those Acadians who were dissatisfied with the British government and a potential military threat to British control of Nova Scotia."  Even during the operation against Beauséjour, in which Monckton employed overwhelming force, Lawrence had kept a wary eye on the Acadian settlements lying in Monckton's rear.  Hence his order to Murray in the first days of the operation to disarm the Acadians in the Minas communities and prevent them from using their canoes.  The Acadians protested his actions, of course, and had the temerity to send him a long-winded "Memorial" in which they insisted that "not only had they not violated" their oath, "they had 'maintained it in its entirety, in spite of the solicitations and dreadful threats of another power.'"  In other words, they chose to remain staunchly neutral despite what was happening around them.  For Lawrence, ever the faithful soldier, there could be no such thing as neutrality.  He had been mindful from his youth of a subject's duty to his country and King.  This included the duty to bear arms in defense of that King.  There could be "no compromise with the principle that before receiving the rights of subjects," including the right to possess lands granted by the King, subjects "must accept their duties," including "the promise to bear arms."  Lawrence, then, along with his Council, could only conclude that "Acadians who had left the country could not return without taking the oath" without reservation, as the Acadians remaining in the province also must do.181 

In their deliberations over the question of imposing a new oath without reservation, one suspects that Lawrence and his Council overlooked, or most likely ignored, an important element of pledging loyalty to a British monarch.  When Port-Royal fell in 1710, British law forbade Roman Catholics from, among other things, voting, holding office, or entering the learned professions; this was why Nova Scotia had not been granted a colonial assembly similar to that of Virginia and the other Atlantic provinces in the British-American realm.  In June 1755, Parliament's Papists Act of 1778, allowing Roman Catholics to own property, inherit land, and join the British army, was more than two decades in the future, and the Roman Catholic Relief Act of 1829, giving Catholics almost equal civil rights in the United Kingdom, lay three quarters of a century away.  As Roman Catholic subjects of a British King, Acadians possessed the full complement of duties owed to that King, but they could enjoy all of the benefits of being his subjects only if they converted to Protestantism and learned to speak English.  This would have meant abandoning their culture and surrendering their children to irreversible Anglicization.  The transformation of Nova Scotia into another bastion of Protestantism was an important element in British plans, but it also was a reason why Acadians had always refused to take an unqualified oath.183 

Conundrums, then, confronted both the Acadians and their governor in the days following the fall of Beauséjour:  Could the Acadians maintain their traditional neutrality despite the defeat of the French?  Could Lawrence justify to Council and ministers the deportation of Acadians "disloyal" to the crown? 

On June 18, two days after Vergor's surrender and the same day Beausoleil Broussard appeared at Fort Cumberland seeking amnesty, Monckton "summoned the inhabitants of Beauséjour to appear before him and swear unconditional loyalty to George II."  Lawrence, back in late January, had cautioned him not to do this very thing:  If the Acadians swore unconditional allegiance to the British crown, it would complicate "the legal case for removing them."  As it turned out, every Acadian, predictably, refused the unconditional oath, so Lawrence's removal scheme was not compromised by Monckton's ill-advised order.  The local inhabitants, eager to please the British commander, brought him and his men "eggs, chickens, milk, and strawberries" and offered to serve as messengers and guides.  When Monckton asked them to give up their firearms, "more than three hundred men immediately complied."  They agreed to surrender their weapons to the British, but they would not surrender their neutrality.182a 

A week later, on June 25, Lawrence again addressed the loyalty of the colony's French inhabitants.  In a dispatch to Monckton of that date, he discussed "the treatment to be accorded to the Acadian settlers in the Chignecto area.  In this communication," Naomi Griffiths relates, "Lawrence showed his continued concern for the security of the colony, his exasperation with the settlers in the Chignecto isthmus, and the policy he wished to pursue towards them as well as the uncertainty he had about implementing that policy.  He was convinced that 'unless we remain in possession undoubtedly the French will return and re-establish and we can never expect a lasting peace with the Indians, without first totally extirpating the French who incite them to make war.'"  What he told Monckton next revealed, again, the governor's true feelings about Acadians.  "He continued:  'By the French, I mean both Acadiens and Canadiens for it is a question with me, whether the former in those parts are not more our inveterate Enemies than the latter.'"  But "he was 'at yet far from being determined about the fate of your Rebellious Inhabitants; their pretending to have been forced to take up Arms is an insult upon Common sense,'" Lawrence was certain.  "There is no doubt that Lawrence had a great wish to solve the Acadian problem, once and for all," Griffiths tells us, "but he hesitated over the imposition of truly Draconian measures.  As well, he obviously considered that an unqualified oath of allegiance was something which would have to be taken into account."  He congratulated Monckton on keeping out of the articles of capitulation anything "that might 'entitle (the inhabitants) to the future enjoyment of their Lands and Habitations,'" that is, the imposition of an unqualified oath.  "'I am too well satisfied,'" Lawrence believed, "'that should they (the Acadians of Chignecto) be suffered to remain they will prove forever a sore Thorn in our Side; with their help the French may be able to do much against us; without them I think nothing of much importance.'"  The now determined lieutenant-governor concluded:  "'Suffer them by no means to take the Oaths of Allegiance[;] you may remember that I forbid that in my letter of the 29 of January least they should claim under that title....'"182b

Three days later, on June 28, while informing the Board of Trade of Monckton's victory at Chignecto, Lawrence expressed "his intention to relocate the 'deserted French inhabitants,' those who lived in the region behind the old French fort," but not until they helped repair the damages inflicted on Fort Beauséjour.  In a letter to Secretary Robinson, penned the same day, Lawrence informed his superior in London that "when the Fort Surrendered, there remained 150 Regulars & about 300 Inhabitants, Several of which with their officers were wounded" and that "The deserted French Inhabitants are delivering up their arms.  I have given him [Monckton] orders to drive them out of the Country at all events," Lawrence added.  At Fort Cumberland, however, Monckton, more the soldier than the politician, focused on the state of his defenses.  He pushed the repairs on the captured fort into the heat and discomfort of July, while he awaited specific orders from Halifax on what should be done with the Chignecto Acadians after they helped him repair the fort.182

During the final days of June, something turned in the mind of the lieutenant-governor, and the way forward in dealing with these troublesome people became much clearer to him.  Was it the arrogant tone of the Minas memorial Murray had forwarded to him during the siege of Beauséjour?  Or the hundreds of Acadians found under arms when Monckton marched into the captured fort?  Some of the Acadians had "deserted" Beauséjour days before its capitulation, but they likely were the ones who struck Monckton's camps on the day of surrender.  Here was proof that, at least among the Chignecto inhabitants, Acadian neutrality was a farce.  But the inhabitants at Minas and in the other Acadians communities also could not be trusted.  Did he not have to direct Murray to confiscate weapons and canoes at Minas in order to protect Monckton's rear?  And yet the Minas deputies lectured him, their governor, on matters of conscience and fidelity to their sacred "oath."  He would summon these Acadians to Halifax so that they explain to him in person "their reasons for the petition."182c 

His reckoning with these people had been long in coming.  He had witnessed their intransigence for six long years, ever since his arrival at Halifax during the first days of Cornwallis's governorship.  He had confronted them at Chignecto the following spring and summer, seen their bloody work at Lunenburg and Lawrenctown, the latter community so battered by the partisans and their Mi'kmaq confederates that it had to be abandoned.  Cornwallis's strength could not subdue them, nor Hopson's weakness.  But what he now confronted was not years but many decades in the making.  Again, Naomi Griffiths says it best:  "The attitude of the Acadians" when Lawrence summoned them to appear before his Council "was in keeping with their past behaviour over close to a century. ...  It was the same attitude that had caused Perrot to call them 'Republicans' in 1686 and suggest that they had been infected with the political beliefs of the people of Massachusetts, and that had caused more than one British administrator to name them 'Rebellious.'  Whether French or English, those sent to administer 'Acadia or Nova Scotia' in the name of a European empire had maintained that the orders they gave should be accepted without argument.  The Acadians had constantly taken the position that such orders were open to debate.  During the decades when Port Royal/Annapolis Royal was the administrative centre of the colony, when there were marriages between the elite of the Acadian settlements and the tiny enclave of civil and military officials serving there, social channels of communication facilitated relationships between government and governed.  With the founding of Halifax," and this is when Lawrence entered the picture, "these relationships ceased to exist.  There was little appreciation by Cornwallis and his successors of the complex nature of Acadian political society"--by Lawrence especially.  "In fact," Professor Griffiths reminds us, "Lawrence and his advisers considered the Acadians not only politically unreliable but also socially impertinent, lacking in proper deference to their betters."  They must have seemed like errant children to this 56-year-old bachelor who never had children of his own.  No matter, it was time for them to submit to a father's legitimate authority or be gone from the house over which he presided.182d

And so by early July, despite lingering doubts among members of his Council, Lawrence had resolved to remove all of the Acadians "'out of the country.'"  Naomi Griffiths insists the lieutenant-governor was "aware that, however inconvenient it might be, the Acadians had some civil rights under British law," much as children have rights in the home of their parents, but their rights would be forfeit if they refused to submit to an unqualified oath of allegiance.  Exactly how many of them he would have to transport to clear the province even he could not say with certainty.  Historians have provided estimates as high as 18,000 and as low as 6,630.  In a circular letter dated 11 August 1755 to be handed to the royal governors of the British colonies to which he would transport the Acadians, Lawrence himself estimated their numbers to be "near 7000 persons."  After a close study of population figures for Nova Scotia during the first half of the eighteenth century, Andrew Hill Clark concludes:  "Allowing a very generous figure of five hundred to account for all the possible people in outlying settlements [Cap-Sable, Mirliguèche, and other Atlantic coast communities, as well as Rivière St.-Jean and Passamaquoddy] (but not including Isle St-Jean or the Acadians on Cape Breton Island) ... there were approximately 10,000 Acadians in the settlements of present peninsula Nova Scotia and New Brunswick about mid-century, distributed thus:  Annapolis Royal district, 1,750; Minas north and west of Pisiquid, 2,500; Pisiquid, 1,500; Cobequid and the Gulf Shore [Remsheg and Tatamagouche], 1,000; Chignecto, 1,600; Memramcook, Petitcodiac, and Shepody (together) [the trois-rivières], 1,200; and outlying settlements, 500 or fewer.  If the Acadians on Isle St-Jean and Cape Breton Island were added the total might reach 12,500."  Many of the Acadians at Chignecto, along with their cousins on the trois-rivières, were beyond the reach of Monckton's troops, at least for now.  But the majority of the Acadians in the province--at Annapolis, Minas, Pigiguit, Cobeguit, Cap-Sable, and up the Atlantic shore--were in easy reach of the redcoats.  Lawrence was confident he could get them all, and that Nova Scotia soon would be rid of them.13 



BOOK ONE:        French Acadia

BOOK THREE:     Families, Migration, and the Acadian "Begats"

BOOK FOUR:      The French Maritimes

BOOK FIVE:         The Great Upheaval

BOOK SIX:          The Acadian Immigrants of Louisiana

BOOK SEVEN:     French Louisiana

BOOK EIGHT:      A New Acadia

BOOK NINE:        The Bayou State

BOOK TEN:          The Louisiana Acadian "Begats"

BOOK ELEVEN:  The Non-Acadian "Cajun" Families of South Louisiana

BOOK TWELVE:  Acadians in Gray



01.  Quotation from Griffiths, From Migrant to Acadian, 390.  See also Brasseaux, Founding of New Acadia, 179; Davis, S. A., Mi'kmaq, 33; M. D. Johnson, "Maillard," in DCB, 3:417.

S. A. Davis claims, with only slight exaggeration, that the tribe "conducted successful raids against British settlers and virtually held Haligonians captive in their own city during the first three years of its existence." 

01a.  See Fred Anderson's Crucible of War, 5-7; W. J. Eccles, "Coulon de Villiers de Jumonville, Joseph," in DCB, 3:150-51, & online.

The French officer killed by Washington's force in western PA in late May 1754 was Joseph Coulon de Villiers de Jumonville, known as Jumonville, who was 10 years younger (b. Sep 1718) than his brother, Nicolas-Antoine Coulon de Villiers, the hero of Grand-Pré.  See Eccles; note 143, below.

Anderson, the current standard work on the French & Indian War, begins with a detailed account of the fight at Jumonville Glen & reflects generations of thinking, both scholarly & popular, on the act that "gave rise to the greatest war of the eighteenth century."  Quotation from 7. See also note 142, below. 

01b.  See John Fortier, "Des Herbiers de La Ralière (La Ratière), Charles," in DCB, 3:183; Fortier, Louisiana, 1:154; Hodson, Acadian Diaspora, 40; Marshall, Acadian Resistance, 71-72, 76-77.   

01c.  See Clark, A. H., Acadia, 193; Finn, "Le Loutre," in DCB, online; Parkman, France & England, 2:695, 913-1018; note 237, below.   

A. H. Clark says of Le Loutre:  "Few men involved in Acadian history, even including the La Tours, have aroused more acrimonious debate among later historians.  The stealth and savagery of the Indian attacks he directed and inspired, and his position as a religious leader of a proscribed and hated faith, led to his vilification by British, and especially New England, authorities of the 1740's and 1750's and a scarcely better reputation with British scholars.  Yet his obvious concern with ultimately religious purposes (whatever the means), in his effort to extirpate heretical and anglicizing influences on the Acadian life and mind, and his considerable local successes in a warfare that the French ultimately lost, and that led directly to the deportation of the Acadians in 1755, have resulted in a kind of apotheosis of his person by many chroniclers of Acadian origin and sympathies."  On the other hand, Anglophile historians such as Francis Parkman, a New English historian of the late 19th century, who calls the priest Joseph-Louis Le Loutre, have nothing good to say of him.  See Parkman. 

01d.  See note 235, below. 

02.  Quotations from Akins, ed., Papers Relating to the Acadian French, 1714-1755, 177; Griffiths, From Migrant to Acadian, 391-92; Marshall, Acadian Resistance, 78; White, DGFA-1 English, 75.  See also <>; Akins, ed., Papers Relating to the Acadian French, 1714-1755, 177; De La Roque, "Tour of Inspection," Canadian Archives, 2A:46, 109-10, 116, 120, 125; Godfrey, "Handfield," in DCB, 3:277; William G. Godfrey, "Hamilton, Otho," in DCB, 3:276, & online; <>; Jehn, Acadian Exiles in the Colonies, 1; Krugler, "Gorham (Goreham, Gorum), John," in DCB, 3:260-61; White, DGFA-1, 46, 336-37, 698-99, 813, 815-16, 822, 826, 831, 835, 838, 977, 1079, 1579, 1582, 1584; White, DGFA-1 English, 10, 74-75, 233.   

Online Wikipedia, "Father Le Loutre's War," says there were approximately 3,000 Mi'kmaq in Nova Scotia in 1750. 

Online Wikipedia, "Father Le Loutre's War," says Lt. John Hamilton was captured at Grand-Pré, but Godfrey, "Handfield," says "Lieutenant John Handfield, was taken prisoner."  Were they both captured, or is this a case of confused identity?  There was a Lt. John Hamilton serving in NS at the time.  Handfield, Sr., in fact, serving as justice of the peace at Annapolis Royal in Aug 1752, presided at the wedding of his daughter Mary to John, son of Otho Hamiliton of Edinburgh.  The elder Hamilton was a British officer who at one time was secretary to Armstrong's colonial Council, a member of the Council under Armstrong & Mascarene, & lieutenant-governor of Placentia, Newfoundland, so Lt. Hamilton, like Lt. Handfield, was intimately associated with NS.  See Godfrey, "Hamilton" & "Handfield."

Griffiths, 391-92, says the "assault on the Grand Pré blockhouse" took place in Dec.  Online Wikipedia, "Father Le Loutre's War," says the initial attack on Fort Vieux Logis, which was at Rivière Gaspereau, not Grand-Pré, took place on 27 Nov 1749 & also gives the number of attackers, which would have been an overwhelming force.  Though Griffiths states that Gautrot was then "living at Annapolis Royal" when he helped compile the list, he was from Cobeguit--born there in c1716, & perhaps married there in c1745; his wife was Marguerite, daughter of Joseph Robichaud.  See White, DGFA-1, 698-99.  Akins, ed., says Gautrot was "residing at Grand Pre" when he appeared before the colonial Council on 13 Dec 1749.  His efforts to provide names of fellow Acadians to the British authorities, including that of a first cousin, gives an idea of how divided was the Acadian community on the question of neutrality. 

The Acadians Cornwallis ordered to be arrested at Pigiguit included several from Honoré Gautrot's list:  Charles La Gerne, Charles La Gerne, fils, Petit-Jean La Gerne, & Alexandre dit Misgucess La Gerne, in-laws of François & Claude Leprince.  The La Gerne family also was known as Chauvet dit La Gerne or La Jarne.  Charles, père's wife was Edmée (Aimée) dit Lejeune Joseph; her mother was a Lejeune, hence the dit.  Charles, père, born in c1669 & thus 80 years old in 1749, & Edmée, born in c1674, had married in c1696 & were counted on Rivière St.-Jean 2 years later.  The family moved to Minas by 1709.  Charles, fils was married to a LeBlanc, Jean to an Hébert, and Alexandre dit Misgucess to François Leprince's daughter Catherine-Josèphe.  Jean (called an Olivet) & brother Misgucess (called a Chauvel) & their families were counted on the Maritime islands in 1752, Misgucess at Grande-Anse on Île St.-Jean, where he had been living for 26 months at the time of the census, & Jean at Baie-des-Espagnols on Île Royale, also 2 years in the colony.  The brothers, then, were among the Pigiguit Acadians who fled British authority in NS soon after Gautrot's list was compiled.  One wonders why the brothers chose to settle on different islands.  See De La Roque, 2A:46, 116; <>; <>; Book FourJean & his family perished aboard one of the British transports taking the Maritimes Acadians to France in Dec 1758; Claude Leprince & his family, as well as Renauchon Aucoin & his family, suffered a similar fate.  See White, DGFA-1, 336-37, 1079; White, DGFA-1 English, 10, 74-75, 233; Book Five.  No member of the La Gerne family emigrated to LA, but 7 Leprinces did.  See Prince/LePrince family page; Books Three & Seven.  Other Acadians besides the La Gernes on Honoré Gautrot's list emigrated to Île St.-Jean by 1752 to escape the British in Nova Scotia:  Renauchon Aucoin to Anse-à-Pinnet, François La Vache and Joseph dit Clément to Anse-au-Matelost, & Claude Leprince to Pointe-Prime.  Interestingly, at Anse-à-Pinnet in 1752, Renauchon Aucoin lived in the midst of 4 Gautrot families, the father & 3 brothers of Honoré!  See De La Roque, 2A:109-10, 120, 125; Book Four.  This was because the elder Gautrot's wife, Louise Aucoin, Honoré's mother, was Renauchon's paternal aunt.  In other words, Renauchon & the man who had ratted him out to the British were first cousins!  François Leprince, meanwhile, died between 15 Feb & 24 Nov 1751, age 71, at either Pigiguit or on Île St.-Jean.  There were other family connections in the group:  François LaVache was married to a Vincent; & Joseph Vincent dit Clément, like Jean La Gerne, was married to an Hébert.  See De La Roque; <>; White, DGFA-1, 46, 698-99, 977, 1079, 1582; Books Three & Four.  One wonders which Charles Hébert & which Joseph Vincent appeared on Gautrot's list.  See White, DGFA-1, 813, 815, 816, 822, 826, 831, 835, 838, 1579, 1584, for likely candidates. 

02a.  Quotations from White, DGFA-1 English, 215-16; Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Evangeline, Part the First, II & III.  See also Hodson, Acadian Diaspora, 35, 40, 66; White, DGFA-1, 1009-12, 1483; note 169, below; LeBlanc family page. 

The lines from Longfellow's Evangeline, Part the First, III, describing the notary include these words:  "Four long years in the time of the war had he languished a captive, / Suffering much in an old French fort as the friend of the English," which seems to describe his ordeal at the hands of Le Loutre & the partisans.  For anyone not familiar with Longfellow's classic poem, one does not have to guess at the identity of the notary from Grand-Pré--Longfellow names him at the end of Part the First, II:  "...'René Leblanc will be here anon, with his papers and inkhorn. / Shall we not then be glad, and rejoice in the joy of our children?' / As apart by the window she stood, with her hand in her lover's, / Blushing Evangeline heard the words that her father had spoken. / And, as they died on his lips the worthy notary entered."  The colonial council had appointed René LeBlanc, fils to replace the ailing Alexandre Bourg dit Bellehumeur as notary at Grand-Pré in Dec 1744, exactly 5 years before his detention. 

Hodson, 40, also citing Pinchon, places the kidnapping of the notary in the spring of 1750.  This may have been when LeBlanc's wife & other children joined him at Petitcoudiac.  René LeBlanc, fils's son Simon, a twin by the notary's second wife Marguerite Thébeau, was age 18 in Dec 1749.  In c1754, Simon married a woman whose name has been lost to history, so he survived his ordeal in Canada.  Genealogist Stephen A. White, following Pinchon, says that Simon's mother Marguerite died in c1750 "de chagrin"--"of grief."  Ironically, despite his reputation as an accommodator to British rule and his suffering at the hands of the Indians and his fellow Acadians, the British deported René, fils and members of his family to PA in the fall of 1755.  He died at Philadelphia after 6 February 1758, in his late 70s.  See White, DGFA-1, 1009-10, 1483; Book Three. 

Pinchon's "Beausoleil's place on the Petitcodiac" was, of course, Village-des-Beausoleil, where Joseph & Alexandre Broussard & their extended families had been living for a decade or so.  See note 222n, below. 

03.  Quotation from Griffiths, From Migrant to Acadian, 366.  See also Fortier, Louisiana, 1:154; Griffiths, 435. 

Le Loutre's sentiment about Acadian neutrality was expressed earlier by Jean-Baptiste-Nicolas-Roche de Ramezay, commander of French forces in Nova Scotia at the time of the Grand-Pré assault, but it was the "official" line of French authorities in the region & therefore of the abbé himself.  See note 106, below. 

04.  See Grenier, J., Far Reaches of Empire, 154-55.

Grenier, J., 154-55, says Acadians fought with the Mi'kmaq at St.-Croix.  See also online Wikipedia, "Father Le Loutre's War."  The site of the confrontation between the Mi'kmaq & Gorham's rangers is called today Battle Hill & stands near the village of St. Croix, east of Windsor, NS. 

The blockhouse at Pigiguit became Fort Edward. 

Grenier, J., 155, points out Cornwallis's disappointment with Gorham's performance at Pigiguit, especially his failure to alert Captain Handfield at Minas to strike the Indians & Acadians besieging them from the rear.  That a contingent of redcoats from that direction could have gotten anywhere close to the St.-Croix without being detected by the locals & warning their Mi'kmaq friends & fellow Acadians evidently was lost on the governor.  He was no fan of the Gorham/Goreham brothers, but he used them nonetheless. 

During King George's War, when Gorham's rangers first operated in NS, the largest contingent in his company were Mohawks, ancient enemies of the Algonquian people, including the Wabanaki.  One suspects that, if the Mohawks were a still part of Gorham's unit in 1749, neither the Mohawks nor the Mi'kmaq offered, or expected, quarter in their many clashes during the next half dozen years. 

05.  See Brasseaux, Founding of New Acadia, 179-80; Parkman, France & England, 2:924; Russ, "La Corne, Louis," in DCB, 3:331-32. 

06.  See Anderson, Crucible of War, 112; Douglas, "Rous," in DCB, 3:573; Erskine, Nova Scotia, 30; Marshall, Acadian Resistance, 94-97, 101; Parkman, France & England, 2:924-25; Pincombe, "How," in DCB, 3:297; Plank, Unsettled Conquest, 131; online Wikipedia, "Father Le Loutre's War," "Fort Beauséjour."

The remains of Fort Beauséjour, later Fort Cumberland, are today a Parks Canada historic site near present-day Amherst, NS.  The remains of Fort Gaspereau, also spelled Gaspareaux, later Fort Moncton, can be found at the mouth of the Gaspereau River near present-day Port Elgin, NB. 

Anderson, a generally reliable source, insists the French built Fort Beauséjour in 1750 & that "This had moved the British to construct a countervailing post, Fort Lawrence, on the opposite side of the Missaguash River."  Plank agrees.  In truth, the British built Fort Lawrence to overawe the habitants of the Chignecto area & the French camp on Beauséjour Ridge.  The French, who had only plans for a fort at Chignecto, reacted by building forts Beauséjour & Gaspereau to assert their own control of the area west/north of the Missaguash.  Marshall, 101, says in the summer of 1752, nearly 2 years after Fort Lawrence was constructed, Fort Beauséjour was "soon to be completed," but its construction had begun the year before.  Its plan was so elaborate, in fact, that is was still in an unfinished condition in Jun 1755 when the British attacked.  See note 168a, below.  

07.  Quotations from Griffiths, From Migrant to Acadian, 393; Brasseaux, Founding of New Acadia, 180.  See also Akins, ed., Papers Relating to the Forcible Removal of the Acadian French from Nova Scotia, 284; Clark, A. H., Acadia, 193-94, 221-22; Erskine, Nova Scotia, 21; Fortier, "Des Herbiers," in DCB, 3:183, Griffiths, 394, 446; Marshall, Acadian Resistance, 95-97; Plank, Unsettled Conquest, 130-31; Book Four. 

Erskine says of the scorched-earth policy at Chignecto in 1750:  "... the first expulsion had taken place," hence this author's calling it a petit dérangement

On 30 Nov 1755, Lawrence, serving as lieutenant-gov. of NS & defending his expulsion of the colony's Acadians, makes the amazing assertion in a letter to his superior in London that the Acadians east & south of the Missaguash, "who were numerous, and possessed a fine fertile Country, burned all their Houses and went over with their Families, upon the Land that the French claimed...," essentially saying that the Acadians burnt themselves out of home & property to go voluntarily to French territory!  See Akins, ed.; Plank; Book Three. 

Clark, A. H., 193-94, notes:  "The outstanding, and rather astonishing, fact is that most of the Acadians, despite suffering from pressure of repeated raids and the coming and going of larger or smaller contingents of regular or irregular forces of both sides, remained throughout the whole period, and especially in the most troubled years of declared war from 1744 to 1748, almost completely neutral.  That there was widespread sympathy and even passive support for the French among many of the Acadians is unquestioned...."  Italics added. 

Griffiths, 393, citing La Roque's census of 1752, gives the precise numbers of refugees from the mainland who resettled on Île St.-Jean.  The resettlement of these refugees more than doubled the population of the island.  It also placed hundreds of more Acadians in French-controlled territory.  Fortier says 3,000 refugees came to the Maritime islands "by 1751."  That number seems much too high. 

Marshall, 95, says that, while retreating in the face of Lawrence's advance from the Cumberland Basin to Beaubassin in Sep 1750, Le Loutre's Mikmaq & Beausoleil Broussard's Acadian partisans, "Rather than allow the British to benefit from the crops that the Beaubassin Acadians had planted the previous spring, ... set fire to every one of the fields then headed toward the [Missaguash] river and the relative security of the village of Beauséjour."  Unfortunately, Marshall's work is not documented, so one wonders where she got the information.  See also Marshall, 96-97. 

Griffiths, 446, says the French government imposed the oath on the Chignecto area habitants in 1751.  See also Plank, 131; note 330, below. 

Personal note:  the author's Cormier ancestors lived at Rivière-des-Héberts, one of the burned-out communities, but they did not migrate to Île St.-Jean.  They resettled, instead, in the Aulac area, west of the Missaguash, in what became Le Loutre's Nouvelle-Acadie. 

08.  Quotations from Clark, A. H., Acadia, 302; De La Roque "Tour of Inspection," Canadian Archives, 2A:3.  See also Clark, A. H., 297.

A. H. Clark, 297, using a 19th-century example, makes a compelling case that Île Royale could have developed a substantial agricultural base in the first half of the 18th century, lending credence to Gov. Raymond's enthusiasm. 

09.  See Griffiths, From Migrant to Acadian, 349; Hodson, Acadian Diaspora, 17-18; Martin, F.-X., Louisiana, 1:327-28.

Griffiths points out that even Mascarene, long open-minded about Acadian neutrality, considered the possibility of "eviction" as a solution to the Acadian problem before he rejected it.  Mascarene, like Lawrence, was close to Shirley, who was an early proponent of Acadian expulsion, though he, too, at times, expressed reservations about such a "Final Solution."  See also Hodson.

09a.  Quotations from Akins, ed., Papers Relating to the Acadian French, 1714-1755, 213-14; Griffiths, From Migrant to Acadia, 434, 573-74n117; Blakeley, "Morris," in DCB, & online.  See also Griffiths, 428-29, 433, 442; Perrin et al., eds., Acadie Then & Now, 9. 

Griffiths, 434, says that "it usually took five months, and often more," for dispatches to travel to & from London. 

09b.  Quotations from Griffiths, From Migrant to Acadian, 428-29.  See also Barry M. Moody, "Winslow, John," in DCB, & online; note 45, below. 

09c.  Quotations from Faragher, A Great & Noble Scheme, 288-89; Blakeley, "Morris," in DCB, & online.  See also Blakeley, "Cobb," in DCB, 3:128; Faragher, 290; Griffiths, From Migrant to Acadian, 367, 389; Plank, Unsettled Conquest, 143; notes 94 & 141a, below; Book Five. 

Faragher, 288, says that Morris retained his job as surveyor-general for the rest of his life, & was succeeded in the office his son, grandson, & great-grandson--a virtual dynasty. 

According to Blakeley, "Morris," Andrew Hill Clark, himself an important geographer of the Nova Scotia region, called Morris "Nova Scotia's first practical field geographer."  Blakeley says Morris's 107-page report included descriptions of the natives as well as climate, soil, trade, agriculture, & the Acadian population, "and is an important source about them." 

Plank says Lawrence had set his mind to removal as early as Jan 1755, "but the provincial council of Nova Scotia continued to debate the issue through the following spring."  On May 1, however, when he communicated with Monckton, who was still in Boston raising troops for the Chignecto expedition, Lawrence evinced a cautious tone about removal of the Acadians from Chignecto:  "The point was much debated, and it seemed to be thought the most prudent method (of pacifying Beauséjour) to drive away the inhabitants and destroy the country, because that would render it very difficult for the French to reestablish themselves in case of a war.  However the council have deferred coming to any determination upon this head until they have your opinion upon the matter, and by that time we may probably hear from England and be better able to judge or our own circumstances." 

09d.  Quotations from Griffiths, From Migrant to Acadian, 349; LeBlanc, Acadian Miracle, 283.  See also Griffiths, 462-63; Martin, F.-X., Louisiana, 1:326-27.

While placing the Acadian deportation in the larger European context, Griffiths, 462-63, notes:  "The Acadian deportation, as a government actions, was of a pattern with other contemporary happenings, from the deportations after the 1745 rebellion in Scotland to actions on the European continent during the War of the Austrian Succession.  It was, in many ways, quintessentially an act of a time when the state rested its authority upon the hereditary right of the monarch and when, as Dummot and Nicol have pointed out, there was 'a vertical relationship between monarch and individual, not a horizontal one between the members of a nation or the citizens of a body politics.'"  See also Book Four.   

10.  Mainstream historians use the dates 1754-63 for the so-called French & Indian War (needless to say, an anglophile term).  From May 1756, when formal war declarations were made, the war is known as the Seven Years' War, though it could not have been called that until it ended in Feb 1763.  What I mean here by the "final" French & Indian War is that the conflict of 1754-63 is part of the long struggle between Britain & France for hegemony in North America that commenced with King William's War (the War of the League of Augsburg in Europe) in 1689 & was fought until 1697, continued with Queen Anne's War (the War of the Spanish Succession in Europe) in 1702-13, & King George's War (the War of the Austrian Succession in Europe, begun there in 1740) fought in North America from 1744-48.  There were other, strictly North American conflicts, between those wars, such as the so-called Father Râle's War (another Anglophile name) of 1718-26, fought mostly in ME but also in NS.  The contention here is that the final French & Indian War included the so-called Father Le Loutre's War of 1749-54 (again, a name preferred by anglophile historians) & that this final French & Indian War began in British NS, not at the Forks of the Ohio.  To be sure, an actual battle between French & British forces (Virginia militia in this case) did not occur until Washington's ambush of Jumonville's force in western PA in late May 1754.  However, in 1749, the Mi'kmaq of NS had been French allies for nearly a century & a half, & their "leader," Jean-Louis Le Loutre, a French priest, was an agent employed by French officials at Québec & Louisbourg, with sanction from the French Court.  What broke out at Canso in Aug 1749 was war between France & Britain.  It was petite-guerre, or guerilla warfare, to be sure, with one side employing allies against the enemy's regular forces, but it was war between the imperial powers nonetheless.  (Sound familiar?)

11.  See Cameron, "Hopson," in DCB, 3:295; Graham, "Lawrence," in DCB, 3:362. 

Hopson, à la Richard Philipps, remained titular governor of Nova Scotia until 1755, when he resigned the office.  He received promotion to major- general in Feb 1757 & returned to Halifax in Jul of that year with reinforcements for the army commanded by the Earl of Loudon, which had come to Halifax from NY in Jun; Lawrence, by then, in spring of 1756, had been named Hopson's successor as the colony's governor.  Hopson served as adviser to both Loudon & Lawrence & concurred in Loudon's decision to abandon an assault against Louisbourg in 1757.  Loudon returned to NY in Aug, leaving Hopson in command of his troops at Halifax.  Loudon also had tasked Hopson to lead a strike against Louisbourg in 1758, but Hopson was recalled to England before the campaign commenced, under Jeffery Amherst.  In Nov 1758, Hopson, went, instead to Martinique to capture that sugar island from France.  From Martinique, the expedition moved on to Basse-Terre, Guadeloupe, but by then Hopson's health had collapsed completely.  He died on Guadeloupe on 27 Feb 1759, probably in his late 60s.  See Book Seven.  He never married & left his earthly belongings to a niece & 2 sisters.  See Cameron. 

12.  Graham, "Lawrence," in DCB, 3:361-66, tries mightily to do justice to this controversial man whose role in Acadian history is unrivaled in importance. 

13.  Quotations from Marshall, Acadian Resistance, 125; Akins, ed., Papers Relating to the Forcible Removal of the Acadian French from Nova Scotia, 271, 278; Erskine, Nova Scotia, 22; Fortier, Louisiana, 1:155-56; Griffiths, From Migrant to Acadian, 454; Clark, A. H., Acadia, 211.  See also Clark, A. H., 212, 235; Fortier, 1:295; Graham, "Lawrence," in DCB, 3:362-63; Grenier, J., Far Reaches of Empire, 172; Martin, F.-X., Louisiana, 1:326-28; note 81b, below.

Judge Martin, writing in 1827, offers an anglocentric rationalization of why the British felt compelled to remove the Acadians from Nova Scotia:  "The vicinity of a country, with the inhabitants of which, these people were so intimately connected by the ties of nature, allegiance and national character, who spoke the same language and professed the same religion, prevented them from considering themselves, as of a different country, or as subjects of a different crown.  They saw in the neighbouring Canadians a band of brothers, on whose assistance, in an emergency, they might rely, and considered, themselves as equally bound to yield theirs in return.  They had, on every occasion, enlisted theirs[sic] feelings their passions and their forces, with these neighbours, and in the late attack against Beausejour, a considerable number of them were found arrayed against the the conquerors, under the banner of France."  Judge Martin adds:  "It appeared equally dangerous to permit them to depart or stay.  For it seemed certain that, if they were left at liberty to chuse the place of their removal, they would set down, as nearly as they could to the country they should leave, that might could be ready to follow any troops, the government of Canada might send to retake it.  In this dilemma, it was deemed the safest expedient to remove these people, in such a manner as to lessen or destroy, by their division, the danger that might be apprehended from them.  They were accordingly, at different periods, shipped off in small numbers to the British provinces to the south of New Jersey."  One suspects that the judge, though a native of Marseille & a long-time resident of New Orleans who would have been familiar with the descendants of Acadian exiles, confined his research on this chapter of their history largely to British sources. 

Fortier, a Louisiana French Creole, writing in 1904, spurned anglocentric rationalizations and offered an antithesis of Judge Martin's view of the Expulsion:  "Parksman says that 'the Acadians, though calling themselves neutrals, were an enemy encamped in the heart of the province," and adds:  'These are the reasons which explain and palliate a measure too harsh and indiscriminate to be wholy justified.'  It is impossible to justify the measure in any way," Fortier insists; "fear of an enemy does not justify his murder, and the expulsion of the Acadians was the cause of untold misery, both physical and moral, and of the death of a number of men, women, and children.  If the harsh removal of the Acadians is justifiable, so is Bonaparte's massacre of the prisoners of Jaffa.  He could not provide for them as prisoners, and if he released them they would immediately attack again." 

Professor Jo Ann Carrigan of LSU, writing in the mid-1960s, says, when discussing Fortier's criticism of Bienville's hard treatment of the Natchez in 1716:  "In discussing the expulsion of the Acadians from Nova Scotia, Fortier expressed a similar judgment for what he viewed as an immoral act:  'It must be admitted that the British were in great peril in the midst of men openly or secretly hostile to them; but no necessity of war can justify the measures taken to rid English Nova Scotia of her French Acadians.'"  The professor continues:  "From the British point of view, however, the action was considered a military necessity and a last resort after having tried other less drastic measures without success in coping with this 'fifth column.'"  Quoting Oscar Winzerling, she adds:  "The unfortunate Acadians were 'caught as pawns on the chessboard of international rivaly,' a game seldom, if ever, played by the rules of strict morality."  See Fortier, 1:295n33.  Contrast Professor Carrigan's Realpolitik with the nuanced view of Acadian "politics" evinced by Naomi Griffiths in note 182d, below.

Erskine, writing in the mid-1970s, says of Lawrence's decision to deport the Acadians:  "Lawrence has been painted as a heartless villain.  But let us put ourselves in his place.  He was the governor entrusted with the protection of this province.  If he had been kind and the French had come again and recaptured the province, would history have recorded him as an irresponsible sentimentalist who should never have been given the post of governor?"  Point well taken, but the question also should be asked:  What was it about Acadian behavior during this & previous conflicts that compelled Lawrence to conclude the great majority of them "were inveterate Enemies" of the British? 

14.  Quotation from online Wikipedia, "Father Le Loutre's War."  See also Grenier, J., Far Reaches of Empire, 167; LeBlanc, R.-G., "Acadians in Halifax & on Georges Island," 5; I. K. Steele, "Monckton, Robert," in DCB, online; notes 25 & 235c, below; Book Four.  

15.  Quotations from Griffiths, From Migrant to Acadian, 445-46; Clark, A. H., Acadia, 220-21, 241.  See also Clark, A. H., 240; Pierre-L. Côté, "Duquesne (Du Quesne, Duquaine, Duquêne) de Menneville, Ange, Marquis Duquesne," in DCB, online; Finn, "Le Loutre," in DCB, online; Marshall, Acadian Resistance, 102; online Wikipedia, "Father Le Loutre's War."

The previous governor-general, La Jonquière, died at Québec in Mar 1752.  He was succeeded by Canadian native Charles Le Moyne de Longueuil, who served as acting governor-general, until Duquesne reached Québec on 1 Jul 1752.  See Côté

Clark, A. H., 240-41, says, in discussing Acadians dyking operations:  "There clearly was a limit beyond which the technical resources of the Acadians could not reach and the largest Acadian venture, on Rivière Aulac in the Tantramar marshes, begun by the Abbé Le Loutre in the early 1750's but never completed, was the most elaborate project undertaken."   He adds, 241n122:  "The money for this ambitious project (50,000 livres) was given to Le Loutre in 1752 and it appears to have been begun but abandoned during the siege of Fort Beauséjour [Jun 1755], never to be completed."  He cites a modern study, in 1930 which says that "portions of the associated dyke still may be indentified."  

23.  See Hodson, Acadian Diaspora, 40; Fortier, "Des Herbiers," in DCB, 3:183; Parkman, France & England, 2:913; note 109, below.

According to Parkman, La Jonquière decreed that "neither soldier or French inhabitant is to join them [Le Loutre's Mi'kmaq]."  If Boishébert & Le Loutre passed this on to the Broussards and their fellow partisans, the Acadians typically ignored it. 

25.  Quotations from Faragher, A Great & Noble Scheme, 291; Akins, ed., Papers Relating to the Acadian French, 1714-1755, 228; Grenier, J., Far Reaches of Empire, 169.  See also Akins, ed., 214-15; Faragher, 290; Griffiths, From Migrant to Acadian, 435-37; note 14, above; Book Four.

Online Wikipedia, "Father Le Loutre's War," says Acadians from Minas helped their cousins at Chignecto to build Le Loutre's new dykes, which did not commence in earnest until Le Loutre's return from France in the summer of 1753.  By then, the Wikipedia author says, there were 2,000 Acadians & 300 Mi'kmaq "encamped near-by," including a potential workforce of 1,400 to 1,500 Acadian men, which seems high considering the total number of Acadians and the average size of their families.  Le Loutre could not expect the Mi'kmaq to help in the dyking operation; they would provide, instead, along with the Acadian militia, protection from British raids out of Fort Lawrence. 

Evidently the settlers from Pigiguit who went to Île Royale in 1751 or 1752 & then returned to Nova Scotia in 1754 passed thru Chignecto one way or another.  How else would they have witnessed Abbé Le Loutre's autocratic rule there? 

Was the petitioner Olivier Landry of Chignecto among the first Acadians to settle in LA?  The Olivier who went to LA would have been in his mid-20s in 1754 & married for half a dozen years.  See Book Six. 

For mention of Le Loutre's "Cathedral," as well as a view of it, c1755, see online Wikipedia, "Fort Beauséjour."  The colorized sketch, made probably by a British artist, given the direction of view, shows a completed church, replete with bell tower. 

Faragher, 290, implies that the Acadians "from Minas"--actually Pigiguit--had been lured by Le Loutre to Chignecto, but they actually had gone to Baie-de-Espagnols on Île Royale before ending up at Mirliguèche on the Atlantic coast.  See Akins, ed.; Book Four. 

26.  See online Wikipedia, "Father Le Loutre's War." 

27.  Quotations from Marshall, Acadian Resistance, 74, 77; M. D. Johnson, "Gay Desenclaves," in DCB, 3:257.  See also Beck, "Cornwallis," in DCB, online; Micheline D. Johnson, "Daudin (d'Audin, Dandin, Daudier), Henri," in DCB, 3:165-66, & online; Hodson, Acadian Diaspora, 40.

Marshall, 77, names the chiefs.

Desenclaves, M. D. Johnson tells us, urged his Acadian parishioners to take the unconditional oath of allegiance to the British crown, though, hypocritically, he did not take it himself.  His colleague, Fr. Chauvreulx, did take the unconditional oath, thereby alienating the French authorities.  The other priests in the region were closer in attitude to Le Loutre.  After Le Loutre moved to Chignecto, Desenclaves & Chauvreulx were the only priests left in British Nova Scotia.  The Bishop of Québec's vicar-general for missionaries at Paris, Abbé de L'Isle-Dieu, was willing to increase the number of priests in the French-controlled areas of Acadia, but, not until 1753 was he willing to send another priest to British Nova Scotia.  That priest was Abbé Henri Daudin, & he went to Nova Scotia with the injunction of encouraging the Acadians to "remain under French allegiance"; Daudin, in fact, sought the recall of Fr. Desenclaves, "whom he considered too favourable to the policy of the British."  See M.  D. Johnson, "Daudin"; note 42a, below.  Desenclaves was determined to protect the Acadians from the consequences of turning to the French and doubtless learned of his colleague's treachery.  In the spring of 1754, Desenclaves left his parish at Annapolis & withdrew to the seigneurie of the d'Entremonts at Pobomcoup, near Cap-Sable.  "He thus escaped deportation in 1755; in April 1756 he was present, helpless, at Jedediah Preble's raid on the Pobomcoup region, an incident of which he was the sole witness."  Taking to the woods with "a score" of local Acadians, he managed to escape deportation again.  Joseph Gorham captured him in 1758, & Fr. Desenclaves was imprisoned at Halifax before being transported to France.  He reached Le Havre in Feb 1759.  Abbé de L'Isle-Dieu arranged for a pension of 400 livres.  Desenclaves wasted little time penning a letter to Minister of Marine Nicolas-René Berryer, suggesting that if Canada fell the French Canadians should be transported to LA.  He died probably at Limoges, his birthplace, in 1766, age 62.  Johnson concludes:  "Desenclaves has been in particularly high favour with English-language historians.  The opinion expressed by one of them, A. G. Doughty, in 1916 sums up fairly well that of the others:  'If the Acadians had had more advisers of the type of the Abbé Desenclaves, they might have been spared much of the suffering which fell to their lot.'  This statement implies that Desenclaves was the only missionary in English Acadia who did not play a political role in France's favour among the Acadian population.  In any case, it seems difficult to maintain that the Acadians' fate would have been different if all their missionaries had acted as had Abbé Desenclaves." 

28.  Quotation froms Finn, "Le Loutre," in DCB, online.  See also Charters & Sutherland, "Goreham, Joseph," in DCB, online; Davis, S. A., Mi'kmaq, 33; Grenier, J., Far Reaches of Empire, 150, 223n16; M. D. Johnson, "Maillard," in DCB, 3:417; Krugler, "Gorham, John," in DCB, 3:260; Marshall, Acadian Resistance, 80

Grenier, J., 223n16, notes that the term "Father Le Loutre's War" is his, from chap. 2 of his earlier work, The First Way of War:  America War Making on the Frontier, 1607-1814, published in 2005. 

Petite guerre is called guerilla warfare today.  Same concept, different language.  Online Wikipedia, "Father Le Loutre's War," describes the war as a "petite guerre behind Anglo-American lines" & asserts: "The upheaval caused by this war was unprecedented.  Atlantic Canada witnessed more population movements, more fortification construction, and more troop allocations than ever before in the region.  Twenty-four conflicts were recorded (battles, raids, skirmishes) during the war, 13 of which were Mi'kmaq and Acadian raids on the capital region Halifax/Dartmouth.  As typical of frontier warfare, many additional conflicts were unrecorded."  The beginning of the war is considered to be the British establishment of Halifax in Jun 1749, & the end of it the fall of French Fort Beauséjour in Jun 1755, followed by the deportation of the Acadians from NS.

The Gorham/Goreham brothers spelled their surname differently.  See Krugler; Charters & Sutherland.

Marshall insists that Beausoleil Broussard & other partisans, dressed as Indians, participated in the attack at Dartmouth.  Grenier, J., 150, agrees, though he does not paint Beausoleil & the partisans. 

According to M. D. Johnson, after Fr. Maillard penned the Mi'kmaq declaration of war--she says it was done on 23 Sep 1749--& authored other documents explaining to his superiors the M'kmaq position in their struggle with the British, the abbé remained on Île Royale, where he established a mission in the interior of the island at Île-de-la-Ste.-Famille in the early 1750s.  It was Fr. Jean Manash, a Seminarian sent to greater Acadia to assist abbés Le Loutre & Maillard in their endeavors, who served as Le Loutre's right-hand man during the petite guerre in NS, though, M. D. Johnson notes, "From his mission on Île de la Sainte-Famille Maillard kept the Micmacs in a state of war, and continued to do so until 1758."  During Le Grand Dérangement, Maillard, unlike Le Loutre, refused to abandon the Mi'kmaq & the Acadians exiles in the region & cooperated with the British after the fall of Louisbourg in 1758.  See note 38, below; Books Three & Four.

29.  Quotations from Beck, "Cornwallis," in DCB, online.  See also Marshall, Acadian Resistance, 103.

Marshall says Cornwallis suffered from rheumatism. 

Back in England, Cornwallis married a viscount's daughter in Mar 1753 and exchanged his colonelcy in the 40th Foot for that of the 24th Foot, but he could not refrain from politics.  He secured a seat in Parliament from Westminster in 1753 and held it until 1762.  At the outbreak of the Seven Years's War, in 1756, he took his regiment to Minorca.  Though he was not in command of the failed expedition, he suffered the indignity of court martial, in which he was acquitted, and a harsh lampooning in the press.  His powerful friends came to his rescue, and he was promoted to major general in 1757.  In Oct of that year, he commanded a brigade in the abortive Rochefort campaign, for which he was attacked in the press again.  After a tour in Ireland, he gained promotion to lieutenant general in 1760 and was appointed governor of Gibraltar in 1762.  He detested the place and requested a transfer, but "Minorca and Rochefort perhaps told against him."  He remained at Gibraltar until his death, which came at age 63 in January 1776.  See Beck. 

30.  Quotaton from Cameron, "Hopson," in DCB, 3:294.  See also Akins, ed., Papers Relating to the Acadian French, 1714-1755, 168, 170; Marshall, Acadian Resistance, 103.

Marshall calls Hopson "a well-respected soldier."

31.  Quotation from Cameron, "Hopson," in DCB, 3:294.  See also Marshall, Acadian Resistance, 103.

32.  Quotations from Johnson, "Cope," in DCB, 3:136.  See also Cameron, "Hopson," in DCB, 3:294; Davis, S. A., Mi'kmaq, 67-69; Finn, "Le Loutre," in DCB, online; Marshall, Acadian Resistance, 103, 105. 

Johnson gives the date of May 19 for Cope's attack on Casteel et al. but gives no location.  Online Wikipedia, "Father Le Loutre's War," says it happened on Apr 19 off the coast at Jeddore & calls Casteel an Acadian & the pilot of the schooner. 

S. A. Davis provides the text of Cope's treaty, signed on Nov 22 & forwarded by Hopson to the Earl of Holdernesse (the secretary of state for the Southern Department) on Dec 6.  The "signatories" for the Mi'kmaq (they all made their mark) were Jean Baptiste Cope, Andrew Hadley, François, & Gabriel; the full names of the last 3, according to the treaty's preamble, were Andrew Hadley Martin, François Jeremiah, & Gabriel Martin.  British signers included not only Hopson, but also Charles Lawrence, Benjamin Green, John Salusbury, William Steele, & John Collier, all members of the colonial Council.  For the earlier treaties, see note 194, below.

33.  Quotations from Pincombe, "How," in DCB, 3:297-98.  See also Arsenault, Genealogie, 514n35; Grenier, J., Far Reaches of Empire, 111-12, 134, 144-45, 147, 150, 159, 163; Micheline D. Johnson, "Bâtard, Étienne (Anthony)," in DCB, 3:34, & online; Micheline D. Johnson, "Cope (Cop, Copt, Coptk), Jean-Baptiste," in DCB, 3:136, & online; Marshall, Acadian Resistance, 95-96; <>; notes 104 & 138, below; Book Three. 

Grenier, J., 145, points out that Cornwallis's Council voted unanimously to impose an unqualified oath of the allegiance on the Nova Scotia Acadians in 1749.  This would have required the consent of How as well as Mascarene & would not have endeared either man to the Acadians.

M. D. Johnson, "Bâtard," blames Bâtard for the shooting, which she says took place on Oct 15, not Oct 4, which is Pincombe's date.  Evidently Bâtard used the parley as an opportunity to ambush his New English rival.  See also M. D. Johnson, "Cope," which says Cope, a Mi'kmaq chief from Shubenacadie & one of Le Loutre's confederates, may have been part of the ambush set up by Bâtard, "How's real murderer."  Grenier, J., 159, calls Étienne Bâtard a métis & uses the word "probably" in naming Bâtard as How's killer. 

Marshall, using the date Oct 4, blames Bâtard for the shooting but insists that "Acadian rebels" also fired on How

Acadian genealogist Bona Arsenault, in a reference to Jean, son of Charles Doucet and Marguerite Préjean of Chignecto, born at Chigencto in c1751, notes that prominent Acadian historian Édouard Richard, one of Charles's descendants, accepts the legend that his, Richard's maternal grandfather Jean Doucet was How's "natural" son.  The Englishman would have been turned 49 in 1751.  See Arsenault; Book Three. 

34.  Quotation from Blakeley, "Cobb," in DCB, 3:128.  See also Blakeley, "Morris," in DCB, online; Douglas, "Rous," in DCB, 3:573; Faragher, A Great & Noble Scheme, 350; Grenier, J., Far Reaches of Empire, 147, 180; Historical Atlas of Canada, 1: plate 30; P. E. LeBlanc, "Deschamps de Boishébert," in DCB, online; note 104, below.

Faragher calls Boishébert's force on the lower St.-Jean Canadian militiamen.  Grenier, J., 180, calls Boishébert "an officer in the troupes de la marine."  That the young lieutenant's men were troupes de la marine & not Canadian militia makes more sense for 2 reasons:  first, militia tended to serve close to home, & the lower St.-Jean was far from Canada; second, & most compelling, even if Boishébert's men were Canadian militia, they likely would have served short terms of service, for only a few weeks or months, as opposed to troupes de la marine, who were regular French soldiers assigned to colonial service & remained on active duty for years. 

P. E. LeBlanc says Boishébert was promoted to lieutenant on 28 Feb 1748.  After being wounded at Grand-Pré in Feb 1747, Boishébert returned to Québec with Ramezay's force, helped supervise a prisoner exchange at Gaspé, helped put down an Indian uprising in the pay d'en haut, &, after his promotion, served at Détroit.  He was sent back to Acadia in 1749, not long before his encounter with Rous & How on the lower St.-Jean.  See also note 113, below.

P. E. LeBlanc seems to be saying that Boishébert "rebuilt" his fort at the river's mouth & calls it Fort Menagouèche.  Grenier puts Boishébert's fort at the mouth of the Nerepis, but he calls it "Fort de Nerepice, also known as Fort Boishébert," not Ménagouèche.  La Tour's fort at the mouth of Rivière St.-Jean, built in 1631-32, was first called Fort Ste.-Marie & then Fort La Tour & is where his second wife had been mortally wounded in 1645 by d'Aulnay & his men.  Historical Atlas of Canada shows the relative positions of forts La Tour & Ménagouèche--the older fort on the left, or east bank of the channel, the newer one opposite.  See also note 332, below. 

Blakeley, "Morris," says that, based on a survey of the river conducted by Nova Scotia's surveyor-general, Charles Morris, during the late 1760s, Riviére St.-Jean was navigable "for vessels of 100 tons as far as Sainte-Anne," which is present day Fredericton. 

Douglas, not mentioning How's presence, insists that "By force of personality Rous made the French commander [Boishébert] strike his colours and acknowledge that the territory [on the lower St.-Jean] was at best disputed."  One suspects that Boishébert, a proud Canadian, was more impressed by How's diplomacy than Rous's "force of personality." 

Blakeley, "Cobb," places the encounter on the St.-Jean with Boishébert in 1750. 

P. E. LeBlanc adds that, after he built the fort, Boishébert, "disguised as a fisherman, went up and down the coasts of Acadia in order to assess the Acadians' loyalty to France."   

35.  Quotations from Finn, "Le Loutre," in DCB, online.  See also Griffiths, From Migrant to Acadian, 435. 

François-Marie was former French officials Mathieu de Goutin & his wife Jeanne Thibodeau's oldest son.  See Book One. 

36.  Quotations from Graham, "Lawrence" in DCB, 3:362; Blakeley, "Morris," in DCB, online; Griffiths, From Migrant to Acadian, 397.  See also Cameron, "Hopson," in DCB, 3:294; LeBlanc, R.-G., "Acadians in Halifax & on Georges Island," 3; Marshall, Acadian Resistance, 103-04, 110; online Wikipedia, "Father Le Loutre's War"; notes 235a & 235b, below. 

36a.  Quotation from Marshall, Acadian Resistance, 105. 

36b.  Quotations from Cameron, "Hopson," in DCB, 3:294; Graham, "Lawrence" in DCB, 3:362. 

37.  See Douglas, "Rous," in DCB, 3:573; Marshall, Acadian Resistance, 111; Bernard Pothier, "Du Pont Duchambon De Vergor, Louis," in DCB, online; White, DGFA-1 English, 125; online Wikipedia, "Father Le Loutre's War." 

Strangely, Rous's biography in the DCB does not even mention the fight with Vergor off Cap-Sable.  See Douglas. 

38.  See Finn, "Le Loutre," in DCB, online; Griffiths, From Migrant to Acadian, 435; Marshall, Acadian Resistance, 102; Taillemite, "Barrin," in DCB, 3:30; note 94, below

39.  Quotations from Finn, "Le Loutre," in DCB, online

One of the new missionary recruits was Le Loutre's fellow Séminarian, Abbé Henri Daudin.  See note 42a, below. 

40.  See Finn, "Le Loutre," in DCB, online.

According to online Wikipedia, "Father Le Loutre's War," one of the first things Le Loutre did when he returned to Acadia was pay his Mi'kmaq for 18 British scalps taken in raids during his absence, especially during the summer of "peace" following the signing of Cope's treaty. 

41.  See Marshall, Acadian Resistance, 110-11; online Wikipedia, "Father Le Loutre's War."

Lawrence resurrected the settlement in 1755, but abandoned it permanently in 1757 in the wake of more Mi'kmaq raids. 

42.  Quotations from Faragher, A Great & Noble Scheme, 290; Grenier, J., Far Reaches of Empire, 168; Marshall, Acadian Resistance, 111, 112.  See also Grenier, J., 169; Griffiths, From Migrant to Acadian, 434; Pothier, "Du Pont Duchambon De Vergor," in DCB, online; notes 38, above, 168a, below. 

Pothier says Vergor became commander of Fort Beauséjour in Aug 1754.  He was a son of the Duchambon who surrendered Louisbourg to Pepperell in 1745, was also a veteran of that siege, & was the French naval officer defeated by British Captain Rous off Cap-Sable in Oct 1750.  Vergor also was an Acadian of sorts; his mother was a granddaughter of Pobomcoup seigneur Philippe Mius d'Entremont.  See notes 37, above, & 168a, below. 

Marshall, 111, says that "For several weeks after Vergor's arrival, the three men [Le Loutre, Vergor, & Hussey] met frequently to consider various options...."  Grenier, J., 169, however, calls Hussey "the British officer at Fort Lawrence who handled the exchange of letters with Le Loutre...," a more likely scenario considering the state of affairs between the imperial rivals at the time. 

Griffiths, 434, shows that, in a letter from Lawrence to Hussey in Nov 1754 the governor was well aware of Le Loutre's game. 

42a.  Quotation from M. D. Johnson, "Daudin," in DCB, 3:166.  See also Finn, "Le Loutre," in DCB, online; Griffiths, From Migrant to Acadian, 434-35; M. D. Johnson, "Chauvreulx," in DCB, 3:120-21; M. D. Johnson, "Daudin," 3:165; M. D. Johnson, "Gay Desenclaves," in DCB, 3:257; notes 27, above, & 169, below. 

Daudin & Le Loutre were the same age.  Born in c1709, they were in their mid-40s during the mid-1750s.  More significantly to their relationship, they had studied together at the Séminaire du Saint-Esprit in Paris.  See Finn; M. D. Johnson, "Daudin," 3:165. 

Griffiths, 435, says Daudin "arrived at Annapolis Royal in 1753 and was transferred to Pisiquid in 1754," but M. D. Johnson, "Daudin," 3:166, implies that Daudin went to Halifax first, where the Gov. Hopson "received him cordially," & then went on to Pigiguit.  In Oct 1753, Abbé Desenclaves was still at Annapolis Royal, & Daudin did not replace him there until after Apr 1754.  See M. D. Johnson, "Gay Desenclaves." 

In 1755, Daudin's superior in Paris, Abbé de L'Isle-Dieu, recommended him to replace Le Loutre as vicar general in Nova Scotia, but circumstances intruded.  On Aug 6, Daudin was arrested, perhaps at Annapolis, while saying mass.  He was held briefly at Fort Edward--located, ironically, at his former parish of Pigiguit--& then taken to Halifax with 2 other priests, Frs. Chauvreulx & Lemaire, where the missionaries, under a heavy military guard, were "exposed to the population for three-quarters of an hour" before being held on a British warship in the harbor.  Lawrence then deported the 3 missionaries to Portsmouth, England, where they were set free & allowed to return to France.  Daudin & the others reached St.-Malo on Dec 8, & Daudin was waiting to return to Acadia to join the resistance there when he died suddenly at Paris in Aug 1756, only 47 years old.  His death, & Le Loutre's capture by the British the year before, discouraged Abbé de L'Islle-Dieu from sending any more priests to Acadia.  See M. D. Johnson, "Chauvreulx"; M. D. Johnson, "Daudin," 3:166. 

42b.  See M. D. Johnson, "Chauvreulx," in DCB, 3:119-21; notes 65, 79, 103, & 222h, below. 

42c.  Quotations from Griffiths, From Migrant to Acadian, 435-36; Akins, ed., Papers Relating to the Acadian French, 1714-1755, 224; M. D. Johnson, "Daudin," in DCB, 3:166.  See also Akins, ed., 223, 225-27, 234-35; Marshall, Acadian Resistance, 75. 

Griffiths, 436, calls Claude Broussard a BrossartAkins, ed., 226, calls him Claud Brossart, calls Griffiths's Baptiste Galerne a Galerue; & mentions Jacque Forret--that is, Jacques Forest--& his excuse for not appearing before the Council.  M. D. Johnson, "Daudin," does not make clear to which of Daudin's 2 parishes--Annapolis Royal or Pigiguit--the delegates belonged, but Griffiths & Akins, ed., make it clear that they were from Pigiguit. 

Who was Baptiste Galerne/Galerue?  See Marshall; & note 236a, below, for the name Baptiste Gaillard as a delegate from Pigiguit to Cornwallis's colonial Council in Jul 1749.  Was this the same fellow as Baptiste Galerne, still a delegate from that community 5 years later?  The surname Gaillard is not in Arsenault, Généalogie, or White, DGFA-1, so it may have been a dit.  The Chavet dit La Gerne family, active in the Acadian resistance after King George's War, whose name sounds like Galerne, lived at Pigiguit, but there was no Baptiste among them in the late 1740s & early 1750s.  There was in the family, however, a Jean dit Petit Jean.  See Book Three. 

43.  See Erskine, Nova Scotia, 21; Faragher, A Great & Noble Scheme, 230-31; Sutherland, "Mascarene," in DCB, 3:438-39; online Wikipedia, "William Shirley"; notes 67 & 81b, below.   

44.  Quotations from Anderson, Crucible of War, 29.  See also Eccles, "Céloron," in DCB, 3:100; Paul Trap, "Mouet de Langlade, Charles-Michel," in DCB, online; note 112, below.

Eccles says Governor-General La Jonquière, in 1751, ordered Céloron de Blainville, then commander at Détroit, to lead a force of Canadians & Indians into the Ohio country to destroy the Miami, but Céloron "demurred, claiming that should the campaign fail, he consquences would be disastrous and that 1,800 troops and militia would be needed to ensure success."  Needless to say, Jonquière "was incensed at this refusal to carry out his orders and he made an adverse report to the minister of Marine," almost ending Céloron's long career.

45.  Quotations from Anderson, Crucible of War, 87; Graham, "Lawrence," in DCB, 3:362See also Anderson, 85-86, 90, 92; W. A. B. Douglas, "Boscawen, Edward," in DCB, 3:70-71, & online; Grenier, J., Far Reaches of Empire, 169-70; Griffiths, From Migrant to Acadian, 441; notes 09b, above, & 324, below

Griffiths, 441, says Braddock reached Hampton Roads on Feb 23.  Anderson, 85, says Feb 19. 

On Braddock's staff, serving as volunteer aide-de-camp, would be Lt. Col. Washington of the VA militia.  See Anderson, 92. 

46.  Quotations from Bruce & Gipson, Cajun-English Dictionary/Phrasebook, 1; Fischer, Champlain's Dream, 493; Clark, A. H., Acadia, 150, 231.  See also René Baudry, "Mombeton de Brouillan, Jacques-François de," in DCB, 2:480, & online; Griffiths, From Migrant to Acadian, 100; Masseaut et al., eds., Creolization in the French Americas, viii.

For creolization as it relates to French colonials, see Masseaut et al.; Book Seven. 

For more on Mascarene, see note 56, below. 

47.  Quotations from Griffiths, From Migrant to Acadian, 130; Clark, A. H., Acadia, 150, 179; Erskine, Nova Scotia, 36.  See also Clark, A. H., 151-57, 246; Griffith, 175, 180; Hoffman, Cabot to Cartier, 204-06; Robertson, Red Earth; online Wikipedia, "Alewife."   

Clark, A. H., 151-57, provides an overview of the so-called outlying settlements, including seafood found along the coasts. 

Anadromous fish are saltwater species that spawn in freshwater streams, as opposed to catadromous, which, like eels, are freshwater species that spawn in the ocean.  See Hoffman, 205-06. 

48.  Quotation from Griffiths, From Migrant to Acadian, 331. 

48a.  Quotations from Brasseaux, Founding of New Acadia, 155-56; Clark, A. H., Acadia, 195; Hodson, Acadian Diaspora, 28; Milling, Exile Without End, 3; White, DGFA-1 English, 70.   See also Gérard Finn, "Le Loutre, Jean-Louis," in DCB, online; Pritchard, In Search of Empire, 337; White, DGFA-1, 621-31, 761, 873-74, 1145-50.

Milling says of the Huguenots in early Acadia, c1610s:  "But although the Jesuits completely dominated Canada, Huguenots continued to emigrate to Acadia, where their religion appears to have been tolerated for many years."  He cites Charles W. Baird, D.D., History of the Huguenot Emigration in America, 1:84-99, published in NY in 1885, to buttress this assertion.  For a controversy over the appointment of a Huguenot as director of the Compagnie de Pêche Sédentaires de l'Acadie in the early 1680s, see Book One. 

For the genealogies of the families mentioned here, see White, DGFA-1.  For the role of priests in Acadian life, including their service as French agents, see notes 222h & 237, below.  See also Finn

The much more famous witch hysteria at Salem & other communities in the Massachusetts Bay Colony occurred during the spring & summer of 1692, 7 years after Jean Campagna's trial for witchcraft at Beaubassin.  See Pritchard. 

48b.  Quotations from White, DGFA-1 English, 259-60.  See also Noël Baillargeon, "Trouvé, Claude," in DCB, 2:637-38, & online; See Baudry, "Des Friches de Meneval," in DCB, 2:184; Gérard Desjardins, "Petit, Louis," in DCB, 2:521-22, & online; White, DGFA-1, 184, 186, 1067, 1225, 1290; White, DGFA-1 English, 38, 76, 261, 274, 484, 1068. 

Meneval's insistence, in Oct 1688, that there were no officers of justice in the colony at the time of the incident at Beaubassin may be saying that de Goutin's predecessor as lieutenant général civil et criminel, the aging Michel Boudrot, who would have been in his late 80s & whom the much younger de Goutin replaced in Aug 1688, was not able to perform his duties in 1687.  Boudrot had served in the post for decades.  However, on 25 Mar 1687, a "Commission of office as King's attorney in the jurisdiction of Acadia" was "granted to Me Pierre Chesnet," actually Pierre Chênet, later the Sieur Dubreuil.  See White, DGFA-1, 184, 186; White, DGFA-1 English, 38, 76, 260 (quotation from 76).  As Mathieu de Goutin averred in his Oct 1690 memorial, Meneval obviously was dissembling when he said there were no officers of justice in the colony at the time of the Le Neuf/Morin affair.  True, as governor, Meneval's duties did not include the realm of justice; that was reserved for an intendant, & since there was never an intendant in Acadia, justice was served by the King's lieutenant général civil et criminel & a King's attorney.  Was it in the governor's powers to delegate judicial authority to the priests?  Would the Le Neuf/Morin affair have been an ecclesiastical, not a civil, matter?  Probably not.  One suspects that Meneval was overawed by his predecessor, the seigneur of Beaubassin, & allowed the priest, or priests, to mete out "justice" at Beaubassin despite the presence of Boudrot & Chênet at Port-Royal in their respective civil capacities.  Even Meneval's biographer chastises the governor for his role in the Le Neuf/Morin affair.  See Baudry. 

In 1687, Fr. Trouvé's superior in the colony would have been Abbé Louis Petit, vicar general for the Bishop of Québec.  Fr. Petit was in fact the first vicar general of Acadia, had served in that capacity since 1676, & resided at Port-Royal.  In May 1690, 2 years after the Le Neuf/Morin affair, Frs. Trouvé & Petit were captured at Port-Royal by a New English force under Sir William Phips.  After taking the priests to Boston, Phips took them on his offensive against Québec, where, after Phips failed to take the Canadian capital, they were exchanged for English prisoners.  Father Petit returned to Acadia to rebuild the church & presbytery destroyed by the New Englanders, but Father Trouvé, wisely, chose to remain at Québec, where he was a favorite of the bishop.  However, after 4 years of petty ecclesiastical politics in Canada, the missionary returned to Beaubassin & remained there until his death a decade later in 1704.  In the end, having died from the rigors of a New English raid against Chignecto during Queen Anne's War, the old missionary became a hero to his Beaubassin flock.  See Baillargeon, "Trouvé," 2:638; Desjardins, "Petit"; White, DGFA-1 English, 274; Book One. 

The memorials cited here name Louis Morin but "keep a respectful silence regarding the name of his accomplice."  Citing Acadian genealogist A. Godbout & analyzing the available sources, White concludes that only Marie-Josèphe Le Neuf "was old enough" at the time "for such adventures."  He also points out that Marie-Josèphe stood as godmother for 2 of the youngest Morin children, both boys, evidence that she was close to the family (noblesse oblige, one might say, that got way out of hand).  Amazingly, the godfathers of the Morin boys were major players in the colony:  Simon-Pierre Denys de Bonaventure, Marie-Josèphe's cousin & a naval officer, who later would serve as commandant of Acadia, was Simon-Joseph's godfather, & Jacques de Meulles, intendant of New France, who was conducting a census in the colony in Mar 1686, stood for Jacques le jeuneMoreover, Marie-Josèphe's father, the seigneur, having become a widower earlier in the decade, remarried to Françoise Denys, kinswoman of his first wife, Marie-Josèphe's mother, at St.-Barthélemy, La Rochelle, in Jun 1687, about the time that Marie-Josèphe & Louis were doing their thang in far off Beaubassin.  It is a good bet that the seigneur was in France when his daughter, now motherless, hooked up with her habitant-lover & that when the seigneur returned to Beaubassin, evidence of his daughter's dalliance, not to mention the local gossip, was, to his chagrin, well in evidence.  See White, DGFA-1 English, 259-61, 484, 1068 (quotations from 260).  The fate of the two lovers serves as a poignant example of the great difference between a seigneur, that is, a French aristocrat, & a humble habitant:  In Apr 1689, 2 years after her tryst with Louis Morin, Marie-Josèphe, though only 18 years old, along with Jean-Baptiste Le Gardeur, received a grant of seigneurie from the governor-general & intendant of New France at Shubenacadie, on the northeastern end of the Minas Basin, "to make settlements and to trade with the Indians, there."  Meanwhile, Marie-Josèphe' lover was still in France, far from his loved ones, who resettled first at Gaspésie before moving on to Canada, one of the largest Acadian families to resettle there.  See Book Three.  In Sep 1692, at age 21, Marie-Josèphe married Jean-Paul, son of her fellow grantee Jean-Baptiste Le Gardeur de Saint-Pierre, at Repentigny, across from Montréal.  One wonders if she encountered any of the Acadian Morins in Canada during her time there.  She died at Repentigny in Jul 1703, only 32 years old.  Quotation from White, DGFA-1 English, 261.  See also White, DGFA-1, 1067.  (Personal note:  On 25 Mar 1682, at the tender age of 10, Marie-Josèphe Le Neuf de la Vallière stood as godmother for my paternal ancestor, Pierre, fourth son of Thomas Cormier & Marie-Madeleine Girouard, at Beaubassin, so the demoiselle had a number of godchildren in the settlement.  See De Ville, Acadian Church Records, 4.)

For the dearth of episcopal visits to Acadia during the later decades of French control, see Book One. 

48c.  See White, DGFA-1, 756, 1125-28, 1130-32, 1134-37, 1220-30; Books One & Three. 

48d.  Quotations from Céline Dupré, "Buisson de Saint-Cosme, Jean-François," in DCB, 2:109, & online; Arsenault, History, 53; White, DGFA-1 English, 313.  See also Dupré, 2:110; White, DGFA-1, 917, 1483-85, 1489, 1494-95; Book One. 

For Fr. Saint-Cosme's later assignments & his tragic fate at the hands of Louisiana Indians in Nov 1706, see Dupré, 2:110; Book Four. 

Jean à Claude Thériot married Jeanne, daughter of René Landry le jeune, who was 13 years younger than Jean's aunt Cécile.  See White, DGFA-1, 917, 1485, 1489, 1494-95.

48e.  Quotation from White, DGFA-1 English, 332.  See also Micheline D. Johnson, "Durand, Justinien" in DCB, 3:207-08, & online; Alfred Rambaud, "La Croix de Chevrières de Saint-Vallier, Jean-Baptiste de," in DCB, 2:328-34, & online; White, DGFA-1, 1569-70.  See also White, DGFA-1, 1571; White, DGFA-1 English, 332.

Fr. Durand, as most priests on Île Royale in the early 1700s, was a Récollet.  He was a native of France & was 55 years old in Aug 1722.  He had come to Port-Royal as vicar general in Oct 1704 & served as parish priest there.  He managed to get along well enough with the difficult royal governor, Brouillan, & was well-liked by Brouillan's successor, Subercase.  After the fall of Port-Royal in 1710, Fr. Durand ran afoul of British governor Samuel Vetch over the question of the upper river Acadians taking an oath of allegiance to the British crown.  Vetch arrested him in Jan 1711 & took him to Boston, but Louis Denys de La Ronde rescued him in a prisoner of exchange by the end of the year.  Fr. Durand remained at Annapolis, first encouraging his Acadian charges to emigrate to Île Royale, &, when that failed, to resist taking an unconditional oath of allegiance to the new British king.  In 1720, he clashed with British Governor Philipps & sought, & received, permission to go to Île Royale, where he continued serving as vicar general for Acadia.  See Book One.  Fr. Durand returned to the Récollet monastery at Québec by 1726, where he served as provincial commissioner of his order until his death during the epidemic of 1746. 

Maurice Vigneau was age 48 when the bishop exonerated him.  Some of his sons & daughters settled at Chignecto while Maurice, his wife, & some of his children lived on Île Royale.  That the bishop refers to him as "Sr" hints he was no longer a carpenter but likely had become a merchant with his own vessel, as had his oldest son Jacques dit Maurice at Beaubassin.  Sr. Maurice died probably at Port-Toulouse between Feb 1746 & Nov 1747, a widower since c1729.  His descendants at Chignecto were deported to GA in 1755 & those on the Maritime islands to France in the late 1750s, & many of them relocated to the French-controlled island of Île Miquelon after Le Grand Dérangement.  See Books Three & Four.  White, DGFA-1, 1571, & DGFA-1 English, 332, says nothing about when the incident between Sr. Maurice & Fr. Durand occurred, but it evidently happen during the final years of Bishop Saint-Vallier long episcopate, which lasted from 1688 to his death in Dec 1727. 

49.  See Bunnell, French & Native North American Marriages; White, DGFA-1, 526, 530-31, 771-72, 1049, 1054-55, 1056, 1126-27; Book One. 

I have been told by a Doucet descendant that, in spite of yDNA evidence, some Acadian genealogists as well as Doucet descendants do not subscribe to the Mi'kmaq origins of Germain Doucet, fils.  Keith Doucet to the author via email, 24 Jul, 7 Sep 2012.  See also Book Three. 

49a.  Quotations from Griffiths, From Migrant to Acadian, 179.  See also Griffiths, 492; White, DGFA-1, 1198-1201; White, DGFA-1 English, 9, 35, 57, 68, 70, 89, 153, 162, 252, 254-55, 259, 272, 290

Griffiths, 492n36, says:  "... it was stated at the trial of Jean Campagna, who was charged ... with having practised sorcery in Beaubassin, that he and the witness Renault dit Bordonnat arrived at Pentagouet and were later sent to Port Royal by Grandfontaine."  White, DGFA-1 English, 70, provides details of Campagna's time in the colony, which says he arrived at Pentagouët in 1669 & went to Port-Royal in c1672, the year Chignecto was founded by Jacques Bourgeois et al.  For Campagna's arrest & some of the depositions taken during his trial, see White, DGFA-1 English, 9, 35, 57, 68, 89, 153, 162, 252, 254, 259, 272, 290. 

It was not usual for "strangers" to settle at Chignecto in those days, including men of questionable character.  On 19 Aug 1675, "Catherine Basset was ordered 'to clear out of this city (of Québec) and its outskirts within three days, owing to her bad reputation.'  'Emmanuel Mirande [dit Tavare], a Spaniard [actually Portuguese, born in the Azores in c1648] who had been keeping company with her, thought it preferable at that time to go to settle at Beaubassin (Acadia).'"  Back in Sep 1670, "Emmanuel Mirande, a resident of La Canardière, appeared before François Becquet and made a marriage contract with Françoise Duval.  This contract was subsequently cancelled, and Françoise Duval married Pierre Courault," so Emmanuel was quite the roué.  See White, DGFA-1 English, 255.  Evidently the Azorean did nothing to rouse the superstitions of his neighbors at Chignecto.  He, in fact, remained at Beaubassin and married Marguerite, a daughter of settlement founder Jacques Bourgeois, in Nov 1679.  Emmanuel fathered 9 children by Marguerite, including 6 sons, so this may have exempted him from his neighbor's suspicions.  His son Joseph married a Gaudet, another important family in the colony.  See White, DGFA-1, 1198-1201. 

50.  Quotations from Hodson, Acadian Diaspora, 28, 30.  See also Clark, A. H., Acadia, 164; Diggins, On Hallowed Ground, 262; Fischer, Champlain's Dream, 492-93; Hall, G. M., Africans in Colonial LA; White, DGFA-1, 184-217, 221-51, 562-80, 1145-67. 

Diggins offers the grand perspective. 

For examples of Acadian progenitors who were not French in origin, see Book One. 

For the genealogies of the 4 families mentioned by Hodson, 30, see White.  See also note 124, below.  For details on the progenitors of these early families, see Book One.

See A. H. Clark for substantial differences in the size of farmsteads in the Port-Royal valley during the 1690s. 

Book Five traces the trajectory of native & African slavery in French LA, where Acadians would encounter the institution on a large scale at first hand.  See especially G. M. Hall. 

50a.  Quotation from Clark, A. H., Acadia, 238.  See also Clark, A. H., 198n28. 

50b.  See Brasseaux, Founding of New Acadia; Milling, Exile Without End, 4; Trudel, Canada's Forgotten Slaves, Introduction, chaps. 1 & 2, 35, 64-65, 83. 

For a solid interpretation of the Acadian character upon their arrival in LA during the 1760s, including their egalitarianism, see Brasseaux.  Chapman J. Milling, author of a history of the Acadian exiles in SC, where Acadians would have encountered agricultural slavery on a large scale for the first time, sums up the Acadian character:  "Long before their removal from their beloved land of placid inlets and green meadows, the Acadians had become one people.  Representing Catholicism at its best, they hated no man, envied no man; wanted only to be let alone."  See Milling.  Despite its romanticized tone, this description of the Acadian character, one could argue, describes a people whose collective world view was untainted by chattel slavery. 

51.  Quotations from Moogk, La Nouvelle France, 270; Clark, A. H., Acadia, 198n28.  See also Clark, A. H., 190, 238; Fischer, Champlain's Dream, 487, 490-91, 719; note 226a, below.

For details of Acadian governance during French & British rule, much of it taken liberally from A. H. Clark, see note 222f, below. 

52.  Quotations from Clark, A. H., Acadia, 192; online Wikipedia, "John Gorham (military officer)"; M. D. Johnson, "Gay Desenclaves," in DCB, 3:256See also Clark, A. H., 194; Finn, "Le Loutre," in DCB, online; Griffiths, From Migrant to Acadian, 344-45; M. D. Johnson, "Maillard," in DCB, 3:416-17; note 64, below. 

53.  Quotation from Griffiths, From Migrant to Acadian, 354.  See also Chiasson, Island of Seven Cities, 142; Griffiths, 353; Clark, A. H., Acadia, 286-87, 292; Erskine, Nova Scotia, 48; Byron Fairchild, "Pepperell, Sir William," in DCB, 3:508, & online; Marshall, Acadian Resistance, 52-53; Book Three.   

Griffiths, 354, notes that "In London, rejoicing at the victory was the greater because of the crushing defeat of Great Britain and its allies at Fontenoy/Fantan in early May." 

For mention of the New-English outpost between the 2 bays up the coast from Louisbourg, see Clark, A. H., 286.  Clark says the French burnt the fort in 1752, after they reclaimed the island.  

"Scorched-earth policy" is Clark's term.  See Clark, A. H., 287. 

Marshall, 53, counts 900 deaths among the New English at Louisbourg during the winter of 1745-46--"from starvation, exposure and disease."

54.  See Griffiths, From Migrant to Acadian, 331; online Wikipedia, "War of the Austrian Succession," "War of Jenkins' Ear"; Book Seven. 

55.  Quotations from Griffiths, From Migrant to Acadian, 331; Sutherland, "Armstrong," in DCB, 2:23.  See also Barry M. Moody, "Cosby, Alexander," in DCB, 3:143-44, & online; Moody, "Mangeant (Maugean), in DCB, 3:427; Griffiths, 298, 332; C. Alexander Pincombe, "How, Edward," in DCB, 3:297, & online; White, DGFA-1, 1115-17, 1588.

For more on Mangeant see notes 59 & 222f, below; White, 1115-17; Book Three.

Pincombe mentions Armstrong's attempt to move the headquarters to Canso.

Griffiths, 331, followed here, says Armstrong was found dead on Dec 17, but Sutherland says Dec 6. 

Cosby was Philipp's brother-in-law thru Cosby's sister Elizabeth, not thru Cosby's wife Anne, who was the oldest daughter of former British officer-turned-merchant William Winniett & his Acadian wife Marie-Madeleine Maissonat dit Baptiste, daughter of a French privateer.  Cosby, born in Ireland in c1685, son of Alexandre Cosby and Elisabeth L'Estrange, married Anne at Annapolis Royal in c1726, when he 41 & she was 14.  See White, 1588; Books One & Three. 

56.  Quotations from Maxwell Sutherland, "Mascarene, Paul (born Jean-Paul)," in DCB, 3:436-37, & online; Barry M. Moody, "Adams, John," in DCB, 3:4, & online; Griffiths, From Migrant to Acadian, 332-34.  See also Akins, ed., Papers Relating to the Acadian French, 1714-1755, 39-49, 108-09n; Clark, A. H., Acadia, 193-94; Griffiths, 335-36; Barry M. Moody, "Cosby, Alexander," in DCB, 3:143-44, & online.

For Mascarene's detailed survey of Nova Scotia in 1720, see Akins, ed., 39-49.

Moody, "Cosby," 3:144, says Cosby died suddenly on 27 Dec 1742.  Griffiths, 332, gives the date 7 Jan 1743.  Cosby was brother of Richard Phillips's wife Elizabeth.  Cosby's brother William served as governor of NY & NJ from 1731-36 &, according to Moody, shared brother Alexander's habitual quarrelsomeness. 

In the context of Mascarene's dealings with the Acadians over the oath of allegiance & their neutrality, Griffiths, 333, makes the interesting point that, "When all was said and done, the Acadians were no more rebellious than the populace of New York and Boston, who were given to much more serious rioting against government authority.  Nor were the Acadians any more recalcitrant than their contemporaries in Wales and the Scottish Highlands when it came to resisting cultural assimilation by the English."  And then there were the Catholics of Ireland, who would fight the English for centuries to secure their independence from Great Britain.  Griffiths also points out the limited nature of British "democracy" during the 18th century. 

Griffiths, 334, reminds us of the Mascarene family's persecution at the hands of Louis XIV, the memory of which may have inclined him "to see diversity of opinion as something that must be accommodated," though Mascarene's own words reveal that he harbored the typical Protestant prejudices against the "bigotry" of the "Romish religion." 

For biographical information on Le Loutre, see note 237, below; Clark, A. H., 193. 

57.  Quotation from Griffiths, From Migrant to Acadian, xvii.  See also Fortier, Louisiana, 1:153-54; Griffiths, 337. 

Griffiths, 337, cites a British report from Canso, dated 1 Sep 1743, which "estimated that the Acadians shipped annually a minimum of '6 or 700 Head of Cattle, and about 2000 sheep' to Louisbourg."  See also note 250, below. 

58.  See Griffiths, From Migrant to Acadian, 336-37; Bernard Pothier, "Du Pont Duvivier," Joseph," in DCB, 3:205-06, & online; White, DGFA-1, 589-90, 1204; White, DGFA-1 English, 125.

Griffiths, 336, says Duquesnel was appointed governor of Île Royale on 1 Sep 1740, after the death of Isaac-Louis de Forant, who was governor for barely a year.  See also Appendix

According to a note attached to Pothier, 3:205, François Dupont Duvivier, fils is often confused with his brother Joseph.  Despite receiving the Cross of St.-Louis, François, fils was noted more for his business acumen than his military abilities, as his performance in British NS demonstrated.  White, DGFA-1, 589-90, & DGFA-1 English, 125, offer insights into François's family & provides a chronology of François, fils's military promotions:  garde-marine in Apr 1718, an ensign in Jul 1719, lieutenant in May 1730, captain & aide-major in Jun 1732, & captaine en pied in Apr 1737.  

59.  See Griffiths, From Migrant to Acadian, 335, 337; Marshall, Acadian Resistance, 34; Martin, F.-X., Louisiana, 1:315; Moody," Mangeant (Maugean), in DCB, 3:427; Pincombe, "How," in DCB, 3:297; Pothier, "Du Pont Duvivier, Joseph" in DCB, 3:206; Bernard Pothier, "Morpain, [Louis-]Pierre," in DCB, 3:475, & online; White, DGFA-1, 456, 589, 1233-34. 

For Morpain's exploits during the early 1700s, see Book One. 

Griffiths, 335, says Heron had only 87 troops at Canso in 1744, not the 4 companies of 30 men each that were authorized for the post.  Marshall, not citing her sources, says Duvivier's force numbered 357, that it left Louisbourg on May 13, that fire from "Duvivier's privateer Succés" killed 1 man & injured 7 of Heron's "eighty-seven inexperienced soldiers of the 40th Regiment," who were taken completely by surprise, & that Heron held out for a week before he surrendered.  Griffith, 335; & Pothier, "Du Pont Duvivier," say Heron was indeed surprised & offered no resistance.  Pincombe says Duvivier "destroyed the settlement and carried off the garrison to Louisbourg." 

François Dupont Duvivier was born at Port-Royal on 25 Apr 1705.  His godparents were Charles de Saint-Étienne de La Tour, fils & "Mme de Goutin," who was Jeanne Thibodeau, wife of Acadian official Mathieu de Goutin.  See White, 589. 

For more on Mangeant, see notes 55, above, & 222f, below; Book Three. 

60.  Quotations from Griffiths, From Migrant to Acadian, 338.  See also Griffiths, 341, 350; Marshall, Acadian Resistance, 34-36. 

For participation of Acadian partisans under Broussard in the Jul attack, see Marshall, who says that Le Loutre raised his force "In no time at all" & emphasizes the Broussard brothers' resentment of the imprisonment of their father at Fort Anne 33 years before as a motivation for their joining Le Loutre.  Griffiths, 338, does not mention the Broussards & other trois-rivières-area partisans in her short account of the attack, only Le Loutre's Indians.  Marshall maintains that Le Loutre's Indians were setting up firing positions at Annapolis at the end of Jun & that Le Loutre's force moved against the fort on Jul 1.  Griffiths, followed here, says the assault did not begin until Jul 12.  Griffiths also maintains that Le Loutre "took a while" to gather his force.  Marshall's description of the fight is detailed, but she fails to cite her sources. 

61.  Quotation from Griffiths, From Migrant to Acadian, 343.  See also T. A. Crowley & Bernard Pothier, "Du Pont Duchambon, Louis," in DCB, online; Griffiths, 342-44, 447; Marshall, Acadian Resistance, 40; Martin, F.-X., Louisiana, 1:315; Pothier, "Du Pont Duvivier, Joseph" in DCB, 3:206-07; Andrew Rodger, "Denys de Bonnaventure (Bonaventure), Claude-Élisabeth," in DCB, 3:175, & online; Thibault, "Gannes de Falaise," in DCB, 3:236; White, DGFA-1, 222-23, 588-89, 1204; White, DGFA-1 English, 125-26. 

Just as well for Duvivier, his uncle Duchambon was married to Jeanne Mius d'Entremont, a granddaughter of Philippe Mius d'Entremont, the seigneur of Pobomcoup & lieutenant of Charles La Tour, & sister of Duvivier's wife, Marie Mius d'Entremont.  See Crowley & Pothier; Griffiths, 343, 447; White, DGFA-1, 588-94, 1204. 

For Alexandre Bourg dit Bellehumeur's genealogy, see White, DGFA-1, 222-23; Book Three.

After François Dupont Duvivier received the cross of St.-Louis in 1745, he was promoted to lieutenant du roi à Île St.-Jean & capitaine de frégate in Apr 1750.  See White, DGFA-1, 589; Book Three. 

62.  Quotations from Pothier, "Du Pont Duvivier, Joseph," in DCB, 3:206; Griffiths, From Migrant to Acadian, 340.  See also Griffiths, 338-39; M. D. Johnson, "Maillard," in DCB, 3:416-17; Marshall, Acadian Resistance, 36-37; Parkman, France & England, 2:617; Bernard Pothier, "Du Pont Duvivier, François [père]," in DCB, 2:206, & online; White, DGFA-1, 1029-30, 1204. 

Griffiths, 339, notes:  "From the outset, Duvivier acted as if the enterprise was the return of a native son to liberate his people from a foreign yoke.  Four of his six officers were related to him in one way or another, one of them was his brother, and all, of course, had relatives among the Acadians."  But she does not name these officers or detail their relations.  Duvivier's father, François, père, a native of Serignac, Saintonge, had died at Louisbourg in 1714, soon after he was posted there.  Before his death, François, père had served as a naval officer in France & as a captain of colonial regular troops--troupes de marine--in Acadia.  He caused a scandal by marrying Marie, daughter of Jacques Muis d'Entremont & Anne de Saint-Étienne de La Tour, at Port-Royal in Jan 1705 without having secured permission from his family or his commanding officer.  Marie's father Jacques was a son of Philippe Mius d'Entremont.  Her mother Anne was a daughter of Charles La Tour & his third wife, Jeanne Motin de Reux, who had first married the Sieur d'Aulnay.  Although Duvivier's commanding officer, Simon-Pierre Denys de Bonaventure, chided Duvivier for being one of those officers who married a young woman "of obscure birth and humble circumstances," most Acadians would have considered Marie's pedigree to be quite the opposite; there was no "regular" Acadian family in François Duvivier, fils's maternal line that necessarily would have endeared him to the majority of Acadians, & few would have considered him a part of their extended family lines.  See Pothier, "Du Pont Duvivier, François [père],."  See also Parkman, who says of Duvivier, "His heart was in the work, for he was a descendant of La Tour, feudal claimant of Acadia in the preceding century"; White, 1204.  François, fils's brother Joseph, who is sometimes confused with him, married a cousin, Marie-Josèphe, granddaughter of former Acadian governor Alexandre Le Borgne de Bélisle, another aristocratic Acadian family; Marie-Josèphe's mother was Anastasie d'Abbadie de Saint-Castin.  So there was nothing "humble" about the Duvivier clan.  See White, 1029-30; Book One & Three. 

Griffiths, 339, quotes liberally from Duvivier's speeches to the Acadians on his way to Annapolis.  She says, on 339-40, that "An approximate number of possible [Acadian] recruits [in the Beaubassin area] would be around two hundred and fifty, but, given the fact that this was a labour-intensive farming region, the number who would be available to join the army, let alone to 'go for a soldier,' would not be large."  She concludes, on 340, that he took with him from Chignecto "only ten new recruits." 

63.  Quotations from Marshall, Acadian Resistance, 37-38.  See also Arsenault, Généalogie, 1117; Clark, A. H., Acadia, 247; Marshall, 39; Griffiths, From Migrant to Acadian, 341-42; Bernard Pothier, "Gautier, dit Bellair, Joseph-Nicolas," in DCB, 3:254-55, & online; Pothier, "Leblanc dit Le Maigre," in DCB, 3:366; White, DGFA-1, 13, 989-90; notes 191 & 248, below. 

A. H. Clark calls Gauthier "Nicholas Gauthier of the Belle Isle community up river from Annapolis Royal" & says that he may have owned "two or three vessels 'before the War [King George's] that used the West India Trade.'"  White, 13, also favors the surname spelling Gauthier and spells his dit "Bellaire."  Other sources, such as Pothier, prefer Bellair.  See note 64, below, for more details on this wealthy fellow's assets.  Gauthier's biographer, Pothier, says:  "... Gautier and his two eldest sons, Joseph and Pierre, were among the handful of Acadians who actively supported the French effort.  The fact that Gautier had spent his youth in France undoubtedly influenced his determination to eschew the strict neutrality of virtually the entire Acadian community in the 1740s.  He supplied intelligence on British defences and troop movements; transported foodstuffs, materials, munitions, and troops; and piloted French vessels along the coastal waters of the province...."  See Pothier.  These activities, coupled with his great wealth, made Gauthier more valuable to the French than any other Acadian partisan, even LeBlanc dit Le Maigre the commissary, or Beausoleil Broussard, the warrior. 

The reference to Joseph LeBlanc dit Le Maigre being with the Broussards at Fort Anne in the spring of 1724 comes from Marshall, 38, who does not reveal her source.  Biographer Pothier does not place Le Maigre at Fort Anne in 1724 but begins Le Maigre's partisan career in the 1740s.  Griffiths mentions Le Maigre, but not the Broussards, in detailing Acadian assistance to Duvivier at Minas.  Le Maigre's dit means "the Skinny."  For his genealogy, see White, 989-90.  He was a son-in-law of Minas judge & notary Alexandre Bourg dit Bellehumeur.  See Arsenault; White, 235, 990.  Pothier says:  "Leblanc made a notable contribution to the expedition led by Joseph[sic] Du Pont Duvivier against Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia, in the late summer of 1744.  For Leblanc this expedition was primarily a commercial venture; in a petition, drafted some years later, he claimed that it had cost him 4,500 livres though the extant accounts total only 1,200 livresLeblanc's figure may well have been inflated to include expenses incurred in carrying Duvivier's dispatches to Louisbourg, Île Royale (Cape Breton Island), during the siege of Annapolis Royal in September.  On the 22nd of that month Duvivier ordered him to go to Louisbourg post-haste, 'on pain of being handed over to the mercy of the savages.'  It was 18 October before Leblanc reported back, and by that time Divivier was at Beaubassin ..., having lifted the siege.  Duvivier's threat notwithstanding, Leblanc had seized the opportunity to take a number of sheep and black cattle to sell in Louisbourg." 

Marshall, 38, places an Armand Bateau in the partisan movement with Le Maigre LeBlanc & the Broussards during King George's War.  She evidently means Breau, as there was no Bateau family in the colony.  The only Armand, likely Amand, Breau who fits here would have been Amand dit Thomas of Minas, son of Pierre Breau.  However, Marshall insists that, like Le Maigre, Armand had been with the Broussards in the attack against Fort Anne in 1724, when Amand dit Thomas would have been only 3 years old, so one wonders to whom she is referring.  See Book Three. 

Personal note:  I am proud to say that Le Maigre's younger brother René, as well as the Beausoleil Broussard brothers, are among the author's paternal ancestors. 

64.  Quotations from Marshall, Acadian Resistance, 38; Griffiths, From Migrant to Acadian, 341-42; Pothier, "Leblanc dit Le Maigre," 3:366, & online.  See also David A. Charters & Stuart R. J. Sutherland, "Goreham (Gorham), Joseph," in DCB, online; Clark, A.H., Acadia, 247n140; Griffiths, 335, 343; Cedric L. Haines, "Robichaux, Otho," in DCB, online; M. D. Johnson, "Maillard," in DCB, 3:416-17; John David Krugler, "Gorham (Goreham, Gorum), John," in DCB, 3:260-61, & online; Marshall, 39-40, 64; <>; Martin, F.-X., Louisiana, 1:315; Pothier, "Du Pont Duvivier, Joseph," 3:206; Pothier, "Gautier dit Bellair," in DCB, 3:255; Donat Robichaud, "Robichaux (Robichau, Robeshaw), Louis, in DCB, online; Sutherland, "Mascarene," in DCB, 3:438; H. Paul Thibault, "Gannes de Falaise, Michel de," in DCB, 3:235-36, & online; White, DGFA-1, 13, 590, 650-51, 1407-08; White, DGFA-1 English, 137.

According to Griffiths, 335, the force at Annapolis Royal in Sep 1744 was supposed to number 500, but there were "no more than 150" there.  However, on 341, she says that Mascarene had 250 men when Duvivier attacked him, which may account for reinforcements from Boston Le Loutre's Jul attack.  Pothier, "Du Pont Duvivier, Joseph," says Mascarene had "no more than 75 able-bodied soldiers" when Duvivier struck Annapolis. 

Marshall, 39-40, says that, on the second day of the siege, Duvivier sent his brother Michel to inform Mascarene of the approach of a fleet from Louisbourg but that Mascarene, "suspicious of the officer ... and after consulting his senior officers, flatly refused" to surrender.  Thibault, 1:236, followed here, says: "At the beginning of the siege Duvivier obtained from the English commandant, Paul Mascarene, a promise of surrender as soon as the French ships arrived." 

Sutherland does not address the question of a promised surrender but does mention Gorham's arrival "with 60 Indians rangers," which "led Duvivier to abandon his goal."  Krugler, 3:260, says Gorham brought 50 "'picked Indians and other men fit for ranging the woods' ...."  Krugler goes on to say that most of Gorham's fighters were "full blood Mohawks" & that they remained to protect the fort after Duvivier's force retreated.  Gorham's Mohawk & New English cutthroats would play a dark role in Acadian history.  Marshall, 64, describes them as "a motley collection of mercenaries consisting mainly of Mohawks and New Englanders.  They were skilled wilderness fighters who could take on resistance fighters and Natives on their own terms."  Gov. Shirley had authorized the creation of ranger companies in the early 1740s to protect the MA frontier settlements so often attacked by the Maliseet & other tribes of the Wabanaki Confederacy--traditional enemies of the Iroquois, which included the fierce Mohawk. 

For Robichaud's genealogy, see White, DGFA-1, 1407-08.  Griffiths, 342, speculates that Louis's collaboration may have been motivated by his kinship with the Winniett family, 4 of whose daughters married British officers; however, Griffiths adds, one of Robichaud's first cousins supported the French besiegers.  Here was another sad consequence of Acadian neutrality--the political alienation of extended families.  As a result of his helping the British, Louis Robichaud, "according to his own account--was twice plundered of his household goods and cattle and twice taken prisoner with his family by the French.  Each time they managed to escape."  See RobichaudLouis's son Otho also was friendly with the British at Annapolis Royal, though this did not spare he & his family the trauma of deportation in 1755.  See Haines.

Nicolas Gauthier's rise is an Algeresque story.  He was born at Rochefort in 1689 & came to Acadia in c1710, in his early 20s.  He married Marie Allain in Mar 1715; this marriage & the inheritance that came with it, as well as his drive & intelligence, aided his success.  His rise to wealth & prominence was a slow one, however.  "As late as 1720 the Nova Scotia Council rejected him as one of six delegates for the Annapolis region, 'not proving that he was a freeholder of this province; only a transient person.'"  His biographer goes on:  "During the 1730s, however, he appears to have joined the ranks of the 'ancientest and most considerable in Lands & possessions.'"  By 1732, he had become an Annapolis delegate.  The basis of his fortune was not only land, but also a sawmill, a gristmill, & a number of ships "engaged in trade with France, the West Indies, New England, and Louisbourg ...."  See Pothier, "Gautier dit Bellair."  A. H. Clark says:  "Gauthier was an example of the more ambitious or more fortunate Acadian who built up a large estate.  He controlled much land up the river, owned two lots near the Fort, and operated two gristmills and a sawmill.  His total wealth may have exceeded 80,000 livres; in Acadian terms, at least, he was a veritable tycoon."  Louis Allain, Gauthier's father-in-law, had only 2 children by his wife Marguerite Bourg, son Pierre & daughter Marie.  Gauthier likely inherited at least one of his gristmills from his father-in-law.  White, DGFA-1, 13, says the partisan's parents were Nicolas Gauthier & Jeanne MoreauGriffiths, 343, says one of Gauthier's daughters was married to one of Duvivier's brothers.  See also White, DGFA-1, 590.  Gauthier's unwavering support of the French would cause him much grief, including the loss of his fortune.  See notes 84a & 107, below; Book Three. 

Griffiths, 342, reminds us that de Gannes also had an Acadian mother--Marguerite, daughter of Michel Le Neuf de la Vallière et de Beaubassin & Marie Denys, his father's third wife--who, like François Dupont Duvivier, fils's mother, was another member of the Acadian soci0-economic elite who did not share the culture of the great majority of Acadians.  And like his nemesis Duvivier, de Gannes's father also had been a French army officer--de Gannes's father, in fact, became a chevalier de St.-Louis.  See Thibault, 3:235; White, DGFA-1, 650-61, which traces de Gannes's paternal line to the late 1300s.  White, DGFA-1 English, 137, says, "By her second marriage, to Louis de Razilly, Jeanne Le Voyer," whose first husband was Michel de Gannes de Falaise's ancestor, Mathurin de Gannes, "was connected to the family of Isaac de Razilly, 'lieutenant-general' of Acadia, and Claude de Launay-Razilly, officer of the Marine," so de Gannes's association with French Acadia was impressive.  De Gannes's family was, in fact, as much, or more, distinguished in its service to greater Acadia than Duvivier's.  See also Books One & Three. 

Gorham's were not the first "rangers" to appear in the colony.  According to a history of that type of fighting force, Benjamin Church, who fought in Acadia in King William's & Queen Anne's wars, was the "father of American ranging."  See online Wikipedia, "United States Army Rangers"; Book One.  Gorham's rangers, originally an all-Indian force, were the first company of its kind to come to British NS, their purpose "to move the military and political influence of the British [there] beyond a defensive posture...."  After relieving Fort Anne in 1744, they remained in the colony to subdue the local Indians & help bend the Acadians to British will.  Gorham eventually became the rare provincial who earned a regular commission in the British army.  Understandably, his legacy is still hotly debated in Nova Scotia today.  See Krugler, 3:261; online Wikipedia, "John Gorham (military officer)"; "The John Gorham Controversy, at <>; note 52, above; Book One.  A lieutenant in Gorham's company of rangers was his younger brother Joseph, who spelled his surname Goreham.  See Charters & Sutherland

65.  Quotations from Griffiths, From Migrant to Acadian, 341.  See also Clark, A. H., Acadia, 195n16; Griffiths, 340-41; M. D. Johnson, "Chauvreulx," in DCB, 3:120

66.  Quotations from Griffiths, From Migrant to Acadian, 344, 348; Pothier, "Leblanc dit Le Maigre," in DCB, 3:366-67; Pothier, "Gautier dit Bellair," in DCB, 3:255.  See also Griffiths, 347; Hodson, Acadian Diaspora, 225-26n89; Marshall, Acadian Resistance, 40-41; Book Three.

Marshall also details Gauthier's wife's escape from the dungeon at Fort Anne, dating the escape on the night of 31 Jan 1745.  Pothier says Gauthier's wife & Le Maigre escaped from Fort Anne in Feb 1746, followed here.  See also note 68, below.  According to Marshall, also among the escapees was Paul Surette.

67.  Quotations from Griffiths, From Migrant to Acadian, 344-45, 347; Clark, A. H., Acadia, 194.  See also Griffiths, 346, 348-49; Marshall, Acadian Resistance, 41-42; Sutherland, "Mascarene," in DCB, 3:438-39

Griffiths, 349, says of Shirley & Acadia:  "From the moment that he decided to dispatch troops and provisions to Annapolis Royal in June 1744, the governor of Massachusetts played a crucial role in Nova Scotian affairs." 

68.  Quotation from Pothier, "Leblanc dit Le Maigre," in DCB, 3:367.  See also Clark, A. H., Acadia, 192; W. J. Eccles, "Marin de La Malgue (La Marque), Paul," in DCB, 3:431-32, & online; Griffiths, From Migrant to Acadian, 351; note 66, above. 

69.  Quotations from Fairchild, "Pepperell," in DCB, 3:507; Martin, F.-X., Louisiana, 1:314.  See also Clark, A. H., Acadia, 271-72; Godfrey, "Bradstreet, John," in DCB, online; Griffiths, From Migrant to Acadian, 349, 351-53; Martin, F.-X., 1:315; White, DGFA-1, 266, 1146, 1436-37; online Wikipedia, "John Bradstreet," "William Shirley."

Clark, A. H., 271-72, contends:  "Louisbourg represented no threat to open attack on New England....  Yet New England, which was profiting greatly from trade at Louisbourg, saw the possibility of even handsomer profits from such a trade if the port were in British hands (which seems somewhat dubious) and similarly greater advantages from New England's engrossing the Cape Breton fishery and destroying a base from which French privateers preyed on New England's fishermen and traders."  Citing historian Gerald S. Graham's Empire of the North Atlantic:  The Maritime Struggle for North America, published in 1950, Clark, A. H., 172, concludes:  "'The decisive element in the Massachusetts resolve to take Louisbourg were anger and greed.'" 

For Bradstreet's Acadian connections, see Godfrey; White, 266, 1146, 1436-37.  Bradstreet's father was Edmund Bradstreet of Port Lahane, Tipperary, Ireland, an officer in the Annapolis Royal garrison when he married Marie-Agathe, called Agathe, daughter of Jacques de St.-Étienne de La Tour & Anne Melanson, in c1712.  John Bradstreet & Duvivier thus were cousins on their mothers' side.  Bradstreet, who was in his early 30s in 1745, expected to be given command of the Louisbourg expedition but served, instread, as lieutenant-colonel of the 1st MA Regiment.  Accoring to his biographer, "Pepperrell, Commodore Peter Warren, and [Gov.] Shirley all applauded Bradstreet's performance.  He was, in fact, appointed "town mayor" of Louisbourg after its fall, the appointement was temporary and did not please him.  He was named lieutenant-governor at St. John's, Newfoundland, in Sep 1746.  He went to England in 1751.  He returned to North America with Edward Braddock in 1755.  He remained there throughout the Seven Years' War.  His biographer notes that "In later years Bradstreet was reticent to discuss his family background and the Nova Scotian phase of his career.  No doubt uneasiness about the effect his Acadian ancestry would have on his career in the British army, as well as his involvement in questionable trading activities, explain his silence." Quotations from Godfrey.  Bradstreet died a colonel, still on active service, at New York City in Sep 1774, age 59, & buried at Trinity Church there.  See Godfrey; White, 266; notes 119a & 248, below.   

70.  Quotations from Griffiths, From Migrant to Acadian, 337.  See also Crowley & Pothier, "Duchambon," in DCB, online; Griffiths, 353-54; Marshall, Acadian Resistance, 45-48, 50; Parkman, France &a