Nova Scotia Archives

Au cœur de l'Acadie

Archives concernant la Déportation et le Grand dérangement, 1714-1768


deavors; you express a desire to receive from me information respecting the most interesting events which have occurred to my observation. It is true, sir, that I knew the Province in the year 1750, and my connection with it has from that period been uninterruptedly continued up to the present day, but it must be remembered that my whole life has been spent in one continued scene of mercantile business, consequently I am but ill qualified to aid your labors. I will, nevertheless, evince my respect and regard to the recorders of truth for the benefit of mankind by giving you the best account in my power of those occurrences to which your letter seems more immediately to point.

      In the sixteenth century Acadie, or Acady, was first settled by people from Normandy, they were placed under the Government of Canada, but so remote their situation from Quebec, little communication could be held with them; they were, therefore, suffered to possess this extensive and fertile country with little or no control; their chief settlements were made on the borders of navigable rivers emptying into the Bay of Fundy, where marsh, or interval, lands abounded, and which, when dyked to keep off the water occasioned by high tides, produced excellent pastures, and without manure abundance of fine grain and pulse; hence the country soon became plentifully stocked with neat cattle, horses, sheep, hogs, and poultry of all sorts; the people left to themselves, without burthens on their property, or restraints on their industry, increased rapidly, possessing the means essential to substantial happiness. Luxuries they did not covet, to ambition they were strangers; bigoted Catholics they were, no doubt, governed by their priests, but these were few in number and moderate in their views, till the year 1750, when one of their order, Monsieur LaLoutre, from Canada, laid the foundation for the miseries they experienced in 1755.

      Acadie was ceded by England to France by the Treaty of Breda, in 1661, but afterwards taken by the English. It was acceded to them by the Treaty of Utrecht, in 1713, under the express stipulation that the inhabitants might remain with their possessions subjects to the crown of Great Britain, with a right to the free exercise of their religion according to the usage of the Church of Rome, and thenceforth they were called Neutrals. Their principal settlement was Annapolis Royal. Here the English built a fort and garrisoned it with English troops, changing the name of the Province from