Nova Scotia's founding cultures
SOURCES: WWW.NOVASCOTIA.COM & WWW.CBC.CA
The first Acadian Census took place in Port Royal in
1671. One of the first in Canada, the total count was 392
people, 482 cattle, and 524 sheep! In the 1680s and
1690s many people left Port Royal and settled other
In 1719 work began on Fortress Louisbourg to protect
France’s interests. It was to become one of the busiest
ports on the Atlantic coast.
At the beginning of the French and Indian War of 1754,
the British government demanded that Acadians take an
oath of allegiance to the Crown that included fighting
against the French. Most of them refused.
Pressure from the English was strong. British Governor
Charles Lawrence and the Nova Scotia Council decided
on July 28, 1755 to deport the Acadians.
CAUGHT IN THE MIDDLE
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About 6,000 Acadians were forcibly removed from their
colonies on August 11th. The British military ordered the
Acadians' communities to be destroyed and homes and
barns were burned down. The people were dispersed
among the 13 American colonies, but many refused them
and sent them on to Europe. Families were torn apart and
many lost everything they owned.
Acadians call this event the Grand Dérangement, or Great
Upheaval. In English it is the Expulsion.
As a result of the deportation and the subsequent
migrations, the Acadians ended up in the New England
States and all along the eastern seaboard, as far south as
Georgia. Many were put in jail, and many died at sea.
Others ran away to Québec, hid with the Mi’kmaqs in
Nova Scotia, or went to present-day New Brunswick, or
Prince Edward Island.
The expulsion did not end in 1755. Three years later the
Acadians who fled to Île St. Jean (Prince Edward Island)
and Île Royale (Cape Breton Island) were rounded up and
sent to France. The British under General Wolfe and
General Amherst recaptured Louisbourg, the last French
stronghold, and deported 3,000 more Acadians to France.
The Grand Dérangement displaced from 10,000 to 18,000
Acadians. Thousands more were killed.
240,000 French speaking people in New Brunswick,
39,500 in Nova Scotia and 6,000 in Prince Edward Island.
Others lived in Saint-Pierre and Miquelon, Gaspe,
Magdalen Islands, and Newfoundland.
Acadia lives on in many small communities spread along
throughout the Atlantic region. The nuances in the
accents, developed through contacts with other cultures,
are noticeable from one area to another, from the Acadian
Peninsula in New Brunswick to St. Mary’s Bay in Nova