Synopses & Reviews
ON AUGUST 25, 1755, the New York Gazette printed a dispatch from the maritime province of Nova Scotia: We are now upon a great and noble Scheme of sending the neutral French out of this Province, who have always been our secret Enemies. ...If we Effect their Expulsion, it will be one of the greatest things that ever the English did in America.... At the time these words were written, New England troops were rounding up some 18,000 French-speaking Acadian residents (the neutral French) at gunpoint and loading them onto transports, separating parents from children and husbands from wives. They were scattered throughout the British Empire. Thousands died. Their lands were expropriated by Yankee settlers from New England. Drawing on original primary research, John Mack Faragher tells the full story of this expulsion in vivid, gripping prose. Following specific Acadian families through the anguish of their removal, he brings to light a tragic chapter in the settlement of America.
In 1755, New England troops embarked on a "great and noble scheme" to expel 18,000 French-speaking Acadians ("the neutral French") from Nova Scotia, killing thousands, separating innumerable families, and driving many into forests where they waged a desperate guerrilla resistance. The right of neutrality; to live in peace from the imperial wars waged between France and England; had been one of the founding values of Acadia; its settlers traded and intermarried freely with native Mìkmaq Indians and English Protestants alike. But the Acadians' refusal to swear unconditional allegiance to the British Crown in the mid-eighteenth century gave New Englanders, who had long coveted Nova Scotia's fertile farmland, pretense enough to launch a campaign of ethnic cleansing on a massive scale. John Mack Faragher draws on original research to weave 150 years of history into a gripping narrative of both the civilization of Acadia and the British plot to destroy it.
Drawing on original primary research, Faragher follows specific Acadian families through the anguish of their removal and brings to light a tragic chapter in the settlement of America.
"Altogether superb; a worthy memorial to the victims of two and a half centuries past."--, starred review
About the Author
John Mack Faragher is the Howard R. Lamar Professor of History at Yale University. He is the author of many books on American history, including a biography of Daniel Boone that received a Los Angeles Times Book Prize.