Acadians are the original
French people who settled the areas now called Nova Scotia, New
Brunswick and Prince Edward Island starting in the early 17th
century. The first French settlers arrived in 1604, but actual
colonies didn't take root until the 1630s. Throughout the 1600s,
various treaties flipped ownership of the Acadian colonies between
the French and the English. In the early 18th century, the War of
Spanish Succession spilled over into North America. The Treaty of
Utrecht ended the war in 1713 and made the Acadians permanent British
subjects. In 1730, the Acadians signed an oath swearing allegiance to
the British Crown, but stipulating that Acadians would not have to
take up arms against the French or Indians.
At the beginning of the French
and Indian War in 1754, the British government demanded that Acadians
take an oath of allegiance to the Crown that included fighting
against the French. Most of them refused.
On July 28, 1755, British
Governor Charles Lawrence and the Nova Scotia Council decided to
deport the Acadians. The British government of Nova Scotia then began
deporting the colony's French-speaking population, estimated to have
included 15,000 to 18,000 persons in an ethnic-cleansing operation.
Thousands more were killed. Some Acadians fled into the woods and to
French territories such as Ile St-Jean, which is now P.E.I. When
Louisbourg, the last French stronghold on the Atlantic coast, fell in
1758, British troops rounded up over 3,000 Acadians from former
French holdings and sent them to France. About 6,000 Acadians were
forcibly removed from their colonies and dispersed by an armada of
ships among the 13 American colonies. Many colonies refused to take
refugees and sent the Acadians to Europe. The British military
ordered the Acadians' homes and barns to be burned down. Families
were separated in the deportation and many lost everything they
owned. Acadians call the deportation the Grand Dérangement, or
Great Expulsion, of 1755. Exiles sent to British territories were
placed in concentration camps and treated as prisoners of war.
Following the Treaty of Paris
in 1763, the Acadian prisoners were given a grace period in which to
relocate. In the ensuing period of wanderings, perhaps one-half of
the Acadian population died of malnutrition, exposure, shipwrecks,
and disease during the diaspora, known to historians as the Grand Dérangement.
In the 3rd week of November,
1755 there were 2000 Acadians, many ill and close to death, crowded
aboard ships in Massachusetts Bay. The Massachusetts assembly passed
an act that they should be permitted to land, and that they should be
sent to such towns as a committee appointed for that purpose should
think fit. The first group to land for settlement in Massachusetts
consisted of 206 Pisiquid settlers who disembarked the
"Seaflower" on November 19, 1755. Although the exact number
is not known, Chelsea received her quota of refugees.
June 14, 1757, Hon. Samuel
Watts of Chelsea was appointed chairman on part of the Council to
provide for the care of these unfortunate people.
In 1762, the Council advised
the Governor to permit a new group of 46 sick Acadians to go ashore
at Point Shirley with the approval of the selectmen of Chelsea and
there to remain until further orders.
Capt. Salt sailed the escort
ship "Hornet" from Annapolis Royal on Oct. 23, 1755. After
reaching Boston on Nov. 17, he continued on to Spithead.
Capt. Sylvanus Cobb sailed the
escort ship "York" from Annapolis Royal on Oct. 13, 1755
and made it to Boston on Nov. 17.
"Swallow" brought in 136 Minas Basin settlers on December
13, 1755. Four more ships of Acadians arrived on January 15, 1756.
The sloop "Eagle",
captained by McKown, is said to have left Halifax (April 1, 1756)
with 4 Acadians and sailed to Boston by May 29, 1756.
The 120 ton schooner called the
"Race Horse" captained by John Baules brought 120 Acadians
to Boston from Pte-de-Boudros. Departed on 12/20/1755 and arrived on 12/26/1755.
The 166 ton ship
"Helena" captained by Samuel Livingstone departed Annapolis
Royal on 10/27/1755 and arived in Boston on 1/5/1756 with 323 Arcadians.
A bill sent to the Province by
Nathan Cheever for food given to the Acadians during their care in Chelsea.
The 81 ton "Seaflower"
captained by Samuel Harris departed Piziquid on 10/27/1755 with 206
Arcadians. It arrived in Boston on 11/15/55.
The sloop "Vulture"
captained by Jonathan Scife departed Port-Lature with 72 Arcadians on
The final group of 90 Acadians
arriving in Boston were part of a group of 200 Acadians that had been
sent to Georgia, but were trying to sail back to Canada.
As with most of the ships,
smallpox killed many of the Acadians before they disembarked. When
they were allowed to settle down, they were afforded some freedom of movement.
of the French Acadians
who settled in Chelsea.
After the death of a Jacques
d'Entremont, July 28th, 1759, his son Joseph and his daughter
Marguerite are transferred August 22nd, 1760, to Chelsea.
August 22nd, 1760: Paul and
Benoni are "retained" in Walpole with their mother; Joseph
and Marguerite are sent to Chelsea.
Joseph DAUTROMONT, Margaret
DAUTROMONT both from Walpole - Paul LANDRY, Rose LANDRY from Dedham
Total = 4 persons