Lesson #102: Acadians in Louisiana

In 1755, the British took control of Acadia (modern day Nova Scotia, PEI and parts of New Brunswick) and began an eight year exile of the 23,000 French citizens who were living there. Of those 23,000 only about 10,000 survived.

That’s not new.

I had always thought that the majority of the exiled had ended up in Louisiana, which is most likely because of the continued affiliation with the French language (sort of)* and culture (sort of) in New Orleans.

In reality, though, the majority of the survivors, between five and six thousand, escaped to Quebec and hid among the Miqmaq or in the countryside until the situation settled down. Only about 2650 Acadians ended up in Louisiana.**

*If you’ve ever heard the cajun French, you know what I mean. One of my Belgian friends, who mocks my (Franco-Ontarian) accent at length, and I decided to listen to some radio in cajun French one day. I had a better time understanding it than he did — because it’s closer to my accent than to his — but neither of us did particularly well at understanding without intense focus. Really, it’s only sort of French.

**More can be read about the Acadians in Louisiana here and here.

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