The sufferings undergone by the colonists in prosecuting these wars of the mother country were extreme, not only in their actual military service, but in their taxation and in the generally unsettled condition of the country, which was in a perpetual commotion of military musterings, impressments, etc., and with the burden of many sick and disabled soldiers. We are used to thinking of the Revolutionary period as one of stir in military matters, but perhaps we do not fully realize how largely war and its attendant evils interefered with the prosperity of the province [Massachusetts] and the towns in the thirty years before the Revolution [American Revolution].
Nor were the colonies of English settlement the only sufferers in these quarrels of the rival nations of the old world. Some of the Acadians who took no prt in the fighting, but professed to be neutral, met with a hard fate. Their neutrality was viewed with suspicion; it being at best compulsory, and they being bound by ties of blood and religion to the cause of the enermy [France]. Therefore, to prevent all trouble from the, they were taken from tneir homes, put on board vessels, and sent off to all parts of the States to spend in exile a wretched existence; families sundered, children sent to one town, parents to another, according as they chanced to be separated on board the vessels to which they were driven at the point of the bayhonet. The story of some of these Acadians is known to every reader through the poet's tale of "Evangeline", a story of Grand Pré.
After the villagers had been driven out, their houses were set on fire, and as they sailed away, they saw the flames of their beloved homes redden the skies. In the destruction of the Acadian villages, the force under Major Frye [who was from North Andover] took an active part. From all that can be gathered in regard to him, it would seem that this officer was a humane and remarkably tender-hearted man, and this military duty which he was called upon to perform must have been exceedingly repugnant to his feelings. He was ordered [see Haliburton's "History of Nova Scotia"] to burn the buildings, over two hundred and fifty houses from which the howners had been removed, and to bring off the few women and children that remained. The wretched people had for the most part submitted with little resistance; but when they saw their houses of workshop in flames, some three hundred French and Indians, who were conceaeled in the woods, came upon our forces and killed twenty or thirty before they realized than an enemy was near.
The dislike and distrust felt toward the poor Acadians in Massachusetts was very great, owing to the prejudice against their nation and their religion. This appears in an address presented to the Governor, deprecating their residence here, especially their being quartered in Boston: "The receiving among us so great a number of persons whose gross bigotry to the Roman Catholick religion is notorious and whose loyalty to his Majesty is suspected is a thing very disagreeable to us."
When the Acadians were sent to the various towns, the selectmen were ordered to bind out to service all children for whom places could be found. Thus, many were torn from their parents and put to serve hard task masters and to perform heavy toils. In the execution of these, perhaps, in the circumstances, inevitable orders, instances of great inhumanity occurred, actual violence being used to separate parents and children. One aged man (not, however of Andover) petitioned the General Court, stating his sufferings at the hands of town officers, that his hands and feet were tied and he was nearly strangled to prevent his running after and calling out to his children who were carried away.Some Acadians drew up a petition to the General Court, praying for a redress of their grievances. It was signed by Acadians from Chelmsford, Waltham, Oxford, Concord, Worcester and Andover. The signers from Andover were Jacques Esbert [Hébert] and Joseph Vincent. Interestingly, the townspeople used to call Jacques Hébert Jockey Bear not knowing how to pronounce the name in French they sounded it out to what they thought there were hearing. The petition they had sent to the General Court had the effect to procure the order that there should be no more binding out but that houses shoul be provided for each family that they might be kept together.
In February 1756, twenty two Acadians were sent to Andover: "Germain Landry, his wife, seven sons and thirteen daughters and one more child was born after their arrival making it twenty-three who went to the town of Andover.
One town record gives this account:
There is twenty-six of the afores'd French which we keep in three Distinck places, that so they might be more constantly Imployed, the old man German Laundre is an Infirm man and not capable of any Labour, and in the winter time he was confined to his Bedd, and needed a Great deel of Tendance more than his wife could perform and his son Joseph is under such weekly Scorcomstances that we are obliged to support him altogether.
There is three families that have eleven children, the oldest of them is not above eight years of age, which there Fathers are not Able to support; there is two young men and four young women that for the most part support themselves. [Massachusetts State Archives, vol. xxiii., p. 44]
There are several accounts rendered by the selectmen of their expense in providing for the support of the French neutrals, - provisions such as pork, beef, Indian meal, pease, beans, sider, etc. Too, there is an account of October, 1757,, for medicine and attendances by Dr. Abiel Abbot, and for "sundries delievered to the French by Mr. Isaac Abbot, Retailer, and sundries delivered by Mr. Samuel Phillips." To this account as added a memorandum: "Germain Laundry [Landry] and Joseph his son, Jockey Bear [Jacques Hébert, Germain's son-in-law] and Charles Bear [Hébert] were placed in a house on the estate of Mr. Jonathan Abbot that would later be owned by his grandson. [This property remained in the Abbot family until 2002 when it was sold to a developer. The house then standing on the property was moved to another location for historic preservation. I visited the site while this was going on to take photos, etc. and spoke with the owners who allowed me to take a stone from what they believed was the original foundation of the house the Acadians had lived in - that stone is now part of the field stone wall on our own property.]
When the Acadians were in Andover, this house owned by Jonathan Abbot was empty as he had built a new one. It was however, a great annoyance to the Puritan famer to have these Acadians living one of his houses - foreigners and Roman Catholics, living near his own family home. Later, Jonathan Abbot's descendants would relate that the Acadians completely conquered the prejudices of this family and of the community and gained the good-will of all acquaintances. They were industrious and frugal. The women worked in the fields pulling flax and harvesting. They practised the rites of their religion in an inoffensive mannter and commended it by their good conduct. When they went away from Andover, Mr. Abbot's family parted from them with sincere regret. Two of them sent a souvenir to Mr. Abbot, which the family kept for years until they donated it to the local historical society where it remains to this day. It is a beautifully carved and polished powder-horn, made by their own hands. It is inscribed:
His horn made in Alenstown
April ye 5 1770
I powder with my brother ball
Most hero-lilke doth conquer all.
It is embellished with figures of animals: a turtle, a deer, a fox, dolphins, etc., and also with representations of armies fighting, soldiers in uniform with muskets, sabre, bayonet, artillery men and field pieces.
In 1760, some of the Acadians were removed from Andover and "set off to the country of Hampshire". The names of those in town July 20, 1760 as given in the returns [Massachusetts State Archives, vol. xxiv, page 384] were the following:
Charles Bear (Hébert), age 36
Amon Dupee (Amand Dupuis), age 30
Margaret Bear (Marguerite-Monique Landry), age 24
Mary (Marie-Blanche Landry), his wife, age 29
Molly Bear, age 4
Mary Joseph, age 5
Charles Bear, age 2
Margaret Dupee, age 2
Margaret Bear, age 1
Hermon Dupee, age 3
Jno Laundry, age 26 (weakly)
Mary Laundry, age 26
Germain Landry, son of Antoine and Marie Thibodeau was born Abt. 1695. He married Cécile Forest Abt. 1722. She was the daughter of Pierre (de) Forest and Cécile Richard from the parish of Sainte Famille, Pisiguit, Acadia. Germain and Cécile lived in the Village-des-Antoines at Grand Pré at the time of the Deportation. Transported to Massachusetts in 1755, they were with their children in Andover as late as 1760 when they were removed to what is now New Hampshire. Three years later, they were among those Acadians who would ask to be repatriated to French territory. They had to wait until 1766 to be able to make their way to Quebec. They settled in L'Assomption Parish, where Germain was buried on 18 April 1770, at the age of 75. Germain and Cécile had eleven children, among them Marie (1726-1790) who with her husband Jacques Hébert was exiled with them to Andover. Another daughter, Marguerite(-Monique) Landry and her husband Charles Hébert was also exiled with them in Andover.Source: Contact Acadia 2001 issue
In February 2002 there was an article on the front page of the Lawrence Tribune that a house was being moved and would be restored for preservation from above Abbott property. With camera in hand I headed over to the property that morning. This photo is of a subsequent house built by Jonathan Abbott for his son. I spoke with the individual who planned to restore the house and he allowed me to take two field stones from what would have been the original cellar of the house. They are now part of our field stone wall.
Germain Landry is my 1st cousin 7 times removed. His wife Cecile Forest is my 1st cousin 6 times removed. I am a 5th grandniece of Jacques Hebert referred to Jockey Bear.
Source: Dictionnaire Généalogique des Familles Acadiennes by Stephen A. White, page 919 (30) .
Bibliography: Historical Sketches of Andover Massachusetts by S. L. Bailey
Massachusetts State Archives volumes xxiii & xiv.
From volumes xxiii and xxiv at the Massachusetts State Archives:
vol. xxiii: 44-45: Andover:
Germain Landry, his wife, seven sons, thirteen daughters & one born since, in all twenty-three came to town, February 4, 1756.
Vol. xxiii: 49: Andover:
Originally in French this is the translation.
To His Excellency the Governor General of the Province of Massachusetts Bay in New England and to the honorable gentlemen of the Council,
We have taken the liberty to present to you this request as we are in sorrow with regard to our children. The loss that we have suffered of our habitations and being brought here and our separations, the one or the other, have nothing to compare to that which we find at the present of the taking our children by force before our eyes. Nature itselff is not able to suffer this. If it wee in our power to have our choice, we would choose above all to tear our bodies from our souls than to be separated from them. It is for this we pray you in grace and to Your honors that you have the goodness to temper these cruelties. We do not at all refuse to work for the support of our children if by that means it would suffice for our families. We pray in grace that you have the goodness to have a regard to our request and thus oblige us your very humble and very obedient servants.
At Chelmsford Jean Landry
At Oxford Claude Bennois
At Concord Claude LeBlanc
Pier Le Blanc
At Worcester Augustin Blanc
At Andover Jacque Ebert
At Waltham Antoine Ebert
Vol. xxiii: 49: Andover:
In the House of Representatives, April 13, 1756
Read and ordered that Mr. Gridley and Mr. Tyng, with such as the honorable Board shall join, be a committee to consider this petition and report what they think proper for the Court to do thereon.
Sent up for concurrence,
Attest, Henry Gibbs, Clerk of the House of Representatives
In Council, April 19, Read and concurred and Jonathan Cushing Esq. Is joined in the affair
G. Willard, Secretary
Xxiii: 50: Andover:
The committee appointed on the petition of some of the inhabitants of Nova Scotia lately sent here, having considered therein and would humbly preopose that it shuld be recommended to the selectmen of the several towns whre they reside, or overseers of the poor, that for the present the said selectmen or overseers should desist binding any of them out. That houses be provided for each family so that they may keep together, if they see cause, till further orders. That those of them who are able to work support their families by their labor and that the selectmen or overseers assist them in getting work and a reasonable price for it. And what may be necessary for them beyond that be provided by the selectmen or overseers in such things as they may work up for necessary clothing, &c. And if hereafter any of them should be bound out the assent of two justices of the peace in the county be first had thereon. And all of them treated with kindness and humanity.
All of which is humbly submitted
By Jonathan Cushing per order
In Council April 15, 1756, read and accepted and it is recommended to the selectmen or overseers of the poor within the respective towns to proceed accordingly.
Sent down for concurrence,
G. Willard, Secretary
In the House of Representatives, April 17, 1756,
Read and non-concurred,
T. Hubbard, Speaker
Xxiii: 119: Andover:
Account dated June 14, 1756
April 10 to June 14
Joseph Osgood, Moody Bridges, Obed. Johnson, Thomas Abbot, Isaac Abbot, Selectmen of Andover
Xxiii: 229: Andover:
Account dated October 10, 1756
Obed. Johnson, Thomas Abbot, Moody Bridges, Isaac Abbot, Selectmen of Andover
xxiii: 477-478: Andover:
Account dated October 1, 1757
Germain Landry & Joseph, his son, Jockey Bear & Charles Bear have been sick & indisposed ever since the date of the last account.
Note: Jockey Bear/Jacques Hébert and his brother Charles were not Germain’s sons – they were his sons-in-law.
xxiv: 47-48: Andover:
Account from October 1, 1757 to June 5, 1758
There is twenty-six of the aforesaid French which we keep in three distinct places that so they may be more constantly employed. The old man, Germon Landre, is an infirm man and not capable of any labor and in the winter time he was confined to his bed and needed a great deal of attendance. More than his wife could perform and his son, Joseph, is under such weakly circumstances that we are oblighed to support him altogether. There are three families that have eleven children, the oldest of them is not above eight years of age, which their fathers are not able to support. Thee is two young men and four young women that for the most part support themselves.
Thomas Abbot, Joshue Frye, John Foster, Peter Osgood, George Abbot jun., Selectmen of Andover.
Council Minutes: 410-422:
July 20, 1760
Charles Bear 36
Margaret Bear 24
Margaret Bear 1
John Landry 35
Joseph Landry 26, weakly
Mary Landry 26
Amon Dupee[Dupuis] 30
Mary, his wife 29
Mary Joseph 5
Margaret Dupee 2
Hermon Dupee ¾
Council Minutes: 410-422:
July 20, 1760
Marron Tebedo/Marain Thibodeau 8, from Andover
Joseph Leblong/Leblanc from Amesbury 63
Margaret Leblong & infirm 61
Mary Richards 13, from Bradford
Xxiv: 409-411: Andover:
Account from February 29, 1760 to September 8, 1760
John Foster, Peter Osgood, George Abbot Jun., Ebenezer Abbot, Samuel Johnson, Selectmen of Andover
To the Selectmen o f the Town of Andover in said county, greeting,
Pursuant to the power and directions given by the Great and Genereal Court to Benjamin Lynde, Icha. Plaisted, Stephen Higginson, Caleb Cushing & Samuel Phillips Esq., in committee to proportion the French inhabitants to the several towns in said county & to order the overplus.
You are hereby required forthwith to cause to be removed to Springfied in the County of Hampshire Jermon Landry and Cicily, his wife, with their children, Francis Landry, Isabelle Landry, Nustausse (Anastasie) Landry, Mary Jos. Landry, & Cicily Landry, Jockey Bare & Mary Bare, his wife with their children, viz., Molly, Peggy, Maria Jos., Mary Magdalene, Elizabeth, James & Joseph, being sixteen of the Neutrals, which are sent to you by order of the government & them deliver to John Worthington Esq., or his orders who with others was appointed to receive them.
You are also to receive Marron Leberdore, a boy, & deliver him to the Selectmen of Methuen, or any of them.
And you are to make return of your doings in the premises to me with the names of the persons so returned & the particular charge of removing them.
Salem, August 1760 Benjamin Lynde
Pursuant to this within order we have removed to Springfiedl the persons hereafter named, Jarman Landry & Cicily, his wife, with their children, Farncis, Issabelle, Nustusse, Mary Jjos., Cicily Landry, Jockey Bear and Mary Bear with their children, viz., Moly, Peggy, Mary Jos., Mary Magdelon, Elizabeth, James & Joseph. And likewise we have removed Marran Lebardore to Methuen & Delivered him to one of the selectmen of that town.
Ebenezer Abbot, Peter Osgood, John Fost, Samuel John, George Abbot Jun., Selectmen of Andover.