Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Journal of John Winslow of the Provincial Troops While Engaged in Removing the Acadian French Inhabitants from Grand-Pré In the Autumn of the Year 1755

Journal of John Winslow of the Provincial Troops While Engaged in Removing the Acadian French Inhabitants from Grand-Pré In the Autumn of the Year 1755

From My Camp at Grand-Pre, Nova Scotia,
August 22nd 1755

I embarked on the sixteenth with three hundred and thirteen men, officers included, having with me Captains Adams, Hobbs, and Osgood in three vessels bound for Porte Edward, where we the next day arrived and I found there a memorandum sent by Colonel Lawrence, the Governor of Nova Scotia, which directed me to take up my quarters at the Basin of Minas. Whereupon, on the next tide, I came down the river and entered into the Gaspereau, where we landed.

Have taken up my quarters here in Grand-Pré between the Church and Chapel yard, having the Priest's House for my own accommodation and the Church for a Place of Arms. Am picketing my Camp to prevent a surprise. Expect to be joined with two hundred more men soon.

As to the Inhabitants, commonly called the Neutrals, the point seems to have been settled in relation to them and they are to be removed. They are as yet in Ignorance of the Reason of my coming here. This is a fine day and they seem to be very busy with their harvesting.

I have the pleasure to inform his Majesty's Government that the Army in general enjoys a good state of health, although it is likely we shall soon have our hands full of a disagreeable Business to remove a people from their ancient habitations which in this part of the Country are very valuable.

The Orders of the Day: No soldier to Straggle from this Camp down the street of the Village without special permission and leave from me.

The Main body of the Church to be made clear for the reception of men and provisions. The Troops, with the exception of the Guard and the Sentry, will hereafter lodge in this Camp.

August 24th

Yesterday I received a month's provisions for four hundred men, which I have deposited in the Church. I have pitched my Tents and lodged my men in them; and if my Palisades hold out, shall finish my picjeting this day. There is a small House within the pickets which I have made into a Captains' quarters.

One thing I still lack, which is a guard room, and I have a frame up and partly enclosed and there are old boards enough here to cover it. I shall put His Majesty to n o expense in the whole but for Nails, of which if the Commissary h ave any in store I should be glad of one thousand and can not well do without them, as also a Lock of any kind so it be stout for the Church door.

Jock (Jacques) Terreo (Theriault) informs me that the Inhabitants of Grand-Pré are redily complying with our demand of Cattle and that these should be of the best. We this day drive to the Woods to collect the herds together.

Instructions for Lieutenant-Colonel John Winslow:

Destina tions of the Vessels in the Basin of Minas: North Carolina, Mary Land and Virginia. Each person so embarked is to be allowed 5 pounds of flour and 1 pound of pork for every seven days.

With relation to the means necessary for collecting the people together so as to get them on board. If you find that Fair means will not do with them you must Proceed by the most Vigorous measures possible not only in compelling them to Embark, but in depriving those who shall escape of all means of shelter by Burning their Houses and Destroying everything that will afford them means of subsistence in their Country.

As soon as the Transports have received their people on baord and are ready to Sail you are to acquaint the Commander of his Majesty's ship therewith that he may take them under Convoy and put to Sea without loss of Time.

August 30th

As the Corn is now all down, the weather being such as has helped the Inhabitant's housing of it, it is my opinion that the orders be mde public next Friday, on which day we purpose to put these orders into execution.


September 1st

Three of the extra Transports have arrived and the Inhabitants have been on Board eager to know their Errand, but as I was early with the Ships' masters, I gave them instructions to say that they were to come to attend me and the Troopos wherever I pleased. These Transports inform me that there is eleven more Sail coming from Boston and would weigh anchor shortly.

This day, September 2nd, 1755, I posted his Majesty's proclamation in the village of Grand-Pré, giving notice to the People that they assemble in the Church on Friday at three of the Clock.

September 5th

I have found it expedient to add this clause to the Proclamation in the village of Grand-Pré:

That all Horned Cattle, sheep, Goats, Hogs and Poultry of all kinds that were this Day suposed to be Vested in the French Inhabitants of this Province are become forfeited to his Majesty whose Property they now are, and every Person of the French Denomination is to take care not to Hurt, Kill, or Destroy anything of any kind nor to rob Orchards of Gardens or to make Waste of anything whatsoever, Dead or Alive, in these Districts without Orders from me.

The Orders of the Day: The French Inhabitants to repair to their quarters in the Church at Tattoo and in the day not to extend their walks to the Eastward of the Commandant's Quarters without leave from the officers of the Guard. A patrol of a Sergeant and twelve men to walk constantly round the Church. The Sentries everywhere to be doubled.

These French people not having any provisions with them in the Church and pleading Hunger, I ordered that for the future they be supplied from their respective families.

Thus ends my Memorable fifth of September, a Day of great Fatigue for me and Trouble.
Grand-Pré Church announcement to Acadians of their exile - September 5, 1755 - Painting: The Deportation by C. W. Jefferys

September 10th

I sent for Father (as in head of the family) Landry, their principal Speaker who talks English, and I told him the time was come for the Inhabitants to begin Embarking and that we would start with the Young Men and that I desired he would inform his Brethren of it. He was greatly Surprised.

I told him that as I Viewed the matter it must be done and that I should order the Prisoners to be drawn up Six Deep, their Young Men on the left, and as the Tide would in a very little time favor my Design I could not give them above an Hour to prepare for going on Board. I then Commanded our whole Party to be under Arms and Post themselves between the two gates and the Church in the rear of my Quarters, which was obeyed and agreeable to my Directions.

The Whole of the French Inhabitants were drawn together in one Body, their Young Men as directed to the left. I then ordered the Prisoners to march, but they all answered that they could not go without their Fathers.

I told them that was a word New England did not understand, for that the King's Command was to me Absolute and should be, on my part, Absolutely obeyed. That I did not love Harsh means but the Time did not permit of parleying. Then I ordered the whole Troops to fix their Bayonets and advance toward the French with the repeated order to march.

The Which they then did, though Slowly, and they went singning and crying and praying, being met by the Women and Children all the way (the road is rough and a mile and a half long) with great lamentations and upon their knees.

I began at once to Embark these Inhabitants who went so Sorrowfully and Unwillingly, the Women in great distress carrying their Children in their arms and Others carrying their decrepit Parents in their Wains and all their Goods moving in dire Confusion. It appeared indeed a matter of Woe and Distress.

Thus Proceeds a Troublesome Job, and little to my liking. After this Captain Adams Fell Down from the Gaspereau.

September 11th

I made strict enquiry how those Young Men made their escape yesterday and by every circumstance found one Francois Hubert (Hebert) was either the Contriver or Abettor, who was on Board at the time and his Effects shipped. I ordered him ashore, allowed him to proceed to hiw own House and then in his presence burned both his House and Barn.

There are certain Instructions which must be given to the Masters of these Transports. Thomas Church of the Leopard, bound for Mary Land, will sail first. I will write him in this wise:

You having received on Board your Schooner certain Men, Women and Children, being part of the French Inhabitants of the Province of Acadie in Nova Scotia, you are to Proceed with them when Wind and Weather permit to his Majesty's Governor in Mary Land and upon your arriving there you are to Wait upon the Honorable Horatio Sharp, Lieutenant-Governor and Commander-in-Chief, and make all possible Dispatch in Debarking your Passengers.

You are to take care that no Arms or offensive Weapons of any kind are on Board with your passengers and to be as careful and watchful as possible during the whole course of your Voyage to prevent these Prisoners from making an attempt to take the Ship. To guard against any attempt to seize your Vessel you will allow only a Small Number to be on Deck at a time.

See that the Provisions be regularly issued to the people and for your greater Security you are to wait on the Commander of his Majesty's Ship Nightingale and desire the Benefit of his Convoy.

Wishing you a successful Voyage, and given under my hand at the Camp of Grand-Pré, Anno Domino, Seventeen hundred and fifty-five.

John Winslow

I have made out a Summary of this Unplesant Business upon which I, Lieutenant-Colonel John winslow of the Army of Boston, was Detailed. I caused to be Burned the following in the region round about the Basin of Minas:

- Barns 276
- Houses 255
- Mills 11
- Churches 1
- Total 543

I shipped one thousand five hundred and ten Inhabitants from Grand-Pré on certain Vessels to Strange Parts, where these French will needs find themselves Houses. The Brig Hannah, Captain Adams in command, will take her way to Philadelphia. The Industry and the Leopard, Goodwin and Church being their Masters, are on their Route to Mary Land. I have started the Prosperous, the Mary, and the Sally and Molly to the region of Virginia.

Winter will be coming on apace in this Camp and the Sea beats desolately against the Shore.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Louisiane Acadien - Our Mission and Focuses

If I were to describe Louisiane Acadien and our focus: There are some Acadian / Cajun history and genealogy sites that operate outside Louisiana, their family lines haven't really experienced the generations of intense struggle in Louisiana after the deportation, although they attempt to portray themselves as authorities on the exile and the Louisiana migration, settlement and authentic Cajun life. They also have focuses on selling information, family trees and trinket products like on Cafe Press. We're not about that. And, we are not in competition with any other Acadien site to be the "best" or most "authoritative". Our work and mission is very specific and there is no site like comes close to matching the mission or significance of our work for Louisiana and our Acadian history combined with our current Cajun cultural struggles.

Louisiane Acadien stems from a family and cultural history that has a "certified & documented direct family line" to:
1) The founding of TWO Canadian National Historic Sites : a) The Melanson Settlement near Port Royal and b) the founding of Grand-Pré, l'Acadie, Minas Basin
2) the family being exiled from Nova Scotia during the deportation in 1755,
3) being held prisoner during the exile from 1755 - 1763,
4) given land grants & being allowed to settle in Louisiana at the historic "Acadian Coast - St. Jacques de Cabohannocé - St. James Parish",
5) our involvement in the War of Independence, American Revolution in which our families jumped at the change to avenge their families and fight the British during both the American Revolution and the War of 1812,
6) our families struggles of being called into action to combat against the Union Anglicization forces by the Confederate States of America in 1861 although they preferred to remain "Neutral French" much like as in the situations that led to the deportation of 1755
7) being forced to turn our backs on, and shamed and persecuted for, our culture once again in the 1920's through the English Only legislation, and then
8) the generations that struggled to reclaim our language and culture only to realize the reality of the intense and numerous threats to our land and culture through our coastal erosion, the double edge sword of oilfield wealth and coastal storm disasters.

Yes, Louisiane Acadien is an authentic story of the reality of from Grand-Prè to Louisiana, both Acadian Refuge from the 1760's settlement years through to our present day struggles and intense culturally threatening issues that we currently face. Our families have lived it, authentically.

Enjoy our historic site:
Youtube Channel:
Facebook Group:

Merci Beaucoup mes amis et Vive l'Acadie de Louisiane!