Acadian Arrivals in Present-day Louisiana, 1764-early 1800s
From <thecajuns.com/acadians.htm>, "Arrival of the Acadians in Louisiana," & other sources cited.
|Arrived in LA||From||Settled in LA||Notations|
|Feb 1764||GA via Mobile01||Cabanocé by April||arrived New Orleans via ship; 4 families of 21 individuals led by Jean-Baptiste CORMIER, père, Olivier LANDRY, Jean-Baptiste POIRIER, & Jean-Baptiste RICHARD02|
|late Feb-Nov 1765||Halifax via Cap-Français, St.-Domingue04||first party of 200 individuals led by Acadian resistance leader Joseph BROUSSARD dit Beausoleil03, to Attakapas and Opelousas; other parties to Cabanocé, some of the latter led by Jean-Baptiste BERGERON dit d'Amboise and surgeon Philippe LACHAUSSÉE; some Acadians came directly from St.-Domingue||
arrived New Orleans via ship; approximately 600 individuals05
|28 Sep 176606||MD, aboard English sloop that departed MD in late Jun & sailed to New Orleans via Cap-Français||most to Cabanocé, some to Opelousas||arrived New Orleans via ship; 224 individuals|
|6 Oct 1766||MD||New Orleans then to Cabanocé by early 1770s||arrived New Orleans via ship; 10 members of Étienne-Michel DAVID family from Snow Hill, MD|
|12 Jul 1767||MD, aboard English vessel Virgin that departed Baltimore in Apr & stopped for 17 days at Guárico [Cap-Français]07||St.-Gabriel d'Iberville: reached New Orleans 23 Jul, left New Orleans 8 Aug, reached St.-Gabriel 16 Aug||arrived New Orleans via ship; 213 individuals in 43 families08|
|by 11 Feb 176809||MD, aboard English vessel Jane that departed Potomac River 17 Dec 1767 & sailed to New Orleans probably via Cap-Français||San Luìs de Natchez: left New Orleans 20 Feb, reached Natchez 20 Mar||arrived New Orleans via ship; 150 individuals in 29 families led by brothers Alexis & Honoré BREAU of Pigiguit & Port Tobacco, MD|
|24 Oct 176910||Port Tobacco, MD, aboard English schooner Britannia, left MD 5 Jan 1769 but missed mouth of the Mississippi in late Feb||Natchitoches, St.-Gabriel, Opelousas||27 Acadians in 6 families11, 51 German Catholics in 8 families, 1 Canadian/Anglo family, 7 "bachelors" & 12 "Britishers"; Acadians, Germans, & ship's crew left TX in Sep on overland trek to Natchitoches; arrived Natchitoches 24 Oct; crew & Germans reached New Orleans 9 Nov 1769 via Natchitoches; Acadians remained at Natchitoches for a time and then resettled in Acadian communities in LA|
|29 Jul-17 Dec 1785||Paimboeuf, St.-Malo, & Nantes, France; 7 "expeditions":||Le Bon Papa (arrived New Orleans 29 Jul, passengers settled 24 Aug):
La Bergère (arrived 15 Aug, passengers settled 4 Oct, 13 Nov): Lafourche (67 families), Manchac (1 family), Attakapas or Opelousas (6 families);
Le Beaumont (arrived 19 Aug, passengers settled 9 Sep): Baton Rouge (41 families), Lafourche (3 families), Attakapas or Opelousas (5 families);
Le St.-Rémi (arrived 10 Sep, passengers settled 16 Dec): Nueva Gálvez 17 (1 person), Lafourche (85 families), Baton Rouge (1 person), Bayou des Écores 16 (1 family), Attakapas or Opelousas (2 families);
L'Amitié (arrived 8 Nov, passengers settled 15 Dec, mid-Jan 1786): Lafourche (71 families), Nueva Gálvez (17 families), Baton Rouge (1 person), Attakapas or Opelousas (3 families);
La Ville d'Archangel (arrived 3 Dec, passengers settled 8 Feb 1786): Bayou des Écores (53 families), Lafourche (6 families), New Orleans (1 family);
La Caroline (arrived 17 Dec, passengers settled mid-Jan,17 Jan, 8 Feb 1786): Lafourche (18 families), Nueva Gálvez (6 families), Bayou des Écores (2 families), St.-Jacques (1 family), Attakapas or Opelousas (1 family)
|arrived New Orleans via ship; over 1,600 individuals, at least
Total 429 families18
|23 Aug 1788||France||?||"Arrival in Louisiana of 38 Acadians from France."23|
|11 Dec 1788||Île St.-Pierre, aboard schooner Brigitte||Ascension||arrived New Orleans via ship; 18 individuals in 2 families led by Joseph GRAVOIS, captain of the vessel19|
|Summer & fall 1809||Haiti via Cuba & Jamaica||?||arrived New Orleans via ship; small group of Acadians with 10,000 refugees from Haitian uprising22|
01. Mobile is the site of one of the oldest French settlements on the Gulf Coast & is, in fact, the oldest permanent French settlement in the region. As Mobilians are proud to point out, the establishment of a French settlement near present-day Mobile, AL, predated the establishment of New Orleans, LA, by nearly 2 decades. Fort Louis-de-la Louisiane was founded in 1702 by Pierre Le Moyne, sieur d'Iberville, 26 miles up the Mobile River from the site of today's city. In 1711, Iberville's younger brother, Jean-Baptiste Le Moyne, sieur de Bienville, the commander at Fort Louis, moved the settlement to the mouth of the Mobile River, site of the present city. Old & New Mobile served as the capital of French Louisiana from 1702 until 1723, when Bienville, recently appointed as LA's commandant general, moved his headquarters to the newly-established post at New Orleans on the lower Mississippi. In Feb 1763, as part of the Treaty of Paris that ended the Seven Years' War, France ceded Mobile & the rest of French LA east of the Isle of Orleans & the Mississippi River to Britain, & Mobile became a part of British West Florida. Occupation forces under MAJ Robert Farmar reached Mobile on 20 Oct 1763 & by Jan 1764 occupied Spanish & French posts at Pensacola, Fort Toulouse, & Fort Tombekbé. As a result of the British occupation & despite British entreaties to remain, the great majority of the French settlers & soldiers in the region chose to leave their homes in what is now MS & AL & migrate to the lower Mississippi Valley. Families such as the BONINs, FONTENOTs, & GUILLORYs were among the AL refugees escaping the hated British. Called Allibamont in LA, they were some of the first permanent settlers in the Opelousas & Attakapas districts, west of the Atchafalaya Basin. See Higginbotham, Old Mobile; Carl A. Brasseaux & Michael J. Leblanc, "Franco-Indian Diplomacy in the Mississippi Valley 1754-1763: Prelude to Pontiac's Uprising?," 339, 344n72, in Conrad, ed., The French Experience in LA; Usner, Lower Miss. Valley Before 1783, 123; Voorhies, J., Some Late Eighteenth-Century Louisianians, 125-27.
The first Acadian families to reach LA--the CORMIER-LANDRY-POIRIER-RICHARD party--reached New Orleans via Mobile in Feb 1764, within weeks of the Allibamont. Perhaps these Acadians would have remained at Mobile if the place had not become a British possession. See Voorhies, J., 125-26; note 02, below.
02. In Voorhies, J., Some Late Eighteenth-Century Louisianians, 421-22, is a list of 169 Acadian farmers who were counted by the French "around Fort Toulouse," the name of the French fort on the Coosa River just north of present-day Montgomery. The census, as Ms. Voorhies points out, was not dated, but she states that "it is generally believed that this census was taken in 1758." None of the Acadians on this list emigrated to present-day LA. Stanley LeBlanc in <thecajuns.com/correct.htm> notes that "Stephen A. White has determined that the year 1758 in the section entitled Census of Acadian Farmers Living Around Fort Toulouse 1758 [printed in Voorhies, J.] was actually about 1716; and, it was Fort[sic, actually Port] Toulouse, Cape Breton. The material was inadvertently filed in the 1758 section of the microfilmed records." So, following White, one must conclude that the "Fort Toulouse" list has nothing to do with the LA colony.
The story of the first documented Acadians to reach what is now the State of LA, the CORMIER-LANDRY-POIRIER-RICHARD party, can be found at <thecajuns.com/acad1764.htm>, "Acadians Who Arrived in New Orleans in 1764"; Faragher, A Great & Noble Scheme, 430-31; Oubre, Vacherie, 59, 60, 68-69; & Appendix. See also Dr. Carl Brasseaux's essay at <www.acadianmemorial.org/english/ensembleencoreset.html>.
White, DGFA-1, 406, notes that the eldest member of the CORMIER-LANDRY-POIRIER-RICHARD party, Jean-Baptiste CORMIER, père, was recorded in GA in 1763. Eight years before, in the fall of 1755, British forces had packed CORMIER & other Chignecto Acadians aboard English vessels and exiled them to that faraway English colony. There, as Faragher writes on p.430, "these interrelated families remained close, assisting one another, saving what little money they were able to make." One of them, Olivier LANDRY, "had a distant relative who was serving in a French regiment in Louisiana--Joseph De Ville DES GOUTIN, son of Mathieu DES GOUTIN, who had been treasurer at Port-Royal during the last years of the French regime" in Acadia. (Olivier LANDRY's paternal grandmother, Marie THIBODEAU, was Joseph DES GOUTIN's mother's oldest sister; to an Acadian this would not be a "distant relative.") From this cousin, LANDRY may have learned that the French would welcome his family to LA. See also Stephen White's essay, "The First Acadian in Louisiana: Joseph DE GOUTIN de Ville," in <acadian-cajun.com/degoutin.htm>. In 1763, the families evidently left GA for Charleston, SC, where most of them were counted in late Aug of that year. See Jehn, Acadian Exiles in the Colonies, 231. According to what LA administrator D'ABBADIE told his superior in Apr 1764, however, the 20 Acadians who appeared suddenly at New Orleans "last February" came to the colony "from New York," where," Faragher goes on, "they booked passage on a vessel bound for the port of Mobile...." However, the 22 Dec 1763 edition of the Georgia Gazette, published in Savannah, states: "Yesterday more of the Acadians in number about 21, went in a vessel for Mobile, from which place they are to go to New Orleans." See "Acadians Sail to New Orleans December 21, 1763," in <acadian-home.org>; & <acadian-cajun.com>, which says the article was published in the South Carolina Gazette on 14 Jan 1764, probably a reprint of the Georgia Gazette article a month before (such reprints were not unusual for colonial papers; I have not seen either of these newspaper notices in their original form, only references to them, cited above). <acadian-cajun.com> adds that the ship taken by the 21 Acadians on 21 Dec 1763 was the Savannah Packet out of that city, bound for Mobile. Arsenault, Généalogie, 2568, claims that Jean POIRIER married Madeleine, daughter of Jean-Baptiste RICHARD, at Mobile on 22 Jan 1760 (italics mine), which makes no sense in light of other evidence. However, White, DGFA-1, 1336, & Stanley LeBlanc's <thecajuns.com/acad1764.htm>, "Arrival of the Acadians in Louisiana," clear this up by showing that the marriage had existed since c1759, when the couple lived in GA, and was blessed by a priest at Mobile on 22 Jan 1764 (italics mine). By then, as noted, a British occupation force had reached Mobile, & present-day AL was part of British West Florida. If the CORMIER-LANDRY-POIRIER-RICHARD party had remained at Mobile, they would again be subject to British authority. The Treaty of Paris of Feb 1763 had stipulated that individuals displaced by the war had 18 months to return to their home territories. These exiled Acadians were determined to live in French territory again. They believed, like most of the rest of the world, that western LA still belonged to France (the provisions of the secret Treaty of Fontainebleau ceding LA to Spain in Nov 1762 were not made public until Sep 1764, 7 months after the GA Acadians reached New Orleans). Moreover, as French administrator D'ABBADIE's 6 Apr 1764 letter to his superior reveals, the Acadians were welcomed at New Orleans.
As to the numbers of individuals in the party, the Georgia Gazette article counts 21, & D'ABBADIE's letter counts 20. The list in <thecajuns.com/acad1764.htm>, "Acadians Who Arrived in New Orleans in 1764," counts 18, leaving out Marie-Anne, called Anne, CORMIER & Joseph & Marie LANDRY. My list includes these 3 & also another CORMIER daughter, Madeleine, but does not include Michel POIRIER, who is on the list in <thecajuns.com/acad1764.htm>, making my total 21. See Appendix.
To illustrate the consanguineous nature of this group, not one of the 4 heads of families was married to a woman from outside the extended family. CORMIER was married to a RICHARD, LANDRY to a POIRIER, POIRIER to a RICHARD, & RICHARD to a CORMIER. Moreover, several of their children married within the clan: 3 of the 4 CORMIER girls married a LANDRY, a POIRIER, & a RICHARD, all sons of the other family heads, &, as mentioned earlier, 1 of the 2 LANDRY sons married a CORMIER.
MOUTON family legend says that several MOUTONs were in the group that reached LA in early 1764, but no creditable evidence confirms this. As D'ABBADIE's letter said, there were 4 families in the group. The MOUTONs were not one of them.
Faragher, p. 431, makes the interesting speculation that the second group of Acadians to reach LA, the extended family of resistance fighter Joseph BROUSSARD dit Beausoleil, could have been alerted to the fine qualities of the Mississippi River colony by the father of one of Beausoleil's young partisans, Jean-Baptiste CORMIER, fils. After settling in LA, the elder CORMIER may have communicated with his son in Nova Scotia via the amazing grapevine of Acadian seamen who worked on ships that sailed the Atlantic, the Caribbean, & the Gulf of Mexico. When BROUSSARD & the other Acadian party leaders decided in late 1764 to leave Nova Scotia & find a new home in French America, they may have chosen the lower Mississippi Valley over French St.-Domingue because of what they had heard from the hand full of Acadians already there.
03. See Appendix.
04. Professor Carl A. Brasseaux, the best informed scholar on the Acadians in LA, says that "Numerous published sources, based entirely on speculation, had suggested that many of the Saint-Domingue Acadians left the colony for Louisiana in the mid-to-late 1760s. The documentary record in Louisiana, however, makes it clear that few, if any, Saint-Domingue Acadians migrated to the Mississippi Valley." See Brasseaux, Scattered to the Wind, 45 (italics added); Appendix. This study largely agrees with Brasseaux's assertion; only a few dozen St.-Domingue Acadians emigrated to LA. See Appendix. For an analysis of why hundreds of Acadians from the British-Atlantic colonies went to St.-Domingue in 1763-64 & their sad fate in the French sugar colony, see Professor Gabriel Debien's essay, translated by Glenn R. Conrad, in Conrad, ed., The Cajuns, 19-78. See also <www.acadianmemorial.org/english/ensembleencoreset.html>.
That the BROUSSARD party, at least, changed ships at Cap-Français is attested to by the birth of Jean, son of Victor COMEAU, one of the heads of family in the party, in the Haitian city. See Jean's marriage record in Hébert, D., Southwest LA Records, 1-A:199, 498 (SM Ch.: v.3, #91), which calls him Jean COMEAUX du Cap-Français, Isle St.-Domingue. At that time, Cap-Français, not Port-au-Prince, on the other side of the island, was the capital of French St.-Domingue. Ships going from France to LA seldom sailed directly to New Orleans but usually stopped at Cap-Français or other ports in the region. See David Hardcastle, "The Military Organization of French Colonial Louisiana," 346, in Conrad, ed., The French Experience in LA.
05. See Appendix. In Apr 1766, a year after his arrival, Jean-Baptiste SEMER, a young member of the BROUSSARD party, dictated a letter to his father in France. The letter miraculously survived in a French archive. According to SEMER, the order of arrival of the Acadians from Halifax was: "'... in the month of February 1765 ... 202 Acadian persons ... After us, there arrived yet another 105 in another ship and then eighty, forty, [and] some twenty or thirty, in three or four others. I believe there are about 500-600 of us Acadians, counting women and children." See Mouhot, ed., "Letter by Jean-Baptiste Semer," p. 224; Bernard, Cajuns & Their Acadian Ancestors, 30. Does this imply that the 40 Acadians who went to Opelousas and some of the 80 Acadians under Jean-Baptiste BERGERON dit d'Amboise who went to Cabanocé arrived on the same vessel? SEMER does not say in what months the other vessels arrived. Approximate arrival dates of the 1765 refugees from Halifax via St.-Domingue are best gotten from the official French correspondence found in Brasseaux, ed., Quest for the Promised Land, 31-54. See Appendix.
06. Details from Stanley LeBlanc's <thecajuns.com>, "Arrival of the Acadians in Louisiana." Bourgeois, Cabanocey, 14, gives the date of arrival as 16 Nov 1766, & says that 216 individuals came "directly from Halifax, Nova Scotia...." She bases her statement on a letter from French Commissary FOUCAULT to his superior, the duc de Praslin, dated 18 Nov 1766, in which the commissary says that the 216 Acadians who arrived in LA "approximately one-and-a-half months ago" came from "Halifax on an English boat chartered at their own expense." See Brasseaux, ed., Quest for the Promised Land, 80. LeBlanc, however, bases his information on a letter from Spanish Gov. ULLOA to the marques Jeronimo GRIMALDI, the Spanish Minister of State, dated 29 Sep 1766, in which ULLOA says that the English sloop carrying Acadians who had arrived at New Orleans the day before had departed "Maryland, New England" in late Jun & numbered 224 men, women, & children. See Brasseaux, ed., 77.
Usner, Lower Miss. Valley Before 1783, hints that the Acadians from MD may have been assisted in their passage to LA by the Spanish. He states on 119-20: "Reporting on the arrival of some two hundred Acadians in September 1766, Louisiana's first Spanish governor [Ulloa] minimized the returns that one should expect from the money spent to assist their passage: 'They are not able to cultivate indigo nor tobacco without having first a competent number of negroes to do the work and they will be reduced to owning a few animals and to cultivating grains and roots for their own consumption, with which they will be rich as far as they are personally concerned but will not enrich the colony nor contribute to the growth of its commerce, because it will never get beyond producing wood, indigo of very poor quality, and tobacco in small quantities and of ordinary quality.'" Nowhere in Ulloa's statement does it say that the Spanish paid for the passage of the MD Acadians to LA, so this may have been Usner's assumption. Ulloa's concern over their future productivity, for the majority of the Acadian exiles, was well taken, but there were exceptions--Acadians who, by the end of the Spanish period, owned enough land & slaves to participate in LA's burgeoning plantation economy. See, for example, the profile of Pierre dit La Vielliarde LANDRY, who was one of the Sep 1766 arrivals.
07. For the vessel taken by the Jul 1767 arrivals from Baltimore, see Wood, Acadians in Maryland, 33. The Virgin, like earlier expeditions from Halifax & MD to LA, did not sail directly to New Orleans but went to "Guárico," the older, Indian/Spanish name for Cap-Français, St.-Domingue, where the Acadians lingered for 17 days, probably changing ships before they sailed on to New Orleans. The voyage from Baltimore to New Orleans lasted a very long 78 days. See Voorhies, J., Some Late Eighteenth-Century Louisianians, 430, quoting a Spanish official who notes: "That during the 78 days of navigation (including the 17 days at Guárico) from the harbor of Baltimore, Province of Maryland till here [New Orleans], Armand HÉBERT, head of a family and Maria LANDRY, a child, died and Oliver BABIN and Margarita HERNANDEZ were born." It is entirely possible that Acadians wanting to leave St.-Domingue could have come to LA with this group as well. See Appendix.
08. Voorhies, J., Some Late Eighteenth-Century Louisianians, 430-34, a Spanish report entitled "List of Acadian Families Who Came to Louisiana to be Established in the Year 1767," dated Jul 27, is followed here because it is the only one of the Spanish reports that includes every individual Acadian's name & age who went to St.-Gabriel in Aug 1767. The report in Voorhies, J., 428, entitled "Document Concerning the First Acadians to Arrive in this Province in the Year 1767," also dated Jul 27, counts 200 individuals in 45 families. Still another report, in Voorhies, J., p. 429, entitled "Acadians Who Settled at St. Gabriel in the Year 1767," with the notation, "List of the farms which were assigned to the chiefs and heads of Acadian families who were going to be established among the people of St. Gabriel," undated, counts 47 heads of families. A hand full of Acadians from the Jul 1767 arrival may have stayed in New Orleans. See Voorhies, J., 426-27, a report entitled "List of Acadians Who Are in the City in the Month of July 1767," dated Jul 23, not quite 2 weeks after the arrival of the ship from Baltimore & 2 1/2 weeks before the 40-plus Acadian families left for St.-Gabriel. Since there obviously were dozens more Acadians in New Orleans at the time of the Jul 23 report, the Acadians in that report may have reached the city earlier, some in Sep 1766, & for some reason were still lingering there.
Brasseaux, Founding of New Acadia, 80-81, says that the Jul 1767 party from MD wanted to settle at Cabanocé, where many of their relatives lived, but, for strategic reasons, Gov. ULLOA was determined to send them to a new post, Fort San Gabriel, 2 dozen miles above Cabanocé. The MD Acadians went to St.-Gabriel reluctantly but soon realized that communication with the other Acadian communities downriver was relatively easy by boat.
At least two of the families who arrived in 1767--CASTILLE & HERNANDEZ--were not Acadian. The wives were, but not the husbands.
09. Stanley LeBlanc's <thecajuns.com>, "Arrival of the Acadians in Louisiana," does not name their ship, nor does he mention who their leaders were, but he does cite a Pennsylvania Gazette article of 8 Apr 1768, which says the ship carrying the "neutrals from Maryland" was a brig under Captain RIDER. Brasseaux, Founding of New Acadia, 82, says the party led by Alexis & Honoré BREAU reached New Orleans in Feb aboard the Guinea. Wood, Acadians in Maryland, 34, concludes that it was the Jane. Voorhies, J., Some Late Eighteenth-Century Louisianians, 200, offers a copy of "a consular certificate granted at N. Potomack, Maryland to the vessel Jane sailing to the Mississippi with 'one hundred and fifty French neutrals with baggages,' December 17, 1767." The ship reached New Orleans the following Feb. In a letter to his superior, the Marqués de GRIMALDI, dated 11 Feb 1768, LA Gov. ULLOA mentions "the recently arrived Acadians." See Kinnaird, "The Revolutionary Period, 1765-81," 40.
Also accompanying the BREAU party from MD was James WALKER, who came to LA to scout out possible settlements for English Catholics. A letter from MD Catholic leader Henry JERNINGHAM, M.D., dated 14 Dec 1767, introducing WALKER to LA Gov. ULLOA, indicates that the ship carrying WALKER, & probably also the BREAU party, left MD soon after that date. See Kinnaird, "The Revolutionary Period, 1765-81," 39.
After hassling with Gov. ULLOA about settling at Cabanocé/St.-Jacque, where the BREAUs wanted to go but where ULLOA refused to send them, the disgruntled Acadians left the New Orleans area for Fort San Luìs de Natchez on 20 Feb 1768, without the BREAU brothers, who had gone into hiding after the governor threatened to deport them & their families for insubordination. The MD Acadians finally reached Fort San Luìs on Mar 20 after a month of moving up the river, stopping at various settlements along the way for replenishment of food & fresh water (it must have been especially painful to stop at Cabanocé/St.-Jacques & St.-Gabriel, where their kinsmen had settled). Revolt against the hated ULLOA followed in late Oct 1768. Late the following year, ULLOA's successor, General Alejandro O'REILLY, allowed the Natchez Acadians, including the BREAU brothers, to resettle at Cabanocé, St.-Gabriel, or Ascension, where they could still be of service in the Spanish scheme of defense along the lower Mississippi. Both Brasseaux & LeBlanc say there were 149 Acadians in the group when it reached New Orleans; Brasseaux, 82, also says 152. For the Spanish reports of Feb 1768, one of which lists every person in the BREAU party, see Voorhies, J., 435-39. See also Appendix.
10. No group of Acadians who came to LA suffered as much as these folks to get to the promised land. The English schooner Britannia (sometimes spelled Britania) left Port Tobacco, MD, for New Orleans on 5 Jan 1769 with 7 Acadian and 8 German families aboard--100 passengers total. The crew of the Britannia sighted the coast of Louisiana on 21 Feb, but the captain of the ship, an Englishman named John STEEL, either through bad luck or incompetence, missed the mouth of the Mississippi because of heavy fog. Strong winds drove the ship westward, & the Britannia ran onto the Texas coast at Espiritu Santo Bay. The crew went ashore in early Apr & located a Spanish officer, Don Francisco THOBAR, who suspected them of being spies or smugglers. Instead of giving them food & fresh water & sending them on their way, THOBAR arrested them & ordered his men to escort everyone on the ship to the presidio Nuestra Senora de la Loreto de la Bahía at present-day Goliad, which he commanded. The passengers & crew of the Britannia remained at La Bahía for 6 long months, waiting for the Spanish authorities to decide their fate. (They could not have known it, but the Spanish had built La Bahia presidio in 1722 on the site of La Salle's fort of 1685-87!) While at La Bahía, the Acadians, Germans, and ships crewmen were forced to work as semi-slaves around the presidio & on nearby ranches. In late May, THOBAR slapped the captain & crew in chains, where he kept them for 24 days. Finally, in early Sep, a Spanish officer, Don Rafael MARTINEZ PACHECO, commandant of Fort Cokesau [Calcasieu?], arrived at La Bahía with instructions for Commandant THOBAR to send the captives overland to Natchitoches in Spanish LA. The crew & passengers could not return to the abandoned Britannia because the Spaniards had confiscated whatever part of the vessel was serviceable, & the coastal Indians had stripped what was left of the ship. On Sep 11, the Acadians joined the other passengers & the English crew on the 420-mile trek to Natchitoches, which they reached in late Oct. LA Gov. O'REILLY, meanwhile, had decided that the Acadian families in the group would settle at Natchitoches because of their familiarity with the growing of rye & wheat. Natchitoches settlers welcomed the newcomers, & the Spanish promised them food, tools, & animals. The German families were told that they could continue to New Orleans via the Red & Mississippi rivers, pick up supplies, & then settle at St.-Gabriel d'Iberville on the Mississippi, where the Spanish would give them the abandoned fort at St.-Gabriel. The Germans accompanied the English crew to New Orleans in canoes & arrived there on Nov 9. Most of the Acadians, meanwhile, refused to remain at Natchitoches, which was too far away from their kinsmen to the south (they had come to the colony to reunite with relatives, not fulfill some Spanish settlement scheme). So these wayward Acadians also left the Red River valley & joined their relatives in the established communities of St.-Gabriel, Ascension, & Opelousas. See <thecajuns.com>, Glenn R. Conrad, "German Settlers in Louisiana"; <thecajuns.com/britania.htm>, "Passengers on the Ship 'Britania'." Kinnaird, "The Revolutionary Period, 1765-81," 135-42, 146-47 (including a list of passengers, 140-42), says on 138 that John STEEL was captain of La Bretana. Robichaux, German Coast Families, 60, points out that these were the last Germans to migrate to LA during the colonial period. Wood, Acadians in Maryland, 35-36, says, on 36, that Philip FORD was captain of Britannia. For some reason, Brasseaux, Scattered to the Wind, 67, & <www.acadianmemorial.org/english/ensembleencoreset.html>, say that the Britannia incident occurred in 1770. No other source uses this date. See Appendix for a list of Acadian individuals & families aboard the Britannia.
If I may be allowed a personal note: One of the German families aboard the Britiannia was that of Jacob MILLER & Anne-Marie THEGEIN, both natives of Alsace & my mother's paternal ancestors. Also in my direct maternal line were Britannia passengers Honoré TRAHAN, his wife Marie CORPORON, & their son Pierre; & Canadian Pierre PRIMEAUX & his Anglo-American wife Susanne PLANTE. Much of my "blood," then, traveled on that ill-fated vessel. My dear, departed friend Henry Eugene Ory of Lake Charles, LA, & Pueblo, CO, once my parish priest in Jennings, was a direct descendant of Nicolas ORY, the head of another German family that sailed aboard the Britannia. A paternal ancestor of alligator hunter Troy Landry, a star of the History Channel's popular series "Swamp People," also sailed aboard the ship--Nicolas MARCOFF, his wife Christine ORY, & their children, including son Joseph, whose surname evolved into MALBROUGH, were among the German Catholics aboard the vessel. Joseph's daughter Euphrosine was the second wife of one of Troy's great-grandfathers. Joseph MARCOFF/MALBROUGH is also the fifth great-grandfather of Acadian/Cajun genealogist/historian Stanley LeBlanc, whose website, <thecajuns.com>, cited above, contains a roster of Britannia passengers.
11. Kinnaird, "The Revolutionary Period, 1765-81," 141-42, a notarized copy of a report submitted to Spanish authorities at New Orleans by "Don" Philip Ford, a member of the Britannia's crew (but not its captain; that was John Steel), lists 31 Acadians aboard the ship; Glenn R. Conrad, in his article "German Settlers in Louisiana," <thecajuns.com>, says there were 32 Acadians on the Britannia; Brasseaux, Scattered to the Wind, 67, says 30 & uses the date 1770; the article "Passengers on the Ship 'Britania," previously available at <thecajuns.com/britania.htm>, has 31 individuals in 7 families. I count 23 Acadians because one of the women, Susanne PLANTE, wife of Pierre PRIMEAUX, was not an Acadian despite her inclusion on the Acadian Memorial's Wall of Names. And neither was Pierre PRIMEAUX; he was French Canadian. Antoine BELLARD and his son Étienne-Simon also were not Acadian. BELLARD had an Acadian wife, whom he had wed in MD, but there is no evidence that he lived in greater Acadia. See Appendix for a list of Acadian individuals in 6 of the families aboard the Britannia.
12. Also called Costa de Manchac, it was located on the east bank of the Mississippi along the present-day boundary of East Baton Rouge & Iberville parishes, south of Baton Rouge & just north of the Acadian settlement of St.-Gabriel d'Iberville. Manchac was so close to St.-Gabriel, in fact, that these settlements should be considered the same community. St.-Gabriel was sometimes called St.-Gabriel de Manchac. See Appendix; map.
13. The 7 Ships families sent to the Lafourche area went to what the French authorities had called Lafourche des Chitimachas & what the Acadians called Ascension, now the Donaldsonville area of Ascension Parish, and to Valenzuéla, later called Assumption, a few miles down the bayou from Ascension. See Appendix; map. Dr. Carl Brasseaux, in his essay at <www.acadianmemorial.org/english/ensembleencoreset.html>, says that these Lafourche Acadians settled in the area "between present-day Labadieville and Raceland." That probably happened later.
14. Officially, 1,574 Acadians, representing 375 families, came on the 7 ships to LA, but 28 stowaways raised the number of individuals to 1,602; the official number of deaths for the enterprise was 85, desertions 12, total 97, these losses partially balanced by 39 births & 15 "immigrants", total 54. See Winzerling, Acadian Odyssey, 154-56; Kinnaird, "Post War Decade, 1782-91," 169. Even after noting the subtraction of "last minute withdrawals and failures of others to appear" from Count ARANDA'S official report to King Charles III of Spain to get a total of 1,574/1,602, Winzerling still uses the too-large figure 1,596/1,624 as the official total of Acadians & stowaways associated with them. My figure of 1,546 Acadians who took the 7 Ships to LA is based on a strict definition of which families were or were not Acadians. For instance, when the stowaways on Le St.-Rémi & L'Amitié married their Acadian sweethearts in LA, Intendant NAVARRO generously granted them status as "Acadians", though the grooms' families had never lived in greater Acadia. See Winzerling, 145-46, 155. If a child's father was non-Acadian but his/her mother was Acadian, the child is listed here as non-Acadian because of how it goes with surnames; Acadian-ness here is determined by surnames, remember.
My list contains over a dozen Acadian newborns who were not counted by the Spanish.
All dates & places of settlement are from Winzerling unless otherwise noted.
15. Family distribution figures are from Winzerling, Acadian Odyssey, chap. 10, specifically 133 (Le Bon Papa), 136 (La Bergère), 138 (Le Beaumont), 143 (Le St.-Rémi), 146-47 (L'Amitié), 150 (La Ville d'Archangel), & 151 (La Caroline). A slightly more detailed record of 1785 family distribution in LA, followed here, is "A Report on Acadian Immigrants Who Came to Louisiana from France in 1786[sic]," in Kinnaird, "Post War Decade, 1782-91," 169, & <thecajuns.com/1785acad.pdf>.
16. See Appendix; map.
17. According to Din, Canary Islanders of LA, 52, Nueva Gálvez was an Isleños, or Canary Islander, community along Bayou Terre-aux-Boeufs in present-day St. Bernard Parish, on the left bank of the Mississippi below New Orleans. Founded in 1779 by the Spanish after they recruited settlers from the Canary Islands, Nueva Gálvez should not be confused with the Isleños community called Galveztown in present-day Ascension Parish, also founded in 1779--see T. Hébert in <acadian-cajun.com> for an example of this confusion. Galveztown lay 15 miles southeast of the Acadian community of St.-Gabriel in a district also called Manchac & was abandoned in the early 1800s. The site of Galveztown lies on the south bank of the Amite River across from present-day Port Vincent, Livingston Parish. Nueva Gálvez, on the other hand, survived & even thrived as a community, & today is known as St. Bernard.
Why is Nueva Gálvez not even mentioned in Brasseaux, Founding of New Acadia? Was the community that obscure? It was certainly the smallest of the Acadian communities created in the 20 years between 1765 & 1785. Din, cited above, on 55, says that 75 Acadians, "many of them passengers on the ships Amistad and Carolina, settled on the Mississippi's left bank below New Orleans." I have counted only 50 passengers from L'Amitié & La Caroline who likely went to St. Bernard in 1785, & several of them were not Acadians but French spouses of Acadians. See Appendix. Din's 75 Acadians is from the official Spanish report of 1786, which can be found in <thecajuns.com/1785acad.pdf>. Note that the official Spanish report differentiates Nueva Gálvez from the "Manchac Coast," near where Galveztown was located.
18. This larger number of families compared to the official number sent over on the 7 Ships reflects the many marriages & thus the creation of new families at New Orleans soon after the ships arrived. It also reflects the generosity of the Spanish authorities, particularly of Intendant NAVARRO, in granting head-of-family status to Acadians who arrived in LA ahead of other members of their families. Winzerling, Acadian Odyssey, 142, writes: "NAVARRO did all in his power to reunite families and relatives. Many Acadians became separated from one another in their haste to be among the first to leave for Louisiana. When Spain's humane treatment of the exiles in Louisiana was learned abroad, family heads would make any sacrifice to leave France as fast as possible in order to be among the first to receive Spain's grant of arable land in Louisiana. As a consequence [Manuel] D'ASPRES [the Spanish consul at St.-Malo, who essentially organized the embarkation of the Acadians in France] reported that there was considerable confusion at times among the Acadians awaiting transportation. They knew that ultimately they would find their respective families, but until then the loneliness was heavy, and eagerness to get settled made it all the more so. To heal all wounds NAVARRO granted these lonesome persons the rights of family head, which meant a subsidy of ten cents [per day] instead of seven and a half cents."
19. Here is another story of Acadian fortitude & determination. Joseph GRAVOIS of Chignecto somehow ended up in France via VA & England. He married fellow Acadian Marie-Madeleine BOURG at St.-Suliac, near St.-Malo, France, in Aug 1763 & fathered at least 8 children by her, 2 sons & 6 daughters. Joseph was a mariner. From the late 1760s to the mid-1780s, he took his family to England, to Baie St.-Marie in Nova Scotia, to Carleton, Quebec, on the northern shore of the Baie des Chaleurs, and, finally, to the French-controlled island of Île St.-Pierre, off the southern coast of Newfoundland. Dissatisfied with conditions on the desolate, wind-swept, crowded island, Joseph secured command of the schooner Brigitte, filled it with 17 of his kinsmen, including his wife & 8 children, received permission from French authorities to go, left Île St.-Pierre on 16 Oct 1788, & reached the mouth of the Mississippi at La Balize nearly 2 months later. "Armed with a passport from Ygnacio BALDERAS, a Spanish official they encountered, they ascended the Mississippi to New Orleans and evidently secured permission to join relatives in present-day Ascension Parish." According to Dr. Carl A. Brasseaux, this small party of Acadians was the only group "known to have migrated to Louisiana from Canada after the first migration (1764-1770)." See Brasseaux, Founding of New Acadia, 105. For the GRAVOIS's association with Chignecto & St.-Malo, see Arsenault, Généalogie, 2498-99; BRDR, 2:298-99, 333-34. Why doesn't the GRAVOIS family appear in the Ascension census of 1791? See Robichaux, Bayou Lafourche, 1770-98. See Appendix for a list of names in the GRAVOIS party. Dr. Carl A. Brasseux in his essay at <www.acadianmemorial.org/english/ensembleencoreset.html>, says there were 19 Acadians in this party, while in Founding of New Acadia, 208, he lists 18, followed here. The missing person was family head Joseph BABIN, who died before the Brigite left St.-Pierre. The excellent chronology of Le Grand Dérangement compiled by Paul Delaney in <acadian-home.org>, states, under the heading of 6 Oct 1788, that "Joseph GRAVOIS & Joseph BABIN and their families (19 people) are authorized to leave Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon to go to Louisiana." And so they did.
21. Wall of Names, 1, says that Acadian immigrants came to LA as late as 1813, but the vast majority of the near 2,900 Acadians who found refuge in LA had reached the colony by the end of 1785.
22. Dr. Brasseaux, in his essay at <www.acadianmemorial.org/english/ensembleencoreset.html>, says: "An undetermined number of Acadians were undoubtedly among the approximately 10,000 refugees from Saint-Domingue who arrived en masse in New Orleans in the summer and fall of 1809. The evidence indicates, however, that these latter-day Acadian immigrants had already lost much of their ethnic identity and, when forced by circumstances to remain in New Orleans, they were quickly absorbed into the Crescent City's flourishing Creole community." I have documented very few Acadian immigrants who came to LA in the early 1800s. See Appendix.
23. See Paul Delaney's "The Chronology of the Deportations and Migrations of the Acadians 1755-1816," in <acadian-home.org>. I have not found a list of these 38 Acadians. Perhaps their names can be found in my Appendix entitled "Undetermined Acadian Arrivals," but good luck figuring out which ones they are.
[top of page Chronology of LA Acadian Arrivals]
Copyright (c) 2005-16 Steven A. Cormier