Thursday, March 19, 2009

Proclamation - Deportation Order of 1755

Painted by Claude Picard, this painting depicts the men and boys who had been read the Deportation Order in English ~ a language they did not understand ~ and in which they had also been told they were prisoners. They were imprisoned in the Church of Grand Pré for one month until the ships arrived to deport them. While imprisoned, British soldiers wrote down the names of the prisoners. Of this group 50 of the deported were LeBlanc family members. This is a post card image of the painting that hangs in the Memorial Church at Grand Pré and is used with permission on the Acadian Ancestral Home website.


" To the inhabitants of the district of Grand Pré, Minas, River Canard and places adjacent, as well ancients as young men and lads.

Whereas His Excellency the Governor has instructed us of his late resolution respecting the matter propsed to the inhabitants, and has ordered us to communicate the same in person, His Excellency being desirous that each of the should be satisfied of His Majesty's intentions, which he has also ordered us to communicate to you, as these presents, all of the inhabitants as well as of the above-named districts as of all the other districts, both old and young men, as well as the lads of ten years of age, to attend the church at Grand Pre, on Friday, the 5th. instant, at three in the afternoon, that we may impart to them what we are ordered to communicate to them, declaring that no excuse will be admitted on any pretense whatsoever, on pain of forfeiting goods and chattles, in default of real estate."

Given at Grand-Pre, 2nd September, 1755 John Winslow

With less than twenty-four hours notice the Acadians appeared at Grand Pré from all the villages of Minas. Four hundred and eighteen men entered the church to hear His Majesty's final resolution to the Acadians:

"Gentlemen, - I have received from his Excellency, Governor Lawrence, the King's Commission which I have in my hand, and by whose orders you are conveyed together, to Manifest to you His Majesty's final resolution to the French inhabitants of this his Province of Nova Scotia, who for almost half a century have had more Indulgence Granted them than any of his Subjects in any part of his Dominions. Whatuse you have made of them you yourself Best Know. The Part of Duty I am now upon is what though Necessary is Very Disagreeable to my natural make and temper, as I Know it Must be Grievous to you who are of the Same Species. But it is not my business to annimadvert, but to obey Such orders as I receive, and therefore without Hesitation Shall Deliver you his Majesty's orders and Instructions, Vist:-
"That your Land & Tennements, Cattle of all Kinds and Livestocks of all Sorts are forfeited to the Crown with all other your effects Savings your money and Household Goods, and you yourselves to be removed from
this Province.

"Thus it is Peremptorily his Majesty's orders That the whole French Inhabitants of these Districts be removed, and I am Through his Majesty's Goodness Directed to allow you Liberty to Carry of your money and Household Goods as Many as you Can without Discommoding the Vessels you Go in. I shall do Every thing in my Power that all those Goods be Secured to you and that you are not Molested in Carrying of them off, and also that whole Families Shall go in the Same Vessel, and make this remove, which I am Sensable must give you a great Deal of Trouble, as Easy as his Majesty's Sevice will admit, and hope that in what Ever part of the world you may Fall you may be Faithful Subjects, a reasonable & happy People.

"I Must also Inform you That it is His Majesty's Pleasure that you remain in Security under the Inspection & Direction of the Troops that I have the Honr. to Command."

The Acadians were then declared prisoners of the King. This was just the beginning of great suffering for the Acadians. The British would pursue and deport any and all Acadians they could find for the next 11 years. This was not a one time happening. Others would be imprisoned at the forts. Some died at sea. The exiled would experience all kinds is diseases and hardships. Some responsible for their charge were cruel to them, did not procure proper food or lodging while others took their children from them and those children would be indentured. Fortunately, some Acadians had benefactors who did look after them but that was a rare occurrence.

Some separated families would never again be reunited.

The above map is based on research done on the migration patterns of the Acadians, beginning with their exile and after, by Geography Professor Robert LeBlanc who taught at the University of New Hampshire. Robert died on September 11th while traveling to a conference in California when his plane was crashed into one of the towers of the World Trade Center in New York City by a terrorist.

© Lucie LeBlanc Consentino
Acadian & French Canadian Ancestral Home
1998 - Present

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