Our Acadian Heritage

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Important Dates In Settlement And Dispersion Of The Acadians

1497    Norman, Breton and Basque fishermen begin visiting Newfoundland's Grand Banks.
1507 A Norman fisherman brings seven Indians with him when he returns to Rouen after fishing the Grand Banks.
1509 Henry VIII becomes King of England.
1519 French, Portuguese and British fishing outposts are found on the shores of Newfoundland, the Acadian peninsula, Cape Breton Island, and the St. Lawrence River.
1524 Italian explorer Giovanni Verrazano stops at a place on the Atlantic coast so lovely that he names it Arcadia, for a place of beauty in ancient Greece.
1534 Jacques Cartier makes his first voyage to New France.
1547 Henry II becomes King of France; Edward VI becomes King of England.
1558 Elizabeth I becomes Queen of England.
1574  Henry III becomes King of France.
1578 Queen Elizabeth gives a charter to Sir Humphrey Gilbert, granting him the right to "inhabit and possess all remote and heathen lands not in the actual possession of any Christian prince." Gilbert is lost at sea, and his half-brother, Sir Walter Raleigh, inherits the claim.
1584 Raleigh lands in present-day North Carolina and names the land Virginia in honor of the "Virgin Queen."
1585 Raleigh sends a colonizing expedition to Roanoke Island, Virginia. The settlement lasts less than a year.
1588 A British fleet defeats the Spanish Armanda and opens the Atlantic to ships from other nations.

The French monarchy begins to grant fur trading monopolies to groups of merchants in
1589 Henry IV becomes King of France.
1598 Henry IV proclaims the Edit of Nantes, which established religious tolerance in France.
1603  Pierre du Gua, Sieur de Monts, is given exclusive fur trading rights in the region of Acadia.

James I becomes King of England.
1604 On April 7, Pierre du Gua, Sieur de Monts, sails from France with Samuel Champlain and a tiny fleet to establish a tiny settlement on Saint Croix Island in the Bay of Fundy.
1605 The Saint Croix habitation is moved to the Acadian peninsula and renamed Port Royal.
1606 Settlers at Port Royal present the first theater performance in North America, Le The tre de Neptune, and Samuel Champlain founds the Ordre du Bon Temps (Order of Good Cheer), in which settlers had to take turns providing game and fish for the table.

Queen Elizabeth grants royal charters to the Company of London and to the Virginia Company of Plymouth.

The first expedition by the Plymouth Company is waylaid by the Spanish in the Caribbean.
1607 On May 24, de Monts receives the news that his fur trading monopoly in Acadia has been rescinded.

The London Company founds Jamestown, Virginia.
1608 Champlain establishes Quebec.

Pilgrims flee England to escape religious persecution; they end up in the Netherlands.
1609 Henry Hudson sails up the river bearing his name in search for a Northwest Passage to China.

Virginia is incorporated and many new settlers arrive.

The Spanish found Santa Fe, New Mexico.
1610 King Henry IV of France is assassinated.

Louis XIII becomes King of France.

Jean de Biencourt, Sieur de Poutrincourt, sails to France in hopes of finding backing to revitalize the Acadian colony.
1612 The Dutch settle what will become New York City.
1613 When disputes arise over ownership of the Acadian colonial rights, Antoinette de Pons, Marquise de Guercheville, sends a ship to Port Royal to carry away anything that can be transported. Port Royal is left to fend for itself without any backing from France.

Samuel Argall attacks Dutch and French settlements in New England.
1617 Claude de La Tour sails to France to try to recruit colonists for the Acadian colony.
1619 The Pilgrims are granted a charter to settle Virginia. Samuel Argall is sent from Virginia on another raid of the Acadian settlements.
1620 The Pilgrims aboard the Mayflower land at Plymouth Rock. Basing his claim upon exploration by John Cabot in the 1400s, King James I declares that Massachusetts includes all of New France and the Acadian peninsula.
1621 The British crown gives title to "Nova Scotia" to Scotsman William Alexander, formally establishing rival claims for the land the French call Acadia.
1624 Cardinal Richelieu becomes the chief minister to King Louis XIII of France.
1625 Charles I becomes King of England.
1628 The Kirke brothers, sailing for England, destroy several French posts in North America.
1629 The Massachusetts Bay Colony is formed in England with John Winthrop as governor.

William Alexander begins a Scottish settlement in Nova Scotia, names former Poutrincourt ally Claude de La Tour as Baronet of Nova Scotia, and gives him a large land grant there. La Tour tries to convince his son, Charles, who in in command of the Acadian settlement, to join the English. Charles refuses.
1630 Father and son, Claude and Charles de La Tour, take up arms against each other in Acadia.

Puritans settle Salem, Massachusetts.

Boston is founded.
1631 Sir Fernando Gorges begins settlement of the Maine and New Hampshire areas for the English.
1632 The Treaty of Saint-Germain-en-Laye returns New France and Acadia to French control.

Isaac de Razilly is named governor of
Acadia. He travels to the colony with 300 people, livestock, seeds, tools, arms, and everything needed to maintain a permanent agricultual community.
1633 Charles de La Tour attacks the English settlement at Machias, Maine, because he fears traders there will poach profits from his operations at Jemseg on the Bay of Fundy.
1635 French traders from Acadia attempt to oust English traders from the Penobscot Bay area.
1636 In April, the ship Saint-Jehan sailes from France bringing the first families to Acadia.

Charles de Menou, Sieur d'Aulnay et de Charnisay, and Charles de La Tour begin fighting for supremancy in
1641 Ministers in France cancel Charles de La Tour's trading concession and tell him to come to France to explain his fight against d'Aulnay. La Tour refuses to go.
1642 Civil war breaks out in England between the Puritans and the supporters of King Charles I.
1643 Louis XIV becomes King of France.

Charles de La Tour attacks the fort held by d'Aulnay at Port Royal.
1644 The French government declares Charles de La Tour an outlaw.
1651 After d'Aulnay's death, fights erupt again over ownership of rights in Acadia.

England tries to block Dutch trade with North America.
1653 Oliver Cromwell takes power in England.
1654 An English force from Boston heads for Acadia with instructions from Cromwell to clear the French from the place. The British capture Port Royal and some other Acadian settlements.
1660 The monarchy is restored, as Charles II becomes King of England.
1664 England and the Netherlands renew an old war. Part of the dispute is over the English king's gift to the British Duke of York of all Dutch holdings in North America. France allies with the Dutch.
1667 The Treaty of Breda ends fighting between Dutch and English. Acadia is restored to French hands.
1671 The first census is taken in Acadia.
1672 The French and Dutch begin fighting in Europe. This time, the English ally with France. For a brief time, the Dutch claim title to Acadia. Acadian settlements begin at Beaubassin.
1682 Acadians begin to settle the Grand Pré region.
1685 James II becomes King of England.
1689 William and Mary become King and Queen of England.
1690 King William's War begins in North America as the French and their Indian allies stage attacks on bordering British colonies.
British retaliate with an expedition against Port Royal, which is forced to surrender.
1691 New Englanders elect Edward Tyng of Maine as their governor of Acadia. He flees Port Royal when the Acadians tell him they will stand aside when the Indians attack and kill him.
1697 King William's War ends. the Treaty of Ryswick restores Acadia to French control.
1702 Queen Anne assumes the British throne.
1704 In May, during Queen Anne's War, British from New England again attack Acadian settlements but Port Royal holds out against the first assaults.
1707 New Englanders attack Port Royal again. The Acadians resist successfully.
1710 The Acadians are finally starved into submission at Port Royal. British commanders change the name of the settlement to Annapolis Royal to honor Queen Anne. On October 16, the banner of France is raised for the last time at the Port Royal fort.
1713 The Nova Scotia peninsula, part of the original Acadia, is ceded from France to Great Britain by the Treaty of Utrecht. This time it will stay in British hands.
1714 Queen Anne dies, and King George takes the throne in England. His new governor requires that the Acadians take an oath of allegiance to the British crown. They refuse.
1715 Louis XV becomes King of France.
1717 Colonel Richard Phillips becomes governor of Acadia. He will remain governor for 32 years. One of his first actions is to try to get the Acadians to take an oath of allegiance. They refuse.
1718 A British study shows they need the Acadians to farm the lands and feed the men in British forts in Acadia.
1724 A French priest is killed and scalped during a British raid on an Abenaki Indian village on the coast of Maine. Micmac Indians and some Frenchmen retaliate. The English burn Acadian homes and villages in retaliation of the retaliation.
1726 Major Lawrence Armstrong becomes provincial administrator in Acadia. He tries to get the Acadians to take an unconditional oath of allegiance. They refuse.
1739 The Acadians finally take an oath, but only upon the condition that they will not be required to bear arms against either the French or the British. They claim themselves to be "French Neutrals."
1745 The French fortress at Louisbourg falls to the British.
1746 Governor William Shirley of Massachusetts writes to the Board of Trade in London: "the (French) will soon find a way to wrest Acadia from us if we do not remove the most dangerous French inhabitants and replace them with English families."
1749 Edward Cornwallis replaces Richard Phillips as governor of Acadia. He tries to get the Acadians to take an unconditional oath of allegiance. They refuse.

Acadians begin fleeing in large numbers to New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and other French-held areas.
1752 Captian Peregrine Hopson replaces Cornwallis as Acadia's governor.
1754 Charles Lawrence replaces Hopson as governor of Acadia. He demands that the "French Neutrals" take an unconditional oath of allegiance to the British crown.

In September, Lawrence prohibits the Acadians from shipping grain out of the province.
1755 In June, British troops are ordered to seize the arms and boats of the Acadians. Acadians who protest the action are sent to jail.

In July, Acadian leaders tell Lawrence they will leave the area before they take an unconditional oath.

On July 28, Lawrence presents the idea of expelling the Acadians to his chief advisors.

On July 31, Lawrence sends orders to his commanders at the principal places in Acadia that the (Acadians) "shall be removed out of the country as soon as possible."

On August 9, The Acadians of the Chignecto Isthmus are told to meet at Fort Cumberland. They are suspicious and don't go. The meeting is reset for the next day and the Acadians are told its purpose is innocuous. All 400 who attend the meeting are arrested.

On September 5, Acadian men of the Grand Pr
é area are told to meet at their church. The 418 who gather are arrested.

The first transport ships arrive at Grand Pre on September 10 and the British began loading the Acadians aboard almost immediately.

The first of the deportation ships sails for Delaware on October 13.
1758 The government of Nova Scotia tries to entice New Englanders to settle on former Acadian lands.
1759 In April, a committee from Connecticut looks over the best Acadian lands.
1760 On May 21, a fleet of 22 ships sets sail from Connecticut bringing setters from New England to old Acadia.
1762 The British try to deport Acadians who had not been caught during the first round-ups. Massachusetts refuses to accept the deportees.
1764 The British deportation order for Acadia is canceled. Acadians are given the right to own land once more in Nova Scotia.