Thursday, January 06, 2011

Acadians in Chelmsford, Ma

Acadians Exiled to Chelmsford, Massachusetts Chelmsford Oct 24, 1757

In obedience & pursuant to an Order of the Great and General Court of the Province of the Massachusetts Bay, made & passed the 21st Day of January A. D. 1757 The following is a true list of the several French Persons names in the Town of Chelmsford, the amount of their age sex & the circumstances of their Health & capacity for Labour.
The Number of French are seventeen. Viz.
Jean Landrie (Landry) a man 62,
Maudlin (Madeleine) his wife 60 weakly & unable to labour & labouring under the misfortune of a broken arm & the charges there of now.
Paul Landrie (Landry) his son 22 able to Labour.
Charles his son 20 Sickly & not able to Labour.
Simon his son 18 able to Labour.
Asam his son 16
Charles Trawhorn (Trahan) a man 29 Sickly & not able to Labour.
Tithorne his wife 29 able to Labour
Mary their daughter 6
Maudlin their daughter 1
Joseph their son 4 sickly
Grigwire (Gregoire) their son 3
Margaret their Daughter 0: 7 months
Joseph Landrie a son of the Said Landrie 26 years Healthy & able to Labour.
Jean Landrie
Maudlin his wife 26
Jean their son 2 years sickly & weakly.
Murray Maudlin (Mary Madeleine) their daughter 5 months.

David Spaulding
Daniel Proctor
Henry Spaulding
Jonas Adams
Andrew Fletcher
Selectmen of Chelmsford.

December 4, 1758, there were reported two more, Joseph and Paul, grandsons of Jean Landrie (Landry), twins; six weeks old, sickly. The Town Records show many items of expense for the support of these people, such as rye and Indian meal, shuger, beef, mutton, salt pork, peas, syder, rhum, biscake, fire-wood, and medical attendance. They were well taken care of, but of course suffered much from home-sickness, loss of friends and property, and other things incidental to their sad fate.

In one instance one of the French is paid by the town for assistance rendered by him to his less fortunate companions in exile, as appears by the following:

"Joseph Landrie (Landry) for time spent in moving Jane Landrie (Jean Landry) and wife with'their goods from David Spaulding's to Ephraim Warrens and for going twice to Dunstable about a nurse for said Jane Landrie and wife when sick, five shillings and four pence," and David Spaulding is paid for his "cart and oxen to move the French from his own house to Ephraim Warren's."
The Province accounts show items such as the following:
June 14, 1758. Allowed to the Selectmen of Chelmsford for supporting French Neutrals, E25.2.514-
Jan. 17, 1759. Allowed to the Selectmen of Chelmsford for supporting French Neutrals, 942.2.621'

Source: [Massachusetts Archives, Vol. 136, p. 517.]

An account was rendered by the Town from time to time to the secretary of the Province of the expense which had been incurred in their support. The following record shows that the Town was wholly, or in part, reimbursed:

CHELMSFORD, April 27, 1761.
At a meeting of the Major part of the Selectmen it was agreed upon and ordered that Oliver Fletcher, Esq., pay to Mr. Samuel Perham, Town Treasurer for the Town of Chelmsford for the year A. D. 1761, the sum of twenty nine pounds eight shillings and two pence lawful money, which the Said Oliver received of Harrison Gray, Esq., Province Treasurer, a Grant made to the Town of Chelmsford for their last account exhibited for supporting Jean Landrie and Family in this Town, which grant was made on or about the first of April currant. ~C29-8-2."
The fall of Fort William Henry in Instant occasioned great alarm throughout the colony, and troops were hastily organized in the different towns to repel the threatened invasion. In August the Sheriffs were ordered by the Governor "to keep watch over French, and not allow them too great liberty at this critical juncture, as in consequence of the surrender of Fort William Henry and the attack of Fort Edward, the issue of which is uncertain.
In 1760 Charles Trawhom (Trahan) and family were moved from Chelmsford to Concord by order of a committee of the General Court. While in this Town they lived in the house of "John Blazedel."

There were other families exiled to Chelmsford. Families were often moved from one town to another.

© Lucie LeBlanc Consentino
Acadian & French Canadian Ancestral Home
2006 - Present


Bill West said...

You know Lucie, you are doing folks are great service by reminding us of this forgotten chapter in Massachusetts history.

Which, of course,is one of the reasons I love reading your posts!

Lucie LeBlanc Consentino said...

Thank you Bill.. that is why I embraced Acadian history and genealogy. Too few people realize that some 2,000 Acadians were deported to Boston then distributed to all of the villages and tons north, east, west and south of Boston.

There is a great display at the Massachusetts State Archives. It is also online.

It was supposed to be up for only a few months but it has been so popular that it is still up five years later.