BOOK FIVE:  A New Acadia01 


BOOK ONE:         French Acadia

BOOK TWO:        British Nova Scotia and the French Maritimes

BOOK THREE:     The Great Upheaval

BOOK FOUR:      French Louisiana

BOOK SIX:           The Bayou State


The Broussard party reaches La Balize, February 1765 ...01a

The First Acadians in Louisiana, 1764

The Broussards were not the first Acadians to come to the colony.  Nor, as legend would have it, did the first Acadian exiles reach Louisiana during the 1750s.  Entrepreneur-politician Dudley J. LeBlanc, who served in the Louisiana state senate beginning in the 1940s, was a proponent of the 1750s legend.  "The story of the Acadians has been told often and many people have written about it, but no one actually knows when the first Acadians reached Louisiana," the Senator wrote in a third edition of his history of the Acadians, published in 1966 but still reflecting his original work, published in 1927.  Senator LeBlanc continues:  "As soon as the Acadians deported to Georgia arrived there, Governor Reynolds permitted them to leave.  The unfortunate people made crude boats, others took to the woods heading for Canada or back to Acadia, while some joined Acadians from South Carolina and traveled through the great wilderness which separated them from the Gulf of Mexico and Louisiana via woods and water ways as they followed the paths of the earliest travelers down to the Mississippi River."  To buttress his assertion, Senator LeBlanc quotes the research notes, published in 1962, of  two members of the Louisiana Genealogical and Historical Society:  "We are mainly interested in the Acadians who went to South Carolina and Georgia, as from these a small group of those who escaped were the first to travel the well-known Canadian Route through the forests and water ways on to the Mississippi River and Louisiana."  The Senator also quotes Dr. Chapman J. Milling's study of Acadian exiles in South Carolina:  "Others took to the woods heading for Canada, while others, joined by escaped parties of Acadians from Georgia, made their way to Louisiana.  A reference to such a party is made in an article in the South Carolina Gazette, said party leaving in May 1756.  The route from Canada to Louisiana via woods and water ways, particularly the Mississippi River, was the very first route known and used by explorers, missionaries, voyagers, coureur de bois, etc.  It required, we are told, approximately a month to travel from South Carolina to Louisiana."  Senator LeBlanc then asserts:  "As the wild ducks regularly came from Canada and the East to roost in an ideal pasture, at Cabahanoce (Indian name for duck's sleeping place), so came the early Acadians to find a haven of refuge on French soil which had been settled by the earliest Canadian and French pioneers at 'Les Oumas' or 'Houmas', twenty-two leagues above New Orleans.  This thinly populated area offered rich and choice lands along the Mississippi River, at a time when concessions could be had on the vast grants.  De Sennegy, whose early and authentic book on St. James is based on church archives and from family records of leading families of those days, dates the earliest Acadian arrivals in small, straggling weary groups between the year 1754-1759."  The Senator adds:  "Some Acadians seem to have come to "Houmas" or St. James via Pointe Coupée even before the deportation of 1755.  In the registers of St. Francis Church, Pointe Coupee Acadian names appear in the entries of the early seventeen-fifties.  We find names like Hebert and Richard in the books.  This seems to confirm the tradition that some Acadians, having been able to get away from Acadia into Canada during the long tense years prior to 1755, came from there to Louisiana."301

Despite his imprecise sources, Senator LeBlanc was pretty much correct about the British colony from whence the first documented Acadian exiles had come.  He even deduced correctly the place where they settled.  But he missed by many hundreds of miles the actual route they took, and the date on which they arrived he missed by many years.


In February 1764, while d'Abbadie still served as caretaker governor, the first Acadian exiles to reach Louisiana stepped off a boat from Mobile.  These 21 men, women, and children had come without warning, certainly without permission, and, having reached a French colony, intended to stay.  Focusing on the benefits they, and others like them, would provide the colony, d'Abbadie did his best to accommodate them.  Jean-Baptiste Cormier, père, from Chignecto, was 54 when he reached Louisiana.  With him were wife Madeleine Richard, age 54, and five daughters, all natives of Chignecto:  Madeleine, age 23; Marie, age 18; Marie-Anne, age 17; Marguerite, age 13; and Anastasie, age 11.  Jean-Baptiste, called Jean, Richard, of Nappan, Chignecto, age 44, came with wife Catherine Cormier, age 43, and three children, the oldest born at Chignecto, the younger ones in Georgia:  Jean-Marie, age 18; Rosalie, age 8; and Joseph, age 5.  Olivier Landry of Chignecto, age 36, came with wife Cécile Poirier, age 39, and three children, the older ones born in Chignecto, the youngest one in Georgia:  Joseph, age 16; Marie, age 14; and Jean-Antoine, age 3.  Jean-Baptiste, called Jean, Poirier of Menoudie, Chignecto, age 26, came with wife Marie-Madeleine Richard of Nappan, age 22, and two sons, both born in Georgia:  Jean-Baptiste, fils, age 3; and Joseph, age 1 1/2.  Each of the four nuclear families was related by blood or marriage, so they were essentially a single, extended family, typical of the Acadians still enduring their Grand Dérangement.  The arrival of this party at New Orleans is marked by records of the St.-Louis church noting the baptism of three of their children--Jean-Antoine Landry, Joseph Poirier, and Joseph Richard--on 26 February 1764, and another baptism, that of Jean-Baptiste Poirier, fils, on 1 March 1764.  It is interesting to note that the New Orleans priest who penned the baptismal records did not include the children's ethnicity.  A few weeks later, on 6 April 1764, Director-General d'Abbadie wrote to his superior, Étienne-François, duc de Choiseul-Stainville, the French Minister of Marine:  "My Lord, I have the honor to inform you of the arrival of four Acadian families, including twenty persons, who came here from New York[sic] last February."  D'Abbadie continues:  "The English who held them as prisoners till the signing of the peace [which occurred in February 1763] permitted them to leave, provided they would defray their own traveling expenses.  Their passage from New York[sic] to Mobile cost 550 livres per family, consuming all of the hard-earned savings accumulated during their captivity."  The director-general implored the Minister to include a reimbursement of the Acadians' expenses in the colonial budget and informed him that he had "ordered ... a ration of corn and rice be given to them until they can be settled."302 

In truth, these Acadians had come from Georgia, to where the British had deported them from Chignecto in the fall of 1755.  According to a notice in the Georgia Gazette, dated 22 December 1763, the party of 21 Acadians had left Savannah the day before aboard the Savannah Packet for Mobile, "from which place they are to go to New Orleans."  They reached Port Dauphin in January, took boats up the bay to Mobile, and found the place abuzz with activity.  Director-General d'Abbadie had come to Mobile the previous October to oversee the transfer of eastern Louisiana to British jurisdiction.  He had lingered there until January, making certain that the French settlers in the region who had chosen not to stay moved on to New Orleans, from where they would go to new settlements along the river above the city.  Perhaps the Acadians reached Mobile in time to consult with the director-general, or perhaps they arrived after he had returned to New Orleans.  No matter, they had personal business to take care of in this first Catholic community they had seen in nine long years.  After witnessing the blessing of a marriage--that of Jean Poirier and Marie-Madeleine Richard--at Mobile on 22 January 1764, they continued on to the Louisiana capital, either by ship via the mouth of the Mississippi, or by boat via Lake Pontchartrain and the Bayou St.-Jean portage.  French officials welcomed them at New Orleans, issued them tools and rations at the King's expense, and sent them to a stretch of river above the Germans called Cabahannocer, specifically to an area between Nicolas Verret's plantation and Jacques Jacquelin's cow ranch on the outside of a sharp bend along the west bank of the river, where they could create a Nouvelle-Acadie of their own.303  

Olivier Landry's kinship to a retired military officer who had come to Louisiana as a young lieutenant in the early 1730s may have been the reason why he and the other members of his extended family went to Louisiana and not to some other French possession.  Olivier was a cousin of Joseph De Goutin de Ville.  The Acadian officer's mother, Jeanne Thibodeau, was Olivier's paternal grandmother's younger sister.  As the story goes, while Olivier and his family languished at Savannah at the end of the war with Britain, he somehow communicated with his cousin at New Orleans, who informed Olivier that the French authorities in Louisiana would welcome Acadians there.  In New Orleans, Olivier and cousin Joseph may have enjoyed a tearful reunion.  Nor would it be surprising if Joseph was kin to other members of the party.  De Goutin's eldest son Jean-Baptiste De Ville, only 12 years old, served as godfather at the baptism of 3-year-old Jean-Baptiste, one of Jean Poirier's older son, soon after the party reached the city.  After Olivier, Jean, and their fellow exiles settled at Cabahannocer, they likely sent out word by the remarkable Acadian grapevine that the French authorities in Louisiana had indeed welcomed them to the colony.304 


These exiles would never return to their homes in Old Acadia, and only happenstance had brought them to this tropical river valley.  First at La Balize, where their ship from Mobile had to clear French customs, then in the exotic city at the head of the beautiful crescent, and now on their own river bend along the wide Mississippi, interesting parallels, and startling contrasts, between their homes, old and new, greeted the first Acadians of Louisiana: 

Both Acadia and Louisiana had been founded by Frenchmen, Acadia in the early seventeenth century, Louisiana at the end of that century.  The French founders encountered only a single native tribe when they came to Acadia--the Algonquian-speaking Mi'kmaq.  In Louisiana, at least half a dozen tribes greeted the French founders on their first upriver journey, and the tribes spoke such different languages that a lingua franca--the Mobilian Dialect--had arisen among them.  From the beginning, the French in Acadia got along well with the Mi'kmaq.  The French in Louisiana, mostly Canadians, also befriended the tribes along the lower Mississippi, with one and then two bloody exceptions.  Each colony in its early stage was sustained by the fur or skin trade--beaver in Acadia and whitetail deer in Louisiana.  Each colony in the beginning contained its share of charismatic leaders--Biencourt, La Tour, and d'Aulnay in Acadia; the Le Moyne brothers in Louisiana.  No single personality dominated early Acadian history, but the early history of Louisiana is essentially the story of one man--Jean-Baptiste Le Moyne, sieur de Bienville.  France neglected both colonies throughout the time it possessed them, Acadia off and on for just over a century, Louisiana for six and a half decades.  Despite persistent neglect from the mother country, each colony survived and eventually thrived.  Each colony offered challenging natural phenomena that had to be overcome or endured--huge tides and brutal winters in Acadia; semi-tropical heat and humidity, insect-born diseases, frequent flooding, and destructive tropical storms in Louisiana.  In each colony, as in most of North America, the chief means of communication and transportation was by water, so mastery of watercraft--birch bark canoes in Acadia, dugout pirogues and bateaux in Louisiana--was essential to survival.  No European families came to either colony during its formative years, only fur or skin traders, officers, sailors, soldiers, craftsmen, merchants, and missionaries.  Only after extended families set down roots did either colony achieve a level of self-sustainability.  In Acadia, because of the long, cold winters, most of the families engaged in a higher level of subsistence agriculture, with fishing, cattle raising, and fruit production providing a surplus for trade.  In Louisiana, early attempts at growing wheat failed miserably, so the essential grain had to be grown in Illinois and transported downriver; only a tropical grain--rice--could thrive on the lower Mississippi; however, when agriculture did take root in lower Louisiana, it soon transcended subsistence agriculture and moved into plantation-level production, first of tobacco and indigo, and ultimately of sugar.  In Acadia, homesteads on the Fundy shore were oddly-shaped affairs, dictated by the natural distribution of dykable marshland.  In Louisiana, as in Canada, homesteads took the shape of rectangular long lots fronting the river or bayou.  Slavery did not take hold in Acadia; the Mi'kmaq were too powerful to allow Europeans to enslave them, and most Acadian families were so large and healthy, and their communities so tight-knit, that there never was a shortage of help in the fields and pastures.  The only slaves in Acadia, if they existed at all, were a hand full of Africans owned by the wealthiest colonists and used only as prestige-domestics.  In Louisiana, despite French policy against it, Indian slavery existed from the very beginning, the natives held first as domestics and then as farmhands.  Not until 1769 was the practice outlawed, not by the French but by the Spanish.  After the founding of New Orleans, the development of a plantation economy on the lower Mississippi necessitated the importation of African chattel, an institution that survived well beyond the colonial period.  Most significantly, when extended families did emerge in either colony, they created their own unique créole culture shaped largely by the frontier experience.  And, ultimately, during peace negotiations following two long wars between Britain and France, both colonies, the first in 1713, the second exactly half a century later, were considered expendable by the metropolitan elites.  Both of these colonies had been thrown away, along with the thousands of loyal subjects who had made their lives there.  But the greatest contrast between the two places had to have hung like a heavy gray cloud above the refugees from Georgia:  Acadia was gone, the old life was over, consumed by the brutal impact of their sudden exile and their dozen years among the British goddamns.  Louisiana, on the other hand, lay before them, different from their homeland in so many ways but nonetheless open to them.304a 

If no more of these distant wanderers had come to Louisiana, there would have been little chance their culture would have survived in this land of bayous and palmettos.  Like the Canadians, Frenchmen, Africans, and Germans who had come before them, they, too, would have been subsumed into Louisiana's Creole culture, and, after the second or third generation, their Acadian identity would have ceased to exist.  But that would have happened if only they had come.  They did not know it, but hundreds of their wandering kinsmen were on their way to what they hoped would be a New Acadia, where their unique identity, or what was left of it, could have a chance to endure

Halifax Refugees Find a New Home in Louisiana, 1765

Although Article IV of the Treaty of Paris, signed in February 1763, had given French subjects 18 months to return to French territory, most of the Acadians held in Nova Scotia were still there in the autumn of 1764, months after the time for them to go had expired.  Nova Scotia's new governor, Montague Wilmot, who had replaced Jonathan Belcher, Jr., the year before, had, in the time allotted, "tender'd to them" the oath of allegiance as well as "offers of a settlement in this Country."  But most of the Acadians had rebuffed the oath as well as the offer.  British leaders in Halifax, led by chief justice Belcher, a protégé of the now deceased Charles Lawrence, still felt threatened by the Acadian presence in Nova Scotia.  They were especially fearful of Beausoleil Broussard and other resistance leaders.  Ignoring orders from London's Board of Trade to keep them in Nova Scotia and entreaties from the New England "planters" in the Annapolis valley to retain them as cheap but highly skilled labor, Belcher encouraged Governor Wilmot to remove the Acadians once again from the province.  Wilmot resisted Belcher at first, so the chief justice hatched a scheme to send the Acadians from Halifax to Basking Ridge, New Jersey, to work as indentured servants on a British nobleman's land; Belcher's father just happened to be the governor of New Jersey at the time, and the nobleman was one of his father's political allies.  Governor Wilmot also received a proposal to send 30 Acadian families to Chusock, New York, to work as indentured servants there.  But no Acadian family agreed to either of the proposals.305

Infected, finally, by Belcher's fear of Acadian treachery, Wilmot proposed to his uncle, the powerful Earl of Halifax, the deportation of the Acadian "prisoners" in Nova Scotia to the West Indies, but the earl ignored his nephew's scheme.  The Board of Trade insisted on the Acadians' immediate release and their re-settlement in Nova Scotia, as long as they took the ironclad oath.306 

The time for decision had run out.  It was time for them to act.  Too proud to work for wages, unwilling to work as indentured servants in colonies where they could lose their religion as well as their children, unable to return to their farms in the upper Fundy basin, and determined not to take the hated oath, the Broussard party, most of them still on Georges Island, had to find a suitable place to put down new roots.  The St. Lawrence valley was out of the question.  They were hearing stories of how the French Canadians treated with contempt Acadian refugees who had settled among them, and the Board of Trade forbade the migration of more Acadians to Québec.  Besides, Canada was as much a British possession now as Nova Scotia, and settling there would require them to take the oath.  Nor was it likely that Wilmot would applaud the troublesome Broussards and their partisan compatriots settling as close as Québec to their former lands along the Fundy shore.  The Illinois country and the pays d'en haut were viable options, but the British would not let them take the shortest route there via Canada, and France had just ceded the eastern part of Illinois and the pays d'en haut to Britain.  Moreover, Indian rebellions, including one led by the Ottawa chief Pontiac, were ravaging the pays d'en haut, and the fighting there could last for years.307

But there were other regions of North America still controlled by France, such as the western bank of the upper Mississippi across from the old French settlements in Illinois.  The French, or so most of the world believed, also retained control of the Isle of Orleans and the western bank of the lower Mississippi in what was left of French Louisiana.  France also controlled St.-Domingue in the Caribbean Basin, where hundreds of Acadian exiles from the British colonies had gone recently to start a new life in the French West Indies.  However, letters from Acadians in St.-Domingue detailed the horrors of the climate and maltreatment there at the hands of French officials.  There was always the mother country itself, where the British had deported hundreds of Acadians during the war and to where the Acadians held in England had been recently repatriated.  Even with permission from the French Crown to go there, however, a cross-Atlantic voyage would be difficult and expensive, but so would a voyage to the French West Indies. There was much for the Broussards and their kinsmen to consider, and their time had run out.308

After much deliberation, the old resistance fighters and their compatriots chose to go to the French West Indies.  They asked the Nova Scotia colonial council "to subsidize their voyage to the French Antilles."  Reminding the Acadians of how much they had earned "'from the profits of their labors purchased at a high price, during the last four years,'" the council refused them.  Wilmot, however, was happy to provide them with rations for the voyage, just to be rid of them.  And so they would go, not as former deportees, like so many of their fellow Acadians, but as former prisoners captured after a failed resistance who were choosing to go to a new homeland, and doing so on their own hook.309 

Using the money they had saved from labor on land some of them once had owned, the Broussard party, over 200 men, women, and children, left Halifax in late November 1764 aboard a chartered English merchant schooner.  They reached Cap-Français, St.-Domingue, called Le Cap, in January and could see even in that winter month that the island's climate was unsuitable for them.  They had hoped to reunite with relatives there, but many of the St.-Domingue Acadians were either dead or dying from tropical diseases, starvation, and overwork.  Just as disturbing, there was little chance of acquiring productive farm land in the island's plantation-slave economy.  They could see no future for their children in St.-Domingue, despite its being the wealthiest colony in the Caribbean basin.310  

So the Broussards chartered another merchant vessel at Le Cap, welcoming aboard a hand full of fellow Acadians who were related to members of the party.  Among them was Théotiste Broussard, widow of Joseph Hugon, who had been deported with her family from Chignecto to South Carolina probably aboard the English sloop Endeavor in 1755.  She was among the dozens of Acadians who had left that British colony in November 1763 for French St.-Domingue.  "So strong is the attachment of the Acadians to the superstitions of the Romish religion," wrote South Carolinian Peter Timothy in the South Carolina Gazette the previous August, "that tho' they are well used here, live very comfortably and get a great deal of money, yet they are all going to leave this province as well as Georgia, to the number of 300, merely that they may have priests among them.  They propose going to Cape François, and 6 of their number are now ready to depart, to give notice of the Coming of the rest and make preparations for their reception."  Perhaps to assuage their collective consciences, Peter Timothy and his fellow Carolinians refused to see the true conditions the Acadians had endured in their Palmetto colony.  Unfortunately for Théotiste and her fellow Acadians who ventured to the tropical French colony to enjoy their priests, they found nothing there but more misery, neglect, and death.  Théotiste may have become a widow there, but, unlike many of the survivors of the St.-Domingue venture, she was not alone.  With her were daughter Marie Hugon, age 14, and brother-in-law, Jacques Hugon of Chignecto, age 35, who had gone to South Carolina with a wife and two children but had lost them all.  Théotiste managed to hook up with her Broussard cousins before the Beausoleil party departed Le Cap, and now she and her daughter and her widowed brother-in-law would try their luck in another French colony, hopefully with happier result.311 

Before the Halifax Acadians left St.-Domingue, they baptized at least one of their newborns.  Victor Comeau of Chepoudy and his wife Anne Michel of Annapolis Royal, widow of Michel Brun, had married probably at Georges Island in the early 1760s.  Their son Thomas was born at the prison compound in 1762 or early 1763, and, by the time they left Halifax in late November 1764, Anne had become pregnant again.  She gave birth to son Jean either on the long voyage from Halifax down to Cap-Français or in the island city, and she and Victor baptized the boy in the church there.312 

From Le Cap, the Broussards sailed west through the Florida Straits into the Gulf of Mexico and then on to the mouth of the Mississippi River.  Their arrival at La Balize in February was a complete surprise to the French authorities still in control of Louisiana.  As official French correspondence, as well as baptismal and marriage records at St.-Louis church, attest, the Broussard party reached New Orleans in late February 1765.  They were not the first exiles from Nova Scotia to come to Louisiana, but the Broussards and their kin were the first large group of Acadians to reach the lower Mississippi valley.  Members of the party included families from the Chignecto/trois-rivières area, but, because of the chaos that descended upon the entire colony during Le Grand Dérangement, they also came from Annapolis Royal, Rivière St.-Jean, Minas, and even Île St.-Jean.  Many were members of the old, established families of British Nova Scotia, but others belonged to newer, much smaller families that had come to the colony during British rule.  Some families were headed by widows, and a number of wives were pregnant.312a 

The Broussards, of course, were the largest family in the party:

Alexandre dit Beausoleil was 66 years old when he stepped off the ship at New Orleans.  With him were wife Marguerite Thibodeau, age 60, and four unmarried children, all born on the Petitcoudiac:  Sylvain, age 24; Simon, age 21; Anne, age 18; and Pierre, age 14.  Alexandre's son Jean-Baptiste, age 34, came with wife Anne Brun, age 27, and two sons:  Mathurin, age 15; and Jean, age 1.  Alexandre's son Anselme, age 31, came with wife Madeleine-Marguerite Dugas, age unrecorded, and infant son Joseph-Théodore, who likely had been born at sea.  Ursule Trahan, age unrecorded, widow of Alexandre's son Joseph-Grégoire Broussard, came with two children, both natives of Pigiguit:  Élisabeth, or Isabelle, age 12; and Joseph, age 11.  Joseph dit Beausoleil was 63 and a widower when he reached New Orleans.  With him were four unmarried children, all natives of Petitcoudiac:  twins François and Françoise, age 19; Claude, age 17; and Amand, age 15.  Beausoleil's son Joseph-Grégoire dit Petit-Jos, age 38, came with his second wife Marguerite Savoie, age 29, who was pregnant, and son René, age 12.  Beausoleil's son Victor-Grégoire, age 37, came with wife Isabelle LeBlanc, age 33, and no children.  Beausoleil's son Timothée-Athanase, called Athanase, age 24, came with wife Anne-Marie Bourgeois, age 25, who was pregnant, and daughter Isabelle, age 2.  Rose LeBlanc, age unrecorded, widow of Raphaël Broussard, came alone.  François Broussard, age unrecorded, a kinsman of the Beausoleil Broussards, also was a member of the party. 

Their cousins the Thibodeaus also were plentiful:

Brigitte Breau of Grand-Pré age 45, widow of  Charles Thibodeau, came with three children:  Jean-Anselme, age 14; Anne dite Nanette, age 10; and Marie-Louise, age 3.  Paul Thibodeau of Annapolis Royal, age 37, came with wife Rosalie Guilbeau, age 24, who was pregnant, and cousin Anne Thibodeau of Pigiguit, age unrecorded.  Olivier Thibodeau of Chepoudy, age 32, came with wife Madeleine Broussard, age unrecorded, who was pregnant, two stepdaughters--Anne Landry, age 11; and Isabelle Landry, age unrecorded--and two children of his own:  Marie, age 2; and infant son Théodore, born at sea.  Olivier's brother Amand of Chepoudy, age 31, still a bachelor, as well as Baptiste Thibodeau, age unrecorded, and Madeleine Thibodeau, age 15, also were part of the extended family. 

The other members of the party were related by either blood or association to the Broussards and the Thibodeaus: 

Jean Arseneau of Chignecto, age 37, came with wife Judith Bergeron, age 31, and four sons:  Jean-Charles, age 13; Joseph, age 8; Guillaume, age 5; and Pierre-Paul, age 3.  Pierre Arseneau of Beauséjour, Chignecto, age 34, came with wife Anne Bergeron of Rivière St.-Jean, age 24, daughter Marie-Catherine dite Rosalie, age 1; and his sister ____, widow of _____ Bernard, age 39.  Jean Arseneau's brother Joseph, also of Chignecto, age 25, came with wife Marie Bergeron of Rivière St.-Jean, age 20, and no children.  François Arseneau, also called François Allemand, age 1, his relationship with other members of the Arseneau family undetermined, also was in the party.  Louis-Charles Babineau of Annapolis Royal, age 42, came with his second wife Anne Guilbeau, age 25, and two sons:  Charles-Dominique, age 4; and Julien-Joseph, age 1.  Augustin Bergeron of Annapolis Royal and Rivière St.-Jean, age 55, came with wife Marie Dugas, age 54.  Their son Jean-Baptiste Bergeron of Rivière St.-Jean, age 35, came with wife Catherine Caissie dit Roger of Chignecto, age 29, who was pregnant, and four children:  Madeleine, age 15; Osite, age 13; Jean-Baptiste, fils, age 11; and Charles, age 9.  Augustin's nephew Barthélémy Bergeron III of Rivière St.-Jean, age 25, came with wife Anne Arseneau of Chignecto, age 20, and infant son Charles.  Michel Bernard of Chignecto, age 31, came with wife Marie Guilbeau of Annapolis Royal, age 31, who was pregnant, and two sons:  Jean-Baptiste, age 3; and Michel, fils, and infant.  Jean Boudrot, age 25 came with wife Marguerite Guilbeau, age 22, and 4-year-old son Jean-Charles dit Donat.  Anne Boudrot of Annapolis Royal, age 55, widow of Charles Bourg, came with six children, all born on Île St.-Jean:  Marguerite, age 28, still unmarried; Marie-Madeleine, age 21; Gertrude, age 18; L'ange, age 17; Joseph, age 14; and Louise, age 12.  Joseph Bourgeois of Chignecto, age 29, came with wife Marie Girouard, age 27, 2-year-old daughter Marie, and two younger, unmarried brothers:  Michel, age 24; and Pierre, age 19.  Sylvain Breau of Petitcoudiac, age 52, came with wife Élisabeth, or Isabelle, Darois of Port-Royal, age 66, and no children.  Firmin Breau of Rivière-aux-Canards, Minas, age 14, also was in the party.  Victor Comeau of Chepoudy, age 25, came with wife Anne Michel, age 32, and two sons:  Thomas, age 2; and Jean, an infant, who had been born at Cap-Français, St.-Domingue.  Jean-Baptiste Cormier, fils of Chignecto, age 23, was still a bachelor.  Pierre Darois of Petitcoudiac, age 28, came with wife Marie Bourgeois of Chignecto, age 30, who was pregnant.  Michel-Laurent Doucet of Annapolis Royal, age 43, came with wife Marguerite Martin, age 44, and five children:  Joseph, age 13; Michel, fils, age 12; Pierre, age 9; Jean, age 3; and Marie-Marthe, age 1.  Agnès Brun, age 22, widow of Paul Doucet, came with year-old daughter Anne dite Nanette Doucet, born in Boston, Massachusetts.  Jean Dugas of Annapolis Royal, age 53, came with wife Marie-Josèphe Godin of Rivière St.-Jean, age unrecorded, and six children, the older ones born at Ékoupag, Rivière St.-Jean:  François, age 25 and still a bachelor; Marie-Rose, age 16; Charles, age 15; Athanase, age 12; Michel, age 8; and Théodore, age 6.  Joseph Dugas, age unrecorded, came with wife Cécile Bergeron of Rivière St.-Jean, age 30, and four children:  Cécile, age 12; Joseph dit Cadet, age 11; Pélagie-Madeleine, age 6; and Mathilde, an infant.  Charles dit Charlitte Dugas, age 28, came with wife Marguerite Broussard, age 28, daughter of Joseph dit Beausoleil, and no children.  Charlitte's younger brothers Jean, age 24, and Pierre, age 16, also were in the party, as well as Jean Dugas, age 1, probably an orphan, and Joseph and Madeleine Dugas, ages unrecorded, whose relationship with other members of the family also were not known.  Pierre Forest, age unrecorded, came alone.  Pierre Gautrot, age unrecorded, came with wife Louise Thibodeau, age unrecorded, and daughter Marie-Josèphe, age 10 months.  Joseph Girouard of haute rivière, Annapolis Royal, age 35, still a bachelor, came alone.  Anselme-Joseph Godin dit Bellefontaine, probably of Rivière St.-Jean, age recorded, came alone.  Augustin Guédry, age unrecorded, came with wife Théotiste Broussard, whose age also was unrecorded.  Joseph Guédry, age 30, evidently a bachelor, came alone.  Joseph dit L'Officier Guilbeau of Annapolis Royal, age 55, came with wife Madeleine Michel, age 53, and three children, two born at Annapolis Royal and the youngest at Restigouche:  Félicité, age 20; François, age 16; and Jean, age 8.  Joseph-Pepin Hébert of Chignecto, age 17, came with his sister Louise, age 11.  Pierre Hébert, age unrecorded, described as an orphan "of both father & mother," also was a member of the party.  Théotiste Broussard, age unrecorded, widow of Joseph Hugon, came with daughter Marie, age 14, and her brother-in-law Jacques Hugon of Cobeguit, age 35.   Paul Josset, age unrecorded, came alone.  Pierre Lagresse, who age also was unrecorded, came alone.  Mathurin Landry, age 28, came with wife Marie Dugas, age unrecorded, who was pregnant.  Simon LeBlanc of Grand-Pré, age 28, came with wife Catherine Thibodeau, age unrecorded, and three children:  Cosme, age 5; Marie-Louise, age 3; and newborn Marie-Angélique, born either at Cap-Française or at sea.  Simon's younger brother René dit Petit-René, age 15, also was in the party.  Louis Levron dit Luci, age 43, came alone.  Ambroise Martin dit Barnabé of Chignecto, age 31, came with wife Marie-Madeleine Godin dit Bellefontaine of Rivière St.-Jean, age 27, and two daughters:  Hélène, age 4; and newborn Élisabeth, or Isabelle.  Claude Martin, age 29, came alone.  Two sets of Martin siblings--brothers Joseph, age 28, and brother Pierre, age unrecorded, of Chignecto; and twins Bonaventure and Judith-Philippe, age 12, orphans--also were members of the party.   Charles dit Lazers Pellerin of Annapolis Royal, age 41, came with wife Cécile Préjean, age 33, and no children.  Michel Poirier, age 27 and still a bachelor, came alone.  Jean-Charles Poirier or Pothier, a year-old orphan, also was a member of the party.  René Robichaud of Annapolis Royal, age 30, came with wife Marguerite Martin dit Barnabé of Chignecto, age 32, and two daughters:  Madeleine, age 8; and Genevière, age 6.  Abraham Roy of Annapolis Royal, age 34, a widower, came with two children:  Marie, age 10; and Sauveur, age 6.  Jean-Baptiste Semer of Grand-Pré, age 17, came alone.  Pierre Surette, age unrecorded, came with wife Marguerite Thibodeau of Petitcoudiac, age 25, who was pregnant, and their 3-year-old daughter Marie-Anne.  Jean Trahan of Grand-Pré, age 47, widower of Marguerite Broussard, came with three children:  Madeleine, age 15; Germain, age 13; and Marguerite, age 10.  Jean's brother Michel of Grand-Pré, age 39, came with wife Anne-Euphrosine Vincent of Annapolis Royal, age 34, and four children, the older ones born at Grand-Pré, the youngest one at Halifax:  Paul, age 13; Françoise, age 12; Jean-Athanase, age 11; and Marie-Françoise, age 2.  René Trahan of Petitcoudiac, age 36, came with wife Isabelle Broussard, age 32, and 10-year-old son Olivier.313

While recuperating at New Orleans from their odyssey, the Broussard party changed their collective minds about continuing on to Illinois.  Cousin Joseph De Goutin de Ville, after welcoming his kinsmen with open arms, may have convinced them to remain in lower Louisiana.  Or perhaps simple circumstance dictated a change of heart.  Acting Director-General Charles-Philippe Aubry was reporting to his superiors that "the Indians are still giving the English a great deal of trouble" up in the Illinois country.  Moreover, British vessels, including two frigates, now free to navigate the Mississippi for its entire length, had taken positions at Bayou Manchac above the city, where the British planned to build a fort on their side of the river, and at Natchez, where they planned to construct an even larger settlement.  The Acadians may have heard rumors of British plans to fortify the bluffs at Baton Rouge, between Manchac and Natchez, or of the presence in the area of a British regiment heading up to Illinois.  Illness had plagued them since Halifax, and at least 10 of their young women, including two of Joseph dit Beausoleil's daughters-in-law, were pregnant.  Contemplation of another difficult leg of their long journey, this one up a long, winding river plagued by strife and uncertainty, would have encouraged them to embrace the peacefulness of New Orleans and think twice about moving on.313a

As an inducement for them to remain in lower Louisiana, Aubry agreed to a plaintive request from the new arrivals.  Despite a royal decree of 29 June 1764 that liquidated colonial bills and currencies, Aubry authorized the Acadians to exchange their "letters of exchange, card money, and drafts" for French currency.  Local merchant Antoine-Gilbert de St. Maxênt served as exchange agent for a wealthy merchant in Bordeaux, Mr. Lamalatie, who would attempt to complete the long and perhaps futile transaction for the weary exiles.  Maxênt's initial report to the French authorities, prepared at the end of April 1765, contains the names of 32 family heads in the Broussard party, including two widows.  Maxênt valued the Canadian money at 33,395 livres, 18 sols. Interestingly, Joseph dit Beausoleil's name is not on Maxênt's list; perhaps he had spent his money at Halifax and Cap-Français paying for the passage of others.314 

The Acadians took care of more intimate business while they lingered in the city.  Soon after their arrival, on February 27, Amand Thibodeau of Chepoudy, age 31, married Gertrude, 15-year-old daughter of Charles Bourg and Anne Boudrot of Île St.-Jean, at St.-Louis church--the first recorded Acadian marriage in Louisiana.  Gertrude came to Louisiana without her parents, so she likely had been orphaned during Le Grand Dérangement.  Joseph Girouard of the haute rivière married Ursule, daughter of René Trahan and Élisabeth Darois and widow of Alexandre dit Beausoleil's son Joseph-Grégoire Broussard, at St.-Louis church on April 8, on the eve of the party's departure from the city.  Rose LeBlanc, widow of one of Joseph dit Beausoleil's sons, took a different path.  She remained in the city, applied to the novitiate of the Ursuline Order, and was accepted on August 14, earning for herself the distinction of being "Louisiana's first Acadian religious."  The Acadians also buried some of their own.  Pierre Gautrot, husband of Louise Thibodeau, died at New Orleans soon after the party reached the city; Pierre left his wife with an infant daughter, Marie-Josèphe; Louise was one of the widows who appeared on the list of family heads hoping to exchange their Canadian card money.  Mathilde, infant daughter of Joseph Dugas and Cécile Bergeron, died at New Orleans on March 11.315 

The Acadians' reputation for hard work and loyalty to France having preceded them, Director-General Aubry was determined to keep them close.  "They would actually have died of misery had we not provided them some assistance," Aubry wrote to the Minister of Marine soon after the Halifax refugees appeared at New Orleans.  "I thought that the honor and the humanity of our country compelled me to do something for these poor families who have been wandering for the past ten years.  Their affliction is the result of their sacred attachment to their homeland and to their religion.  I shall attempt to settle them on the right [west] bank of the river, as close to the city as possible."  He offered to settle them directly across from the city, at the site of today's Algiers.  The place, however, was low and subject to flooding, thus requiring the building of high, expensive levees, and was "blanketed by dense, hardwood forests."  Such a place could not be suitable for the weary Acadian exiles, most of whom were Chignecto cattlemen who had lived beside the coastal marshes of the upper Fundy shore.  And then there was the question of cost.  "These people," Aubry informed the Minister in late April, "would have had to build levees and clear a substantial amount of land.  This would have necessitated feeding these people for several years while they established themselves and became self-supporting.  Such a precedent was set by the settlers of the German Coast.  We find ourselves in such circumstances that I did not dare make such expenditures."  Aubry had heard rumors that "The English, who often meddle in the affairs of other people, wish to induce the Acadians to join them along the Iberville River [Bayou Manchac, above the German Coast].  It is unlikely, however," he assured the Minister, "that these people, who refused to submit to English rule--both after the Treaty of Utrecht and during the last war--and who consequently were treated harshly by them, would now join the British."316 

So very true. 

But before Aubry could concoct another settlement scheme for them, the Broussards again seized control of their collective destiny.  In June 1764, cousin Joseph De Goutin de Ville had received a land grant on upper Bayou Teche in the still-undeveloped Attakapas District, west of the Atchafalaya Basin, and he likely had told his cousins about the wonders of that country.  Downriver from Joseph de Ville's land grant was an even larger one held by another retired French army officer, former captain Jean-Antoine-Bernard Dauterive, a major cattle producer in the colony.  Ordonnateur Foucault either had gotten wind of an impending agreement between the Broussards and the cattleman, or he and Aubry may have been the authors of a scheme to send the Acadians to the prairie districts and thereby buttress the developing cattle industry there.  In late February, weeks before the so-called Dauterive agreement was made, Foucault wrote to the Minister of Marine:  "They [the Halifax Acadians] are poor and worthy of pity.  Until they have chosen land in the Opelousas district, sixty leagues from New Orleans, and are able to care for themselves, I cannot refuse them assistance."317

By April, the Beausoleil brothers and several other party leaders--Joseph's son Victor, Alexandre's son Jean-Baptiste, cousin-in-law Olivier Thibodeau, and associates Joseph dit L'Officier Guilbeau, Jean Dugas, and Pierre Arseneau--had "agreed to tend Dauterive's livestock for six years; in consideration for their labor, they would receive not only half of the herd's increase but also the land grant Dauterive and his partner, Édouard Massé, had acquired in 1760."  The Acadians could not have picked a more unlikely partner in their venture.  Back in 1758, during the war with Britain, then Louisiana Governor Kerlérec had hard words to say about Captain Dauterive:  "This officer is one of the most antisocial, insubordinate, hot-headed men that I have known in this colony; a schemer; and always restless.  I have disciplined him often, but without success."  Then, again, perhaps the Broussards, at least, had much in common with the former soldier.  No matter, the Acadians chose to play a part in the western Louisiana cattle industry, now more than a century old.  As Professor Carl A. Brasseaux explains:  "Development of the cattle industry at Attakapas was vital, the acting governor [Aubry] argued, because 'since the cession of Mobile, we are entirely without cattle.'  Finally, the cattle produced at Attakapas could support New Orleans in times of war, because the post's lines of communication with the capital were not exposed to British raids."  One suspects that the Dauterive agreement was a clever way for the Acadians to acquire cattle in a hurry so that they, too, could help mitigate the shortage of beef in the colony.  Professor Brasseaux calls the place where the Acadians planned to raise their cattle "the former Dauterive-Massé concession," so the land on which they would settle at Attakapas would belong to them, not to the cattlemen.318   

No matter, Aubry and Foucault agreed to the arrangement--again, they may have been the authors of the scheme.  They had just opened up the western districts to colonization by approving the settlement there of "scores of French subjects from Alabama" whom the locals called Allibamonts.  Why not send these Acadians there as well.  The exiles had raised cattle in Acadia; they could raise cattle out on the western prairies.  "We ... sent seven or eight men to look over the land and locations in order to find a suitable site," one of the young Acadians remembered, "and we were told that at Attakapas there were magnificent grasslands with the finest soil in the world."  In early April, Aubry named Joseph Broussard dit Beausoleil Capitiane Commandant des Acadiens aux Attakapas and directed retired French engineer lieutenant Louis-Antoine Andry, assisted by Pierre-François Olivier du Closel de Vézin, fils, to lead the commandant and his party to Bayou Teche "via Bayou Plaquemine and the network of waterways lacing the Atchafalaya Basin."  There, under Andry's supervision, the Halifax Acadians would make their settlements "along a navigable river, checking carefully the high water level so that flooding can be avoided."  Andry was tasked also with surveying Bayou Teche from the new Acadian settlements down to the Gulf in hopes of establishing a quicker line of communication between the prairie districts and New Orleans.  Also accompanying the Broussard party would be Father Jean-François de Civray, a French Capuchin missionary who had served Louisiana since 1737.  Perhaps the vicar-general at New Orleans, Capuchin Father Dagobert de Longuory, thought an experienced priest like Father Jean-François was the ideal choice to minister to this large group of settlers.  One wonders, however, if the vicar-general informed the Acadians that Father Jean-François was an habitual gambler who had recently returned from "exile" at Mobile.319

In late April, the Acadians, carrying their few belongings, stepped aboard what the locals called pirogues for their journey upriver and through the Atchafalaya Basin.  On their way up, they passed settlements at Chapitoulas and Cannes Brûlé before coming to the German Coast.  There, they would have seen the neat cabins, freshly-plowed fields, and well-tended gardens of an alien people who had come to the colony four decades before.  Here, among these hardworking Germans, was evidence that this new land could yield wonders for them.  One of the Acadian passengers, teenaged Jean-Baptiste Semer, remembered vividly what he saw there:  "The land here brings forth a good yield of everything anyone wants to sow.  Wheat from France, corn and rice, sweet potatoes, giraumont (a kind of zucchini), pistachios, all kinds of vegetables, flax, cotton ...  indigo, sugar, oranges, and peaches here grow like apples in France."  A veritable breadbasket for the colony.  Jean-Baptiste could not have known it, but one of his grandsons, many years hence, would marry a German girl whose ancestors were living at this very place.320 

Above the German Coast, the flotilla of pirogues came upon a stretch of river where the habitations were more scattered, some of them giving evidence of having been settled only recently.  Here were nondescript Indian villages of tribes they had never heard of, and also several vacheries, the stench of livestock filling their nostrils for miles along the river.  For the dozens of Chignecto cattlemen, however, it must have been a welcome perfume.  One of them, Jean-Baptiste Cormier, fils of Chignecto, doubtlessly was more excited than most of his fellow passengers as they approached the Côte Cabahannocer.  Here, along the west bank, at a sharp bend in the river, dwelled four Acadian families who had come to the colony the year before.  One of those families was that of Jean-Baptiste Cormier, père and his wife Madeleine Richard--Jean-Baptiste, fil's parents!  The older Jean-Baptiste was a still-vigorous man of 56; his wife was 55.  They had been deported to Georgia aboard one of the two ships that had sailed from the Bay of Chignecto on 13 October 1755 and reached Savannah two and a half months later.  Jean-Baptiste, fils had been only 13 then, but somehow the boy, their only son, had become separated from the rest of the family.  While his parents and sisters sailed on to a distant colony filled with Englishmen who hated them, Jean-Baptiste, fils had remained in Acadia, looked out, no doubt, by his uncles, aunts, and cousins as they survived as best they could in the wilderness bordering the Gulf of St. Lawrence.  Jean-Baptiste, fils had grown to manhood there and in the prison compound on Georges Island.  He may have received word from his parents that they had come to Louisiana, and they would have told him about the wonders of this New Acadia.  So here he was, a man of 23 now, crying in the arms of his beloved parents, surrounded by his five sisters, who had remained with their parents, the youngest sister hardly known to him.  He remembered of course his older sister Madeleine, now 24, and younger sisters Marie, 19, Anne, 18, and even Marguerite, 14.  But here was Anastasie, now age 12, who had been a toddler of 2 when he had last laid eyes on her during that terrible autumn of 1755.  Having fulfilled the dream of reuniting with his family, Jean-Baptiste, fils bid farewell to his fellow exiles and remained with his parents at Cabahannocer.321 

Still following Lieutenant Andry's lead, the Broussards and their remaining kinsmen continued upriver to the mouth of Bayou Plaquemine.  Turing into that winding stream, they followed it to Grand River, which took them to the Atchafalaya in the heart of the great swamp.  They struggled for days against the current of that mighty river until they finally turned into placid Bayou Courtableau, which took them to the headwaters of Bayou Teche.  The Acadians had never heard such a name for these slow-moving streams.  Back in Acadia, there were rivers and creeks, all shaken by the great tides, but they had never heard of a "bayou."  The name was Indian, Choctaw to be exact.  Another tribe of Indians, living far below, had named this particular little stream; soon the Acadians would hear the fantastical tale of the giant snake that local Indians had slain long ago with only their spears and arrows; the great serpent's death throes had carved out the deep, twisting bed of Bayou Teche, the moss-draped oaks lining its banks timeless witnesses to the prowess of these mighty warriors, the Chitimacha. 

One wonders if the Halifax Acadians came upon any of the recent arrivals in this part of the prairie.  Farther up the Courtableau, not far above the confluence with the upper Teche, Frenchmen from Mobile and the Alabama River valley--the so-called Allibamonts--had moved from the river settlements above New Orleans to the Opelousas District, the first substantial group of colonists to settle on the western prairies.322 

Having reached the Opelousas country, Lieutenant Andry led the Acadians south now, down dun-colored Bayou Teche, the grasslands emanating from the river in all directions perhaps reminding them of the wide stretches of marsh and prairie back in Chignecto.  But the climate here was so different--so warm, so wet.  The rains came hard, obscuring everything around them, hurrying along the current of the sluggish stream.  They could see the dark gray clouds forming across the prairies many miles away.  It reminded them of rain falling upon the ocean, at first so seemingly far away and then suddenly upon them, hard, cool, refreshing.  The great live oaks with their long gray beards of moss were not the only flora they had never seen.  Thick clumps of palmetto covered the ground along the edge of the swamps.  Sturdy bald cypress, draped in moss, with their peculiar "knees," stood magnificently above even the oaks and other great trees.  They had seen much wildlife since they had left New Orleans, that smelly little city they were glad to put behind them.  Some of the wildlife was familiar--deer, turkey, bear, waterfowl of every description--but much of it they had never seen before.  There were raccoons back in Acadia, those troublesome creatures, but there were no opossums or other strange mammals they were finding here, no tropical birds like the ones they were seeing, roosting and flying in such amazing numbers.  There were many more snakes here, some of them deadly, Andry no doubt pointed out.  But the most fantastical--and dangerous--creature of them all was the slow-moving alligator, whose narrow yellow eyes promised them a warm reception if they made the mistake of getting too close.  The swamp had been full of them, but they also had seen them along the banks of the Mississippi, and there were plenty of them here, basking in the shade along the muddy banks of the Teche.  If the Indians ate them, they would eat them, too.  It may have been on this journey that they were introduced to the wriggly red swamp crawfish, which would have looked to these northerners like stunted lobsters.  Again, if the Indians ate them, they would eat them, too.  They kept a constant look out for the local Indians but probably encountered none of them on their voyage down the Teche.  The place where they were going bore the name of the local tribe.  They were heading down to Attakapas to make a new life for themselves. 

They reached La Nouvelle-Acadie, as Father Jean-François called it, in early May.  Despite stately live oaks draped in Spanish moss lining both banks of the bayou (one of which would figure prominently in descendants' celebration of their arrival), they could not have been impressed by the Poste des Attakapas with its ramshackle buildings.  But this was not their intended destination.  Aubry's instructions to Andry had insisted that the Acadians "reside in the village and cultivate outlying lands in the European tradition," but, Professor Brasseaux tells us, "it is apparent that the settlers prevailed upon the colonial engineer to establish them on widely separated parcels of land ... thereby duplicating the settlement patterns of their native Acadia."  Moreover, when the Acadians arrived at the post, across from Dauterive's concession, "the Acadians were denounced as trespassers by Dauterive's neighbors."  They settled instead, Brasseaux tells us, below the post at what they called le dernier camp d'en bas, or the last camp lower down, and at le premier camp d'en bas, or the first camp lower down, along the Teche at what came to be called Fausse Pointe, near present-day Loreauville.  According to Professor Brasseaux, another settlement was established at La Pointe de Répos, or the Point of Rest, later called simply La Pointe, near present-day Parks, above the post.  Joseph dit Beausoleil evidently was given his own place, "a parcel of land proportionately larger by one-half than the ones provided the other individuals," as per Aubry's detailed instructions.  This "camp" the new commandant named "Beausoleil"; it may have been located near le dernier camp d'en bas.  However, local historian Donald R. Arceneaux, after a careful examination of local land and church records, insists that the each of these "initial Acadian settlement" locations--le dernier camp d'en bas, le premier camp d'en bas, and Beausoleil, identified in the first church records; as well as La Pointe, La Manque, and Bayou Tortue, named in a Spanish census the following April--were not as widely scattered as Professor Brasseaux relates.  They lay, instead, "along a roughly eight-mile stretch of today's Fausse Pointe oxbow of the Teche, running downstream from below present-day Daspit to near Morbihan."  Daspit lies southwest and upstream from Loreauville, Morbihan south-southwest of Loreauville and well below it.  Arceneaux sites le premier camp d'en bas and La Manque "between the southern side of Loreauville and the vicinity of the sharp bend at Belle Place."  He places La Pointe (which he says is not short for La Pointe de Répos, which was the name of the community near Parks founded in c1770) and le dernier camp d'en bas "between the vicinity of the sharp bend [at Belle Place] and Morbihan."  Camp Beausoleil, he speculates, straddled the Teche from near Daspit across the neck of the Fausse Pointe peninsula towards Morbihan, down bayou from the other "initial" settlements.  If these communities existed today, they would lie within the boundaries of present-day Iberia Parish north and east of the city of New Iberia.  Arceneaux continues:  "This single settlement location was actually three adjacent neighborhoods/communities.  The precise 1765 camp site locations are currently unknown, but they were somewhere within the neighborhoods identified in April 1766."  Arceneaux insists that each of these "initial" settlements, not just Camp Beausoleil, lay on both sides of the bayou, not just along its east bank.323 

Happily, perhaps miraculously, a description of what the Acadians saw and did during their first days along the Teche survived the test of time.  "They have granted us six arpents ... to married people and four and five (arpents) to young men," Jean-Baptiste Semer explained in a letter to his father, "so we have the advantage, my dear father, of being sure of our land (ownership), and of saying I have a place of my own....  A person who wants to devote himself to property and make an effort will be comfortably off in a few years.  It is an immense country; you can come here boldly with my dear mother and all the other Acadian families.  They will always be better off than in France...."  To be sure, the son painted a rosy picture of his new home to lure his parents there.  In truth, the Attakapas dwellings, at first, were nothing more than crude huts that would have to suffice until they had the time and the wherewithal to build more substantial structures.  "We went to Attakapas with guns, powder, and shot," Semer continued, "but as it was already the month of May, the heat being so intense, we started to work in too harsh conditions.  There were six plows that worked; we had to break in the oxen (and) travel fifteen leagues to get horses.  Finally, we had the finest harvest....  (We are) hoping for a very fine harvest this year, with God's help, having cleared a great deal (of land)," he reassured his father.  "We have only to sow, and we already have oxen, cows, sheep, horses and the finest hunting in the world, deer, such fat turkey, bears and ducks and all kinds of game."  The young Acadian's words reflected the director-general's own sentiments, revealed in a letter to the Minister of Marine, dated May 14:  "This uninterrupted influx of new families will soon turn Louisiana into a New Acadia," Aubry wrote to the duc.  "They are now being reborn in Louisiana, and, if they are helped a little, they will accomplish wonders."323a

But their herculean efforts came at a price.  The rigors of travel, adjustment to a new climate, and the hard work required to prepare their new homesteads took its toll on the colonists.  The first to die in the New Acadia, on May 16, was Olivier Thibodeau's newborn daughter, Marguerite-Anne, perhaps the first Acadian exile born in Louisiana.  The infant was only six days old when she passed.  Her mother, Madeleine Broussard, died the following day, probably from complications of giving birth, and Olivier Thibodeau was left to care for four young children, two of his own, including infant son Théodore, and two from his wife's first marriage to Jean Landry.  Even worse, an epidemic, perhaps of malaria, struck the settlement in early summer and raged through the autumn.  "...[E]verybody contracted fevers at the same time and, nobody being in a state to help anyone else, thirty-three or thirty-four died, including the children," young Semer recalled.  Among the victims were the tough old resistance fighters who had endured so much during their Grand Dérangement.  Joseph dit L'Officer Guilbeau, age 55, died on September 1.  Jean Dugas died on September 5, age 53.   Alexandre Broussard dit Beausoleil, age 66, one of the oldest in the party, died on September 18, less than two weeks after his wife Marguerite Thibodeau had died at age 60.  On October 8, Jacques Hugon, who had lost his wife and children in South Carolina and St.-Domingue and who had come to Louisiana with the Broussards to start a new life, died at age 35, before he had a chance to remarry.  Newlywed Ursule Trahan, age unrecorded, first married to one of Alexandre Broussard's sons, died on October 10; her new husband, Joseph Girouard, died 12 days later; Ursule's two children, Élisabeth Broussard and Joseph Broussard le jeune, were 12 and 11, respectively, and had to be raised by relatives.  Sylvain Breau, age 52, died on October 12, the same day his wife Isabelle Darois, age 66, died.  On October 20, Joseph Broussard dit Beausoleil, age 63, breathed his last at "Camp Beausoleil."324 

Beginning in the summer, as the epidemic took its toll on the New Acadia, settlers from La Pointe attempted to escape the malady by moving to Côte Gelée on upper Bayou Tortue, just west of the Teche, "directly opposite Dauterive's new Prairie Vermilion concession."  According to Professor Brasseaux, others moved back up the Teche towards Opelousas post.  Dozens more retreated up the Teche, re-crossed the great Basin, and took refuge at Cabahannocer on the river.  But most of the Teche Acadians survived the "fevers" and, like Jean-Baptiste Semer, remained at Fausse Pointe.326 

By the end of September, Director-General Aubry could write to the Minister of Marine: "We have every hope that in a very short time these settlements will become quite large, even though several Acadian leaders have died of extreme fatigue and heat."  One sign that the settlement had the potential for growth were the children born to the exiles during their short stay in New Orleans and their first months on the Teche.  Some of the newborns died of course:  Marianne, daughter of Jean-Baptiste Bergeron; Michel, son of Pierre Darois; Isidore, son of Mathurin Landry; Augustin, son of Pierre Surette, whose early death ended his family's line in Louisiana; Marguerite-Anne, daughter of Olivier Thibodeau; and André-Paul, son of Paul Thibodeau, all died as infants.  Marie, daughter of Charles dit Lasers Pellerin, at least survived infancy.  But a few of the Teche newborns survived childhood and helped create families of their own:  Jean-François, son of Michel Bernard, married three times and died in his late 60s; Marguerite, daughter of Petit-Jos Broussard, became a sister-in-law of Jean-François Bernard by marrying his older brother Jean-Baptiste; Marie, daughter of Athanase Broussard, married twice and died in her early 60s.325

Despite the deadly setback in their first months in the colony, during the following years, motivated by "[t]he persistent frontier spirit among many exiles" and the pressure of overcrowding in their original settlements, Attakapas Acadians moved from the  Fausse Pointe settlements and Côte Gelée to new communities farther out on the prairie.  These included Grand Prairie on the upper Vermilion, Carencro at the northern edge of the district, Beaubassin on the upper Vermilion east of Carencro, the middle and lower Vermilion River down towards the Gulf, Bayou Petite Anse near a prominent rise in the marshy prairie that proved to be the tip of a huge salt dome, the shores of Lake Tasse west of Fausse Pointe, Lake Peigneur southwest of Lake Tasse, and Chicot Noir on the lower Teche at the southern edge of Acadian settlement.327  map

Among the other early settlers in the Attakapas District was a family from Mobile who settled on the Teche just above the "initial" Acadian settlements.  Antoine Bonin dit Dauphine of Grenoble, France, for reasons of his own, preferred to live on the lower Teche below Poste des Attakapas rather than among his fellow Allibamont on Bayou Courtableau.328


In 1763, the caretaker French government at New Orleans had created the Poste des Opelousas on upper Bayou Teche and appointed former infantry lieutenant Louis-Gérard Pellerin as the first commandant of the post and the surrounding district.  At the time, the huge Opelousas district was inhabited only by a hand full of Indian traders and cattlemen, the most prominent being Jacques Courtableau.  This changed in late 1764 and early 1765, when French authorities at New Orleans opened the prairie districts to large-scale colonization.329 

The first large group of settlers in the Opelousas district were the Allibamont from Mobile and the Alabama River valley.  These colonists were mostly former French troupes de la marine who had refused to live under British rule.  About the time the Opelousas post had been created, the Treaty of Paris of February 1763 had ceded eastern Louisiana to Britain.  In late October of that year, Louisiana's Director-General d'Abbadie had gone to Mobile to supervise the transference of the area to British rule.  The British tried to entice the Frenchmen to remain, but the effort failed.  Some of the troupes de la marine who had served at Mobile and in the frontier forts above Mobile Bay were family men who were eligible for retirement on half-pay.  Rather than remain in a province ruled by the hated British, they chose to migrate to western Louisiana.  In mid-January1764, many of them followed d'Abbadie back to New Orleans.  Some of them honored the director-general's wishes and settled on the Upper German Coast, where he granted them land in present-day St. John the Baptist Parish in February and March, while others moved farther up to Pointe Coupée, an established French-Creole community.  When they learned of the French cession of the colony to Spain, they again elected to remain in Louisiana.  For some reason, the river settlements did not please many of them.  When d'Abbadie's successor, Charles-Philippe Aubry, opened up the western districts to colonization in early 1765, many of the Allibamonts moved on to the prairies, and there they remained.  Meanwhile, other French families drifted down to Opelousas from Illinois, the eastern part of which also had been ceded to Britain in 1763.  A year later, these new immigrants also chose to remain in the colony despite its cession to Spain.  They settled at "The Coast of the Old Opelousas" and "at New Opelousas on the Right Bank" of Bayou Courtableau before securing land farther out on the prairies.  According to a Spanish census taken in the spring of 1766, heads of these Allibamont and Illinois families bore the names Aulien, Baptiste, Barre, Bellefonoss, Bello, Bertrand, Bissan, Brignac, Carrière, Carron, Cave, Charente, Cochon, Cretien, Daquan, Demarest, Doucet, Duplechin, Durand, Fontenau, Guillory, Henry, Joben, Labeau, Labot, LaCasse, Lafleur, Langlois, LeBrande, Males, Manne, Mondon, Moreau, Noville, Patin, Penelle, Pillet, Radau, Rivard, Sainte-Manne, Taumelette, and Tesson.  Some, like Guillory and Rivard, were among the oldest names in the colony.330 

Not long after the Allibamont and Illinoisans settled on Bayou Courtableau, 39 Acadians in nine families reached New Orleans from Halifax via Cap-Français either with or soon after the Broussards.  During the two months between the arrival of the Broussard party and its movement to Attakapas in late April, these nine families evidently joined the larger party in the city, if they had not already been a part of it.  Most of these exiles also were from the Chignecto area, but two families had lived at Annapolis Royal.  And one of the wives was pregnant: 

Michel Comeau of Chepoudy, age 31, came with wife Marie-Madeleine Girouard, age 28, and two sons:  Jean, age 5; and newborn Louis.  Charles Comeau of Chepoudy, age 23, came with wife Anastasie Savoie, age 21, and no children.  Joseph Cormier of Rivière-des-Hébert, Chignecto, age 25, came with wife Marguerite Saulnier, age unrecorded, who was pregnant, and year-old daughter Susanne.  Joseph's younger brother Michel, age 24, still a bachelor, also was a member of the party.  Timothée, called Mothé, Guénard, an Acadian born in Maryland, age 49, may have died before reaching New Orleans.  His wife Anne-Marie Thibodeau, age 42, came with two children:  Joseph, age 19; and Anastasie, age 14.  Jean-Baptiste dit Cobit Hébert of Chignecto, age 29, widower of Marie-Rose Thibodeau, came alone.  Marie-Modeste Savoie, age unrecorded, widow of Paul Léger, came with two children:  Scholastique, age 19; and Joseph, age unrecorded.  Pierre Pitre of Port-Royal, age 66, a widower, came with two children:  Catherine-Françoise, age 22; and François, age 17.  Pierre Richard of Chignecto, age 35, came with wife Marguerite Dugas of Cobeguit, age 30, and three sons:  Fabien, age 13; Louis, age 5; and Pierre, fils, age 2. Pierre's younger brother Victor of Chignecto, age 18 and a bachelor, also was a member of the party.  Paul Savoie of Chepoudy, age 24, a bachelor, came alone.  Charles-Jean Saulnier probably of Petitcoudiac, age unrecorded, still a bachelor, came with four younger unmarried kinsmen, all siblings or half-siblings of one another and all natives of Petitcoudiac:  Sylvain, age 29; Madeleine, age 18; Olivier, age 13; and Joseph, age 9.  Pierre Thibodeau of Annapolis Royal, age 41, came with wife Françoise Saulnier of Petitcoudiac, age 34, and four daughters:  Marie-Josèphe, age 13; Anne-Marie, age 5; Françoise, age 4; and Adélaïde, age 3.331 

These Acadians, too, celebrated a birth and mourned a death during their odyssey to the New Acadia.  On May 16, Michel Comeau and his wife, Marie-Madeleine Girouard, baptized their son Louis, who had been born on April 20; Opelousas District commandant Louis Pellerin and his wife Marie-Marthe Belaire served as the boy's godparents.  The oldest family head among these nine Acadian families would have been Mothé Guénard, whose father was an Irish soldier who had married an Acadian girl in the early 1710s.  Mothé would have been 49 years old when the party reached New Orleans.  Like Michel Comeau, Mothé also had married a Thibodeau--Anne-Marie, daughter of Pierre le jeune of Annapolis Royal.  Unable to escape the British dragnet at Annapolis Royal in 1755, Mothé and Anne-Marie were deported to Massachusetts probably aboard the transport Helena, which reached Boston in late November.  Mothée and Nanny, as his wife was called, appeared on a list of Acadians at Marlborough, Massachusetts, in 1761, with seven children.  When the war with Britain ended, most of the Acadians in New England migrated to the St. Lawrence valley, but Mothé and Nanny returned to Nova Scotia, perhaps in search of her Thibodeau kin.  Colonial officials sent them to one of the prison compounds in the British-held colony, where they likely reunited with her family.  The records are not clear, but Mothé may have died on the voyage to Louisiana, or perhaps he was one of the "seven or eight who ... died" at New Orleans soon after the Halifax Acadians reached the city.  Just as sadly, Nanny reached the prairie with only two of their seven children.332 

The other family heads in the party were relatively young men; the eldest, after Mothé Guénard, was Pierre Thibodeau, who was age 41 when he reached New Orleans.  One of the youngest family heads, Joseph Cormier of Chignecto, was only age 25.  His wife, Marguerite Saulnier, probably of Petitcoudiac, was pregnant when they left Halifax and gave birth to twin daughters, Félicité and Marie-Louise, probably soon after they reached the colony.  Their daughter Susanne had been born in the prison compound at Halifax and was just a toddler when the family reached Louisiana.  Accompanying Joseph and Marguerite was Joseph's younger brother, Michel, still a bachelor, who may have been pining for Marguerite's sister, Anne dite Nanette, widow of Basil Babin; he had known her at Halifax, but, sadly for him, she had not yet come to the colony.  The Cormier brothers were first cousins of Jean-Baptiste Cormier, fils of the Broussard party who reunited with his parents and sisters at Cabahannocer on the trip up to Bayou Plaquemine.  The brothers, anxious to see their uncle and aunt and five female cousins who they also had not seen for over a decade, likely visited their relatives at Cabahannocer before moving on to the prairies.  One of the family heads among the Opelousas-bound Acadians, Pierre Richard, was a nephew of the Cormier brothers' aunt, Madeleine Richard and Madeleine's brother, Jean-Baptiste, who also lived in the little river community, so Pierre Richard also would have had good reason to linger at Cabahannocer.333 

The Cormier brothers could have told a tale of their own of loss and separation.  When they were boys, their large family had been forced by French soldiers and Mi'kmaq warriors to abandon their home at Rivière-des-Héberts and move to Aulac, west of the Missaguash.  By 1755, their father, Pierre dit Palette Cormier, had died, so an older brother, Pierre dit Pierrot, age 21 in 1755, stood as head of the family.  Pierrot and probably some of his brothers may have been among the 300 Acadian militia captured at Fort Beauséjour in June 1755.  On August 10, Pierrot, as a family head, was expected to respond to Lieutenant Colonel Robert Monckton's summons for Acadian men and older boys to report to Fort Cumberland, but he was one of the hundreds of Acadians who did not bother.  After securing their families from capture, Pierrot and his older brothers, and perhaps his younger brothers, Joseph, age 15, and Michel, age 14, may have joined the local Acadian resistance.  In either September or early October, Pierrot and some of his brothers were captured at Jolicoeur, present-day Jolicure, New Brunswick, near Le Lac, perhaps by New English rangers.  After being held in one of the forts, Pierrot was transferred to a deportation transport resting at anchor in the Cumberland Basin and bound for a distant British colony.  The night before the ship's departure, probably during the chaos of embarking the women and children, Pierrot slipped off the vessel and swam to shore.  After creeping through a hayfield along the water's edge, he slipped past British soldiers guarding an aboiteau, waited until the guards' backs were turned, slipped hand-over-hand from one timber head to another, dropped silently onto solid ground, and ran for his life into some nearby woods.  There he eluded more soldiers tracking him with dogs.  He made his way undetected to an Acadian encampment, where he was told that the members of his family who had escaped the British roundup were heading toward Québec.  He hurried off in search of them, following the upper Petitcoudiac and the Kennebecasis to Rivière St.-Jean.  There, at Ste.-Anne-du-Pay-Bas, Pierrot reunited with his wife, Anne dite Nanette Gaudet, whom he had married earlier in the year, and his widowed mother, Cécile Thibodeau.  Younger brothers Joseph and Michel probably were not among the siblings Pierrot greeted at Ste.-Anne that day.  Sometime during the family's perambulations, the teenagers likely became separated from their mother and siblings.  The Cormiers' respite on Rivière St.-Jean was short lived.  Beginning in the late summer of 1758, British raiding parties drove Pierrot, his family, and other Acadians up Rivière St.-Jean to Kamouraska, on the lower St. Lawrence.  Family tradition says that Pierrot and his brothers Jacques and François served in the Acadian militia at the Battle of Québec in September 1759, escaped the victorious British, and then boarded a French frigate at Pointe-Lévy, near Québec, bound for France.  As crewmen aboard the frigate, they may have fought at Cap-Rouge on the St. Lawrence in May 1760; if so, Pierrot, Jacques, and François would have been among the few survivors among the ship's crew.  Pierrot and Nanette lived at L'Islet, on the lower St. Lawrence, from 1761-64.  The war with Britain finally over, Pierrot and four of his brothers, along with their widowed mother, returned to Ste.-Anne-du-Pays-Bas in 1765; Joseph and Michel were not among the brothers who returned to Rivière St.-Jean.  A decade before, evidently unaware of the fate of the rest of their kin, Joseph and Michel may have hooked up with their Thibodeau cousins, who made up a significant part of the Beausoleil Broussard resistance force operating in present-day eastern New Brunswick.  Like the Broussards and Thibodeaus, Joseph and Michel Cormier likely found refuge along the Gulf of St. Lawrence shore during the late 1750s and ended up as prisoners of war at Georges Island, Halifax, where they were counted by British officials in August 1763.  By then, Joseph had married Marguerite Saulnier of Petitcoudiac.  When the Acadians at Halifax left Nova Scotia in late 1764, the Cormier brothers followed Joseph's Saulnier kin to Cap-Français and then on to New Orleans.  They, along with their first cousin, Jean-Baptiste, fils, were the only Cormiers of their generation to emigrate to Louisiana.  After becoming separated from their widowed mother and their siblings during the Great Upheaval, Joseph and Michel never laid eyes on their immediate family again--a story all too common for thousands of Acadian exiles.334 

The Cormier brothers and the other eight families may have followed the Broussard party to the Teche valley in late April.  Judging by the date of Louis Comeau's baptism, however, Michel Comeau and his family, at least, may not have left the city until after May 16, unless the boy was baptized at Opelousas.  Professor Carl A. Brasseaux, the leading authority on the Acadians in Louisiana, hints that the nine families followed the Broussards to Attakapas but that during the summer, after a mysterious epidemic struck the Teche valley Acadians, "At least thirty-two other immigrants sought refuge at the Opelousas post, then located along Bayou Teche below present-day Port Barre.  Apparently moved by pity for the latter group, militia captain Jacques Guillaume Courtableau personally settled the exiles at Prairie des Coteaux, along the Teche Ridge in an arc contiguous to the eastern and southeastern corporate limits of modern-day Opelousas," along the west bank of Bayou Del Puent.  Most of these Chignecto cattlemen remained at Opelousas, determined to create vacheries of their own.335 

When the new Spanish governor, Antonio de Ulloa, came to the colony in March 1766, he maintained the post at Opelousas but did not send more Acadian immigrants to the district.  During a tour of the lower colony's settlements soon after his arrival, the governor gave only "verbal" land titles to the Opelousas Acadians.  During the autumn of 1767, Spanish authorities urged Acadian families to move from the Attakapas to the Opelousas District "because, when the rivers are low, the waters of Attakapas form very toxic puddles from which develop many sicknesses and therefore become a threat to the families."  In late November 1767, Governor Ulloa announced to his superior, the Spanish Minister of State, that he had consolidated the two prairie districts under one commandant, the unpopular Louis Pellerin of Opelousas.  Evidently the consolidation had been in the work for weeks.  A petition dated 27 August 1767, signed by nine of the Attakapas District's "most distinguished settlers"--Jean-Baptiste Broussard, Olivier Thibodeau, René Breau, Jean Trahan, Michel Trahan, Paul Thibodeau, Charles Dugas, Charles Guilbeau, and Amand Thibodeau--criticized Pellerin's performance as Opelousas commandant.  The Acadian leaders recounted for the governor the unseemly conflict between Pellerin, whose morals they openly questioned, and Capuchin Father Valentin, a priest from Pointe Coupée who administered the sacraments to residents of the prairie districts and whom the Acadians cherished.  They accused the commandant of "forcing the Indians to trade only with him, telling them that as 'chief' of the post, only he had that right.  It was alleged that at the most inopportune times--the planting and harvest seasons, for instance--he would demand public improvements and exact these labors from the inhabitants."  Pellerin also had built a tavern within five arpents of what passed for a church at Opelousas and thereby alienated Father Valentin.  The Attakapas Acadians accused Pellerin of misusing supplies the governor had sent to the prairie settlements for their relief.  They beseeched the governor to appoint a new commandant for the prairie districts "more experienced at directing settlers in the establishment of a new post and less apathetic about the royal service."  The petition worked.  In late November, Ulloa relieved Pellerin of his post and brought him up on charges the following year.  Meanwhile, Ulloa authorized for the settlers at Opelousas "two majors elected by the majority of the community and confirmed by the government.  This is enough for now," Ulloa informed the Minister, "but, in the future, it will be necessary to elect a corregidor who will lead them so that there won't be any discord or disorder, because the distance of about 100 leagues that separates them from us and the growth of the population require it."336a

Acadian families who settled at Opelousas after 1765, including perhaps some of the ones who were sent there in 1767, bore the names Boudrot, Bourg, Broussard, Doucet, Forest, and Landry.  Several families--Boutin, Brasseur, Chiasson, Granger, Guédry, and Jeansonne--came to the colony from Halifax in 1765 or from Maryland in 1766 and 1767 and settled in river communities before moving on to the Opelousas prairies.  Three more Acadian families--Benoit, Lejeune, and Trahan--came to the colony from Maryland in 1769 aboard the ill-fated English ship Britannia and chose to join their compatriots at Opelousas after their harrowing ordeal in Spanish Texas.337 

A land dispute in the early 1770s drove the Opelousas Acadians from Prairie de Coteaux south to Prairie Belleveu and Bayou Bourbeaux.  In 1773, a hurricane damaged many of their homesteads.  Dissatisfied with life in a district where they were a distinct minority, some of the Opelousas Acadians asked Governor Luis de Unzaga for permission to migrate to French St.-Domingue.  Unzaga refused to let them go, so they sought permission at least to move south into the Attakapas District, where many of their relatives lived and probably where they sought to go all along.  Again, Unzaga refused to let them leave, but some of them sold their lands and moved to Attakapas anyway.  Unzaga, like many another powerful official who thought he could control these people, was learning a lesson in Acadian stubbornness; in the end, the governor relented.  Most of the Opelousas Acadians remained in the district, however, and built up their livestock herds.336   map


With the arrival of the Cormier, Landry, Poirier, and Richard families on the Upper German Coast in the spring of 1764, the stretch of river called Côte Cabahannocer became the first Acadian community in French Louisiana, predating the Acadian settlement on Bayou Teche by a year.  After a flood of more Acadians came to Cabahannocer in 1765 and 1766, Louisianans began to call it by another name: Côte des Acadiens--the Acadian Coast. 

On 18 December 1764, Nova Scotia governor Montague Wilmot wrote to his superior, the Earl of Halifax, who also was his uncle, about the Acadian prisoners who had been held in the colony during the final months of the Seven Years' War:  "... no reasonable proposals being able to overcome their zeal for the French and aversion to the English government, many of them soon resolved to leave this Province, and having hired Vessels at their own Expense, six hundred persons including women and children, departed within three weeks for the French West Indies, where, by the last information I have had, they are to settle for the cultivation of lands unfit for the sugar cane.  And although they had certain accounts, that the climate had been fatal to the lives of several of their countrymen, who had gone there lately from Georgia and Carolina, their resolution was not to be shaken; and the remainder of them, amounting to as many more, in different parts of the Province have the same destination in view, when the Spring shall afford them convenience and opportunity."  Wilmot was not sad to see them go.  "Thus my Lord," he gushes on, "we are in the way of being relieved from these people who have been the bane of the Province, and the terror of its settlements."338

The British governor would not know it for many more months, but these "six hundred persons" did not remain in the French West Indies.  After lingering at Cap-Français, the gateway to the French Antilles, they moved on.  By late winter, nearly half of them had reached French Louisiana; by mid-spring, 231 Acadians who had survived the long voyage from Halifax were on their way to the prairie region west of the Atchafalaya Basin.  But what of the remaining 300 or more exiles who had left Halifax for the West Indies the previous December?  Were they also heading to the lower Mississippi valley, following the Broussards and the Thibodeaus to that New Acadia? 

Another letter from a governor to his superior, this one written by Charles-Philippe Aubry to French Minister of Marine the duc de Choiseul-Stainville, on 14 May 1765, from New Orleans, answers the question:  "When I first had the honor of informing you of the arrival of the sixty Acadian families from St. Domingue and their subsequent departure for the Attakapas with Mister Andry for the purpose of establishing a village," Aubry wrote, "I did not anticipate that they would be followed by so many others.  This uninterrupted influx of new families will soon turn Louisiana into a New Acadia.  At this moment I am informed that 300 men, women and children are on the lower river.  Rumors presently indicate that we are no longer dealing with hundreds (of Acadian immigrants), but thousands.  It appears that there are approximately 4,000 who would like to put an end to their long years of exile by settling in Louisiana."  The rumors of more arrivals were largely true; only the numbers were exaggerated.339 

The day before Aubry's letter of May 14, Louisiana's ordonnateur, Denis-Nicolas Foucault, had informed the Minister of Marine that he had just learned "of the arrival on the lower river of 48 Acadian families.  Like the families who preceded them, they came from Saint-Domingue.  It appears more than 1,000 families are expected in this colony any day now."  So he, too, had heard the amazing rumors that Aubry soon would report to the Minister.  Foucault lamented to le duc, "The 80 persons whom I discussed in my letter ... dated May 4, and these 48 additional families are causing me a great deal of concern."  It was the ordonnateur's duty to oversee the colony's finances, which the recent war and metropolitan neglect had left in dire straights.  But neglect was not the only thing that had driven the colony's finances to its knees.  Only a few weeks before, Foucault had overseen the expenditure of 15,500 livres, 15 sols, for "provisions, ammunition and merchandise provided by the king's warehouses in New Orleans to the Acadian families..." who were settling at Attakapas and Opelousas.  The King's warehouses were empty now, and yet hundreds, perhaps thousands, of more Acadian exiles were on their way to New Orleans!  "There is nothing easier than to give them land in the areas where the other Acadians have already settled," Foucault lamented.  "However, how can we prepare them for the trip?  They will need provisions, tools, ammunition and boats.  These items will have to be purchased, since the royal magazines are completely empty at present.  This will be very expensive," he assured the Minister, "particularly if the additional 1,000 families arrive as expected."  Aubry's communication to the Minister the following day repeated the same litany of complaints, with the added, unnerving detail:  "To make matters worse, the Acadians have smallpox, and will inflict a new calamity upon the colony."  Aubry, like Foucault, also assured the Minister that they would do all they could for the new arrivals with what little they had to offer.340


These new arrivals were the remainder of the 600 Acadians who had refused to remain in Nova Scotia.  They, like the Broussard party, had chartered British commercial vessels to French St.-Domingue but refused to remain there.  After some of their fellow Acadians languishing in the tropical colony joined them at Le Cap, they, too, chartered other vessels for the final leg of the journey to French Louisiana.  The first of their parties appeared at La Balize in May--about the same time that the 34th Regiment of Foot reached New Orleans from British West Florida on its way upriver to the Illinois country.  One wonders what these survivors of the Acadian resistance thought of running into so many hated redcoats only a few months after they had put behind them the prison compounds of Nova Scotia.  By early August, Foucault was notifying the Minister of Marine that "Small groups ... are coming aboard the ships arriving daily from Saint-Domingue."  They were still coming as late as December.  However, as Aubry's and Foucault's reports to the Minister show, these officials did not--could not--settle the newcomers near their fellow Halifax exiles who had come earlier.  The caretaker government did not have the resources to stage another exodus to the western prairies.  After spending weeks in New Orleans recuperating from their journey, during which time they also turned in their Canadian currency for possible reimbursement, the newcomers moved on to their New Acadia.  Aubry and Foucault sent them to the nearest area of vacant lands above the city--Côte Cabahannocer, to settle near the hand full of Acadians from Georgia who had come to the colony the year before.340a 

Many families among these later arrivals bore the same surnames as Acadians who had settled earlier at Cabahannocer or had gone to the prairies:

Pierre Arseneau of Chignecto, age 30, came with wife Marie-Josèphe Godin dit Lincour of Rivière St.-Jean, age 21, and two sons:  Eusèbe, age 3; and infant Pierre, fils, born probably at sea.  Firmin Arceneau, age 12, an orphan, also was a member of the party.  Marguerite Dugas of Rivière St.-Jean, age 62, widow of Barthélémy Bergeron dit d'Amboise, fils, came with her unmarried son, Germain, age 22.  Marguerite's son Jean-Baptiste Bergeron dit d'Amboise of Rivière St.-Jean, age 43, came with wife Marguerite Bernard, age 35, and four children, all born at Ste.-Anne-du-Pay-Bas:  Jean-Baptiste, fils, age 15; Marie-Blanche, age 13; Marin, age 10; and Mathurin, age 8.  Marguerite's son Charles Bergeron of Annapolis Royal, age 37, came with wife Isabelle Arseneau of Chignecto, age 32, and three children: Simon, age 12; Jean-Théodore, age 3; and Marguerite, age 2.  Also in the extended family were two of Marguerite Dugas's nieces, both of them sisters and natives of Ste.-Anne-du-Pay-Bas:  Anne-Marie or Marie-Anne Bergeron, age 16, and Marie Bergeron age 15.  Pierre Bernard of Chignecto, age 34, came with wife Marguerite Arseneau, age 30, and three children:  Jean-Baptiste, age 11; Pierre, fils, age 7, and Marie, age 5.  Olivier Boudrot of Grand-Pré, age 37, a widower, came with 12-year-old son Simon.  Joseph Boudrot, age unrecorded, probably another widower, also was in the party.  Joseph Bourg of Grand-Pré, age 43, came with wife Marie Landry of Ste.-Famille, Pigiguit, age unrecorded, and five children:  Joseph, fils, age 20; Marguerite, age 16; Pierre, age 15; Jean, age 5; and Charles, age 3.  Another Joseph Bourg, perhaps of Cobeguit and a widower, age 30, came with two children:  Marie-Rose, age 3; and Joseph, fils, age 2.  A third Joseph Bourg, age 25, came with three cousins whose surnames have been lost:  Madeleine ____, age 19; Joseph ____, age 12; and Marie ____, age 11.  Paul Bourgeois of Chignecto, age 33, came with wife Rosalie LeBlanc, age 20, and no children.  Paul's brother Jean-Baptiste Bourgeois of Chignecto, age 32, came with Marie-Madeleine Bourg, age unrecorded, who was pregnant, and two sons:  Jean-Baptiste, fils, age 4; and Joseph-Marie, age 2.  Michel Bourgeois of Chignecto, a widower, age 31, came alone.  Jean Bourgeois of Chignecto, probably a widower, age 26, also came alone.   Athanase Breau of Chepoudy, age 30, came with wife Marie-Josèphe LeBlanc, age 21, and two children:  Joseph-Athanase, age 2; and infant daughter Anastasie.  Paul Doucet, age 21, came alone.  Charles Forest of Chignecto, age 43, came with his second wife Marguerite Saulnier, age 40, and five children:  Pierre-Paul, age 19; Anselme, age 13; Marie, age 5; Marguerite, age 3; and Charles, fils, age 1.  With Charles also was niece Marguerite Forest, age 19.  Pierre Forest, age 26, came with wife Anne Dupuis, age 24, and no children.  Joseph Forest of Pigiguit, age 19, came with wife Isabelle Léger, age unrecorded, and no children.  Marie Forest, age 17, also was in the party.  Simon Gautrot of Grand-Pré, age 29, came with wife Marie-Madeleine Breau of Chepoudy, age 22, and no children.  Firmin dit La Prade Girouard of Pigiguit, age 16, came alone.  Bonaventure Godin dit Bellefontaine of Rivière St.-Jean, age 50, came with second wife Marguerite Bergeron dit d'Amboise, age 42, and four children:  Théotiste, age 16; Marie, age 14; Bonaventure, fils, age 12; and Michel, age 9.  Barthélémy Godin dit Bellefontaine, age 30, came with wife Marie-Claire Martin, age 31, and no children.  Théotiste dite Sally Thibodeau, age 25, widow of Bonaventure Godin, came with 4-year-old daughter Marie-Anne-Barbe.  Jacques Godin dit Bellefontaine, age 25; Jean-Baptiste Godin dit Bellefontaine, age 19; and Jean Godin dit Bellefontaine, age 18--all single and from Rivière St.-Jean--also were members of the party.  Marie-Anne Bergeron of Rivière St.-Jean, age 36, widow of Alexandre Godin dit Lincour, came with four children:  Marie-Anne, age 14; Victor, age 13; Pierre-Paul, age 9; and Marie-Ann, age 6.  Joseph Godin dit Lincour, age 25; and Charles Godin dit Lincour, age 15--both single and from Rivière St.-Jean--also were in the party.  Joseph Guilbeau of Annapolis Royal, age 34, came alone.  Claire Robichaud of Annapolis Royal, age 52, widow of Jean-Baptiste Hébert dit Manuel of Cobeguit, came with four children and a grandson:  Marie-Théotiste, age 15; Théotiste-Marie, age 12; Mathurin, age 11; Marie-Blanche, perhaps age 10; and grandson Jean-Louis Hébert, age 2.  Claire's son Joseph dit Pepin Hébert of Cobeguit, age 26, came with wife Françoise Hébert, age 20, their year-old-son Louis, and orphan Jean-Charles Hébert of Chignecto, age 14.  Unmarried Hébert brothers from Chignecto, one of them perhaps a widower, also were in the party:  François, age 30; Joseph, age 30, and Pierre, age 28.  Joseph Landry of Pigiguit, age 26 and already a widower, came with two sons:  Joseph, fils, age 2; and Pierre, age 1.  Joseph LeBlanc of Grand-Pré and Annapolis Royal, age 45, came with wife Élisabeth, or Isabelle, Gaudet, age 46, and four children:  Anne, age 17; Joseph, fils, age 15; Élisabeth, or Isabelle, age 11; and Gilles, age 8.  Étienne LeBlanc of Grand-Pré, age 43, came with wife Élisabeth, or Isabelle, Boudrot, age 43, and seven children:  Simon, age 21; Marguerite, age 16; Étienne, fils, age 14; Marie-Madeleine, age 7; Mathurin, age 6; Joseph, age 3; and infant Marie-Marthe-Élisabeth.  Marcel LeBlanc of Grand-Pré, age 31, came with wife Marie-Josèphe Breau of Cobeguit, age 29, and 2-year-old daughter Marguerite.  André LeBlanc, age unrecorded, also may have been in the party.  Jean Léger of Chepoudy, age 43, came with wife Marie-Madeleine Saulnier of Petitcoudiac, age unrecorded, and no children.  Marie Léger of Annapolis Royal, age 21, came with two younger siblings:  Scholastique, age 19, and Paul, age 7, who had been born in New York.  Anne Martin dit Barnabé of Annapolis Royal, age 45, came with two young cousins from Chignecto:  François Martin dit Barnabé, age 19, and his brother Paul, age  17.  François and Paul's older brother Joseph of Chignecto, age 26, came with wife Marguerite Pitre, age 26, and no children.  Pierre Michel of Annapolis Royal, age 28, a widower, came alone.  Joseph Poirier, age 25, came with wife Marie-Anne Bourgeois, age 15, and no children.  Amand Préjean of Chepoudy, age 41, came with wife Madeleine Martin, age 37, who was pregnant, and five children:  Marin, age 15; Anastasie, age 14; Marie-Anne, age 13; Joseph, age 5, born at Restigouche; and infant André-Joseph, born at sea.  Amand's brother Joseph of Chepoudy, age 33, came with wife Marguerite Durel of St.-Pierre-du-Nord, Île St.-Jean, age 28, who also was pregnant, and 4-year-old daughter Victoire.  Amand and Joseph's brother Charles of Chepoudy, age 29, came with wife Marguerite Richard, age 20, who, like her sisters-in-law, was pregnant.  Amand, Joseph, and Charles's unmarried brother Basile of Chepoudy, age 21, also was in the party.  Joseph dit Vieux Richard of Annapolis Royal, age 48, came with wife Anne Blanchard, age 40, who was pregnant, two daughters, and a nephew:  Marie-Anastasie, age 6; Rosalie, age 2; and Joseph Richard, age 3.  Joseph Richard of Chignecto, age 29, came with wife Agnès Hébert dit Manuel of Cobeguit, age 23, and two children:  Louis and Marie, age unrecorded.  Another Joseph Richard, this one of Ste.-Famille, Pigiguit, age 29, came alone.  Rosalie Thibodeau of Pointe Beauséjour, age unrecorded, widow of Claude Richard, came with infant son Joseph.  Bruno Robichaud of Annapolis Royal, age 40, came with wife Anne-Félicité Broussard, age 33, and two sons:  Firmin dit Ephrem, age 14; and Bruno, fils, age 1.  Joseph Caissie dit Roger of Chignecto, age 19; and two first cousins with the same name, Jean Caissie dit Roger, ages 10 and 8, were in the party.  Charles dit Jean-Charles Savoie of Annapolis Royal, age 44, came with second wife Judith Arseneau of Île St.-Jean, age 29, came with 2-year-old son Jean-Baptiste and orphan Basile Deroche of Île St.-Jean, age 11.  Charles's brother Joseph of Annapolis Royal, age 38, came with wife Anne Préjean, age 30, who was pregnant, and 5-year-old daughter Marguerite.  François-Joseph Savoie of Chepoudy, age 35, a widower, came with two sisters, also from Chepoudy:  Rosalie, or Rose, age 24; and Marie, age unrecorded.  Joseph Saulnier of Petitcoudiac, age 26, still a bachelor, came with two unmarried siblings:  Jean-Baptiste, age 19; and Marguerite, age unrecorded.  Charles Thibodeau, age 24, still a bachelor; Jean-Baptiste Thibodeau, age 22; and Pierre Thibodeau, age unrecorded--also were in the party.  Pierre Vincent of Pigiguit, age 20, came alone. 

More new Acadian family names appeared in the colony: 

Pierre Arosteguy of Bayonne, France, and Minas, age 52, came with wife Marie Robichaud of Annapolis Royal, age 53, and four children, none of whose ages were recorded:  Anne, Jean, Marguerite, and Marie-Théotiste.  Pierre's son Pierre fils, age unrecorded, came with wife Isabelle Comeau, age unrecorded, who was pregnant.  Anne dite Nanette Saulnier of Petitcoudiac, age 24, widow of Basile Babin, came with two daughters:  Lisa-Marie-Josèphe, age 5; and Marie-Josèphe, age 3.  Joseph Barthélémy, age 30, came alone.  Pierre Berteau of Nantes, France, and Île St.-Jean, age 26, came alone.  Joseph Blanchard, age 26, came alone.  Joseph's brother Amable Blanchard, age 23, came with wife Anastasie or Anatalia Girouard of Annapolis Royal, age 20, and infant son Marin.  Also in the party were brothers Joseph and Pierre Blanchard, ages unrecorded; siblings Marguerite Blanchard, age 14, and Victor Blanchard, age 13; and another Victor Blanchard, age unrecorded.  Pierre Chiasson of Chignecto, age 36, came with wife Osite Landry, age 32, and two children:  Michel, age 6; and infant daughter Marie.  Also with Pierre was his brother Paul, age 19; and nephew Jean-Baptiste Chiasson, age 3.  Pierre Doiron, age 32, came with wife Marie Bourgeois, age 35, and two children:  Olivier, age 1; and Marguerite, age unrecorded.  Honoré Duon of Annapolis Royal, age 49, came with wife Anne-Marie Vincent of Pigiguit, age 52, and three children:  Anne-Perpétué, age 20; Jean, age 18; and François, age 16.  Honoré's brother Charles of Annapolis Royal, age 29, came with wife Marie-Josèphe Préjean, age 28, and two children:  Jean-Baptiste, age 5; and Marguerite, age 1.  Honoré and Charles's brother Claude-Amable of Annapolis Royal, age 27, came with wife Marie-Josèphe dite Josette Vincent of Pigiguit, age 26, and niece Françoise Pitre, age 1.  Anne Gaudet, age 41, widow of Michel Dupuis, came with two daughters and a nephew:  Marie, age 14; and Monique, age 11; and Joseph Dupuis of Annapolis Royal, age 14.  Marie Breau of Grand-Pré, age 62, widow of Jean Gaudet, came with three unmarried children:  Charles, age 35; Rosalie, age 26; and Jérôme, age 25.  Claude Gaudet, age unrecorded, came with wife Catherine Forest, age unrecorded, and 13-year-old son Charles.  Pierre Gaudet, age unrecorded, came with wife Marie-Madeleine Doucet, age 29, and three children:  Pierre, fils, age 5; Charles, age 2; and infant Marguerite.  Joseph Gaudet of Annapolis Royal, age 26, came with wife Marguerite Bourgeois, age 21, and year-old daughter Rosalie-Victoire, born in Boston, Massachusetts.  Marie-Rose Bourgeois of Chignecto, age 34, widow of Pierre Gravois, came with three sons:  Paul, age 14; Joseph, age 12; and Jean, age 10.  Charles Jeanson of Annapolis Royal, age 20, came with three siblings:  Jean, age 19; Marie, age 18; and Paul, age 10.  Antoine Labauve of Grand-Pré, age 39, came with wife Anne Vincent, age 27, two twin sons, and a nephew:  Jean and Marin, age 6, and Jean-Baptist Labauve of Grand-Pré, age 15.  Surgeon Philippe de Saint-Julien Lachaussée of Picardy, France, and Rivière St.-Jean, age 38, a widower, came with 10-year-old daughter Louise-Françoise.  Catherine Comeau, age 39, widow of ___ Lafaye, came with 15-year-old daughter Marie-Marquis.  Pierre Lambert of Chignecto, age 38, came with third wife Marie Doiron of Chignecto, age 28, son Pierre, fils, age 14, and stepdaughter Marie-Anne Boucher of Beaubassin, age 11.   Joseph Lanoux, age 19, and brother Pierre, age 18, both unmarried, were in the party.  Geneviève Bergeron of Rivière St.-Jean, age 35, widow of Jean-Baptiste Damours dit de Louvière, came with six children, the youngest born in Boston and Halifax:  Charles, age 15; Jean-Baptiste, fils, age 10; Anastasie, age 8; François, age 6; Isidore, age 2; and infant Susanne.   Joseph Marant, age 36, came with wife Angélique Dugas, age 29, and two of Angélique's kinsmen: nephew Joseph Orillion dit Champagne, age 17, and his sister Marguerite, age 15.  Marie-Josèphe Breau, age 34, widow of Paul-Honoré Melanson, came with five children:  Joseph, age 13; Marie, age 12; Jean-Baptiste, age 9; Anastasie, age 6; and Dominique-Jean dit Minique, age 3.  Joachim dit Bénoni Mire of Pigiguit, age 29, a widower with no children, came with two half-brothers, perhaps twins, also from Pigiguit:  Joseph and Simon, age 21.  Salvator Mouton of Chignecto, age 32, came with wife Anne Bastarache of Annapolis Royal and Chignecto, age 34, who was pregnant, and two sons:  Marin, age 12; and Jean, age 11.  Salvator's brother Louis, age 28, came with wife Marie-Modeste Bastarache of Annapolis Royal and Chignecto, age 32, and infant daughter Anne-Charlotte.  Salvator and Louis's nephew, Jean dit Neveu Mouton of Chignecto, age 18, came with his wife Élisabeth, or Isabelle, Bastarache of Annapolis Royal and Chignecto, age 18, who also was pregnant.  Joseph Part of Rivière St.-Jean, age 27, still a bachelor, came with three siblings, also natives of Rivière St.-Jean:  Olivier, age 19; Pierre, age 16; Marie, age 14; and François, age 12.  Françoise Melanson of Minas, age 56, widow of Joseph Thériot of Cobeguit, came with four sons, the youngest born on Île St.-Jean:  Thomas, age 20; Ambroise, age 17; Paul-Hippolyte, age 14; and François-Xavier, age 12.  Joseph Thériot of Grand-Pré, age 35, came with wife Madeleine Bourgeois, age unrecorded, and two daughters:  Marie-Rose, age 2; and Marie, age 1. 

Here, like the Broussard party, was a mix of Acadians from every settlement of the Fundy region, but these later-arrivals contained a somewhat larger percentage of exiles from the Minas Basin than could be found among the prairie Acadians.  Still, many of the newcomers had lived in the Chignecto/trois-rivières area, as well as at Cobeguit and along Rivière St.-Jean, so they would have found relatives among the Acadians who had gone to the Teche.341 

Documents generated by the attempted Canadian money exchange at New Orleans reveal at least two leaders among the Halifax Acadians who settled at Cabahannocer.  Jean-Baptiste, son of Barthélémy Bergeron dit d'Amboise, fils and Marguerite Dugas, was born probably at Annapolis Royal in c1722.  He married Marguerite Bernard, and they settled at Ste.-Anne-du-Pay-Bas on Rivière St.-Jean, today's Fredericton, New Brunswick.  During the Grand Dérangement, the St.-Jean settlements became a refuge for Acadians who had escaped the British at Annapolis, including the party who had captured the North Carolina-bound Pembroke and sailed it to the mouth of the river in February 1756.  The St.-Jean Acadians also welcomed fugitives from Chignecto, the trois-rivières, and even faraway South Carolina.  Their respite from British oppression ended, however, in the summer of 1758.  After the fall of the French fortress at Louisbourg that July, British forces under Brigadier General Robert Monckton took control of lower Rivière St.-Jean.  The following February, New English rangers led by Lieutenant Moses Hazen struck the upriver settlements, destroying everything they could find and taking prisoner any Acadians they did not choose to kill.  Those who escaped the New English onslaught moved either to Canada via the St.-Jean portage or joined their fellow exiles on the Gulf of St. Lawrence.  Jean-Baptiste Bergeron dit d'Amboise and his family, including at least three children, went to the Gulf.  According to a document dated 8 March 1766 at New Orleans, "one Bergeron" handed over "the sum of 47,076 livres (pounds), 19 sols (schillings), 6 deniers (pence), belonging to 73 families, some of whom arrived in June 1765...."  Also handing in Canadian currency was "one Lachausée, 27,044 livres, 7 sols, 8 deniers, belonging to 37 families, some of whom reached this colony in various ships--in August, September, October and November...."  This was Philippe de St.-Julien Lachaussée, a French physician born in Picardy in c1727.  He also had settled on Rivière St.-Jean, where he married Françoise, daughter of Acadian Jean-Baptiste Godin dit Lincour, in c1754.  Philippe's wife died soon after their marriage, perhaps from the rigors of childbirth, and he remarried to Marguerite, daughter of Charles Belliveau, at Ste.-Anne-du-Pay-Bas in 1756.  Belliveau, from Annapolis Royal, was a leader of the Acadians who had captured the ship Pembroke.  When the British struck the St.-Jean settlements in 1758, the physician and his family, including an infant daughter, joined their fellow fugitives on the Gulf of St. Lawrence shore.  Philippe's son Pierre-Philippe was baptized at Restigouche, at the head of the Baie des Chaleurs, in March 1761 but died probably at Halifax a year or so later.  Philippe's second wife also died in the early 1760s, probably in a prison compound in Nova Scotia.  When he came to Louisiana in the summer of 1765, the physician was accompanied only by his 10-year-old daughter, Louise-Françoise.  In October 1766, he remarried again--his third marriage--to Marie-Rose, called Rose, Bourgeois, widow of Pierre Gravois, at Cabahannocer, and she gave him two more sons, the youngest of whom, a second Pierre-Philippe, perpetuated the family line in Louisiana.342

Before and after leaving New Orleans, Surgeon Lachaussée would have been busy delivering new babies among his fellow arrivals.  The fate of some of the newborns is unknown:  Marie-Rose, daughter of Pierre Arosteguy; and Marguerite-Françoise, daughter of Jean dit Neveu Mouton, may not have survived childhood.  The same held true for Claude, son of Jean-Baptiste Bourgeois, who died at age 7; Charles-Amand, son of Charles Préjean; and Anne-Marie, daughter of Joseph dit Vieux RichardBut a few of the newborns made it to adulthood and helped create families of their own:  Marie-Geneviève, daughter of Salvator Mouton, followed her siblings to the Attakapas prairies, where she married a Guilbeau, but died at age 18, probably from the rigors of childbirth; Jean-Baptiste, son of Joseph Préjean, married a Gravois, settled on Bayou Lafourche, and lived into his early 70s; and Joseph-André, son of Joseph Savoie, married a Landry and also settled on Bayou Lafourche.342a

Aubry and Foucault sent these 300 late-comers to the right, or west, bank of the river above the concessions of Cantrelle, Judice, and Verret.  A few of the new arrivals would have reunited with their kinsmen who had settled just downriver, on the opposite bank, a year and a half before.  In September 1765, Aubry appointed Louis Judice and Nicolas Verret as provisional co-commandants of a new district created for Cabahannocer.  The co-commandants soon organized two companies of militia among the Acadians.  Meanwhile, in late September, Aubry and Foucault could report to the Minister of Marine:  "All these families are hard at work getting settled...."343 

Sometime that autumn, a few dozen Acadians from Attakapas, escaping an epidemic raging along the Teche, joined the newcomers at Cabahannocer.  Among them were Acadians named Arseneau, Bergeron, Bourg, Bourgeois, Darois, Dugas, Godin dit Bellefontaine, Guédry, Landry, Martin dit Barnabé, Poirier, Caissie dit Roger, Roy, and Thibodeau.  Some of them returned to the prairies, but most of them remained on the river.345     

One of the duties of the new commandants at Cabahannocer was to oversee the marriage of couples in their districts by the visiting priest from the German Coast, Capuchin Father Barnabé.  The earliest marriages, recorded at the end of March 1766, were those of two of Jean-Baptiste Cormier's daughters, Madeleine and Marie, to new arrivals Simon Mire and Michel Poirier.  These wedding ceremonies were conducted in the homes of the co-commandants; in the case of the Cormier sisters, that of Nicolas Verret.344


Among the 1765 latecomers was a family different from the others--members of the Acadian seigneurial class who had retained their holdings on Rivière St.-Jean until Le Grand Dérangement.  At the center of this immediate family was Geneviève Bergeron, a granddaughter of Barthélémy Bergeron dit d'Amboise, the soldier, who was the family's progenitor in Acadia.  Barthélémy had come to North America during King William's War and fought under the redoubtable Iberville, founder of Louisiana, before settling down at Port-Royal.  There he became a successful merchant and married Geneviève, a daughter of Jean Serreau de Saint-Aubin, the seigneur of Passamaquoddy; Geneviève de Saint-Aubin also was the widow of Jacques Petitpas who, unlike his brothers, opposed the British during Queen Anne's War.  Geneviève Bergeron's father, Michel dit Nantes, was her grandfather's second son.  He moved with his family to Rivière St.-Jean probably on the eve of the British seizure of the colony; his second wife, Geneviève's mother, was a Dugas (Michel dit Nantes married four times).  During the late 1740s, while robably in her late teens, Geneviève married Jean-Baptiste, son of Louis D'Amours de Chaffours and Ursuline d'Abbadie de Saint Castin, probably on the St.-Jean.  Louis, born either at Québec or on Rivière St.-Jean, was the second son of Mathieu D'Amours, sieur de Freneuse, whose seigneurie, granted in September 1684, lay on Rivière St.-Jean between Jemseg and Nashouat.  Jean-Baptiste's mother Ursuline was from an even more distinguished family:  her father, Jean-Vincent d'Abbadie, third baron de Saint-Castin, was the famous capitaine de sauvages of Pentagöuet who had led the Abenaki band of his two wives, daughters of an Abenaki headman, during the wars against the English; Ursuline's brother was Bernard-Vincent d'Abbadie, fourth baron de Saint-Castin, who, like his aristocratic French father, led the Abenaki against the British; so, like her brother, Ursuline was descended from Abenaki chiefs.  Jean-Baptiste, who adopted the surname D'Amours dit de Louvière, fathered at least three children by Geneviève Bergeron on Rivière St.-Jean:  Charles, born in c1750, Jean-Baptiste, fils in c1754, and Anastasie in c1757, the latter on the eve of the British attack during summer and fall of 1758.  Jean-Baptiste D'Amours and his family, with father-in-law Michel dit Nantes Bergeron, who had escaped the British roundup at Annapolis Royal three years before and taken refuge with his daughter and son-in-law on Rivière St.-Jean, likely were captured by the British, who transported them to Boston, where more of their children were born:  François in c1759, and Isidore in c1763.  In 1763, instead of repatriating to British Canada along with most of their fellow refugees in the New England colonies, evidently Jean-Baptiste and Geneviève went to Nova Scotia, where many of her Bergeron and Dugas kin were still being held by the British at Halifax.  Their youngest child, Susanne, was born in c1765, either at Halifax or on the voyage down to the Gulf of Mexico.  Geneviève may have been a widow when she brought her six children to Louisiana in 1765; she certainly was that in April 1766, when the Spanish counted her and her children on the east bank of the river at Cabahannocer.  She died there by September 1769, when her children were listed in another Spanish census with or near other families:  Charles, now age 20 and calling himself a Louvière, resided next to married cousin Germain Bergeron, on the east bank of the river; brothers Jean-Baptiste, fils, age 14, and François, age 10, were living in cousin Germain's household; and Isidore was living with the family of Pierre Hébert and Marie Bergeron, his maternal aunt and her husband.  Anastasie and Susanne do not appear in the 1769 census; Susanne may have died in infancy, but Anastasie soon married a LeBlanc from Canada.  In Louisiana, all four of Jean-Baptiste D'Amours dit de Louvière's sons married and took the surname Louvière.  Charles stayed at Cabahannocer and married a Melançon; he was counted in the St.-Jacques census of 1779 with no slaves.  Jean-Baptiste, fils also remained on the river but did not marry; in 1777, at age 20, he was working as an engagé for an Ascension area surgeon.  François was still at St.-Jacques in 1777 but soon moved to the Attakapas District, where he married a Thibodeaux in c1780 and remarried to a Bourgeois in November 1799.  Isidore followed his older brother to Attakapas, where he also married twice, into the Landry and Picard families.  Neither he nor brother François became major cattle producers or plantation owners.  Their parents' brutal exile and the rigors of life in Spanish Louisiana had transformed these descendants of nobles and seigneurs into humble Acadian farmers.344a

Also among the new settlers at Cabahannocer were members of a small extended family whom exile and Spanish policies kept poor, if not humble, until opportunities under American rule opened a way to wealth and influence.  The Moutons had come to Acadia later than most of the families who populated the colony.  According to family tradition, n 1703, during the early months of France's second war with England, Jean Mouton of Marseille, who would have been only 14 years old, settled at Port-Royal.  Jean's father Antoine had served as maître d'hôtel, or head steward, at the château of the famous French aristocrat François de Castellane-Ornado-Adhémar de Monteil, Comte de Grignan, of Provence, so son Jean may have been tutored in the comte's household.  At age 22, in January 1711, the year after the British captured Port-Royal, Jean, now age 22, married 16-year-old Marie Girouard, a member of one of the earliest families to settle in Acadia; Marie's father was Alexandre Girouard dit de Ru, later the Sieur de Ru; her maternal grandfather was Alexandre Le Borgne de Bélisle, former French governor of Acadia and seigneur of Port-Royal; and she also was a descendant of the colony's famous governor, Charles de Saint-Étienne de La Tour; so Jean married very well.  In 1712, he and Marie moved to Grand-Pré, where Sr. Jean, as he was called, earned his living as a surgeon.  Sons Jean, fils, Jacques, Charles, and Justinien, and daughters Marie-Josèphe and Marguerite were born at Grand-Pré before the family moved on to the even more distant Acadian community of Chignecto in c1725.  Four more children were born to Sr. Jean and Marie at Chignecto:  sons Pierre, Salvator, and Louis, and daughter Anne. The Moutons lived at Chignecto for thirty years and may have been among the dozens of Chignecto families living east of Rivière Missaguash who were forced to relocate west of the river, in French-controlled territory, during the fall of 1750.  Five years later, British forces rounded up the older Mouton sons and their families and deported them along with other Chignecto Acadians to South Carolina.  The three younger sons, Salvator, Louis, and Pierre, somehow escaped the British roundup.  With Salvator's wife, Anne Bastarache, whom he had married at Annapolis Royal in January 1752, and their children, the Mouton brothers fled to the Gulf of St. Lawrence shore and found refuge at Restigouche, at the head of the Baie des Chaleurs.  There, Louis married Marie-Modeste Bastarache, a younger sister of Salvator's wife, in October 1760.  But they did not live there in peace.  The war caught up to them the year of Louis's marriage when, in July, the British attacked the fort at Restigouche with overwhelming force.  Pierre died in the fight, and Salvator and Louis fell into the hands of the victorious British, who imprisoned them in Fort Edward, Nova Scotia, at the former Acadian settlement of Pigiguit, for the rest of the war.  Louis's daughter Anne-Charlotte was born in one of the prison compounds in February 1764.  In late 1764 or early 1765, Salvator, Louis, and their families joined hundreds of other Nova Scotia detainees in their exodus to Louisiana.  The Mouton brothers were among the dozens of Acadians who settled at Cabahannocer.  With them was nephew Jean dit Neveu, son of Salvator's and Louis's older brother Jacques, and Neveu's wife Élisabeth Bastarache, whom he had married in Nova Scotia; their daughter Marguerite-Françoise was born at New Orleans on November 20, so Élisabeth had been pregnant on the long voyage down from Halifax.  Salvator's wife Anne died soon after they reached Cabahannocer, and he remarried to fellow Acadian Anne Forest at New Orleans in c1768.  Salvator and Louis's older brother Charles, who had been deported to South Carolina in 1755, reached Louisiana from Martinique during the late 1760s.  Typically, Charles, his wife Anne Comeau, and their son Georges joined his kinsmen at Cabahannocer, now being called the Acadian Coast.  Salvator, only age 40, died in a New Orleans hospital in April 1773.  He was survived by his second wife Anne and three children from his first marriage:  Marin, age 20 at the time of his father's death; Jean, age 19; and daughter Marie-Geneviève, who was only 8.  A few years after their father died, Marin, Jean, and Marie-Geneviève, along with their cousin Jean dit Neveu, moved to the Attakapas District.  It was there that the Mouton brothers made names for themselves as land speculators.  Jean dit Chapeau, as his neighbors called him, was especially successful; like his namesake grandfather, he married well, took advantage of economic opportunities whenever they presented, and became one of the early shakers and movers of southwest Louisiana.346


By the end of 1765, 590 Acadians from Halifax had joined the 21 from Georgia who had come to Louisiana the year before.  Dozens of their families contained children of marriageable age, giving promise that, along the river and out on the prairies, their Acadian culture stood a very good chance of surviving in this strange, sub-tropical region.  That more of them were coming--perhaps thousands, French officials believed--would only assure the culture's survival here.  But would it remain the culture of their fathers?  What part of it had been altered forever by the rigors of their exile?  They would remain farmers and cattlemen here, that was certain, but no aboiteaux would require their collective efforts in this land devoid of magnificent tides.  To be sure, there were extensive coastal marshes here, but none as approachable and certainly not as malleable as the tidal marshes lining the Bay of Fundy.  Only fishing and trapping could occupy them on Louisiana's coast; no agriculture of any consequence was possible there.  The Acadians on the Mississippi would have to learn from Germans and Creoles how best to farm the river's natural levees.  The prairie Acadians would learn from the Atakapa, as well as Creole and African cowhands, the fine points of raising cattle on the seemingly endless grasslands.  Here was a circumstance that could further diminish the unity lying at the heart of their culture:  the Acadians on the river would concentrate on crop raising, with husbandry as a secondary pursuit, while their cousins on the prairies would specialize in husbandry, with only limited crop raising on the narrow levees of the Teche and other bayous.  The differences between the river and the prairie here could mirror the differences between Minas and Chignecto back in peninsula Acadia.  Even more troubling, the geography of South Louisiana offered as formidable a barrier as the Mere Rouge had imposed on greater Acadia.  The prairie Acadians already had endured it:  the wide, treacherous Atchafalaya Basin with its labyrinth of rivers, bayous, and coulees.  Would this forbidding swamp remain a barrier between them and their cousins on the Mississippi?  Would it lead to the creation of Acadian subcultures where they imagined only a single culture existed?  They had expended so much time and energy reuniting with members of their extended families.  Would that accursed swamp stand forever between them, culturally as well as geographically?346a

A demographic element of this New Acadia also could wreak havoc on their cultural unity.  In much of greater Acadia--that is, peninsula Nova Scotia and Île St.-Jean--the Acadians were dominant in numbers, if not in political or economic power.  Such was not the case in Louisiana as 1765 gave way to a new year.   ...346b

A New Spanish Governor, 1766

The Spanish took their time sending a government to Louisiana.  Not until June 1765 did Antonio de Ulloa y de la Torre-Guiral, age 49, receive notice of his appointment, made the month before, as governor of the Spanish province of Luisiana--an appointment secured by "influential friends at the Spanish court."  On the surface, the native of Seville, son of a Spanish economist, seemed a wise choice for the position.  He was fluent in both French and English, and he had governed before.  He was not, however, one of those professional colonial bureaucrats Spain produced in such numbers, nor was he a soldier, though, as a young man, he served for a short time in the Spanish navy.  He was "perhaps Spain's greatest eighteenth-century scientist," which made him well acquainted with some areas of New Spain.  While in Ecuador on a scientific expedition, he and a colleague discovered the element platinum.   On his way home from South America in 1745, during the War of the Austrian Succession, he was captured by the British and held in England as a prisoner of war.  He befriended British scientists, who were so impressed with his attainments in the fields of astronomy, mineralogy, and natural history, they made him a fellow of the Royal Society of London.  Although the war was still raging, the president of the Royal Society helped secure Ulloa's early release.  In Spain, he published an account of many years in South America, established the first museum of natural history and the first metallurgical laboratory, and oversaw the construction of a celestial observatory at Cadiz.  By 1751, he had become so well-known in the world of science that he was elected a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.  In 1758, two years before Spain entered another war against Britain on the side of their Bourbon ally France, the Spanish Crown "sent him as governor to Huancavelica, a Peruvian province, with orders to revive production of a valuable mercury mine which had become almost inoperative during the previous decade.  Ulloa not only failed to achieve this goal, but so alienated the powerful Peruvian aristocracy, upon whom the success of the venture rested, that they expelled him from the province."  He left Peru in 1764, and was in Havana a year later, holding the rank of naval captain, when he was notified of his appointment as governor of Louisiana.347  

Ulloa did not arrive at New Orleans until 5 March 1766--nearly four and a half years after France had surrendered western Louisiana to Spain.  The new governor brought with him six military officers; a commissioner; commissary of war and military intendant Juan José de Loyola, who could not speak French; Estevan Gayarré, a government auditor or comptroller called a contador; and treasurer Martin Navarro.  Amazingly, Ulloa took along only 90 Spanish soldiers, "more than twenty of whom soon deserted," Professor Brasseaux informs us.  To the amazement of the French, Ulloa failed to register his commission with the Superior Council, "a routine requirement in both the Spanish and French empires," Brasseaux reminds us. This only compounded his perceived weakness in the eyes of the colony's French-Creole elite, who had opposed the transfer of western Louisiana to Spain from the moment they had learned of it.  Ulloa's failure to register his commission was tantamount to refusing to take formal possession of the colony, which greatly confused Aubry, Foucault, and the other French officials, who had expected to hand over the reins of government to Spanish authority and then be on their way.  "Sensitive about the weakness of his position," Brasseaux relates, and displeased with the unenthusiastic reception, "Ulloa may have feared that to submit his orders for inspection" by the Superior Council "would give the appearance of subordination to the more secure French authorities.  Whatever the reason for his action, it was a tactical error.  Certification of his letters patent would have extended legal recognition to Ulloa's status as the official representative of the Spanish king.  In the eyes of French Louisianians, the action would have constituted the legal act of transfer.  Ulloa's refusal to go through normal legal channels created doubts in the minds of some colonists about the the validity of the cession itself," Brasseaux concludes.  Adding to the confusion, Ulloa retained both Aubry and Foucault in their positions, Aubry as what Ulloa called commanding-general, and Foucault as colonial commissary or deputy auditor.  Amazingly, because Ulloa had not formally taken possession of western Louisiana, the French government was still obligated to provide financial support for the colony!  The new French Minister of Marine, Césair-Gabriel de Choiseul-Sevigny, duc de Praslin, who succeeded the duc de Choiseul-Stainville in April 1766, would no more inclined to send money and provisions to Spanish Louisiana than Choiseul-Stainville had been.  Moreover, attempts to coax French officers and soldiers to join the Spanish service, thereby supplementing Ulloa's meager force, failed miserably.  "There is no longer any hope that the (French) soldiers in the local garrison will decide to serve the Spanish king," Foucault wrote the retiring French Minister on April 2.  "Mister Aubry has tried every means to change their minds, but his efforts have been in vain."  Foucault lamented that this failure likely would delay the formal Spanish takeover; while awaiting further orders from Spain, Ulloa would have to secure reinforcements for his meager Spanish force before he could relieve Foucault, Aubrey, and the other French officials of the onerous duties they had performed for much too long.  Foucault also informed the Minister that Ulloa, with Aubry and a large entourage, had begun a tour of the colony's settlements, which would further delay the formal Spanish takeover and place an even greater burden on French colonial resources.348

The Acadians on the prairies and at Cabahannocer, meanwhile, faced more personal concerns.  By early March 1766, the Teche Acadians in their various communities were busy improving their simple dwellings and preparing the soil for spring planting.  They also were facing the troublesome question of land ownership.  No sooner had Andry escorted the Broussards to Fausse Pointe than one of the district's cattle barons, French Creole Jean-Baptiste Grevemberg, accused the Acadians of encroaching on his land.  Grevemberg claimed all of the vast prairie from Fausse Pointe westward to the lower Vermilion River.  In July, he sent a "memorial" to both the acting director-general and the ordonnateur "asserting his right to the land and requesting a patent to his fourteen-year-old vacherie."  Aubry and Foucault, aware not only of Grevemberg's wealth and influence, but also of the delicate state of the new arrivals, "permitted the Acadians to remain on their farmsteads.  Grevemberg could console himself with a concession of 7.5 square leagues (18.75 square miles)" west of Bayou Teche.349

Grevemberg's land dispute with his unwelcome neighbors did not prevent his selling them cattle with which they could create vacheries of their own.  Up on the Opelousas prairie and at Cabahannocer, Acadians also were preparing for spring planting.  Meanwhile, colonial officials in New Orleans were doing what they could "to furnish subsistence to the Acadians until the next harvest," especially to the newest arrivals.  When word reached the settlements that the new Spanish governor had finally reached New Orleans, the typical Acadian reaction would have been a shrug of the shoulders, a bon mot or two, and a resumption of whatever work he or she was doing.  Their ancestors had endured changes of imperial masters more often than they could remember, and they, too, had changed rulers when they came to this colony, the great majority of them arriving after the world had been told that the western half of French Louisiana now belonged to Spain.  They would always call France their mother country, as they had done in Acadia, and as they would do here.  As long as the Spanish recognized their land grants and protected them from the British, they would find them to be the most loyal of subjects.  As to their cherished religion, the British had failed to convert any of them to their noxious heresies, but the Spanish were Roman Catholics, too.  The Spanish priests who would come to their settlements to administer the sacraments would have to know French; they would not bother to learn Spanish here any more than they had bothered to learn English back in Nova Scotia.  Mass was celebrated in Latin anyway, a language few, if any of them, understood.  At least the new governor was not British, who were settling much too close to this province for their liking.  He was no Belcher, no Wilmot, no Lawrence (damn his name!).  How much trouble could this new governor bring to a people who were accustomed to nothing else but trouble?350

In late March, Ulloa and his entourage, in four boats, began their tour of the lower Louisiana settlements, first of the German Coast, which included Cabahannocer; then Pointe Coupée, which the Spanish called Punta Cortada; Opelousas; Attakapas; and Natchitoches; as well as the various Indian tribes in that part of the colony.  The Acadians, now, would have an opportunity to take the measure of the man.  They could care less that Ulloa had not bothered to present his letters patent to the French-Creole busybodies on the Superior Council.  He was here, representing a still-powerful nation.  They may have been puzzled that he had brought so few soldiers to Louisiana, but they guessed that many more of them were stationed at Havana, from whence he had come.351

The Acadians were impressed with the new governor, who seemed to understand their immediate needs as well as their ultimate desire.  Struggling on what little the French caretakers could give them, the Acadians asked for powder and shot so that they could supplement their diet with hunting, and Ulloa complied.  Their response, and what they told them about their struggles during their Grand Dérangement, affected him deeply.  Back in New Orleans, following his month-long tour of lower Louisiana, Ulloa wrote a series of long reports to his immediate superior, the Marques Jeronimo Grimaldi, Spanish Minister of State.  His impressions of the Acadians filled each letter.  His missive of May 19 was especially revealing:  "In order to assist (the exiles in becoming self-sufficient), each Acadian settlement was given a small gift of gunpowder and ammunition to be divided among themselves.  When we assured them that they would enjoy full protection of His Majesty, of Your Excellency, and of myself in his royal name as long as they remained here they thanked us profusely, with indescribable joy that moved us to great tenderness and affection, and used part of the few pounds of gunpowder that were given to them to salute with their guns [which the French caretakers had given them] the monarchs of Spain and France."  And then the Acadians expressed their ultimate desire to their new governor:  "After indicating that they will be as loyal to His Majesty [Carlos III] as they have hitherto been to the Most Christian King [Louis XV], they requested my permission to write to their Acadian countrymen in the New England provinces so that they would get ready to flee their present captivity.  They did the same with commanding General Aubry, and, although they were told to desist until the Spanish court was informed and able to reach a decision about it, I am persuaded that they will not do so because of their desire to be reunited with their friends and because of their repugnance towards the English nation."352 

Ulloa was correct in assuming that the Acadians were only being polite when they asked him for permission to communicate with their kinsmen in the Acadian Diaspora.  Jean-Baptiste Semer, only a month before, had sent a letter to his father at Le Havre, France, containing a glowing description of the Attakapas country and a plea for his kinsmen to join him there.  In Maryland, over 200 Acadians, having received word from their kinsmen in Louisiana that French officials would welcome there, were preparing to charter a British merchant vessel to take them down to Cap-Français, from whence they would repeat their kinsmen's' journey on to the New Acadia.  "The Acadians [still in the British domains] have been offered the most advantageous inducements by the English government to settle among them and to recognize the English king as their sovereign," Ulloa went on.  "They have written the French government regarding their wish (to leave) and have sent me a copy; yet none of the offers has changed the Acadians' minds and their sole intention is to leave the English domain which they hate unabashedly."353

Ulloa, in turn, had taken the measure of these determined exiles.  "I have told Your Excellency," he continued, "that they are good and industrious people; quiet, without vices and able farmers.  Mister Aubry and the other officers who have served in the last two wars in the territories from there to Canada assure me that they are good marksmen.  As they proved in expeditions against the English, they are equally capable of effectively waging war against the Indians, this being especially important in this colony, where one must always rely on the inhabitants for its defense and and where skill and stratagems very different from those used against other people are required against the Indians."  He was alluding, of course, to the Acadian resistance in Nova Scotia.  On his visit to Attakapas, Ulloa could not have met the fierce resistance leaders; they had been in their graves a number of months now.  But he would have met their sturdy sons:  Jean-Baptiste, Sylvain, Simon, Pierre, and perhaps Anselme, sons of Alexandre dit Beausoleil; and Petit Jos, Victor, Athanase, François, Claude, and Amand, sons of Joseph dit Beausoleil.  The older ones had fought beside their fathers in the woods and on the bay, and the younger ones carried memories of those terrible years.  Other family heads and their sturdy older sons, at Attakapas, Opelousas, and Cabahannocer, also had fought the British and their New English minions from Fort Beauséjour up to Restigouche.354

Ulloa had seen and heard much on his visit to the Acadian settlements.  Aubry and the other French officers had sung their praises to him, and the governor had seen for himself the handiwork of these long-suffering farmers and fishermen:  "These people are naturally good, quiet, hard-working and industrious," he informed the Minister the State.  "It is to be admired that they have all prospered in very little time.  In only one year, a single man, having under his care a wife, children and, in some cases, a widow, sister, sister-in-law or mother living with his own family, has cleared the 4 arpents or tanegas (1.59 acres) that have been given to him; has built a dyke to contain the river within its banks (and to keep it from) flooding the land; (and has cleared) a road over which a cart can travel.  He had built a house, and cultivated land, and (built) wooden fences, although those enclose small areas.  One can say that two black day laborers would not have been able to advance as much as a single one of these men, whose untiring application of work has been the cause of several deaths from fatigue.  This progress shows all that necessity and perseverance can do when one puts his heart into it.  The French officers were astonished by the progress made by these people" and vowed to extend them aid as long as they could.  "While His Majesty determines what he wishes to do," Ulloa continued, "I have agreed to do it (assist the Acadians) also, because the sooner they begin to get some rest, the sooner they will succeed in earning a livelihood, and we will be relieved of having to provide them with the necessities of life."354a

In the concluding paragraph of his May 19 report to the Minister, Ulloa's final comment about the Acadians revealed a keen understanding of who they were:  "I must tell Your Excellency," he concluded, "that the Acadians are the type of people who live among themselves as though they were a single family.  (They do) not make any alliances with other French people, nor do they give their daughters in marriage to those who are not of their kind, as occurs in Spain among the highlanders of Santander.  They settle their differences among themselves and help each other in every way, as if they were brothers.  This quality makes them preferable for settlement over other types of people.  And the government must be careful to keep them as they are, because as long as they remain unchanged, the king will be able to count on good vassals who, when the time comes, will gladly take up arms and sacrifice themselves to his royal service, in defense of his domains."355

An important element of Ulloa's tour was a general census conducted by the commandants in the lower colonial districts.  Here was a first systematic counting of the Acadian exiles in Louisiana.  In a document dated 9 April 1766, Cabahannocer commandant Louis Judice reported to the colonial authorities his count of the settlers in his district, the great majority of them Acadians.  His survey began "on the right bank of the Mississippi River from the habitation of Jacques Cantrelle to Bayou Lafourche," and continued on the "left bank of the river from the habitation of Joseph Hébert to the village of the Alibamon Indians."  Judice counted 43 men, 43 "wives," 55 boys above age 15, 56 boys below the age 15, 17 widows, 17 girls above age 15, and 35 girls below age 15, for a total of 266 men, women, and children at Cabahannocer.  Living among the settlers were 16 slaves, 5 of them belonging to Jacques Cantrelle and 11 held by Judice himself.  No Acadian held a slave.  The commandant also counted 687 arpents of land, 95 hogs, and 97 guns, but no horses.  Judice's report mentioned two Indian villages in his district, those of the Alibamon and Houma.  Only 14 inhabitants in the district were non-Acadians:  Commandant Judice, his wife, their two sons Louis, fils and Michel, the co-commandant's father-in-law, Jacques Cantrelle, Nicolas Verret's sons Michel and François, Joseph Wiltz, ___ Popolus, ___ Ducros, Marc Maulet, Pierre Bidau, Saturnin Bruno, and Félix Pax, the last two "established above the village of the Houma Indians" on the east bank of the river, leaving 252 Acadians on that part of the river.  Two years later, Bruno, age 28, would join the Acadians on the Acadian Coast by marrying Scholastique, 22-year-old daughter of François Léger, one of the earliest exogamous marriages among the Louisiana Acadians.356

At Attakapas, in a report dated 25 April 1766, Commandant Édouard Massé, who had succeeded Joseph dit Beausoleil Broussard the previous autumn, counted, besides himself, only 130 individuals, 121 of them Acadians, in the district.  Thirty-eight of the Acadians he counted in the "District of the Pointe"--that is, Fausse Pointe.  Another thirty-eight lived at what he called "Bayou Queue de Tortue," but he obviously meant Bayou Tortue.  Forty-five other Acadians lived in the "District of La Manque."  The nine non-Acadian settlers were the Bonin family, the only Alibamons in the district.  No Acadian, and no Bonin, owned a slave.  Massé held 20 of them on his large vacherie.  Up in the Opelousas District, Commandant Pellerin's census, undated, revealed a very different pattern of settlement.  Pellerin counted himself and 154 other non-Acadians, most of them Alibamon, at "The Coast of the Old Opelousas" and at "New Opelousas on the Right Bank" of Bayou Courtableau.  The commandant owned the largest number of slaves--24--but militia captain M. Courtableau owned 21, Alibamon Grégoire Guillory owned 10, and a dozen others, all Alibamons, owned as many as 6 and as few as 1.  Pellerin counted only 38 Acadians in his district, none of whom owned a slave.  Massé and Pellerin's censuses thus revealed that of the 231 Acadians who had gone to the prairies, only 159 remained--testimony to the devastation wrought by the epidemic of the previous summer and the number of Acadians who had left the prairies.357

Sadly, the Spanish general census of April 1766 counted only 411 Acadians left in Louisiana of the slightly more than 600 who had gone there.  One wonders what accounts for this amazing reduction in their numbers.  Did the commandants conduct their censuses in haste and fail to count all of the inhabitants?  Were there still Acadians at New Orleans who were not counted in the district surveys?  More likely, the Cabahannocer Acadians also had endured a devastating epidemic during their first summer in the colony, but no priest like Father Jean-François was there to record it.  In May 1765, before the epidemic broke out along the Teche, Aubry had told the Minister of Marine that "the Acadians have smallpox, and will inflict a new calamity on the colony."  Was Aubry referring to the Acadians who had just reached La Balize, where they could have been quarantined before moving up to the city, or was there smallpox among the Acadians already in New Orleans?  In his report to Minister Grimaldi, dated 9 May 1766, Ulloa provides another clue as to why so few Acadians had been counted that spring:  "Those who come here are being settled in an area ten leagues above this capital at its nearest point," he said of the Acadians at Cabahannocer.  "Each of them has been assigned land and housing, given tools so they can work the land, and some provisions, though only in small quantities.  Consequently, many of them have died in misery because there was not enough (food)."  He lamented the loss of these valuable settlers and its impact on the colony.  "[T]he French leaders have aided them as much as possible, assigning them two leaders to govern and guide them, but, since this does not provide their daily bread and shelter, we lose in those who die what is gained in those who come to increase the population."  How did the Acadians reconcile themselves to the loss of so many loved ones during their first year in Louisiana?  Ulloa, in his report of May 19, sheds light on this as well:  "The Acadians themselves tell me that everyone [of them] in the English colonies will come," he assured the Minister, "and those in Canada will do the same.  This is due to the fact that, despite the many (Acadian deaths) on the island of Saint-Domingue and even here during last summer, they would rather expose themselves to mortal dangers while searching for the desired freedom of religion and civil treatment than remain in the relative safety of their own land under English rule."358 

Ulloa soon would see for himself how true was this observation.

Exiles from the British Atlantic Colonies Find Refuge in Louisiana, 1766-1769

Like the Acadians from Georgia, the exiles in Maryland and Pennsylvania were deportees who had been shipped off to a British colony and forced to remain there until the war finally ended.  And like the Acadians from both Georgia and Halifax, the exiles from Maryland decided for themselves where they would create their own New Acadia.  In late June 1766, following riots at Baltimore and Annapolis in reaction to Britain's notorious Stamp Act of 1765, over 200 Acadians, mainly from the scattered communities of Oxford, Snow Hill, and Newtown on Maryland's Eastern Shore, but also from Port Tobacco on the lower Potomac River, departed the colony on a chartered English sloop and headed to New Orleans via Cap-Français.  When they reached La Balize towards the end of September, they numbered 224 "men, women and children, 150 in the last two categories."  Fourteen of them had died during the three-month voyage, and three more died on the journey up from La Balize to the city.  Three of the new arrivals were newborns, but only one of them survived the rigors of the voyage.  The sloop on which they came did not wait at La Balize for the lighters that normally came down to take ship's passengers on the 105-mile trip up to New Orleans; after their stop at La Balize to answer to colonial customs, the party continued upriver, fighting the river's powerful current, until the lighters finally reached it on a stretch of the lower river.359

These new arrivals had not secured permission to emigrate to the Spanish colony; they probably were not even aware that the Spanish had reached French Louisiana.  No matter, heeding what the Halifax Acadians had been telling colonial authorities for months now, Ulloa, Aubry, and Foucault were expecting more Acadian arrivals, from whence they did not know.  The physical state of the Maryland exiles when they reached Louisiana is best described by Ulloa himself:  "Because these people arrived in misery and in great need (of assistance), they were helped immediately, by which had been reserved for the first needy (Acadians) who might arrive," the governor told his superior, the Spanish Minister of State, the day after the newcomers reached New Orleans.  "I gave them a bull and a calf, which I had brought from up-river for consumption by myself and my companions.  I did so the same night in which the boat carrying them was discovered.  The shipmaster assured me that as soon as they (the Acadians) received the animals, they killed them and ate the meat raw."  Ulloa, from his refuge at La Balize the following December, described this act of charity as the giving of "alms ... which I hope was very pleasing to God."  It certainly was most pleasing to the starving Acadians!360  

Following his policy of giving new Acadian arrivals "land next to those who are already settled," Ulloa sent the Maryland exiles to what Louisianians would soon be calling the Acadian Coast, where they were given small lots in the vacant lands between the Acadians from Georgia and the upper end of the German Coast in Nicolas Verret's district on the west bank of the river.  Coming to Louisiana from Maryland, these Acadians were not from Chignecto, Rivière St.-Jean, and Annapolis Royal, like the majority of the Halifax Acadians.  With few exceptions, the Maryland exiles had lived in the Minas Basin before Le Grand Dérangement and included a large contingent from Pigiguit.  Nevertheless, many of them bore the surnames of Acadian families already living in the colony.  Four prominent Minas Basin families--the Babins, Landrys, LeBlancs, and Melansons--made up the largest portion of the contingent from Maryland.361  

Most of the Babin family heads were widows: 

Anne Thériot of Grand-Pré, Pigiguit, and Oxford, age 45, widow of Joseph Babin, came with three children, all born at Pigiguit:  Joseph, age 21; Jean-Jacques, age 18; and Marguerite, age 17.  Ursule Landry of Minas and Oxford, age 42, widow of Jean-Baptiste Babin, came with four children:  Joseph, age 18; Marie-Josèphe, age 16; Marguerite, age 14; and Anne-Barbe, age 10.  Anne Forest of Minas, age 37, widow of Pierre Babin, came with two sons:  Joseph dit Dios, age 12; and Charles, age 6.  Amand Babin of L'Assomption, Pigiguit, and Oxford, age 24, came with wife Marie-Anastasie Landry, age 18, and two of his sisters, also natives of L'Assomption:  Élisabeth-Madeleine, age 22; and Marie-Josèphe, age unrecorded.  Two sets of unmarried siblings also were in the party.  Marguerite Babin of Minas and Oxford, age 27, came with sisters Madeleine, age 20; and Marie, age 13.  Charles Babin of Pigiguit and Oxford, age 24, came with siblings Vincent-Ephrem, age 21; and Brigitte, age 16.  Also in the party were Marie-Josèphe Babin, age 19; and Anne-Geneviève Babin, age 18. 

The Landrys of Pigiguit were especially numerous in this first party from Maryland; they were, in fact, the largest single family group that would come to Louisiana at one time.  Sadly, most of their families were headed by widowers:

Joseph Landry of Pigiguit and Oxford, age 56, a bachelor who could not hear, came alone.  Joseph's brother Abraham dit Petit-Abram Landry of Pigiguit and Oxford, age 54, a widower, came with nine children:  Étienne, age 24; Simon and Anne, perhaps twins, age 22; Marguerite, age 15; Pierre-Abram dit Pitre, age 14; Élisabeth, or Isabelle, age 12; Joseph dit Le Cadet, age 9; Marie-Madeleine, age 7; and Marie, age unrecorded.  Joseph and Petit Abram's brother René Landry of Pigiguit and Oxford, age 50, also a widower, came with five children:  Marin, age 18; Félicité, age 16; Olivier, age 13; Joseph dit Dios, age 9; and Firmin, age 6.  Marie-Josèphe Bourg of Grand-Pré and Oxford, age 52, second wife and widow of another Joseph Landry, came with four children, all Landrys:  Marie-Madeleine, age 19; Marguerite, age 16; Anne-Gertrude, age 15; and Joseph dit Belhomme, age 14.  Pierre dit Pierrot à Chaques of Pigiguit and Oxford, age 45, another widower, came with six children:  Jean, age 14; Osite, age 13; Isabelle and Jean-Baptiste, perhaps twins, age 10; Firmin, age 7; and Paul, age 4.  François Landry of Pigiguit and Oxford, age 44, yet another widower, came with three children:  François, fils, age 25; Pélagie, age 17; and Joseph, age 8. Vincent Landry of Minas and Oxford, age 49, came with wife Susanne Godin, age 29, and infant son Charles-Calixte.  Firmin Landry of Pigiguit and Oxford, age 38, another widower, came with four children:  Hélène, age 14; Joseph, age 13; Saturin, age 11; and Marie-Madeleine, age 9.  Pierre dit La Vielliarde Landry of Pigiguit and Oxford, age 34, a widower, came with four children:  Joseph, age 10; Anne-Isabelle, age 7; Pierre-Alexis, age 4; and Fabien, age 2.  La Vielliarde's brother Étienne of Pigiguit and Baltimore, age 32, came with second wife Marie-Josèphe Landry, age 32, who was pregnant, and 9-year-old daughter Anastasie.  Charles Landry of Pigiguit and Oxford, age 28, a bachelor, came with five unmarried siblings, all natives of Pigiguit:  Amand-Pierre, age 20; Pélagie, age 17; and Anne, François, and Marie, ages unrecorded.  Charles et al.'s brother Jacques of Pigiguit and Oxford, age 23, came with wife Françoise Blanchard, age 19, and Jacques's 14-year-old brother Joseph.  Marie-Josèphe Landry, age 28; Geneviève Landry, age 22; and Basile Landry of Grand-Pré, age 16, also were in the party.  

The LeBlancs from Maryland only added to the substantial number of family members already in the colony:

Jacques LeBlanc of Grand-Pré and Oxford, age 58, came with wife Catherine-Marie-Josèphe Forest of Pigiguit, age 56, and three daughters:  Catherine, age 16;  Osite, age 14; and Marguerite, age unrecorded.  Jacques's older son Sylvain of Grand-Pré and Oxford, age 25, came with wife Marie-Madeleine LeBlanc, age unrecorded, and year-old son Simon-Sylvain.  Jacques's younger son Paul of Grand-Pré and Oxford, age 23, came with wife Agnès, or Anne, Babin, age 23, who was pregnant, and infant son Marcel.  Désiré LeBlanc of Grand-Pré and Oxford, age 49, came with wife Marie-Madeleine Landry, age 43, and 10 children:  Simon, age 24; Isaac, age 20; Jérôme, age 17; Élisabeth, or Isabelle, age 15; Désiré, fils, age 13; Marine, age 11; Osite, age 8; Benjamin, age 6; Anselme, age 4; and Marie, age unrecorded.  Jean-Pierre LeBlanc of Grand-Pré and Snow Hill, age 40, came with wife Osite Melanson, age 34, who was pregnant, and three children:  Isaac, age 5; .Joseph dit Josime, age 4; and Hélène, age 1.  Pierre LeBlanc of Minas and Oxford, age 35, came with wife Anne Landry, age 29, and daughter Anne-Rose, age 7.  Marie-Marthe LeBlanc, age 17, also was in the party. 

Most Melanson family heads also were widows: 

Madeleine LeBlanc of Grand-Pré and Snow Hill, age 54, widow of Jean-Baptiste Melanson, came with three unmarried children, all natives of Grand-Pré:  Jean-Baptiste, fils, age 25; Charles, age 23; and Marie-Rose, age 21.  Madeleine's older son Paul Melanson of Minas and Snow Hill, age 36, came with wife Marie Thériot, age 30, and four children:  Philippe, age 16; Marie-Madeleine, age 10; Jean-Baptiste, age 7; and Marie-Anne, age 5.  Marguerite Broussard of Annapolis Royal, Minas, and Snow Hill, age 46, widow of Jacques Melanson, came with three unmarried daughters:  Madeleine, age 22; Anne-Élisabeth, age 20; and Marguerite, age 19.  Osite Hébert of Minas and Snow Hill, age 35, widow of Alexandre Melanson, came with six children:  Madeleine, age 17; Pierre-Jacques, age 16; Joseph, age 12; Étienne, age 10; Paul-Olivier, age 4; and infant Charles dit Migouin.  Anne Landry of Minas and Snow Hill, age 26, widow of Joseph Melanson, came with two children:  Olivier, age 6; and Marguerite, age 3.  Melanson siblings Marguerite, age 19, and Joseph, age 11, both natives of Grand-Pré, also were in the party. 

Other families with names already found in Louisiana also were in the party:

Marguerite Blanchard, age 33, came with niece Madeleine Blanchard, age 6.  Jean-Baptiste Breau of Pigiguit and Oxford, age 41, came with second wife Marie-Rose Landry, age 36, and six children:  Marguerite, age 19; Marie-Madeleine, age 17; Jean, age 15; Amand and Anne, perhaps twins, age 12; and Esther, age 7.  Paul Breau of Pigiguit and Port Tobacco, age 21, who came alone, also was in the party.  Anne Landry probably of Minas and Port Tobacco, age 34, widow of Jean Broussard, was pregnant; she came with two sons:  Firmin, age 14; and Jean, fils, age 6.  Augustin Broussard probably of Minas, age 18, also was in the party.  Osite Dupuis of Grand-Pré, age 22, came alone.  Pierre Forest of Minas, age 29, still a bachelor, also came alone.  Amand-Paul Gautrot of Grand-Pré and Newtown, age 35, came with wife Marie Landry, age 28, year-old daughter Anne, and orphan Marie-Madeleine LeBlanc, age 11.  Marie Poirier, age 13, came alone.  Marie LeBlanc, age 32, widow of Joseph Richard, came with daughter Marguerite, age 6. 

Only a few of the Acadians from Maryland bore family names not yet seen in Louisiana:

Joseph Bugeaud of Pigiguit and Oxford, age 43, came with wife Anne LeBlanc, age unrecorded, and five children:  Marguerite, age 15; Augustin, age 13; Félicité-Perpétué, age 11; Anne, age 7; and Marie-Madeleine, age 1.  Joseph's brother Étienne of Pigiguit and Oxford, age 42, a widower, came with four children: Mathurin, age 14; Pierre, age 11; and twins Marie and Marie-Madeleine, age 5.  Agnès-Marie Daigre, age 14, came alone.  Euphrosine Gautrot of Grand-Pré and Snow Hill, age 42, widow of Pierre Granger, came with three children, all born at Grand-Pré:  Marie-Anne, age 23; Joseph, age 19; and Jean-Baptiste, age 14.361a 

One family head among the new arrivals was French but not Acadian, and his Acadian wife was the first of her family to come to Louisiana.  François Simoneau, age 38, a native of Lorraine in northeastern France, had emigrated to Maryland by c1759, when he married Acadian exile Marie-Anne-Osite, called Anne, Corporon, a native of Annapolis Royal, who was 31 in 1766.  They brought four children with them to Louisiana, all born in Maryland:  Joseph, age 6; René dit Simon, age 4; and Marguerite, age 1.  Anne was pregnant when she and François left Maryland in late June.  Son Alexis was born aboard ship on August 10, a month and a half before they reached New Orleans.361b

Four of the wives who were pregnant when the party reached the colony gave birth in the months that followed:  Anne Landry, widow of Augustin Broussard, gave birth to son Paul at New Orleans in November, but he probably did not survive childhood.  Jean-Baptiste, son of Étienne Landry, born at Cabahannocer, lived to create a family of his own.  The same was true for Simon, newborn son of Jean-Pierre LeBlanc, and Marie-Rose, daughter of Paul LeBlanc.361c

The September 1766 arrivals were not the only Acadians who appeared suddenly at New Orleans that year.  On October 6, only a week after 224 Acadians from Maryland had reached the city, Étienne-Michel, called Michel, David dit St.-Michel, age 46, and his wife Geneviève Hébert, age 40, appeared at New Orleans with eight children:  Anne, age 22; Joseph, age 18; Paul, age 12; Marie, age 10; Marie-Madeleine, age 9; Jean-Baptiste, age 6; Claude, age 5; and Angélique, age 1.  Michel, a native of Louisbourg, Île Royale, was, like his father, a blacksmith by trade.  He had married Geneviève at her native Grand-Pré in January 1744, and they were still living there in the fall of 1755 when the British deported them to Maryland.  Evidently Michel's skills stood him in good stead in the British colony, where they were counted at Snow Hill on the Eastern Shore in July 1763.  A report on Acadians at New Orleans in July 1767 notes: "Michel David has arrived in the Colony on the 6th of October 1766 and he did not ask for any farming land.  He has always been a blacksmith in a city and dwells on the King's property.  This family has received the food supplies for the month of July."  So even an Acadian family that could pay its own passage to Louisiana still needed the largesse of colonial officials until they could become self-sufficient.  Michel was the first Acadian David to come to Louisiana.  He and Geneviève did not remain at New Orleans.  By the early 1770s, they had moved on to the Acadian Coast, where Michel practiced his blacksmith trade, as well as farming, on the east bank of the river near his fellow exiles.  Michel's oldest son Joseph also worked as a blacksmith.363

Here were 200 more Acadians to add to the 600 who already had come to the colony.  Cabahannocer was now the center of Acadian presence in Spanish Louisiana.  That more Acadians from Maryland were on their way there could be no doubt.  That Spanish officials would be ready for them was another matter.


By the time the first Maryland Acadians reached the colony, relations between Governor Ulloa and some of the French officials in New Orleans had reached the boiling point.  Ulloa's refusal to take formal charge of the colony placed Ordonnateur Foucault, especially, in a precarious position.  He and Aubry were operating more or less without instruction from their superiors in France; the last detailed directive from the Minister of Marine concerning the transfer of the colony from France to Spain had been issued to the now-dead d'Abbadie back in February 1763!  As ordonnateur, Foucault was tasked with inventorying the French King's property in every corner of the colony and accounting for all expenditures so that someday French Court officials could hand to Spanish Court officials an accurate tally of what Carlos III owed his cousin Louis XV in the way of financial compensation.  The fate of his predecessor Rochemore fresh in his memory, Foucault understood the consequences of failing to take proper care of the French King's finances.  Moreover, Foucault and Aubry no longer were on speaking terms and in fact had become hated rivals.  Despite Ulloa's failure to take charge of Louisiana and his demands on the colony's finances, Aubry still supported him, even rationalized his behavior, and this Foucault could not abide.  In his fight with Ulloa and Aubry, Foucault was not above using the Acadians as a potential weapon against them.  "Since I was reluctant to incur new and increased disbursements," he wrote to the new Minister of Marine on 18 November 1766, "I devised a plan, whereby, by refusing to help these wretched people [the Acadians from Maryland], I would force Mister Ulloa into assisting them.  I was unable, however, to refuse the urgent pleas made on their behalf by Messrs. Aubry and Ulloa.  The latter assured me that all the moneys spent since the arrival of the Spaniards, as well as necessary future expenditures, will be born by the Spanish king."365

Ulloa quarreled also with the French-Creole elite who controlled, among other things, Louisiana's influential Superior Council.  Foucault, as ordonnateur, was the council's chief judge, but, taxed by his other duties, he had long deferred that role to the colony's influential attorney general, French-Creole Nicolas Chauvin dit Lafrénière.  As a result, the Superior Council, "which also possessed administrative and quasi-legislative powers," had become "an autonomous body which, through legal and extralegal means, was able to control much of the lower colony."  Ulloa was fully aware of the power of the Council.  His "delay [in registering his commission with the Council and thus assuming control of the colony] may well have been due, as he wrote in 1769, to his fear that 'they (the councillors) wanted the Spanish governor to make himself dependent on the Council in order to subjugate him to the wishes of that tribunal.'"  Lafrénière had opposed the cession of the colony from France to Spain from the moment he learned of it, so he , like Foucault, opposed Ulloa, which made him an enemy also of Aubry.  Soon after his arrival, Ulloa immediately alienated the French Creoles by removing supervision of the colony's slave trade from the Superior Council, which they dominated, and entrusting it "to a board of his own selection."  Just as troubling to the Creole elite, Ulloa's economic policies, made in compliance with instructions from Spain and that nation's strict mercantilist policies, angered the city's merchants and shippers, many of whom the new governor suspected were deeply engaged in the smuggling trade.  Within a year of Ulloa's arrival, "acting on the governor's suggestions," the Spanish Minister of State ordered Ulloa to abolish the Superior Council and replace it with a Spanish cabildo as soon as he took formal possession of the colony.  Ulloa was instructed to appoint an asesor letrado, or Spanish attorney general, on the eve of the formal transfer so that the transition could be a smooth one.  Although, by the spring of 1767, he possessed the power to abolish the Superior Council and impose Spanish institutions in its place, Ulloa still was not ready for formal transfer of power.  Meanwhile, he would try his best to keep secret the ultimate fate of the Superior Council.  Unfortunately for him, word of it got out and "caused much consternation among the French colonial population," especially the New Orleans Creoles.362 

Fully aware of this dangerous dynamic and his inability to control it, during the summer of 1766 Ulloa had retreated from New Orleans to the mouth of the river, where he ensconced himself at a new post near La Balize, over which he flew the flag of Spain.  Ulloa could rest assured that Aubry supported him, and that the Acadians, now a substantial part of the colony's population, still held him in high esteem.  The Acadians were too busy fighting illness, the elements, and the endless struggle for their daily bread to pay much attention to colonial politics, though some of them may have wondered why the French fleur de lis still flew over New Orleans and the Spanish flag over La Balize.  As long as the Spanish governor maintained pressure on the French officials to assist them when they needed it, the Acadians could not complain.  They had seen their cousins newly arrived from Maryland settled close by on the river, so that was good.  More were coming, of that they were certain, and the governor had said he would welcome them all.  Ulloa, so far, by his words and deeds, seemed to understand their determination to reunite with as many of their kin as possible.  If their New Acadia was to be a Spanish one, then so be it.364

Although Ulloa was genuinely concerned about the Acadians' welfare and understood their need to reunite with their families, as governor his principal focus had to be on larger issues, such as the colony's defense.  His tour of the lower colony in the spring of 1766 and many hours of conversation with Aubry, the professional soldier, revealed serious flaws in the colony's defenses.  Before 1763, the British dwelled hundreds of miles from the Louisiana frontier, so only by securing alliances with the Indians could they hope to attack any part of French Louisiana.  After 1763, that circumstance changed dramatically.  The imperial wolf was at the door!  British territory, and the certainty of British settlement, began at Bayou Manchac and continued along the east bank of the Mississippi all the way up to the pays d'en haut.  The British now held Fort des Chartres, Kaskaskia, and Cahokia in Illinois.  The French had been forced to build new fortified outposts on the west bank of the river there, at St.-Geneviève and Paincourt, the future St. Louis.  And British held Canada.  In the lower colony, Aubry and Ulloa could see that the frontier they now shared with the British was one vast avenue of invasion.  "These new inhabitants [the Acadians at Cabahannocer] and those who have been living along the (Mississippi) River, in Des Allemands, Pointe Coupée, Arkansas, and even up to Illinois occupy very little space, considering the great distances that exist between them," Ulloa informed Minister of State Grimaldi in May 1766, soon after his tour. "As I told Your Excellency ..., it is ludicrous to think that our frontier will be defended by the inhabitants who are presently there because there is no place through which the enemy cannot penetrate with no more effect than by crossing the river.  Once on our side, he can go with an army unchallenged, freely, wherever he pleases, since the country is completely flat, with nothing more to obstruct his path than its trees and woods."366  

With the limited resources at hand, Ulloa did what he could to place obstructions into the path of a potential invader.  At the mouth of the Mississippi, he abandoned the broken down French post at La Balize, which Bienville had built on the east pass in 1722, and constructed a new fortified post, Fort San Carlos, on what he called Isla Reina Católica, beside the northeast pass, not far from old Balize.  He then turned his attention to vulnerable points on the river above New Orleans where the British had gotten ahead of him.  As soon as they had created their new colony of West Florida in 1763, its capital at Pensacola, the British turned to their western frontier and saw the importance of the Bayou Manchac/Amite River/Lake Maurepas/Lake Pontchartrain/Rigolets line of communication between the Mississippi and the Gulf.  If Bayou Manchac could be cleared of its natural obstructions, the route would allow the British to avoid the natural and manmade obstructions, not to mention the fortifications, at La Balize and New Orleans, which still belonged to a potential enemy.  Cleared of its natural obstructions, the Bayou Manchac route would become an all-water approach to the river above New Orleans.  In case of war, it would allow British forces to attack New Orleans and its upriver settlements from two approaches, including the vulnerable rear.  Most importantly, an all-water route from the Gulf through Bayou Manchac would be a commercial boon for Baton Rouge and Natchez, which the British intended to fortify.   During the autumn of 1764, work began on a fortified position on the north side of Bayou Manchac at its confluence with the Mississippi--Fort Bute, which would serve to protect the turn into and out of the little bayou as well as the approach to the bluff at Baton Rouge, which the British renamed New Richmond.  The fort at Manchac also would protect the approach to Natchez, the gateway to British possessions in the Illinois and Ohio regions.  Following Major Arthur Loftus's failed upriver expedition in February and March 1765, the new fort at Manchac became more important that ever.  The fort's palisade arose in April.  On August 10, perhaps encouraged by Aubry, a force of Alabama and Houma pillaged the new fort, but the governor of West Florida, British naval captain George Johnstone, refused to abandon the position.  When Ulloa finally reached New Orleans in March 1766, the British were hard at work rebuilding and strengthening Fort Bute.  By then, however, they had failed, and would continue to fail, to clear Bayou Manchac of it many obstructions.  The fort nevertheless held strategic value, and so it would remain.367 

The governor's path was clear:  he must build more fortifications of his own to counter the British presence along the river.  In April 1767, while Ulloa was still at Fort San Carlos, he sent an expedition of seven boats, filled with soldiers, sailors, and supplies, to several upriver sites.  The first contingent, commanded by Lieutenant Frederick José de Orieta, stopped on the west bank of the river near the mouth of Bayou Manchac, where they constructed Fort Infante San Gabriel across the bayou from Fort Bute.  A second contingent under Lieutenant Pedro Joseph Piernas continued upriver to Natchez, where they built Fort San Luìs de Natchez "on the west side of the Mississippi about a league from British Natchez," where the West Floridians were building a fort of their own.  The third contingent, under Captain Francisco Riu, "continued to the mouth of the Missouri where he constructed Fort El Principe de Asturias on the south bank and a blockhouse named Don Carlos Tercero El Rey on the north."368 

And then there were the Indians.  For decades, in fact, since the first days of French Louisiana, native tribes had played a major role in the colony's defense.  With only a few exceptions Iberville had befriended the petit tribes of the lower Mississippi and brought them into the French orbit.  By the 1710s, Bienville, with the help of the friendly petit tribes, drove one of the tribes that resisted him, the Chitimacha, deep into the Atchafalaya swamp and, after relocating the center of the colony from Mobile Bay to the lower Mississippi, moved the petit tribes about like chess pieces to protect New Orleans and its satellite settlements.  Meanwhile, Bienville befriended the Choctaw, the Chickasaw, and even some of the Alibamon and made them an important part of the colony's defenses.  Everything changed after 1763, when France lost western Louisiana to Britain.  Many of the tribes in the region, large and small, moved to the French-controlled side of the Mississippi to avoid British governance.  Ulloa inherited this chaos, which he witnessed first hand during his tour of the lower Louisiana settlements.  He wasted no time informing his superiors in Spain that he would do what he could to maintain the alliance system cobbled together by his French predecessors.368a

But it was not enough to construct new fortifications, man them with the few soldiers and sailors the colony could muster, and depend on the local Indians to come to their aid.  Each fort must have a contingent of settlers who would provide a militia force to supplement the regulars and the Indians in the event of attack.  If Ulloa could coax bands of friendly Indians to move closer to his new forts, then so much the better.  If he was planning to move some of the Cabahannocer Acadians to the new posts on the river, he did not have to bother.  "On July 12 an English vessel arrived at Isla Reina Católica," he informed the Minister of State from New Orleans on 23 July 1767.  "It is carrying 211 Acadians from Virginia, of all sexes and ages...," he added.  Here was his militia force for Fort San Gabriel.369


In truth, the new arrivals were not from Virginia; all of the Acadians there had been shipped off to Britain 11 years before and were now in France.  Ulloa was describing a second contingent of exiles from Maryland.  Their chartered ship, the English schooner Virgin, 60 tons, under master Thomas Farrold, had left Baltimore the previous April, spent 17 days at Cap-Français, and then sailed on to Louisiana.  Ulloa was thrilled with the new arrivals.  "I have assigned all these people to Fort St. Gabriel, next to (the) Iberville (district), so that they may settle below it (the fort) toward the city (New Orleans)," he informed the Minister of State.  "I immediately ordered them to continue their trip in the same boats in which they made the crossing.  They (the ships) have already returned.  I advised the (fort's) commander to give them land, following the same procedures that have been used in other places where the first families have settled.  As a result, that settlement is entirely composed of an able body of settlers and (it was populated) with such precision that the stockade fort and the dwellings of the employees and the Spanish troops were hardly finished when, quite opportunely, a complete suburb of a large town was added to it.  If one had intentionally asked to have families sent at great expense for this purpose, one would [could not?] arrange a more timely arrival than as when they appeared."370

Ulloa's cheerful summation to the Minister obscured what really happened between him and the Acadians.  Having received many letters from their relatives in Louisiana, these recently-arrived Maryland exiles expected to be settled at Cabahannocer as well.  When the governor informed them that they would be sent farther upriver, to a new post at San Gabriel, 25 miles above Cabahannocer, they protested loudly and said "they had no intention of establishing themselves at their frontier post."  Ulloa was stunned by their "ingratitude."  He wrote later in a memoir of this time in Louisiana:  "'A group of Acadians arrived (at New Orleans) in the month of July or August 1767.  We destined them for Fort St. Gabriel, but, as they put it into their heads (that we) must permit (some of them) to remain vagrants in the city (and allow) the others to occupy lands contiguous to those of the other Acadians who were established opposite the Cabannocé coast, we had all of the trouble in the world to subject them to our arrangements.  It was necessary to tell them that, if they did not wish to take themselves there, it would be necessary to expel them from the colony, as it (their intransigence) was unprecedented, for His Majesty, who satisfied all needs of a destitute nation, must be allowed to prescribe these conditions (of settlement)."371 

Spanish officers escorted the Acadians to the new fort beginning on August 7, they arrived there on August 17, and on the following day "they began to divide the land."  Once the newcomers arrived at San Gabriel, however, they could see that they were in easy communication with their relatives at Cabahannocer.  They soon learned that their position on the river just below and opposite the mouth of Bayou Plaquemine also placed them closer to their relatives in the prairie districts.  "Their leader let me know that they were very pleased and happy," Ulloa insisted.  But he had made a serious faux pas not only with these Acadians but also with the rest of them, at least the ones at Cabahannocer.  He had threatened to deport these Maryland exiles if they did not obey his instructions, an arbitrariness that reminded them entirely too much of certain British governors in Nova Scotia.  He probably did not communicate it to the Acadians, but in his July 23 missive to the Minister of State, the one in which he had failed to mention his conflict with the San Gabriel-bound Acadians, Ulloa included this ominous statement:  "The next Acadian immigrants will be sent to Fort San Luìs de Natchez," which lay far upriver, many leagues away from any the other Acadian settlements, including the new one at San Gabriel.372  map 

The 200-plus Acadians who came from Maryland in July 1767, like the September 1766 arrivals, were mostly exiles from the Minas Basin.  During their 12-year sojourn in Maryland, they had lived in scattered communities throughout the eastern half of the colony:  at Baltimore, Annapolis, Georgetown (the one on the upper Eastern Shore), Fredericktown, Newtown, Oxford, Upper Marlborough, and Port Tobacco.  Also with them were a family of Acadians who had been exiled to North Carolina and Pennsylvania before joining their kinsmen in Maryland. 

The Landrys, again, were especially numerous:

Jean-Baptiste Landry of Pigiguit and Oxford, age 57, a widower, came with five unmarried children, all natives of Pigiguit:  Marguerite, age 30; Marie-Madeleine, age 20; Marie-Rose, age 18; Jean-Athanase, age 16; and Marie-Perpétué, age 13.  Jean-Baptiste's son Hyacinthe of Pigiguit and Oxford, age 24, came with wife Marguerite Landry, age 24, and no children.  Anne Flan of Annapolis Royal, Minas, and Baltimore, age 56, widow of Alexandre Landry, came with six children, all natives of Minas:  Anselme, age 29; Paul-Marie, age 23; Firmin, age 19; Marie-Marguerite, age 16; Jean, age 14; and Anne, age 12.  Anne's son François-Sébastien of Minas and Baltimore, age 26, came with wife Marguerite LeBlanc, age 23; and two daughters:  Rosalie, or Rose, age 3; and infant Isabelle.  Augustin Landry of :Pigiguit and Upper Marlborough, age 48, came with second wife Marie-Madeleine Babin, age 49, and six children:  Marie, age 20; Joseph-Marie, age 19; Joseph-Ignace, age 14; Mathurin, age 12; Marguerite, age 5; and Madeleine, age 3. Jean Landry of Pigiguit and Oxford, age 35, came with wife Ursule Landry, age 30, 11-year-old daughter Élisabeth, or Isabelle, brother-in-law Joseph Landry, age 24, and orphan Marie ____, age 4 1/2.  Athanase Landry of Oxford, age 25, came with wife Marie-Madeleine Hébert, age 24, and no children.  Marie-Josèphe Landry, age 25, also was in the party. 

The Héberts also were well-represented:

François Hébert of Grand-Pré and Georgetown, age 57, a widower, came with six unmarried children, all natives of Grand-Pré:  Jean-Baptiste dit Petit-Jean, age 25; Étienne, age 23; Pierre-Caieton, age 20; Joseph, age 18; Charles l'aîné, age 16; and Madeleine, age 15.  François's son Alexandre of Grand-Pré and Georgetown, age 31, came with wife Anne Landry, age 27, and no children.   François's son François, fils of Grand-Pré and Georgetown, age 29, came with wife Marie-Josèphe LeBlanc, age 25, and two sons: Charles le jeune, age 4; and Jean-Baptiste, age 3;  François, père's son Amand of Grand-Pré and Georgetown, age 27, came with wife Marie-Claire Landry, and 22, and no children.  Paul Hébert of Grand-Pré and Georgetown, age 55, came with wife Marie-Josèphe Melanson, age 49, and seven unmarried children, all but the youngest natives of Grand-Pré:  Anne-Marie, age 22; Ignace le jeune, age 20; Marie, age 18; Jean-Baptiste, age 17; Amand, age 13; Marguerite, age 7; and Paul, fils, age 3; also with them was orphan Marie Blanchard of Grand-Pré, age 13.  Paul's son Pierre-Paul of Grand-Pré and Georgetown, age 30, came with wife Marguerite LeBlanc, age 20, and three children:  Charles, age 5; Marianne, age 3; and infant Marguerite.  Paul's son Joseph of Grand-Pré and Georgetown, age 27 came with wife Anne Landry, age 27, and infant daughter Anne.  Paul's brother Ignace l'aîné of Grand-Pré and Georgetown, age 43, a widower, came with two children:  Jean-Baptiste, age 14; and Marie, age 5.  Geneviève Babin of Grand-Pré and Newtown, age 43, widow of Amand Hébert, came with four children:  Geneviève, age 22; Marie-Josèphe, age 18; Charles, age 16; and Marguerite, age 6. 

Other familiar Acadian names could be found among the new arrivals: 

Marie LeBlanc of Minas and L'Assomption, Pigiguit, age 66, widow of Paul Babin, came with unmarried daughter Marie, age 22.  Joseph Babin of Pigiguit and Upper Marlborough, age 54, a widower, came with three children:  Pierre Babin of Minas and Upper Marlborough, age 43, came with wife Madeleine Richard, age 29, children Louise-Ludivine, age 13, and Simon-Pierre, age 3; and orphan Paul Babin, age 16.  Jean-Baptiste Babin of Minas, age 38, came with wife Isabelle-Marguerite LeBlanc, age 20, infant son Pierre, and orphan Marie Babin, age 3.  Ignace Babin of Minas, age 26, came with wife Marguerite Breau, age 28, and infant son Paul.  René Blanchard of Port-Royal, Grand-Pré, and Baltimore, age 66, came with wife Marguerite Thériot, age 58, and 18-year-old daughter Madeleine.  René's older son Joseph of Grand-Pré and Baltimore, age 38, came with wife Marie-Josèphe Landry, age 29, and three children:  Firmin, age 9; Marguerite, age 5; and Joseph, fils, age 1.  René's younger son Anselme of Grand-Pré and Baltimore, age 27, came with wife Esther LeBlanc, age 22, and two children:  Rose-Osite-Barbe, age 4; and Jérôme, age 2; also with them was Marguerite Blanchard, age 13, perhaps Joseph's sister.  Three more Blanchard youngsters also were in the party:  Marie, age 15; Pierre, age 14; and Rose, age 10.  Charles Comeau of Pigiguit and Port-Tobacco, age 58, a widower, came with three children:  Marianne, age 22; Jean-Charles, age 18; and Firmin, age 14; also with them was orphan Élisabeth, or Isabelle, Comeau, age 9.  Bonaventure Forest of Pigiguit and Upper Marlborough, age 44, came with wife Claire Rivet, age 42, and four daughters:  Marguerite, age 18; Marie, age 15; Marie-Madeleine, age 13; and Anne-Rose or Anne-Sophie, age 12.  Jean-Baptiste Forest of La Famille, Pigiguit, and Upper Marlborough, age 31, came with wife Marguerite Richard, age 24, and two children:  Marie, age 3; and Moïse, age 1.  Pierre Forest of Baltimore, age 29, came with wife Marguerite Blanchard, age 28, and two sons:  Pierre, fils, age 6; and Simon, age 3.  Marie Landry of Oxford, age 38, widow of Alexis Granger, came with 10-year-old daughter Marguerite and two of her younger siblings:  Élisabeth, or Isabelle, Landry, age 33; and Pierre, age 30.  Jean-Charles LeBlanc of Grand-Pré and Baltimore, age 53, came with wife Judith-Marguerite Landry, age 40, and five children:  Jean-Baptiste dit Agros, age 15; Joseph dit Agros, age 12; Marie, age 5; Simon dit Agros, age 4; and Anne, age 1.  Marie-Josèphe Trahan of Minas and Baltimore, age 45, widow of Michel dit Michaud LeBlanc, came with two children: Marguerite, age 18; and Joseph-Michel, age 9.  Bonaventure LeBlanc of Baltimore, age 40, came with wife Marie Thériot, age 40, and five children:  Joseph dit Adons, age 16; Anne, age 14; Marie-Madeleine, age 10; Esther, age 6; and Isaac, age 4.  Jean-Baptiste LeBlanc of Grand-Pré, age 18, came alone.  Two LeBlanc sisters from Georgetown--Marie-Marguerite, age 16; and Marie, age 14--also were in the party.  Amand Melanson of Grand-Pré and Baltimore, age 39, came with wife Anne Babin, age 37, and four sons:  Joseph, age 15; Simon, age 3; Mathurin, age 2; and infant Olivier.  Marie-Josèphe LeBlanc of Grand-Pré, Ste.-Famille, Pigiguit, and Upper Marlborough, age 55, widow of Joseph Richard, came with two unmarried sons:  Simon-Henry, age 27; and Paul, age 20.  Marie-Josèphe's son Mathurin of Ste.-Famille, Pigiguit, and Upper Marlborough, age 25, came with wife Élisabeth, or Isabelle, Landry, age 30, and no children.  Amand Richard of Grand-Pré and Port Tobacco, age 23, came with wife Marie Breau, age 25, and two sons:  Simon, age 3; and infant Joseph.  Also with Amand were his father Pierre of Grand-Pré, age 55, and orphan Marie Boudrot, age 12.  Siblings Marguerite Richard of Baltimore, age 24, and Joseph, age 23, also were in the party. 

Among the new arrivals were other Acadian family names--like Flan and Rivet--that had not yet appeared in Louisiana: 

Pierre Allain of Grand-Pré and Baltimore, age 44, came with wife Catherine Hébert, age 39, and five children:  Jean-Baptiste, age 16; Marguerite, age 15; Simon, age 7; Pierre, fils, age 3; and infant Bibianne.  Anselme Le Borgne de Bélisle of Grand-Pré and Annapolis, age 28, came with wife Anne Babin of L'Assomption, Pigiguit, age 28, and infant son Paul.  Pierre-Paul Boutin of Minas, Île Royale, Halifax, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania, age 50, came with wife Ursule Guédry of L'Assomption, Pigiguit, age 37, who was pregnant, and three children:  Marguerite, age 15;  Joseph, age 14; and Susanne-Catherine, age 5; also with them were Pierre-Paul's nephew Pierre-Olivier Boutin, age 18; and his sister Marie-Françoise, age 16; Ursule gave birth to daughter Marie-Julienne the following February.  Élisabeth, or Isabelle, Thibodeau of Annapolis Royal, Grand-Pré, and Georgetown, age 50, widow of Cosme Brasseur dit Brasseux, came with six unmarried children, most, if not all, of them born at Grand-Pré:  Marie-Marguerite, age 22; Marie-Madeleine, age 20; Marie, age 18; Blaise, age 15; Anne, age 14; and Marie-Rose, age 12.  Élisabeth's son Pierre of Grand-Pré and Georgetown, age 25, came with wife Élisabeth, or Isabelle, Richard, age 24, and infant daughter Marguerite.  Orphans Marguerite Leprince of L'Assomption, Pigiguit, and Upper Marlborough, age 14, and half-brother Joseph, age 11, came alone. 

The new Maryland contingent included one of the few Acadian exiles whose name hinted at former nobility:  Anselme Le Borgne de Bélisle of Grand-Pré was a direct descendant of Emmanuel Le Borgne de Bélisle, one of the most important figures in seventeenth-century Acadia.  Two family heads were not Acadian; they were not even French!  Joseph Castillo, called Castille by his Acadian confreres, age 32, was a native of the Spanish island of Menorca; he married Acadian exile Rose-Osite Landry of Pigiguit perhaps at Upper Marlborough, Maryland, where they were counted in 1763; she also age 32 in 1767, and they brought four children with them to San Gabriel:  Pierre, age 14; Marguerite, age 12; Marie-Marthe, age 6; and Joseph-Ignace, age 4.  Diego Hernandez, another Spaniard, age 28, had married Acadian exile Judith-Théotiste Babin of Minas in Maryland; she was age 23 in 1767; they brought 6-year-old daughter Marguerite to Louisiana.  Pierre Allain had in his possession a precious bundle which he and his family had preserved through Le Grand Dérangement:  several of the registers of the church of St.-Charles-des-Mines at Grand-Pré, which he presented to the priest at San Gabriel..373 

By September 12, the new arrivals had finished selecting "their land," and the Spanish commandant, Lieutenant José de Orieta, began "to survey the land for distribution to the Acadian families," a task which continued into the autumn.  Orieta reported to the governor on September 23:  "There are 48 arpents and 30 yards' interval (between landholdings) (after leaving 2,700 yards of cleared land for the defense of the fort and (to permit) artillery fire) from the line where the land that you gave the Spaniards begins, including the land that will serve for the roads that should be built between the two possessions...," that is, between the lands belonging to the Acadians and the Spaniards who the governor hoped would settle at San Gabriel near the Acadians.  Orieta added:  "The rains, the hot sun, and unstable weather have been the cause of some sickness among the Acadians, but they are muddling through, thank God."  He also noted that one of his officers, Agústín Moreno, was preparing to leave for Pointe Coupée, upriver, to marry an Acadian girl who had just arrived in the colony, Marie, daughter of Paul Hébert of Grand Pré.  On the same day that Orieta wrote his letter to the governor, San Gabriel's physician, Jacques Le Duc, beseeched the governor to increase his compensation so that, among other things, he could hire "a young Acadian who has asked to work at the hospital" at San Gabriel.  On October 20, Lieutenant Orieta reported that "On the fifteenth, at 2 p. m., all the heads of Acadians families were placed in their respective homes ... with 12 yards' interval between two landholdings (to be used) for the main road...."  The lieutenant informed the governor that between "land grants nos. 25 and 26, one arpent has been measured as the site for a chapel for their assemblies and for a cemetery.  This step was taken in conformity with the oldest traditions," Orieta added.374

The settlement the lieutenant laid out for them was impressive in its dimensions.  According to Professor Brasseaus, "All of the concessions were initially confined to the east bank of the Mississippi River, and the forty-seven land grants accorded the immigrants stretched from a point 4,200 yards below Fort St. Gabriel to a spot six to eight miles downstream, near the present boundary between the parishes of Iberville and Ascension."  Only a few weeks after their arrival in the colony, the second contingent of Maryland exiles had a community of their own.374a


Meanwhile, Lieutenant Piernas, commandant at San Luìs de Natchez, farther upriver, informed Governor Ulloa that construction of the fort there was progressing nicely despite illness among the soldiers and workers.  On 26 September 1767, Piernas wrote the governor:  "I am informed of the anticipated arrival of the Acadian families, their number, and their assignment to this fort in order to populate the settlement.  When they are transferred here, they will be distributed according to Your Excellency's instructions...."375 

One wonders which Acadians the lieutenant was talking about.  In Maryland, another large contingent of exiles was gathering at Port Tobacco on the lower Potomac.  They, too, would hire a British merchant vessel and sail to Louisiana via Cap-Français, but they did not leave Maryland until December 17, nearly three months after Piernas's September 26 letter to Ulloa.  Had Ulloa decided to send some of the Acadians from Cabahannocer, San Gabriel, or even the prairie districts to Fort San Luìs de Natchez?  No matter, in the second week of February 1768, a ship with 150 Acadians aboard reached Isla Reina Católica.  The Acadians, a third contingent from Maryland, endured Spanish customs at the fortified island and were escorted to the King's warehouse across the river from New Orleans at present-day Algiers.  Lieutenant Piernas, commander of Fort San Luìs de Natchez, and his subordinate, Ensign Andrés de Balderamma, had come down to the city to escort the Acadians up to Natchez.  "They [the Acadians] were received with kindness," the lieutenant insisted.  "Those who were ill, and, by the way, there was a large number of them, were given medicines and were treated by the two doctors" at the warehouse.  He then gathered together the family heads and told them where they were going.376 

These Acadians, predictably, had already decided where they would go.  Here was the largest part of the Breau clan from Pigiguit, led by brothers Alexis and Honoré.  Their brother Jean-Baptiste had lived among his wife's kin, the Landrys, at Oxford on Maryland's Eastern Shore during the exile, while Alexis and Honoré had been held at Port Tobacco on the lower Potomac.  Jean-Baptiste and his family had come to Louisiana in 1766 and settled at Cabahannocer, and that is where his brothers were determined to settle.  Most of the other families in the party, all of them Minas Acadians who had been deported to Maryland in 1755, also had endured the exile at Port Tobacco, though a few had lived at Upper Marlborough, Oxford, and Princess Anne. 

Only three new Acadian family names could be found in this party:

Étienne Benoit of Pigiguit and Port-Tobacco, age 18, came alone.  Marguerite LeBlanc of Grand-Pré and Port Tobacco, age 62, widow of Pierre Cloistre dit Clouâtre, came with four unmarried children, all natives of Grand-Pré:  Pierre-Sylvain, age 27; Anne, age 23; Marie-Marthe, age 21; and Joseph l'aîné, age 18.  Marguerite's daughter-in-law Cécile Breau of Minas and Port-Tobacco, age 30, widow of Georges Clouâtre, came with three children:  Joseph le jeune, age 7; Marie-Madeleine, age 6; and Charles, age 3.  Jean L'Enfant, age 20, came alone. 

The largest family was of course the Breaus.  Some of the family heads were widows: 

Marguerite Gautrot of Grand-Pré and Port Tobacco, age 63, widow of Pierre Breau, came with three unmarried daughters:  Marie-Josèphe, age 22; Marie-Rose, age 20; and Marie, age unrecorded.  Marguerite's son Jean-Charles of Pigiguit and Port Tobacco, age 35, came with wife Marie Benoit, age 31, and four children:  Michel, age 13; Marguerite, age 9; Ludivine, age 6; and Simon, age 2.  Claire Trahan of Grand-Pré, L'Assomption, Pigiguit, and Port Tobacco, age 61, widow of Charles Breau, came with four unmarried children, all natives of L'Assomption:  Pierre, age 27; Élisabeth, or Isabelle, age 25; Anne-Gertrude, age 23; and Madeleine, age 21.  Alexis Breau of Pigiguit and Port Tobacco, age 44, a leader of the expedition, came with wife Madeleine Trahan, age 45, and six children:  Honoré le jeune, age 21; Joseph, age 17; Charles, age 15; Marie, age 11; Anastasie, age 6; and Alexis, fils, age 3.  Alexis's brother Honoré of Pigiguit and Port Tobacco, age 37, another leader of the expedition, came with wife Anne-Madeleine Trahan, age 36, and three children:  Madeleine, age 14; Élisabeth, or Isabelle, age 3; and Joseph-Honoré, age 1.  Joseph-Charles Breau of Pigiguit and Port Tobacco, age 34, came with wife Marie-Josèphe Landry, age 36, and four children:  Marguerite, age 8; Joseph-Marie, age 5; Claire, age 3; and infant Charles.  Marguerite Landry of Port Tobacco, age 33, widow of Simon-Pierre Breau, came with five children:  Marie-Anne, age 14; Jean-Baptiste-Pierre, age 13; Hélène, age 2; and infant twins Augustin and Marianne.  Antoine Breau of Port Tobacco, age 32, came with wife Marguerite Landry, age 32, and five children:  Scholastique, age 17; Joseph, age 14; Charles, age 9; Perpétué, age 7; and Marie-Rose, age 4.  Jean Breau, age 32, came with wife Marie ____, age 27, and two children:  Marie, age 3; and infant Jean-Baptiste.  Rose-Osite Landry of Port Tobacco, age 30, widow of Janvier Breau, came with three daughters:  Marguerite-Pélagie, age 5; Madeleine, age 3; and infant Marie.  Breau siblings Bibianne, age 24; Marguerite, age 20; and Joseph, age 15, also were in the party.

Other members of the party bore surnames that one could find among the hundreds of other Acadians who had come to the colony during the previous four years: 

Catherine Landry of Minas and Port Tobacco, age 48, widow of Antoine Babin, came with seven children:  Claire, age 24; Louise-Anne, age 22; Firmin, age 21; Charles l'aîné, age 18; Rose, age 14; Élisabeth, or Isabelle, age 4; and Marie, age unrecorded.  Catherine's older son Joseph l'aîné of Minas and Port Tobacco, age 38, came with wife Rosalie Babin, age 31, son Simon, age 5, and Joseph's brother Joseph le jeune, age 21.  Catherine's younger son François-Marie of Minas and Port Tobacco, age 26, came with wife Marguerite-Hélène Breau, age 31, and two sons: Charles le jeune, age 4; and infant; also with them were orphan siblings Mathurin Babin, age 12, and Anne, age 7. Olivier Babin of Minas and Port Tobacco, age 18, came alone.   Orphan Augustin-Rémi Boudrot of Pigiguit and Port Tobacco, age 13, came alone.   Marguerite Babin of Port Tobacco, age 38, widow of Alexis Comeau, came with four children:  Joseph, age 17; Marguerite, age 13; and twins Étienne and Pierre, age 8.  Anne Vincent of Oxford, age 59, widow of Alexandre Doiron, came with three daughters:  Agathe, age 30; Élisabeth, or Isabelle, age 20; and Pélagie, age 16.  Anne Breau of Grand-Pré and Port Tobacco, age 58, widow of Jean-Baptist Dupuis, came with three children:  Marie, age 29; Monique, age 24; and Pierre, age 18.  Jean-Baptist Dupuis of Port-Tobacco, age 38, came with wife Anne Richard, age 32, and three children:  Firmin, age 16; Marie, age 13; and Cécile, age 4.  Anne-Madeleine Dupuis of Port Tobacco, widow of Jean Guédry, came with five children:  Firmin, age 16; Madeleine, age 14; Anne-Monique, age 8; Jean-Baptiste, age 7; and Élisabeth, or Isabelle, age 3.  Pierre Guédry of L'Assomption, Pigiguit, Île Royale, Halifax, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania, age 26, came with wife Marguerite Dupuis, age 27, and 3-year-old daughter Marie.  Basile Landry of Pigiguit and Upper Marlborough, age 41, came with wife Brigitte Boudrot, age 36, and two daughters:  Susanne-Marie, age 12; and Madeleine, age 2.  Basile's brother Joseph of Pigiguit and Upper Marlborough, age 38, came with wife Marie-Madeleine Boudrot, Brigitte's sister, age 35, and three children:  Joseph, fils, age 11; Simon, age 5; and Madeleine, age 3.  Mathurin Landry of Pigiguit and Port Tobacco, age 34, came with wife Marie Babin, age 28, and two children:  Marie-Ludivine, age 6; and Marcel, age 2.  Seven unmarried Landry siblings of Grand-Pré and Port Tobacco came together:  Madeleine, age 28; Augustin, age 25; Geneviève, age 23; Cécile, age 21; Alexandre, age 18; Pierre, age 16; and Anne-Madeleine, age 14.   Five unmarried Rivet siblings of La Famille, Pigiguit, and Upper Marlborough came together:  Michel-Maxine and Marianne, age 28, perhaps twins; Cyrille, age 25; Blaise, age 21; and Marguerite, age 18.  Charles Trahan of Pigiguit and Princess Anne, age 37, came with second wife Marguerite Thibodeau, age 26, who was pregnant, and three children:  Brigitte, age 11; Firmin, age 4; and Charles dit Charlitte, age 2; Marguerite gave birth to daughter Marie-Madeleine in June.377 

These Acadians also had relatives at Cabahannocer, and, like the Breaus, they were determined to go there.  But that is not where the Spanish officers told them they would go.  Cabahannocer, where hundreds of Acadians from Halifax and Maryland had gone in 1765 and 1766, was "full" now, as was San Gabriel at Iberville.  Governor Ulloa's well-thought-out colonial defense scheme called for these Acadians to settle across the river from British Natchez, where they would provide the militia force for Piernas's Fort San Luìs.  For months now, the governor had intended to send a large group of Acadians there.  And here they were, 150 of them, a sizable contingent for the new outpost.  Lieutenant Piernas and Ensign Balderama were crystal clear about the governor's intentions:  "In the event that they would refuse to go [to Fort San Luis], they would be forced to leave the colony and to go wherever they pleased."  In other words, they would be deported.  The Acadians protested.  The Breau brothers understood immediately what Ulloa's settlement scheme would do to their dream of reuniting with their families.  They "clearly interpreted the distribution of Louisiana's Acadian population among widely scattered military posts as a diaspora and balked at the prospect of being settled 115 linear miles from" Cabahannocer, Professor Carl Brasseaux tells us.  Colonial commandant Aubry stepped in and pleaded with the Acadians to cooperate with the governor, but the Breaus insisted on reuniting with their families at Cabahannocer.  Ulloa then ordered Ensign Balderamma to step up the pressure by cutting off the Breau brothers' rations.  Alexis and Honoré still refused to go to Natchez, and so the governor ordered them and the other families to return to the ship on which they had come.  "Faced with deportation," Professor Brasseaux continues, "Honoré[,] accompanied by his brother Alexis, called upon Ulloa at New Orleans, informing him that despite 'substantial (British) inducements' to remain in Maryland, he and his fellow exiles had sailed to Louisiana in order to 'exercise freely their religion.'"  The brothers "'begged Monsieur Ulloa to allow them ... to settle along the German Coast or that of the Acadians, for they had cost the king nothing and had consumed the small amount of money which they possessed.'"378

Determined to complete his settlement scheme, which was based on the needs of the colony and not on a hand full of willful Acadians, Ulloa refused the Breaus request and ordered the deportation of the entire party.  Alexis and Honoré joined their fellow Acadians aboard the ship on which they had come, but fearing arrest at Isla Reina Católica and the breaking up of their families, Alexis and Honoré led their wives and children off the ship and took refuge "at a hut on André Jung's farm," the first of several safe houses where they found refuge.  The other Acadian families also left the ship, but they were too numerous to find safe houses of their own.  After rounding up the families, but unable to find Alexis and Honoré, Lieutenant Piernas and Ensign Balderamma summoned the family heads individually and ordered each of them "to declare whether or not they 'wished to establish themselves on the land assigned to them.'"  The Acadians, according to Professor Brasseaux, "made one more futile appeal to the Spanish for land grants at" Cabahannocer, "and when Ulloa persisted in his decision to populate San Luìs with the Breau-led Acadians, they lodged a formal complaint with French Commissaire-ordonnateur Foucault, ... first judge of the Superior Council...."  Satisfied in "having the last word in the matter," the Acadians, probably under armed guard, boarded three boats that Piernas and Balderama had brought down for them and, on February 20, began the slow, arduous journey up the Mississippi to their new homes at Natchez.379

The voyage upriver was long and slow and plagued by foul weather much of the way.  At Des Allemands, Lieutenant Piernas reported, "a two-year-old child, son of one of the Acadians, died of an illness had had endured for nine months.  He was buried at Des Allemands church."  They reached Nicolas Verret's plantation on the last day of February, presented a letter from the governor to the Cabahannocer co-commandant, took him aboard, and continued on their way.  Verret, Professor Brasseaux reminds us, "had been ordered by Ulloa to act as tour guide for Jacob Walker, an Irishman representing a group of potential Maryland Catholic immigrants," many of them English.  Verret also was coming along "to accompany the Acadians to their destination, and, during the voyage, to point out to them the great advantages afforded by settlement in this colony."  Tragedy struck one of the families before they reached San Gabriel.  "Before arriving at the Iberville settlement," Piernas reported to the governor, "a daughter of Anna Bro (Breaux) died.  Her name was Marie de Puy (Dupuis) and had been ill with hemorrages[sic] for four years."  Marie was 29 years old and still unmarried when she died.   At Fort San Gabriel, more of the Acadians' relations greeted them.  "A few families tried to remain at Iberville," the lieutenant complained, "but I allowed no one to stay and even forced to return and continue the journey a family who, without my knowledge, had detached itself from us and was five leagues away in the home of a relative. Only a woman remained in the hospital of the fort, because the physician said it was dangerous for her to continue travelling.  Her daughter remained to assist her."  More heavy rain and contrary winds detained them at San Gabriel for two days.  Continuing upriver, all of the Acadian settlements lay behind them now, so the chances of any of the families escaping was considerably diminished.  The party reached Pointe Coupée on March 8.  "All of the Acadians are happy," Lieutenant Piernas insisted, "but are always pestering and begging as is their nature."  One wonders what the Acadians thought of a Spanish officer who imagined he knew the truth of "their nature."  At Pointe Coupée, the lieutenant loaded the boats with as much corn as they could carry.  He hoped to take the boats the rest of the way to Fort San Luìs without stopping.380 

Piernas and his unhappy passengers reached Fort San Luìs de Natchez at 7 AM on March 20, exactly a month after they had left New Orleans.  The Acadians now had seen for themselves how truly remote was this outpost from the other communities downriver.  To appease them, Piernas gave them lodging in the post barracks, which he insisted were the most comfortable quarters at the fort.  Meanwhile, Commandant Verret, who had lived among Acadians for three years now, knew that his efforts to convince them to stay would not be easy.  "Upon my arrival at Natchez," he wrote the governor on March 26, "I took the Acadians on a surveying tour of the land.  May I say that I found the land quite suitable for settlement.  Nevertheless, the Acadians either through prejudice or obstinacy, refuse to remain here.  They all agree that the land is suitable, but too isolated."  The Acadian family heads concocted every kind of clever excuse they could think of to convince Verret, Piernas, and, ultimately, the governor, that this place was entirely unsuitable to them.  "Their wives and their children would be exposed to Indian harassment," they told Verret, "and they themselves would live in constant fear."  Verret and Piernas assured them that the Indians in the area were not hostile.  When Verret, a successful planter, pointed out the fine quality of the soil around the fort, "some of the Acadians agreed," Piernas noted, but then they claimed that the land closer to New Orleans was even better than here.  The Acadians pointed out an oxbow in the river near the fort and claimed that they had heard that the bed "dries out when the river falls, and it is not suitable for a settlement."  Piernas "offered to settle them farther downstream," away from the ox bow, "in a place more to their liking in order to remove this inconvenience."  This played right into their hands:  they pointed out to the lieutenant that living farther downstream would deprive them of protection from the fort!  Piernas then offered "to settle half or part of the families above the fort and the remainder below in order that all may have the protection they desire and be free of the Indian raids that they fear," but the Acadians remained unconvinced that the remote outpost would be safe from Indian attack, not to mention the British across the river.  Exasperated by the constant argument, both Verret and Piernas reassured the Acadians that "In return for their full cooperation, they would always enjoy preferred status among the peoples of the colony," but, again, the Acadians did not budge.  "[A]ll of my arguments and everything I deemed appropriate to tell them regarding this matter has been to no avail," Verret confessed to the governor.  The young post commander, hoping some day to become a captain, was even more embarrassed by his failure to convince the Acadians they should settle at his post.  "I hope, Sir," Piernas wrote to the governor a week after returning to the post, "that this turn of events will not diminish the trust you have place in me in the past.  I attempted at all times to execute your orders and to do everything possible to make the Acadians comply with the wishes of His Majesty and Your Excellency." The lieutenant could not help adding:  "... I have tried to watch over them and overlook their impertinent outbursts, which are so frequent that I would rather command an army than six of these families."  Again, someone who imagined he had power over these simple farmers learned a lesson in Acadian stubbornness.381 

But the Acadians were not done with their agitation against an overweening Spanish authority.  Three of the family heads, including Joseph Breau, "the most outspoken critic of the Natchez colonization project," Professor Brasseaux reminds us, demanded to be given a boat so that they could return to the city and present their case to the governor himself.  Piernas, knowing the mind of the governor, granted them permission to go.  Alexis and Honoré, meanwhile, successfully eluded the governor and learned quickly that they had many "friends" in the colony--French Creoles, Germans, and of course fellow Acadians--who also despised Ulloa.  Alexis Breau felt so safe among them, in fact, that, with the full knowledge of colonial Commander Aubry, he purchased a farm at Cabahannocer from one of its French-Creole settlers!  When Ulloa learned of it, he ordered Commandant Judice to "'send for and tie up" the impudent exiles.  Judice summoned Alexis, but the Acadian, "feigning illness, sought and secured a three-day delay of sentence," Brasseaux relates, and made his escape with assistance of fellow Acadians Jacques Godin dit Bellefontaine and Charles Gaudet, who had come to Cabahannocer from Halifax three years before; Gaudet's wife was a Breau Judice called out the militia to arrest the Breaus and escort them to the commandant at Les Allemands.  The militiamen, however, openly rebelled, notifying Judice that "'they simply did not want to arrest their confrère.'"  When Ulloa heard of the incident, he threatened to confiscate the property of, and then to deport, any Acadian at Cabahannocer who helped the fugitives.  Honoré and his family, meanwhile, found refuge at the plantation of Jacques Enoul de Livaudais, fils at Les Allemands, where the long-time civil commandant, Karl Friedrich Darensbourg, looked the other way.382 

In New Orleans, Joseph Breau and his two companions only infuriated the governor further.  After hearing their arguments, Professor Brasseaux tells us, Ulloa "threatened the deputies with imprisonment aboard the Volante, a Spanish frigate moored in the Mississippi River, and then summarily dismissed them with a threat to deport the entire Natchez contingent.  The threats were followed by regulations establishing stringent controls over the Natchez settlers."  Lieutenant Piernas, following the governor's instructions, called a meeting of the family heads in late April and delivered an ultimatum:  "either accept land to be assigned near Fort San Luìs or face deportation as well as financial responsibility for the Spanish expenditures on their behalf."  The tactic worked.  "Facing a second diaspora," Brasseaux recounts, the Acadians relented.383

Ulloa was undeterred in his efforts to capture the fugitive brothers and their families and to prevent any more members of the Breau party from seeking refuge in other communities.  On April 4, three weeks after the party reached Fort San Luìs de Natchez, Ulloa issued a circular letter to the commandants at Opelousas, Attakapas, Pointe Coupée, Cabahannocer, and Les Allemands.  It read:  "Gentlemen:  You will prevent any newly arrived Acadian from settling in your district.  Consequently, you will forewarn all the settlers that they are forbidden to harbor them, under any circumstances.  You will also warn the Acadians already settled in your district.  Should they receive any Acadians, even relatives under any circumstances, they will pay dearly for their disobedience, forfeiting their land grants."  The Pointe Coupée commandant, François Amirault Duplessis, a French army captain who had remained in the Spanish service, informed the governor in late April that he had posted a copy of his circular "on the (front) door of the (parish) church" and added:  "It is certain that this order, instead of encouraging these said Acadians, will prompt them to cross the river with their belongings one fine day."  Duplessis's determination to prevent any of the Fort San Luìs Acadians from stopping at Pointe Coupée effectively trapped them at Natchez.  They had little choice now but to submit to the governor's will.385 

Two of the other commandants who received the circular, René Trahan and Jean-Baptiste Broussard of Attakapas, were Acadians who had come to the colony from Halifax three years earlier.  One wonders what these former resistance fighters thought of Ulloa's threats against their fellow Acadians.385a 

Ulloa was exerting so much pressure now on the commandants along the river that, not long after his circular was issued, the fugitive Breau brothers had no choice but to take their families to Fort Bute in British West Florida.  One wonders, then, if any of the other Breaus at San Luìs gave serious consideration to crossing the river, too.  In mid-April, Montfort Brown, lieutenant governor of West Florida, had visited Pointe Coupée on his way up to Natchez, and Commandant Duplessis had treated him with all due respect.  While at Natchez, Governor Brown also paid a visit to Fort San Luìs, during which Lieutenant Piernas also extended to him every honor due his position.  Evidently sometime during the visit the Briton "secretly visited" the Acadians.  A few months later, he reported to his superior, the Earl of Hillsborough, that the Acadians at Fort San Luìs "had become so disenchanted with the Spanish regime that 'they wish themselves again in our colonies.'"  There can be no doubt that the Acadians complained bitterly about their treatment at the hands of Ulloa and his minions, even to a British official, but Brown's conclusion about their collective "wish" was nothing more than British hubris.  The Acadians at Fort San Luìs now despised the Spanish governor; there was no doubt about that; but one would suspect that they mistrusted the British even more.  Despite the governor's enticements to resettle in West Florida, the Acadians remained on the Spanish side of the river.  What had happened to them in 1755 was still too fresh in their collective memory.384 

The exiles at Natchez had no choice but to make the best of a bleak situation.  "By late 1768 the Acadians had selected home sites, begun construction of their homes, completed a road from 'the first habitation' to Fort San Luìs, and agreed to organize a militia company.  The industriousness persisted throughout the summer, despite an epidemic of dysentery that decimated the children."  The pattern of settlement at Fort San Luìs was typical for the region.  Lieutenant Piernas laid out for them "... long, narrow, contiguous riverfront sites, the northern-most of which lay approximately 2.5 miles below modern-day Vidalia, Louisiana."  Unfortunately for the Acadians, Piernas placed them in an area that "lacked a sanitary source of water," hence the many cases of dysentery.384a

Adults as well as children died among the Acadians at Fort San Luìs during their first months in the colony.  In late April, Marthe Clouâtre, age 21, died of illness and was buried in the fort's cemetery; Marthe, who had come to the colony with her widowed mother, was unmarried.  In early June, Claire Trahan, widow of Charles Breau, died at age 61 after a lengthy illness; she left three daughters and a son, all unmarried; her two older daughters, Élisabeth and Anne-Gertrude, returned to New Orleans and became Ursuline nuns.  In early July, Marguerite Dupuis, wife of Pierre Guédry, long afflicted with open sores, died of her terrible ailment; she left Pierre with a young daughter; Pierre remarried to Claire Babin at Fort San Luìs the following January.  By mid-summer, the Acadians had "contracted a fever," likely malaria, but, Lieutenant Piernas assured the governor, "it was not of the worst kind.  The clearing of new land causes it...."  In early September, "a seven-or-eight year-old child," unnamed, died of dysentery.  In late September, Jean-Baptiste Dupuis, age 38, died of dropsy.  About the same time, two more Acadian children died, this time of scurvy.  During September and October, more Acadians, including a 21-year-old man and a 6-year-old girl, died of "the flux."  In September, Marie Breau was sent to Pointe Coupée, where she could be cared for by the post's physician; she died there on the night of October 4, a victim of "the grey flux."  In late October, the post commandant reported to the governor:  "The Acadians continue to die of the usual causes, except for a woman and a child whom we lost only a few days ago."386

Another kind of tragedy plagued the settlement.  As in all cultures, weddings among the Acadians were a time of rejoicing and celebration.  Among their relatives at Cabahannocer, no fewer than 45 marriages had been celebrated between March 1766 and June 1768, all but two of them Acadians marrying other Acadians.  Not so at Fort San Luìs.  On June 20, Élisabeth, 20-year-old daughter of Alexandre Doiron and Anne Vincent, a widow, married Vincent St.-Pierre of Vigo, Galicia, Spain, a soldier in the garrison, probably at Pointe Coupée, the nearest church, miles downriver.  On the same day and probably at the same place, Élisabeth's sister Pélagie, age 26, married Antoine Rodriguez of Florida.  The same day also, Marie, daughter of Antoine Babin and Catherine Landry, another widow, married Francisco Dies of Seville, Spain, a soldier in the garrison.  On August 9, also at Pointe Coupée, Geneviève, 23-year-old daughter of Joseph Landry and Marie-Josèphe Richard, both deceased, married Sergeant Juan Bautista Beloti of Pavie, Italy; and Marianne, called Anne, 28-year-old daughter of Michel Rivet and his first wife Anne Landry, both deceased, married Corporal Ferdinand Ribolle of Fuente Vergona, Cordovan, Spain.  On December 31, Anne, 24-year-old daughter of Pierre Cloistre dit Clouâtre and Marguerite LeBlanc, a widow, married Bernard Capdeville of Bern, Switzerland, a widower whose first wife also had been Acadian, at Pointe Coupée; Bernard was the post's surgeon.  All of the brides were in their 20s, and all of the grooms, one would hope, were men of substance.  But they also were soldiers, still on active duty and subject to the vagaries of their profession.  Sergeant Beloti, in fact, less than a month after his marriage to Geneviève Landry, was ordered to accompany his commander up to Missouri, where he was expected to remain.386a

On the first of September 1768, Pedro Joseph Piernas, now a captain, turned over command of Fort San Luìs de Natchez to Jean Delavillebeuvre, a French officer in the Spanish service, and prepared to leave for his new post at Missouri.  Judging from his many letters to the governor over the previous six months, Piernas, who never understood them, doubtlessly was glad to be free of the Acadians, and one would suspect that they were glad to be free of him.  No matter, during his time as their commandant, he had overseen their labors, addressed their concerns, reported their marriages and deaths, and did what he could to keep them healthy.  The Acadians could only hope that their new commander, a fellow Frenchman, might better understand them.  They expected no such favor from their Spanish governor.  "Though the exiles accepted hard work and illness as an unpleasant fact of everyday life, they could not brook arbitrary treatment.  The forced settlement of the exiles at Natchez created a legacy of bitterness among the colony's entire Acadian population, for Ulloa had clearly subordinated their aspirations for familial reunification to strategic considerations."387


Ulloa had lost favor with the French Creoles of New Orleans from the moment he had come to the colony.  The Germans had never thought much of him.  And now he had alienated the Acadians.  The Spaniard's confrontation with the Breau clan evidently turned his head against all Acadians in the colony.  In March 1768, three days before the Breau party reached Fort San Luìs, 11 Acadians from Opelousas signed a petition addressed to the governor, imploring him to loan them oxen and ploughs.  Despite an excellent wheat crop the previous year, they still lacked the wherewithal to bring in their latest crop.  "It will be years," the Acadians lamented, addressing themselves in the third person, "... before they can purchase the oxen and ploughs necessary for farming.  They will continue to live in a state of misery, and will be unable to contribute in any way to the development of the colony.... They expect, barring unforeseen obstacles which could forestall your generosity, to be able to repay you at the end of the year," the petitioners hoped.  "They will always be indebted to you for their great happiness.  They will thank God for the generosity of their new master, and the generosity of the one who so worthily represents him.  They have the honor, Sir, to respectfully remain your most humble and obedient servants."  Ulloa's response, written on April 8, could only have angered the Opelousas farmers, who had come to the colony three years before with only the shirts on their backs:  "The (Acadian) petitioners must furnish their own farming supplies as well as all things needed for their advancement," the governor decreed.  "The king has not customarily furnished or loaned cattle and ploughs to new settlers.  His Majesty has already spent more than enough for the settlement of the Acadians in this colony."  About the same time, Commandant Judice at Cabahannocer reported to the governor that "an English scoundrel" named John Haller had robbed an Acadian in his district.  The victim and his confrères pursued the Englishman as he tried to escape to the English side of the river and caught him before he could cross Bayou Manchac.  No doubt after roughing him up a bit, the Acadians deposited him in the stockade at Fort San Gabriel.  They then received permission from the San Gabriel commandant, as well as from Judice, to escort the miscreant down to New Orleans, where he could face justice before the Superior Council.  At New Orleans, the Acadians asked the governor to compensate them for their expenses.  Ulloa wrote in the margin of Judice's report:  "... in the future, the Acadians will furnish the provisions and funds necessary to transport local criminals."  Here, states Professor Carl Brasseaux, was "an unprecedented departure from existing practice, in which civilian guards were paid for their services and travel expenses.  Ulloa's reaction reveals the governor's increasingly hostile attitude towards the Acadians."  In late July, while the family attended church services, the house of Athanase Breau of Cabahannocer burned down, destroying all of the family's possessions.  Commandant Judice allowed Breau to go to New Orleans "to beseech you [Ulloa] to furnish him the necessary tools to rebuild, his having been damaged by the fire.  I also urge you, Sir, to give him a musket and a three-month supply of food rations," Judice added.  Ulloa did not respond to Judice until the middle of September:  "I very much regret the fire at a certain Braud's house," he informed the commandant, "but it is impossible to grant his request."388 

If the Acadians could have read Ulloa's letter to the Spanish Minister of State Grimaldi, dated 6 October 1768, they would have despised him even  more.  While applauding the withdrawal of British forces from their forts along the east bank of the Mississippi, Ulloa commented:  "If they had done this sooner, we could have avoided the expense of those we have established and cannot now abandon because of the settlements which are dependent upon them and must be protected from the attacks they might suffer from the Indians."  And then he added:  "With regard to the settlements from here to Iberville and Natchez, which naturally will continue to be extended, it may be possible to avoid henceforth the expense of the Acadians and have those who come find some way of supporting themselves with the aid of their own countrymen, or otherwise, without giving them anything more than lands when they ask for them.  This would relieve the royal exchequer of quite a heavy expense.  They are now of less importance, not only because there are no English to trouble us on the 500 leagues of river between here and Ilinueses [Illinois], but also because there is already a sufficient number of families to multiply the population by means of the opportunities offered them through the commerce which is being established in this province.  Consequently it may now be considered as a land tilled and sown, and lacking only water to make it grow, and time for the crop to mature."  Looking at the economic depression all about them which Ulloa had made only worse with his mercantilist decrees,  the Acadians doubtlessly would have wondered what commercial opportunities the governor was alluding to.388a

The Cabahannocer Acadians already were angry over Ulloa's treatment of their relatives up at Fort San Luìs; his refusal to compensate them for performing their civic duty, or to help a fellow Acadian in distress, or to grant them any more assistance when they needed it, could only alienate them further from the Spanish authority.  One suspects that after the spring of 1768 the governor had few friends among the prairie Acadians as well. 

By the time of his letter to the Minister of State, relations between Ulloa and the three important elements of Louisiana's population--French Creole, German, and Acadian--had hit rock bottom.  The colony's economy was all but wrecked; Louisiana, in fact, was facing "its hardest economic times since the French and Indian War."  Early in October, about the time he wrote the letter to Minister Grimaldi, Ulloa issued yet another mercantilist decree in his war against the smuggling trade.  This was the last straw.  "Opposition leaders met and decided to employ the judicial system, which they controlled, to banish the Spanish governor from the colony."  But the French Creole elite, who made up most of the opposition leadership, could not stage such a dramatic coup d'état without popular support.  Employing well-timed rumors, they stirred up feelings against Ulloa among the townspeople of New Orleans.  They spread a rumor among the Germans, who had suffered terribly from the lingering economic depression, that "Ulloa, unable to pay for grain purchased from them" to distribute to destitute Acadians, "had renounced his government's financial obligations," which caused a panic up and down the German Coast.  And then the propagandists stirred up the Acadians.  Already angry with the governor for his refusal to unite many of them with their families and for his callousness towards their continued suffering, "The conspirators spread word among the exiles residing above New Orleans that the Spanish governor planned to disperse them again and sell them into slavery to defray the cost of their establishment in the colony."  Amazingly, "Such charges may have been partially true; Ulloa had apparently negotiated with some British authorities who desired to indenture Acadian laborers for eighteen months."389

On the evening of October 26, three French Creole conspirators, led by Jean-Baptiste de Noyan, persuaded dozens of Cabahannocer Acadians to march to New Orleans, where Attorney General Lafrénière and other conspirators were circulating a petition calling for the ouster of the Spanish governor.  The Acadians were told to march without their weapons; they would be armed as soon as they reached the city.  The pretext for their action stemmed from Acadian fears that the Spanish government was determined to ruin them:  they would go to the city to demand that Ulloa redeem 107,517 livres in Canadian paper currency that many of them had been holding for many years and which the French caretaker government had failed to redeem.  On the way, they were joined by dozens of frustrated settlers from the German Coast.  The large force of "rebels," about 500 in number, reached the western entrance to New Orleans, the Chapitoulas Gate, on the afternoon of October 28.  By then, colonial Commandant Aubry, still supporting Ulloa and his regime, had mobilized the city's garrison of 110 regulars, mostly Frenchmen who had joined the Spanish service but also hated the Spanish governor.  One of the conspirators, Pierre Caresse, led the some of the militiamen, probably the Germans, to the home of François Chauvin de Léry, a kinsman of Lafrénière, "where they were supplied muskets and generous drafts of Bordeaux wine."  Some of the Acadians may have spent the night at the New Orleans home of Joseph de Goutin de Ville.  The following day, October 29, the Superior Council met in special session at 9 A.M.  Lafrénière convinced every member of the Council except chief judge Foucault to accept the petition and its hundreds of signatures and to vote not only to banish the Spanish governor "but also every Spaniard residing in the colony."390

Ulloa's governorship, such as it was, had come to an inglorious end.  He, his wife, and some of the Spanish officials in the city had retreated to the Spanish packet boat Volante, which, for their safety, had anchored in the middle of the river.  The hard-pressed Aubry, with too few loyal troops to stand up to the Acadian, German, and French-Creole militia, had managed to extract a promise from Lafrénière and the other conspirators not to harm the ousted governor.  Ulloa and his entourage lingered at Fort San Carlos, near La Balize, for several weeks before setting sail for Havana in late November.  As a final gesture of defiance, Ulloa left the Volante, under command of Captain José Melchor de Acosta, at Fort San Carlos to remind the conspirators that Spain still wielded at least token power over them.  Spanish commissary Commissary Juan Josef de Loyola, who was ill at the time of the coup d'état, also remained at New Orleans with two other Spanish officials, contador Estevan Gayarré and treasurer Martin Navarro, whom the conspirators detained in the city "to hold them responsible for the debts which the Spanish treasury had incurred...."  Meanwhile, a revolutionary council took control of the colony.  When word reached Fort San Luìs de Natchez of these momentous events, the Acadians there, fearing Spanish reprisal, refrained from moving south to Cabahannocer.  The prairie Acadians did not participate in Ulloa's ouster, though many of them, especially among the Opelousas settlers, probably were glad to see it.  The Breau brothers came out of hiding.  Alexis returned to his recently-purchased farm at Cabahannocer, and Honoré settled there, too.  Soon after Ulloa's departure, Honoré went to New Orleans to testify before the revolutionary council, which was holding an inquiry "Relating to the Harassment Inflicted by Antonio de Ulloa, Self-styled Governor of Louisiana."  The younger Breau brother spared no opportunity to traduce the erstwhile governor.  Despite a number of exaggerations--such as his claim that, among the Fort San Luìs Acadians, "Almost half of them died"--Honoré painted a vivid picture of Acadian frustration at the hands of another official who had treated Acadians badly.391  


Probably unaware of the chaos in the Mississippi valley colony, a small contingent of Acadians still living at Port Tobacco, Maryland, hired an English merchant vessel to take them to Louisiana.  The oldest Acadian head of family, at age 52, was Étienne Rivet, a widower from Ste.-Famille, Pigiguit, counted at Upper Marlborough in July 1763.  He had four unmarried sons in his household in 1769:  Étienne, fils, age 21; François, age 18; Pierre, age 16; and Théodore, age 14.  Étienne's sister Claire had gone to Louisiana in 1767 with her husband, Bonaventure Forest, and five of his Rivet relations had accompanied the Breaus to Louisiana in early 1768.  Evidently, Étienne, having failed to join either of the earlier parties, had made his way to Port Tobacco to join the few Acadians still lingering there.392 

The leader of the remaining Acadians at Port Tobacco was Honoré Trahan of Pigiguit, age 43 in 1769, who was kin to all of the other members of the party.  His wife Marie Corporon was age 50.  His sister Anne, age 38, widow of Jean-Baptiste Benoit, was married to 39-year-old Louis Latier, who had served at the French fortress of Louisbourg; with Louis and Anne were three Benoit children from her first marriage--Marie-Rose, age 22; Marie-Anne, age 15; and Marguerite, age 9--and three of her children by Louis:  Antoine, age 7; Paul, age 6, and Élisabeth, or Isabelle, age 4.  Honoré's daughter Marie, age 22, had recently married Frenchman Antoine Bellard of Picardy, age 30; with them was 2-year-old son Étienne-Simon.  Also in the party were five children of Honoré's sister Marguerite, wife of Jean-Baptiste Lejeune of Pigiguit; Marguerite and Jean-Baptiste had died during Le Grand Dérangement, so the Lejeune orphans--Jean-Baptiste, fils, age 20; Blaise, age 18; Marguerite, age 17; and Joseph and Nanette, age 13, born probably in North Carolina--were in the care of their maternal uncle and aunt.  Honoré's son Pierre, age 18, was still living with his parents.  Another related family was that of Pierre-Olivier, called Olivier, Benoit, age 40.  Olivier was a brother of Anne Trahan's first husband, Jean-Baptiste.  With Olivier was his second wife, Marie-Geneviève Brasseur, age 45, and three of their children:  Jean-Charles, age 10; Marie-Rose, age 8; and Madeleine, age 6.393 

Honoré and his family, like many Maryland Acadians, were natives of Pigiguit, but they, along with their Benoit and Lejeune kin, had not been exiled to the Chesapeake colony in the autumn of 1755.  They had moved from Pigiguit to Baie-des-Espagnols on Île Royale in 1749, and then to Mirliguèche, on the Atlantic side of the Nova Scotia peninsula, in late August 1754.  When the British rounded up the Acadians in Nova Scotia in the summer of 1755, Honoré and his kin, despite having taken an unconditional oath of allegiance to the British King, were among the first Acadians held at Georges Island in Halifax harbor.  The British deported them, along with other Acadians from Mirliguèche, to North Carolina in December 1755, and they landed probably at Edenton on Albemarle Sound.  In c1760, North Carolina officials allowed them to leave.  Most of their relatives moved to Philadelphia.  Honoré and his family, including the Lejeune orphans, moved to Maryland instead, where they were counted at Port Tobacco in July 1763.  Soon afterwards, relatives who had endured with them their own petit dérangement but who had gone from North Carolina to Pennsylvania, joined them at Port Tobacco.  Two families of these relatives--the Boutins and the Guédrys--emigrated from Maryland to Louisiana in 1767 and 1768.  It now was time for Honoré Trahan and his family, as well as the Rivets, to join their kinfolk on the lower Mississippi.394 

The Acadians, only 29 in number, including Honoré Trahan's French-born son-in-law, chartered the English schooner Britannia, John Steel master, at Port Tobacco, probably in late December 1768, but they were not the only passengers aboard the vessel.  Also on the Britannia's passenger list were 51 German Catholics, a French-Canadian couple, seven "bachelors," and 12 "Britishers"--101 passengers in all.  Evidently these Germans, Frenchmen, and French Canadians were as eager to escape the British colony as were the few Acadians still living there.  Heads of the eight German families were Nicolas Marcoff, age 62; Nicolas Ory, age 66; Joseph Basbler, age 50;  Adam La Maur, age 50; Jacob Miller, age 30; André Reser, age 39; Philip Pigleal, age 30; and widow Catharine Ausuber, age 40.  The French-Canadian couple were Pierre Primeau, age 25, and Susanne Plante, age 20.  Among the "bachelors" was André Meche, age 25.395

The Britannia left Port Tobacco on 5 January 1769, worked its way carefully down the widening Potomac, rounded Smith Point into lower Chesapeake Bay, and, after clearing the Virginia capes, headed south along the Atlantic coast to the Straits of Florida.  After clearing the Florida keys and entering the Gulf of Mexico, the schooner made straight for the mouth of the Mississippi.  On February 21, after six weeks at sea, "we sighted the coast of Louisiana," Captain Steel recalled, but as they neared the end of their long ordeal at sea, Mother Nature conspired to ruin their voyage:  " ... due to easterly winds and continuous fog," the captain insisted, "we were driven some eighty leagues south and then to the west of the Mississippi," deep into the center of the Gulf of Mexico.  "Finding ourselves without food and water, we were obliged to put in at a small bay"--the Bahía del Espiritu Santo, where La Salle and his hapless colonists had landed 84 years before!  Nearby was the presidio Nuestra Senora de la Loreto de la Bahía at present-day Goliad, commanded by Captain Don Francisco Thobar.  Captain Steel and his passengers came ashore the first week of April.  Evidently alerted by local Indians, Captain Thobar and a small force of Spaniards from the presidio accosted the stranded seafarers.  "From him we requested a passport and food to get to New Orleans, both of which he refused us," Captain Steel recalled, "(despite the fact that a clergyman who was there, and our supercargo offered him any security he wanted)."  Evidently the Spaniard suspected that the ship's officers, crew, and strange mix of passengers were smugglers or even spies.  Or perhaps he saw an opportunity to enrich himself.  On April 8, Thobar "seized our schooner, with all its sails, tackle, equipment, passengers, crew, and merchandise, and took everything (except the schooner) with him to a fort thirty leagues inland," Captain Steel lamented.  "There he obliged the crew and passengers to work until the 21st of May, when he ordered the captain and pilot placed in stocks, keeping them so twenty-four days on half rations, until an order arrived from the governor of that province to set them at liberty."  Thobar ignored the order and forced the passengers and crew to work at local haciendas to pay for their upkeep.  Meanwhile, the schooner was left on the shore of Espiritu Santo Bay, a victim of the weather and the local Indians, who removed everything of value that the Spaniards had not already taken.396  

Finally, on September 11, after the Acadians and Germans had been held captive at the presidio for five long months, another Spanish officer, Don Rafael Martínez Pacheco, "commandant of Fort Cokesaw [Calcasieu?]," arrived at Bahía with orders from his new superior, General Alejandro O'Reilly.  Don Rafael would escort the wayward families to Spanish Louisiana, where they could finally complete their journey.397 


Things had changed dramatically in Louisiana since the Britannia had left Port Tobacco the previous January.  Many colonists labored under the illusion that France would soon reassert its power in the colony.  Nothing could be farther from the truth.  The revolutionary council sent letters to France hoping to enlist the aid of former governor Bienville, who had strenuously opposed the Spanish cession from the moment he had heard of it; unfortunately for the conspirators, Bienville had died the year before, at age 87.  The conspirators also hoped that Louis XV would approve their actions against Ulloa, but he never did.  In Louisiana, the final, frail thread of French control in the colony, acting governor Aubry, refused to cooperate in any way with the revolutionary council.  The conspirators were on their own.  Attorney General Lafrénière and his hand-picked Superior Council attempted to restore the colonial economy, but their efforts failed.  France had not sent funds to Aubry for a number of years, and Spanish commissary Loyola, who had remained at New Orleans, refused to cooperate with the new "government."  The revolutionary council's only success during the few months in which it held power was to pressure Captain de Acosta to sail the Volante to Havana by a late-March deadline.  By then, Ulloa was on his way to Spain to report to the Spanish Court what had happened in Louisiana.  In April 1769, King Carlos III appointed Alejandro O'Reilly, a refugee from British oppression in his native Ireland and one of Spain's most distinguished soldiers, as governor and captain-general of Spanish Louisiana, with the mission of restoring Spanish control there.398 

As an Irish mercenary, O'Reilly had fought in Italy against the Austrians during the war of the 1740s and in the Spanish invasion of Portugal in 1762.  He soon rose to the rank of brigadier general in the regular Spanish army.  In 1763, he was part of the Spanish contingent that secured Havana from the British, who had captured the city in 1762.  Analyzing the successful British siege, O'Reilly reorganized and strengthened the Havana defenses.  In 1765, King Carlos III sent him to Puerto Rico to rebuild the defenses there.  Back in Havana, O'Reilly married into a prominent Spanish family; his bride was a sister of the Cuban governor.  When Ulloa reached Havana in December 1768 and reported on the coup d'état of the previous October, O'Reilly was in Spain.  In May 1769, he hurried back to Havana, which he reached in June, to fulfill the King's commission.399 

O'Reilly sailed from Havana on 5 July 1769, reached the Appalachee coast by the 12th, and Isla Reina Católica on the evening of the 20th.  With him was a flotilla of 23 ships, including his flagship, the Volante, which had followed Ulloa back to Havana.  Aboard these vessels were nearly 3,000 soldiers and sailors, one of the largest forces ever sent to Louisiana.  O'Reilly remained at Fort San Carlos and sent his aide-de-camp, Francisco Bouligny, to summon colonial leaders to the downriver post.  Bouligny traveled incognito so that he could gather information on the way.  He reached the city on July 24 and found a large, silent crowd awaiting him at the dock.  A French official at La Balize had sent a messenger in a swift boat to alert the population of the arrival of the Spanish fleet as well as a Spanish official approaching the city in "a twelve-oar boat."  Also at the dock waiting to greet Bouligny were the three Spanish officials who had remained in the city, commissary Juan Josef de Loyola, contador Estevan Gayarré, and treasurer Martin Navarro.  The four of them walked to Aubry's house and found the Frenchman still amenable to re-establishing Spanish control and willing to address the population about the arrival of the Spanish force, which he did at 9 o'clock the following morning.  According to Bouligny, "The whole assembly remained profoundly silent, looking at each other, and only [Pierre] Marquis spoke to the [acting] governor, saying that he wished to talk to him in private.  After this, and without doing anything, the assembly dispersed."  Later in the day, the New Orleanians selected three delegates to report to O'Reilly:  Attorney General Lafrénière, still the leader of the revolutionary faction, and Joseph Milhet and Pierre Marquis, also prominent conspirators.  Aubry asked Bouligny to escort them downriver, which he was happy to do.  They party set out on the 26th and reached the Volante 40 hours later.  Meanwhile, O'Reilly consulted with Spanish officers and officials who had remained at Isla Reina Católica.  This testimony, along with Ulloa's detailed reports, gave the captain-general a clear picture of who was responsible for the October coup d'état.  He requested that Lafrénière address the inhabitants of New Orleans in hopes of avoiding bloodshed.  Lafrénière, seeing the overwhelming might of O'Reilly's force, hurried back to the city and beseeched Louisianians not to resist the Spaniards.  When the Germans heard of the Spaniard's arrival, they were determined to resist.  Some of the Acadians at Cabahannocer, aware of their part in the ousting of Ulloa and the penalty for treason, evidently joined the Germans in contemplating resistance.  Cooler heads prevailed, however; the Acadians and Germans set aside their weapons and quietly awaited their fate.400

By mid-August, O'Reilly and his Spanish troops had made their way up to the city.  On August 18, in an impressive public ceremony, probably at the Plaza de armas, O'Reilly took formal possession of Louisiana from acting governor Aubry, something Ulloa had never bothered to do during his year and a half in the colony.  O'Reilly's next task was just as important in establishing Spanish control of Louisiana.  He summoned Aubry and requested a list of the Louisianians who had written, printed, and distributed the Superior Council's decree which had ordered Ulloa's expulsion.  Aubry, who had stood virtually alone among French officials in supporting the Spaniard, "readily complied, implicating many members of the conspiracy to oust Ulloa.  Relying on Aubry's allegations, O'Reilly summoned Lafrénière and twelve other French Louisianians to his residence under various pretexts.  Once the colonists had gathered, the Spanish governor had each accused of treason, arrested, and incarcerated."  Foucault, who had opposed Ulloa's policies, was not among the accused; Aubry, though he still considered Foucault to be his bitter enemy, could not find enough evidence against the former ordonnateur to justify his arrest.  Aubry did take the opportunity, however, to traduce Foucault to O'Reilly.  The captain-general's inquiries kept pointing to Foucault as a leader in the opposition against Ulloa, but he had no jurisdiction over high officials commissioned by the French government.  O'Reilly, instead, turned Foucault over to Aubry, who promptly placed him under house arrest.  Still convinced that Foucault was guilty, O'Reilly authorized Aubry in September and early October to subject the former ordonnateur to intense interrogation.  Again, the two officials could find no hard evidence to implicate Foucault in Ulloa's ouster.  O'Reilly ordered Foucault's property in the colony to be confiscated and sold and then ordered the former ordonnateur to be deported to France, where he would stand trial for his part in the conspiracy against Ulloa.  Foucault, guarded by a French officer, boarded a ship bound for La Rochelle on October 14.  Meanwhile, O'Reilly turned to the other conspirators, who suffered a very different fate.401

In late August, soon after taking formal possession of Louisiana, O'Reilly appointed a Spanish tribunal to pass judgment on Lafrénière and the other conspirators.  All were found guilty.  Lafrénière, Pierre Caresse, Pierre Marquis, and Joseph Milhet were sentenced to death on October 24 and executed by firing squad the following day.  The remaining conspirators were sentenced to long prison terms--Joseph Petit was given life, Bathasar Mazan and Julien-Jérôme Doucet, 10 years, and Jean Milhet, Pierre Poupet, and Pierre Hardy de Boisblanc, six years, all to be spent at Morro Castle in Havana.  Meanwhile, to the great relief of the Cabahannocer Acadians, O'Reilly granted amnesty to all the colony's inhabitants except those who had been sentenced by his military tribunal.402  

While the convicted conspirators awaited their fate, the Acadians and Germans in coastal Texas began their 420-mile trek from La Bahìa to Natchitoches.  They reached the Red River post on October 24, the day the New Orleans conspirators were sentenced to death.  The Germans and the ship's officers and crew were escorted to New Orleans, which they reached by water on November 9.  The Germans picked up tools and supplies in the city, and most of them were taken up to Fort San Gabriel to become a part of the militia defense there.  The exception was the family of Jacob Miller; they lingered on the Upper German Coast before moving on to the Opelousas prairies.  Meanwhile, the commandant at Natchitoches, Athanase de Mézières, attempted to hang on to the Acadians from Maryland because of their familiarity with grain production.  Despite kind treatment by the residents of the Red River post, Honoré Trahan and most of his relations refused to remain there.  Natchitoches, like Fort San Luìs, was just too far away from their kinsmen, and the Acadians were determined to live among their own kind.  They left Natchitoches probably without permission and settled closer to their relatives.  Honoré took his wife and son, as well as most the Lejeune orphans, eventually to the Opelousas District.  Honoré's sister Marie and her husband Antoine Bellard followed, as did the French-Canadian couple, Pierre Primeau and Susanne Plante.  The Rivets settled on the west bank of the river at San Gabriel, where relatives from Fort San Luìs soon joined them.  The Benoits also went to San Gabriel, where they, too, were reunited with relatives from Fort San Luìs.402a

Meanwhile, the Acadians at Fort San Luìs wondered what would become of them.  On October 18, the leaders of the Breau party sent a letter to Governor O'Reilly repeating the complaint that they were "continuously exposed to assassination" at the hands of local Indians.  Revealing their true motive, they begged permission from the new governor to join their relatives at San Gabriel and Cabahannocer.  San Luìs commandant Jean Delavillebeuvre and the post's engineer, Guy Dufossat, both French, included an addendum to the Acadians' letter verifying the post's vulnerability.  After receiving the missive from the San Luìs Acadians, O'Reilly asked Delavillebeuvre, Dufossat, and the trusted Aubry for their opinions on the larger issue of maintaining the isolated post.  "All agreed upon the uselessness of the post and the justice of the request of the inhabitants," O'Reilly reported on 29 December 1769.  Having decided to abandon the fort, O'Reilly granted permission to the San Luìs Acadians "to select lands 'twenty to thirty leagues ... above the capital,'" that is, along the Acadian and German coast, where they had hoped to settle all along.  Thanks to the British, who had abandoned their lower Mississippi posts the previous year, and the good sense of the Spanish captain-general, the Acadians' 21-month exile at Natchez was over.  As soon as they could manage it, members of the Breau party moved down to Cabahannocer, to San Gabriel, and to the stretch of river above and below the Fork, where a new district, La Fourche de Chitimachas, under Louis Judice, had just been created, and at least two members of the party moved on to the western prairies.  This, combined with O'Reilly's decision to release the party being held in Texas, "wedded" the Acadians "to the Spanish regime."403

Not all of the new governor's decisions, however, were applauded by the colony's Acadians.  In early 1770, O'Reilly decreed that all settlers along the river were required by law to maintain levees and roads under penalty of losing their land grants; this affected the hundreds of Acadians living on the river.  O'Reilly decreed that the Recopilación de las leyes de lost reynos de las Indias, not the coutume de Paris, would be the colony's basic law code, and also declared that Spanish would be the official language of the province.  As Ulloa had done, O'Reilly decreed that Louisianians could engage in commerce only with Spain and its possessions; the enforcement of this policy would hurt the river Acadians who, taking a nod from their ancestors, had established a flourishing but illegal trade with British merchants in West Florida.  O'Reilly abolished the trade in Indian slaves, in which a few river Acadians may have engaged.  As a price for universal amnesty, O'Reilly imposed an oath of allegiance to Spain on all Louisiana colonists.  After re-evaluating the colony's sad state of defense, he created militia units for each of Louisiana's administrative districts.  All able-bodied males between the ages of 16 and 50 were required to serve in these companies, and future Spanish land grants would be based on militia service.  Many of these decrees reminded the older Acadians of similar treatment at the hands of British governors back in Old Acadia.404

"Bloody O'Reilly," as later Louisiana historians would call him, returned to Havana in early 1770, taking most of his Spanish soldiers with him.  In his place, he left Luis de Unzaga y Amezaga, a Spanish army colonel, as acting governor; Unzaga served in that capacity for two years and then as governor until 1777.  Under the restored Spanish regime, there would be no more Superior Council dominated by French Creoles; O'Reilly had replaced that troublesome institution with a typical Spanish cabildo.  Unfortunately for the Acadians, O'Reilly had seen fit to appoint French Creoles and retired French army officers to command the newly-created districts--men who, with few exceptions, looked down their noses at the Acadian "peasants."   The aging Karl Freidrich Darensbourg was gone from the German Coast; one of the conspirators was the husband of one of his granddaughters, and the old commandant had figured too largely in the anti-Ulloa faction.  François Simard de Bellisle would command the Lower German Coast, also called St.-Charles, after the church there, and Robert Robin de Launay would command the Upper German Coast, also called St.-Jean-Baptiste after its church.  Cabahannocer, also called St.-Jacques after its church, would remain under Nicolas Verret, who had not participated in the anti-Ulloa movement.  His brother-in-law Louis Judice, who also had supported Ulloa, would command the new district of Lafourche de Chitimachas, also called Ascension, just above St.-Jacques.  Louis Dutisné would command at San Gabriel, lying just above Ascension.  Jean-François Allain, fils, a Frenchman from Touraine, not an Acadian, would command at Pointe Coupée, where Acadians would be discouraged from settling.  Gabriel Fuselier de La Claire, a wealthy Creole land owner at Attakapas, would command both of the prairie districts; the two-year elections of prairie commandants was a thing of the past, as was the chance of an Acadian commanding at Attakapas despite their significant numbers there.  The militia officers appointed by O'Reilly also reflected a French-Creole bias:  not a single Acadian held the rank of captain, lieutenant, or sub-lieutenant in any of the Acadian companies.  They served as sergeants, corporals, and privates, but not as officers, at least for now.  Interestingly, not a single German surname appeared among the militia officers of either of the German settlements.  O'Reilly had been aware of German and Acadian participation in the rebellion against Ulloa, but had French Creoles\not led the rebellion?  Were not all of the rebel leaders O'Reilly had executed members of the Creole elite?  And yet here they were, still lords of Louisiana, still the dominant element in every corner of the colony.405 

No matter, if they chose to remain in Louisiana, the weary exiles must endure the elites there, both Spanish and French Creole.  They would obey the new governor and their new commandants as long as these leaders respected their rights.  The daily struggle of feeding their families still absorbed their greater attention, and some still needed government assistance.  Though many of them had lived in this New Acadia for nearly half a dozen years now, they still had little to show for it.  But that, God willing, would change. 

The Acadians Come Into Their Own in Spanish Louisiana, 1770-1785

Except for a few who may have drifted in from the French West Indies during the 1770s, the Acadians aboard the Britannia were the last of their countrymen to come to Louisiana for 16 years.  From February 1764, when the first of them arrived, to October 1769, when the Acadians from the Britannia completed their overland trek to Natchitoches, 1,300 Acadians had come to Louisiana--21 from Georgia, nearly 600 from Halifax, a like number from Maryland, and a dozen or two from the Caribbean basin, mostly French St.-Domingue.  The majority had settled on the river above New Orleans, first at Cabahannocer and then at forts San Gabriel and San Luìs de Natchez.  When O'Reilly released the San Luìs Acadians from their ordeal at Natchez, the great majority of them moved to what was being called the Acadian Coast--Cabahannocer, Ascension, and St.-Gabriel.  Only a few settled elsewhere.  Hundreds of Acadians also had settled in the prairie districts, first at Attakapas and then at Opelousas.  With few, if any, exceptions, when these Acadians reached New Orleans with their extended families (only a small minority came as individuals) it had been many years since they had enjoyed any sort of material comfort, so devastating was Le Grand Dérangement to their station in life.  The families from Chignecto had suffered the longest--some had been driven from their homes east of Rivière Missaguash as early as the autumn of 1750.  In Louisiana, many Chignecto Acadians could be found in the river settlements, but most had followed the Broussards to Bayou Teche.  A substantial number of Acadians in Louisiana had lived in the upper Annapolis valley, from whence they had escaped in late autumn of 1755; they could be found in roughly equal numbers along the river and out on the prairies.  In the decades before Le Grand Dérangement, a relatively small number of Acadians had settled away from the Fundy shore along Rivière St.-Jean, but a surprising number of them had come to Louisiana from the prison compound at Halifax; most could be found at Cabahannocer, but a few had followed the Broussards.  As they had been the largest segment of the Acadian population before Le Grand Dérangement, the Acadians of the Minas Basin, including Pigiguit, made up a slight majority of the Acadians who had come to Louisiana.  Since most of them had come from exile in Maryland, they could be found in large numbers on the Acadian Coast, though a few Minas Acadians could be found on the prairies.  If one looked hard enough, one could find Acadians in Louisiana from Mirliguèche and even Cap-Sable, from Cobeguit and the Maritimes islands of Île St.-Jean and even Île Royale.  Contrary to myth, the Acadians who had come to Louisiana before 1770 represented a minority of those who still could be found in the Acadian Diaspora.  More Acadians were living in France at the time, even more on the St. Lawrence, and there may have been more of them still living in St.-Domingue than in the lower Mississippi valley.406  

With few exceptions, the Acadians of Louisiana were farmers.  For generations, they had lived in an Eden of their own making along the Bay of Fundy shore.  Their homesteads had been farms, not sprawling plantations.  No cash crop could grow in the rich soil they had created with their long rows of dykes and their clever aboiteaux; the long, hard winters made certain of that.  They were grain farmers, orchardmen, cattlemen, fishermen, traders.  Only a handful of elites, seigneurs generally, owned more land than the typical among them.  No slave worked their fields, pruned their fruit trees, tended their cattle, stored, prepared, and cooked their food; they themselves, their wives, their children, their many kinsmen, performed those essential daily tasks.  Their immediate families were large, their children healthy, but they did not think of family in such limited terms.  Their families were extended and usually near--aging parents, married siblings, aunts, uncles, cousins by the score, most within sight or only a short trip away.  Infectious diseases were rare in their world, tropical fevers unknown to them.  Every man and woman among them could handle a canoe.  Some of them fished as much as they farmed.  They were crack shots and skilled hunters--typical frontiersmen.  High snows did not stop them from traveling in winter; the Mi'kmaq had taught them long ago how to make and use their clever wooden snow shoes.  They lived peacefully with the Mi'kmaq until imperial politics intervened during their final years in old Acadia.  Some of them shared blood, and they all shared faith, and the Mi'kmaq were not happy to see them go.  Most of the Acadians took their most precious possession, their families, into exile, but their land and their farms they could not take with them, and now New Englanders and British immigrants, some of them former redcoats, had built houses and barns upon the ashes of their old homesteads.  Land is what they needed in this New Acadia.  But getting land here was one thing, keeping it another.


The Attakapas Acadians were the first to secure land in the face of opposition.  No sooner had they reached the lower Teche than French Creoles living near the Poste des Attakapas accused them of trespassing.  Their first struggle was with large land holder Jean-Baptiste Grevemberg, who claimed a huge expanse of prairie between the west bank of the Teche near Fausse Pointe all the way to the east bank of the lower Vermilion.  He considered the Broussards to be interlopers on his concession and beseeched the French authorities in New Orleans to recognize his claim.  Lieutenant Andry had settled the Broussards on both banks of the Teche at the edge of Grevemberg's domain, where, acting governor Aubry insisted, the Acadians would remain.  Grevemberg later sold some of his cattle to the Acadians, but they did not forget the slight.  When an epidemic struck them during their first summer in the colony, some of them moved out into the prairie to an area they called Côte Gelée, the Frozen Coast, north of Grevemberg's vacherie and along the west bank of Bayou Tortue.  This placed them directly across from Jean-Antoine-Bernard Dauterive's new concession on Prairie Vermilion, which lay between the Tortue and the Teche.  By 1770, Acadians also had moved up bayou to La Pointe de Repos, the Restful Point, near present-day Parks, between Breaux Bridge and St. Martinville; and farther up to La Grand Pointe, also called La Pointe, between today's Breaux Bridge and Cecilia.  The large concession held by Gabriel Fuselier de La Claire on the upper Teche above the Acadian settlements discouraged movement farther northward towards Opelousas.410 

Despite these restrictions, the Attakapas Acadians, after years of struggle, managed to rise above their pitiful beginnings.  In 1771, Charles Babineaux, age 48, living on the upper Teche, held 12 arpents without title but owned 5 horses and 15 head of cattle; three years later, his widow, Anne Guilbeau, owned 40 pigs, 10 horses and mules, and 33 head of cattle; in 1777, she owned 20 hogs, 7 horses, and 40 head of cattle.  In 1771, Michel Bernard, age 37, also held 12 arpents without title but owned 7 horses and 16 head of cattle; three years later, he owned 40 pigs, 10 horses and mules, and 47 head of cattle.  Firmin Breaux, only 22 in 1771, had moved from Attakapas to Cabahannocer in the late 1760s, married a Breaux cousin from Pigiguit, purchased land at Grand Pointe on the Teche from a French-Creole concessionaire, and was counted there in 1777, when he owned 11 hogs, 9 horses, and 40 head of cattle.  Michel-Laurent Doucet, age 49 in 1771, held 12 arpents without title but owned 11 horses and 25 head of cattle that year; three years later, he owned 18 pigs, 11 horses and mules, and 30 head of cattle; in 1777, he owned 50 hogs, 15 horses, and 40 head of cattle.  Son Joseph dit Hilaire Doucet, age 22 in 1774, owned 6 pigs, 4 horses and mules, and 23 head of cattle; in 1777, he owned 30 hogs, 10 horses, and 40 head of cattle.  Charles dit Charlitte Dugas, age 34 in 1771, held 12 arpents without title but owned 6 horses and 25 head of cattle; three years later, he owned 15 pigs, 14 horses and mules, and 40 head of cattle; in 1777, he owned 25 hogs, 10 horses, and 40 head of cattle.  Younger brother Jean Dugas, who had fled to Cabahannocer in 1765, returned to Attakapas probably in the late 1760s; he was 30 years old in 1771, when he held 12 arpents without title but owned 4 horses and 14 head of cattle; three years later, he owned 25 pigs, 5 horses and mules, and 20 head of cattle; in 1777, he owned 28 hogs, 8 horses, and 30 head of cattle.  Brother Pierre Dugas, who was 25 years old in 1774 and recently married, owned 8 pigs, 3 horses and mules, and 15 head of cattle that year; in 1777, he owned 15 hogs, 9 horses, and 50 head of cattle.  Madeleine Michel, age 62 in 1774 and widow of Joseph dit L'Officier Guilbeau, owned 10 pigs, 2 horses and mules, and 10 head of cattle; in 1777, she owned 9 sheep, 10 hogs, 4 horses, and 18 head of cattle.  Son François Guilbeau, age 22 and still a bachelor in 1771, held 12 arpents without title that year but owned an undetermined number of horses and 12 head of cattle; three years later, newly married, he owned 12 pigs, 5 horses and mules, and 25 head of cattle; in 1777, he owned 20 hogs, 6 horses, and 40 head of cattle.  Jean-Baptiste dit Cobit Hébert, age 35 in 1771, held 12 arpents without title but owned 6 horses and 75 head of cattle; three years later, he owned 5 pigs, 5 horses and mules, and 30 head of cattle; in 1777, he owned 5 hogs, 6 horses, and 30 head of cattle.  Joseph-Pepin Hébert, age 29 in 1777, owned 10 hogs, 4 horses, and 30 head of cattle that year.  Simon LeBlanc, age 35 in 1771, held 12 arpents without title but owned 5 horses and 17 head of cattle; three years later, he owned 40 pigs, 8 horses and mules, and 30 head of cattle.  Younger brother René dit Petit René LeBlanc, age 27 in 1777, owned 11 hogs, 7 horses, and 30 head of cattle that year.  Claude Martin, age 35 and newly married in 1771, held 12 arpents without title but owned 6 horses and 15 head of cattle; three years later, he owned 30 pigs, 9 horses and mules, and 60 head of cattle; in 1777, he owned 50 hogs, 14 horses, 75 head of cattle, and 2 slaves.  Younger brother Bonaventure Martin, age 35 and still a bachelor in 1777, owned no hogs, 15 horses, and 38 head of cattle.  Cousin Joseph Martin, age 34 and newly married in 1771, held 12 arpents without title but owned 7 horses, 10 or 20 head of cattle, and 1 slave; three years later, he owned 50 pigs, 10 horses and mules, 60 head of cattle, and 1 slave; in 1777, he owned 60 hogs, 7 horses, 60 head of cattle, and 2 slaves.  Grégoire Pellerin, age 47 in 1771, held 12 arpents without title but owned 10 sheep, 4 horses, and 25 head of cattle; three years later, not long before his death, he owned 8 pigs, 10 horses and mules, and 50 head of cattle; in 1777, his widow, Cécile Prejean, age 45, owned 25 sheep, 20 hogs, 15 horses, 100 head of cattle, and 3 slaves with one soon to be born.  Jean-Baptiste Semere, the letter writer, age 23 in 1771, held 12 arpents without title but owned 6 horses and 29 head of cattle; three years later, he owned 8 pigs, 5 horses and mules, and 36 head of cattle; in 1777, he owned 2 hogs, 7 horses, 60 head of cattle, and a slave.  Paul Thibodeaux, age 43 in 1771, held 12 arpents without title but owned a horse and 19 head of cattle; three years later, he owned 30 pigs, 7 horses and mules, and 30 head of cattle; in 1777, he owned 40 hogs, 10 horses, and 40 head of cattle.  Olivier Thibodeaux, age 38 in 1771, held 12 arpents without title but owned 2 horses and 10 head of cattle; three years later, he owned 50 pigs, 12 horses and mules, and 50 head of cattle; in 1777, he owned 80 hogs, 22 horses, and 120 head of cattle.  Younger brother Amand Thibodeaux, age 37 in 1771, held 12 arpents without title but owned 2 horses and 10 head of cattle; three years later, he owned 20 pigs, 5 horses and mules, and 26 head of cattle; in 1777, he owned 30 hogs, 6 horses, and 50 head of cattle.  Jean-Anselme, called Anselme, Thibodeaux, age 27 and still a bachelor in 1777, owned 9 horses and 36 head of cattle.  Jean Trahan, age 52 and a widower in 1771, held 12 arpents without title but owned 9 horses and 18 head of cattle; three years later, he owned 4 horses and mules and 15 head of cattle; in 1777, he owned 30 hogs, 13 horses, and 40 head of cattle.  Younger brother Michel Trahan, age 45 in 1771, held 12 arpents without title but owned 6 horses and 15 head of cattle; three years later, he owned 12 pigs, 5 horses and mules, and 40 head of cattle; in 1777, he owned 30 hogs, 6 horses, and 40 head of cattle.  Cousin and former co-commandant René Trahan, age 42 in 1771, held 12 arpents without title but owned 4 sheep, 20 horses, and 60 head of cattle; three years later, he owned 25 pigs, 13 horses and mules, and 68 head of cattle; in 1777, he owned 26 hogs, 25 horses, and 100 head of cattle.  Paul Trahan, age 22 in 1774, owned 2 pigs, 5 horses and mules, and 8 head of cattle; three years later, he owned 12 hogs, 3 horses, and 12 head of cattle.412 

The Broussards, to no one's surprise, also became successful cattlemen.  Jean-Grégoire dit Petit-Jos, a son of Joseph dit Beausoleil, age 44 in 1771, held 12 arpents without title that year but owned 4 sheep, 10 horses, and 45 head of cattle; three years later, he owned 15 pigs, 8 horses and mules, and 80 head of cattle; in 1777, his holdings had increased to an impressive 20 hogs, 20 horses, 100 head of cattle, and 3 slaves.  His son René, age 24 in 1777 and recently married, owned 15 hogs, 7 horses, and 50 head of cattle that year.  Petit-Jos's brother François, age 25 in 1771 and newly married, held 12 arpents without title but owned 7 horses and 28 head of cattle; three years later, he owned 10 pigs, 6 horses and mules, and 36 cattle; in 1777, he owned 5 hogs, 9 horses, and 79 head of cattle.  Brother Claude, married in c1772, owned 20 pigs, 10 horses or mules, and 25 head of cattle in 1774, when he was only 26; three years later, he owned 12 hogs, 10 horses, and 50 head of cattle.  Brother Amand, only 24 but already a widower in 1774, owned 8 horses and mules and 45 head of cattle that year; in 1777, he owned 6 sheep, 4 hogs, 20 horses, and 100 head of cattle.  Jean-Baptiste, age 40 in 1771, the oldest surviving son of Alexandre dit Beausoleil, held 12 arpents of land without title; three years later, he owned 30 pigs, 12 horses and mules, and 40 head of cattle; in 1777, he owned 6 sheep, 40 hogs, 14 horses, and 60 head of cattle.  Son Mathurin, age 27 and still a bachelor in 1777, owned 29 horses and 65 head of cattle that year.  Jean-Baptiste's younger brother Sylvain, age 30 in 1771, held 12 arpents without title but owned 4 sheep, 9 horses, and 15 head of cattle that year; in 1774, he owned 25 pigs, 7 horses and mules, and 57 head of cattle; three years later, he owned 20 hogs, 10 horses, and 79 head of cattle.  Younger brother Simon, age 27 in 1771, held 12 arpents without title but owned 8 horses and 16 head of cattle; in 1774, he owned 20 pigs, 9 horses and mules, and 49 head of cattle; three years later, he owned 20 hogs, 10 horses, and 50 head of cattle.  Younger brother Pierre, age 27 and newly married in 1777, owned 6 hogs, 30 horses, and 100 head of cattle.  Alexandre dit Beausoleil's eldest grandson, Joseph le jeune, age 23 and newly married in 1777, owned 9 hogs, 10 horses, and 23 head of cattle that year.411  

Even late comers to Attakapas, most of them river Acadians who, despite Spanish restrictions, began moving to the prairies during the late 1760s, were doing well by the close of Unzaga's governorship, which ended in 1777:  That year, Victor Blanchard, age 25, who had come to the colony in 1765 and moved from the river to Attakapas by the mid 1770s, owned 6 hogs, 5 horses, and 8 head of cattle.  Augustin Broussard, age 29, a 1766 arrival who had moved from the Ascension to Attakapas during the early 1770s, owned 4 hogs, 8 horses, and 7 head of cattle.  Jean-Baptiste Cormier, fils, age 35, who had come to the colony in February 1765 but probably remained at Cabahannocer with his parents and sisters before moving to Attakapas during the early 1770s, owned a horse and a slave.  Charles Duhon, age 43, a 1765 arrival who had moved from the river to Attakapas in the 1770s, owned 6 hogs, 5 horses, and 35 head of cattle.  Younger brother Claude-Amable Duhon, age 41, owned 6 hogs, 4 horses, and 20 head of cattle.  Claire Robichaux, age 64, widow of Jean-Baptiste dit Manuel Hébert, a 1765 arrival who had moved from the river to Attakapas during the early 1770s, owned a horse and 4 head of cattle.  Son Joseph dit Pepin Hébert, age 38, owned 12 hogs, 6 horses, and 20 head of cattle.  Jean-Charles Hébert, age 26, a 1765 arrival who moved from the river to Attakapas in c1770, owned 16 hogs, 4 horses, and 30 head of cattle.  Jean-Baptiste, called Baptiste, Labauve, age 27, a 1765 arrival who had moved from the river to Attakapas probably in the late 1760s, owned 15 hogs, 6 horses, and 30 head of cattle.  Basile Landry, age 50, who had come to the colony with the Breaus in 1768 and moved to Attakapas during the 1770s, owned 10 hogs, a horse, and 6 head of cattle.  Firmin Landry, age 49, a 1766 arrival who had moved from Cabahannocer to Attakapas during the late 1760s or early 1770s, owned 10 sheep, 13 hogs, 16 horses, and 35 head of cattle.  Amand-Pierre Landry, age 31, a 1766 who had moved to Attakapas in the early 1770s, owned 14 hogs, 6 horses, and 18 head of cattle.  Joseph Landry, age 22 and a bachelor, owned 9 horses and 4 head of cattle.  Marie-Josèphe Breaux, age 46, widow of Paul-Honoré Melançon and wife of Creole François Moreau, had come to the colony in 1765 and moved from the river to Attakapas on the eve of the census, owned 8 hogs, 4 horses, and a head of cattle.  Jean dit Neveu Mouton, age 30, a 1765 arrival who had moved from the river to Attakapas during the late 1760s or early 1770s, owned 3 horses, 5 head of cattle, and 3 slaves.  Amand Prejean, age 53, a 1765 arrival who had moved from the river to Attakapas during the early 1770s, owned 7 horses and 30 head of cattle.  François-Joseph Savoie, age 47, a 1765 arrival who had moved to Attakapas during the late 1760s, returned to Cabahannoccer on the river in the early 1770s, was counted there in January 1777, and returned to Attakapas just before the census there, owned 3 horses, 4 cattle, and a slave.411a

As these census figures from the 1770s reveal, many Attakapas cattlemen also raised hogs in substantial numbers.  Their pigs were butchered for home consumption, of course, but the numbers of these animals hint that, by the end of the decade, Attakapas Acadians were producing pork for the colonial market as well.  By any measure of success, including the production of large, healthy families, the descendants of the old resistance fighters, their relatives, and associates, created a thriving New Acadia on the Attakapas prairies.


The Opelousas Acadians also had to struggle to keep their land.  In the summer of 1765, Jacques Courtableau, the largest landowner in the Opelousas District, had granted them refuge at Prairie des Coteaux after they had fled the epidemic on the lower Teche.  Governor Ulloa had found them still living on Prairie des Coteaux when he toured the colony's lower settlements the following spring.  Both Ulloa and Aubry had given them "verbal assurance that they 'would never be troubled in the possession of their properties.'"   The Acadians spent the following years improving their prairie holdings, though, in the spring of 1768, they were forced to beg Ulloa for the loan of oxen and ploughs to bring in their latest crop of wheat.  That same year, Jacques Courtableau acquired the land grant of the recently-ousted Louis Pellerin, "whose vague boundaries overlapped those of the Prairie des Coteaux property owners," most of whom were the struggling Acadians.  When Courtableau died in the early 1770s, his widow insisted that the Pellerin grant included a woodland that Governor Unzaga had declared was "a commons for all settlers" and which bordered the Prairie des Coteaux settlement.  In June 1773, the Acadians, fearing that the widow would lay claim to their grants as well, beseeched Unzaga to reaffirm their titles and "to order Mme Courtableau to stop harassing her neighbors."  Commandant Fuselier de La Claire suggested a compromise, but the governor washed his hands of the affair.  The dispute ended later in the year when François Marcantel, an affluent French immigrant, purchased the disputed woodland from the Courtableau estate.  Shaken by the confrontation with the local elite, the Opelousas Acadians secured new Spanish grants, sold their Prairie des Coteaux holdings to French Creoles and Anglo-American immigrants, and moved south to Prairie Belleveau and Bayou Bourbeaux, where most of them engaged in cattle raising.407 

The Cormier brothers of Chignecto were among the successful practitioners of a type of agriculture that had been familiar to them back in Acadia.  In 1750, when French-Canadian militia and Abbé Le Loutre's Mi'kmaq had uprooted the Cormier family and destroyed its economic independence, Joseph and Michel were only ages 10 and 9 respectively.  Until they reached Louisiana 15 years later, raising cattle was something the brothers had known only as boys, but after a decade of effort on the Opelousas prairies they had managed to create successful vacheries of their own.  At Prairie des Coteaux in 1771, older brother Joseph, age 31 and a widower, held six arpents frontage without title and owned four horses and 15 head of cattle.  Younger brother Michel, age 30 and now married, also held six arpents frontage without title but owned 7 horses and 28 head of cattle.  Michel, who had acquired title to a large grant from Governor Unzaga in 1771, moved to his new property on Bayou Bourbeaux by 1773, where, using the poteaux-en-terre construction method, he built a house on level ground with bousillage walls, a dirt floor, and a porch that encircled the house.  In 1774, Michel, now also a widower but soon to remarry, owned 6 horses and mules, 16 swine, and 20 head of cattle.  Joseph, who had moved to nearby Prairie Belleveau, was married again in 1774 and owned 15 swine, 15 horses and mules, and an impressive 78 head of cattle.  But this was only the beginning of their success as cattlemen.  Three years later, in 1777, Joseph, now age 37, owned 20 hogs, 15 horses, and 150 head of cattle.  That year, Michel, now remarried and age 36, owned 16 hogs, 16 horses, and 50 head of cattle.  He, too, like brother Joseph, owned no slaves, but what they held in land and animals stood in decided contrast to their economic status of nine years before, when they and their Acadian neighbors had been forced to beg the Spanish governor for oxen and ploughs.408 

Other 1765 arrivals became successful livestock producers on the Opelousas prairies.  In 1777, Charles Comeaux, age 35, Joseph Cormier's neighbor on Prairie Belleveau, owned 50 hogs, 15 horses, 100 head of cattle, and a single slave.  Charles's cousin Michel Comeaux, age 43, Michel Cormier's neighbor on Bayou Bourbeaux, owned a slave, 40 hogs, 12 horses, and 200 head of cattle--one of the largest herds in the entire district.  François Pitre, only 29 years old, owned 15 hogs, 12 horses, and 50 head of cattle.  Joseph Guénard, age 31, owned 10 hogs, 5 horses, and 15 head of cattle.  Pierre Richard, age 48, on Prairie Belleveu, owned  20 hogs, 12 horses, and 100 head of cattle.  Younger brother Victor Richard, only age 30, also living on Prairie Belleveu, owned 10 hogs, 9 horses, and 70 head of cattle.  Pierre Savoie, age 36, owned 20 hogs, 12 horses, and 60 head of cattle.  Sylvain Sonnier, age 41, on Prairie Belleveau, owned 45 hogs, 11 horses, 150 head of cattle, and two slaves.  Younger brother Olivier, age 25 and still a bachelor, owned 4 horses and 15 head of cattle.  Brother Joseph, age 21 and a bachelor, owned 5 horses and 15 head of cattle. Pierre Thibodeaux, age 52, also on Prairie Belleveau, owned 25 hogs, 7 horses, and 80 head of cattle. 

Even late comers to Opelousas were doing well by the end of Unzaga's governorship:  In 1777, L'ange Bourg, age 27, who had come to the colony with the Broussards in 1765, moved to Cabahannocer and then to Opelousas a year or two later, and was recently married, owned 10 hogs, 8 horses, and 48 head of cattle.  Brother Joseph Bourg, age 26, still a bachelor, owned 12 horses and 27 head of cattle.  Pierre-Paul, called Paul, Boutin, age 50, a 1767 arrival who had moved to Opelousas from St.-Gabriel during the late 1760s or early 1770s, owned 40 hogs and 38 head of cattle.  Blaise Brasseaux, age 25, who had come to the colony with his widowed mother in 1767 and also moved from St.-Gabriel during the late 1760s or early 1770s, owned 5 horses and 15 head of cattle.  Joseph Granger, age 31, a 1766 arrival who had moved from Cabahannocer to Opelousas in the 1770s, owned a horse and 2 head of cattle.  Younger brother Jean-Baptiste Granger, age 25 and still a bachelor, owned 2 head of cattle.  Pierre Guidry, age 35, who had come to the colony with the Breaus in 1768 and moved to Opelousas during the early 1770s, owned 12 horses and 10 head of cattle.  Charles Jeansonne, age 32 and soon to marry a sister of Blaise Brasseaux, was a 1765 arrival who had moved from Cabahannocer to Opelousas in the late 1760s or early 1770s and owned 8 horses and 6 head of cattle.  Brother Jean Jeansonne, age 31, owned 10 hogs, 5 horses, and 18 head of cattle.  Brother Paul Jeansonne, age 22 and still a bachelor, owned a horse and 10 head of cattle.  Cousin Joseph Jeansonne, age 29 and also still a bachelor, who had come to the colony during the late 1760s or 1770s, owned 8 hogs, 2 horses, and 4 head of cattle.  Blaise Lejeune, age 26, who had come to the colony in 1769 aboard the Britannia, owned 4 hogs, 3 horses, and 8 head of cattle.  Younger brother Joseph Lejeune, age 21 and a bachelor, owned 2 head of cattle.  Mathurin Richard, age 36, a 1767 arrival in the colony, owned 4 head of cattle.  Jean dit Valois Savoie, age 26, who had come to the colony in 1765 and moved from Cabahannocer to Opelousas during the mid-1770s, owned 4 horses and 25 head of cattle.  Honoré Trahan, age 51, who had come to the colony in 1769 aboard the Britannia and now resided on Prairie Belleveu, owned 20 hogs, 6 horses, and 30 head of cattle.  Son Pierre Trahan, age 27 and recently married, owned 12 hogs, 3 horses, and 26 head of cattle.  These latecomers also had struggled to gain a foothold in a district dominated by other ethnicities, but now they and their families could enjoy the material comforts that had eluded them for so long.409


Difficulties with land along the Acadian coasts had less to do with grasping neighbors than with the existential whims of a powerful river and Spanish inheritance laws.  Unfortunately, "several settlers were given lands subject to rapid erosion, particularly at river bends."  When the Mississippi eroded away the front portion of a farm, which was generally no more than 6-arpents wide along the river, the family had no choice but to move to vacant land nearby or to leave the river entirely.  At the same time, Spanish inheritance laws dictated that land be divided evenly among heirs, "which divided the original family land grant into progressively small tracts with each successive generation."  Because of these factors, and despite "the imposition of increasingly stringent restrictions on intracolonial movement" during the 1770s, Acadians who did migrate tended to move from the river to the prairies.  Still, most of the river Acadians remained in place, determined to make a decent living on the land they possessed.  As a result, population density on the Acadian coasts "increased 226 percent between 1766 and 1777, rising from 241 to 786."413 

The relative economic prosperity of the prairie and river settlements, based, at least, on the number of animals owned, can be seen in economic data gleaned from the Acadians living at Attakapas and Opelousas in 1777 and at Lafourche des Chitimachas, or Ascension, the same year.  Ascension's commandant, Louis Judice, who completed the census in April, counted  61 men, 67 women, 128 boys, 92 girls, 586 arpents, 137 slaves, 1,178 horned cattle, 158 horses, 80 sheep, 882 swine, 130 arms, 1 free savage, 12 goats, and 3 kids:   In 1777, François-Marie Babin, age 35, who had come to the colony with the Breaus in 1768, held 9 arpents on the east bank of the river at Ascension and owned 9 swine and 11 head of cattle.  Brother Firmin, age 30, held 9 arpents on the east bank and owned 3 swine and 7 head of cattle.  Amand Babin, age 34, a 1766 arrival, held 6 arpents on the right bank and owned 20 swine, 3 horses, and 19 head of cattle.  Brother Charles, age 35, held 6 arpents on the east bank and owned 10 hogs, no horses, 20 head of cattle, and 2 slaves.  Brother Vincent-Ephrem, called Ephrem, age 32, held 6 arpents on the left bank and owned 30 hogs, 2 horses, 15 head of cattle, and 3 slaves.  Joseph Babin, age 29, a 1766 arrival, held 6 arpents on the west bank and owned 16 hogs, a horse, 20 heads of cattle, and 2 slaves.  Joseph dit Dios Babin, age 23, a 1766 arrival, held 6 arpents on the west bank and owned 12 swine, 2 horses, and 8 head of cattle.  Anselme Le Borgne de Bélisle, age 39, scion of a noble Acadian family who had come to the colony in 1767, held 5 arpents on the west bank and owned 8 swine, 3 horses, 13 head of cattle, and a slave.  Jean-Baptiste Breaux, age 52, a 1766 arrival, held 6 arpents fallow on the west bank and owned 29 swine, 3 horses, 15 head of cattle, and a slave.  Joseph Breaux, age 24, a 1768 arrival, held 4 arpents on the east bank and owned 2 horses and 4 head of cattle.  Paul Breaux, age 32, a 1766 arrival, held 5 arpents on the east bank and owned 21 hogs, a horse, 22 head of cattle, and a slave.  Firmin Broussard, age 25, a 1766 arrival, held 2 lots, one 8 arpents "fallow," the other 6 arpents, both on the east bank, and owned 8 swine, 2 horses, and 14 head of cattle.  Joseph Bujole, age 54, a 1766 arrival, held 6 arpents on the west bank of the river and owned 19 hogs, 2 horses, 18 head of cattle, and a slave.  Son Augustin, age 24, held 5 arpents on the west bank and owned 7 swine, 2 horses, and 10 head of cattle.  Joseph's younger brother Étienne, age 53, held 12 arpents on the west bank of the river and owned 18 swine, 3 sheep, 3 horses, 24 cattle, and 4 slaves.  François Dugas, age 37, who had to the colony in February 1765 with the Broussards, held 6 arpents on the right bank and owned 9 swine, 2 horses, 20 head of cattle, and a slave.  Younger brother Charles, age 27, held 6 arpents on the right bank and owned 15 hogs, 2 horses, and 11 head of cattle.  Brother Athanase, age 24 and a bachelor soon to be married, held 6 arpents on the west bank and owned 10 hogs, 4 horses, and 5 head of cattle.  Brother Michel, age 20 and also a bachelor soon to be married, lived with brother Athanase and owned 10 sheep, a horse, and 2 head of cattle.  Jean Duhon, age 30, a 1765 arrival, held 6 arpents on the west bank and owned 8 swine, 4 horses, 28 head of cattle, and 1 slave.  Younger brother François, age 28, held 7 arpents on the west bank and owned 3 swine, 2 horses, and 9 head of cattle.  Pierre Dupuis, age 27 and still a bachelor, a 1768 arrival, held 4 arpents on the east bank and owned 7 swine and 2 head of cattle.  Firmin Dupuis, age 25, a 1768 arrival, held 6 arpents on the east bank and owned 8 swine, a horse, and 6 head of cattle.  Charles Foret, age 55, a 1765 arrival, held 6 arpents on the west bank and owned 9 swine, 4 horses, and 16 head of cattle.  Son Pierre-Paul, called Paul, age 31, held 5 arpents on the west bank and owned 15 swine, 7 sheep, 2 horses, 16 head of cattle, and a slave.  Son Anselme, age 25, held 5 arpents on the west bank and owned 4 swine, 2 horses, and 5 head of cattle.  Charles Gaudin dit Lincour, age 26, a 1765 arrival, held 5 arpents on the west bank and owned 8 swine, 3 horses, 14 head of cattle, and a slave.  Amand-Paul Gautreaux, age 45, a 1766 arrival, held 6 arpents on the west bank and owned 7 hogs, 3 horses, and 23 head of cattle.  Joseph Guidry, age 45, who had come to the colony during the late 1760s, held 8 arpents on the east bank and owned 15 swine, no horses, 15 head of cattle, and a slave.  Firmin Guidry, age 25, a 1768 arrival, held 6 arpents on the east bank and owned 8 swine, 3 horses, and 10 head of cattle.  René Landry, age 61, a 1766 arrival, held 6 arpents on the east bank and owned 15 hogs, 2 horses, 24 head of cattle, and 3 slaves.  Son Marin, age 29, held 2 lots, both 6 arpents, one "in fallow," on the east bank and owned 10 swine, 4 horses, and 20 head of cattle.  Son Olivier, age 24, held 6 arpents on the east bank and owned 8 swine, a horse, and 9 head of cattle.  Son Joseph dit Dios, age 20, a bachelor, held 6 arpents on the west bank and owned 15 hogs, a horse, and 6 head of cattle.  Pierre dit Pierrot à Chaques Landry, age 56, a 1766 arrival, held 11 arpents on the east bank and owned 55 swine, 8 horses, 53 head of cattle, and 6 slaves.  Son Jean, age 25, still a bachelor, held 5 arpents on the east bank and owned 2 horses and 6 head of cattle.  Son Jean-Baptiste, age 21, a bachelor, held 5 arpents on the east bank and owned 2 sheep, 2 horses, and 6 head of cattle.  Abraham dit Petit-Abram Landry, age 55 and recently remarried, a 1766 arrival, held an determined number of arpents on the west bank and owned 10 hogs, a horse, and 6 head of cattle.  Son Étienne, age 35 and recently married, held 5 arpents on the east bank and owned 3 hogs, 2 horses, and 18 head of cattle.  Son Simon, age 33, held 11 arpents on the east bank and owned 29 swine, 3 horses, 15 head of cattle, and a slave.  Son Pierre-Abraham dit Pitre, age 25, held 7 arpents on the west bank and owned 9 swine, a horse, and 18 head of cattle.  Vincent Landry, age 50, a 1766 arrival, held 3 arpents on the west bank and owned 10 hogs, a horse, and 14 head of cattle.  Younger brother Pierre dit La Vielliarde, age 45, held 6 arpents on the west bank and owned 32 swine, 4 sheep, 5 horses, 29 head of cattle, and 3 slaves.  Brother Étienne, age 43, held 6 arpents on the west bank and owned 20 hogs, 10 sheep, 2 horses, 25 head of cattle, and 4 slaves.  Mathurin Landry, age 43, a 1768 arrival, held 6 arpents on the west bank and owned 25 hogs, 10 sheep, 2 horses, 28 head of cattle, and a slave.  Charles Landry, age 39, a 1766 arrival, held 6 arpents on the east bank and owned 18 hogs, 2 horses, 17 head of cattle, and a slave.  Younger brother Jacques, age 34, held 2 lots, one 5 arpents "fallow, the other 6 arpents in production, both on the east bank, and owned 5 hogs, 5 horses, 14 head of cattle, and 2 slaves.  Joseph Landry, age 38, a 1765 arrival, held 6 arpents on the west bank and owned 30 swine, 8 sheep, 5 horses, 26 head of cattle, and a slave.  Basile Landry, age 27, a 1766 arrival, held 5 arpents on the west bank and owned 16 swine, 3 horses, and 18 head of cattle.  Joseph dit Belhomme Landry, age 25, a 1766 arrival, held 6 arpents on the west bank and owned 20 hogs, 8 sheep, 2 horses, 30 head of cattle, and 4 slaves.  Mare-Madeleine Landry, age 54, widow of Désiré LeBlanc, who had just died at age 60, a 1766 arrival, held 8 arpents on the west bank and owned 8 hogs, a horse, and 16 head of cattle.  Son Isaac LeBlanc, age 31, held 12 arpents on the east bank and owned 8 swine, 4 horses, 26 head of cattle, and a slave.  Son Jérôme LeBlanc, age 28, held 6 arpents on the west bank of the river and owned 8 hogs, no horses, 12 head of cattle, and 2 slaves.  Élisabeth Boudreaux, age 55, widow of René LeBlanc, a 1765 arrival, held 6 arpents on the west bank and owned 15 swine, 4 horses, and 17 head of cattle.  Son Simon LeBlanc, age 33, held 6 arpents on the west bank and owned 5 swine, a horse, and 20 head of cattle.  Pierre LeBlanc, age 46, a 1766 arrival, held 6 arpents on the east bank and owned 12 hogs, 8 sheep, 3 horses, and 21 head of cattle.  Sylvain LeBlanc, age 36, a 1766 arrival, held 6 arpents on the west bank and owned 15 swine, a horse, 21 head of cattle, and a slave.  Joseph Marant, age 48, a 1765 arrival, held an undetermined number of arpents on the west bank and owned 4 hogs, 2 horses, 2 head of cattle, and 2 slaves.  Charles Melançon, age 34, a 1766 arrival, held 11 arpents on the east bank and owned 15 hogs, 2 horses, and 28 head of cattle.   Charles Prejean, age 41, a 1765 arrival, held 6 arpents on the west bank and owned 4 swine, 2 sheep, 3 horses, and 14 head of cattle.  Younger brother Basile, age 22, held 6 arpents on the west bank and owned 10 swine, 8 sheep, 4 horses, and 11 head of cattle.  Joseph Caissie dit Roger, age 31, a 1765 arrival, held 12 arpents on the right bank and owned 9 swine, 12 goats, 4 horses, and 20 head of cattle.415

The same contrast between the prairie and river settlements can be seen in the number of animals owned by the Acadians at St.-Gabriel in early 1777, the great majority of whom, it must be remembered, had come to the colony two years after most of the prairie Acadians arrived.  The census, completed in March, was conducted by St.-Gabriel commandant Louis Dutisné:  Pierre Allain, age 54, a 1767 arrival, held 6 arpents on the east bank of the river at St.-Gabriel and owned 30 fowl, 18 hogs, 4 horses, and 18 head of cattle.  Son Jean-Baptiste, called Baptiste, age 26 and still unmarried, held 8 arpents on the east bank and owned 14 fowl, 10 hogs, 1 horse, and 12 head of cattle.  Pierre Babin, age 53, another 1767 arrival, held 12 arpents on the east bank and owned 20 fowl, 12 hogs, no horses, and 14 head of cattle.  Jean-Baptiste Babin, age 38, a 1767 arrival, held 6 arpents on the east bank and owned 20 fowl, 12 hogs, 2 horses, 20 head of cattle, and a black slave.  Ignace Babin, age 36, a widower soon to remarry, who had come to the colony in 1767, held 6 arpents on the east bank and owned 17 fowl, 14 hogs, no horses, and 12 head of cattle.  Younger brother Paul, age 26 and still a bachelor, held 6 arpents on the east bank and owned 18 fowl, 6 hogs, and 2 head of cattle.  Étienne Babin, age 28 and newly married, a 1767 arrival, held 6 arpents on the east bank and owned 18 fowl, 8 hogs, 2 horses, and 10 head of cattle.  Younger brother Cyprien, age 27, still a bachelor, held 5 arpents on the west bank and owned 15 fowl, 6 hogs, 3 horses, and 9 head of cattle.  Étienne Babin, age 23 and a bachelor, perhaps a 1767 arrival, held 6 arpents on the west bank and owned 18 fowl, 12 hogs, 3 horses, and 16 head of cattle.  Pierre-Olivier, called Oliver, Benoit, age 48, who had come to the colony in 1769 aboard the Britannia, held 6 arpents on the east bank and owned 14 fowl, 10 hogs, and 22 head of cattle.  Mathurin Benoit, age 20 and a bachelor, likely a 1767 arrival, held 6 arpents on the east bank and owned 14 fowl, 6 hogs, and 2 head of cattle.  Marie-Josèphe Landry, age 39, widow of Joseph Blanchard and soon to remarry, a 1767 arrival, held 6 arpents on the east bank and owned 20 fowl, 10 hogs, no horses, and 18 head of cattle.  Anselme Blanchard, age 36, a 1767 arrival, held 6 arpents on the east bank and owned 18 fowl, 8 hogs, 3 horses, 12 head of cattle, and 2 slaves.  Jérôme Blanchard, age 18 and a bachelor, perhaps a 1767 arrival, held 6 arpents on the west bank but the census taker did not count his animals.  Pierre Brasseaux, age 35, a 1767 arrival, held 12 arpents on the east bank and owned 30 fowl, 16 hogs, 7 horses, and 17 head of cattle.  Jean-Charles Breaux, age 44, who had come to the colony in 1768, held 9 arpents on the east bank and owned 40 fowl, 19 hogs, 6 horses, 20 head of cattle, and a slave.  Son Michel, age 23 and newly married, held 6 arpents on the east bank and owned 14 fowl, 12 hogs, 3 horses, and 9 head of cattle.  Marguerite Landry, age 41, widow of Antoine Breaux, another 1768 arrival, held 9 arpents on the east bank and owned 40 fowl, 18 hogs, 3 horses, and 20 head of cattle.  Son Joseph, age 23, held 6 arpents on the east bank and owned 20 fowl, 12 hogs, 2 horses, and 8 head of cattle.  Marie-Josèphe Landry, age 40, widow of Joseph Breaux, a 1768 arrival, held 8 arpents on the east bank and owned 30 fowl, 18 hogs, 4 horses, and 20 head of cattle.  Pierre Breaux, age 36 and still a bachelor, a 1768 arrival, held 6 arpents on the west bank and owned 10 fowl, 6 hogs, no horses, and 3 had of cattle.  Jean Breaux, age 26 and still a bachelor, who had come to the colony in 1766, held 6 arpents on the east side of the river and owned 18 fowl, 8 hogs, and 12 head of cattle.  Paul Chiasson, age 31, who had come to the colony perhaps from St.-Domingue in 1765, held 5 arpents on the east bank and owned 20 fowl, 8 hogs, 1 horse, and 12 head of cattle.  Pierre-Sylvain Clouâtre, age 37, a 1768 arrival, held 6 arpents on the west bank and owned 20 fowl, 12 hogs, no horses, and 9 head of cattle.  Younger brother Joseph, age 27, held 6 arpents on the west bank and owned 18 fowl, 12 hogs, no horses, and 10 head of cattle.  Jean-Charles, called Charles, Comeaux, age 28, a 1767 arrival, held 16 arpents on the east bank and owned 40 fowl, 21 hogs, 6 horses, 20 head of cattle, and 3 slaves.  Joseph Comeaux, age 26, a 1768 arrival, held 8 arpents on the east bank and owned 18 fowl, 8 hogs, no horses, and 10 head of cattle.  Augustin Dugas, age 30, perhaps a 1767 arrival, held 6 arpents on the west bank and owned 17 fowl, 5 hogs, 2 horses, and 8 head of cattle.  Pierre Dugas, age 23, perhaps a brother and a 1767 arrival, held 6 arpents on the west bank and owned 16 fowl, 8 hogs, 2 horses, and 10 cattle.  Alexandre Dugas, age 19 and a bachelor, perhaps another brother and a 1767 arrival, held 6 arpents on the west bank and owned 8 fowl, 4 hogs, and 6 head of cattle.  Joseph Dupuis, age 41, who had come to the colony during the 1760s probably from St.-Domingue, held 6 arpents on the west bank and owned 30 fowl, 10 hogs, 3 horses, and 12 head of cattle.  Nephew Jean-Baptiste Dupuis, age 25 and recently married, held 8 arpents on the west bank and owned 20 fowl, 10 hogs, and 8 head of cattle.  Brother Simon-Joseph, called Joseph, age 23 and a bachelor, held 8 arpents on the right bank and owned 14 fowl, 9 hogs, and 12 head of cattle.  Pierre Foret, age 42, probably a 1767 arrival, held 6 arpents on the east bank and owned 30 fowl, 12 hogs, 19 head of cattle, and a slave.  Paul Hébert, age 65, a 1767 arrival, held 6 arpents on the west bank and owned 40 fowl, 3 horses, 12 hogs, and 18 head of cattle.  Son Pierre-Paul, age 40, held 5 arpents on the west bank and owned 30 fowl, 12 hogs, 3 horses, and 14 head of cattle.  Son Joseph, age 37, held 6 arpents on the east bank and owned 25 fowl,, 10 hogs, 4 horses, and 12 head of cattle.  Son Jean-Baptiste, called Baptiste, age 27, recently married, held 5 arpents on the west bank and owned 15 fowl, 2 horses, 12 hogs, and 7 head of cattle.  Son Amand, age 23 and recently married, held 5 arpents on the west bank, 20 fowl, 12 hogs, 2 horses, and 13 head of cattle.  Paul's younger brother Ignace, age 53, held 6 arpents on the west bank and owned 30 fowl, 15 hogs, and 16 head of cattle.  Alexandre Hébert, age 42, a 1767 arrival, held 6 arpents on the west bank and owned 20 fowl, 10 hogs, 2 horses, and 10 head of cattle.  Younger brother François, fils, age 39, held 5 arpents on the east bank and owned 19 fowl, 16 hogs, 3 horses, and 18 head of cattle.  Brother Amand, age 37, held 6 arpents on the east bank and owned 28 fowl, 3 horses, 14 hogs, and 18 head of cattle.  Brother Jean-Baptiste dit Petit-Jean, age 35, held 6 arpents on the east bank and owned 30 fowl, 12 hogs, 3 horses, and 20 head of cattle.  Brother Étienne, age 33, held 6 arpents on the east bank and owned 19 fowl, 12 hogs, 3 horses, and 14 head of cattle.  Brother Pierre-Caieton, called Caieton, age 30 and recently married, held 6 arpents on the west bank and owned 20 fowl, 12 hogs, no horses, and 12 head of cattle.  Brother Joseph, age 28, held 6 arpents on the west bank and owned 18 fowl, 5 hogs, no horses, and 7 head of cattle.  Brother Charles, age 26, held 6 arpents on the east bank and owned 30 fowl, 18 hogs, 4 horses, 14 head of cattle, and a slave.  Pierre Hébert, age 40, a 1765 arrival, held 5 arpents on the west bank and owned 30 fowl, 12 hogs, 3 horses, and 14 head of cattle.  Augustin Landry, age 58, a 1767 arrival, held 10 arpents on the west bank and owned 30 fowl, 15 hogs, no horses, 18 head of cattle, and a slave.  Mathurin Landry, age 40, who had come to the colony in February 1765 with the Broussards, moved to Cabahannocer, and then to St.-Gabriel, held 6 arpents on the left bank and owned 20 fowl, 14 hogs, 12 head of cattle, and 3 slaves.  Anselme Landry, age 39, a 1767 arrival, held 8 arpents on the east bank and owned 13 fowl, 11 hogs, no horses, and 12 head of cattle.  Younger brother François-Sébastien, age 36, held 12 arpents on the east bank and owned 20 fowl, 12 hogs, 3 horses, 12 head of cattle, and 3 slaves.  Brother Paul-Marie, age 33, held 6 arpents on the west bank and owned 18 fowl, 10 hogs, no horses, and 12 head of cattle.  Brother Firmin, age 29, held 8 arpents on the east bank and owned 30 fowl, 9 hogs, 3 horses, 12 head of cattle, and a slave.  Joseph Landry, age 38 and a widower, perhaps a 1767 arrival, held 8 arpents on the west bank and owned 17 fowl, 15 hogs, and 12 head of cattle.  Athanase Landry, age 35, a 1767 arrival, held 6 arpents on the west bank and owned 16 fowl, 8 bogs, no horses, and 10 head of cattle.  Hyacinthe Landry, age 34, a 1767 arrival, held 6 arpents on the east bank and owned 30 fowl, 12 hogs, 3 horses, 13 head of cattle, and a slave.  Brother Jean-Athanase, age 26, held 6 arpents on the west bank and owned 20 fowl, 14 hogs, 3 horses, and 10 head of cattle.  Joseph Landry, age 22 and a bachelor, who may have come to the colony with the Breaus in 1768, held 10 arpents on the west bank and owned 12 fowl, 4 hogs, and 6 head of cattle.  Joseph Castille of Menorca, age 45, whose wife was a Landry, a 1767 arrival, held 6 arpents on the east bank, and owned 18 fowl, 12 hogs, 10 head of cattle, and a slave.  Bonaventure LeBlanc, age 50, a 1767 arrival, held 10 arpents on the east bank and owned 30 fowl, 14 hogs, 3 horses, and 19 head of cattle.  Son Joseph dit Adons, age 25, held 6 arpents on the east bank and owned 15 fowl, 9 hogs, and 13 head of cattle.  Jean-Baptiste LeBlanc, age 28 and recently married, a 1767 arrival, held 6 arpents on the east bank and owned 18 fowl, 10 hogs, no horses, 8 head of cattle, and a slave.  Younger brother Pierre, age 24, held 6 arpents on the west bank and owned 15 fowl, 8 hogs, 3 horses, 10 head of cattle, and a slave.  Joseph dit Agros LeBlanc, age 22 and a bachelor, a 1767 arrival, held 6 arpents on the west bank and owned 16 fowl, 6 hogs, and 3 head of cattle.  Joseph-Michel, called Michel, LeBlanc, age 19 and still a bachelor, a 1767 arrival, held 4 arpents on the east bank and owned 18 fowl, 2 horses, 6 hogs, and 12 head of cattle.  Amand Melançon, age 49, a 1767 arrival, held 10 arpents on the west bank and owned 30 fowl, 16 hogs, 4 horses, 20 head of cattle, and a slave.  Joseph Orillion dit Champagne, age 29, a 1765 arrival, held 6 arpents on the west bank and owned 30 fowl, 14 hogs, no horses, and 12 head of cattle.  Pierre Richard, age 63 and a widower, a 1767 arrival, held arpents on the west bank and owned 12 fowl, 8 hogs, 2 horses, 10 head of cattle, and 6 slaves.  Marie Breaux, age 35, widow of son Amand Richard and soon to remarry, a 1767 arrival, held 12 arpents on the east bank and owned 30 fowl, 16 hogs, 3 horses, 18 head of cattle, and 2 slaves.  Simon-Henry Richard, age 37, a 1767 arrival, held 12 arpents on the east bank and owned 30 fowl, 10 hogs, no horses, and 11 head of cattle.  Younger brother Paul, age 30 and recently married, held 6 arpents on the east bank and owned 20 fowl, 12 hogs, no horses, and 18 head of cattle.  Joseph Richard, age 30, probably a 1767 arrival, held 6 arpents on the east bank and owned 20 fowl, 12 hogs, 2 horses, 12 head of cattle, and a slave.  Étienne Rivet, age 60, who had come to the colony aboard the Britannia in 1769, held 10 arpents on the west bank and owned 14 fowl, 12 hogs, 2 horses, and 12 head of cattle.  Michel-Maxime Rivet, age 37, a 1768 arrival, held 6 arpents on the west bank and owned 12 fowl, 7 hogs, no horses, and 9 head of cattle.  Younger brother Cyrille, age 34, held 6 arpents on the west bank and owned 20 fowl, 15 hogs, no horses, and 10 head of cattle.  Brother Blaise, age 30, still a bachelor, held 6 arpents on the west bank and owned 12 fowl, 11 or 17 hogs, no horses, and 7 head of cattle.  François Rivet, age 26 and still a bachelor, a 1769 arrival, held 6 arpents on the west bank and owned 12 fowl, 8 hogs, and 4 head of cattle.414

The census taker at St.-Jacques in 1777, Commandant Michel Cantrelle, did not list the arpents of land held or the number of animals owned by each inhabitant, so an economic comparison with the other Acadian settlements is not possible.  However, the census, conducted from January to April, does provide the names and ages of the Acadian heads of families, as well as that of the adult bachelors, living on both banks of the Lower Acadian Coast that year.  A few, still living together on the east bank, had come to the colony from Georgia in 1764:  Jean-Baptiste Cormier, père, age 68; Joseph Landry, age 29; Jean-Baptiste, called Jean, Poirier, age 44; Jean-Baptiste, called Jean, Richard, age 58; son Jean-Marie, age 31; and son Joseph, who would have been age 19 and a bachelor.  Some had come to the colony with the Broussards from Halifax in February 1765 and moved to the river during the fall of that year:  Jean Arceneaux, age 49, living on the east bank; son Jean-Charles, called Charles, age 25, on the west bank; son Joseph, age 21 and a bachelor, on the east bank; son Guillaume, age 18 and a bachelor, on the east bank; Jean's younger brother Joseph, age 37, on the east bank; Pierre Arceneaux l'aîné, age 46, on the west bank; Amable Blanchard, age 35, on the east bank; Joseph Bourgeois, age 41, on the east bank; brother Michel, age 36, on the east bank; Pierre Darois, age 40, on the west bank; Joseph dit Cadet Dugas, age 24 and still a bachelor, on the east bank; Joseph Guidry, age 42, on the east bank; Ambroise Martin dit Barnabé, age 43, on the east bank; Marie Cormier, age 31, who came to the colony in 1764, widow of Michel Poirier, on the east bank; and Abraham Roy, age 46, on the east bank.  Most had come to the colony from Halifax in 1765 aboard later-arriving vessels:  Jean-Baptiste Bergeron dit d'Amboise, père, age 55, living on the west bank; son Jean-Baptiste dit d'Amboise, fils, age 27, on the west bank; Germain Bergeron, age 34, on the east bank; Pierre Bernard, age 46, on the east bank; son Jean-Baptiste, age 23 and recently married, on the east bank; son Pierre, fils, age 18 and a bachelor, on the east bank; Pierre Berteau, age 38, on the east bank; Joseph Blanchard l'aîné, age 38, on the east bank; Joseph Blanchard le jeune, age 29, on the west bank; brother Pierre, age 28 and a bachelor, on the east bank; Olivier Boudreaux, age 49, on the east bank; son Simon, age 24, on the east bank; Joseph Bourg, age 42, on the east bank; Pierre Bourg, age 27, on the east bank; Paul Bourgeois, age 45, on the east bank; Jean-Baptiste, called Baptiste, Bourgeois, age 44, on the east bank; brother Michel, age 43, on the east bank; Jean Bourgeois, age 38, on the east bank; Athanase Breaux, age 42, on the west bank; Pierre Chiasson, age 48, on the east bank; Michel Chiasson, age 18 and a bachelor, on the east bank; Joseph Dupuis, age 26, on the east bank; Charles Gaudet l'aîné, age 47, on the west bank; brother Jérôme, age 37, on the west bank; Joseph Gaudet, age 38, on the east bank; brother Charles le jeune, age 25 and still a bachelor, on the east bank; Bonaventure Gaudin dit Bellefontaine, père, age 62, on the west bank; son Bonaventure dit Bellefontaine, fils, age 24 and still a bachelor, on the west bank; son Michel dit Bellefontaine, age 21 and a bachelor, on the west bank; Jean-Baptiste Gaudin dit Bellefontaine, age 31, on the east bank; Jean Gaudin dit Bellefontaine, age 30 and still a bachelor, on the east bank; Simon Gautreaux, age 41, on the west bank; Firmin dit La Prade Girouard, age 28, on the east bank; François Hébert, age 42, on the east bank; brother Joseph, age 42, on the west bank; Antoine Labauve, age 51, on the east bank; twin sons Jean and Marin, age 18 and bachelors, on the east bank; Surgeon Philippe de St.-Julien Lachaussée, age 50, on the west bank; Pierre Lambert, père, age 51, on the east bank; son Pierre, fils, age 30 and still a bachelor, on the east bank; Pierre Lanoux, age 31, on the east bank; Joseph LeBlanc, père, age 57, on the west bank; son Joseph, fils, age 27, on the west bank; son Gilles, age 19 and a bachelor, on the west bank; Marcel LeBlanc, age 43, on the west bank; Jean Leger, age 55, on the east bank; Charles d'Amours de Louvière, age 27, on the east bank; Joseph Martin dit Barnabé, age 38, on the east bank; half-brother Paul dit Barnabé, age 28 and still a bachelor, on the east bank; Joachim dit Bénoni Mire, age 41, on the east bank; Louis Mouton, age 40, on the east bank; younger brother Simon, age 33, on the east bank; Pierre Part, age 28, on the east bank; younger brother François, age 24, on the east bank; Joseph Poirier, age 37, on the east bank; Joseph Richard, age 41, on the east bank; Jean Caissie dit Roger, age 20, a bachelor, on the west bank; Charles dit Jean-Charles Savoie, age 56, on the east bank; Joseph Sonnier, age 38 and a widower soon to remarry, on the east bank; younger brother Jean-Baptiste, age 31, on the east bank; Joseph Thériot, age 45, on the east bank; Thomas Thériot, age 32, on the east bank; younger brother Ambroise, age 29 and still a bachelor but soon to marry, on the east bank; brother François-Xavier, called Xavier, age 24 and still a bachelor, on the east bank; Charles Thibodeaux, age 38, on the east bank; and Pierre Vincent, age 32, on the east bank.  Some came to the colony from Maryland in 1766:  Joseph Babin, age 32, living on the west bank; Pierre Breaux, age 37, on the east bank; Étienne-Michel, called Michel, David dit St.-Michel, age 57, on the east bank; son Paul, age 23, on the east bank; son Jean-Baptiste, age 18 and a bachelor, on the east bank; Marie-Josèphe Landry, age 39, widow of Pierre Foret and soon to remarry to a French Canadian, on the east bank; François Landry, père, who would have been age 66, probably on the east bank; son François, fils, age 36, on the east bank; Jacques LeBlanc, age 69, on the west bank; Paul LeBlanc, 34, on the east bank; Simon LeBlanc, age 25, on the west bank; Osite Hébert, age 46, widow of Alexandre Melançon, on the east bank; son Pierre-Jacques, called Jacques, Melançon, age 27, on the east bank; brother Joseph, age 22 and a bachelor, on the east bank; brother Étienne, age 21 and a bachelor, on the east bank; and Jean-Baptiste Melançon, age 41, on the east bank.  A few had come to the colony in c1765 probably from St.-Domingue:  Paul Leger, age 19 and a bachelor, was working as an engagé on the east bank; and Pierre Michel, age 40, also was living on the east bank.  A few, still living on the west bank, had come to the colony from Maryland in 1768:  Alexis Breaux, age 53; son Joseph, age 26; Alexis's younger brother Honoré, père, who would have been age 46; and son Honoré, fils, age 30.  Two, living on the east bank, had come to the colony from Martinique during the late 1760s:  Charles Mouton, age 56; and son Georges, age 21 and still a bachelor.  And had come came to the colony during the late 1760s or early 1770s perhaps from St.-Domingue:  Pierre Arceneaux le jeune, age 28, living on the west bank; and Charles Comeaux, age 52, on the east bank.  Commandant Cantrelle did offer this impressive summation for St.-Jacques:  The district contained a total of 1,020 arpents of land fronting the river along both banks; 172 slaves, the largest numbers of them no doubt held by the Creole elite; 2,204 head of cattle; 388 horses; and 699 persons.  Of the 134 families counted at St.-Jacques that year, 96, or 72 percent, were Acadian, which was why the area was being called the First or Lower Acadian Coast.414a

The Acadian Coast was not a major cattle-producing area, hence the smaller number of beeves there compared to the prairie districts.  But the number of hogs and fowl held by the river Acadians, as well as the number of slaves they owned, testifies to their attainment of material comfort and an end to dependence on government handouts.  After nearly a decade of Spanish rule and a dozen years in the colony, there was no question that the river Acadians, as well as their cousins on the prairies, had finally come into their own economically.  Especially impressive were the holdings of the 1768 arrivals from Maryland, whose year and a half at Fort San Luìs de Natchez was a time of misery and want.  After their release from the isolated outpost in December 1769, they hurried down to the Acadian Coast, where, after only a half dozen years of effort, they attained a level of material comfort on par with their kinsmen.414b 


The Acadians attained more than material comfort during the first decade of Spanish rule in Louisiana.  In 1770, Governor O'Reilly "ordered the construction of chapels and presbyteries in each Acadian settlement and, upon learning of the manpower deficiencies in the province's religious communities, appealed to the diocese of Havana for missionaries to staff the new parishes."  Roman Catholics every one, the Acadians welcomed the new houses of worship as well as the new priests.  When the first Acadians had come to the colony in 1764, there were only three established church parishes in western Louisiana:  St.-Louis at New Orleans, created in 1719; St.-Charles des Allemands on the German Coast, dating from 1722; and St.-François de Assisi at Pointe-Coupée, founded in 1727.  Each of these parishes answered to a vicar-general, sometimes Jesuit, sometimes Capuchin, residing at New Orleans, who represented the distant Bishop of Québec.  In 1763, when Canada became a British possession, the priests of lower Louisiana answered to the Bishop of French St.-Domingue.  In August 1769, after General Alejandro O'Reilly took formal possession of the colony for Spain, the priests in lower Louisiana answered to the Bishop of Santiago de Cuba.418 

When the Broussards journeyed to Attakapas in the spring of 1765, they took Capuchin Father Jean-François de Civray with them.  Tradition says that Father Jean-François created a church parish at the Poste des Attakapas, now St. Martinville.  The first edifice, called L'Église des Attakapas, or the Church of Attakapas, was a small frame structure at the post built on land donated by Jean-Antoine-Bernard Dauterive.  Father Jean-François did not remain at Attakapas; his final entry in the parish register, the baptismal record of Acadian Marie Pellerin, is dated 11 January 1766.  In 1773, local leaders chose a syndic, again, to oversee construction of a church at the post, perhaps another, larger church to replace the first one, but there still was no resident priest there at the time.  It was not unusual for Attakapas baptisms, marriages, and burials to be recorded by priests from other parishes during the 1770s.  Pointe Coupée lay near a northern route across the Atchafalaya Basin and was the closest church to Attakapas during much of that period; as a result, the Pointe Coupée priest served as a missionary to Attakapas from the late 1760s.  The Opelousas church, even closer to Attakapas, was founded in 1776, and the priests there served Attakapas residents during the late 1770s.  In 1779, even the curé of Ascension parish, out on the river, administered the sacraments to Attakapas settlers.  By 1781, however, residents of Attakapas once again had a priest of its own--Father Hilaire de Genevaux, who came to them from Pointe Coupée.  During its early days, the Attakapas parish was variously called St.-Joseph and St.-Bernard, but in the early 1790s, when Father George Murphy served as pastor, it came to be known as St.-Martin des Attakapas or St.-Martin de Tours.  The parish council of St.-Martin de Tours owned the land around the church, which included much of today's downtown St. Martinville.  During the late 1790s, after St.-Martin de Tours had been firmly established, a unique lease-purchase arrangement was made between the church council and the local merchants that existed for nearly a century.  By the twentieth century, the parish was calling itself, rightly, the "Mother Church of the Acadians."417

As Acadians from Halifax and Maryland began to fill the empty spaces along Côte Cabahannocer, above the German Coast, church authorities sent Father Barnabé from St.-Charles des Allemands to minister to their needs.  Beginning in March 1766 and continuing into the following year, the good father began to perform so many weddings at Cabahannocer that Co-commandant Louis Judice informed Spanish governor Ulloa in October 1767:  "It is a pleasure to see these poor people marry.  I expect many more marriages to take place in the near future."  The co-commandant was correct.  A month later, Judice was telling the governor:  "I also have the honor of notifying you that Fr. Barnabé, pastor of the Des Allemands parish, has just spent six days at my home, during which time he performed five Acadian weddings.  Sir, as the priest celebrates holy mass in my house and as it cannot accommodate three or four hundred persons, as was the case on the eighth of this month, the priest has proposed construction of a shed, 40 feet long by 20 feet wide.  Roofed and enclosed by posts, it could serve as a church until better facilities are available.  Here, the Christian faithful could congregate on Sundays and feast days for public prayer until such time as we have a (resident) priest."  By July 1768, the temporary chapel was completed.  Father Barnabé blessed it and dedicated it to Sts. Jacques and Philippe.  On the day that he reported the completion of the "shed," 2 July 1768, Co-commandant Judice informed Governor Ulloa:  "The Acadians, who, so strong in their faith, had expressed the desire for a church, will today be able to gather in this chapel and openly worship together.  They have also agreed, in my presence, to pay 2 livres, 2 sols per family in order to pay for contractors.  There are many Acadians, however, who refused to pay their share.  I humbly beg you to authorize me to force these delinquents to pay their (church) taxes without further delay."  Despite the Acadians' protests, which dragged on for two years and also involved Co-commandant Verret, Governor O'Reilly ordered the Acadians to pay their church dues.   Even then, they refused (an historian of the Acadians in Nova Scotia has remarked, "the Acadians were scarcely more willing to pay tithes than quitrents"), and it took a direct order from O'Reilly's successor, Governor Unzaga, to force the "delinquents" to pay their dues.  Meanwhile, in 1770, church authorities created a new parish for Cabahannocer, dedicated to St.-Jacques.  The church lay on the west bank of the river, near Jacques Cantrelle's concession, but the area along both banks, now being called the First or Lower Acadian Coast, soon was being called St.-Jacques as well.  The parish's first resident priest, French Capuchin Father Valentin, formerly of Natchitoches and Pointe Coupée, clashed with some of the Acadian men and was replaced by Spanish Capuchin Father Luis Lipiano de Tolosa in 1772.  Unlike the church at Attakapas, St.-Jacques maintained a resident priest throughout the Spanish period.419

In 1770, Spanish Governor Alejandro O'Reilly appointed Louis Judice to command a new district called Lafourche des Chitimachas, which lay on both banks of the river between St.-Jacques and St.-Gabriel and centered on the junction of Bayou Lafourche and the Mississippi River--the Fork.  In August, Commandant Judice conducted a census of the Acadian settlers in his new district and counted 84 families.  By 1772, the area around the Fork had become populated enough for the Spanish to create a new church parish there:  La Parroquia de la Ascension de Nuestro Senor Jesu Christo de La Fourche de Los Tchitimacha, located at today's Donaldsonville.  The Acadians called their church and the area around it Ascension.  The pastor of Ascension church, Father Angel de Revillagodos, perhaps the first Spanish Capuchin to administer a parish in Louisiana, died in the church rectory in December 1784 after serving Ascension for a dozen years.  The following year, he was replaced by Father Joachim de Ajofrin and then by Father Pedro de Zamora.  Louis Judice served as commandant of Lafourche des Chitimachas well into the 1790s.420

In 1772, the same year that Ascension parish was created, the Bishop of Santiago de Cuba created another new church parish on the river above New Orleans.  St.-Jean-Baptiste des Allemands, located at present-day Edgard, served what was now being called the Second, or Upper, German Coast, lying between St.-Charles des Allemands and St.-Jacques parishes.  The first pastor at St.-Jean-Baptiste des Allemands was Father Bernardo de Limpach, a Spanish Capuchin.  St.-Jean-Baptiste des Allemands was not an Acadian community, per se--most of its parishioners were Germans and French Creoles--but Acadians living on the lower end of the Acadian Coast appear in its registers.421 

By 1773, St.-Gabriel settlement, above Ascension, had become populated enough for a church of its own, appropriately dedicated to St.-Gabriel.  The church, still standing and the oldest wooden church structure in the Mississippi valley, was built on the east bank of the river, south of the old fort; the priests at St.-Gabriel served the smaller community on the west bank of the river as well.  The first pastor at St.-Gabriel was the priest at Ascension, Father Angel de Revillagodas, assisted in the first years by fathers Aloysius and Louis-Marie Grumeau.  In 1779, French Capuchin Father Valentin, formerly of Pointe Coupée, St.-Jacques, and Opelousas, became pastor of the parish but left in 1782, when Father Angel de Revillagodas again served as pastor.  In 1783, French priest Father Charles N. M. D'Hermeville came to the parish and served as pastor for the next six years.422 

Meanwhile, out on the prairie, the population around the Poste des Opelousas grew large enough to warrant a church parish of its own.  Originally a mission at the Jacques Courtableau plantation served by priests from Pointe-Coupée as early as 1756, local residents had built a church perhaps at the post by 1767.  Not until 1776, however, did the area have its own church parish, dedicated first to the Immaculate Conception and then to St.-Landry of Sées, a fifth-century French bishop.  The parish's first pastor, French Capuchin Father Valentin, who had long served the area from his post at Pointe Coupée and who came to Opelousas from St.-Jacques on the river, was replaced by another French Capuchin, Father Louis Dubourg de St. Sepulchre, in 1777.  Father Louis-Marie Grumeau, a French Dominican, came in 1779 and remained until 1783.  During the late 1770s, the priests at Opelousas also ministered to the residents at Attakapas, who did not have a resident priest of their own until 1781.423

Finally, after decades of neglect in Nova Scotia under Protestant British rule, and after years of seeing few, if any priests, during their Grand Dérangement, the Acadians of Louisiana had churches of their own and priests to minister to their religious needs.  But, like many things in Acadian life, there was a dark side to their Roman Catholic faith.  Whatever their devotion to the ancient religion, Acadians, especially the men, "refused to extend to their new pastors the reverence the latter demanded in recognition of their social and religious positions.  Moreover, the exiles, who had awaited the priests' arrival with anticipation, soon chafed under the new theocratic local regime.  Indeed, many Acadians families were subjected to close scrutiny by Catholic clergymen for the first time in generations and bitterly resented the intrusion into their daily lives."  During the late 1760s, some of the French Capuchins who visited their settlements "shared the aristocratic Creole's view of the exiles as ignorant peasants, definitely socially inferior to men of the cloth."  After 1770, many of the Acadians' pastors were zealous Spaniards, not all of whom spoke French.  These factors combined to resurrect the Acadians' traditional anti-clericalism.  Arrogant, assertive priests who interfered in their lives joined colonial officials in misunderstanding and then condemning the new arrivals.  "The traditional Acadian ambivalence toward the church ... persisted:  in the frontier tradition, they remained largely self-sufficient in religious matters but were nevertheless forced to rely upon the church for many essential services.  The church's role in their lives, however, had to be entirely passive.  Any effort by clerics to become more than a peripheral influence was viewed as a move toward church domination, and any perceived encroachment upon Acadian independence elicited a hostile if not belligerent reaction."  Thus, the Acadians' devotion to Roman Catholicism masked a deeper essence in their collective souls--a stubborn independence born of long experience on the North American frontier, something which they shared with many of their neighbors in this strange new land of clashing cultures.416


Their anti-clericalism was not the only divisive attitude the Acadians brought with them to Louisiana.  For most of their time along the Bay of Fundy, they had lived in harmony with the Mi'kmaq and other nations of the region.  This changed dramatically by the early 1750s, when Abbé La Loutre turned the Mi'kmaq against them for refusing to join the fight against the British.  As a result, many Acadians blamed their Grand Dérangement not only on their British overlords, but also on the bellicose French and their Indian allies.  Although the Acadians of Nova Scotia were called by British colonists the "Neutral French," the residents of the Atlantic-coast colonies where they had been exiled treated them as enemies; this had as much to do with the devastating French and Indian raids along the colonial frontiers as with the Acadians' French language and Roman Catholic religion.  The Virginians, for example, taking council of their fears, shipped off to England as soon as they could the hundreds of Acadians that Governor Lawrence had foisted on them.  The governors of South Carolina and Georgia were so eager to be rid of them that they encouraged them to hire boats and return to Nova Scotia.  Soon after they reached Louisiana, the exiles could see that here, too, was a hornet's nest of imperial conflict in which the French and then the Spanish encouraged their Indian allies to oppose the British.  What the Acadians had endured in faraway Nova Scotia was the rule, not the exception, in Euro-Indian relations throughout North America.  "This mental framework, in which Indians were viewed paradoxically as economic partners but also as potential military rivals," Professor Brasseaux informs us, "was carried to Louisiana as part of the exiles' cultural baggage."485 

Troubled relations with the local Indians was especially acute along the Mississippi.  On the east bank of the river, across from the Fork, stood a village of the Houma, who had been driven downriver from their traditional homeland decades before.  No nation, from the days of Iberville to the arrival of Ulloa, had been more loyal to the French than the Houma.  In September 1767, soon after Spanish Governor Ulloa settled 200 Acadians recently arrived from Maryland on the river just above the Houma village, the commandant at Cabahannocer, Louis Judice, wrote to Governor Ulloa:  "For quite some time now, the Houma Indians have wanted to go down to the city to see you.  Since I know these people to be tiresome and annoying, I have always tried to discourage them.  Today, however, I was unable to detain them any longer.  They told me that they were going to see their father (the governor).  They asked me to write you a letter, and I was unable to deny their request.  It is, therefore, on their account that I have the honor to write you today."  The following December, Commandant Judice, in another letter to Ulloa, alluded to Houma "insults to the Acadians."  By the early 1770s, the Acadians' growing numbers and Houma recalcitrance led to more violence between the two peoples--a circumstance that reminded many Acadians of the bad times back in British Nova Scotia.  Acadians living near the Fork became so frustrated with the failure of Spanish officials, including Commandant Judice, to curb Houma hostility that they threatened to leave the colony.  They did not leave, of course, nor did the commandant follow through on his threats against the Houma.  By the late 1770s, Houma braves, filled with rum purchased from local Creole merchant Jean-Baptiste Chauvin, were routinely stealing rice and corn from Acadians' fields and rustling their hogs.  The Indians then sold the hogs to the British so that they could buy more rum from Chauvin, who hid his stash of illegal liquor in the woods behind Ascension church.  "Emboldened by alcohol, Houma Indians raided Acadians by day and, when their victims resisted, fired into their homes."  Again, Judice addressed the crisis by writing more letters of complaint to the governor, first Unzaga and then Gálvez, but nothing came of it.  A respite in bad relations with the Houma occurred during the fall of 1785, when a dozen warriors from that nation helped suppress a slave insurrection in the area.  But prejudices still raged between the two peoples, and relations soon deteriorated.  "The continuing feud and the unwillingness of local officials to discipline unruly tribesmen heightened the frustrations of Lafourche Valley Acadians," Professor Brasseaux notes.  Intimidated by the violent tendencies exhibited by inebriated Houma tribesmen, many settlers had watched helplessly as their hogs--an important source of income to Acadians east of the Atchafalaya River--were destroyed and a portion of their crops was removed.  Seething with anger, the Acadians awaited an opportunity to vent their frustrations.486 

Some relief for the Acadians living near the Fork came in 1788, when a smallpox epidemic forced the surviving Houma to migrate to lower Bayou Lafourche.  However, a small band of Choctaw who had lived with the Houma remained at Ascension.  In 1789, they made the mistake of raiding the plantation of Commandant Judice's son and threatened to kill the younger Judice.  The aggrieved father turned to his Acadian militia for help.  They followed the commandant to his son's plantation and formed an ambuscade in the dark.  When the Choctaw confronted Judice, the commandant gave the signal, and the Acadians sprang the trap.  Ignoring the commandant's instructions, the Acadians opened fire on the fleeing Indians and captured five of them, which they escorted to New Orleans for trial.  Other Indians in the area noted the Acadians' warlike actions and stayed clear of them, so much so that Acadian-Indian contact along the river and on upper Bayou Lafourche virtually ceased.487

Acadian-Indian relations on the western prairies was a different matter.  When the Broussard party reached Bayou Teche in the spring of 1765, the Opelousa were too few in number to menace the Creoles and Acadians who settled in the area.   The Atakapas were a much more numerous nation, living in villages along the upper Teche; on the lower Vermilion River; on Bayou Queue de Tortue, a tributary of the Mermentau River; near Lake Arthur on the Mermentau; on lower Bayou Nezpique near its confluence with Bayou Plaquemine Brûlé; and farther out on the Calcasieu prairies.  Among the prairie Acadians, to be sure, were families from the Chignecto region who had suffered at the hands of Abbé Le Loutre and his Mi'kmaq warriors, and so they would have been burdened with the same attitude towards the Indians exhibited by their cousins along the river. The Broussards and many of their kin, however, had no such legacy of fear and distrust.  The Beausoleil Broussards were former resistance fighters who had been living in French, not British territory, in 1755, who had never embraced neutrality, and whose relations with the Mi'kmaq, who fought beside them, had always been friendly.  The Broussards brought this attitude with them to Louisiana, and the Atakapas responded in kind.  Tradition says that during the epidemic that devastated the Teche valley Acadians during their first months in the region, local Atakapas treated them with herbal remedies, a kindness the Acadians would not have forgotten.  Moreover, the prairie Acadians seemed to have gotten along well with the fierce Chitimacha, who lived near them on lower Bayou Teche and along the shores of Grand Lake in the lower Atchafalaya Basin.488

Another factor in cordial relations between the prairie Acadians and the Atakapas was an economic tie based on cattle raising and land acquisition.   The nation was noted for its skilled cattlemen and also for its accomplished rustlers.  By the early 1770s, Atakapas were providing the Acadians horses stolen from the Spanish in Texas.  The Atakapas also rustled cattle from Texas ranches and sold freshly-slaughtered beef and cowhides to the Acadians, who may have encouraged Atakapas to rustle livestock for the Acadians' growing herds.  As the number of European settlers increased in the area, the Atakapas migrated westward to the Calcasieu prairies, selling their abandoned eastern lands to Acadians as well as French Creoles and Anglo Americans.  The Atakapas literally were becoming marginalized in the prairie region, which resulted in fewer contacts with the area Acadians.  The same held true for the Chitimacha, whose determination to maintain their cultural autonomy confined them to a small, isolated grant of land on lower Bayou Teche.489 


When the first wave of Acadian immigration to Louisiana ended by 1770, the exiles outnumbered the socially- and economically-dominant French Creoles in each of their communities except one.  Cabahannocer, Ascension, and St.-Gabriel on the river were being called the Lower and Upper Acadian coasts.  The Attakapas region became predominantly Acadian from the moment the Broussard party arrived there; not even the creation of a Spanish colony on lower Bayou Teche 14 years later challenged the Acadians' numerical dominance in the district.  Only at Opelousas did the Creoles outnumber Acadians, and despite the migration of more Acadians into the district, they would continue to be a minority there.  Above the Acadian coasts lay Pointe Coupée, where few Acadians settled.  Below the Acadian coasts lay the German coasts, where only a few Acadians lived.  Fewer still remained in the French Creole bastion at New Orleans.  After the Acadian refugees from the Britannia left Natchitoches in October 1769, none of them returned to the Red River post.  Moreover, in each of the communities in which the Acadians settled, French Creoles already had been living there.  Acadian insularity alienated their Creole neighbors, as did the Acadians' poverty, stubbornness, disrespect, and their infuriating egalitarianism.  That the exiles now outnumbered them in so many places did not endear the haughty Creoles to these "peasants" from the north.425 

But there was one thing the Acadians did possess that caught the attention of at least one element of Creole society.  The Acadians, of course, brought their daughters to Louisiana, many of whom were of marriageable age.  To be sure, most of these young Acadian women married their own kind, and some of them wasted little time doing it.  The first recorded Acadian marriage in Louisiana, a Thibodeau/Bourg union, occurred at New Orleans in late February 1765; the couple settled at Attakapas.  On the same day in early April, also in the city, a Darois married a Bourgeois, and a Girouard married a Trahan; they, too, went to the Attakapas District, but the Daroiss moved on to Cabahannocer.  In July, at New Orleans, a Savoie and a Landry married and settled at Cabahannocer.  In December, again at New Orleans, a Gaudet/Bourgeois marriage was blessed; they, too, settled at Cabahannocer, where the co-commandants Louis Judice and Nicolas Verret oversaw the marriage of 39 couples in their homes from the end of March 1766 through June 1768.  Only two of those marriages included non-Acadians, both of them grooms.426 

Soon after they reached the colony, then, Acadians engaged in what sociologists call exogamy; in this case, marriage outside of ones culture.  The earliest recorded marriage in Louisiana between an Acadian and a non-Acadian occurred on 17 January 1766 at New Orleans; Rose Thibodeau, widow of Claude Richard, married Jacques LaChaussée, fils from Côte-de-Beaupré, just below Québec; Rose, a native of Pointe-Beauséjour, Chignecto, had come to the colony from Halifax; the couple settled at Cabahannocer.  Rose died soon after the marriage, perhaps from the rigors of childbirth, and Jacques remarried to Acadian Marie-Marthe LeBlanc at Cabahannocer in early February 1768.  The other exogamous marriage at Cabahannocer in its early years was that of Saturnin Bruno, probably an Italian, and Scholastique, called Colette, Léger in April 1768.  Another early Acadian exogamous marriage was that of Anne Arosteguy to Bernard Capdeville of Bern, Switzerland, a military surgeon in the Spanish army, at New Orleans in late February 1766; Bernard remarried to Acadian Anne Clouâtre at Pointe Coupée in December 1768 when he was serving at Fort San Luìs de Natchez.  The first recorded marriage between an Acadian and a Frenchman in Louisiana was that of Cécile Bergeron, widow of Joseph Dugas, a victim of the Attakapas epidemic of 1765, and Nicolas Lahure of Longwy, Lorraine, at New Orleans in March 1767; they settled at Cabahannocer.  Marguerite Bujole of Pigiguit married Augustin Constant, a "publican" from d'Arbone, France, at Cabahannocer in August 1770, and remarried to military physician and lieutenant Don Juan Vives of Valencia, Spain, at Ascension in February 1780.  Acadian women, in fact, began marrying Spaniards, most of them soldiers, soon after they reached the colony.  In March 1767, Marie Granger married Manuel Quintero, a first sergeant in the Spanish service, at New Orleans; the moved upriver to the Baton Rouge area in the 1770s.  Marie Hébert married Spanish soldier Agústín Moreno at Pointe-Coupée in September 1767; the couple were from Fort San Luìs de Natchez.  Marie-Françoise Boutin married Juan Antonio Segovia at Pointe Coupée in April 1768; the couple were from Fort San Gabriel.  In September 1768, at New Orleans, Marguerite Landry married Agústín Sierra, a master blacksmith from the Canary Islands The earliest recorded Acadian exogamous marriage in the prairie districts was that of Anastasie, called Stasie, Guénard and French Canadian Amable dit Beaulieu Bertrand at Opelousas on 9 February 1766; a priest from Pointe Coupée probably performed the marriage.  At the end of October 1767, Acadian Marguerite Martin dit Barnabé of Chignecto, widow of René Robichaux, married French surgeon Antoine Borda at the home of neighbor Michel Doucet at Attakapas; this marriage also was performed probably by a priest from Pointe Coupée.  During the late 1760s, Madeleine Sonnier of Petitcoudiac married Joseph Chrétien at Opelousas; Joseph became a prominent cattleman and planter in the Grand Coteau area.  Catherine-Françoise Pitre of Opelousas married Frenchman Pierre Joubert dit Bellerose during the 1760s.  The first Broussard to marry a non-Acadian was Isabelle, a granddaughter of Alexandre dit Beausoleil, who married Michel Meaux of Chaillevette, Saintonge, France, at Attakapas in February 1770; the marriage probably was performed by a priest from Pointe Coupée; this was the first of Isabelle's three marriages to non-Acadian spouses.  As expected, Acadians took their time surrendering their children to French Creoles.  The first recorded marriage between an Acadian and a French Creole in Louisiana may have been that of Marie-Modeste Savoie, widow of Paul Léger, and Jean-Baptiste Missonnière, "agent of College of Four Nations," at Opelousas in January 1769; the marriage was performed by a priest from Pointe Coupée.  In June 1770, Marie-Josèphe Breau married François Moreau, fils, at St.-Jacques.  In April 1771, Marguerite Prince married Alibamon Jean-Louise Bonin at Attakapas; the marriage was performed by a priest from Pointe Coupée.  Marie Brasseaux married Hubert Janis at Ascension in October 1772; they moved to the Opelousas prairies.  Marin Mouton married Alibamon Marie-Josèphe Lambert of Mobile at St.-Jacques in January 1777.  Hélène Martin dit Barnabé married Alibamon Morice Fontenot at St.-Jacques in January 1778; Hélène's sister Isabelle married Morice's brother Augustin at St.-Jacques three years later.  In July 1772, at Attakapas, Françoise Trahan married Jacques Fostin, fils of Illinois; the marriage was performed by a priest from Pointe Coupée.  In February 1784, Marie-Madeleine Bujole, Marguerite's younger sister, married Auguste, son of former commandant Nicolas Verret, père, at Ascension, an early, and rare, instance of an Acadian marrying into a socially-prominent French Creole family.  The earliest recorded marriage between an Acadian and a German Creole may have been that of Marie David and Antoine Chauffe, originally Schaaf, of St.-Charles des Allemands, at St.-Jacques in January 1774.  Later that year, at Opelousas, Michel Cormier, a widower, married Catherine, daughter of Johann Georg Stahlin, called Stelly, a former Swiss mercenary from Alberhausen, Württemberg.  Basile Deroche married Marie Edelmayer, a widow, at St.-Jacques in September 1778.  It took even longer for Acadians to marry Anglo Americans.  In July 1781, Jean-Charles Comeaux, a widower living at St.-Gabriel d'Iberville, married Anne Catherine, called Catherine, daughter of Daniel Boush or Bush of Virginia, at St.-Gabriel.427 

South Louisiana church records reveal 483 Acadian marriages recorded during the first 20 years of the exiles' presence in the colony.  Of these recorded marriages, 74, or a bit over 15 percent, were exogamous.  As one scholar of the Louisiana Acadian experience attests:  "... this investigator was surprised to discover how soon and to what extent Acadians were marrying non-Acadians."  True, the great majority of Acadians in Louisiana, then and in the decades to follow, married their own kind.  However, considering that they occurred during a time when Acadians were struggling to establish their place in Spanish Louisiana, the number of these "mixed" marriages is remarkable.  They also hint that the Acadian culture was evolving into something different.428


Unlike in old Acadia, where the Acadians were numerically if not politically dominant in most corners of the colony, Spanish Louisiana contained a potpourri of exotic European cultures:  French Creoles, including Alibamons and Illinoisans; French Canadians; recent arrivals from France; German and Swiss Creoles; Italians and Spaniards; and even a hand full of Anglo-Americans, most from the Carolinas and Virginia.  No matter, given the size and the potential of the colony, Governor Unzaga and his successors knew that Louisiana was "dangerously underpopulated."  This had been true when the colony had been French; the dearth of new immigrants was a major reason why France had ceded Louisiana to Spain.  Ironically, just as France was handing over the colony to its Bourbon ally, hundreds of Acadians poured into Louisiana--"Frenchmen" seeking refuge in a "French" colony--but Acadian immigration had virtually ceased by the eve of Unzaga's governorship.  During his seven years as governor, few new immigrants came to Louisiana.  One would think that a flood of Spaniards would have poured into the colony after O'Reilly had suppressed the French Creoles who had overthrown Ulloa, but it did not happen.  Potential Spanish emigrants preferred more southern climes than the recently-acquired borderlands along the Mississippi.  A dangerous people--the aggressive English--occupied the river's opposite bank along its entire length.  A Spaniard who settled in Mexico or in another part of New Spain, even in what was left of the Spanish domain in the Caribbean, would not have been troubled by Englishmen living so near; Jamaica, for instance, was no threat to Cuba and Santo Domingo.  Not until Bernardo de Gálvez had been governor for two years did Spaniards come to Louisiana in substantial numbers, and most of them came not from the Iberian peninsula but from Spanish-controlled islands off the coast of west Africa.429 

They were the Isleños, and they came from the Canary Islands.  When Gálvez succeeded Unzaga as governor in January 1777, he was ordered by his uncle, José de Gálvez, Minister of the Indies, to conduct a colony-wide census, which the colony's commandants completed in May.  The results were disappointing; the census showed that, despite the Acadian migrations of the 1760s, the colony's population had increased but slightly since the Spanish succeeded the French.  Acadian immigration had ended in 1769, so Gálvez had to look elsewhere for potential colonists.  In 1778, he lured hundreds of Canary Islanders first to Cuba and then to lower Louisiana aboard eight vessels.  So many Isleños came to the colony, in fact, that Gálvez was able to establish four widely separated communities for them.429a 

Gálvez sent the first contingent of Isleños to the St.-Gabriel area in January 1779.  He settled them at Gálveztown, also called Villa de Gálvez, just south of the confluence of Bayou Manchac and the Amite River, across from present-day Port Vincent.  Anglo Americans fleeing British forces in the area had started the remote settlement only a short time before Gálvez came to survey the place in late November 1778.  To win the governor's favor, the Anglos named their little town after him.  After he moved the Isleños to the Amite, Gálvez ordered them to build a fort at Gálveztown to intercept British traders who might penetrate the Isle of Orleans via that quarter and also to counter the build up of British defenses in the area.  The town eventually numbered "some 400 people."  Not long after its founding, Governor Gálvez sent a Spanish missionary, Father Francisco Lopez, to the fortified outpost.  The priest boarded with the post's commandant, Sublieutenant Francisco Collel, and said Mass in a chapel, dedicated to San Bernardo, that was attached to one end of the garrison's barracks.  After Father Lopez died in an epidemic that struck the settlement later in 1779, the priest from St.-Gabriel, 15 miles away, administered the sacraments at Galveztown for most of the rest of its short history.424

Meanwhile, in early 1779, Gálvez established a new post on upper Bayou Lafourche, near present-day Belle Rose, a few miles southwest of the Fork.  He called the new settlement Villa de Valenzuéla after the family of his aunt, the wife of José de Gálvez, Spanish minister of the Indies, and settled another contingent of Isleños there.  The first commandant at Valenzuéla was Lieutenant Gilbert-Antoine de St.-Maxênt, Governor Gálvez's father-in-law.  Maxênt quarreled constantly with Louis Judice, the commandant at nearby Ascension, who claimed that Valenzuéla was part of his district.  The Spanish gave an Acadian, Anselme Blanchard of St.-Gabriel, the contract to clear the land and build the houses for the first settlers at Valenzuéla.  Blanchard, a captain in the Acadian Coast militia, succeeded Maxênt as commandant at Valenzuéla in August 1781.  He served in the position until 1784, when complaints from the Isleños and a Spanish officer assigned to the post led to his removal.  Nicolas Verret, fils, whose father had served as co-commandant at St.-Jacques with Nicolas, fils's uncle-by-marriage, Louis Judice, succeeded Blanchard.  Nicolas, fils was only 33 years old when he assumed his duties as commandant of Valenzuéla in late 1784.  During the first year of Verret's tenure, the man who had appointed him, Governor Estevan Miró, Gálvez's successor, ordered the redrawing of the boundaries between the Ascension and Valenzuéla districts.  As a result of the new survey, the Ascension District ran not only along the river above and below the Fork but also along both banks of Bayou Lafourche for the first 40 arpents down from its confluence with the Mississippi.  (An arpent, in this case, was equal to 192 feet or 64 yards in the English measure, so 40 arpents of length would have been about 7,680 feet, or just short of a mile and a half, though the curvature of the bayou made it difficult to set the exact boundary between the two districts.)  The Valenzuéla District ran the rest of the way down the bayou, the lower part of which was uninhabited only by Indians.430

In early 1779, Gálvez sent another contingent of 42 Isleños families to the "high" ground along Bayou Terre-aux-Boeufs, below New Orleans.  The Isleños called their settlement at first La Conception and then Nueva Gálvez in honor of the governor, but both names eventually gave way to San Bernardo, or St.-Bernard, the governor's patron saint.  Of the four Isleño settlements that Gálvez established, San Bernardo was the most successful, and the most enduring, despite frequent flooding and the ravages of hurricanes; it also was the only Isleño settlement in Louisiana that survived as a Spanish-speaking community.  The governor ordered the building of a church at Nueva Gálvez soon after its establishment, but, until 1787, the settlers were ministered to by priests from New Orleans.  In 1783, when more Isleños reached Louisiana, Spanish authorities sent most of them to San Bernardo, doubling the size of the settlement.  Eventually, four distinct communities grew up along the bayou.  Serving as commandant at San Bernardo from its inception was the French Creole aristocrat who had donated land for the settlement, Pierre de Marigny de Mandeville.431

The fourth Isleños community was at Barataria, in the coastal marshlands south of New Orleans.  Like Gálveztown and Valenzuéla, Barataria did not survive, at least not as an Isleño community.432 

Not even the fifth community founded by Gálvez remained Spanish beyond the first few generations.  In early 1779, the governor ordered Lieutenant Colonel Francisco Bouligny to lead 600 Spaniards recently arrived from Málaga to lower Bayou Teche, where they established Nuéva Iberia on a bend of the bayou just below the Acadian settlement at Fausse Point.  The new settlement lay 10 miles south of the Poste des Attakapas, the only "town" in the area.  Gálvez appointed Frenchman Nicolas Forstall to succeed Bouligny as commander of the new settlement.  The Spanish families who founded Nuéva Iberia bore the surnames de Aguilar, Aponte or de Puentes, de Artacho, Balderas, Equra, Fernández, Garcia, Garrido (later Gary), Gomez, Gonzales, Guerrero, Ibañes or Ybanez, de Lagos, López, Martines, de Maura, Mígues, Molina y Postigo, Moreno, de Ortiz, Penalver, de Porras, de Prados, Romero, de Segura, Selano, Vidal, and Villatoro (later Viator).  Some sources claim that Gálvez also sent Isleños to lower Bayou Teche.  A German-American and an Irish-American also can be found in the early rolls of the settlement:  John Abscher, whose name evolved into Abshire, was a Pennsylvania German, and Thomas Beard was from Londonderry, Ireland; both created families in the area.  The settlers at Nuéva Iberia soon realized that there was not enough room for all of them in the small Spanish concession along the banks of the bayou, so some families moved westward into the surrounding prairies or to the shores of nearby Lake Tasse, today's Spanish Lake.  Father Louis-Marie Grumeau of Opelousas served as missionary to the new settlement.  The Spaniards soon assimilated with the French settlers in the area, especially with the Acadians farther up the Teche, whose numbers dictated that Acadian folkways would remain dominant in the area.433


No sooner had Gálvez settled the Isleños and the Malagueños in their five communities than he had to turn his attention to a more pressing business, something that had been stirring for years.  Hundreds of miles away, the American Revolution sputtered and raged along the Atlantic seaboard and up in the Illinois country.  Taking advantage of an opportunity to embarrass the British, on 24 December 1776, Spain's Minister of the Indies, José de Gálvez, "signed a royal order that gave 'open support to the American effort to free the Mississippi River Valley of British domination.'"  In 1778, France came into the war as an ally of the Americans.  On 8 May 1779, Spain officially declared war against Britain, followed by a declaration from King Carlos III on July 8 authorizing Spain's colonies to engage in war against the British.  The faraway conflict on the Atlantic came to lower Louisiana.433b 

Governor Gálvez acted swiftly.  On June 25, soon after learning of the war declaration, he wrote a circular letter to five of his commandants in lower Louisiana:  Bellisle of the Lower German Coast, Robin de Launay of the Upper German Coast, Cantrelle of the Lower Acadian Coast, Judice of Lafourche, and Declouet of the prairie districts.  The governor explained to the five commandants:  "Because, in the present circumstance, we cannot take too many precautions to resist an invasion, or for some other operation that service could demand in the future, I have decided that, in one case or another, I could use militiamen and others of your commandery (who) are prepared to bear arms;  that is, only those with neither wives nor children, (and) neither father nor mother for whom to care.  Therefore, I have prepared a list (based on the last census), which I have enclosed...."  Gálvez added:  "I enjoin you to hold this order in the greatest secrecy, so that not even the officer(s) and soldiers themselves know of it until the exact moment when time comes to march, (in order) to allay the alarm it would, undoubtedly, cause, as well as to hide my plan...."  Gálvez did not send marching orders to the commandants at Arkansas, Natchitoches, Pointe Coupée, and Rapides.  They "were obliged ... to remain at their local stations, on alert against British encroachment from the upper reaches of the Mississippi River."433c   

British forces were back on the lower river.  In June 1768, General Thomas Gage, commander-in-chief of British forces in North America, had ordered the abandonment of Fort Bute and other British posts on the lower Mississippi as well as the withdrawal of troops from West Florida to St. Augustine on the Atlantic.  The palisade at Fort Bute had been thrown down, but the buildings remained, serving as a British trading post until January 1770.  In October 1771, a British Indian agent, former artillery Lieutenant John Thomas, occupied the site of the dismantled fort and did his best to maintain good relations with the local tribes.  Though forbidden to do so by international agreement, Thomas managed to entice some of the petit tribes to move from the Spanish to the British side of the river.  He also attempted to make an ill-advised alliance with a warlike tribe, the Arkansas.  Governor Unzaga and other Spanish officials protested, and Thomas was chastised by his superiors.  Other than troubles with locals Indians and sporadic attempts by officials on both sides of the Mississippi, including Thomas, to halt the lucrative smuggling trade in the region, the stretch of river above Bayou Manchac remained relatively quiet for the next few years.  In early 1775, American Whigs invited both British West Florida and East Florida to send delegates to the Continental Congress in Philadelphia, but both of the Florida colonies declined the invitation.  When war broke out between the American revolutionaries and British forces under Gage that spring, the great majority of the settlers in West Florida remained loyal to King George III.  In 1778, the so-called Willing Expedition ransacked Loyalist plantations along the lower Mississippi.  In July of that year, a Revolutionary force under George Rogers Clark of Virginia captured the British posts at Kaskaskia and Vincennes in the Illinois country.  The British responded by sending 500 regulars, German mercenaries, and Loyalist militia under Lieutenant-colonel Alexander Dickson to reoccupy its forts on the lower Mississippi.  Dickson found Fort Bute virtually indefensible, so he left there only 20 Waldecker grenadiers under Captain von Haake and stationed his main force, including the 16th and 60th regiments of Foot, at New Richmond (Baton Rouge) and Natchez.433f

Now that Spain was in the war, British commanders in West Florida looked to their restored defenses along the lower Mississippi and made plans to strike New Orleans from three directions.  But the Spanish struck first.  In late August 1779, in the wake of a hurricane that had devastated the region, Sublieutenant Francisco Collel, commandant at Gálveztown, with his hand full of Spanish regulars and his militia of Isleños and Anglo Americans, seized seven British vessels and 125 prisoners on the Amite River and captured Fort Graham, the British post on the Amite.  Meanwhile, despite the terrible damage from the August 18 hurricane, Governor Gálvez moved his Spanish regulars, Indians, and New Orleans militia from the city to Bayou Manchac, picking up the German and Acadian coast companies on the way.  Meanwhile, the Attakapas and Opelousas companies made their way through the Atchafalaya Basin and reached Plaquemine in time to join the governor's forces deploying across the river at Fort San Gabriel.  Accompanying the prairie companies were 15 free blacks or mulattoes, and 16 slave "hunters" who would serve as sharpshooters.433d

No Acadians appear in the rosters of either of the German Coast companies, but they abound in the rolls of the Cabahannocer, Lafourche, and Attakapas companies, with a hand full among the militia of Opelousas.  Among the Cabahannocer Acadians on Governor Gálvez's roster were Charles Bergeron, who would have been age 23; Bonaventure Gaudin, fils, age 24; Gilles LeBlanc, age 21; Jean Gravois, called a Lachaussée after his stepfather, age 24; Étienne Melançon, age 23; François-Xavier, called Xavier, Theriot, age 26; Joseph Arceneaux, age 23; Pierre Bernard, fils, age 21;  Pierre Lambert, fils, age 32; Jean-Baptiste Melançon, age 23; Jean-Baptiste David, age 20; Jean-Baptiste, called Baptiste, Bourgeois, fils, age 18; Georges Mouton, age 23; Paul Leger, age 21; Charles Gaudet, age 27; and Joseph Bourg, age undetermined.  Yzaac Bourgeois also may have been Acadian.  Among the Lafourche Acadians were Paul Le Borgne de Bélisle, age 16; Benjamin Landry, age undetermined; Charles Bujeau, age undetermined; Simon LeBlanc, age undetermined; Joseph Melançon, age 24; Joseph dit Belhomme Landry, age 27; Pierre Landry, age 15; Joseph Breaux, age 26; Jean-Baptiste Guidry, age 18; Pierre Dupuis, age 29; Amand Breaux, age 25; Jean Landry, age 27; Olivier Landry, age 26; Firmin Landry, age 19; Joseph Landry, age 27; Jean Landry, age undetermined; Henri, called Isidore, Robichaux, age 19; Michel Dugas, age 22; and Joseph Landry, fils, age 16.  Strangely, only a single name appeared on the roster of the St.-Gabriel d'Iberville militia company:  Pierre Breaux, age 38.  Acadians on the Opelousas company roster included:  Joseph Sonnier, age 23; Joseph Boutin, age 26; Joseph Lejeune, age 23; Jean-Charles Benoit, age 20; Jean-Baptiste Lejeune, age 30; Maitre, probably Jean dit Chapeau, Mouton, age 25; and Paul Leger, age 21, perhaps the same fellow on the Cabahannocer roster.  Acadian militiamen from Attakapas included:  Joseph Trahan, age 17; Mathurin Broussard, age 29; Olivier Melançon, age 19; Jean-Anselme, called Anselme, Thibodeaux, age 19; Germain Trahan, age 27; Marin Prejean, age 29; Joseph Prejean le jeune, age 20; Jean-Baptiste, called Baptiste, Melançon, age 19; Jean-Baptiste, called Baptiste, Duhon, age 20; a Baudrau, probably Boudreaux, perhaps Augustin dit Rémi, who would have been age 24, or Jean-Charles dit Donat, who would have been age 18; a Louvière, either François, age 20, or brother Isidore, age 16; Joseph-Théodore, called Théodore, Broussard, age 15; Jean-Baptiste, called Jean, Bernard, age 17; Cosme LeBlanc, age 19; Charles-Dominique, called Dominique, Babineaux, age 18; Théodore Thibodeaux, age 15; Michel Doucet, age 26; Pierre Doucet, age 23; Jean Doucet, age 17; and Jean Guilbeau, called L'Officier, his father's dit, age 23.  Most of the Acadian militiamen on the governor's rosters were, as per his orders, bachelors, some of them only a few months away from the altar.  One suspects, however, that married Acadians hearty enough to serve ignored the governor's orders and joined the fight against the hated British.433e 

Gálvez launched his offensive against the British during the first week of September.  His Spanish troops slipped upriver to prevent British reinforcements from reaching Fort Bute while the militia crossed the bayou north of Fort San Gabriel on September 7 and took Fort Bute by surprise.  An authority on the action at Fort Bute wrote that "the militia, particularly the Acadians, behaved splendidly."  Led by the governor's father-in-law, Antoine-Gilbert de St. Maxênt of Valenzuéla, the militia lost not a single man in the assault, but they managed to kill one of the German defenders.  Later that month, on September 21, Gálvez, with his small body of Spanish regulars and his trusty militia, captured Fort New Richmond at Baton Rouge after a spirited fight.  Meanwhile, an American privateer, William Pickles, captured a British armed vessel in Lake Pontchartrain and denied the British at Baton Rouge that avenue of escape.  Soon after the fall of Baton Rouge, the British commander of Fort Panmure at Natchez surrendered to Captain Jean Delavillebeuvre without a fight.  By early October, after a month-long offensive, the lower Mississippi valley was entirely clear of British troops and vessels.433a

Amazingly, Gálvez's force suffered only two casualties in its onslaught against the British on the lower Mississippi--both of them Acadians.  Jean-Baptiste dit Petit-Jean Hébert, in his late 30s, was in the Second Company of the St.-Gabriel militia, and Maturin Landry, in his mid-40s, served in the Lafourche (Ascension) company.  Both men survived their wounds.  In contrast, the British lost 36 dead, 10 wounded, and 485 captured at their three forts.  Another authority on the campaign writes:  "In his account to the court of the campaigns on the lower Mississippi in 1779, Gálvez demonstrated great pleasure in the zeal displayed by the Louisiana militia in all of their engagements.  He singled out the Acadian companies, in whom burned the memory of English cruelty in the Seven Years' War, which forced them to abandon their homes in Canada."  When Gálvez, now a field marshal, attacked the British at Mobile in February 1780, he took his Acadian militia with him.  Again, the exiles tasted sweet revenge against their former oppressors.434


The second Treaty of Paris of September 1783 ending the American War for Independence removed the troublesome British from the lower Mississippi valley, but they were soon replaced by an even more aggressive people who claimed the Baton Rouge area for themselves.  Anglo-Americans soon appeared there in ever growing numbers.  St.-Gabriel Acadians, meanwhile, moved north of Bayou Manchac into the once-forbidden zone around old Fort Bute.  Across the river, Acadians moved up the west bank into the area north of Bayou Plaquemine.  Because of restrictive Spanish policies, however, these emigrants from the Acadian coasts would have been few in number.435

Farther downriver, Professor Brasseaux tells us, "As the population density of the First and Second Acadian Coasts grew in the 1770s and early 1780s, at least eighteen families, the patriarchs of which usually could expect not more than a small, practically uninhabitable slice of their parents' estate, capitalized upon the easing of Spanish restrictions on intracolonial movement by migrating to the virtually unchartered central and lower Lafourche Valley," below the Isleño settlement at Valenzuéla.437 

Out on the prairies, new Acadian communities appeared in the Attakapas District at Grand Prairie; along the Vermilion River down towards the bay; at the western edge of the district along Bayou Queue de Tortue; at Beaubassin on upper Bayou Vermilion; on the northern edge of the district at Carencro, west of Beaubassin; and along the Teche above La Pointe towards the Opelousas boundary and below Fausse Pointe and the new Spanish settlement at Nuéva Iberia.  In the Opelousas District, Acadians were settling at the southeastern edge of the district near Grand Coteau and on Prairie des Femmes; farther out on the prairies along Bayou Plaquemine Brûlé; even farther out on the Mermentau, Faquetaique, and Mamou prairies along bayous Mallet, des Cannes, and Nezpique; and along the Mermentau River--all excellent places for raising cattle.436   map

Despite these intracolonial movements, the continued presence of native tribes, and the arrival of hundreds of Spanish immigrants, much of the arable land in lower Louisiana remained unoccupied.  This was especially true along both banks of the Mississippi north of bayous Manchac and Plaquemine, out on the prairies, and along Bayou Lafourche, so the colony could easily accommodate hundreds of more immigrant farmers.  King Carlos III saw this clearly.  Despite the reluctance of Spaniards to settle in Louisiana, he was determined to send more settlers there, even if they were not Spanish.436a 

The Seven Ships Expeditions and the Arrival of La Brigite, 1785-1788

Estevan Rodriguez Miró y Sabater served as provisional governor of Louisiana from 1782, when Gálvez, now governor of Louisiana and Mobile, returned to Havana and remained there.  As a reward for his victories against the British, Gálvez had been named a conde, or count, in 1781 and was promoted to Viceroy of New Spain three years later.  Miró succeeded him as governor in July 1785.  At the time, Louisiana's intendente was Felix Martín Antonio, called Martín, Navarro, a native of La Caruna, who had come to the colony with Ulloa as his treasurer.  There had been no intendente in Spanish Louisiana until 1779, when Navarro was appointed to that position.  By the time of his promotion, no Spaniard knew Louisiana and its people, especially the Acadians, as well as Martín Navarro.438 

On 22 October 1783, King Carlos III issued a royal decree, called a sedula, approving a scheme offered to Spain by Frenchman and former resident of Louisiana Henri-Marie Peyroux de la Coudrenière--the transportation of the hundreds of Acadians still languishing in France to Spanish Louisiana.  Both the Spanish ambassador to France, Don Pedro Pablo Abarca de Bolea, Count de Aranda, and the Spanish consul at St.-Malo, Manuel d'Asprès, sent copies of the royal order to interim Governor Miró, who assigned to Intendente Navarro the task of "making proper provisions for the Acadians" when they reached the colony.  Navarro also was tasked with overseeing the settlement of each new family.  "As Governor Ulloa's subordinate in the late 1760s," Professor Brasseaux informs us, "Navarro had witnessed the disastrous consequences of thwarting the exiles' dream of sociocultural reunification.  Rather than dictate settlement policy to the exiles in the manner of the ill-fated chief executive, he resolved to permit the Acadian immigrants to select their own homesites.  Drawing upon his twenty years of experience in dealing with the exiles, he sought to secure their full cooperation by establishing and maintaining good rapport with them."  Aware of the trauma of transatlantic travel, the dramatic change in climate and food, and "the Acadian scourge--smallpox," Navarro established dormitories and hospitals at Algiers, across the river from New Orleans, one hospital for males in the royal stables, the other, newly built, for females.  He also "added wet nurses and orderlies to the clinic staff" to make the hospitals more efficient.  While the new Acadian arrivals recuperated at Algiers, taking at least a month to do so, the intendente, in command of the royal warehouses at New Orleans, would issue to each family head the necessary tools and implements with which to work their homesteads.  When the time came for the Acadians to leave Algiers, the intendente would hire "a small flotilla of launches and barges" to convey them to their new settlements.439 


On 24 June 1785, Count de Aranda sent dispatches to Governor Miró and Intendente Navarro informing them that the first ship load of Acadians from France was on the way.  Le Bon Papa, a 280-ton frigate under Captain Pelletier, with 156 passengers aboard, many of them from Belle-Île-en-Mer, had left Paimboeuf, the port of Nantes, on May 10 and was halfway across the Atlantic.  Navarro was in Mexico when he received the message and hurried back to New Orleans.  He appointed Anselme Blanchard of St.-Gabriel, recently commandant on the upper Lafourche, as a salaried commissioner "not only to welcome the exiles to New Orleans in the name of Spanish Louisiana," historian Oscar Winzerling tells us, "but also to grant them entry into the province."  Blanchard's primary task was to supervise the settlement of his fellow Acadians, some of whom would be his own relatives.  He was to assure them "that it was the wish of the Spanish government that they should have full liberty in the selection of their future abodes."440 

Le Bon Papa reached Louisiana on July 29, after 80 days at sea.  Blanchard greeted the 36 families at La Balize and escorted them upriver to the dormitories at Algiers.  There, he made a detailed list of all of the passengers, organized by families.  Blanchard, who spoke Spanish as well as French, was ordered to record the names in Spanish, but he did his best to retain the French inflections.  The Bon Papa passenger list contained many Acadian families already found in the colony but also some new ones.

The LeBlancs and Lejeunes were especially numerous: 

Simon LeBlanc of Grand-Pré, age 62, came with second wife Marie Trahan, age 51, and three children:  Joseph, age 20; Marie-Anne, age 15; and Jacques-Pierre-Marie, age 13.  Joseph dit Jambo LeBlanc of Grand-Pré, age 54, came with wife Anne Hébert of Pigiguit, age 49, and four children:  Marguerite-Blanche-Ian, age 19; Marie-Françoise, age 17; Joseph-Marie, age 15; and Simon-Louis-Marie, age 14.  Pierre LeBlanc of Grand-Pré, age 50, came with wife Anne-Josèphe Lebert of Rivière-aux-Canards, one of the first of her family in Louisiana, age 41, and four sons:  Joseph-Olivier, age 17; Pierre-Paul, age 15; Jean-Cléandre, age 13; and Victor-Charles, age 10.  Jean LeBlanc, age 36, came with wife Thérèse Hébert, the widower François's daughter, age 35, and year-and-a-half-old daughter Marie-Rose.  Charles-Jean LeBlanc, age 23, came with wife Brigitte-Josèphe Hébert and no children.  Eustache Lejeune of Grand-Pré, age 53, came with second wife Jeanne-Pérrine Giquel, a Frenchwoman from Plouër, age 42, and three children:  Marie-Jeanne-Pérrine-Madeleine, age 23; Servan-Mathurin, age 15; and François-Marie, age 13; also with them was Eustache's niece, Pélagie-Marie Gautrot, age 15.  Eustache's oldest son Jean-Baptiste, age 25, came with wife Marie-Geneviève Doiron, age 19, and no children.  Eustache's brother Grégoire of Grand-Pré, age 45, came with second wife Hélène Dumont of St.-Pierre-du-Nord, Île St.-Jean, the first of her family in Louisiana, age 38, and three children: Marie-Josèphe, age 14; Grégoire-Alexis, age 4; and Julien, age 2; also with them was Grégoire's niece, Marie-Geneviève Gautrot, age 19, Pélagie-Marie's old sister. 

Members of other established Louisiana families also were aboard this first of the Seven Ships: 

Daniel Benoit of L'Assomption, Pigiguit, age 36, came with wife Henriette Legendre of St.-Pierre-du-Nord, Île St.-Jean, age 34, came with 7-year-old daughter Henriette-Renée.   Jean-Baptiste Boudrot probably of Pigiguit, age 32, came with wife Marie-Modeste Trahan, age 36, and three children:  Marie-Félicité, age 8; Jean-Constant, age 6; and Marguerite-Marie, age 2.  Paul-Dominique Boudrot, age 22, came with wife Marie-Olive Landry, age 18, who was pregnant, and year-old son Paul-Marie.  Charles Broussard of Grand-Pre, age 44, came with second wife Euphrosine Barrieau of Pigiguit, the first of her family in Louisiana, age 37, and six children, five sons and a stepson:  Jean-Charles-Joseph, age 20; François, age 18; Pierre, age 14; Joseph-Dominique, age 12; Jacques, age unrecorded; and Paul-Marie Boudrot, age 13.  Alexandre Doiron of Pigiguit, age 47, came with wife Ursule Hébert of Cobeguit, age 43, and six children:  Marie-Rose, age 21; Madeleine-Ursule, age 19; Isaac-Alexandre, age 16; Mathurin-Luc, age 12; Joseph, age 7; and Jean-Baptiste, age 2.  Jean-Baptiste Dugas of Cobeguit, age 66, came with third wife Anne Bourg, age 64, 21-year-old daughter Anne, and 5-year-old granddaughter Marie-Adélaïde Boudrot.  A second Jean-Baptiste Dugas, age 49, came with wife Marie Grossin of St.-Pierre-du-Nord, Île St.-Jean, the first of her family in Louisiana, age 49, 11-year-old daughter Marie-Josèphe, and orphan Marie-Jeanne Haché, age 18.  Françoise Boudrot of Ste.-Famille, Pigiguit, age 45, widow of Joseph Clossinet and Marin Dugas, came with 11-year-old son Jean-Pierre-Marin Dugas.  Jean-Baptiste Guédry of L'Assomption, Pigiguit, age 35, came with wife Marguerite Lebert of Rivière-aux-Canards, one of the first of her family in Louisiana, age 32, and three children:  Pierre-Jean-Marie, age 9; François, age 4; and infant Marguerite-Félicité; also with them was niece Marie-Marguerite Lebert, age 14.  François Hébert of Cobeguit, age 72, a widower, came alone.  Amable Hébert of Minas, age 43, a widower, came with four children:  Marie-Modeste, age 22; Geneviève, age 17; Élisabeth, or Isabelle, age 14; and André, age 9; with them also was Amable's stepmother, Esther Courtney of England, age 60.  Charles Landry of Pigiguit, age 56, came with wife Marguerite Boudrot, age 48, and seven children:  Firmin-Pancrace, age 23; Marguerite-Françoise, age 19; Jean-Sébastien dit Bastien, age 18; Louis-Abel, age 14; Jean-Jacques, age 11; Charles, fils, age 8; and François-Marie, age 6.  Pierre-Joseph Landry, age 15, also may have been aboard.  Angélique Pinet of Port-Toulouse, Île Royale, the first of her family in the colony, age 44, widow of Michel dit Richelieu Léger, came with two sons:  Louis, age 16; and Jean, age 14.  Jean Trahan, age 35, came alone. 

Acadian families new to the colony also were welcomed by fellow Acadian Anselme Blanchard:

Joseph Aucoin, probably of Minas, age 37, came with wife Élisabeth, or Isabelle, Henry, age 37, and five children:  Élisabeth- or Isabelle-Jeanne, age 12; Joseph-Jean, age 8; François-Toussaint, age 6; Marie-Modeste, age 4; and Victoire-Claire, age 3.  Charles Daigre of Ste.-Famille, Pigiguit, age 54, the first of his name to bring a family to the colony, came with wife Anne-Marie Vincent, age 55, and no children.  Anne Boudrot of Pigiguit, age 40, widow of Jacques Haché, came with two daughters:  Marie-Jeanne, age 15; and Marguerite-Marie, age 11.  Three Haché sisters, all born in France, came together:  Hélène, age 21; Marie-Josèphe, age 16; and Élisabeth, or Isabelle, age 8.  Joseph Henry perhaps of Cobeguit, age 42, came with wife Cécile Breau, age 39, and six children: Jean-Laurent, age 19; Joseph-Suliac, age 14; Marie-Josèphe, age 7; Pierre-Similien, age 5; and Anne-Françoise, age 3.  Cécile Bourg, age 50, second wife and widow of Ignace Heusé of Île St.-Jean, came with four children:  Mathurin-Charles, age 23; Marie-Anne, age 20; Jean-Baptiste, age 17; and Grégoire-Ignace, age 9.  Cécile's oldest son Pierre-Ignace, age 25, came with wife Marie-Pérrine Quimine, age 23, and no children.  Marguerite Labauve of Grand-Pré, age 55, widow of François Legendre, came with two unmarried sons:  Louis-Joseph, age 22; and Yves-François, age 17.  Marguerite's oldest son Jean-Baptiste, age 25, came with wife Marie-Rose Le Tuillier, a Frenchwoman from Cherbourg, age 20, and infant daughter Rose.  Pierre Quimine of Chignecto, age 59, came with second wife Marie-Madeleine Dugas, age 53, and two daughters:  Anne-Louise, age 24; and Victoire-Françoise, age 14.  André Templé of Menibeaux, France, and Port-Toulouse, Île Royale, age 57, came with second wife Marguerite LeBlanc of Grand-Pré, age 48, and eight children:  Élisabeth-, or Isabelle-, Marguerite, age 25; Jean-André-Grégoire-Marie, age 24; Charles-Casimir, age 22; Jacques-Olivier, age 20; Marie-Madeleine, age 19; Servan-François, age 15; Olivier-Marcellin, age 14; and André-Joseph, age 7. 

One family aboard Le Bon Papa was headed by a native of New England whose wife was Acadian: 

Louis William Stebens of Boston, Massachusetts, ate  36, came with his third wife Marie Babin, born in Southampton, England, age 24, and three children:  Louis, age 3; Marie, age 2, and infant Balthazar, born aboard ship.  Also with the family was Marie's younger brother, François-Marie Babin, age 20. 

Soon after the Acadians reached Algiers, Navarro granted a subsidy of 10 cents to every family head, seven and a half cents to every adult, and two and a half cents to every child, to be used to purchase the small necessities of life.  Amazingly, only a single passenger, an infant, had died on the voyage, but the change in climate soon began to take its toll on the new arrivals.  Ten Acadians died at Algiers, and three deserted.  Towards the end of their month of recuperation, Navarro ordered Juan Prieto, custodian of the royal warehouses, to issue each family "meat cleavers, axes, hatchets, hoes, spades, and knives according to the number of active workers in each family"--something he would do for each expedition.  Meanwhile, Commissioner Blanchard escorted deputies from among the family heads to inspect available land on upper Bayou Lafourche, and at Bayougoula on the west bank and Manchac on the east bank of the river in the District of St.-Gabriel d'Iberville.  Back at Algiers, the deputies conferred with the family heads, and each selected his or her new home.  One family and one single passenger--Jean-Baptiste Guédry and Jean Trahan--chose to go to Bayou Lafourche, where Acadians from the river had recently settled.  Another, headed by widow Angélique Pinet, chose to await the arrival of her oldest Léger son before going on to Opelousas.  The great majority of the family heads chose to settle in the St.-Gabriel District:  six at Bayougoula; and 27 at Manchac, both above and below the bayou.  Having hired launches on which to convey the passengers, river guides, and river hands from André Chiloque and Arnaud Magnon at four dollars a day, and two barges from Étienne Plauche to carry the Acadians' baggage at two and a half dollars per day, Blanchard led the expedition upriver on August 25.  At each new settlement, Blanchard "first secured temporary housing with established settlers for the immigrants and then apportioned land grants of four or five arpents among the exiles.  Blanchard remained with the immigrants until they were moved onto their lands," and soon the new arrivals were putting their tools and implements to good use.441

Navarro's scheme of settlement had gone off without a hitch.  He had establish the pattern he would follow for each expedition.  As soon as he could, he notified minister José de Gálvez that the first expedition was settled.  The intendente described Manchac as "'a wilderness,'" but he assured the minister that it would be "'an excellent site for the exportation of fruit.'"  Unfortunately, back at Paimboeuf, Consul d'Asprès, "anxious to win a reputation for economical efficiency," had already assured that the next expedition would not be so successful.442 


The second ship, the 300-ton frigate La Bergère under Captain Deslandes, was 20 tons larger than Le Bon Papa.  Upon the departure of Le Bon Papa carrying so many of their relatives, Acadian indifference to the Spanish re-settlement scheme suddenly gave way to enthusiasm.  Hearing the reports from Peyroux de la Coudrenière and his Acadian assistant, Olivier Térriot, d'Asprès was convinced that all of the Acadians still in France--2,300 of them--were now eager to leave the mother country and join their kinsmen in Louisiana.  On May 7, three days before the departure of Le Bon Papa, d'Après booked 273 passengers, in 73 families, for La Bergère--117 more than the Acadians crossing on Le Bon Papa!  He called a meeting at his residence of the 73 family heads and suggested that they elect five leaders among them "whose duty it would be to police the ship and distribute rations," Winzerling tells us.  D'Asprès had organized the expedition in haste, and among the passengers were Acadians who, a few years before, had argued bitterly over settling on Corsica.  "To preserve peace aboard ship," d'Asprès "bade the 73 family heads ... to promise obedience" of their elected leaders "under punishment of expulsion at New Orleans" if caused any trouble on the voyage.  The family heads chose Olivier Térriot, Charles Dugas, Charles Aucoin, Simon Dugas, and Étienne Dupuy to lead them.  According to Térriot, the Dugass and Aucoin "were 'well fixed financially,'" but Dupuy, Térriot knew, "was 'as poor as myself.'"443

La Bergère left Paimboeuf on May 12, only two days after Le Bon Papa left the same port, and reached Louisiana, also without mishap, on August 15 after 93 days at sea.  The Bon Papa passengers were still at Algiers when La Bergère reached the colony, so Anselme Blanchard was able to greet the newest arrivals and record another debarkation list.  Seven children had been born en route, and six elderly passengers had been buried at sea.  The ship's passenger list included many Acadian names already in the colony, including "new" names found among the Bon Papa arrivals. 

The Aucoins, a "new" family in the colony, and the Bourgs, Dugass. Héberts, Landrys, and LeBlancs, "old" ones, were especially numerous:

Jean-Baptiste Aucoin of Grand-Pré, age 71, came with wife Jeanne-Anne Thériot, age 60, and 19-year-old daughter Anne-Félicité.  Olivier Aucoin of Grand-Pré, age 59, came with second wife Cécile Richard of Grand-Pré, age 43, and three daughters:  Nathalie-Marie, age 18; Marguerite-Geneviève, age 16; and Marie-Cécile, age 15.  Antoine Aucoin, age 55, a widower, came with two sons:  Pierre-Joseph-Antoine, age 20; and Louis-Jean, age 15.  Fabien Aucoin of Cobeguit, age 38, came with wife Marguerite Dupuis of Rivière-aux-Canards, age 34, and no children.  Charles Aucoin of Grand-Pré, age 36 and still a bachelor, one of the leaders of the expedition, came with sister Félicité, age 35, also unmarried.  Marie-Anastasie Aucoin, age 26, wife of Joseph Thériot, who would come on a later ship, came alone.  Pierre Aucoin, age unrecorded, came alone.  Jeanne Chaillou of Île Miquelon, age 56, the first of her family in the colony, widow of Jean-Baptiste Bourg, came with four children:  Marie-Geneviève, age 18; Jean-Baptiste, age 16; André, age 14; and Charles, age 10.  Marie-Josèphe Hébert of Cobeguit, age 55, widow of Alexandre Bourg, came with daughter Marguerite of Cobeguit, age 37, widow of Firmin Aucoin, and Marguerite's son Firmin-Louis, age 6.  Joseph Bourg of Cobeguit, age 52, came with second wife Marie-Madeleine Granger of Grand-Pré, age 54, and four unmarried children:  Marie-Josèphe, age 21; Fabien-Joseph, age 19; Jean-Baptiste, age 17; and Élisabeth-, or Isabelle-, Blanche, age 14; also with them were two nieces:  Isabelle-Luce Daigre, age 24, and her sister Marguerite-Félicité, age 17.  Joseph's oldest son Pierre, age 24, came with wife Marguerite-Blanche Dugas, age 31, who was pregnant; she gave birth to son Martin soon after reaching the colony.  Jean-Baptiste Bourg, age 42, still a bachelor, came with sister Françoise-Joseph, age 49, still unmarried, and cousin Élisabeth, or Isabelle, Bourg, age 33, also unmarried.  Paul Dugas probably of Cobeguit, age 75, came with two unmarried children:  Simon, age 37, one of the leaders of the expedition; and Anne-Marie, age 19.  Pierre Dugas of Cobeguit, age 57, came with wife Marguerite Daigre, age 60, and two daughters:  Anne-Marie, age 23; and Marie-Victoire, age 20.  Pierre's brother Charles of Cobeguit, age 48, twice a widower and one of the expedition leaders, came with five children:  Marie-Josèphe, age 22; Jean-Charles, age 20; Pierre-Olivier dit Pierrot, age 18; Joseph-Simon, age 16; and Marguerite, age 4.  Ambroise Dugas of Cobeguit, age 34, came with wife Marie-Victoire Pitre, age 32, and four children:  Marguerite-Josèphe, age 9;  Louis-Ambroise, age 5; Céleste, age 1; and infant Eulalie-Martine.  Charles Hébert of Grand-Pré, age 62, a widower, came with daughter Marie-Yvette, age 33, widow of ____ Henry, and grandson Pierre Henry, age 15.  Marie-Madeleine Dugas, age 43, widow of Jean-Baptiste Hébert, came with seven children:  Anne-Simone, age 20; Pierre-Michel, age 18; Anne-Marie, age 17; Joseph-Servan dit Joson, age 15; Isabelle-Jeanne, age 13; Prosper-François, age 5; and infant Étienne.  Luce-Perpétué Bourg of Cobeguit, age 40, widow of another Jean-Baptiste Hébert, came with four children:  Marie-Gertrude-Josèphe, age 17; Jean-Olivier, age 15; Félicité-Jeanne, age 13; and François-Luce, age 11.  Isaac Hébert of Cobeguit, age 35, came with wife Marie-Marguerite Daigre, age 23, and two children:  Rémi, age 3; and infant Renée-Eulalie.   Anne-Osite Dugas of Cobeguit age 30, widow of Charles Hébert, came with three children:  Charles dit Charlot, age 5; Anne-Victoire, age 4; and Marguerite-Sophie, age 2.  Jean-Baptiste Landry of Grand-Pré, age 61, came with second wife Élisabeth, or Isabelle, Dugas of Cobeguit, age 31, sister of Charles, and four children:  Élisabeth-, or Isabelle-, Augustine, age 25; Jean-Baptiste, fils, age 23; Marguerite-Geneviève, age 20; and Marie-Anne, age 9.  Prosper Landry, age 60, came with third wife Élisabeth, or Isabelle, Pitre, age 57, and two sons:  Jean-Pierre, age 22; and Simon-Joseph, age 19.  Pierre Landry of Minas, age 49, came with wife Marthe LeBlanc of Grand-Pré, age 49, and four children:  Joseph-Giroire, age 19; Jean-Raphaël, age 17; Marie-Madeleine-Adélaïde, age 15; and Anne-Susanne, age 9.  Marie-Josèphe Richard of Grand-Pré, age 46, widow of Hilaire Landry, came with two daughters:  Marie-Madeleine, age 18; and Marie-Rose, age 10.  Geneviève Landry, age 34, came with sister Marie-Josèphe, age 32, and "charge" François-Julien ____, age 10.  Ursule Breau, age 65, widow of Jean-Baptiste LeBlanc, came with son Simon of England, age 23, and granddaughter Madeleine-Françoise LeBlanc, age 11.  Claude LeBlanc of Grand-Pré, age 62, came with third wife Dorothée Richard, age 50, and Claire Landry of Grand-Pré, age 80, Dorothée's mother-in-law from her first marriage.  Nathalie Pitre of Rivière-aux-Canards, age 50, second wife and widow of Jean-Jacques LeBlanc, came with two children:  Jean-Baptiste, age 17; and Marie-Geneviève, age 15.  Marie Aucoin of Grand-Pré, age 48, wife of Michel LeBlanc, a sailor, who did not accompany her, came with two daughters:  Marie-Josèphe, age 25; and Apolline-Eulalie, age 13.  Olivier LeBlanc of Grand-Pré, age 38, came with wife Marie-Madeleine Lebert, age 24, and two children:  Marie-Anne, age 3; and Pierre-Olivier, age 1.  Étienne LeBlanc probably of Pigiguit, age 36, still a bachelor, came alone.

Other "established" families sailed aboard the second of the Seven Ships: 

Anne-Symphorose Hébert of Cobeguit, age 47, widow of Joseph Blanchard, came with six children:  Laurent-Olivier, age 19; Marie-Madeleine, age 17; Pierre-Joseph, age 15; Louis-Suliac, age 13; Élie, age 11; and Anne, age 7.  Marie-Josèphe Daigre of Grand-Pré, age 43, widow of Jean-Baptiste Boudrot, came with two children:  Marie-Rose, age 21; and Jean-François, age 11.  Marie Brasseur of Minas, age 37 and unmarried, came with sister Osite, age 24, also still unmarried.  Honoré Breau of Minas, age 50, came with wife Élisabeth, or Isabelle, dite Maillet LeBlanc of Tintamarre, Chignecto, age 42, and seven children:  Olive-Élisabeth, age 16; Marie-Madeleine, age 14; Jeanne, age 9; Pierre-Paul, age 5; twins Charles and Rose-Marie, age 3, and newborn Martina or Martine.  Marie-Madeleine-Adélaïde Landry, age 22, wife of Jean-Baptiste Comeau, who remained in France, came with 2-year-old son Jean-Baptiste.  Eustache Daigre of Grand-Pré, age 57, came with wife Madeleine Dupuis of Rivière-aux-Canards, age 44, and three sons:  Jean-Joseph, age 15; Charles-Marc, age 13; and infant Étienne.  Alexis-Jean-Mathurin Daigre, age 22, came alone.  Jacques Doiron of L'Assomption, Pigiguit, age 43, came with wife Anne-Josèphe Breau of Cobeguit, age 38, and four children:  Jean-Jacques, age 17; Simon-Joseph, age 14; Ursule-Olive, age 14; and infant Martina or Martine.  Joseph Dupuis of Rivière-aux-Canards, age 39, a widower, came with 10-year-old daughter Élisabeth, or Isabelle.  Joseph's brother Étienne of Rivière-aux-Canards, age 36, came with wife Marie-Osite Dugas, age 24, and no children.  Pierre Gautrot of Grand-Pré, age 55, came with wife Marie-Louise Duplessis of Grand-Pré, age 46, and 11-year-old daughter Marguerite-Adélaïde.  Marin Gautrot of perhaps of Cobeguit, age 40, came with Gertrude Bourg, age 38, and two children:  Jean-Louis, age 11; and Marie, age 9.  Agnès Gautrot, age 29, came with half-brother Pierre-Joseph, age 22.  Jean-Benoît Gautrot, age 17, came alone.  Prosper-Honoré Girouard or Giroir of L'Assomption, Pigiguit, age 41, came with wife Marie Dugas, age 39, and six children:  Marie-Paule, age 20; Anne-Josèphe, age 18; Jean-Baptiste, age 15; Jeanne-Eléonore, age 13; François, age 11; and Pierre, age 7.  Amand Pitre, age 60, a widower, came with daughter Marguerite, age 24.  Tranquille Pitre of Cobeguit, age 36; came with wife Élisabeth, or Isabelle, Aucoin, of Grand-Pré, age 37, and three children:  Jean-Baptiste, age 3; Joseph-Vincent, age 1; and newborn Martina or Martine.  Ambroise Pitre, age 35, came with wife  Élisabeth, or Isabelle, Dugas, age 32, and four children:  Paul-Ambroise, age 9; Marie-Françoise, age 6; Jean-Marie, age 1; and newborn Céleste.  Jean Richard of Grand-Pré, age 55, came with wife Marguerite Landry, age 48, and 14-year-old son Jean-Pierre.  Jean's brother Pierre of Grand-Pré, age 49, came with wife Marie-Blanche LeBlanc, age 43, and three children:  Marie-Marguerite, age 19; Pierre-Joseph, age 16; and infant Charles-Pierre-Paul; also with them was Pierre's cousin Rose Richard, age 30.  Cécile Boudrot, age 38, widow of Charles Richard, came with 14-year-old daughter Marie-Rose, and her half-brother Joseph Boudrot, age 18.  Olivier Thériot, who spelled his surname Térriot, of Île St.-Jean, age 30, not only an expedition leader but the chief recruiter of Acadians going to Louisiana from France, came with wife Marie Aucoin of Minas, age 32, and three children:  Olivier-Marie, age 7; Jean-Toussaint, age 2; and newborn Martina or Martine; also with them was Olivier's brother Jean-Charles, age 20.  Jacques Thériot, age 25, came with wife Françoise Guérin, age 22, and infant Françoise-Élisabeth.  Joseph Trahan of Minas, age 59, came with wife Marie Boudrot, age 57, and three children:  Anselme-Marie, age 19; Marie-Madeleine, age 17; and Marguerite-Aimée, age 11.  Marie-Sophie Leprince of L'Assomption, Pigiguit, age 43, widow of Joseph Trahan, came with 19-year-old son Antoine-Joseph, and half-sister Judith or Julie Leprince, age 26. 

More Acadian families and individuals new to the colony also graced the list of La Bergère passengers: 

Jean-Baptiste Barrieau of Pigiguit, age 52, the first of his name to bring a family of his own to the colony, came with second wife Marie Daigre, age 45, and four children:  Jacques-Alain, age 19; Jean-Marie, age 15; Pérrine, age 13; and François, age 10.  Pierre-Jacques Bertrand of Pobomcoup, age 54, came with wife Catherine Bourg, age 36, and seven children:  Ambroise-Bénoni, age 18;  Jean-Augustin, age 15; Marie-Catherine, age 13; Marie, age 11; Adélaïde, age 7; Louis, age 3; and infant Anne-Madeleine.  Dominique Guérin of Cobeguit, age 63, a widower, came with two daughters:  Élisabeth, or Isabelle, age 25; and Brigide, age 15.  Dominique's son Joseph of Louisbourg, age 33, came with wife Agnès Pitre, age 38, and year-old daughter Françoise.  Pierre Guillot, age 20, came with sister Françoise-Gertrude, age 19.  Anne-Marie Robichaud, age 57, widow of Charles Lebert, came with son Pierre-Joseph, age 17.  Marie-Rose Livois, age 21, came alone.  Simon Mazerolle of Grand-Pré, age 42, came with wife Marguerite Trahan of Rivière-aux-Canards, age 38, and four children:  Marie-Perpétué, age 18; Élisabeth, or Isabelle, age 16; Anne-Françoise, age 14, and Étienne, age 8.  Marie-Madeleine Noël, age 28, came with sister Marie-Marguerite, age 21, widow of Guillaume-Jean Roquemont of Rouen.  Jean-Baptiste Ozelet of Cobeguit, age 42, came with wife Marguerite Landry, age 43, and four children:  Jean-Charles, age 18; Mathurin-Joseph, age 13; Marie-Charles or -Charlotte, age 10; and Julien, age 4.  Anne-Marie-Madeleine Savary of Minas, age 38, the first of her family to come to the colony, widow of Pierre Potier, came with two sons:  Baptiste-Olivier, age 12; and Jacques-Sylvain, age 7.  Marie-Josèphe Ségoillot, age 19, came alone.   

Two more non-Acadian family heads, married to Acadians, came to Louisiana:

Louis-François Le Tollierec of Plelo, France, age 41, came with wife Élisabeth, or Isabelle, LeBlanc of Île St.-Jean, age 29, and two children:  Marie-Adélaïde, age 4; and Henri-Amable, age 1.  Gabriel Moreau, probably a Frenchman, age 61, came with wife Marie Trahan, age 54, and two children:  Maximin, age 24; and Marie-Anne-Barbe, age 18. 

The dormitories at Algiers were still occupied, so Intendente Navarro had to convert the customhouse at New Orleans into a temporary barracks for the new arrivals.  While recuperating in the city, 12 more babies were born and four marriages were celebrated.  Unfortunately, nine more La Bergère passengers died in the city from the rigors of the voyage and the oppressive heat and humidity of the late Louisiana summer.444

The Bergère passengers lingered at New Orleans longer than anticipated.  They did so not only because of the rigors of the voyage and the adjustment to the new climate, but also because of an oversight on the part of Consul d'Asprès back in France.  To Navarro's chagrin, the consul had failed to send with the Bergère passengers their trunks and other personal baggage, so important to their resettlement in Louisiana.  Navarro assumed that the baggage would arrive aboard the third expedition, but not even the fourth ship, which arrived on September 10, carried the personal items that should have been loaded back in early May; the last of the Bergère baggage did not reach the colony, in fact, until a seventh ship arrived in late December.  Anselme Blanchard, meanwhile, was still supervising the settlement of the Bon Papa passengers at Manchac, so Intendente Navarro hired Jean Cambeau, at 40 cents a day, to guide the "surveyors" for the Bergère families to the unoccupied lands upriver.  The Acadians could not decide where to establish their villages, so Navarro sent veteran officer Pedro Aragon y Villegas to advise them.  After much thought and deliberation, most of the Bergère Acadians--67 families of 242 individuals--selected Bayou Lafourche as their new home.  At that time, the Lafourche valley contained the largest expanse of unsettled territory near the Acadian coasts, where many of the new arrivals had relatives.  The Bergère Acadians heading for the bayou left Algiers on October 4, and Intendente Navarro "closed his books on the expedition" four days later.  These Acadians were not the first of their kind to occupy the natural levees along the upper Lafourche, but, thanks to their arrival in such impressive numbers, no other Acadian community would grow so large so quickly.445

Not all of the Bergère passengers went to Bayou Lafourche.  Several families--those of Charles and Pierre Dugas; Anne-Osite Dugas, widow Hébert; Jean-Baptiste Landry, whose wife was a Dugas; and Marie-Sophie Leprince, widow Trahan--chose to join relatives in the prairie districts, but they were forced by illness to linger at New Orleans longer than the others.  Not until November 13 did Pedro Aragon y Villegas conduct them to Opelousas and Attakapas aboard the goleta San José, which followed the usual route via Bayou Plaquemine and the Atchafalaya Basin to Bayou Courtableau and the upper Teche.  Meanwhile, one family from La Bergère, that of Honoré Breau, chose to settle at Manchac, near his kinsmen on the Acadian Coast.446


The third ship, Le Beaumont, a 180-ton frigate of medium size and late construction, was smaller than the other two vessels and also much faster.  So many Acadians now were eager to join the expedition that when a family of four dropped out before the ship's departure, hundreds of Acadians offered to take their place.  The most distinguished passenger aboard Le Beaumont was not an Acadian.  Henri-Marie Peyroux de la Coudrenière, the organizer of the Acadian odyssey from France, was accompanied by his wife, Prudence-Françoise Rodrigue; a niece; servant Louis-François Montréal; and a friend named Le Cat.  Because of his status, Peyroux was designated leader of the expedition.  The Spanish also gave him a daily stipend, running from August 1784 to May 1785, and paid for his family's transportation.447

With 176 passengers aboard, Le Beaumont left Paimboeuf on June 11, while the other two vessels were still at sea, and reached Louisiana during the third week of August only a few days behind La BergèreLe Beaumont did not remain at La Balize but continued up to New Orleans, which it reached on August 19--a swift 70-day voyage.  According to Oscar Winzerling, "The greater part" of the Acadians aboard the smaller frigate "was made up of small families and newly married couples."  Acadians who crossed on Le Beaumont bore many surnames that already could be found in the colony, some of them having appeared only recently from France.447a 

The Daigres, a "new" family, and the Trahans, an "old" one, were especially numerous: 

Olivier Daigre IV of Rivière-aux-Canards, age 53, a widower, came with eight children:  Victor, age 23; François, age 19; Simon-François, age 18; Jean-Baptiste, age 15; Marie-Geneviève, age 11; Pélagie, age 9; Eulalie, age 6; and Honoré, age 3.  Olivier IV's brother Simon-Pierre of Rivière-aux-Canards, age 50, came with second wife Anne Michel of Ste.-Famille, Pigiguit, age 51, and seven children:  Marie-Marguerite, age 26; Anne-Geneviève, age 24; Édouard, age 21; Simon-Pierre, fils, age 18; Élizabeth, age 13; Marie-Madeleine, age 11; and Joseph-Michel, age 9.  Jean-Baptiste Daigre, age 45, came with Marie-Claude Valet, a Frenchwoman, age 31, and year-old son Jean-René, who may have died at sea.  François Daigre of Minas, age 40, came with wife Jeanne Holley, a Frenchwoman, age 47, and four children:  Louis-Françoise, age 18; Marie-Jeanne-Jacqueline, age 16; Flore-Adélaïde, age 15; and Marie-Louise, age 10.  François older son François-Alexandre, age 22, came with wife Rose-Adélaïde Bourg, age 19, and two children:  Émilie-Adélaïde, age 1; and infant François-Joseph.  Marguerite-Ange Dubois, age 31, the first of her family to come to the colony, widow of Jean Daigre, came with 10-year-old son Jean-Louis.  Marie-Madeleine LeBlanc, age 54, widow of Pierre-Isidore Trahan, came with five children:  Paul-Isidore, age 21; Marie-Jeanne, age 16; Simon-Augustin, age 13; Alexis-Romain, age 11; and Rosalie, age 9.  Anne Granger of Rivière-aux-Canards, age 49, widow of Joseph Trahan, came with four children:  Joseph, fils, age 21; Marie-Anne, age 16; Marie-Julie, age 14; and François-Marie, age 12.  Marie-Josèphe Granger of Rivière-aux-Canards, age 46, Anne's sister and widow of Pierre-Simon Trahan, Joseph's brother, came with four children:  Jean-Baptiste, age 25; Paul-Raymond, age 19; Marie-Renée, age 13; and Marie-Marguerite, age 8.  Joseph Trahan of Pigiguit, age 35, came with wife Marguerite Lavergne of Chignecto, age 32, who was pregnant, and two children:  Joseph Rémi, age 4; and Antoinette, age 2; Marguerite gave birth to son François-Antoine at Baton Rouge the following December.

Names from other established Acadian families also could be found on the Beaumont rolls.  Several of the men from these families had taken French wives: 

François-Xavier Boudrot, age 25, came with wife Marguerite Dugas, age 26, and no children.   Alain Bourg, age 43, came with wife Anne-Marie Comeau, age 40, and two children:  Marie-Geneviève, age 20; and François, age 11.  Joseph Breau, age 23, came with wife Marie-Blanche Trahan, age 19, and no children.  Charles Comeau, age 37, came with wife Marie-Madeleine Clossinet, age unrecorded, the first of her family to come to the colony, and no children.  Jean Doiron of L'Assomption, Pigiguit, age 57, a widower, came with 21-year-old daughter Marguerite-Josèphe, and orphan Paul-Olivier Daigre, age 18.  Jean-Baptiste Doiron of Pigiguit, age 40, came with wife Marie-Blanche Bernard of Chignecto, age 43, and five children:  Marie-Hippolythe-Honoré, age 17; Rose-Luce, age 13; Amable-Ursule, age 6; Louis-Toussaint, age 4; and Jean-Charles, age 2.  Rose Doiron of Pigiguit, age 35, wife of Frenchman Jean-Baptist Loiseleur, her second husband, who remained in France, came alone.  Marguerite-Josèphe Doiron, age 50, widow of Jean-Baptiste Dugas, came alone.  Jean-Pierre Dugas, age 20, perhaps Marguerite-Josèphe's son, came with wife Jeanne Cabon, a Frenchwoman, age 34, and no children.  Jean-Pierre Duhon, age 25, came alone.  Pierre Forest, age 25, came alone.  Charles-Benoît Granger of Grand-Pré, age 33, came with nephew Joseph Daigre, age 14.  Jean-Marie Granger, age 19, came alone.  Charles Guédry of Annapolis Royal, age 59, a widower, came with four children: Anne-Laurance, age 26; Joseph, age 18; Jean-Pierre, age 17; and Jacques-Servais, age 15.  Charle's oldest son Pierre-Jean, age 23, came with wife Louise Blandin, a Frenchwoman, age 27, and no children.  Jean Guédry dit Grivois, age 57, came with wife Marie LeBlanc, age 55, and two sons:  Jean dit Grivois, fils, age 27; and Jacques, age 17; also with them was cousin Josèphe-Marie Célestin dit Bellemère, age 19.  Joseph Guédry of L'Assomption, Pigiguit, age 35, came with wife Marguerite Lebert of Rivière-aux-Canards, age 32, and three children:  Pierre-Jean-Marie, age 9; François, age 4, and infant Marguerite-Félicité; also with them was niece Marguerite-Marie Lebert.  Joseph's brother Pierre-Janvier of L'Assomption, Pigiguit, age 31, came with wife Marie-Josèphe Lebert of Rivière-aux-Canards, age 31, Marguerite's sister, and four children:  Pierre-Joseph, age 10; Marie-Rose, age 6; Jean-Pierre, age 4; and infant Joseph-Firmin; also with them was nephew Pierre-Jean-Joseph-Joachim Lebert, age 13.  Anne Benoit, age 55, widow of Pierre and Jean-Baptiste Hébert, came with 13-year-old son Jean-Charles, son of her second husband.  Pierre Hébert of Chignecto, age 45, came with wife Charlotte Potier, age 41, infant son Pierre-Joseph, Pierre's brother Jean-Baptiste, age 40, a bachelor, and Charlotte's daughter Anne-Pérrine Patry, age 12, the first of her name in the colony.  Jean-Pierre, also called Jean-Baptiste, Hébert, age 32, came with second wife Anne-Dorothée Doiron, age 24, and infant daughter Anne-Marguerite.  Pierre Henry of Minas, age 61, came with wife Marguerite Trahan, age 54, and 18-year-old son Cyrille-François.  Charles Henry of Cobeguit, age 53, came with third wife Marie LeBlanc, age 45, who was pregnant, and three daughters:  Marie-Madeleine, age 23; Rose-Anastasie, age 14; and Ursule, age 10; also with them was Marie's son Charles Robichaud, age 17; soon after settling at Baton Rouge, Marie gave birth to son Jean-Baptiste Henry in late October.  Paul LeBlanc of Minas, age 40, came with wife Anne Boudrot of Grand-Pré, age 38, and two daughters:  Adélaïde-Marguerite, age 3; and infant Rose or Rosalie; with them also was niece Rose Trahan, age 23.  Moïse LeBlanc, age 24, came with wife Angélique-Madeleine-Marie De La Forestrie, age 24, the first of her family in the colony, came with two children:  Marie-Josèphe, age 3; and Jean-Martin, age 1.  Four of Moïse's younger siblings also were in the party:  Joseph, age 19; Jacques-Hippolyte, age 17;  François-Marie, age 15; Marie-Madeleine, age 11; and Anne-Geneviève, age 9.  Pierre Potier of Tintamarre, Chignecto, age 45, came with second wife Agnès Broussard, age 31, and five children:  Charles-Victor, age 16; Marie-Constance, age 14; Anne-Apolline or Apolline-Luce, age 12; Pierre-Laurent, age 10; and infant François-Constant.  Pierre Richard of Annapolis Royal and Minas, age 72, came with second wife Françoise Daigre, age 55, and four children:  Anselme, age 20;  Joseph, age 18; Marie-Jeanne, age 14; and Pierre Auguste, age 11.  Jean-Charles Richard, age 19, came alone.  Pierre Vincent of Rivière-aux-Canards, age 36, came alone. 

A few Acadian families on the frigate's passenger list were new to the colony:

Jean-Baptiste La Garenne of Île St.-Jean, age 55, came with wife Anne-Hippolythe Doiron of Pigiguit, age 46, and no children.   Marie-Pélagie Doiron, age 31, widow of  Joseph Lalande, came with two children:  Émilie, age 11; and Jean-Édouard, age 8.  Pierre Lavergne of Annapolis Royal, age 54, three times a widower, his third wife a Frenchwoman from Lauvaudan, came with three children:  Victoire-Bellarmine, age 22; Marie-Madeleine, age 18; and Pierre-Benjamin, age 17.  Jacques Moulaison of Pobomcoup, age 38, came with wife Marie-Blanche Doiron of Pigiguit, age 41, and three children:  Marie-Rose, age 10; Marie-Sophie, age 9; and Jacques, fils, age 6. 

Non-Acadians among the Beaumont passengers were or had been married to, or were children of, Acadians:

Joseph Acosta of St.-Tropez, France, age unrecorded, a stowaway, married Marguerite Trahan, age 24, aboard ship.  François Arbour, fils of Québec, perhaps a French Canadian, not an Acadian, age 45, came with wife Marie Henry, an Acadian, age 40, and three sons:  François-Henry, age 18; Jean-Louis-Firmin, age 15; and Frédéric-Édouard, age 13.  Joseph Caillouet of Cap-St.-Ignace, Canada, age 31, came with wife Élisabeth, or Isabelle, LeBlanc of Pigiguit, age 32, and infant son Jacques.  Marie-Josèphe Martin of Annapolis Royal, age 47, widow of surgeon Louis Courtin of St.-Nicolas de Prête-Vales, Dunois, France, came with three children:  Marie-Françoise, age 22; Mathurine-Olivier, age 20; and Jacques-Marie, age 16.448 

Intendente Navarro appointed Pedro Aragon y Villegas as commissioner for the Beaumont Acadians and instructed Anselme Blanchard to help prepare quarters for the new arrivals in New Orleans; the dormitories at Algiers and the customhouse in the city were too overcrowded to accommodate them.  While the Beaumont Acadians recuperated in the city, the intendente supervised the marriages of three Acadian girls to three non-Acadians who also had crossed on the frigate, perhaps as members of the crew.  Four Beaumont passengers died at New Orleans, two deserted, and a baby was born to one of the families.  Meanwhile, Winzerling tells us, "The surveyors of this group lost no time in determining the sites for their future homes.  After two weeks of reconnoitering they decided upon Baton Rouge."  Forty-one families with 145 members approved of the selection, some preferring the east bank north of Bayou Manchac, others the west bank north of Bayou Plaquemine.  Four families with 19 members--those of Alain Bourg, Joseph Guédry, Moïse and Joseph LeBlanc, and Jean-Charles Richard--chose to go to Bayou Lafourche, and four families with 20 members--those of Jean-Baptiste Doiron, Pierre Hébert, Pierre Potier, and Pierre Vincent--elected to join relatives in the Attakapas District.  Two families with eight members--those of Joseph Caillouet, a French Canadian married to a LeBlanc; and Jean Guédry dit Grivois--chose crowded St.-Jacques on the Lower Acadian Coast.  During the first week of September, after a short recuperation period, the Beaumont Acadians were ready to move to their new homes.449 

Having been promised further rewards by the Spanish, Henri-Marie Peyroux de la Coudrenière asked Intendente Navarro to appoint him captain and to give him command of the Baton Rouge District, where "his" Acadians had gone.  Peyroux received his captaincy, but Navarro and Governor Miró, who probably were not charmed by the smooth-talking Frenchman, sent him, instead, to Ste.-Geneviève, in the Illinois country, and appointed Spanish officer Joseph Vasquez Vahamonde to command at Baton Rouge.449a


The fourth expedition, that of the 400-ton frigate Le St.-Rémi, would be the largest, and the least successful, of the seven expeditions.  Again, Consul d'Asprès was at fault.  Though a much larger ship than the other three, Le St.-Rémi was dangerously overcrowded when it left St.-Malo.  This was the first of two expeditions scheduled to transport Acadians from that port, which once held the largest concentration of the exiles in France.  After the failure of the Poitou venture during the 1770s, the many Acadians who had gone there from the St.-Malo area had retreated to Nantes, and there they remained.  Still, dozens of Acadian families still living in the villages around St.-Malo also had signed up to resettle in Louisiana.  Unfortunately, d'Asprès ignored his previous dictum about overcrowding and allowed families to sign up for the expedition "regardless of health conditions."  Anxious to leave before the end of June, he called a convocation of the family heads on June 19.  They chose their leaders and made their rules for shipboard conduct and the distribution of rations.450 

Le St.-Rémi, under Captain Nicolas Baudin, left St.-Malo on June 27, 13 days after Le Beaumont had departed Paimboeuf, on the other side of Brittany.  Evidently Le St. Rémi sailed around to Paimboeuf to pick up passengers from Morlaix who had congregated at the port of Nantes.  D'Asprès thus allowed 323 Acadians and their belongings to be carried aboard the ship, as well as baggage for the Acadians who had crossed on La Bergère.  "As a result of that unhealthy congestion, smallpox broke out during the voyage and carried away twelve children.  Scurvy caused the deaths of three women."  The big frigate reached Louisiana on September 10 after a 75-day voyage, but the nightmare was not yet over.  Le St.-Rémi ran aground in the channel at Balize.  Sixteen more passengers died of smallpox aboard the stranded vessel, and there was "much sickness in their camp at New Orleans."  The city, by now, was overwhelmed by the sheer numbers of immigrants, with more on the way.  Intendente Navarro ordered the construction of "a wooden hall 200 by 26 feet, capable of housing 800 people" at Algiers to accommodate the current and future arrivals.  It was still summer in lower Louisiana, and the St.-Rémi passengers also suffered from the excessive heat as well as the strange food they were compelled to eat.  The large numbers of sick passengers from the vessel, especially among the women, overwhelmed the two hospitals for the Acadians at Algiers.  Navarro ordered the enlargement of the women's hospital to 45 beds.  Aware of the Acadians' repugnance of French hospitals, he called the expanded women's facility Community House and made it independent of the hospitals in the city.  Sadly, "the change of climate carried off many Acadian mothers.  Navarro, in his solicitude for the Acadians, hired wet-nurses to care for their motherless babies."  He also provided extra assistance for the elderly passengers who had fallen ill.  Again, the great majority of the Acadians aboard Le St.-Rémi bore family names familiar in the colony, though some of them had come on previous ships from France.451 

The Dugass, Héberts, LeBlancs, and Trahans were especially numerous: 

Alexis Dugas of Cobeguit, age 62, twice a widower, came with 22-year-old daughter Marie-Rose.  Charles Dugas, age 60, came with wife Anne Naquin of Cobeguit, age 40, and her daughter by her first marriage, Rose-Marie Gautrot, age 22; also with them was orphan Anne Lebert, age 9.  Pierre Dugas of Cobeguit, age 53, came with third wife Rose or Rosalie LeBlanc of Pigiguit, age 43, and two daughters:  Rose, age 3; and infant Anne Pérrine.  Joseph Dugas of Cobeguit, age 43, came with second wife Anastasie Barrieau of Pigiguit, age 43, and nine children:  Joseph, fils, age 23; Marie, age 21; Cécile-Anne, age 19; Élisabeth-Eulalie, age 17; François-Basile-Étienne, age 14; Anastasie-Céleste-Marie, age 12; Jean-Pierre, age 10; Anne-Marguerite, age 7; and Marguerite-Euphrosine, age 2.  Joseph Hébert of Minas, age 50, came with second wife Marie Benoit, age 48, and three children:  Joseph, fils, age 24; Geneviève-Marie, age 22; and Sophie-Marie, age 15; also with them was niece Sophie Benoit, age 8.  Joseph-Ignace Hébert, age 37, came with wife Anne Dugas, age 36, and four children:  Pierre-Joseph, age 15; Olivier-Constant-Mathias, age 11; Élisabeth-, or Isabelle-, Jeanne, age 9; and Louis-Ambroise, age 2.  Joseph-Ignace's brother Jean-Baptiste, age 35, came with wife Anne-Josèphe Dugas of Cobeguit, age 36, and five children:  Jean-Joseph, age 14; Ambroise-Mathurin, age 12; Simon, age 7; Alexis-Thomas, age 2; and newborn Martin.  Another Joseph Hébert, age 36, came with wife Jeanne De La Forestrie of St.-Pierre-du-Nord, Île St.-Jean, age 32, and five children:  Joseph-Marie, age 11; Charles, age 10; Marie-Rose, age 8; and Louis-Jean, age 5.  Charles LeBlanc of Grand-Pré, age 68, came with second wife Marie-Madeleine Gautrot, age 66, and 20-year-old daughter Marguerite-Geneviève.  Another Charles LeBlanc of Grand-Pré, age 52, came with second wife Rosalie Trahan, age 40, and six children:  Marie-Rose, age 21; Pierre-Honoré, age 19; André-Marie, age 18; Marie-Françoise, age 16;  Barbe-Anne, age 12; and infant Jean-Baptiste.  Pierre LeBlanc of Grand-Pré, age 51, came with wife Françoise Trahan of Rivière-aux-Canards, age 47, and four children:  Marie, age 22; Geneviève, age 21; Simon, age 9; and infant Mathurine-Françoise.  Thomas LeBlanc, age 39, came alone.  Joseph LeBlanc of L'Assomption, Pigiguit, age 31, also came alone.  Pierre Trahan of L'Assomption Pigiguit, age 62, came with fourth wife Marie Clémenceau of Grand-Pré, age 32, and year-old daughter Louise-Renée.  Augustin Trahan, age 50, came with wife Bibienne LeBlanc, age 40, and 12-year-old daughter Marie Modeste.  Jean-Baptiste Trahan of Rivière-aux-Canards, age 50, came with wife Madeleine-Modeste Hébert of Pigiguit, age 44, and four children:  Jean-Michel, age 21; Pierre, age 18; Marie-Louise, age 16; and Jeanne-Félicité, age 14; and perhaps Jean-Baptiste, fils, age unrecorded, as well.  Joachim-Hyacinthe Trahan of Pigiguit, age 50, twice a widower, came with six children:  Anne-Isabelle, age 21; Augustin, age 18; Marie-Félicité, age 14; Catherine, age 12; Jean-Marie, age 10; and Marie-Vincente, age 1.  Marguerite Trahan, age 49, widow of Joseph Trahan, came with 12-year-old daughter Augustine-Pélagie.  Pierre Trahan of Pigiguit, age 48, came with wife Marguerite Duon, age 44, six children:  Geneviève, age 23; Élisabeth-, or Isabelle-, Apolline, age 18; Catherine-Marguerite, age 16; Anne, age 12; Marie-Françoise, age 10; and Joseph-Marie, age 8.  Paul Trahan of Rivière-aux-Canards, age 42, came with wife Marie-Josèphe Trahan of L'Assomption, Pigiguit, age 44, and two sons:  Paul-Alexis, age 16; and Pierre-François, age 5.  Eustache Trahan of L'Assomption, Pigiguit, age 40, came with wife Marie LeBlanc of Grand-Pré, age 58, and no children.  Marin Trahan, age 40, came with second wife Marguerite Juon, a Frenchwoman perhaps from Morlaix, age 20, and six children:  Madeleine, age 23; Jean-Baptiste, age 21; Marie-Marguerite, age 16; Françoise-Barbe, age 11; Jean-Joseph-Marie, age 8; and Françoise-Marie, age 7.  Pierre Trahan, age 28, came alone.  Marie Trahan, age 20, also came alone.

Other established families filled the passenger rolls of Le St.-Rémi

Michel Aucoin of Rivière-aux-Canards, age 30, came with wife Marie-Rosalie De La Forestrie of Île St.-Jean, age 30, and two daughters:  Marie-Françoise, age 5; and Rose-Adélaïde, age 1.  Grégoire Benoit of L'Assomption, Pigiguit, age 40, came with wife Marie-Rose Carret, age 31, who was pregnant, and five children:  Jean-Marie, age 12; Marie-Rose, age 10; Donatien, age 8; Françoise-Félicité, age 3; and Rémond-Grégoire, age 2; also with them were Marie-Rose's sister Thérèse Carret, age 29, who, along with her older sister, were the first of their family in the colony.  Jean-Grégoire Blanchard, age 37, came with wife Marie-Madeleine Livois of Île St.-Jean, age 31, the first of her family in the colony, and three children:  Marie-Madeleine, age 9; Jean-Baptiste, age 8; and infant Pierre Charles.  Félix Boudrot of L'Assomption, Pigiguit, age 56, came with second wife Madeleine Hébert, age 56, and no children.  Jean-Charles Boudrot of L'Assomption, Pigiguit, age 51, came with second wife Marguerite-Victoire Guédry of Île Royale, age 34, and five children:  Joseph-Marie, age 21; Henriette-Charlotte, age 13; Marguerite-Renée, age 4; Pierre-David, age 2; and infant Félix-Marie.  Jean-Baptiste Boudrot of Minas, age 25, came with wife Marguerite Bedel, a Frenchwoman, age 23, and two children: Jean-Baptiste, fils, age 2; and infant Jean-Charles.  Marie Boudrot, age 24, wife of Frenchman Jean-François Havard, came with infant son Jean-Marie; her husband came to Louisiana on a later vessel, L'Amitié.  Pierre Bourg, age 56, came with wife Anne-Marie Naquin of Cobeguit, age 48, and three children:  Jeanne-Madeleine-Françoise, age 20; Pierre-Olivier, age 18; and Georgine Victoire, age 11.  Théodore Bourg, age 39, came with wife Anne Granger, age 54, and three children:  Anne-Théodose, age 19; Madeleine-Julienne, age 17; and Théodore-Prosper-Étienne, age 14.  Honoré Comeau of La Famille, Pigiguit, age 71, came with second wife Anastasie Célestin dit Bellemère of Grand-Pré, age 45, and two of her sons by her first marriage:  Joseph-Marie Boudrot, age 17; and Charles Boudrot, age 14.  Mathurin Comeau, age 25, came alone.  Jean-Baptiste Daigre of Grand-Pré, age 52, came with wife Marie-Flavie Boudrot, age 46, and two children:  Anne-Marie, age 15; and Joseph-Marc, age 11.  Jean-Baptiste-Alexandre Daigre, age 20, came alone.  Étienne Darois of Grand-Pré, age 47, came with wife Madeleine Trahan, age 45, and four daughters:  Élisabeth, or Isabelle, age 24; Marie-Madeleine, age 18; Susanne, age 17; and Marie-Elisabeth, or -Isabelle, age 8.  Joseph Gautrot of Cobeguit, age 63, came with second wife Anne Pitre, age 45, and six children:  Rose-Sébastienne, age 22; Joseph-Marin, age 15; Pierre-Olivier, age 13; Charles, age 10; and François and Jean-Guillaume, age 8, perhaps twins.  Marguerite Hébert, age 59, widow of Alexandre Gautrot, came with two children:  Jean-Alain, age 21; and Victoire-Andrée, age 16; also with them was grandson Charles Gautrot, age 18.  Marguerite's older son Pierre-Grégoire Gautrot, age 25, came with wife Marie-Madeleine Michel, age 21, and daughter Martina or Martine, born aboard ship.  Charles Gautrot, age 44, came with wife Anne-Pélagie Trahan, age 39, and six children:  Jean-Charles-Joseph, age 19; Marie-Madeleine-Pélagie, age 18; Jean-Marie, age 7; Pierre-Isidore, age 4; Anastasie-Marguerite-Marie, age 2; and infant Jean-Baptiste-Simon.  Jérôme Guérin of Île St.-Jean, age 35, came with wife Marie Pitre, age 38, and infant son Jean-Pierre.  Charles-Olivier Guillot of Pigiguit, age 38, came with wife Madeleine-Josèphe Boudrot of Pigiguit, age 40, and three children:  Jean-Michel, age 14; Simon-François, age 12; and Élisabeth-, or Isabelle-, Madeleine, age 10.   Jean-Philippe Henry, age 22, came with wife Marie-Josèphe Thibodeau of L'Assomption, Pigiguit, age 32, and two of her sons from her first marriage to Frenchman Nicolas Metra:  Nicolas, fils, age 3; and infant Joseph.  Pierre Labauve of Rivière-aux-Canards, age 38, came with second wife Anne or Jeanne Bonfils, a Frenchwoman, age 32, and 13-year-old Jean Dugas, her son by her first husband.  Simon Landry of Minas, age 50, came with wife Marguerite Gautrot, age 59, and no children.  Aimable-Étienne Landry, age 19, came with three siblings:  Jeanne-Marguerite, age 20; Bonne-Marie-Louise, age 17; and Abraham-Isaac, age 13.  Jean Lejeune, age 29, came with wife Félicité Boudrot of L'Assomption, Pigiguit, age 31, and no children.  Tranquille Leprince of L'Assomption Pigiguit, age 63, came with wife Susanne-Marie-Josèphe Bourg, age 57, and two daughters:  Marie-Marguerite, age 32, wife of Frenchman Thomas-Hourardon Calegan, who would come on a later vessel; and Isabelle, age 30; also with them was granddaughter Susanne-Marie-Josèphe Calegan.  Michel Levron, age 55, came with wife Marguerite Trahan, age 50, and two children:  Marie-Josèphe-Françoise, age 22; and Jean-Marie, age 17.  Michel's older son Alexis, age 24, came with wife Anne Trahan, age 24, and no children.  Pierre Michel of Annapolis Royal, age 48, a widower, came with three children:  Joseph-François, age 25; Gertrude-Olive, age 15; and Marie-Louise, age 5.  Anne Daigre of Grand-Pré, age 43, widow of Joseph-François Michel, came with two daughter:  Marie-Madeleine, age 20; and Anne-Josèphe, age 15.  Pierre-Olivier Pitre, age 48, came with wife Rosalie Hébert, age 40, and four children:  Marie-Rose, age 18; Madeleine-Rose, age 5; Anne-Henriette, age 3; and Pierre-André, age 1.  Anselme Pitre of Cobeguit, age 45, a widower, came with four children:  Jean-Pierre, age 21; Marie-Françoise, age 18; Marguerite-Ludivine, age 14; and  Isabelle-Olive, age 12.  The unmarried Richard sisters came together:  Marie, age 44; Marguerite, age 42; and Élisabeth, or Isabelle, age 33.  Their brother Charles of Minas, age 31, came with wife Marie-Josèphe Trahan, age 19, and no children.  Joseph Richard, age 36, a widower, came with 10-year-old daughter Marie-Élisabeth.  Joseph Robichaud, age 36, a widower, came with four children:  Jean-Baptiste, age 21; François-Xavier, age 16; Anne-Marie, age 14; and Renée, age 9.  Anne Hébert, age 45, widow of Pierre Robichaud, came with four children:  Marie-Josèphe, age 17; Anne-Théotiste, age 15; Joseph-Gervais, age 13; and Jean-Pierre, age 2.  Pierre Thériot of Rivière-aux-Canards, age 42, a widower, came with 15-year-old son Pierre-Marie.  Blaise Thibodeau of Annapolis Royal, age  56, came with wife Catherine Daigre, age 56, and three children:  François-Jean, age 18; Joseph-Marie, age 15; and Élisabeth-, or Isabelle-, Jeanne, age 10; also with them was nephew Joseph-Nicolas Hébert of Grand-Pré, age 31, still a bachelor.  Blaise's older son Firmin-Charles, age 25, came with wife Marie-Madeleine Thériot, age 20, and two children:  Firmin-Blaise, age 2; and newborn Martin.  Jean Thibodeau of L'Assomption, Pigiguit, age 42, came with second wife Marie Dugas, age 18, and two children by Jean's first marriage to Frenchwoman François Huert of Pleudihen, near St.-Malo:  Jacques-Joseph-Nicolas, age 18; and Marie-Jacquemine, age 14; also with them was kinswoman Élisabeth Thibodeau of Minas, age 45, widow of Frenchman Jacques Bourbon of Caen.  Ursule Hébert, age 45, widow of Jean Vincent, came with four daughters:  Anne-Blanche, age 23; Marie-Blanche, age 17; Jeanne-Marguerite, age 12; and Flore-Adélaïde, age 11.

Acadian families new to Louisiana also arrived on Le St.-Rémi:

Honoré Carret of Ste.-Famille, Pigiguit, age 56, came with wife Françoise Benoit, age 40, and 24-year-old son Pierre-Marin; also with them was Françoise's mother Marie-Madeleine Thériot, age 72, widow of Charles Benoit, and cousin Victoire-Marie Benoit, age 14.  Honoré's brother Ignace of Ste.-Famille, Pigiguit, age 41, came with wife Marie-Madeleine Clémenceau of Grand-Pré, age 34, and three children:  Eustache-Ignace, age 15; Jean, age 14; and Marie-Josèphe, age 7.  Hillaire Clément of St.-Esprit, Île Royale, age 39, a widower, came with two children:  Marie, age 10; and Jean-Hilaire, age 8.  Jean-Baptiste Darembourg of Île St.-Jean, age 61, came with wife Madeleine Henry of Grand-Pré, age 45, and .18-year-old daughter Marie-Jeanne.  Jean-Baptiste's daughter Marie-Madeleine, age 23, wife of Frenchman Jean-Baptiste Lirette of Nantes, who sailed on a later ship, came with two daughters:  Marie-Jeanne, age 2; and infant Rose-Adélaïde.  Marie Hébert, age 43, widow of Joseph Moïse, came with two children:  Joseph-Pierre, age 12; and Marie-Joséphine, age 6.  Ambroise Naquin of Cobeguit, age 60, came with wife Élisabeth Bourg, age 58, and twin sons:  Joseph-Jacques and Pierre-Paul, age 19.  Charles Naquin of Cobeguit, age 48, a widower, came with six children:  Anne-Marie, age 18; daughter Ives, age 16; Jean-Charles, age 14; Marguerite-Ludivine, age 10; Renée, age 8; and Paul, age 5. 

Non-Acadians who crossed on Le St.-Rémi included spouses of Acadians in the expedition:

Lambert Billardin probably of Morlaix, France, age 40, came with wife Marguerite Daigre, age 37; and three children:  Étienne, age 10; Marie-Jeanne, age 6; and Marguerite, age 3.  Antoine Boutary of Quercy, France, age 50, came with wife Marie-Marguerite Saulnier, age 40, and three sons:  Auguste, age 9; Antoine, fils, age 7; and infant Guillaume.  Jean Garnier, originally Christian Spiger, of Sai, Switzerland, age 34, came with second wife Osite-Perpétué Thériot, age 25, and two daughters:  Jeanne-Marie, age 1; and infant Marie-Françoise.  Guillaume Hamon, perhaps a Frenchman, not an Acadian, age 24, came with wife Marguerite Saulnier of Rivière-aux-Carards, age 27, and no children.  Pierre-François Lecoq of St.-Malo, age 40, came with wife Élisabeth, or Isabelle, Vincent, age 28, and four children:  Marie, age 11; Guillaume, age 9; Victoire, age 1; and infant François. 

When Spanish authorities compiled a debarkation list for Le St.-Rémi, they discovered 16 stowaways, many of them young Frenchmen "engaged" to Acadian girls.452

By early October, most of the sick passengers had regained their health.  "The camp bustled again with activity:  elections of surveyors, discussions on future settlements, the admission of nineteen new adherents, and the celebration of eight births and five marriages," Oscar Winzerling tells us.   By then, Intendente Navarro had served as godfather to many of the Acadian children born at Algiers and New Orleans.  "His kindness made the exiles very happy," Winzerling relates.  "But when he consented to be godfather for all Acadian babies whether born aboard ship or in camp at New Orleans, or during the trip up the Mississippi River, he won the heart of every one of the exiles.  From that time on the Acadians loved him as a member of 'their nation.'"453 

As soon as most of them had recovered from their illness, Navarro called a meeting of the St.-Rémi family heads and offered them a proposition.  He had heard that Acadians were good carpenters, so he offered to pay them a subsidy of $100 for constructing their own houses.  "Because they were an honest people, he told them, he was confident that they would build their homes with thrift, avoid waste of time, and use only the best materials.  To show his appreciation of their co-operation, he would grant them permission to apply any savings in time and material to purchase cattle for their farms," Winzerling relates.  The St.-Rémi Acadians heartily endorsed the plan.454 

In early October, the surveyors for the St.-Rémi expedition returned to their camp and recommended settlement on Bayou Lafourche, where most of their La Bergère compatriots had gone.  Two St.-Rémi families--those of Jean-Baptiste and Pierre Trahan--chose to join relatives at Attakapas, and two individuals elected to settle at Nueva Gálvez below New Orleans and at Baton Rouge, but the great majority of them--85 families with 303 members--agreed to go to Bayou Lafourche.  The intendente tasked Anselme Blanchard with settling these hundreds of his fellow Acadians along the lower stretches of the bayou.  Blanchard had to wait, however, for more of the St.-Rémi Acadians to be well enough to travel.  On December 16, after the heads of families received their tools and implements, Blanchard assembled on the levee at Algiers the expedition members well enough to travel and loaded them aboard the San José, recently returned from the prairies, on launches hired from André Chiloque and Arnaud Magnon, and on a boat leased from Josef de la Puente, for the journey upriver and then down the Lafourche.455


The fifth expedition, that of the 400-ton frigate L'Amitié, sometimes called by its Spanish name La Amistad, was the third to depart Paimboeuf.  The four previous expeditions had left Paimboeuf and St.-Malo in May and June.  L'Amitié, whose embarkation d'Asprès had entrusted to his vice-consul, Luìs Landaluze, had been scheduled to depart Paimboeuf in late June, but the big frigate did not set sail until eight days after La Ville d'Archangel, an even larger frigate, left St.-Malo on August 12.  The delay in L'Amitié's departure resulted from dozens of Acadians in the St.-Malo area failing to depart on La Ville d'Archangel.  Only six expeditions had been planned in the beginning, but d'Asprès and the Count de Aranda had already realized that there would be dozens, perhaps hundreds, of "leftovers," requiring more ships.  Landaluze held up the sailing of L'Amitié so that these "leftovers" would not become too numerous, but he resisted d'Asprès's efforts to pack the ship with as many as passengers as had sailed on the overcrowded St.-Rémi.  When L'Amitié left Paimboeuf on August 20 it carried "only" 270 passengers--260 adults and 10 children--slightly less than had crossed aboard La Bergère, a smaller ship.  Among the passengers aboard L'Amitié were more relatives of Peyroux de la Coudrenière, who had crossed on Le Beaumont with the third expedition and awaited his kinsmen at Ste.-Geneviève in the Illinois country.456  

L'Amitié, under Captain Joseph Beltremieux, reached New Orleans on November 8.  Despite Landaluze's efforts to limit the number of passengers aboard L'Amitié, there was "much sickness during the voyage...."  Six were buried at sea, and 27 arrived in the colony "very sick.  But once they landed they recovered rapidly," Winzerling tells us, so the expedition was largely a successful one.  Amazingly, no passenger in the L'Amitié expedition died in the camp at Algiers.  Moreover, there were 17 marriages, 10 births, and 24 "adherents."457 

The large number of marriages was the result of Intendente Navarro's efforts to marry off the many Acadian women of marriageable age who had come to the colony without husbands.  As on Le St.-Rémi, a number of stowaways, most of them love-struck young Frenchmen "engaged" to Acadian girls, 12 this time, crossed on L'Amitié.  Navarro also had been informed that a number of sailors aboard the ships had fallen in love with Acadian girls but feared that marrying them at New Orleans would end their wives' subsidies from the Spanish crown.  Navarro had no instructions from his superiors about encouraging marriage among the new settlers, but he understood the importance of stable families in promoting the interests of the colony.  "To encourage all bachelor immigrants to enter marriage with Acadian girls," Winzerling relates, Navarro "published two guarantees:  first, to the stowaways and sailors, the right to settle in Louisiana; and second, to any local bachelor, the right of family head with a continuation of the usual subsidy from the government."  The result was a spectacular increase in Acadian marriages.  "From November 20 to December 19, 1785, there was much festivity among the Acadians," Winzerling continues.  "Back in Acadia a marriage was an event of communal celebration.  And the Acadians clung tenaciously to their 'national' traditions.  The occasion of a marriage called for dancing, games, and a rehearsal of their national history, accompanied with the usual drink of beer, cider, or 'café noir.' And this was a special occasion."  This further endeared the Spanish intendente to the Acadians.458 

The passenger rolls of L'Amitié included names well-established in the colony, as well as some that had arrived only recently from France.  The Boudrots and the Hachés were especially numerous:

Zacharie Boudrot of Pigiguit, age 64, came with second wife Marguerite Vallois, age 47, a Frenchwoman, and two children:  son Benjamin-Hillaire, age 15; and stepson Jacques-Olivier Dubois, age 19.  Zacharie's older son Charles, age 21, came with wife Marie-Anne Gautrot, age 19, and infant son Charles-Marie.  Brigitte Apart of Grand-Pré, age 60, widow of Antoine Boudrot, came with five children:  Charles-Michel, age 24; Marie-Madeleine, age 22; Joseph, age 19; Étienne, age 18; and Marguerite-Josèphe, age 16.  Marin Boudrot of Minas age 53, came with wife Pélagie Barrieau of Pigiguit, age 39, and two children:  Étienne, age 13; and Marie-Anne, age 1.  Étienne Boudrot of Minas, age 42, came with wife Marguerite Thibodeau, age 40, and seven children:  Joseph-Marie, age 19; Cécile-Marguerite, age 17; Blaise-Julien, age 16; Anne-Henriette, age 14; Jean-Étienne, age 5; Marguerite-Susanne, age 3; and infant Yves-Cyprien.  Joseph Boudrot of Minas, age 40, came with wife Marguerite Richard dit Sapin of Minas, age 42, who was pregnant, and four children:  Marie-Marthe, age 20; Jean-Charles, age 18; Jean-Joseph, age 9; and Sophie, age 3; also with them was sa minuere Marie Hébert, age 12; the following February Marguerite gave birth to son Simon.  Anne Olivier of Annapolis Royal, age 64, widow of Jean-Baptiste Haché, came with niece Madeleine-Apolline Haché, age 10.  Françoise Doucet, age 46, wife of Louis Haché of Louisbourg, who sailed to the colony later, came with son Pierre-Charles, age 10, and three young kinsmen, all siblings or half-siblings:  niece Marie-Anne Haché, age 19; nephew Pierre-Alexis, age 16; and nephew Joseph-François, age 10.  Jean-Baptiste-Charles Haché, age 22, came with wife Marie-Modeste Pinet, age 20 infant daughter Martina or Martine, and two of his siblings:  Bonne-Marie-Madeleine, age 18; and Frédéric, age 15. 

Other established families could be found on the ship's passenger rolls: 

Joseph Aucoin, age 60, came with wife Madeleine Boudrot, age 58, and no children.  Élisabeth, or Isabelle, Duon of Rivière-aux-Canards, age 42, widow of Alexandre Aucoin, came with seven daughters:  Anne-Marie, age 24; Geneviève, age 20; Marie-Madeleine, age 17; Marie-Félicité, age 15; Élisabeth-, or Isabelle-, Josèphe, age 13; Anne-Augustine, age 11; and Marie-Renée, age 6.  Mathurin-Jean Aucoin, age 30, came alone.  Magloire-Simon or Simon-Magloire Babin, age 23, perhaps a stowaway, came alone.  Joseph Aucoin, age 33, a sailor, came alone.  Anne-Marie Haché of Île St.-Jean, age 39, wife of sailor Jean-Charles Benoit, who crossed on a later vessel, came with four children:  Jean-Marie, age 14; Paul-Frédéric, age 9; François-René, age 7; and Sophie-Renée, age 2.  Marguerite Benoit of Île St.-Jean, age 32, widow of Joseph Précieux, came alone.  Eustache Bertrand, age 49, came with wife Marguerite Landry, age 37, and four children:  Madeleine-Marguerite, age 19; Marie-Geneviève, age 11; Marie-Josèphe, age 7; and Louis-Martin, age 1.  Marguerite Blanchard, age 46, widow of Jean Bertrand, came with 20-year-old son Jean-Nicolas.  François Blanchard of Cobeguit, age 54, came with wife Hélène-Judith Giroir of Pigiguit, age 43, and four children:  Françoise-Hélène, age 20; Eudoxe-Marie-Gillette, age 15; Joseph-François, age 10; and Marguerite-Anne, age 5.  François's brother Bénoni, age 45, came with second wife Madeleine Forest, age 43, and six children:  Marie-Madeleine, age 18; Joachim-Jacques, age 16; Bénoni-Jacques, age 13; Anne-Marguerite, age 11; Céleste, age 8; and Moïse, age 3.  Madeleine Blanchard, age 47, widow of Charles Bourg, came with two sons:  Jean-Charles, age 11; and Joseph-Florent, age 7.  Athanase Bourg, age 45, came with wife Luce Breau and two sons:  Joseph-Marin, age 13; and Charles, age 10.  Jean Bourg, age 28, came with wife Catherine Viaud, age 33, a Frenchwoman, and infant daughter Catherine.  Lucien Bourg, age 21, came with wife Marie-Isabelle Trahan, age 25, who was pregnant; Marie-Isabelle gave birth to son Jean-Firmin the following April, probably at Attakapas.  Alexis Breau of Cobeguit, age 61, came with wife Marie-Josèphe Guillot, age 62, and 20-year-old daughter Marguerite-Blanche; with them were two kinsmen:  Jean-Charles Gautrot, age 22; and Fabien-Amateur Guillot, age 21.  Joseph-Gabriel Breau of Île St.-Jean, age 32, came with wife Marie-Marguerite Templé of Port-Toulouse, Île Royale, age 32, and two children:  Joseph, age 7; and infant Eulalie.  Jean Broussard, age 40, came with wife Marguerite Comeau, age 32, and 11-year-old son Jean-Baptiste dit Petit.  Jean-Baptiste Chiasson of Chignecto, age 56, came with third wife Anne-Pérrine Joanne, age 40, a Frenchwoman, and two sons:  Joseph-François, age 19; and Pierre-Louis, age 15.  Benoît Comeau of Chepoudy, age 48, came with wife Anne Blanchard of Petitcoudiac, age 45, and six children:  Jean, age 19; Marie-Anne-Victoire, age 16; Anne-Eléonore, age 14; Marguerite-Anastasie, age 12; Rose-Julie, age 5; and newborn Claire-Adélaïde; with them also was Anne's unmarried sister Madeleine Blanchard of Petitcoudiac, age 40.  Jean-Baptiste Daigre, age 25, came with wife Marie LeBlanc, age 27, and two daughters:  Marie-Judith, age 1; and infant Marguerite-Louise.  Marie-Anne Précieux of Port-Lajoie, Île St.-Jean, age 52, widow of Augustin Doucet dit Justice, came with two sons:  Jean-Baptiste, age 19; and François, age 14.  Charles Doucet, age 40, still a bachelor, came alone.  Claude-Bernard Dugas, ate 28, came alone.  Honoré Duon of Rivière-aux-Canards, age 47, came with wife Anne-Geneviève Trahan of Pigiguit, age 44, and three sons:  Augustin-Marin, age 20; Honoré-Jacques-Marie-Louis, age 17; and Jean-Charles, age 13.  Marie-Marguerite-Pélagie Gautrot, age 21, came with sister Madeleine-Rosalie, age 20.  Marie-Josèphe Thériot of Cobeguit, age 65, widow of Honoré Giroir or Girouard of Pigiguit, came with two unmarried daughters:  Eudoxile, age 38; and Marie-Rose, age 23.  Charles Giroir of Minas, age 56, came with wife Michelle Patru, age 58, a Frenchwoman, and no children.  Ignace Hamon of Île St.-Jean, age 39, came with wife Anne-Josèphe Bourg, age 41, who was pregnant, and two daughters:  Anne-Madeleine, age 12; and Marie-Modeste, age 10; daughter Martine was born probably in New Orleans soon after their arrival.  Ambroise Hébert probably of Cobeguit, age 39, came with his brother Jean-Pierre, age 38, also unmarried.  Étienne Hébert of Chignecto, age 38, came with third wife Anne-Madeleine Breau, age 36, and five children:  Cécile, age 18;  Jean-Louis-Étienne, age 16; Guillaume-Bénoni, age 12; Louis-Gabriel, age 10; and infant Marie-Madeleine.  François Landry of Annapolis Royal, age 69, three times a widower, came with two sibling grandchildren:  Bonne-Marie-Adélaïde Landry, age 16; and Jean-Jacques-Frédéric, age 15; also with them was François's nephew Jean-Charles Landry, age 18.  Pierre LeBlanc of Minas, age 49, came with wife Marie-Blanche Landry of Minas, age 52, and 16-year-old daughter Marguerite-Anne.  Jean-Baptiste LeBlanc of Rivière-aux-Canards, age 44, came with wife Élisabeth, or Isabelle, Aucoin of Minas, age 50, and niece Marie-Marguerite Semer, age 19.  Michel Léger, fils of Louisbourg, age 23, came alone.  Anastasie Levron of Grand-Pré, age 49, widow of Amand Lejeune of Minas, came with six children:  Joseph, age 22; Marie-Rose, age 18; Marie-Marguerite, age 16; Alexis-Simon, age 12; Anne-Adélaïde, age 6; and Rosalie, age 2.  Marie-Josèphe Doucet probably of Annapolis Royal, age 60, widow of Pierre Moulaison, came with son Joseph, age 30.  Marguerite Boudrot, age 46, widow of Benjamin Pitre of Cobeguit, came with six children:  Marie-Madeleine, age 24; Madeleine-Modeste, age 22; Cécile-Olive, age 17; Marguerite-Charlotte, age 15; Étienne, age 7; and Jean, age 4.  Ursule Breau of Cobeguit, age 45, widow of François Pitre of Cobeguit, came with 22-year-old daughter Ursule-Françoise.  Marie Moïse of Île Royale, age 44, widow of Olivier Pitre of Louisbourg, came with three children:  Victoire, age 19; Françoise-Olive, age 14; and Louis-Constant, age 10.  Joseph Semer of Minas, age 60, a widower, came with two daughters:  Marine, age 25; and Anne-Françoise, age 21.  Marie-Françoise Semer, age 24, pregnant wife of Joseph Boudrot, came with brother Grégoire-Dominique Semer, age 16; Marie-Françoise gave birth to son Antoine probably at Attakapas.  Élisabeth, or Isabelle, Boudrot probably of Grand-Pré, age 60, widow of Olivier Thibodeau, came with daughter Élisabeth-, or Isabelle-, Marie, age 17.  Jean-Baptiste-Pierre dit Alequin Thibodeau, age 20, came with wife Marie-Rose D'Amour dit de Louvière of Rivière St.-Jean, age 24, and newborn son Jean-Martin.  Chrysostôme Trahan of Pigiguit, age 43, came with wife Anne-Françoise Granger of Rivière-aux-Canards, age 41, and seven children:  Anne-Julie, age 20; Marie-Madeleine, age 18; Marie-Marthe, age 14; Jean-Chrysostôme, age 10; Joseph, age 7; Marguerite, age 5; and infant Renée-Sophie.  Jean-Paul Trahan, age 16, came alone.  Ursule Hébert, age 45, widow of Jean Vincent of Minas, came with four daughters:  Anne-Blanche, age 23; Marie-Blanche, age 17; Jeanne-Marguerite, age 12; and Flore-Adélaïde, age 11. 

Acadian families new to the colony also could be found aboard L'Amitié:

Pélagie Benoit of L'Assomption, Pigiguit, age 44, widow of Yves Crochet of Megrit, France, and Louisbourg, came with five children:  Jean-Guillaume, age 25; Françoise-Pélagie, age 21; Marguerite-Pérrine, age 19; Yves-Jean, age 19; and Julien, age 15.  Louis Dantin, fils, of Port-Toulouse, Île Royale, age 40, came with second wife Hélène Aucoin, age 37, and four daughters:  Jeanne, age 16; Marie-Anne, age 11; Anne, age 9; Judith-, or Julie-, Geneviève, age 7; also with them were two daughters from Hélène's first marriage:  Françoise-Josèphe Doiron, age 17; and Marie-Victoire Doiron, age 12.  Jean-François De La Mazière of Île St.-Jean, age 37, came with wife Véronique Renaud of Île St.-Jean, age 37, and four children:  Jean-Baptiste, age 8; Louise-Céleste, age 6; Rose-Jeanne, age 4; and newborn Martina or Martine.  Jean-Aubin Fouquet of St.-Pierre-du-Nord, Île St.-Jean, age 52, came with third wife Marguerite Quimine of Chignecto, age 50, and two daughters:  Marie-Charlotte, age 15; and Jeanne-Madeleine, age 11.  Jean Gousman of Andalusia, Spain, and Annapolis Royal, age 56, came with second wife Rose Bonnevie of Annapolis Royal, age 44, and two children:  Rosalie-Charlotte, age 21, born at Halifax; and Jean-Thomas, age 2.  Vincent Neveu, age 20, came alone, but he evidently was engaged to Cécile Hébert, whom he married soon after reaching New Orleans; also, he may have been French and not Acadian.  Charles Pinet dit Pinel of Minas, age 54, came with wife Marie-Anne Durel of Île St.-Jean, age 50, and two children:  Louis, age 22; and Marie-Madeleine, age 14.  Marie-Henriette Potier of St.-Pierre-du-Nord, Île St.-Jean, age 46, widow of Jean-Baptiste Rassicot dit Ratier of Île St.-Jean and Pierre Gaudet of Chignecto, came with three Rassicot children:  Jean-François, age 20; Anne-Marguerite, age 17; and Marie-Henriette, age 15. 

And there were families among L'Amitié passengers headed by non-Acadians with current or former Acadian spouses:

Marie-Josèphe Richard of Grand-Pré, age 30, widow of Frenchman François Basset, came with 5-year-old daughter Marie and sister Marie-Geneviève Richard, age 32.  Joseph Bénard of Russia, age 46, came with wife Jeanne Richard, age 40; and three children:  Marie, age 19; Martin, age 7; and Anne, age 2.  Jean-François Havard of Nantes, age unrecorded, husband of Marie Boudrot, who came on an earlier ship, Le St.-Rémi, with their infant son Jean-Marie, came alone.  Colette Renaud of St.-Pierre-du-Nord, Île St.-Jean, age 45, widow of René LeTullier, came with three children:  Jean-Charles, age 19; Adélaïde, age 16; and Isidore, age 14.  Jean Metra of Bernin, Lorraine, age 46, came with wife Marguerite Bourg, age 52, and 18-year-old daughter Anne-Marguerite.459 

The Amitié Acadians' quick recovery from the trauma of their transatlantic voyage allowed them to remain only briefly in the camp at Algiers.  Some of them--nearly a dozen families with 37 members, including those of Joseph Aucoin; Marie-Josèphe Richard, widow of Frenchman François Basset; Joseph Bénard, a Russian married to a Richard; Anne-Marie Haché, wife of Jean-Charles Benoit; Charles Doucet; Honoré Duon; Jean-Aubin Fouquet; Charles Giroir; Jean Gousman; Anne Olivier, widow of Jean-Baptiste Haché; and Jean-Baptiste LeBlanc--chose to settle at Nueva Gálvez, also called San Bernardo, below New Orleans.  Two bachelors--Simon Magloire Babin and Jean-Paul Trahan--went to Baton Rouge.  A Spanish report shows that two unidentified newlyweds went to Bayou des Écores, above Baton Rouge.  Four families--those of Élisabeth Duon, widow of Alexandre Aucoin; Lucien Bourg, Jean Broussard, and relatives of Jean-Baptiste Semer the letter writer, who had come to the colony with the Broussards in 1765--went to Attakapas.  And an Acadian stowaway--Michel Léger, fils--joined his widowed mother and siblings at Opelousas.  The great majority of the Amitié passengers, however--71 families with 224 members--chose Bayou Lafourche as their new home.  Juan Prieto, manager of the King's warehouses, issued tools and implements to most of the heads of families on December 15, so the 224 Acadians from Amitié going to Lafourche may have accompanied the 303 Acadians from Le St.-Rémi who left Algiers for the bayou on December 16--527 Acadians in all!  After they reached their home sites on the bayou, the population of the Valenzuéla District more than doubled.  The L'Amitié passengers going to Nueva Gálvez, and newlyweds who Navarro allowed to remain longer in camp, did not leave for their settlements until the middle of January.460


The next expedition was the fifth ship to leave France, the second to depart from St.-Malo, and the sixth to reach LouisianaLa Ville d'Archangel, at 600 tons, also was the largest of the Seven Ships.  The big frigate, under Captain LeGoaster, left St.-Malo on August 12, eight days before L'Amitié left Paimboeuf.  Aboard La Ville d'Archangel were 309 passengers, second in number only to what the overcrowded St.-Rémi had carried in June.  The expedition had been ready to leave St.-Malo in early July, but contrary winds delayed its departure for a month.  At first, Luìs Landaluze was tasked with organizing the expedition, but Consul d'Asprès took over before the ship set sail.  The large number of Acadian petitioners who had recently come forth, totaling 378 potential passengers, compelled the consul to employ a larger ship for the second expedition out of St.-Malo, but prudence dictated that not all of the petitioners should be taken at once.  Thus, a seventh expedition was required to accommodate the "leftovers" from St.-Malo.  In spite of the crowded conditions aboard La Ville d'Archangel, d'Asprès was compelled to squeeze aboard another passenger, "a distinguished French colonist," Duhamel Deschenais.461 

A larger ship with so many passengers required a longer passage across the Atlantic, so La Ville d'Archangel did not reach Louisiana until November 4, after 85 days at sea.  The long crossing caused the ships' provisions to run out days before the voyage ended, so La Ville d'Archangel reached the colony with 38 "very sick passengers" aboard.  It also ran aground in the muddy channel at the mouth of the river.  Apprised of the ship's arrival and the condition of the passengers, Intentende Navarro "promptly rushed water, provisions, medical supplies, and extra help so that by November 11" the ship was able to enter the main channel of the Mississippi.  At that time, Acadians from Le St.-Rémi and L'Amitié still occupied the camp at Algiers, so the intendente ordered the big frigate, with its passengers still aboard, to make the 110-mile journey up to the city, which it reached on December 3--the sixth expedition to disembark at New Orleans.  Having closely observed the behavior of the Acadians in the previous expeditions, as well as those who been living in the colony for the past two decades, Navarro was fully aware of their spirit of independence and their amazing stubbornness.  He boarded La Ville d'Archangel as soon as it docked and spoke to the new arrivals.  He was glad to see that, except for the 38 sick passengers, the others were in tolerable health.  He reviewed for them the pact they had made with the Spanish King over the cost of their transportation to the colony and their settlement there.  He explained to them the protocols they were expected to follow once they disembarked, and he asked for their co-operation.  The expedition's leaders thanked the intendente "graciously for his welcome and instructions," Winzerling tells us.  "They told him that the expedition was unanimous in its belief that 'at long last' it had found 'its day of peace and prosperity.'  They promised him as chiefs of the expedition faithfully to fulfill to the best of their ability all matters he had outlined in his speech.  They assured him that everyone was eager to begin the work of colonization as soon as he would permit possession of the land their surveyors had chosen."  Navarro then turned to Pedro Aragon y Villegas, commissioner for the Acadians in New Orleans, and ordered him to escort the healthy passengers to their camp in the city.  The 38 sick passengers he sent not to a city hospital but to the Community House he had built for the Acadians at Algiers.  Sadly, despite the extraordinary care, 15 of the passengers died.  Meanwhile, two of the ship's passengers deserted, but 11 new adherents joined the expedition.462 

Navarro served as godfather for two of the expedition's newborns.  While the surveyors from La Ville d'Archangel looked at empty land along the river between New Orleans and Pointe Coupée, Navarro did what he could to encourage more marriages.  Most of the 53 families in the expedition were large ones, and many of the "children" were of marriageable age; one happy result was seven marriages contracted among the passengers.462a 

Again, the passenger list of La Ville d'Archangel contained the usual mix of Acadian surnames already established in Louisiana and new ones not yet seen in the colony.  Understandably, the number of new ones was lower in this expedition than in previous ones.  

The Aucoins, Bourgs, Héberts, and Henrys were especially numerous:

Alexis Aucoin perhaps of Cobeguit, perhaps age 68, came alone.  Jean-Baptiste Aucoin of Minas, age 66, came with wife Marguerite Thériot, age 57, and five children:  Marie, age 27; Jean-Baptiste, fils, age 21; Rose-Madeleine, age 19; Rose-Anastasie, age 17; and Pierre-Firmin, age 11.  Joseph Aucoin of Cobeguit, age 64, came with second wife Anne Hébert, age 48, and six children:  Anne-Marie, age 21; François-Malo, age 15; Gabriel-Guillaume, age 13; Marie-Madeleine, age 11; Françoise-Victoire, age 8; and infant Hyacinthe-Laurent.  Claude Aucoin of Minas, age 57, came with wife Marie-Josèphe Saulnier of Petitcoudiac, age 48, and five children:  Perpétué, age 22; Anne-Anastasie, age 17; Mathurin-Casimir, age 13; Marie-Gertrude, age 12; and Pierre, age 9.  Michel Aucoin, age 53, came with wife Élisabeth, or Isabelle, Hébert, age 45, and 10 children:  Jean-Charles, age 23; Marie-Josèphe, age 21; Anne-Théodose, age 19; Grégoire-Alexis, age 18; Michel-Pierre, age 16; Pierre-Paul, age 14; Élisabeth, or Isabelle, age 13; François-Étienne, age 11; Florianne-Marguerite, age 4; and Constant-Jean-Baptiste, age 2.  Simon Aucoin of Minas, age 53, came with wife Marie-Geneviève Thériot of Minas, age 50, and four daughters:  Perpétué, age 26; Marguerite-Geneviève, age 16; Anne-Olivie, age 12; and Rose-Félicité, age 11.  Charles Aucoin of Minas, age 50, came with wife Madeleine Trahan of Minas, age 48, and son Pierre, age 30 and still a bachelor; with them also were Madeleine's sister Françoise, age 38, widow of Pascal Hébert; and kinswoman Marie Daigre, age 20.  Alexandre Aucoin of Grand-Pré, age 45, came with wife Rosalie Thériot, age 45, and three children:  Marie-Élisabeth, age 20; Marie-Jeanne, age 8; and Mathurin, age 5.  Joseph Aucoin of Cobeguit, a widower, age 41, came with four sons:  Alexis-Joseph, age 20; Fabien-Isaac, age 15; Mathurin-Jean, age 12; and Joseph-Marie, age 10; also with them was kinswoman Marie-Osite Breau, age 40.  Jean-Baptiste Aucoin, age 27, came with wife Marie Forest, age 20, and infant daughter Marie-Jeanne.  Charles Aucoin, age unrecorded, probably a stowaway, came alone.  Ambroise Bourg, age 53, came with second wife Marie-Modeste Moulaison of Pobomcoup, age 40, and nine children:  Marie-Victoire, age 20; Aimée-Modeste, age 18; Madeleine-Adélaïde, age 16; Thérèse-Julie, age 14; Élisabeth-, or Isabelle-, Céleste, age 12; Joseph-Faustin, age 8; Pélagie, age 5; Modeste, age 3; and Ambroise, fils, age 1.  Jean Bourg, age 50, came with second wife Anne-Josèphe Daigre, age 40, and eight children:  Marie-Josèphe, age 17; François-Marie, age 16; Marguerite-Pérrine, age 15; Madeleine-Pérrine, age 12; Jeanne-Anne, age 7; Jean-Marie, age 6; Joseph-Marie, age 3; and infant Charlotte-Françoise.  Marin Bourg of Cobeguit, age 45, came with wife Marie-Osite Daigre, age 40, and nine children:  Marie-Luce, age 22; Joseph-Pierre, age 20; Marguerite-Josèphe, age 17; Marin-Joseph, age 16; Rose-Madeleine, age 13; Pierre-Jean-Baptiste, age 12; Marie-Françoise-Madeleine-Josèphe, age 10; François-Georges, age 7; and Guillaume-Jean, age 4.  François-Xavier Bourg of Cobeguit, age 44, came with second wife Marguerite-Pélagie Henry of Cobeguit, age 34, and seven children:  Félix-Xavier, age 15; Joseph-Fautin, age 11; Marie-Élisabeth, or -Isabelle, age 8; Maximilien, age 6; Élisabeth-, or Isabelle-, Félicité, age 4; Pierre-Jean-François, age 1; and infant Anne-Victoire; also with them were Charles Bourg of Cobeguit, age 51, and his wife Marguerite LeBlanc of Rivière-aux-Canards, age 40, and no children.  Another Joseph Bourg, age 40, came with wife Marie Dupuis, age 36, and five children:  Marguerite-Marie, age 16; Isabelle-Germaine, age 12; Marie, age 8; Yves-Jean, age 6; and infant Jean-Baptiste-Simon-Louis.  Joseph Hébert of Cobeguit, age 50, came with second wife Marguerite Daigre, age 45, widow of Honoré Richard, and five children:  Marie-Josèphe, age 18; Pierre-Jean, age 17; Thérèse-Anne, age 12, infant Jean-Pierre; and stepdaughter Marguerite-Marie Richard, age 16.  Pierre Hébert of Cobeguit, age 50, came with second wife Susanne Pitre of Cobeguit, age 55, widow of Jean-Baptiste-Olivier Henry, and six children:  Marie-Josèphe, age 24; Pierre-Jean, age 22; Joseph-Yves, age 15; François-Étienne, age 16; Mathurin-Pierre-François, age 13; and Jean-Baptiste-Olivier, age 11; also with them was unmarried stepdaughter Marguerite-Josèphe Henry perhaps of Île St.-Jean, age 35.  Another Joseph Hébert of Cobeguit, age 45, came with wife Marie-Madeleine Aucoin of Rivière-aux-Canards, age 44, and two daughters:  Marie, age 17; and Victoire, age 14.  Luce-Perpétué Bourg, age 43, second wife and widow of Pierre Hébert, came with three daughters:  Victoire-Luce, age 17; Anne-Marie-Julienne, age 11; and Julienne-Pérrine, age 5.  François Hébert, age unrecorded, perhaps a stowaway, came alone.  Jean Henry, age 53, came with wife Marie Pitre, age 53, and three children:  Maximilien, age 24; Élisabeth-, or Isabelle-, Modeste, age 21; and Marie-Rose, age 18; also with them was Jean's unmarried sister Marie, age 55.  Pierre Henry, age 51, came with wife Marguerite-Josèphe Bourg, age 48, and 21-year-old son Jean-Vincent.  Charles Henry, age 49, came with wife Françoise Hébert, age 47, and three children:  Françoise-Victoire, age 15; Marguerite-Toussainte, age 13; and Charles, fils, age 9.  Another Charles Henry, this one from Cobeguit, age 49, came with wife Marguerite-Françoise Thériot of Cobeguit, age 50, and three children:  Marie-Josèphe, age 22; Jean-Baptiste Théodore, age 18; and Jeanne-Françoise, age 17; also with them were Marguerite-Françoise's mother Françoise Guerin of Cobeguit, age 75, widow of François Thériot, and Marguerite-Françoise's unmarried sister Marie, age 52.  Barthélémy Henry of Île St.-Jean age 41, came with wife Anne Bourg of Île St.-Jean age 39, and four children:  François-Barthélémy, age 15; Jacques-François, age 12; Barthélémy-Charles, age 9; and Marie-Jeanne, age 3.  Pierre Henry of Île St.-Jean, age 28, came with two half-sisters:  Françoise, age 23; and Angélique, age 21. 

Other established families could be found on La Ville d'Archangel's passenger rolls: 

Jacques Blanchard, age 18, came alone.  Amand Boudrot of L'Assomption, Pigiguit, age 55, who was blind, came with second wife Marie-Pérrine Nogues, 35, a Frenchwoman, and five children:  Jean-Baptiste, age 15; François-Joseph, age 14; Marie, age 6; Joseph-Alain, age 4; and infant Hélène.  Victor Boudrot, age 55, came with second wife Geneviève Richard, ate 37, and five unmarried children:  Joseph, age 27; Cécile, age 15; Geneviève-Sophie, age 11; Noël-Victor, age 9; and infant Anne-Jeanne; also with them were Victor's oldest daughter Hélène-Marie-Rose, age 31; her husband François-Pierre Le Lorre, a Frenchman, age 30; and stepdaughter Geneviève-Marguerite Pitre, age 17.  Louis Clossinet of Île St.-Jean, age 54, came with wife Marie-Marguerite Daigre, age 40, widow of Amand Giroir, and stepdaughter Geneviève-Charlotte-Marguerite Giroir, age 16.  Simon Comeau of Rivière-aux-Canards, age 44, came with wife Marguerite-Geneviève Aucoin of Minas, age 45, and eight children:  Marie-Luce, age 21; Élisabeth-, or Isabelle-, Madeleine, age 19; Marie-Madeleine, age 18; Félicité-Augustine, age 16; Jean-Baptiste, age 14; Alexandre-Simon, age 10; Pierre-Paul, age 9; and infant Joseph-Marie.  Marie Thériot, age 42, widow of Simon's brother Joseph, came with five children:  son Élie-Marie, age 19; Joseph-Mathurin, age 17; Simon-Pierre, age 15; Jeanne, age 11; and Marie-Élisabeth, age 6.  Ambroise Dupuis of Rivière-aux-Canards, age 43, came with wife Anne Thériot of Rivière-aux-Canards, age 40, and two children:  Jean-Charles, age 18; and Marguerite-Marie, age 8.  Jacques Forest of Grand-Pré, age 76, came with second wife Angélique Richer, age 43, a Frenchwoman; with them were nephew Étienne Forest, age 35; and kinswoman Marie-Jeanne Billeray, age 27, widow of Frenchman François Le Sommer, whose mother was a Forest and who was the only member of her father's family to come to Louisiana.  Jacques's son Victor of Pigiguit, age 52, came with fourth wife Marie-Jeanne-Catherine Richer, age 46, a Frenchwoman, also sister of his father's wife, and seven children:  Joseph-Victor, age 24; Anne-Pérrine, age 20; Servanne-Julienne, age 17; Marie-Adélaïde, age 15; Jeanne-Élisabeth, or -Isabelle, age 12; Jean-Jacques, age 11; and Étienne-Gilles, age 7.  Another Jacques Forest of Minas, age 55, came with wife Marie-Geneviève Comeau of Minas, age 50, and son Pierre-Nicolas, age 15, with them also was kinswoman Marie Forest, age 21, perhaps the widow of Jean Landry.  Anne Forest, age 30, widow of Simon LeBlanc, came alone.  Joseph-Ignace Gaudet, age 38, came alone.  Anne-Thériot, age 36, second wife and widow of Pierre Landry and Joseph Granger, came with six children:  stepson Joseph-Constans Granger, age 20, stepdaughter Ignace Granger, age 15; Jeanne-Marie Granger, age 8; and Pierre-Marie Granger, age 6; and a daughter by her first marriage, Marie-Anne Landry, age 17.  Claude Guédry of Cobeguit, age 71, came with second wife Anne Moïse of Annapolis Royal, age 54, and six children:  Marie-Cécile, age 21; François-Xavier, age 19; Suliac-Charles, age 17; Malo-Bénoni, age 15; Pierre-Claude, age 12; and Olivier, age 8.  René Landry of Minas, age 55, a widower, came with eight children:  Marie-Madeleine, age 23; Servanne-Laurence, age 20; Jean-Baptiste-Raphaël, age 18; Marguerite-Josèphe, age 16; Anne-Marie-Jeanne, age 12; Pierre, age 9; Joseph-Marie, age 7; and Jeanne-Guillemette, age 4; also with them was René's unmarried brother-in-law Paul Babin, age 52.  Joseph Melanson of Grand-Pré, age 64, came with second wife Ursule Hébert of Grand-Pré, age 69, and no children.  Charles Pitre, age 56, came with wife Anne Henry, age 52, and three children:  Joseph-Pierre, age 20; Marguerite-Josèphe, age 15; and Élisabeth-, or Isabelle-, Modeste, age 11.  Jean-Baptiste, called Jean, Pitre, age 52, came with wife Félicité Daigre, age 55, and six children:  Charlotte-Marie, age 20; Pierre, age 19; Jacques-François, age 18; Françoise-Madeleine, age 17; Félicité, age 16; and Marguerite-Marie, age 14.  Marie-Blanche Richard, age 42, widow of Claude Pitre, came with 17-year-old daughter Marie-Charlotte.  Jean-Jacques Thériot of Grand-Pré, age 57, a widower, came with five daughters:  Geneviève-Catherine, age 21; Marie-Josèphe, age 19; Jeanne-Marie, age 14; Rosalie-Pauline, age 12; and Marguerite-Pérrine, age 6.  Jean-Baptiste Thériot, age 39, came with wife Anne-Angélique Briand, a Frenchwoman, age 42, and 13-year-old son Jean-Baptiste, fils.  Anne-Josèphe Henry probably of Pigiguit, age 33, widow of Théodore Thériot of Cobeguit, came with 5-year-old daughter Anne-Angélique.  Charles Thibodeau, age 63, came with wife Madeleine Henry, age 58, and five children:  Marguerite-Josèphe, age 22;  twins Jeanne-Tarsile and Pierre-Charles, age 20; Hélène, age 18; and Marie-Victoire, age 15.  Madeleine Aucoin, age 69, widow of Charles Trahan, came with two unmarried daughters:  Marie, age 47; and Marguerite, age 40. 

Three new Acadian family names could be found among this ship's passengers, including the scion of one of Acadia's seigneurial families:

Pierre Arcement of Pigiguit, age 52, came with wife Marie Hébert, age 50, and seven children:  Marie-Josèphe, age 22; Tranquille-François, age 20; Victoire-Hélène, age 18; Pérrine-Madeleine, age 14; Guillaume-Romain, age 13; Julie-Céleste, age 12; and Françoise, age 9.  Ambroise Longuépée of Cobeguit, age 52, came with wife Marie Henry, age 40, and 20-year-old son Janvier-Pierre, age 20.  Ambroise's brother Jean of Cobeguit, age 45, came with wife Marie-Françoise Bourg, age 40, and nine children:  Anne-Josèphe, age 19; Marie-Françoise-Jean, age 17; Marguerite-Olive, age 15; Jean-Jacques, age 14; Pierre, age 12; Laurentine-Urienne, age 10; Louis, age 6; Jean-Baptiste, age 4; and infant Hélène.  Jacques Mius d'Entremont IV of Pobomcoup, age 29, came with wife Marie Herve, age 30, a Frenchwoman, and two children:  Jacques-Ferdinand, age one; and newborn Marie or Martine; also with them were two children from Marie's first marriage to Louis Langlinais:  Jean-Louis, age 11; Marie-Jeanne, age 9; and Angélique, age 7; as well as Jacques's mother, Marguerite Landry, age unrecorded, widow of Jacques Mius d'Entremont III of Pobomcoup. 

One family aboard La Ville d'Archangel was headed by a Frenchman whose wife was Acadian:   Victoire Dugas, age 38, widow of Thomas Aillet, came with two sons:  Thomas, fils, age 10; and Louis, age 6.463 

The surveyors from La Ville d'Archangel recommended two places of settlement:  Bayou Lafourche, where nearly 800 of their fellow Acadians had gone, and Bayou des Écores, present-day Thompson Creek, which the Spanish called Rio Feliciana, north of Baton Rouge in the new Spanish district of Feliciana.  By late December, members of expedition had recuperated enough to proceed to their new homes.  Most of them--53 families with 271 members--chose Bayou des Écores.  However, six families--those of Pierre Arcement; Amand Boudrot; Jacques Mius d'Entremont IV; Luce-Perpétué Bourg, widow of Pierre Hébert; Anne Forest, widow of Simon LeBlanc; and Blanche Richard, widow of Claude Pitre--elected to join the many Acadians on Bayou Lafourche, and a family of seven--that of Claude Aucoin--chose to remain at New Orleans before moving on to Opelousas.  Storehouse manager Juan Prieto issued the necessary tools and implements.  On 17 January 1786, Intendente Navarro hired launches, boats, and a barge from François Broutin, André Chiloque, Baptiste Anstive, Jacques Mather, and Louis Demarest, at four dollars a day for the boats and a dollar a day for the barge, and the expedition headed slowly upriver.  The large Bayou des Écores contingent was established at Feliciana by the third week of February.464 


The seventh and final expedition of 1785 was that of La Caroline, a 200-ton brig assigned to Captain Nicolas Baudin, who had taken Le St.-Rémi to Louisiana over the summer and had quickly returned to France.  The other six vessels had been frigates, which tended to be larger than brigs, so the final ship was chosen not for its size but for its speed.  Her port of departure also would be different--not St.-Malo or even Paimboeuf, but directly from Nantes.  Aboard were 28 Acadian families of 77 individuals, the so-called "leftovers" who had missed the departure of La Ville d'Archangel at St.-Malo, as well as a few last-minute volunteers.  Also aboard La Caroline were the last of the personal baggage for the Bergère expedition, which had departed Paimboeuf the previous May.  Consul d'Asprès, aware that the French government had approved of only a six-ship endeavor, tried to outfit this seventh expedition as surreptitiously as possible so as not to alarm their officials.  He was confident that he could secure the signatures of at least 300 more Acadians for Louisiana, which would require at least two more transports, but, Winzerling tells us, "the French government foiled his plans."  La Caroline, then, was the final expedition, the final opportunity for the hundreds of Acadians still in France to join their relatives in the Spanish colony.464a

La Caroline left Nantes on October 19, two months after La Ville d'Archangel and L'Amitié had sailed, and arrived at La Balize on December 17.  "The expedition enjoyed good health throughout the entire trip, losing only one member," Winzerling relates.  Among the passengers was Spanish priest Father Juan Léon, on his way to serve at New Orleans.  Captain Baudin deposited his passengers and their belongings at La Balize, took on a cargo of wood, and hurried back to France.  The intendente sent the usual contingent of vessels to convey the passengers up to New Orleans, where they spent a month recuperating from the voyage.  The expedition gained more members from three births, five "new adherents," and two marriages, and lost another member through desertion.465  

Most of the names on La Caroline's passenger roll included members of Acadian families long established in the colony:

Jean-Charles Benoit of Pigiguit, age 39, husband of Anne-Marie Haché, who crossed with their children on an earlier ship, L'Amitié, came alone.  Charles Blanchard, age 51, a widower, came with two sons:  Suliac-François, age 20; and Charles-Pierre-Marc, age 16.  Olivier Boudrot of Grand-Pré, agte 74, came with second wife Anne Dugas, age 59, and two children:  Marie-, age 18; and Jean-Baptiste, age 17.  Marie Boudrot, age 40, widow of Jean-Charles Thériot, came alone.  Ignace Boudrot, age 36, came with wife Anne Pierson, a Frenchwoman, age 26, came with 2-year-old son Charles.  Jean-Félix-Simon Boudrot, age 22, came with wife Marie-Julienne Brossier, a Frenchwoman, age 20, and no children.   Basile Chiasson of Pointe-Beauséjour, age 36, came with wife Monique Comeau, age 38, and two children:  Anne-Adélaïde, age 11; and Charles-Albert, age 3.  Jean-Baptiste Doiron, age 25, came alone.  Joseph Doucet of Annapolis Royal, age 53, a widower, came with three children:  Marie-Marguerite, age 19; Madeleine, age 17; and son Ange, age 15.  Michel Doucet, age 45, came with wife Marie-Blanche Cousin of Ministigueshe, Cap-Sable, age 37, came with three children:  Eléonore-Honorine, age 17; Jean-Baptiste-Michel, age 12; and Marguerite-Bénoni, age 9.  Joseph dit Gros Duon, age 19, came alone.  Louis Gaudet of Chignecto, age 57, came with wife Marie Hébert, age 54, and three children:  Madeleine, age 28; Marguerite, age 20; and François-Louis, age 12.  Charles Gautrot of Rivière-aux-Canards, age 49, came with second wife Marie-Madeleine Melanson of Grand-Pré, age 49, and two children:  François-Marie, age 18; and Rosalie-Charlotte, age 5.  Ambroise Hébert, age 54, came with wife Félicité Lejeune of Grand-Pré, age 45, 16-year-old daughter Gertrude-Anne, and niece Anne-Angélique Gautrot, age 20.  Joseph Hébert, age 15, came with two siblings:  sister Marie-Louise, age 10; and half-brother Martin-Bénoni Pitre, age 18.  Claude-Marie LeBlanc, age 20, came alone.  Basile-Marie Richard, age 18, came alone.   Joseph Thériot, age 27, husband of Marie-Anastasie Aucoin, who came on an earlier ship, La Bergère, came alone.  

New Acadian families, understandably, were few on the passenger list of the last of the ships from France:

Jean Delaune of Île St.-Jean, age 42, came with wife Marie-Anne Part of Île Royale, age 34, and two children:  Pierre, age 1; and infant Marie-Céleste.  Jean's brother Christophe of Île St.-Jean, age 35, came with wife Marie Boudrot, age 30, and two sons:  Jean-Baptiste, age 11; and Louis-Augustin, age 1; also with them was Marie's sister Céleste, age 20.  Louis Lamoureux dit Rochefort of St.-Pierre-du-Nord, Île St.-Jean, age 44, came with wife Marie Hébert, age 36; and two children:  Jean-Louis, age 20; and Marie-Adélaïde, age 10. 

Two family heads among the ship's passengers were Frenchmen married to Acadians:

Nicolas-Gabriel Albert, age 45, came with wife Marie-Marthe Benoit, age 49, and 12-year-old son Nicolas-Gabriel, fils.  Étienne-François Angilbert, a Frenchman, age 32, came with wife Félicité Hébert, age 28, and infant daughter Marie-Adélaïde. 

In early January, Intendente Navarro ordered the issuance of tool and implements to three family heads--Jean-Charles Benoit, Michel Doucet, and Ambroise Hébert--and commissioned François Broutin to escort them, along with 11 families from L'Amitié, to Nueva Gálvez below New Orleans.  On January 17, he ordered Juan Prieto, for the last time, to issue tools and implements to the remaining 18 families of 54 members, who were joining their fellow Acadians on Bayou Lafourche and on the river at St.-Jacques.  At the last moment, he permitted two of the families--including that of Ignace Boudrot--to join the Ville d'Archangel passengers who were about to head upriver to Bayou des Écores.  One unmarried passenger--Jean-Baptiste Doiron--joined his relatives at Baton Rouge.  Another bachelor--Jean dit Gros Duon--headed to Attakapas, and Basile Chiasson and his family moved on to Opelousas.466


And so concluded the Seven Ships' expeditions, which brought nearly 1,600 Acadians from France to Spanish Louisiana in 1785.  The official Spanish report counted 1,574 Acadians aboard the Seven Ships, and an earlier report had counted 1,596, but some of them were non-Acadian spouses and children who bore their fathers' French surnames.  No matter, more Acadians reached Louisiana during the five months between July and December 1785 than had come to the colony during the entire five-and-a half-year period between February 1764 and October 1769!  If French authorities, alarmed by the success of the venture, had not shut down the operation in late 1785, Consul d'Asprès might have sent hundreds of more Acadians, including 250 just arrived from Miquelon, on additional ships to Louisiana.467 

Still, the amazing influx of so many new arrivals dramatically changed the Acadian presence in Spanish Louisiana.  The population of the Valenzuéla District increased dramatically, to over a thousand by early 1786, the great majority of them newly-arrived Acadians living along parts of the bayou where only Indian villages had stood.  The St.-Gabriel de Manchac and Baton Rouge districts could boast hundreds of new settlers; the Upper Acadian Coast, once confined to the stretch of river below bayous Manchac and Plaquemine, now reached up towards Pointe Coupée on the west bank and across from Pointe Coupée on the east, where a new Spanish district, Feliciana, now held 300 Acadians from France.  Nearly a hundred Acadian newcomers increased the population of the two prairie districts.  Two dozen Acadians, many with French spouses, added to the population density along the Lower Acadian Coast.  And San Bernardo, the closest Isleño community to New Orleans, was augmented by several dozen Acadians who wanted to live closer to the city.468

Spanish largesse did not end with the placement of the last Acadian arrivals along Bayou des Écores in late February 1786.  Intendente Navarro's final contribution to the Acadians' wellbeing occurred after he had overseen their settlement.  The daily stipend authorized by Spanish authorities for the new arrivals, to be ended only after they had become economically self-sufficient, was seven and a half cents a day for each adult and two and a half cents a day for each child.  It did not take the Acadians long to realize that the meager stipend for their children was not enough to maintain their families in the Louisiana economy.  Some Acadians blamed the Spanish for their plight, but most were determined to endure privation rather than complain to the intendente, who had done so much for them.  When Navarro toured one of the new settlements in early 1786, however, "the beloved godfather of Acadian children quickly saw the needs of his godchildren," Winzerling tells us, "and opened a way for their parents to present their petition without embarrassment.  He presented their needs with a favorable recommendation" to his superiors and was granted permission to award each Acadian, regardless of age or gender, seven and a half cents per day. 

The Acadians called him un santo--their saint.468a

The intendente and his superiors were not the only officials who recognized an important need among the new Acadian arrivals.  The sudden increase in population in so many Louisiana communities compelled the Church authorities in Havana to establish new parishes where the Acadians had settled.  San Bernardo, whose Isleño habitants had built a church for themselves in 1779, received its first resident priest, Spanish Capuchin Father Mariano de Brunete, in 1787.  During the late 1780s, residents built a church at Baton Rouge on the site of the present city.  Priests from nearby Pointe Coupée and St.-Gabriel administered the sacraments there until 1792, when Baton Rouge was given a parish of its own, dedicated to St.-Joseph.  Irish Franciscan Father Charles Burke was sent to Baton Rouge perhaps because of his language skills; his parishioners were not only French-speaking Creoles and Acadians, but also English-speaking Anglo Americans forced by Spanish colonial policy to "convert" to Roman Catholicism.469

On upper Bayou Lafourche, the arrival of over 850 Acadians dwarfed the original Isleño community that had arisen there in 1779.  A census of the Valenzuéla District in mid-1784, a few months before the Acadians from France arrived, had counted only 174 persons in 46 families, 150 of them Isleños in 40 families.  By January 1788, when a "general census of the inhabitants established in Lafourche" was taken, Commandant Nicolas Verret, fils reported that the population of the Valenzuéla District had grown to 1,075 settlers, most of them Acadians from France.  In January 1789, Verret counted 1,033 persons in Valenzuéla.  Two years later, in January 1791, he counted 1,191.  As more Acadians from the crowded river districts moved to Bayou Lafourche to find fresh land and to join their kinsmen already there, families from the nearby German Coasts moved south into the valley and allowed their children to marry Isleños and Acadians.  Spaniards from Málaga, as well as Canadians, Irishmen, Italians, and even Anglo Americans, joined the Isleños, Acadians, French Creoles, and Germans in populating the Valenzuéla District.  In April 1793, thanks to the dramatic increase in population, Church authorities, now in Havana, established a new parish there.  The Spanish called it La Parroquia de la Assumption de Nuestra Senora de La Fourche de los Chetimachas de Valenzuéla, or the Church of the Assumption, built at present-day Plattenville.  The first resident priest at Assumption was Spanish Capuchin Bernardo de Deva.470

Meanwhile, the nearly 300 Acadians who had gone to Bayou des Écores in the Feliciana District were frustrated in their efforts to secure a church parish of their own.  In the first months of 1786, on a triangular-shaped, 62-arpent parcel along the bayou, five miles above its confluence with the Mississippi, they had built a church, a presbytery, and a cemetery for their future use.  However, the chronic shortage of priests in the colony postponed the designation of a new parish at Bayou des Écores, and, in the end, one was never created there.  Priests from Pointe Coupée across the river, or from Baton Rouge after 1792, administered the sacraments to the Bayou des Écores Acadians.  In the mid-1790s, ecclesiastical authorities, now headquartered at New Orleans, created a parish for Feliciana, with chapels at nearby Bayou Sara and St. Francis, but by then most of the Acadians in the district had moved away.471 


On 11 December 1788, almost exactly three years after La Caroline dropped its anchor at La Balize, the schooner Brigite reached Pass à L'Outre and arrived at the Spanish outpost, but this vessel had not crossed from France.  The captain of the schooner was 49-year-old Joseph Gravois III, and he had sailed from Île St.-Pierre, off the southern coast of Newfoundland, on October 16, less than two months before.  Also aboard the schooner were Gravois's wife, Marie-Madeleine, called Madeleine, Bourg, age 42, a native of Grand-Pré, and eight of their children:  daughters Angélique-Marguerite and Marie-Félicité, ages 24 and 22, still unmarried, younger daughters Marie-Victoire, age 13, Marie-Tarsile, age 8, and Madeleine-Blanche and Marie-Susanne, ages undetermined; and sons Jean-Hébert and Joseph-Frédéric, whose ages also are difficult to discern.  Accompanying the Gravoiss was Marine LeBlanc, age 52, widow of Joseph Babin and, like Marie-Madeleine, also a native of Grand-Pré  With Marine were five of her children, none of whom were married:  daughters Marie-Victoire, age 25, and Anne-Marguerite, age 18, and sons François-Laurent, age 22, Pierre-Moïse, age 20, and Mathurin-Louis, age 15.  Also aboard was Marine's uncle-in-law, Charles Babin, age unrecorded, and Jean-Baptiste Boudrot, age 21, perhaps a cousin of  Joseph Gravois's wife. 

But for the amazing distances the Gravoiss traveled during Le Grand Dérangement, their story would have been a familiar one to many of their fellow Acadians in Louisiana.  Though a native of Chignecto, Joseph evidently made his way to Minas, from which he was deported to Virginia in 1755 when he was 16 years old.  The following year, he joined hundreds of other exiles sent from Virginia to England, and, with them, was repatriated to France in May 1763.  He married Madeleine Bourg at St.-Suliac, near St.-Malo, in August 1763; he was 24, and she was 17; she, too, had come to France via Virginia and England.  They lived at nearby St.-Servan, where Joseph evidently took up the life of a sailor.  Joseph's work took him to England in February 1767; he took Madeleine and their two daughters with him.  They were counted at Windsor in 1770, but they did not remain there.  By the following year, they had crossed the Atlantic to Baie Ste.-Marie, Nova Scotia, a new community of Acadian exiles down the coast from Annapolis Royal, but they did not remain there either.  Two years later, they had moved on to the Gulf of St. Lawrence, where they were counted at Carleton, on the north shore of the Baie des Chaleurs, in 1775.  They remained there until the mid-1780s before moving again, this time to Île St.-Pierre, a French-owned island off the southern coast of Newfoundland.  It was from there that they sailed to Louisiana in October 1788. 

Marine LeBlanc's story was similar, though her wanderings were not as extensive.  Like Joseph and Madeleine, she, too, had been exiled from Minas to Virginia in 1755 and then deported to England in 1756.  The following November, she married fellow Grand-Pré native Joseph Babin at Southampton.  They had three children in England.  Their fourth child, daughter Marie-Victoire, was born aboard the repatriation ship La Dorothée on its way from Southampton to St.-Malo.  They lived at St.-Servan, near St.-Malo, until 1765, when they joined other exiles on Belle-Île-en-Mer, off the southern coast of Brittany.  Four of their children were born there, and then in the early 1770s they returned to St.-Servan, where the rest of their children were born, the last one in July 1779--11 children in all.  Marine may have become a widow soon after the birth of her 11th child.  She and her children may have been among the 600 Acadians whom the French allowed to return to îles St.-Pierre and Miquelon in 1784.  Evidently her husband's uncle, Charles Babin, followed her and his brother's family back to North America. 

Jean-Baptiste Boudrot's story was typical of many of the younger Acadian exiles who had come to Louisiana from France in 1785.  His father, Victor Boudrot, had married Jean-Baptiste's mother, Catherine-Josèphe Hébert, at Port-Lajoie on Île St.-Jean in January 1752 and settled at Grande-Anse, across the bay from Port-Lajoie.  In late 1758, the family, now including three children, was deported to St.-Malo.  Two of the children died at sea on the terrible crossing aboard the transport Supply.  Six more children were born at St.-Suliac and St.-Servan between April 1760 and July 1770, including Jean-Baptiste, who was born at St.-Servan in December 1767.  His father Victor remarried to Geneviève Richard of Grand-Pré, widow of Simon dit Pierre Pitre, at St.-Servan in August 1773, and fathered at least five more children.  A carpenter, Victor did not take his family to Poitou with the majority of Acadians at St.-Malo but remained in the port city, probably to follow his trade.  In 1785, Victor, Geneviève, and eight of their children, including a son-in-law, emigrated to Louisiana aboard the sixth of the Seven Ships, La Ville d'Archangel.  They followed the majority of their fellow passengers to Bayou des Écores, where Victor died.  In September 1787, Victor's widow Geneviève Richard remarried to a LeBlanc and, like most of their fellow Feliciana Acadians, moved on to upper Bayou Lafourche, taking her blended family with her.  Jean-Baptiste Boudrot, who had turned 18 in 1785, did not accompany his family to Louisiana.  He may have taken up the life of a sailor and was away from France in 1785.  Like Marine LeBlanc, he, too, found his way to the little French island off the southern coast of Newfoundland.  Perhaps he was kin to the Gravoiss through Joseph's wife Madeleine, whose mother, also, was an Hébert.  Perhaps he was simply Joseph Gravois's deckhand, and this was his opportunity to reunite with his family in Louisiana. 

By 1787, Acadians on crowded St.-Pierre and Miquelon began moving on to Lower Canada.  Joseph Gravois and his fellow Acadians decided to go elsewhere.  Here, according to Dr. Carl Brasseaux, was the only group of Acadians "known to have migrated to Louisiana from Canada after the first migration (1764-1770)."  They also were among the last of the Acadian exiles to reach Louisiana.  Professor Brasseaux continues:  "Armed with a passport from Ygnacio Balderas, a Spanish official they encountered, they ascended the Mississippi to New Orleans and evidently secured permission to join relatives" at Ascension on the Acadian Coast.  None of Joseph Gravois's sons seems to have married, but four of his daughters took husbands.  Amazingly, only one of them, Marie-Tarsile, married a fellow Acadian, a Braud; the other daughters married into the Bertrand, Frederick, and Mulford families--a German, a Swede, and an Anglo-American--and two of them moved to the Attakapas District.  Marine LeBlanc died at Ascension in September 1789, nine months after she reached Louisiana; she was age 53.  Only one of her Babin children married--Anne-Marguerite, to a Richard at nearby St.-Jacques.  Jean-Baptiste Boudrot settled on upper Bayou Lafourche, where, in November 1793 and April 1803, he married fellow Acadians, a LeBlanc and a Benoit, both, like him, natives of France.  He created a large family on the bayou.  His succession record was filed at the Lafourche Interior Parish courthouse in October 1848; he would have been in his early 80s then.471a

Adjustment and Assimilation, 1780s-1790s

The new arrivals now entered a period of adjustment to a world very different from the one they had left.  There were similarities between their experiences in Bourbon France and in Spanish Louisiana.  In France, the Acadians had been supported by government subsidies until they could become self-sufficient; the Spanish were compelled to support them as well; Intendente Navarro, in fact, even increased their subsidy in 1786 after he settled the last of them.  The French government had offered the Acadians opportunities to settle in agricultural regions--on Belle-Île-en-Mer and in Poitou, for example--instead of languishing in the port cities, where their collective skills--agricultural, not commercial--were ill-suited to their achieving self-sufficiency; the Spanish also encouraged the new arrivals to settle in areas suitable for agriculture away from the commercial hub at New Orleans.  But the contrasts between the two worlds were startling.  The climate of the lower Mississippi Valley was much different from that of northwestern France.  Most of the new arrivals settled on natural levees along the Mississippi River and Bayou Lafourche, far different from the tidal marshes of the Bay of Fundy, as well as the agriculturally-marginal regions of northwestern France; here, they would have to build levees and drain back swamps on their narrow holdings in order to preserve and to create arable soil.  And, like their cousins who had come to the colony during the late 1760s, they, too, would be subject to restrictive Spanish inheritance laws.  Cattle production on their narrow ribbon lots along the river and bayou would have to be on a scale much smaller than it had been in Acadia.  What they could grow in Louisiana's climate and soil were different from what they had been able to grow in Acadia and France; other than Indian corn, which was native to North America and which they had grown in Acadia, the only grain that thrived along the lower Mississippi was rice; wheat, barley, and oats could not endure the subtropical heat and humidity; if they had insisted on returning to a life as wheat farmers, the new arrivals would have been better off moving upriver to the Illinois country, not settling near their cousins in subtropical Louisiana, but settlement in Illinois, so far from their kinsmen, was something they had not even remotely entertained.  The great majority of the new arrivals could not speak Spanish, though this was not necessary in a colony still dominated by francophone cultures; their Acadian cousins who had come to the colony two decades before still clung to their francophone language and traditions, and so would they.  Although many of them had spent a quarter of a century in a mother country that had welcomed its Acadian children, they believed that they were no less Acadian than their cousins who had come to this New Acadia decades before them.  The biggest contrast of all, however, could not yet be discerned:  the agricultural settlement schemes in northwestern France had been, for the most part, failures and therefore temporary, but the settlements here in Spanish Louisiana, despite restrictive trade policies, held promise of success. 

Spanish officials ordered a general census to be taken in the Valenzuéla District not long after the Acadians from France established themselves there.  In January 1788, the district commandant, Nicolas Verret, fils, counted 1,075 settlers, consisting of 71 non-Acadian families, mostly Isleños, and 209 "Acadian" families, some of them headed by non-Acadians who had married Acadian women in France or soon after they had come to the colony.  Of the 209 "Acadian" families, nearly a dozen of them, including two families whose heads were not Acadian, had come to the colony during the late 1760s and had moved from the river to Bayou Lafourche; the rest of the Lafourche valley Acadians were newcomers from France.472 

Amazingly, Commandant Verret counted only 54 slaves in his entire district.  He owned 10 of them; physician and lieutenant of militia Don Juan Vives, a Spaniard whose wife was an Acadian Bujole, also owned 10; and François Mathias and Nicolas Daublin, whose wife was a "free Indian," owned 3 and 12 respectively.  Only one Isleño, Miguel Suares, owned slaves; he held 3.  The other 16 slaves in the district were held by Acadians, all but one of them having come to the colony during the late 1760s:  Anselme Le Borgne de Bélisle, scion of a noble Acadian family who had come to the colony from Maryland in 1767, owned 1; François Simoneaux of Lorraine, whose wife was an Acadian Corporon and who had come to the colony from Maryland in 1766, owned 1; Joseph Comeaux, who had come to the colony with the Breaus from Maryland in 1768, owned 2; Germain Bergeron, who had come to the colony from Halifax in 1765, owned 2; and Pierre dit La Vielliarde Landry, who had come to the colony from Maryland in 1766, owned 11, making him the second largest slaveholder in the entire district.  The only Acadian who had arrived aboard one of the Seven Ships and held a slave along the Lafourche in 1788 was Jacques Mius d'Entremont, another scion of a noble Acadian family, who had crossed on La Ville d'Archangel; he owned 1.473 

The typical land holding was 6 arpents frontage on the bayou, but there were a few exceptions:  Acadians Jean Sonnier, who had come to the colony from Halifax in 1765, Firmin Babin, who had come to the colony from Maryland in 1768, and Jacques Mius d'Entremont, held 8 arpents apiece; Estevan Ernandez and and Bernardo Rivero, probably Isleños, and Domingue LaCoste and André LaCoste, probably French Creole, also held 8 apiece; Lieutenant Vives and Miguel Suares held 9 apiece; the commandant, Augustin Domingo, probably an Isleño, and Acadian Germain Bergeron, held 10 apiece; and Nicolas Daublin, with his dozen slaves, held 12 arpents fronting the bayou.474  

The largest cattle producer in the district was Estevan Ernandez, with 26 head of "horned cattle."  Lieutenant Vives held 24 head; Acadian Germain Bergeron 20; French Creole Jean Licaire 16; Laurent LaCoste 15; Acadian Anselme Le Borgne de Bélisle 14; François Simoneaux and Miguel Suares 12 each; and Joseph Landry, who had come to the colony from Maryland in 1766, his cousin Pierre dit La Vielliarde Landry, and Nicolas Daublin, 10 each.  Most of the Acadians from France held 1 head or none, though Spaniard Luìs Juncal, who wife was an Acadian Dugas who had crossed on Le St.-Rémi, held 6 head of cattle; Acadian Charles Aucoin, and Frenchman Louis LeTullier, whose wife was an Acadian LeBlanc, all having crossed on La Bergère, held 5 head each; Jean-Baptiste Daigle, who had crossed on Le St.-Rémi, also held 5 head; and Olivier Aucoin, François Giroir, and Prosper Giroir, who had crossed on La Bergère, held 4 head apiece.475 

The January 1788 census reveals that the Bayou Lafourche area was not destined to become an important cattle-producing area--by then, the prairie districts had long dominated that form of agriculture--but the number of swine being kept by many settlers along the Lafourche pointed to the growth of another hog-producing area for the New Orleans market.  Compared to the commandant and Miguel Suares, who held 20 hogs each, Estevan Ernandez, who owned 22, and Lieutenant Vives, who owned 40, the Acadians from France were only beginning to increase their production of pork for the colonial market, but some of the late arrivals were off to a good start:  Fabien Aucoin, who had crossed on La Bergère, owned 12 hogs; and Madeleine Dugas, widow of Jean-Baptiste Hébert, Prosper Giroir, and Pierre Landry, all of whom had crossed on La Bergère, Louis Desormeaux, married to an Acadian Trahan who had crossed on La Bergère, Jean-Grégoire Blanchard, Joseph Dugas, Jean-Baptiste Daigle, and Jean-Baptiste Hébert of Le St.-Rémi, Joseph Lejeune, who had crossed on L'Amitié, and Luìs Juncal, owned 10 hogs apiece--which was remarkable considering that they had living in the colony for only two years.476 

Verret's 1788 census also listed "quarts of rice," "quarts of corn," and "horses" for each settler in his district.  These economic categories revealed the same patterns among the settlers:  generally, the higher the socioeconomic status or the length of time in the colony, the wealthier that settler would be.  But, of course, there were exceptions.  The commandant, Lieutenant Vives, and Nicolas Daublin held 200 quarts of corn apiece; Acadian Pierre Landry dit La Vielliarde, who had come to the colony in 1766, held 150 quarts; Laurent LaCoste held 100 quarts; Acadian Germain Bergeron, living in the colony since 1765, held 100; Miguel Suares held 80 quarts; Acadian Joseph Landry, and François and Simon Simoneaux, the last two married to Acadians, all of whom had come to the colony in 1766, held 60 quarts apiece; François's sons Joseph Simoneaux, married to an Acadian Bourg, who had lived in the colony since 1766, Acadians François Landry and Anselme Le Borgne de Bélisle, who had come to the colony in 1767, and Joseph Comeaux, who had come to the colony in 1768, held 50 quarts apiece.  However, Acadian newcomer Louis Gaudet of La Caroline held 125 quarts of corn; Acadian Charles-Olivier Guillot of Le St.-Rémi held 100 quarts; Acadians Joseph Bourg of La Bergère and Charles Naquin of Le St.-Rémi held 60 quarts; and newcomers Pietro Cancieni of Venice, married to an Acadian Landry, Luìs Juncal, and Acadians Étienne Boudreaux, Joseph Dugas, Pierre Dugas, Jean-François De La Mazière, Charles Gautreaux, Prosper Giroir, Joseph Lejeune, and Pierre-Olivier Pitre, all newcomers from France, held 50 quarts apiece--again, remarkable considering the short amount of time they had been living in the colony.477 

Relatively few of the Lafourche settlers grew rice, but those who did, and who held the largest quantity of the grain, included Acadian newcomers:  Jacques Doiron, who crossed on La Bergère, held 40 quarts of rice; François Friou, married to an Acadian Bourg who crossed on La Bergère, held 30; Jean-Pierre Bourg, who also crossed on La Bergère, held 25; Luce Breaux, widow of Athanase Bourg, who crossed on L'Amitié, held 20; Jean-Baptiste-Alexandre Daigle, who crossed on Le St.-Rémi, held 16; and Michel Aucoin, who crossed on Le St.-Rémi, and Étienne Dupuis, who crossed on La Bergère, held 15 quarts apiece.  Compare this to the other "large" rice farmers on the bayou:   Isleño Manuel Rouano, who held 30 quarts; and Acadians Pierre Landry and Anselm Le Borgne de Bélisle and French Creole Nicolas Daublin, who held 15 quarts apiece.478

Verret's census also counted the number of horses held by the settlers in his district.  Lieutenant Vives owned 15 steeds; Estevan Ernandez 8 of them; Acadian Joseph Landry 6; François Simoneaux 5; Acadians François Landry, Pierre dit La Vielliarde Landry, and Anselme Le Borgne de Bélisle, Isleño François Allemens and Miguel Suares, and French Creoles Nicolas Daublin, Louis Desormeaux, Jean Licaire, and Jean-Baptiste Rougee 4 apiece.  Few of the Acadian newcomers owned horses.479

A year later, in January 1789, Commandant Verret conducted another general census of the district.  Again, he counted only 54 slaves.  Now there were only 1,033 settlers in the district, 42 fewer than the year before.  In 1789, Verret counted 1,515 arpents of frontage in the district, compared to 1,059 arpents of frontage the year before.  In 1788, the commandant counted 188 quarts of rice, and 345 quarts the year after; 7,310 quarts of corn in 1788, and 10,665 quarts the following year.  There were 453 head of cattle in the district in 1788, and 645 head in 1789.  The number of horses changed dramatically, from 198 in 1788 to 406 a year later.  Hog farmers in the district held 1,429 swine in 1788 and 2,592 a year later.  In January 1791, Verret conducted a third general census of the district.  He counted 1,191 individual settlers that year, up 158 from two years before; 109 slaves, up from 54; 1,768 arpents of frontage; 905 quarts of rice; 31,068 quarts of corn; 1,622 head of cattle; 495 horses; and 4,593 hogs.  In April 1797, Verret, still commandant at Valenzuéla, counted 1,797 habitants in his district, the great majority of them Acadians who had come from France; the district's settlers that year owned 267 slaves.  In January 1798, residents in Valenzuéla District numbered 1,693, with 274 slaves.480

The Acadians from France played an important part in the economic transformation of the Bayou Lafourche valley.  The newcomers could see now, after a decade of living there, that here indeed was their New Acadia, a place where their children and grandchildren could fashion a lasting home for themselves. 


The new arrivals along the river, meanwhile, were having a tougher time adjusting to their new environment.  The Mississippi River flood of July 1788, the result of a tropical storm surge, was especially hard on "the newly arrived Acadian families living at Fort Bute at Manchac."  A "Report on the amounts of corn and rice which are necessary" for their subsistence noted that "These families lost their crops during the flooding of the Mississippi."  A similar report, dated 18 July 1788, listed the "Amounts of rice and corn distributed to Acadian families living in the district of Baton Rouge who lost their crops during the Mississippi flood."  A third report, dated 16 August 1788, was entitled "Report on the amounts of corn which are necessary for the subsistence of the newly arrived Acadians families from France who have suffered losses of their crops during the flooding of the Mississippi River."  Here, again, Acadians had to depend on government assistance to get them through hard times.481  

The terrible experience of July 1788 did not deter most of the new arrivals from rebuilding their riverside farms and starting over again.  However, a perusal of area church and census records reveals that many of the hundreds of Acadians found on the three listings abandoned the river and moved on to other parts of the colony:  Charles-Benoit Granger of Manchac, or at least his wife, Marguerite-Ange Dubois, moved on to upper Bayou Lafourche, where she remarried in January 1792; Charles Guidry died at New Orleans in September 1797, age 71, but his children remained in the Manchac/Baton Rouge area; Madeleine LeBlanc, widow of Pierre-Isidore Trahan, took her family to Attakapas, where they settled at Carencro; André-Joseph, Charles-Casimir, Élisabeth-Marguerite, Jacques-Olivier, Marie-Madeleine, and Servan-François Templet, with their mother Marguerite LeBlanc, widow of André Templet, Madeleine Dugas, widow of Pierre Quimine, Grégoire-Ignace, Jean-Baptiste, Marie-Anne, Mathurin-Charles, and Pierre-Ignace Usé, with their widowed mother Cécile Bourg, Paul-Dominique and Jean-Baptiste Boudreaux, Charles Broussard, Édouard Daigre, Jean Delaune, Pierre-Janvier and Jean Guidry dit Grivois, père and fils, Anselme Landry, Charles-Jean LeBlanc, Amable Hébert, Jean-Baptiste-Théodore Henry, François-Marie and Simon-Magloire Babin, Marie Babin, wife of Louis William Stebens, Marguerite-Josèphe Doiron, widow of Jean-Baptiste Dugas, and Frenchman Étienne Peltier and his Acadian wife, Jeanne-Marguerite Clossinet, all moved on to Bayou Lafourche; Maximilien Henry and Joseph Doucet went to New Orleans; Simon-Pierre Daigre, fils moved to Attakapas; Victor Foret moved to Opelousas, and Daniel Benoit died at his daughter's home in St. Martin Parish in December 1825, in his late 70s, but he probably had gone there from Baton Rouge in his final years.  Their fellow new arrivals who remained on the river settled in what became Iberville, East Baton Rouge, and West Baton Rouge parishes.482

The largest migration from a river settlement occurred at Bayou des Écores, in the Feliciana District.  During the late 1780s, probably soon after they reached the bayou, and continuing into the early 1790s, some families, perhaps wanting to live closer to their cousins downriver, moved south to Baton Rouge and Manchac, settling on both banks of the river.  In August 1793, and again in late August 1794, devastating hurricanes struck lower Louisiana.  The second storm produced so much rain that Bayou des Écores overflowed its banks and destroyed most of the Acadian farms there.  The Acadians had endured enough; most of the rest of them moved away.  The exodus to Baton Rouge and Manchac continued.  Some moved on to Bayou Lafourche, and a few moved out to the western prairies.  As a result, by the late 1790s the Bayou des Écores settlement was virtually abandoned.483

Another motivation for the Acadians to abandon Bayou des Écores were rising political tensions in the area.  After the American Revolution ended in 1783, Anglo Americans and British refugees began moving into the Feliciana area, where they spurned Spanish efforts to control them.  After December 1803, the Americans claimed the swath of Mississippi delta north of Bayou Manchac, insisting that it was part of what they had purchased from Napoléon, but the Spanish averred that the territory north of Bayou Manchac, including Baton Rouge and Feliciana, still belonged to their West Florida province with its capital at Pensacola.  If Acadians still remained in Feliciana after 1803, this political brouhaha would have been enough to send them packing; Acadians hated nothing more than the kind of political instability they had endured back in British Nova Scotia.  By 1804, the church the Acadians had built at Bayou des Écores "had fallen into ruin and was demolished."  As a result of the Acadians abandoning the area, the cultural future of the Feliciana country was determined not by the francophone exiles who had come there in 1786, but by Anglo Americans who rose against the Spanish beneath their Bonnie Blue Flag during the autumn of 1810.484  


Few of the new arrivals from France chose to settle in the prairie districts, but those who did wasted no time establishing their economic independence there.  Like the descendants of the early arrivals, the Acadians from France found plenty of empty land along the bayous flowing through the prairie districts.  And their older sons and daughters created families of their own, adding to Acadian numbers in the region.490 

Political as well as demographic changes came to the prairie districts during the late 1780s.  In early 1770, Governor O'Reilly had appointed Gabriel Fuselier de La Claire of Attakapas as commandant of both the Attakapas and Opelousas districts.  Four years later, Fuselier was replaced as commandant of the prairie districts by another Attakapas resident, Alexandre Declouet, a chevalier of the Order of St.-Louis.  Declouet, advanced in age, "retired" as joint commandant in March 1787.  The prairie districts were separated, and Declouet was succeeded at Attakapas by Jean Delavillebeuvre, who was replaced by Louis-Charles DeBlanc of Natchitoches, still commandant at Attakapas in 1803.  Nicolas Forstall, a native of Martinique and scion of a noble family, who had commanded the Malagueños post at Nuéva Iberia earlier in the decade, succeeded Declouet as commandant at Opelousas in 1787.  Forstall was succeeded in the spring of 1795 by Martin Duralde, who remained as commandant at Opelousas until the Spanish surrendered the colony to France in December 1803.  Honoré de la Chaise served as Opelousas commandant during the few months the French were again in power at New Orleans.  In October 1804, after Jefferson's Purchase, American army Captain John Bowyer sent the young Frenchman packing.491

Meanwhile, in 1798, Spanish authorities moved the Opelousas Post from the bayou to the site of the present city.  A new church, also dedicated to St. Landry, was built not far from the new post.  Three years earlier, in June 1795, the St.-Landry parishioners had beseeched their pastor, Father Pedro de Zamora, to ask the ecclesiastical authorities in New Orleans to relocate their church.  In May 1796, resident Jean Tesson of Saintogne, France, donated an arpent of land for a new church at what was then called Tesson's Point.  Even more generously, local planter Michel Prudhomme, a native of Strasbourg, gave 3 x 10 arpents of land for the new church, a priest's house, and a jail on property he owned at the site.492

The Acadian presence in the Opelousas District remained demographically insignificant.  The general census of 1785 counted 171 families in the district, only 30 of them, or 17 1/2%, Acadian.   A general census a decade later, in 1796, counted 49 Acadian families at Opelousas, again only 17 percent of the total in the district.  Most of the Acadians lived at Bellevue and Grand Coteau, with a hand full of others residing in the North Plaquemine, Grand Prairie, Grand Louis, and Faquetaique sub districts west of the present city.  However, half of the district's 12 sub districts contained not a single Acadian family in 1796.  Despite their small numbers, however, Acadians were among the largest stockmen in the big prairie district.  In 1788, for instance, nearly a quarter century after the first Acadians came to Opelousas, Joseph Cormier of Bellevue owned 697 head of cattle and 60 horses.  Cormier's neighbor, Charles Comeaux, held 643 head. Charles's cousin, Michel Comeaux of Plaquemine Brûlé, ran 500 head.  Sylvain Sonnier of Bellevue owned 300 head of cattle. His neighbor, the widow of L'Ange Bourg, owned 166 head.  Pierre Richard of the same area owned 140 head of cattle.  His younger brother Victor owned 150 head.  Michel Cormier of Prairie des Femmes, Joseph's younger brother, owned 130 head of cattle.  François Pitre of the Plaisance area also owned 130 head of cattle.  Joseph Bourg, the dead L'Ange's brother, owned 120 head.493 

Acadians in the Attakapas District, on the other hand, remained significant in numbers if not influence.  The general census of 1785 revealed that half of the district's families were Acadian.494 

Acadians and Slavery in Spanish Louisiana

The general census of 1785 revealed something else about the prairie Acadians--the presence of an emerging slave-holding class among the former exiles and their descendants.  This new phenomenon in Acadian socioeconomic behavior had in fact begun on the river, not the prairie, but by the time the Acadians from France reached Louisiana, Acadian slave holding, unknown in the old country, had taken root throughout the New Acadia.495 

Several factors had prevented slavery from taking hold in Acadia.  The Mi'kmaq were too proud and too powerful to allow Europeans to enslave them, and most Acadian families were so large and healthy, their communities so tight-knit, there was no shortage of labor in their fields and pastures.  The only slaves in Acadia, if they existed at all, would have been a hand full of captured Indians or Africans owned by the colony's seigneurial elite.  The Acadians' first exposure to agricultural slavery on a significant scale would have been during their Grand Dérangement.  Chignecto Acadians exiled to South Carolina and Georgia, and Minas Acadians exiled to Virginia and Maryland would have encountered African slaves, especially in Maryland, where, Professor Brasseaux reminds us, the "able-bodied' exiles worked side by side with them in the tobacco fields."  Minas Acadians sent to Virginia remained in the colony for only six months, but in that short time they, too, rubbed shoulders with the peculiar institution; Virginians, in fact, accused the "Neutral French" of fraternizing with their chattel and used that as an excuse for sending them on to England.  Mirliguèche Acadians exiled to North Carolina remained probably at Edenton until c1760, so they, too, would have been encountered the institution before moving on to Pennsylvania and Maryland, where they also would have seen it.  Acadians from Minas, Annapolis Royal, and Cap-Sable sent to Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, and Connecticut would have observed slavery on a much smaller scale than their cousins in the southern colonies, but the institution did exist in the northern provinces, mostly in its domestic and urban permutations.496 

The Acadians who emigrated to Louisiana from Halifax, however, would not have been exposed to African slavery during their decade of exile.  They were the ones who had escaped the roundup of 1755 and found refuge in Canada or along the Gulf of St. Lawrence shore.  Not until they arrived at Cap-Français, St.-Domingue, on their way to Louisiana, would they have caught their first glimpse of agricultural servitude.  It would not have taken them long to realize what little chance they or their children would have had to thrive in St.-Domingue's plantation-slave economy.  So they moved on to the lower Mississippi valley, where they encountered the institution again, but on a smaller scale, especially on Louisiana's western prairies. 

By 1765, French and soon-to-be Spanish Louisiana had a long history of slave holding.  First was Indian slavery, which its French-Canadian founders did not favor.  Most of the agricultural labor in their native Canada was performed by engagés and, as in Acadia, by family members, not slaves.  Climatic conditions precluded the development of a plantation-based economy along the St. Lawrence.  In Louisiana, the climate was amenable to plantations, but severe neglect by France in the colony's formative years stifled even the most basic form of agriculture along the French Gulf Coast; as a result, Indians in Louisiana, as in Canada, were used as domestic servants, not as gangs of laborers tending fields of valuable cash crops, as on St.-Domingue and the other French islands.  Louisiana's small population limited the scale of Indian slavery during its formative years.  This changed by the end of the colony's second decade, when proprietary companies under Crozat and then Law attempted to transform the Gulf Coast colony into a profitable enterprise.  By then, Louisiana had a cash crop of its own.  Iberville had tried to grow sugar at the site of New Orleans in 1700, but the experiment had failed.  The crop that did grow well in Louisiana soil was not an import from Africa via the Caribbean but the sacred weed of the region's natives--tobacco.  Granted, Louisiana tobacco was not as prized as the varieties grown in England's Chesapeake colonies or even West Indian tobacco, but it was good enough for a limited international market, and Law's Company made the most of it.  The Company received a monopoly on the Louisiana tobacco trade and, in one of its permutations, on the French West African slave trade as well.  In 1719, exactly a century after the first Africans arrived on the Chesapeake, Law's Company began importation of African slaves to work the tobacco fields at Natchitoches on the Red River and along the lower Mississippi, especially at Natchez.  Pointe Coupée became a tobacco-growing settlement in the 1720s and, after the Indian massacre of 1729, replaced Natchez as the largest tobacco-producing area in the colony.  In the early 1720s, with the encouragement of the Company, riverside planters above and below New Orleans began the cultivation of a new cash crop, the dye-producing plant indigo, a native of India, in hopes that it could bolster the colony's flagging economy; despite the dreams of the proprietors, tobacco exports had not transformed the colony into a profitable venture.  Like tobacco, the production of indigo was labor intensive.  By the late 1720s, Louisiana was exporting indigo as well as tobacco, so African chattel slavery had become even more essential to the colony's new plantation-based economy, such as it was.  In September 1724, Law's Company instituted the Code Noir, or Black Code, for Louisiana, based on the 1685 Code for the West Indies.  By then, the Company, having promised to import 3,000 Africans a year, had managed to bring in only a fraction of that number, but control of the servile population was nonetheless essential in the minds of the new créole planter elite.  The colony's first slave revolt occurred at New Orleans in 1729, concurrent with the disastrous Natchez uprising in November of that year in which African slaves helped the Indians massacre most of the French settlers at the upriver post.  In 1751, during Vaudreuil's governorship, Jesuit priests brought sugarcane to Louisiana and grew it, along with indigo, on their plantation above New Orleans, but their sugar crop produced molasses and syrup, not granulated sugar, so a market for Louisiana sugar was limited.  Slaves were used extensively in the colony's burgeoning cattle industry, especially in the prairie districts, but this industry, too, was in its infancy.  When the first large group of Acadians reached Louisiana in 1765, indigo and tobacco, not sugar, were still the mainstays of what passed as a colonial plantation-slave economy.  The institution nevertheless was well established in the lower Mississippi valley when the Acadian exiles arrived there.  Louisiana's population in 1765, in fact, was more African than European, as it had been for decades.496a

Two factors slowed Acadian entry into Louisiana's plantation-slave economy:  an abiding tradition of egalitarianism derived from their collective experience in Acadia, and, more significantly, their extreme poverty, a legacy of their years in exile. ... Nevertheless, soon after they reached the city in 1765, four of the Halifax exiles purchased slaves from New Orleans merchants, probably on credit, and took them to their new homes at Cabahannocer.  A few years later, at Attakapas in 1771, only one Acadian was reported as a slave holder:  Joseph Martin, who held 1.  No Acadian held a slave at Opelousas in 1771.  Three years later, in October 1774, the same held true:  no Acadian at Opelousas was recorded as owning any of the district's 163 slaves.  At Attakapas in October 1774, Simon Broussard owned 10 slaves, and Joseph Martin still held 1--only 11 of the 155 slaves in the district.497 

Not until the late 1770s, when the early arrivals from Halifax, Maryland, and St.-Domingue had finally come into their own economically, did Acadians begin to break into Louisiana's slave-holding economy.  The transition was slow on the prairies.  At Attakapas in May 1777, letter writer Jean-Baptiste Semer held 1 slave; Claude Martin, 2; Jean dit Neveu Mouton, 3; Jean-Baptiste Cormier, fils, 1; Joseph Martin, 2; François Savoie, 1; and Cécile Prejean, widow of Grégoire Pellerin, 3, with another on the way--13 of the district's 302 slaves.  At Opelousas that same May, Michel Comeaux owned 1 slave; Charles Comeaux, 1; and Sylvain Sonnier, 2--4 of the district's 218 slaves.498 

On the river, however, among the first Acadians to hold slaves in the colony, the transition to a slave-holding economy moved at a quicker pace, especially on the Lower Acadian Coast.  In March 1777, at St.-Gabriel, on the Upper Acadian Coast, Joseph Landry owned 1 slave on the east bank of the river; Jean-Baptiste Babin, 1; Joseph Richard, 1; Pierre Foret, 1; Anselme Blanchard, 2; Firmin Landry, 1; François Landry, 3; Mathurin Landry, 3; Baptiste LeBlanc, 1; Jean-Charles Comeaux, 3; Hyacinthe Landry, 1; Jean-Charles Breaux, 1; on the west bank, Augustin Landry held 1; Amand Melançon, 1; and Pierre Richard, 6--26 slaves held by 19 percent of the Acadian families in the community.  In April 1777, at Ascension, Jean Duhon held 1 slave on the west bank of the river; Paul Foret, 1; François Dugas, 1; Mathurin Landry, 1; Joseph Landry, 1; Anselme Le Borgne de Bélisle, 1; Charles Gaudin dit Lincour, 1; Jérôme LeBlanc, 2; Joseph Bujole, 1; Étienne Bujole, 4; Sylvain LeBlanc, 1; Joseph dit Belhomme Landry, 4; Étienne Landry, 4; Joseph Babin, 2; Pierre dit La Vielliarde Landry, 3; on the east bank, René Landry held 3; Isaac LeBlanc, 1; Pierre dit Pierrot à Chaques Landry, 6; Paul Breaux, 1; Jean-Baptiste Breaux, 1; Simon Landry, 1; Charles Babin, 2; Vincent-Ephrème, called Ephrème, Babin, 3; Charles Landry, 1; Jacques Landry, 2; Joseph Guidry, 1; and Prosper Hébert, 1--51 of the 137 slaves in the district, held by 48 percent of the Acadian families in the community.  In March 1779, at St.-Jacques on the Lower Acadian Coast, Pierre Arceneaux owned 12 slaves;  Pierre Bourgeois, 1; Simon LeBlanc, 7; Joseph Hébert, 4; Bonaventure Gaudin, 4; Philippe Lachaussée, 4; Joseph Gravois, 1; Joseph Duhon, 2; Honoré Breaux, 2; Alexis Breaux, 2; Charles Gaudet, 3; Athanase Breaux, 3; Joseph LeBlanc, père, 4; Joseph LeBlanc, fils, 2; Simon Gautreaux, 3; Marcel LeBlanc, 6; Jacques LeBlanc, 2; Joseph Breaux, 1; Jacques Babin, 1; Pierre Lanoux, 1; Paul LeBlanc, 2; Joseph Sonnier, 3; Olivier Boudreaux, 1; Joseph Melançon, 1; Ambroise Theriot, 1; Mathurin LeBlanc, 6; Pierre Chiasson, 2; Jean Arceneaux, 3; Baptiste Gaudin, 3; Pierre Bernard, 1; Joseph Arceneaux, 2; Pierre Part, 1; Bénoni Mire, 2; Paul Bourgeois, 1; Joseph Bourgeois, 4; Michel Bourgeois, 1; François Landry, 1; Antoine Labauve, 2; Joseph Martin, 2; Pierre Michel, 2; Ambroise Martin, 1; Catherine Comeaux, widow of Joseph Guilbeau, 1; Jean Bourgeois, 2; Joseph Poirier, 1; Baptiste Bourgeois, 6; Michel Bourgeois, 3; Joseph Gaudet, 2; Joseph Bourg, 2; Joseph Blanchard, 2; .François Hébert, 1; Charles Thibodeaux, 1; Jean Leger, 2; Jean Poirier, 7; Jean Richard, père, 3; Jean Richard, fils, 2; Pierre Bourg, 2; Joseph Landry, 1; and Firmin Girouard, 2--147 slaves held by 59 percent of the Acadian families in the community.499 

By 1785, the pace of slave ownership had picked up on the prairies.  In April of that year, at Attakapas, ____ Dugas held 2 slaves; Joseph Broussard dit Beausoleil, 4; F. Broussard, 2; Jean-Baptiste Cormier, fils, 1; Jean-Baptiste Broussard, 4; Amand-Pierre Landry, 1; René Trahan, 4; François Broussard, 7; Amand Broussard, 4; Joseph Trahan, 2; Widow Trahan, 2; Claude Duhon, 1; Claude Broussard, 2; René Broussard, 1; Pierre Dugas, 2; Pierre Broussard, 8; Sylvain Broussard, 1; Widow Babin, 1; Charles Guilbeau, 1; Jean dit Chapeau Mouton, 7; Widow François Savoie, 2; Michel Bernard, 3; Amand Thibodeaux, 1; Olivier Thibodeaux, 5; Claude Martin, 7; Joseph Martin, 5; Mt., perhaps Michel-Laurent, Doucet, 3; Jean-Baptiste Semer, 1; and Widow Pellerin, 7--91 slaves held by 35 percent of the Acadian families in the community.  At Opelousas that same month, Michel Cormier held 4 slaves; Joseph Lejeune, 3; ____ Pitre, 2; Pierre Guidry, 3; Paul Boutin, 3; Charles Comeaux, 4; Pierre Richard, 2; Pierre Savoie, 4; Victor Richard, 2; Pierre Thibodeaux, 3; Joseph Bourg, 1; Sylvain Sonnier, 8; and Michel Comeaux, 6--45 slaves held by 47 percent of the Acadian families there.500 

According to Professor Carl A. Brasseaux, "The number of Louisiana Acadians owning slaves in the prairie settlements rose from only 5 percent in 1775 to 10 percent in 1785; meanwhile Acadian slaveowners in the river districts rose from 20 to 40 percent."  This held promise for momentous change in Louisiana's Acadian society.  Professor Brasseaux continues:  "As the circle of slaveholders expanded slowly in the 1770s and early 1780s, the new elite emerged--based as before on land and livestock, but for the first time having rigid social boundaries that automatically elevated the slave owners above the workers they employed.  The acquisition of slaves gave the slaveholder social stature, undoubtedly appealing to some upwardly mobile Acadian immigrants who aspired to join the colony's Creole aristocracy."  Acadian sensibilities prevailed at first; they were, after all, still players in the North American frontier experience.  "Most of the immigrant slaveholders ... were eminently practical pioneers who realized simply that development of a habitation for commercial agriculture required amounts of labor far beyond the capacity of the family labor pool.  As a consequence, in the late 1770s, many ambitious Acadians who, unlike the vast majority of the immigrants, were unhappy with the comfortable existence they had only recently attained, began to acquire young black field hands" as well as female house servants.501 

There was a dark side, of course, to what Jefferson described as taking the wolf by its ears.  Again, Professor Brasseaux says it best:  "Though median Acadian slaveholdings in many settlements ranged from only two to four slaves in the 1770s, the proliferation of the slave population--an increase of 1700 percent in some posts--necessitated changes in the Acadian life-style.  Control of the slave population was initially very mild, with black laborers working shoulder to shoulder with their white masters.  The presence of a large, alien, and subservient population by the 1780s nevertheless subjected the inexperienced slave owners to the constant specter of servile insurrection."502

The wolf struck in November 1785, as the Acadians from France were settling on their new habitations.  While leading a routine slave patrol along the west bank of the river at Ascension, Acadian Pierre-Paul, called Paul, Foret, who had come to the colony from Halifax in 1765, stumbled upon the notorious "renegade freedman" Philippe hiding in a cabin on the Widow Landry's farm.  Foret and his patrolmen failed to capture the wily black man, who, with a "lieutenant," was "plotting a massive slave insurrection," Professor Brasseaux relates.  Philippe, in fact, "had already organized a 'company'" of fugitives--the latest effort by Louisiana slaves to form a maroon community.  Spanish authorities placed the Ascension District on full alert, offering a reward of 20 piastres for Philippe's head.  In the weeks that followed, Philippe and his black confederates, aided by Acadian-held slaves, eluded the slave patrols scouring the area both night and day.  To sustain themselves, Philippe and his insurrectionists began to raid Acadian farms, "stripping them of provisions and arms."  Commandant Louis Judice was forced to employ Houma warriors, who themselves had harassed local Acadians, and raise the bounty on Philippe and his men to 100 piastres.  The Houma ambushed the rag-tag force, but Philippe escaped.  He took refuge on the farm of Frenchman Nicolas Daublin, whose loyal slave, Esther, alerted her master.  After an hour-long gun battle, Daublin shot and killed Philippe, and the insurrection soon collapsed.503 

Caught in the middle of this bloody drama, the Acadians' traditional egalitarianism gave way to darker forces in their collective consciousness.  Professor Brasseaux tells us:  "Though the crisis was resolved in the slaveholders' favor, the event served as an important watershed in Afro-Acadian relations, producing a spontaneous and radical change in Acadian attitudes toward blacks throughout Louisiana.  No longer viewed as mere laborers, Negroes were now seen as inveterate schemers who posed an ever present threat to internal security.  Both slaveholding and nonslaveholding Acadians consequently demonstrated no hesitation in mounting a united and openly hostile front against threats, either real or perceived, from the slave community in subsequent years."  For example, when smallpox appeared at Commandant Judice's plantation in 1787, local Acadians imposed an impromptu quarantine on the place and attempted to purchase the diseased slave so that they could drown her in the river!  The exiles had taken the wolf by its ears, and they were determined not to let go.504

A troubling result of Acadian slaveholding was the sexual exploitation of female slaves.  According to Professor Brasseaux, "by the antebellum period, mulatto children of Acadian parentage had become commonplace in the river parishes."  Acadians "who aspired to join the colony's Creole aristocracy" were emulating a less admirable side of Louisiana's socioeconomic elite.505 

The new Acadian arrivals from France, naturally, sought to join their earlier-arriving cousins in embracing the colony's plantation-slave economy, but, like their established cousins, the transition was a slow one.  As already seen, in January 1788, Commandant Nicolas Verret, fils counted only 54 slaves in his district on upper Bayou Lafourche, where most of the new arrivals had settled.  Of the 16 Acadians who owned slaves in the district that year, only one new arrival--Jacques Mius d'Entremont--owned a slave.  The others had come to the colony during the mid- and late 1760s and had moved from the river to the upper bayou by the early 1780s.  Little had changed three years later.  In January 1791, Verret counted 109 slaves in the district, but only a few were held by new arrivals:  Fabien-Amateur Guillot, 1; Jean-Charles Theriot, 1; Louis Gaudet, 1; and Jacques Mius d'Entremont, still 1.  By contrast, two earlier-arrivals still living on the upper bayou had become substantial slaveholders:  François-Sébastien Landry held 5; and Pierre dit La Vielliarde Landry, 15, making him the second largest slaveholder in the district that year.  In April 1797, the district's slaves numbered 267, only a small percentage of them held by Acadians, but a majority of the Acadian slaveholders now were late arrivals from France:  Jean-Baptiste Foret, born at St.-Jacques, held 1; Amédée Savoie, also a native of St.-Jacques, 4; Mathurin LeBlanc, a 1765 arrival, 2; Jean-Baptiste Bergeron, another 1765 arrival, 2; Henri Robichaux, a 1765 arrival, 6; Louis Gaudet, a 1785 arrival, 3; Jean-Baptiste Doucet, another 1785 arrival, 2; Jean Roger, a 1765 arrival, 6; Jean Delaune, a 1785 arrival, 1; Joseph Bourg, another 1785 arrival, 1; Vincent Landry, a 1766 arrival, 1; Pierre-Joseph Blanchard, a 1785 arrival, 1; Marie-Osite, called Osite, Daigle, widow of Marin Bourg, also a 1785 arrival, 1; Jean-Baptiste Giroir, a 1785 arrival, 1; Étienne LeBlanc, a 1785 arrival and a bachelor, 3; François-Sébastien Landry, a 1767 arrival, still 5; Anselme Le Borgne de Bélisle, another 1767 arrival, 3; Jean-Baptiste Daigle, a 1785 arrival, 1; Joseph LeBlanc, a 1785 arrival, 2; Jean-Jacques-Frédéric, called Frédéric, Landry, a 1785 arrival and another bachelor, 1; Joseph Comeaux, a 1768 arrival, 5; Pierre dit La Vielliarde Landry, a 1766 arrival and Joseph Comeaux's father-in-law, still 15; and Jean-Baptiste Landry, another 1766 arrival, 5.  One wonders what happened to Jacques Mius d'Entremont.  The January 1798 census at Valenzuéla counted 274 slaves in the district and detected more Acadian slaveholders now residing there:  Alexandre Landry, born at Ascension, held 3 slaves; Charles Bergeron, a 1765 arrival, 2, Pierre Arceneaux, another 1765 arrival, 4; Michel Bourgeois, a 1765 arrival, 4; Joseph-Marin Bourg, a 1785 arrival, 2; Pierre Bourg, another 1785 arrival, 2; Laurent-Olivier Blanchard, a 1785 arrival, 1; Joseph Gaudet, a 1765 arrival, 2.  The 1798 census also revealed that Louis Gaudet now owned 4 slaves, and Pierre dit La Vielliarde Landry, 16.506 

Slaveholding in the prairie districts also had increased dramatically by the late 1790s.  A general census at Opelousas in May 1796 revealed the following slaveholders among the Acadians there:  In the North Plaquemine sub district, Michel Comeaux held 12 slaves; and Pierre Doucet, 2.  In the Bellevue sub district, Charles Comeaux held 10 slaves; Anaclet, son of Joseph Cormier, 7; Joseph Landry, 6; Blaise Brasseaux, 1; Jean Jeansonne, 1; Joseph Bourg, 2; Basile Chiasson, 5; Sylvain Sonnier, 11; Victor Richard, 5; Françoise Sonnier, widow of Pierre Thibodeaux, fils, 3; and Pierre Richard, père, 6.  In the Grand Louis sub district, François Pitre held 4.  In the Grand Coteau sub district, Joseph Boutin held 2; Paul Boutin, père, held 1; Louis-David, called David son of Pierre Guidry, held 2; and Jean Savoie, 6.  In the Faquetaique sub district, Joseph Lejeune held 2.507

During the 1790s, two important technological developments, one mechanical, the other chemical, gave promise of increasing the rate of slave holding among the Acadians of Louisiana.  On a much larger scale, these developments also guaranteed that the institution of slavery would remain a fixture of North American agriculture.  In 1792, in faraway Georgia, a recent Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Yale College arrived at Mulberry Grove, the plantation home of Revolutionary War hero Nathanael Greene's widow, Catherine Littlefield; he was there to serve as the plantation's tutor.  Eli Whitney, born at Westborough, Massachusetts, in December 1765, had worked as a nail maker and farm laborer in his youth before attending Yale.  The story of his famous invention is a familiar one:  after listening to the Widow Greene and her neighbors discussing the difficulty encountered by their slaves in deseeding upland cotton by hand, Whitney fashioned his cotton "gin," which he patented in March 1794.  A little known part of the story is that Whitney's original gin contained mechanical flaws, which Catherine Littlefield helped to correct.  Despite his patent, Whitney made little money from his famous invention; most of the profits he and his partner earned went into lawsuits against a host of patent infringers.  Nevertheless, Whitney's machine and its many imitations gave a tremendous boost to the cotton-growing industry.  Not until after the Louisiana Purchase, however, did cotton become an important cash crop in Louisiana.508 

The second development had a more immediate impact on the economy of South Louisiana.  Jean-Étienne, called Étienne, de Boré, was born at Kaskaskia, Illinois, in the early 1740s into an old Norman family of the minor nobility.  When he was four, Boré's family returned to France, where, as befitted a member of his class, he was properly educated.  At the age of 16, he became a cadet in a company of the King's Mousquetaires.  He emigrated to Spanish Louisiana in the late 1760s but soon returned to France.  In 1771, while serving as a captain of cavalry, he married a daughter of former Louisiana treasurer Jean-Bapiste Destréhan de Beaupré.  In 1776, Boré and his wife returned to Louisiana, where she had inherited property, and he took up the life of a gentleman planter on the east bank of the river at Chapitoulas, a few miles above New Orleans.  There, he grew Louisiana's principal cash crop, indigo, and did well until the early 1790s, when persistent drought and insect pests, as well as collapse of the French market, diminished the colony's indigo crop, including his.  At the same time, competition from Spanish Guatemala deprived Louisiana of its indigo market.  On the verge of bankruptcy, Boré was determined to find another cash crop that would restore his personal fortune.  He turned to sugarcane, a "forced" crop that had been grown in the colony since the early 1750s to produce syrup and molasses for local use.  Though the transformation of cane juice into granulated sugar had been practiced in the West Indies for centuries, the process had proved "elusive in semi-tropical Louisiana."  Boré built a sugar mill on his property, planted a crop of cane, and, with the help of two of his Spanish neighbors, succeeded in transforming cane juice into granulated sugar.  His 1795 crop garnered him $12,000 in a market eager for the product, and a new industry was born in Spanish Louisiana.  Boré later served briefly as mayor of New Orleans.509

The End of Spanish Rule, 1790s-1803

Other developments, some locally, some distant, touched the lives of Louisiana's Acadians during the later years of Spanish rule.  On Good Friday, 21 March 1788, a terrible fire destroyed most of New Orleans.  Few Acadians resided in the city at the time, but the fire affected them in several ways.  One of the 856 buildings lost was St.-Louis parish church, which had stood facing the Place d'Armes (the Spanish called it the Plaza de Armas) since 1727.  Here, beginning in 1764, Acadians baptized their children soon after reaching the colony.  In February 1765, the first Acadian wedding in Louisiana was recorded at the church.  After the loss of Canada to the British in 1763, St.-Louis and the other Louisiana church parishes--St.-François at Natchitoches, St.-Charles on the German Coast, and St.-François at Pointe Coupée--had been removed from the jurisdiction of the Bishop of Québec and placed under the care of the Archbishop of St.-Domingue.  In August 1769, after the Spanish took formal possession of the colony, Louisiana fell under the ecclesiastical jurisdiction of the Bishop of Santiago de Cuba.  An auxiliary bishop, Spanish Capuchin Father Cirillo de Barcelona, took office at New Orleans in 1785.  Two years later, in September 1787, Louisiana parishes were transferred to the jurisdiction of the Bishop of Havana; Father Cirillo continued as that bishop's auxiliary.  After the great fire of March 1788, local philanthropist Don Andrés Almonester y Roxas, using his own money, financed much of the cost of rebuilding St.-Louis church.  Don André also provided shelter for the parish's curé, Father Antonio de Sedella, known affectionately by his Francophone parishioners as "Père Antoine."  The new church was constructed between March 1789 and December 1794.  The chapel at Charity Hospital, a private home, and the Ursuline convent chapel (Our Lady of Consolation) served as temporary parish "churches" during the long period of planning and constructing the impressive new church.  By the time of the new church's completion, however, it no longer was simply a parish church.  In April 1793, Pope Pius VI issued a papal bull creating the Diocese of Louisiana.  The new diocese's first bishop, Don Luis Ignacio Maria de Penalver y Cardena, a native of Havana, took his seat at New Orleans in July 1795, and St.-Louis church was now a cathedral.   The pastors of the Acadian parishes--St.-Martin de Tours at Attakapas Post, St.-Jacques at Cabahannocer, Ascension at the Fork, St.-Gabriel at Iberville, St.-Landry at Opelousas, San Bernardo at Terre-aux-Boeuf, St.-Joseph at Baton Rouge, and Assumption on upper Bayou Lafourche--now answered to a bishop residing in nearby New Orleans, not in faraway Canada, St.-Domingue, or Cuba.516

Governor Miró used the Good Friday fire and the resulting relief effort for the fire's victims to loosen Spanish trade restrictions with American merchants in the region.  This would have benefited Acadians also, especially those living on the river at Bayou des Écores, Baton Rouge, and the Acadian coasts, where, for decades now, many had resorted to smuggling first with the British and now with the Americans to obtain quality goods at affordable prices.  For years, Spanish governors had warned Madrid that continuation of Spain's restrictive commercial policies would transform Louisiana into "a desert."  During Unzaga's governorship in the early 1770s, officials documents revealed that "the prohibition of tobacco exports was driving the inhabitants to vagabondage, that there were not enough Negroes, that food shortages were recurrent and profiteering chronic, and that commercial conditions were deplorable in general."  The only promising development for the colony's struggling economy before Miró's post-Good Friday fire reforms was the emergence in the region of a new nation-state with the potential to provide the "elements necessary for economic development and prosperity in Louisiana."517

This new nation of course was the United States of America, which chose a republican form of government.  The Treaty of Paris of 1783, guided by Gálvez's successful offensives, restored East and West Florida to Spain.  Anglo Americans were now moving into the Mississippi valley, especially into the areas where the British had held dominion until 1779.  The boundaries between the southern United States and the Spanish Floridas were in dispute, however, a factor that, along with aggressive Anglo-American migration, strained relations between the erstwhile allies.  An historian of Louisiana's colonial economy provides the broad perspective:  "The Anglo-Americans, for all the nervous tension they aroused in the Spaniards, did provide that mobile population and potential source of capital which Spain was unable to provide herself.  The sweep of Americans across the Appalachians, which appeared to the Spanish as a threat to New Spain, created the first productive hinterland for New Orleans and ultimately provided that population which would fill up the lands in and around Louisiana."  In 1788, the year of the Good Friday fire, Governor Miró recognized this "threat" as an opportunity, and formally invited Anglo-Americans to settle in Spanish Louisiana.  Notes a student of the Spanish presence in Louisiana:  "This change in Spanish policy signaled the beginning of Anglo-American penetration of Louisiana.  Because settlement with Spaniards and European Catholics [including the Acadians from France] had proved to be too costly, Spain was resorting reluctantly to Anglo-American colonization.  The government planned, in permitting entry of Anglo-Americans, to Hispanize them, convert them to Catholicism, and instill in them sufficient loyalty so that they would defend the colony against all invaders--even invaders from the United States."  Miró's successor, Francisco Luis Hector, Baron de Carondelet et Noyelles, Seigneur d'Haine St.-Pierre, who became governor at the end of 1791, attempted to mitigate Miró's immigration policy, but by then it was too late.  Anglo Americans still came streaming across the Mississippi to settle not only in New Orleans, but also in the Creole and Acadian communities along the river, down on the Lafourche, and out on the prairies.  They were especially plentiful in the Natchez District, which the Acadians had abandoned in 1769.  Despite Spanish laws and the oaths of allegiance they were compelled to take, most Anglo-American immigrants refused to "Hispanize" or even give up their Protestant faiths.  Nor did they care much for Spanish trade restrictions, which limited economic opportunity.  As one historian points out:  "Americans accompanied their goods.  Although New Orleans did demonstrate a greater growth rate in the last fifteen years of the eighteenth century than in the entire preceding period, the profits did not flow into Spanish coffers, but into the pockets of native merchants and newly-arrived entrepreneurs.  New Orleans and the province, an economic backwater even within the economically backward Spanish colonial empire, was not worth accommodating before prosperity arrived.  With prosperity it became unassimilable since the nature of its commerce worked at cross purposes with and functioned in spite of the established system."  One suspects that this new economic paradigm touched the Acadian settlements as well as the capital city.518

Carondelet could not control, much less stop, the Americans, but he could try to boost the number of European Catholics in the province and thus neutralize American influence there.  To that end, in April 1792, he turned to Captain Henri-Marie Peyroux de la Coudrenière, who, along with Olivier Térrio, had coaxed so many Acadians to emigrate from France the decade before.  Peyroux, promised a promotion to lieutenant-colonel, was tasked with luring more Roman Catholics into the province.  In Philadelphia, with Peyroux's help, the Spanish ministers, surreptitiously of course, did their best to coax French royalists and German and Dutch Catholics to move on to Louisiana.  Carondelet and the ministers would have been wise to have consulted Olivier Térrio about Peyroux's trustworthiness.  At Philadelphia, seeing his opportunity, the Frenchman "commissioned a brigantine to take colonists to New Orleans," but when the ship sailed it carried only 25 passengers; in the ship's hold, however, were 1,040 barrels of flour that Peyroux had purchased from the Americans to resell at a fat profit.  Carondelet repudiated Peyroux, refusing to grant his promotion or to pay his expenses, and turned to Thomas Wooster, an American who had settled in Louisiana and was serving as a captain of militia.  Wooster headed to Philadelphia in June, but he, too, failed miserably in luring Catholics to Louisiana.  His sin was not profiteering.  Ignoring strict orders not to alert the American authorities to his activities, Wooster posted a notice in a Philadelphia café "announcing that anyone wishing a passport to New Orleans or desiring to become a Spanish citizen[sic] should obtain information from him."  Embarrassed, the Spanish ministers were forced to repudiate Wooster's actions.  Despite these failures, Carondelet continued his efforts to lure European Catholics to Louisiana.  He sent a few German Catholic families who appeared suddenly at New Orleans to Galveztown in the San Gabriel District, and he encouraged French émigrés fleeing the Revolution in France to move from Gallipolis on the upper Ohio to Nouvelle Bourbon, near Ste.-Geneviève in upper Louisiana.519 

Carondelet hoped that the New Bourbon venture would serve "as the start of halting the Anglo-American and English advances" into the colony, but, of course, it did not.  Worse yet, he was apprised by Spain's principal agent in the United States, the traitorous General James Wilkinson, that George Rogers Clark, the conqueror of Illinois, was planning, with Revolutionary French backing, an attack on New Orleans by a force of Kentucky riflemen.  Wilkinson was able to diffuse the plot, which was a lucky thing for Spain, because Carondelet could muster a defense force of only 2,800 men, half of them raw militia, to defend New Orleans and the lower colony against American aggression.  The Spanish could see that the Kentuckians and other westerners, desperate to use the Mississippi River as a conduit to the world for their products, would do anything to secure New Orleans for that purpose.  The so-called Jay Treaty between the United States and Britain, signed in London in November 1794, alarmed the Spanish, who feared an alliance between the two Anglophone nations.  Taking advantage of Spanish fears, and fully aware of the potential for war in the Mississippi valley, the American minister to Spain, Thomas Pinckney of South Carolina, opened negotiations with Spanish prime minister Don Manuel Francisco de Godoy (di Bissano) y Ávarez de Faria, de los Rios y Sánchez-Zarzosa, the so-called Prince of the Peace, to settle the boundary dispute between the two nations as well as the question of navigation rights on the lower Mississippi and the use of New Orleans by American shippers.  The result was the First Treaty of San Lorenzo, more commonly known as Pinckney's Treaty.  It went into effect in August 1796 and was entirely satisfactory to both parties, especially to the United States.  The treaty set the boundary between the southern United States and the Spanish Floridas at the 31st degree of north latitude from the Mississippi River to the Chattahoochee River and from there along the present state boundaries between Florida and Georgia to the Atlantic Ocean.  The boundary between the western territories of the United States and Spanish upper Louisiana was set in the middle of the Mississippi above the 31st parallel.  Most importantly, the Spanish granted to western Americans navigation rights on the Mississippi and "right of deposit" at New Orleans.  This allowed farmers and businessmen in the Ohio and Mississippi valleys to transport their goods downriver to the Louisiana port, store them there at reasonable rates, transfer them to ships at the New Orleans docks, and transport them downriver to the Gulf of Mexico, all without undue restrictions.  The treaty removed the pretext for war between the westerners and Spain and neutralized conspiracies to separate the territories west of the Appalachian Mountains from the rest of the United States.  Both nations agreed not to incite the Indians in their respective territories.  Unfortunately for the Chickasaw and Choctaw, the treaty placed their territories within the boundaries of the more aggressive United States.  And unfortunately for Carondelet and his successors, the treaty encouraged more Anglo-American Protestants to slip into Spanish Louisiana.520

A year after the Good Friday fire of March 1788, during the governorship of Estevan Miró, a sociopolitical upheaval shook Europe to its core, and its tremors were felt in Spanish Louisiana.  The story of the French Revolution is a familiar one.  By the early 1790s, émigrés fleeing the Revolution made their way to Spain, and some even to the United States, spreading fear of the Revolution and its radical measures, including the abolishment of slavery in all French colonies by the National Convention.  But until the Revolutionaries transformed France into a republic, declared war on Austria, Britain, Holland, and Spain, and launched a Reign of Terror that killed nobles, priests, and peasants, as well as a king and queen, the Revolution made little impact on Spanish Louisiana.  Most Louisiana Acadians cared little for Louis XVI, who had followed his grandfather to the throne in 1774, nine years after the Great Dispersal, and who was beheaded in January 1793 at the commencement of the Reign of Terror.  The exiles from Georgia, Halifax, and Maryland had come to Louisiana while the aging Louis XV still occupied the throne of France, but the only exiles who had taken an oath of allegiance to him were the Acadians of Chignecto and the trois-rivières, forced to do so on the eve of Le Grand Dérangement.  Most of the other exiles who had come to Louisiana--those who had lived at Minas and Annapolis in British Nova Scotia--had taken oaths of allegiance only to British King George II, and then only conditionally.  The hundreds of Acadians who had come to Louisiana from France in 1785 had lived there during the last 16 years of Louis XV's reign and the first nine years under Louis XVI, but they had no reason to celebrate their time in the mother country, or else they would have remained there.  When French Revolutionaries appeared in New Orleans during the early 1790s and began their agitation, they found few, if any, Acadians eager to embrace their radical views, especially on religion.521 

More compatible with Acadian thinking would have been the conservative views of the French émigrés, including priests who had fled the excesses of "dechristianization" and the Reign of Terror.  Two such priests were Jesuit Father Bernard-Alexandre Viel, a native of Louisiana who became a Jesuit in France, and Father Michel-Bernard Barrière, a native of France who had found refuge in Kentucky before moving on to New Orleans.  From the mid-1790s until the early 1800s, both priests served in the Attakapas District as pastors of St.-Martin de Attakapas, now St. Martin of Tours, parish.  Father Barrière was especially beloved by his Acadian parishioners, who called him "The Apostle of the Teche Country."523 

Spain joined the war against Revolutionary France in the spring of 1793.  Luckily for Spanish Louisiana, the nearest French colony was hundreds of miles away--the island province of St.-Domingue.  Taking seriously the words of the Revolutionaries' Declaration of the Rights of Man, slaves in northern St.-Domingue rose up in rebellion in August 1791, so French forces in the colony, focusing on the uprising, posed no threat to Spanish provinces along the Gulf of Mexico.  Touched only by the United States, with whom Spain would be at peace after 1796, and the Spanish province of Texas, lower Louisiana seemed safe for now.  Moreover, after war erupted, Britain joined Spain in the struggle against Revolutionary France, so British Canada posed no threat to upper Louisiana.  The threat of invasion did rear its ugly head in the form of the George Rogers Clark conspiracy, but the plot went awry, and lower Louisiana was spared the terrors of invasion.522

Nevertheless, internal disruption plagued the colony, especially in New Orleans.  "The outbreak of war between France and Spain ... was a devastating blow to the security and the prosperity of the colony,"  Professor Gwendolyn Midlo Hall reminds us.  "By early 1795, disorder reigned in New Orleans.  Houses were ignited, and dangerous mobs were attracted to the fires.  The authorities did not have the force to deal with these disorders, and officials stayed away from the scene to avoid precipitating a crisis or being assassinated.  American royalist militia were brought from Natchez," still a part of Spain, "to restore order."  The global impact of the French Revolution also "had an immediate, drastic impact upon Louisiana's economy," Professor Hall asserts.  "The colony's indigo crop was marketed in France via the French West Indies.  Planters had sunk deeply into debt during the 1780s, obtaining slaves on credit against future indigo crops.  Maritime trade was disrupted, and the market for indigo evaporated.  Spain canceled Louisiana's monopoly of the Mexican tobacco market and stopped buying Louisiana tobacco."  The colony's tobacco-growing regions, Natchitoches and Pointe Coupee, were devastated by these developments.  Pointe Coupee plantations also grew indigo, so that area was especially hard hit.  "Planters defaulted on their debts," Professor Hall relates.  "Hunger and famine gripped the district."  On top of all that, in April 1795 a slave conspiracy, which included a handful of local whites, was uncovered in the district.  Due to Spanish settlement patterns, Pointe Coupee, though one of the oldest districts in the colony, contained few Acadians in the 1790s, but the nearby community of western Baton Rouge was heavily Acadian, and Bayou des Écores still contained a few recent arrivals from France.  These districts also suffered from the collapse of the indigo and tobacco markets and the hysteria that always followed a slave conspiracy.  Indigo-and tobacco-growing areas farther downriver, including St.-Gabriel, Ascension, and St.-James, all heavily Acadian, also would have suffered from the loss of their markets as well as deep-seated fear over slave uprisings.522a

It was in St.-Domingue, France's richest colony, that mass bloodshed resulting from the new global war came closest to the Acadians of Spanish Louisiana.  The success of the slave revolt of 1791 was followed by Revolutionary-French seizure of Cap-Français two years later.  The Revolutionaries, supported by a pitifully small contingent of French soldiers, coaxed thousands of rebels into joining them against the French royalists in the colony, who were supported by Spanish and British agitators as well as their fellow blacks.  To appease the rebels, in August 1793, Revolutionary commissioner Léger-Félicité Sonthonax, with approval from the National Convention in Paris, abolished slavery in St.-Domingue, which the Spanish in neighboring Santo Domingo considered an even greater threat to their own interests.  In June of 1794, Spanish forces joined a British invasion of French St.-Domingue.  While yellow fever devastated the British and Spanish ranks, rebel forces under Toussaint L'Ouverture joined the Revolutionaries in fighting the invaders as well as royalist planters.  Thanks to the help of the rebels, the Revolutionaries retained control of the colony, at least for now.  L'Ouverture defeated a second British invasion in 1798 and controlled much of St.-Domingue by 1800.  That year, he launched an invasion of his own into Spanish Santo Domingo to free the slaves there.  In January 1801, the Spanish lost control of their part of the island, today's Dominican Republic.524

Meanwhile, in France, the Reign of Terror that followed the execution of Louis XVI burned itself out by 1795.  A more moderate government, the Directory, came to power in Paris under yet another constitution, but it, too, succumbed to corruption and reverted to dictatorial measures to hold on to power.  A diplomatic coup during the time of the Directory was the Second Treaty of San Ildefonso, signed with Spain in August 1796, in which the former allies agreed to fight against the British.  The Directory remained unpopular and was forced to rely on the army to overawe the French population, which came at great cost.  By the late 1790s, Napoléon Bonaparte, an artillery officer born at Ajaccio, Corsica, in 1769, had emerged as Revolutionary France's most successful battlefield commander.  It was he who had saved the Directory from a royalist uprising in October 1795, had conquered northern Italy in 1796-97, brought Austria to its knees by a succession of treaties, and invaded Egypt and Syria in 1798-99.  In November 1799, back in France, though his army remained in the Levant, Bonaparte led a coup d'état against the Directory and helped to install a new government, the Consulate.  Napoléon, as he came to be known, proved to be as adept at politic infighting as he was at fighting battles.  He outmaneuvered his fellow conspirators and was elected First Consul by an overwhelming majority.   Signaling his intent to remain in power, the Corsican took residence in the Tuileries, once a home of the Bourbon monarchs.  In May 1801, after crossing the Alps and defeating a resurgent Austria, Napoléon was elected First Consul for life.  In March 1802, he concluded the Treaty of Amiens with an exhausted Britain, and peace came at last to war-torn Europe.  The peace proved to be only temporary, but it gave Napoléon time to establish undisputed power over a battered and impoverished French Republic.525

In October 1800, soon after coming to power in France, Napoléon turned to his ally, Carlos IV of Spain, and extracted from him the Third Treaty of San Ildefonso.  Among other things, the secret agreement retro-ceded Louisiana to France.  As compensation, Napoléon granted his ally the Italian province of Tuscany, one of his recent conquests.525a

By then, Carondelet had surrendered the governorship of Louisiana to a former subordinate.  Manuel Gayoso de Lemos y Amorin had come to the colony with O'Reilly in 1769 and, under governors Miró and Carondelet, had served as lieutenant-governor of the District of Natchez.  Gayoso de Lemos's district had included Nogales, later Walnut Hills, now Vicksburg, Mississippi, and Chickasaw Bluffs, now Memphis, Tennessee.  His second and third wives were Anglo-American sisters, and for a time he encouraged Americans to settle in the Natchez district, though he of course gave preference to Roman Catholics.  It was Gayoso de Lemos who acquired information from the traitorous American General James Wilkinson that alerted Governor Carondelet to the plot being hatched by George Rogers Clark and Edmond-Charles Gênet to attack New Orleans in 1793.  The terms of Pinckney's Treaty surrendered the eastern part of the Natchez District--including Natchez, Nogales, and Chickasaw Bluffs--to the United States when the treaty took effect in August 1796.  Gayoso de Lemos spent the rest of that year and much of 1797 supervising the transference of that part of his district to American control.  In August 1797, Gayoso de Lemos succeeded Carondelet as governor-general of Louisiana and West Florida, with the military rank of brigadier-general.  By then, Spain once again was an ally of France, and Louisiana was viewed by both allies as a buffer zone to protect Texas and Mexico from a British attack down the Mississippi.  To appease the Americans, who he needed to bolster the colony's defenses, Gayoso de Lemos allowed them to bring their slaves into Spanish Louisiana despite a prohibition in 1792 to halt the importation of new Africans into the colony.  His edict of 1798 declaring Roman Catholicism the only faith allowed in Louisiana and imposing mandatory church attendance and tithes on the population while prohibiting unnecessary work on Sunday and holy days, was unpopular not only with Anglo Americans, but also with anti-clerical Acadians.  That same year, Spain revoked the trade provisions of Pinckney's Treaty in reaction to President John Adams's "quasi-war" against the French Republic, now Spain's ally.  The Americans protested mightily, and the specter of war loomed large again. 

Gayoso de Lemos continued as governor until his death from yellow fever in July 1799.  Colonel Francisco Bouligny, who also had come to the colony with O'Reilly in 1769 and founded the Málagan settlement at Nueva Iberia a decade later, was promoted to brigadier-general so that he could serve as the colony's military commander until an interim governor arrived.  Sebastien de la Puerta y O'Fariel, Marquis de Casa Calvo took office at New Orleans later in the year.  Casa Calvo stood in for the appointed governor-general, Juan Manuel de Salcedo, who did not reach New Orleans until June 1801, eight months after the secret treaty had been signed in Spain and three months after John Adams stepped down as United States president.  Salcedo restored to the United States the right of deposit at New Orleans, and war was averted.526

The Third Treaty of San Ildefonso was not a secret for long.  The new American president, Thomas Jefferson, once Adams's friend but now his political rival, was determined to halt the naval war with France and thereby avoid any future conflict over the use of New Orleans by Americans living west of the Appalachians.  Jefferson was well aware of the importance of the Louisiana city to the future of American commerce:  "There is on the globe one single spot, the possessor of which is our natural and habitual enemy," he wrote to Robert Livingston, the American minister to France.  "It is New Orleans, through which the produce of three-eights of our territory must pass to market, and from its fertility it will ere long yield more than half of our whole produce and contain more than half of our inhabitants."  Jefferson saw Spain as a faltering empire that posed little threat to American hegemony in North America, even while it held New Orleans.  "Spain might have retained it quietly for years," Jefferson continued.  "Her pacific dispositions, her feeble state, would induce her to increase our facilities there, so that her possession of the place would be hardly felt by us, and it would not perhaps be very long before some circumstance might arise which might make the cession of it to us the price of something of more worth to her."  But Republican France was another matter.  Jefferson was well aware of the Americans' relationship with France.  "Of all nations of any consideration France is the one which hitherto has offered the fewest points on which we could have any conflict of right, and the most points of a communion of interests," Jefferson believed.  "From these causes we have ever looked to her as our friend, as one with which we never could have an occasion of difference.  Her growth therefore we viewed as our own, her misfortunes ours."  But as American minister to France during the late 1780s, Jefferson had witnessed the first convulsions of the French Revolution, including the fall of the Bastille in Paris, so he harbored no illusions about America's former friend.  Turning his attention again to New Orleans and Spain's feeble hold on the city, Jefferson penned in his letter to Livingston these ominous words:  "Nor can it ever be so in the hands of France.  The impetuosity of her temper, the energy and restlessness of her character, [places her] in a point of eternal friction with us...."  He assured Livingston that the day France resumed possession of New Orleans would be a dark day indeed, for it would wed the United States "with the British fleet and nation" and compel the tight-fisted Americans to create a fleet of their own, as Jefferson's Federalist opponents had attempted to do during the recent war with France.527 

Choosing diplomacy over war, in early 1803 Jefferson sent his trusted protégé, James Monroe, to Paris to assist Livingston in negotiations to establish "an open port at New Orleans and free trade" with France, or perhaps even the purchase of New Orleans.  The Americans' timing could not have been better.  In 1801, Toussaint L'Ouverture had issued a new constitution for St.-Domingue which made him governor-for-life.  Napoléon would have none of this.  Determined to restore slavery to St.-Domingue and to oust the upstart black general-turned-governor, in January 1802 the First Consul sent his brother-in-law, General Charles Leclerc, at the head of expeditionary force of warships and soldiers to restore French control of the colony.  Mulatto troops under two of L'Ouverture's defeated opponents assisted Leclerc.  During the struggle that followed, some of L'Ouverture's associates, including Jean-Jacques Dessalines, turned on him.  Overwhelmed, L'Ouverture was promised his freedom if he agreed to join his remaining forces with Leclerc and Dessalines.  He did so in May 1802, and the French reneged on their promise.  They seized L'Ouvterture, transported him to France in chains, and held him in a prison in the Jura region, where he died a few months later.  The quiet that followed L'Ouverture's ouster was short-lived.  That summer, when they realized that Leclerc and his forces were there to re-establish slavery, as the French were doing on Guadeloupe, the Dominicans promptly revolted.  Dessalines and the other créole leaders fought alongside the French until October, when they joined the rebels.  In November, like many of his soldiers and sailors before him, Leclerc died of yellow fever.  The French expedition fell to pieces, and St.-Domingue was once again liberated by its former slaves.  Napoléon was determined to crush the rebellion and restore French control over the valuable colony.  Preparing to resume the war with Britain, he had big plans for St.-Domingue and his recent acquisition, Spanish Louisiana:  the restoration of French hegemony in the Mississippi and St. Lawrence valleys, with New Orleans as a base of operations.  Hearing of his brother-in-law's death, Napoléon dispatched another expedition to St.-Domingue to overawe the rebels, this one commanded by Donatien-Marie-Joseph de Vimeur, vicomte de Rochambeau, whose father, the comte, had been George Washington's second in command at Yorktown in 1781 when the Americans and their allies triumphed over Britain.  The younger Rochambeau had fought in the French Antilles during the 1790s, so he was prepared for what awaited him in St.-Domingue.  His brutal tactics, however, alienated not only the colony's former slaves, but also the elite gens de couleur, many of whom, like Jean-Jacques Dessalines, from time to time had supported the French.  After a bloody series of campaigns, Dessalines, the new strongman in the colony, defeated Rochambeau at Vertières, near Cap-Français, in November 1803.  Rochambeau withdrew the remnants of his army--only 7,000 men--from the colony, but he himself did not make it back to France.  Napoléon's war with Britain had resumed the previous spring.  A British naval squadron captured Rochambeau's ship, the Surveillant, on its return voyage, and the British held the vicomte as a prisoner of war in England for nine long years.  Meanwhile, on the first of January 1804, Dessalines declared independence for the Republic of Haiti, formerly French St.-Domingue.  By then, Napoléon, in despair over the news from St.-Domingue, had abandoned the idea of resurrecting a French empire in North America.  He turned his attention to the defeat of Britain and the conquest of Europe.528 

Nothing could have served American interests better than the resumption of fighting in St.-Domingue and the defeat of Napoléon's forces there.  In early April 1803, a month before the declaration of war against Britain, the First Consul informed his treasury minister, François de Barbé-Marbois, that he was considering the sale of Louisiana to the United States--not just the Isle of Orleans, which he knew Jefferson wanted, but the entire territory from the Gulf to the pays d'en haut!  Foreign Affairs Minister Charles-Maurice de Talleyrand-Périgod, who had been secretly negotiating with Livingston over the purchase of New Orleans, did not support the idea, but Napoléon insisted on it and even set the price--15 million dollars, which he would use to fund his invasion of Britain and other military endeavors.  On April 11, Barbé-Marbois, who knew that the Americans were willing to pay as much as 10 million dollars for the Isle of Orleans alone, stunned Livingston with the expanded offer.  A few days later, Monroe reached Paris, and he, too, was stunned by Napoléon's proposal.  Neither Livingston nor Monroe had been authorized by Jefferson to purchase more than New Orleans and its surrounding "isle."  The purchase of New Orleans, or any foreign territory, had posed a constitutional dilemma for Jefferson and his party, whose strict-constructionist views of federal authority did not recognize the power of a President or Congress to acquire territory by purchase from a foreign nation.  While considering the acquisition of New Orleans from Spain, Jefferson had contemplated pushing through Congress and then offering to the states a constitutional amendment to authorize a purchase.  And now Napoléon was offering to sell all of Louisiana for a most reasonable price!  Setting aside constitutional scruples, Livingston and Monroe could see clearly that the purchase must be made:  possessing the entire Louisiana territory would double the size of the United States and solve all of its Mississippi River problems; it would remove an aggressive nation from its western frontier and project American influence, power, and settlement into the unexplored Rocky Mountain West, where who knows what riches waited to be found that could enhance the new nation's standing in the world.  Fearful that Napoléon would withdraw the proposal and that they would lose the chance to acquire even New Orleans, Livingston and Monroe agreed to the purchase.  On 30 April 1803, in Paris, they, along with Barbé-Marbois, signed the Louisiana Purchase Treaty, after which Livingston uttered the prophetic words:  "We have lived long, but this is the noblest work of our whole lives. ...  From this day the United States take their place among the powers of the first rank."  A copy of the treaty reached Washington, D.C., on July 4, and Jefferson presented it to the nation.529 

The Louisiana Purchase proved to be the cornerstone of Jefferson's presidency, but his Federalist opponents, fearing that the purchase would stymie their efforts to improve American relations with Britain, tried to block ratification of the treaty in the federal Senate.  They failed.  Opponents in the federal House of Representatives failed by only two votes to pass a resolution condemning the sale.  New Englanders and other northeasterners were especially vociferous in their opposition to the purchase.  Speculators who had purchased huge tracts of land in New York and New England for easy profit would lose sales to farmers going west instead.  Easterners feared that easy use of the Mississippi River would diminish the importance of the Atlantic seaports in transporting America's goods to market.  Northerners feared that so much new territory would lead to the spread of slavery and the enhancement of southern influence in Congress.  Federalists, who represented the nation's elite, questioned the wisdom of granting citizenship to the "foreigners" residing in Louisiana--Frenchmen, Spaniards, Germans, Creoles, free persons of color, Acadians.  Would these "others" accept American democracy?  Would they embrace Jefferson's party and spurn the Federalists?  And then there was the question of legality as well as constitutionality.  In the San Ildefonso treaty of October 1800, Napoléon promised not to sell or otherwise alienate Louisiana to another nation, so Spain insisted that the sale was void.  American Secretary of State James Madison did his best to placate the Spanish, reminding them that when he had offered to purchase New Orleans from them, they had told him he must take up the matter with France.  President Jefferson, meanwhile, put into motion a speedy transference of territory to the United States.  He appointed General James Wilkinson, still secretly in the employ of Spain, and Mississippi territorial governor William Charles Cole Claiborne of Virginia, as commissioners to receive the province from France.530  


On 26 March 1803, a  Frenchman arrived at New Orleans with his wife, three daughters, and "a considerable entourage."  The person of Pierre Clément, baron de Laussat, appointed by Napoléon as "prefect" for Louisiana, was proof positive that the news circulating through the province was God's honest truth:  here was the French official who would oversee the transfer of the colony from Spain, and Louisiana--Louisianans!--would be "French" again.  Forty-six years old when he reached New Orleans, Laussat was the scion of a noble family from Pau, in the province of Béarn, near the foothills of the Pyrenees.  He had served as a receiver-general of finances in his native province before the Revolution.  As a "philosophical liberal," his career opportunities depended on which Revolutionary faction was in power.  "He was briefly imprisoned during the Jacobin period" and, despite being a nobleman, survived the Reign of Terror with his head intact.  Napoléon's coming to power in late 1799 offered Laussat an opportunity to gain political influence.  He was active in the government of the Consulate and was an advocate of the Third Treaty of San Ildefonso, which returned Louisiana to France.  In the following months, Laussat, who had never set foot outside of France, skillfully maneuvered for appointment as colonial prefect in Louisiana, which would make him "the highest ranking French civilian officer" in the colony and in charge of the transfer from Spanish to French jurisdiction.  The appointment came in late August 1802, and Laussat and his party left France aboard the 32-gun Surveillant in January.  General Claude Victor-Perrin, "along with four thousand troops slated for the occupation of Louisiana," would follow soon from Holland and reach Louisiana in mid-April.531 

New Orleans welcomed the Frenchman with unbridled enthusiasm.  "The town's only newspaper, Le Moniteur, heralded the Prefect's arrival, cannon salutes boomed across the Mississippi, and a lavish ceremony was prepared at the governor's mansion for Laussat and his entourage."  The historian, Professor Eberhard L. Faber, goes on:  "For many New Orleanians, Laussat's coming was a welcome sign of their city's readiness to step into the modern world.  They saw Bonaparte's France as a virile and powerful nation (not yet calling itself an 'empire') steering a confident pragmatic path between the decay of the ancien régime and the excesses of the Revolution.  The town would continue to thrive, they hoped, but now with martial efficiency, making future-minded investments in infrastructure to end the dilapidation and disrepair, and energetically policing the threatening populations--disorderly 'Kaintocks,' rambunctious sailors and soldiers, and disrespectful slaves and free people of color--whose presence they saw as an inconvenient accompaniment to prosperity."  The Spanish ensconced Laussat and his family at the plantation of French Creole Bernard de Marigny, "at the east gate of the city."  One suspects that the typical Acadian view of Laussat's mission, if they gave it any mind, was somewhat different from that of the elitist French Creoles.  Although Mother France had neglected them and then cast them away, the Acadians had sacrificed much to maintain their French identity.  Even 37 years of Spanish rule had not removed the "Frenchness" from the collective identities of the earliest Acadian arrivals.  The later arrivals had lived in France for a quarter of a century before enduring Spanish rule for 18 years now.  However, in their patois, their collective experience, and their worldview, they were still more Acadian than "French."  No matter, the Creoles, and perhaps even the Acadians, welcomed what Napoléon's prefect represented--the restoration of French rule.  Only two days in the city, without authority and without troops to back up his actions, Laussat published a proclamation in which he said "it was 'high time the French government came forward and announced its rights and intentions here.'"  The proclamation blamed the transference of Louisiana to Spain on "a 'weak and corrupt government,'" that of Louis XV, and alluded to the atrocities of Alejandro O'Reilly when he suppressed the rebellion against Ulloa.  The French Creoles applauded the prefect's words, for it was their own kind whom "Bloody O'Reilly" had executed 34 years before, but the Spanish, who had treated Laussat with courtesy up to that point, were appalled by the ill-advised proclamation and offered little cooperation afterwards.532 

Not all of the Frenchmen in the colony applauded Laussat's proclamation.  He "earnestly believed" that his proclamation would encourage "'the patriotism of the colonists,'" but, for some of the French Creole elite, Laussat's words and manners gave them pause.  Was this a harbinger of things to come?  Would the new régime, so full of bluster and righteousness, resort to confiscation of their property instead of exempting it from taxation?  Would they impose trade restrictions as the Spanish had done?  The Ursuline nuns, who had been working miracles in the city since 1727, "undoubtedly well aware of the appropriation of church property and occasionally violent anticlericalism of the revolutionary Republic," were so apprehensive about the fate of their institution that "Governor Salcedo felt obliged to reassure them that Laussat was not going to ban religion or confiscate their relics."  For over a decade, Louisiana, and especially New Orleans, had been a refuge for French émigrés escaping the excesses of the Revolution; here were champions of the ancien régime the prefect so vehemently derided.  One of the most outspoken was Father Michel-Bernard Barrière at Attakapas, whom Laussat considered "a very bad subject" and a "muddle-headed fellow" who polluted the minds of his parishioners.533 

Laussat, surrounded by actual and potential enemies, was perplexed by the failure of General Victor to reach New Orleans by the appointed time.  April turned into May and May into June, and still no Victor and his thousands of French soldiers.  Without them, Laussat's prestige, not to mention his power, was limited.  He began to quarrel bitterly, even publicly, with a member of his entourage, André Burthe, Victor's pretentious adjutant-general.  Having alienated the Spanish, who now ignored him, Laussat had to rely on the good wishes of the colonial elite, who, he should have seen, "were far more concerned with their own wealth than with anything the new regime had to offer in the way of 'Frenchness.'"  Visitors stopped calling on him at the Marigny plantation.  Wealthy businessman, landowner, and acting United States consul Daniel Clark, who had lived at New Orleans for years and knew much about Louisiana and Louisianians, did what he could to alienate Laussat from his Creole acquaintances.  A rumor began circulating about an American cession.  Even worse for French interests in this or any colony, another rumor insisted that France was now at war again with Britain and its formidable navy.  By July, with still no sign of Victor's army, Laussat's prestige had evaporated.  None of his many dispatches to Paris had been answered, so he was in the dark about Napoléon's intentions.  Moreover, an entire month was lost to him while he recuperated from a bout of yellow fever that struck him in early July.534

When the rumor of an American cession proved to be true, the ailing Laussat found himself in the midst of a full-blown diplomatic crisis.  The Spanish ambassador in Washington, as expected, "insisted that Bonaparte had 'no authority to alienate said province without the approval of Spain,'" raising "apprehensions that Spanish forces might resist the transfer" to American jurisdiction.  Secretary of State Madison directed Wilkinson and Claiborne "to prepare an armed expedition to take New Orleans."  Laussat, meanwhile, realizing that war with Britain, which had been declared in May, would deny him Victor's force, plotted to acquire at least a regiment of French troops from St.-Domingue to occupy Louisiana.  He would then "'quickly reanimate the public mind ... (and) endeavor to frenchify even the Spaniards.'"  This delusion was shattered on August 7, when news of Jefferson's purchase reached New Orleans.  Americans celebrated.  Laussat did not.  He called the news "an 'improbable and impudent lie,'" until October 8, when he received official notice of the purchase.  His only role in the colony now would be to supervise the transfer of authority from Spain to France and then surrender the province to the upstart Americans; it would not be his fate to transform Louisiana into a model French colony.  When these transfers would occur was anyone's guess.  On October 22, at a formal dinner hosted by Madame Laussat, the volatile Frenchwoman lost her temper and called the Spanish officials "'Souls of filth and mean slaves ... to the astonishment of all present.'"  Laussat fretted to Claiborne that the incident might give former interim governor the marquis de Casa Calvo an opportunity to delay the proceedings.  Madrid had assigned Casa Calvo, who Laussat despised, as commissioner to Louisiana to supervise the transfer to France and then remain at New Orleans as Spanish consul.  Until then, the Americans, who could receive the province only from France, must wait for the pleasure of the Spanish officials before they could pressure Laussat into a speedy transfer.  Complicating the matter further was the inordinate delay of General Wilkinson to get to New Orleans via Mobile.535  

In the weeks between Madame Laussat's disastrous dinner and General Wilkinson's arrival in late November, the prefect decided to tour the colony, at least that part of it lying along the east bank of the river above New Orleans.  Laussat was especially interested in the sugar and cotton operations along the Mississippi.  Already an acquaintance of Étienne de Boré, he was curious about the application of Boré's sugar processing techniques among his fellow planters.  From his brief journey up the river from La Balize in late March and during his seven months in New Orleans, Laussat had formed strong opinions about the French Creoles and their culture, few of them flattering; he and his wife were especially taken aback by the number of Creole planters who had fathered children by their female slaves.  Now he could glimpse two more important cultures of the lower colony, that of the Germans and the Acadians.  Among the Germans, he seemed more interested in their relationship with their priests, but he did note their general prosperity.  And then, during the second week of November, he reached the Lower Acadian Coast.  "I wanted to see one of those Acadian families which populated this coast," he recalled in his memoirs many years later.  "So I went to the house of Pierre Michel, a cotton and corn planter.  He and his wife are sexagenarians.  Both born in Acadia, they were married in Louisiana and had seven or eight children.  Everybody in the house was at work--one daughter was ironing; another was spinning; and the mother was distributing the cotton, while a number of little Negroes, all under twelve, were carding it, picking out the seeds, and drying it.  No one, more than these people, regretted not being able to remain French," the prefect was certain.536 

In his memoirs, written before his death in 1835 but obviously taken from notes he had scribbled during his time in Louisiana, Laussat reviews the history of these people, including their settlement in Louisiana.  Writing for his descendants, he related not only his hard prejudices against Englishmen and Spaniards, but also typical misunderstandings of the Acadian experience held by others of that day:  "When, in 1755, Acadia was conquered by the English, the French colonists there refused to swear allegiance to the conquerors and, consequently, were forced to leave their native country.  Louisiana, doomed in a few years to pass under Spanish domination, received them.  Some of the Acadians came directly, and some came by way of France; some came at their own expense, and others at the expense of the government.  Most of them settled on this coast, to which they gave their name Côte-des-Acadiens, and the rest settled at La Fourche.  The last arrivals in Louisiana were brought here from France by Spain about twenty years ago."  Despite only a cursory contact with Louisiana's Acadians, the opinionated Laussat formed a solid impression of their collective character:  "Like the Germans or the Alsatians, their neighbors on these shores, they are a hardworking and industrious people.  Their morals are loose, and they are a very handsome species of men.  They cultivate cotton, corn, and rice on seventeen or eighteen small farms, which follow one after the other.  These farms lead to the large cotton plantation of M. (Marius Pons) Bringier, where we were expected for the night."  One wonders what the prefect would have thought of the hundreds of Acadians living out on the prairies, whom he did not bother to mention in his encapsulated history.537

On November 30, a dreary day back in New Orleans, Governor Salcedo "handed Laussat the keys to the city," formally transferring power in Louisiana from Spain to France.  "With a few score townspeople looking on gloomily through the rain, Spain's four decades of ruling the colony came to a quiet end--and the three short weeks of Bonaparte's Louisiana began."  The transfer of power from France to the United States was supposed to have taken place immediately, or very soon, after the assumption of power from Spain, but the American troops ordered to New Orleans had not yet arrived, and Claiborne and Wilkinson chose to wait for them.  Laussat took full advantage of the brief French interregnum to make his mark on the colony.  The result was "sweeping changes in Louisiana's governmental and civic structure" that would complicate matters considerably for the Americans.  During his first day in power, Laussat issued eight decrees, and more followed in the next 20 days.  Laussat reorganized the Louisiana militia under new officers, nearly all of them French Creole.  He abolished the Spanish cabildo at New Orleans, replacing it with an appointed mayor and 12-member Municipal Council.  Nine of the new councilmen were French Creoles, all of them the prefect's "friends," including Jacques Villeré, whose father had played a fatal role in the Rebellion of 1768.  Only two of the new councilmen were Americans.  Not one of them was Spanish.  To the position of mayor, Laussat appointed his French-Creole friend, Étienne de Boré.  The mayor and council then turned on the non-white population of the city, imposing, among other things, "new punishments for slaves found walking the streets after dark or attending dances."  Laussat's final decree, issued at the insistence of the Municipal Council, erased all paternalistic Spanish reforms directed at the abuse of slaves and free persons of color and essentially reinstated the repressive Code Noir of 1724.  Professor Faber reminds us:  "The harsher racial order later linked by many historians with American rule--increasing codification of racial boundaries, greater strictures on the public activities of nonwhites, and official suspicion, rooted in fears about security, of free people of color--thus began in the earliest hours of the interim French regime.  ...  It originated not with Yankee newcomers but with wealthy creole planters, newly empowered by Citizen Laussat."  Even more troubling for the immediate future of New Orleans and Louisiana, Laussat's decrees swept away all vestiges of the colony's Spanish-based judicial system and replaced it with nothing of substance.  Laussat's reforms made possible a re-assertion of Creole control not only in the city but throughout the lower colony.  The humiliation of August 1769 was erased.  More importantly, the Americans, as well as the other non-Creole elements in lower Louisiana, now must contend with a resurgent Creole hegemony, guaranteeing that the transition to American control would not be a smooth one.538 

The transfer of possession from Bonapartist France to the United States occurred on December 20 at New Orleans.  "This time the weather was balmy and the mood more celebratory" as the Americans raised the Stars and Stripes, and Daniel Clark's American volunteers "shouted 'piercing huzzas' and threw their hats in the air."  Laussat was overcome with emotion and hurried from the Place d'Armes in tears.  That evening, at one of the city's opulent soirées, having regained his composure, the former prefect offered a toast "to 'the friendship and indissoluble union of the three powers' while affectedly lamenting 'what a magnificent New France we lost!'"539


Louisiana's Acadians, meanwhile, went about their business, certainly taking notice of these momentous events but few playing direct roles in any of them.  They had adjusted well to Spanish rule--many of them, in fact, knew no other government, having grown up and created families of their own during the 37 years since Ulloa's arrival.  Their adjustment included marrying more of their non-Acadian neighbors, hastening assimilation into the polyglot culture of Spanish Louisiana.  From February 1765, when the first Acadian marriage was recorded in the colony, through 1803, South Louisiana church and civil records document at least 2,260 Acadian marriages.  Of those marriages, at least 441, or 19.5%, were exogamous.  Compare this to an exogamous rate of 15.3% for the 483 recorded Acadian marriages from February 1765 through 1784, and one can discern an upward trend in the rate of Acadian "mixed" marriages.510 

To be sure, there were Acadian families, even among the early arrivals, with not a single recorded exogamous marriage during the first decades of their presence in Louisiana.  The Melançons came from Halifax in 1765 and France in 1785, but especially from Maryland in 1766 and 1767; South Louisiana churches record 37 marriages in the family through 1803, but not until May 1805 do any of those churches record an exogamous marriage in the family.  The Poiriers were among the very first families to emigrate to the colony, in February 1764, but an exogamous marriage among them cannot be found in area church records until October 1805.  The first Mires came from Halifax in 1765, but a member of the family marrying a non-Acadian cannot be found in South Louisiana church records until November 1807.  The Allains came to the colony from Maryland in 1767, but no exogamous marriage for that family appears in area church records until November 1809.  The Babineauxs arrived even earlier, in February 1765, but no exogamous church record can be found for them until July 1814.  Members of the Girouard family came to the colony as early as February 1765, though most of them, using the surname Giroir, arrived from France in 1785, but none married a non-Acadian, at least not in a marriage recorded by an area church, until October 1817.  But these were the exceptions, not the rule.  The great majority of Acadian families, small or large in number, or early or late in arrival, engaged in their share of "mixed" marriages while Spain controlled the colony.511 

Exogamous rates were especially high among Acadians in the Opelousas District, a bastion of Creole culture.  Michel Cormier, who came to the district in 1765, remarried to Catherine, daughter of former Swiss mercenary Johann Georg Stahlin, now Stelly, at Opelousas in c1774.  The Jeansonnes, descendants of Scottish soldier William "Billy" Johnson of Annapolis Royal, first came to Louisiana from Halifax in 1765 and settled at Cabahannocer on the river before moving on to the Opelousas prairies by the 1770s.  The first immigrant generation, while still living on the river, married fellow Acadians from the Brasseaux, Leger, and Prejean families; strangely, none of these marriages, like that of Michel Cormier and Catherine Stelly, were recorded by area churches.  Not until November 1790 does a Jeansonne marriage appear in South Louisiana church records, when a daughter of Jean Jeansonne married a Fontenot at Opelousas.  After that, every recorded Jeansonne marriage was exogamous, until September 1846, when a Jeansonne married a Pitre, a family which also could boast a high exogamous rate of marriage not only at Opelousas, but also in the Bayou Lafourche valley, where today the name is pronounced PEE-tree instead of PEET.  An interesting case of cultural assimilation among prairie Acadians is that of the descendants of Joseph Lejeune, who, with brother Blaise and sister Marguerite, came to Louisiana from Maryland aboard the Britannia in October 1769.  Before following their maternal uncle, Honoré Trahan, to Opelousas, older brother Blaise, a native of Pigiguit, married into the Breau family at St.-Gabriel on the river in November 1773.  Blaise took his family first to Bellevue prairie, near the present city, before moving out to Prairie Faquetaique, near the headwaters of Bayou des Cannes.  Younger brother Joseph, who had been born probably in North Carolina during Le Grand Dérangement, followed brother Blaise to Bayou des Cannes.  In c1782, Joseph married Pérrine, called Patsy, daughter of Anglo Americans Gilbert Hayes and Jeanne Jackson of Carolina and Mobile.  While in his late 60s, Joseph remarried to Mary Ritter, probably a German Creole.  He died in October 1847, in his early 90s, though his relatives told the recording priest that he was 110!  By then, and since the 1820s, Joseph, his children, and his grandchildren no longer were calling themselves Lejeunes; their surname had evolved into Young, influenced, no doubt, by Joseph's first wife, Patsy Hayes, from whom all of his many children sprang.  None of Joseph's children married fellow Acadians, though a few of his grandchildren did.  None of older brother Blaise's sons married fellow Acadians, but they continued to call themselves Lejeune.512 

Nor is it surprising that most of the young Acadians from France who came to the Opelousas District with their families in 1785 chose non-Acadian spouses.  Claude Aucoin, who crossed on La Ville d'Archangel and followed his Saulnier wife to Opelousas, was 60 years old when he remarried to a Brasseaux in November 1788, but his children married non-Acadians:  Perpétué married a French-Canadian Normand; Anne-Anastasie married a French-Canadian Bertrand dit Beaulieu in December 1789; Mathurin-Casimir married a daughter of Philippe Langlois in October 1796 (her mother was an Acadian Jeansonne); and Pierre married twice, first to a Silvestre in January 1800 and then to a Fontenot in May 1818.  Basile Chiasson, who crossed on La Caroline, remarried to a Thibodeaux in July 1789, when he was age 40; his son Charles-Albert, however, married a daughter of Charles Bourassa in October 1802.  Angélique Pinet, who was a widow when she crossed on Le Bon Papa, remarried to Michel Blanchet of Québec in April 1787.513 

Some of the later comers who chose to settle in the Attakapas District helped create multi-ethnic families of their own.  Élisabeth Duhon of Rivière-aux-Canards, widow of Alexandre Aucoin, whom she had married at Liverpool, England, in October 1759, crossed on L'Amitié with seven daughters, ages 24 to 6:  Marie-Madeleine married Jean-Baptiste Simon of Rennes, Brittany, France, at New Orleans in November 1785 (he also had crossed on L'Amitié, either as a crewman or a stowaway); Marie-Félicité married Carolinian Luke Faulk in October 1787; and Marie-Renée married Mathew Sellers, Jr. of Charleston, South Carolina, in February 1796.  Amable-Ursule Doiron crossed on Le Beaumont with her family; her second husband was Simon Durio of Grand Coteau; her sister Marie-Hippolythe-Honoré, a native of Le Havre, married François Begnaud of Nantes in February 1786.  Isabelle-Eulalie Dugas crossed on La Bergère as a 17-year-old, married a fellow Acadian at Attakapas in June 1786, and then remarried to David Caruthers of New Jersey and Carencro in October 1793; David had to convert to Catholicism to wed his Acadian bride.  Marie-Françoise Semer, who crossed on L'Amitié, married William Norris, Jr. of Redston, Pennsylvania, and Carencro, in August 1796; William, Jr. was a Presbyterian who also had to convert to Catholicism in order to marry his Acadian "girl," who was age 33 at the time of their marriage; Marie-Françoise's cousin, Anne-Françoise Semer, married Frenchman Joseph Sabot in December 1798.  Geneviève Trahan, who crossed with her family on Le St.-Rémi, married French Canadian Jean-Baptiste Morin in November 1786 and died 11 months later, at age 25, perhaps from the rigors of childbirth.514

Perhaps without realizing it, the Acadians of Louisiana were creating something new in a place very different from Old Acadia.  Their children and grandchildren still spoke French, but some of them learned rudimentary English to communicate with their Anglophone neighbors.  They clung tenaciously to the Roman Catholic faith, but their priests were Spanish and Irish as well as French, and Acadian men were as anti-clerical here as they had been back in Acadia.  There were no tidal marshes to dyke down here; true, there were salt marshes along the coast that dwarfed anything they would have found in Acadia, but the tides were too weak here to construct aboiteaux for the creation of new fields and pastures.  And even if the tides had been strong enough, there was no higher ground behind the coastal marshes on which to build their houses and barns.  Farming along the river and bayous was more akin to clearing the uplands back in Acadia, as their ancestors were sometimes compelled to do, except here one was clearing away the top of a natural levee, though the contrived levees they were forced to build along the river and bayous resembled the sturdy aboiteaux their grandfathers had built.  On the prairies, the soil was deep and rich, ready for the plow--an implement seldom used by their parents and grandparents.  Herds of cattle, some properly branded, many not, grazed on the limitless prairies, so that was not so different.  They ate very different food than what their ancestors in France and Acadia had eaten and grew different things.  Their houses were built out of different wood, with Spanish moss and clay mixed into the walls--a concoction the Creoles called bousillage.  Their boats were different here--pirogues instead of canoes.  And, to accommodate the hot, wet climate, so was their clothing.  They could not remember the last time they had seen snow of any significance, so they had forgotten how to construct snowshoes and toboggans.  Influenced by local Africans, Germans, and Spaniards, they learned to play new musical instruments to accompany their traditional fiddles.  They were surrounded here by many exotic cultures, something they had experienced only in exile, and then only briefly.  Mostly they married their own kind, but from the beginning of their arrival in the colony they began taking up with Frenchmen, Germans, Spaniards, Englishmen, Anglo Americans, Italians, Native Americans, Afro Creoles, and even French Creoles.  Many Acadians, now, were slave owners, a few of them aspiring members of Louisiana's socioeconomic elite.  By the time Spanish rule gave way to American territorial government, the first Acadian arrivals had been living in Louisiana for two generations.  Even the older folks among the more recent arrivals had not laid eyes on greater Acadia for nearly half a century, and the great majority of the new arrivals had been born in France.  Much time and distance separated them from their roots in Old Acadia.  Many, if not most, of them, had lost track of their cousins, even their siblings, deposited by the Great Upheaval into many corners of the Western world.  They could not know it, but it would be a century and a half before any meaningful connection would be restored between themselves and their distant kin in the Acadian Diaspora.  Meanwhile, they were becoming a substantial component of this strange new land where their fathers and mothers had taken them.  Along the river, down on the Lafourche, and out on the southwest prairies, a new, exotic culture quietly evolved among the exiles and their descendants:  Louisiana's Acadiens were becoming Cadiens, and someday others would call them Cajuns.515


BOOK ONE           BOOK TWO             BOOK THREE            BOOK FOUR              BOOK SIX


01.  I have chosen this title for Book Five, instead of "The New Acadia," in deference to our Acadian cousins in New Brunswick, who insist that they are La Nouvelle-Acadie.  See Rudin, Remembering & Forgetting in Acadie, especially chap. 6. 

01a.  See note 312a, below. 

301.  Quotations from LeBlanc, Acadian Miracle, 311-13, italics added in sixth quotation. 

Milling, Exile Without End, was first published in 1943.  This researcher, however, has failed to find Senator LeBlanc's quotation in a 1990 reprinting of that work.   

For Senator LeBlanc's bio, see O. C. Guillot, "LeBlanc, Dudley J. ("Couzin Dud")," in DLB, pp. 495-96.  The Senator lived from 1894-1971.  His The True Story of the Acadians was published in 1927, The Improved Version in 1932, & Acadian Miracle, cited here, in 1966.  LeBlanc's "health" product, Hadacol, made him wealthy.  He also was a popular broadcaster & was active in the creation of CODOFIL, The Council for the Development of French in Louisiana, which, despite recent efforts by the current LA governor, still exists. 

That Héberts & Richards appear in the Pointe Coupée church records of the 1750s does not mean that they were Acadian members of those families.  In fact, they were not.  See BRDR, vol. 1b, which covers the years 1722-69.  There are Héberts listed in this volume, but all of them are Acadians, & the sacramental records--3 marriages & a baptism--are dated 26 Sep 1767, 26 Mar 1769, & 27 Mar 1769.  See BRDR, 1b:86.  The only family name close to Hébert is Erber or Herbert, & close examination shows them to be from Île de Ré, France, not Acadia.  See BRDR, 1b:86-87.  For the Richards at Pointe Coupée, see BRDR, 1b:157-59.  Only 1 Richard sacramental record is for an Acadian, a baptismal record dated 26 Mar 1769; the other 8 are for non-Acadians, & close examination of those records shows that these Richards were from France, specifically Avignon & Hannonois.  The Senator also devotes several pages to a misreading of St. James church records that mention Acadians.  See Acadian Miracle, 314-15, which he insists put Acadians there in 1757 & 1759.  A perusal of BRDR, vol. 2, reveals no such dates for these St. James church records relating to Acadian Poiriers & Richards. 

For a critique of De Sennegy, pseudonym of Aldric Lettin de la Peychardière, see Brasseaux, In Search of Evangeline, 20-21. 

In early histories of the Acadian experience in LA, examples abound of the 1750s-arrival myth, replete with exaggerations of how many Acadians came to LA.  Marchand, Ascension Parish, first published in 1931, states on p. 20:  "At irregular intervals following the year 1757, a stream of the exiles continued to pour into Louisiana, until more than 4000 had taken up their abode in what is now the southern portion of the state.  An interesting group of 216, who came direct from Halifax, Nova Scotia, landed in New Orleans on Nov. 16, 1766[sic].  They were sent to Cabahanosse ... which settlement soon became known as the Acadian Coast (Ascension and St. James)."  Winzerling, Acadian Odyssey, first published in 1955, states in his conclusion on p. 161:  "The seven [ships'] expeditions formed but half of Acadian immigration to the state[sic] of Louisiana.  For these Acadians and those other three or four thousand who, between 1755 and 1776, filtered from the American colonies and the West Indies into Louisiana, the cruel expulsions of 1755 were gone with the clouds of the Seven Years' War."  In truth, "only" about 1,300 Acadians "filtered" in from GA, Halifax, MD, & St.-Domingue from 1764-69.  Although Winzerling does not include any of Dudley LeBlanc's histories in his bibliography, this passage reveals the imprecision of Acadian studies as late as the mid-1950s as to the number of Acadians who came to LA in the earliest years, &, especially, when they first arrived.  A decade later, Arsenault, History, published in 1966 in both French & English versions, continues the myth, in spades.  The Canadian genealogist-turned-historian states on pp. 191-92, under the heading "Arrival of the First Acadians in Louisiana":  "It is our belief that a number of Acadians deported in 1755 to Maryland, the Carolinas and Georgia most certainly succeeded in reaching Louisiana, in 1756.  For example, we know that the Acadians who disembarked in South Carolina had no trouble getting permission to leave.  Among those exiled to other American colonies, a number of them headed for the Mississippi either by sea, or by following certain rivers.  Others escaped from the transports which brought them to Virginia in the fall of 1755, and before these vessels were directed to England in the beginning of 1756.  It was to these first Acadians of Louisiana that Longfellow referred, in his Evangeline, when he wrote:  'Past the Ohio shore and past the mouth of the Wabash, 'Into the golden stream of the broad and swift Mississippi, 'Floated a cumbrous boat, that was rowed by Acadian boatmen.  'It was a band of exiles; a raft, as it were, from the shipwrecked 'Nation, scattered along the coast, now floating together, 'Bound by the bonds of a common belief and a common misfortune; 'Men and women and children, who, guided by hope or hearsay, 'Sought for their kin and their kind among the few-acred farmers, 'On the Acadian coast, and the prairie of fair Opelousas.  'On ward o'er sunken sands, through a a wilderness sombre with forests, 'Day after day they glided down the turbulent river; 'Night after night, by their blazing fires, encamped on its borders 'Now through rushing chutes, among green islands, where plumelike 'Cotton-trees nodded their shadowy crests, they swept with the current...'"  Such a wonderful fiction.  Arsenault continues:  "Felix Voorhies, an eminent judge of Louisiana, in Acadian Reminiscences, published at the turn of the century, tells the touching story of a group of Acadians deported to Maryland in 1755 and who, a few years later, succeeded in reaching Louisiana.  This story was related to him by his grandmother, an Acadian who had been one of the exiles in that group.  Having received help and shelter from Irish families in Maryland, these Acadians acquired horses and covered wagons and courageously began the long trek west.  After crossing Virginia and the mountainous country of North Carolina, they reached the Tennessee River.  They had been on the move two months.  Learning that they could reach Louisiana more easily by riding the strong river currents, they sold the horses and wagons, felled trees and built rafts.  They floated down the Tennessee, reached the Mississippi, Bayou Plaquemine and, finally, Bayou Teche along which they settled.  This was in the region of the Attakapas post, in present-day St. Martinville.  Charles Gayarré, a Louisiana historian, wrote that Acadian refugees arrived on the Mississippi in a steady stream immediately after their deportation to the English colonies and right up until the Treaty of Paris of 1763; but, it is impossible to ascertain their number."  Arsenault's history, like LeBlanc's, is largely undocumented. 

As late as 1979, one encounters passages such as this in Rushton, The Cajuns, 78:  "Upon arriving in Louisiana in 1754, Salvador and Jean Diogène Mouton and their families were thrust into the company of highly advanced Indians who, as in Nova  Scotia, lived near the lands the Acadians settled."  And on p. 316, his chronology:  "1754--Five Mouton brothers and one nephew begin their immigration to Louisiana, the first Cajun settlers in the state."  And, still under the heading 1754:  "April 6--The first fully documented arrival of Cajun refugees in Louisiana:  four families, totaling twenty people, who had arrived via New York."  The 20 families he mentions doubtless were the ones who reached New Orleans in Feb 1764, from GA, not NY.  On p. 317, under the heading 1756, we find:  "Scattered Acadian refugees dumped in Maryland, the Carolinas, and Georgia begin heading for Louisiana."  And:  "1757--The first chapel is established at St. James Parish, soon to become the principal settlement of the Acadian Coast along Louisiana's Mississippi River."  Also:  "1761--In Louisiana, the first Cajun name appears in the cattle industry's so-called brand book:  Bernard."  On p. 319:  "1764--In December a boatload of 20 refugees turns up in New Orleans."  Ruston, alas, does not document any of these gross misinterpretations of the historical record. 

The work of Professor Carl A. Brasseaux of the University of Southwestern Louisiana, now the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, from the 1980s, helped resurrect the true history of the first Acadians in LA.  His In Search of Evangeline, published in 1988, offers a discussion of the Evangeline/Emmeline Labiche myth, which includes the improbable movement of Acadians from MD to LA via the Appalachian passes & the Tennessee, Ohio, & Mississippi rivers, à la Longfellow's fictional Evangeline.  Dr. Brasseaux points to LA historians François-Xavier Martin & René de Sennegy as the origin of the trans-Appalachian route of Acadian exiles to LA.  Dr. Brasseaux states on p. 21:  "Like Longfellow, [Felix] Voorhies [author of the influential fantasy, Acadian Reminiscences] depended upon his imagination for the trans-Appalachian journey, an episode for which factual information was understandably lacking, since it never took place."  Professor Brasseaux adds on pp. 22-23:  "The Maryland [and by extension South Carolina and Georgia] Acadians knew the dangers and difficulties of overland travel and consistently traveled to Louisiana aboard chartered merchant vessels whose departures from Maryland and arrivals at New Orleans are well documented.  On the other hand, the voluminous materials relating to Acadian immigration into Louisiana fail to yield a single piece of evidence to substantiate the use of an overland route."  Italics added. 

Yet Dr. Brasseaux's Founding of New Acadia, published in 1987, opens chap. 5 on p. 73 with the passage:  "Between 1757 and 1770 approximately one thousand Acadians migrated to Louisiana...."  The number was closer to 1,300.  But where does he get 1757?  Which Acadians came to LA at that date?  If they did not come overland, as he insists in his In Search of Evangeline, did they come by sea?  From where?  Who were they?  Where did they settle?  On p. 105 of the same work, however, he offers this solid reasoning:  "... it is certain that the overland odyssey described in Felix Voorhies' Acadian Reminiscences has no basis in fact.  The vigilance of colonial forces ordered to fire at Acadians approaching the Appalachian frontier, the belligerence of trans-Appalachian Indian tribes both during and after the Seven Years' War, and the exiles' general ignorance of the interior routes to Louisiana militated against a transcontinental trek.  It is also certain that few, if any, Acadians reached the lower Mississippi Valley via Quebec.  Indeed, Acadian refugees in Quebec appear to have ventured no further south than Detroit, where one couple was married on January 3, 1773."  An exception was Olivier Guédry, born at Boston, MA, in c1764, who was called Olivier dit Canada by his neighbors at Attakapas, where he settled by 8 Jan 1793, the day he married Félicité, daughter of fellow Acadian Alexandre Aucoin.  They settled at Grand Prairie, today's downtown Lafayette.  Olivier's marriage record in Hébert, D., Southwest LA Records, 1-A:23, 374 (SM Ch.: v.4, #67), calls his father Augustin "of Canada." 

Today's serious scholarship on the Acadians of LA continues the work of Dr. Brasseaux.  For example, Oubre, Vacherie, published in 2002, states on p. 57:  "Possibly, a few Acadian stragglers started to reach the French settlements of colonial Louisiana within a few years of the deportations.  This has never been established as a fact, and the possibility is discounted by most researchers."  On p. 73, Oubre states:  "There is another historic marker across the highway [from St. James Church] stating, 'Site of First Acadian Settlers in Louisiana.  Refugees came overland 1756-57," & concludes:  "Obviously, there is no documentation that anybody came overland at that early date." 

302.  Quotations from Brasseaux, ed., Quest for the Promised Land, 16.  See also Appendix; NOAR, 2:xx, 167, 229, 238; Oubre, Vacherie, 68; note 303, below

Brasseaux, ed., is an English translation of the original documents relating to the Acadian exiles in LA.

303.  Quotation from <>, "18th Century News."  See also Oubre, Vacherie, 53, 58-59. 

Has anyone, using primary sources, explained why d'Abbadie thought these first Acadians came to LA from NY & not GA?  "New England" sometimes was used as a generic term in New France for all of the English colonies along the Atlantic seaboard, but "New York"?  Faragher, A Great & Noble Scheme, 430-31, in his recent history of the Acadians thru their Grand Dérangement, follows d'Abbadie's lead and says:  "By 1763 this group of families had relocated to Charles Town, where in August they were listed on the register the South Carolina exiles sent to Ambassador Nivernois.  Within weeks, however, they departed for New York, where they booked passage on a vessel bound for the port of Mobile on the coast of the Gulf of Mexico.  Upon their arrival there in February 1764, they were greeted warmly by French officials, who provided them with lands along the Mississippi River at a place called Cabannocé, about seventy-five miles upriver from New Orleans."  In his citation for the passage on p. 533, he cites Brasseaux (1985) & Brasseaux (1994), articles found in Acadiensis entitled "A New Acadia:  The Acadian Migrations to South Louisiana, 1764-1803," vol. 15, & "Phantom Letters:  Acadian Correspondence, 1766-1784," vol. 23; & work by genealogist Roger Rozendal entitled "First Acadians in Louisiana, 1764," & Trek of the 1764 Acadians to Louisiana," posted on the Internet at <>.  In the second posting, Rozendal writes:  "The Treaty of Paris ratified 10 February 1763 provided an eighteen-month grace period during which Acadians detained in British territory could relocate to French soil.  It would seem the Georgia Acadians gathered in Savannah, Georgia as soon as they could and left for South Carolina where 185 of them were in the census 23 August 1763.  It would seem that at least some of them did not stay long and headed for New York.  There the Four Families made the decision to go to Louisiana at their own expense.  It is known the group was in Mobile, Alabama by January 22, 1764 where the marriage of Jean Poirier and Madeleine Richard was solemnized.  A copy of this ceremony is in Vidrine's "Loves Legacy" pp. 329-321[sic].  From there, they went on to Louisiana, arriving before February 26, 1764.  Therefore, it seems likely that in a year starting in February 1763, the Four Families went from Georgia to South Carolina, then to New York, back to Georgia and ended up in Louisiana in February 1764."  The going-to-NY-and-back scenario, which fails the test of logic, hangs, then, on the single reference in d'Abbadie's 6 Apr 1764 missive to the duc de Choiseul, Minister of Marine.  But the primary sources deserve a closer look:  The Four Families, as Rozendal calls them, were in SC on 23 Aug 1763.  They appear again--who else would those 21 Acadians have been?-- in the 22 Dec 1763 edition of the Georgia Gazette, having left Savannah for Mobile the day before.  This gave them slightly less than 4 months to hurry away from Charles Town, SC, arrive at NY, make their decision there to go to LA "at their own expense," book passage for Savannah (why Savannah?), & then book passage on the Savannah Packet for Mobile.  Did they have the time, not to mention the wherewithal, to do this much sailing back & forth?  Or did d'Abbadie simply misidentify their place of embarkation when he wrote to the Minister on 6 Apr 1764? 

For the blessing of the Poirier-Richard marriage, see White, DGFA-1, 1336.  Did the the Cormier-Landry-Poirier-Richard party take a ship from Mobile to New Orleans, which would have required a stop at La Balize, or did they take smaller vessels to the Bayou St.-Jean portage via Lake Pontchartrain, which would have taken them to New Orleans without going to La Balize?  Considering that there were 21 of them, they probably took a ship.  One suspects that, with the French evacuation of eastern LA well underway, there were a number of ships going from Mobile to New Orleans that the Acadians could have taken in late Jan or early Feb 1764. 

The site of the first Acadian settlement is now Moonshine/Lagan, St. James Parish.  Oubre, p. 66, estimates that the distance between Verret's & Jacquelin's grants was 3.5 miles.  See ibid., p. 59, for the exact location of the Acadian settlement at Moonshine/Lagan viz later plantations in the area.  The Alibamons who came to New Orleans about the time that the Acadians arrived were settled downriver from the Acadians, closer to the upper German settlement.  . 

304.  Marie, Pierre Thibodeau's oldest child, Olivier Landry's paternal grandmother, was born in c1661; Jeanne, Pierre Thibodeau's 7th child & 6th daughter, Joseph De Goutin de Ville's mother, was born in c1672.  Joseph Broussard dit Beausoleil's wife Agnès was a daughter of Michel Thibodeau, younger brother of Marie & Jeanne.  Joseph's older brother Alexandre married Marguerite, Agnès's older sister, so there was an extensive connection to the Thibodeaus among the first Acadians to come to LA.  See White, DGFA-1, 1508-09, 1517. 

Oubre, Vacherie, 57, seems to be hinting at Joseph De Goutin de Ville's existence without naming him:  "It is quite possible that a person born in Acadia preceded or followed closely the lead of Antoine de La Mothe Cadillac, a resident of Port Royal from 1683 to 1690 ...."  Followed to be sure, but not until the early 1730s.  Cadillac had not been born in Acadia, had lived there only briefly, & never considered himself to be Acadian, or even Canadian.  De Goutin, on the other hand, was born & raised in greater Acadia.  His father having died when he was only 9 years old, he was raised on Île Royale by an Acadian widower, the daughter of one of Acadia's pioneers.  

304a.  For the impact of exile on Acadians like these refugees from GA, see Hodson, Acadian Diaspora, especially his Introduction, entitled "The Worlds of the Acadian Diaspora."   

305.  Quotation from Jehn, Acadians in Exile, 269, a letter from Wilmot to his uncle, the Earl of Halifax, dated 18 Dec 1764.  For other contemporary documents, see Brasseaux, ed., Quest for the Promised Land, 25-27.  See also Marshall, Acadian Resistance, 195. 

In the years following the dispersal of 1755, Lieutenant Governor Belcher, "like most Nova Scotians, continued to regard the Acadians as a threat to the province, despite assurances to the contrary from Major-General Sir Jeffery Amherst, commander-in-chief in North America."  In Jul 1762, during the final months of the Seven Years's War, Charles-Henri-Louis d'Arsac de Ternay raided Newfoundland, renewing fears of a French attack on Nova Scotia.  Belcher, still lieutenant governor and also chief justice, "urged on" by the colonial legislature in Halifax and by "his own fears," accepted the advice of his council of war and on 30 July ordered all those Acadian 'prisoners of war' who had earlier been concentrated at Halifax deported to Boston.  The Massachusetts government refused, however, to receive further Acadians, and Belcher was faced with their return to Halifax.  The pragmatic Lords of Trade rebuffed Nova Scotian fears as unwarranted and the expulsion [of 1762] was inexpedient."  See S. Buggey, "Belcher, Jonathan," in DCB, vol. 4, & online; Book Three.   

The oath, as it was worded in Nov 1764, was:  "To swear and solemnly and sincerely promise before God that I shall be faithful to  His Britannic Majesty, King George III, and that I shall defend him with all my might against all of this enemies, and against all assaults upon his person, his government, and his dignity.  In addition, I shall make every effort to discover and to inform His Majesty and his successors of every treasonous conspiracy, or any attack against him or against them, the princes of the royal house.  I promised to do all of these things sincerely and in good faith, adhering to all of the oaths declared by me without equivocal mental restrictions or secret reservations whatsoever.  I take this oath, and promise with all my heart, without duress, and in all sincerity, upon the Christian faith, so help me God and the Holy Gospel."  An ironclad oath, indeed.  Notice, however, that this oath placed no restrictions on practicing the Roman Catholic faith.   

Baskenridge, as it appears in the document on p. 26 of Brasseaux, ed., is actually Basking Ridge, in today's Somerset County, north-central NJ.  Can anyone tell me where Chusock is located in NY?  Wikipedia does not. 

The New England planters came to the Annapolis valley in 1760, not long after especially high tides generated by a hurricane that struck the area "in the late autumn of 1759 damaged the dykes, neglected for four years after the deportation of the Acadians."  See Clark, Acadia, 24, note 20. 

306.  See Brasseaux, Founding of New Acadia, 33-34; Jehn, Acadian Exiles in the Colonies, 269-70; Marshall, Acadian Resistance, 195-96. 

Marshall tells us that Wilmot conceived a plan that he was certain would discourage the Halifax Acadians from remaining in Nova Scotia, including an ironclad oath "that insulted their Roman Catholic faith," &, in violation of every directive from his superiors in London, a very hard choice:  "the West Indies or continued imprisonment."  Marshall, however, provides no text of the new ironclad oath that insults the Roman Catholic faith.  See note 305, above, for the actual text of the oath the Halifax Acadians would have taken at the end of the war, which likely was written in London, not Halifax.  Only the last sentence of the oath mentions religion in any way, & it hardly insults the Roman faith.  If Wilmot delivered an ultimatum to the Halifax Acadians that gave them the choice of going to the West Indies or suffering continued imprisonment at Georges Island, he did not put it in writing; Marshall cites no such document to buttress her assertion.  Unfortunately, her work contains no citations at all, only a bibliography.  A perusal of the contemporary documents in Brasseaux, ed., Quest for the Promised Land, 23-27, relating to Wilmot & the Halifax Acadians supports no such oath & no such ultimatum.  One suspects that the settlement restrictions placed on them if they remained in the province, the hard provisions in the actual oath, & their pride, was sufficient motivation for these long-suffering people to find a homeland elsewhere. 

307.  See Brasseaux, Founding of New Acadia, 32-33; Brasseaux, Scattered to the Wind, 64. 

308.  See Brasseaux, Founding of New Acadia, 32-33; Brasseaux, Scattered to the Wind, 64. 

309.  Quotations from Brasseaux, Founding of New Acadia, 33.  See also Marshall, Acadian Resistance, 196-97. 

310.  See Brasseaux, Founding of New Acadia, 34, 74; Brasseaux, Scattered to the Wind, 64; Marshall, Acadian Resistance, 197; Davis, W. C., The Pirates Laffite, 5.. 

Brasseaux, Founding of New Acadia, 34, states:  "Free to execute their designs, approximately six hundred Acadians, led by Joseph Broussard dit Beausoleil, chartered 'Vessels at their own Expense' and, in late November or early December, 1764, began the first segment of their roundabout journey to Illinois.  Unable to complete their preparations before the onset of winter, however, numerous other Acadians, 'amounting to as many more, different parts of the Province,' made ready to depart for 'the same destination' in the early spring of 1765."  Marshall, p. 197, who we must assume was attempting to follow Brasseaux, says:  "In early December 1764, 600 Acadians accompanied Beausoleil on a ship[sic] bound for Santo Domingo, and the following spring, another 200--some from Fort Edward, others from Halifax--followed."  It is true that approximately 600 (not 800) Acadians in Nova Scotia sailed from Halifax to St-Domingue & then on to LA in 1764-65, but Beausoleil's party numbered only 200; the other 400 were led by leaders such as Jean-Baptiste Bergeron dit d'Amboise & surgeon Philippe Lachaussée.  See Appendix.  As to 600 Acadians taking "a ship" in Dec 1764, that would have required a most remarkable merchant vessel for that day, & the result would have been horrible overcrowding & the loss of many of them on a voyage as long in distance & time as the one from Halifax to Cap-Français.  There were an indeterminate number of ships carrying these 600 Acadians, their names lost to history. 

St.-Domingue's population consisted of 10 times as many African slaves as whites and privileged mulattoes--a most unsatisfactory circumstance for Acadians who had never held slaves. 

311.  See Brasseaux, Founding of New Acadia, 74; Brasseaux, Scattered to the Wind, 64

Information on Théotiste Broussard is hard to come by, but not so her daughter Marie Hugon & brother-in-law Jacques Hugon  See Arsenault, Généalogie, 1006, 2614; Jehn, Acadian Exiles in the Colonies, 235; Milling, Exile Without End, 42; Wall of Names, 19; Appendix

312.  See Wall of Names, 15; Hébert, D., Southwest LA Records, 1-A:199, 498 (SM Ch.: v.3, #91), Jean's marriage record, which calls him Jean Como "du Cap-François, Isle St.-Domingue."  A baptismal record for Jean does not appear in NOAR, vol. 2, so he likely was baptized at Cap-Français. 

312a.  See Appendix.

313.  See Brasseaux, ed., Quest for the Promised Land, 31-33; Appendix.

313a.  Quotation from Brasseaux, ed., Quest for the Promised Land, 38.  See also Brasseaux, ed., p. 58; notes 315, 325, & 340a, below. 

The chaos upriver was, of course, the final stages of the so-called Pontiac's Rebellion, which had erupted in the pays d'en haut the year before. 

314.  Quotation from Brasseaux, ed., Quest for the Promised Land, 54, which details the amounts exchanged for 3 of the parties from Halifax, including the Broussards.  See also Brasseaux, ed., pp. 44-45.  Aubry tells the Minister in a letter dated 30 Apr 1765: "Despite the fact that the date on these bonds [card money, etc.] has long since expired, it would be most unfair on our part, if we did not comply with their request.  From the time Canada surrendered [1760] till their arrival here, these wretched people underwent such setbacks that they were completely unaware of this new arrangement.  In the sad situation in which they find themselves, this sum can be of great help to them."  See Brasseaux, ed., p. 45.  This implies that the Acadians were the ones who suggested the exchange. 

"My very dear father," Jean-Baptiste Semer had written his father in Apr 1766, "I arrived here in the month of February 1765 with 202 Acadian persons, including Joseph Bro(u)ssard, called (Beausoleil) and all of his family, ... all coming from Halifax and having passed by (Haiti).  Beausoleil led (the group) and paid the passage for those who didn't have the means," which may explain why the resistance leader is not on Maxent's list of card money holders.  See Bernard, Cajuns & Their Acadian Ancestors, 30, for the English translation of Semer's letter, used here. 

An excellent perspective on Canadian "card money," including its use by Acadians who went to LA from Halifax, is in <>.  According to this study, 3 parties from Halifax attempted to redeem their card money in Apr, Jun, & Nov of 1765, but only the Broussard party's list of Apr 1765 survived.  This list is reproduced here, along with examples of the card money.  For the Broussard list, see also <>. 

A year after the Acadians turned over their card money to Maxênt, they still had not received reimbursement from France, & they never would.  In fact, failure of first the French & then the Spanish to redeem their worthless Canadian currency may have been a factor in hundreds of Acadians joining the revolt against Spanish governor Ulloa in Oct 1768.  See Brasseaux, Founding of New Acadia, 192 ...

315.  Quotation from brochure that accompanies the Robert Dafford Mural, Acadian Memorial, St. Martinville.

For the Thibodeau-Bourg union, see NOAR, 2:31, 261 (SLC, B5185 & M2, 15), which calls the groom Amand Thibaudeau, "Acadian, native of Lachipoditte, Notre Dame des Neiges Parish in Acadia, Diocese of Québec," calls the bride Gertrude Bourgue, "native of Isle St. Jean, Dependency of Louisbourg," gives his & her parents' names, calls his mother Marie Commeau, calls her father Jacques, & says that all parents were deceased at the time of the wedding; Hébert, D., Southwest LA Records, 1-A:96, 743 (NO Ch.: v.1765), a copy of the marriage record, which calls the groom Pierre-Amand/Amand Thibodeaux "of La Chipoudy, Acadie," calls the bride Gertrude Bourque "of Isle St.-Jean, Acadie," gives his & her parents' names, & calls her father Jacques.  The editors of the sacramental records of the Archdiocese of New Orleans note in NOAR, 2:xix:  "The first identified Acadians to appear in this volume [number 2, covering the years 1751-71] were Amand Thibeaudau and Gertrude Bourgue who were married at St. Louis Church on February 27, 1765."  They were therefore the first Acadian couple to be married in LA.  The marriage at New Orleans may have been a blessing of a union that already existed.  Wall of Names, 12, says her father was Charles Bourg, but her marriage record, cited above, as well as Arsenault, Généalogie, 2433, 2597, call him Jacques.  Perhaps he was Charles-Jacques or Jacques-Charles.  Her family, headed by "Cherle Bourque," was listed in the British report at Halifax in Aug 1763 next to the family of her future husband Amand, so they probably met in the Halifax prison.  See Jehn, Acadian Exiles in the Colonies, 249.  I am proud to say that, through my father, I am a direct descendants of this couple. 

For the Girouard-Trahan union, see NOAR, 2:136, 267 (SLC, B5, 185 & M1, 16), which calls the groom Joseph Geronnard (Geraunard), calls the bride Ursule Trahan, "widow of Joseph Brossard," gives his & her parents' names, calls his mother Anne Tourangeau, & says all parents were deceased at the time of the wedding.

For Pierre Gautrot, see NOAR, 2:138 (SLC, B5, 82), the birth/baptismal record of daughter Marie-Josèphe, which lists him as "dec.," or dead, when she was baptized at New Orleans 22 Feb 1765.  The Broussard party reached New Orleans in early Feb, so he must have died soon after he arrived.  Louise appears on the Apr 1765 card money list in New Orleans, 1 of only 2 women on the list, implying that she was a widow.  See <>.  Why does Arsenault, Généalogie, 2492, in referring to his daughter's marriage, call him Charles?

For Mathilde Dugas, see NOAR, 2:105 (SLC, B5, 84), her birth/baptismal record, which calls her Mathilde Duguas, gives her parents' names, calls them Acadians, says her godparents were Andrés Antonio De Abreu Spanish officer, & Marie-Josèph (Gaucien?), & has the marginal note--"died, March 11, 1765."

316.  Quotations from Brasseaux, ed., Quest for the Promised Land, 31, 40; Brasseaux, Founding of New Acadia, 74.

317.  Quotation from Brasseaux, ed., Quest for the Promised Land, 33. 

Note that Foucault said Opelousas, not Attakapas, in his late Feb message.  This hints that the ultimate destination of the Broussard party was not decided yet but that, having rejected the site across the river from New Orleans, they likely would be going to one of the prairie districts.  Not until Andry's detailed instructions, dated 17 Apr 1765, do the French officials in New Orleans say the Acadians were going to Attakapas. 

For development of the prairie cattle industry, see Book Four. 

318.  Quotations from Brasseaux, ed., Quest for the Promised Land, 73n111; Brasseaux, Founding of New Acadia, 74-75, italics added to third quotation from p. 75.  See also Usner, Lower Miss. Valley Before 1783, 176-81; Book Four. 

Professor Brasseaux has no doubt the Broussard party made an agreement with Dauterive.  His comments about the efficacy of the Attakapas prairie for cattle raising reflect Aubry's letter to the Minister of Marine, dated 24 Apr 1765, in which the acting director-general says:  "Since the cession of Mobile, we lack cattle altogether; the spot to which the Acadians are going has fine grazing land where prosperous cattle ranches can be developed to supply New Orleans.  All this without the inconvenience of passing in front of the English post at the Iberville River [Bayou Manchac].  One can reach Attakapas post by means of a channel leading there, called Bayou Plaquemine, which is twenty-eight leagues distant [from New Orleans].  The round trip can be easily effected in six days."  See Brasseaux, ed., pp. 40-41.  Having lost eastern LA's "cattle country" to the British, Aubry et al. had no choice but to find another place to raise beeves in sufficient numbers to feed New Orleans & the rest of the colony.  Evidently the German Coast, which for decades had provided cattle for the New Orleans market, no longer could sustain the needs of the city's population. 

319.  Quotations from Bernard, Cajuns & Their Acadian Ancestors, 30, the English translation of the Semer letter used here; Brasseaux, Founding of New Acadia, 75; Brasseaux, ed., Quest for the Promised Land, 34; Book Four. 

Andry's instructions, dated Apr 17, in Brasseaux, ed., pp. 33-37, hint that the Broussard party left New Orleans in late Apr.  See also Brasseaux, ed., p. 44. 

For Pierre-François Olivier de Vézin, fils, see Brasseaux, ed., p. 43.  His father was surveyor-general of LA & inspector of colonial roads. 

For Fr. Jean-François, who had served at Natchitoches, Mobile, New Orleans, and other posts, see Baudier, The Catholic Church in LA, 128, 132-33, 142, 145, 148-49, 153, 158, 171-72, 190; Brasseaux, Founding of New Acadia, 156. 

320.  Quotation from Bernard, Cajuns & Their Acadian Ancestors, 30. 

Semer does not identity the German Coast as the place where he saw these agricultural wonders, but where else would he have seen them?  Semer's grandson, Joachim, youngest son of his second son, Urbain, married Hyacinthe Wiltz in a civil ceremony in St. Martin Parish in Apr 1879.  See Hébert, D., Southwest LA Records, CD. 

Semer wrote his letter, dictated to a nun in New Orleans, on 20 Apr 1766, nearly a year after he made his observations.  See Bernard, Cajuns & Their Acadian Ancestors, 30; Mouhot, ed., "Letter by Jean-Baptiste Semer," p. 223. 

321.  For evidence that Jean-Baptiste Cormier, fils was a part of the Broussard party, see <>, on which he is listed as changing 692 livres (only the Broussard party card money exchange list survived; see note 314, above).  Details of the tearful reunion are only speculative, of course.  Jean-Baptiste, fils married Marguerite Bourg at Cabanocé in c1768, evidence that he likely remained on the river while the other members of the Broussard party moved on to Attakapas.  Jean-Baptiste, fils does not appear in Attakapas District records until 1777, when he is listed in an Attakapas census with his first wife & their children; his parents were still at Cabahannocer/St.-Jacques that year.  See DeVille, St. James Census, 1777, 20; De Ville, Southwest LA Families, 1777, 13.  Jean-Baptiste, fils remarried at Attakapas in Jan 1779. 

322.  For the Opelousas Allibamont, see Brasseaux, Founding of New Acadia, 74; note 330, below; Book Four. 

323.  Quotations from Brasseaux, Founding of New Acadia, 76, 92; Arceneaux, D. J., "A New Look at the Initial Acadian Settlement in Attakapas." 

The famous Evangeline Oak stands at the foot of East Port Street in downtown St. Martinville.  For the founding of the Poste des Attakapas, see Book Four. 

Brasseaux, Founding of New Acadia, 91-92, says:  "The oldest of the pioneer communities, called first 'le dernier camp d'en bas' and later Fausse Pointe, was established near present-day Loreauville by late June, 1765."  The names le premier camp d'en bas & le dernier camp d'en bas were used by Fr. Jean-François de Civray in his 1765 burial records.  See, for example, Hébert, D., Southwest LA Records, 1-A:52-53 (SM Ch.: Slave Funeral Register, v.1, #17), Augustin Bergeron's burial, dated Aug 31, which says the upper place; Hébert, D., 1-A:119 (SM Ch.: Slave Funeral Register v. 1, #21), Alexandre Broussard's burial, dated Sep 8, which says the lower place.  The name "Beausoleil" for the commandant's "camp" is from Joseph dit Beausoleil's burial record, dated Oct 20, in Hébert, D., 1-A:137 (SM Ch.: v.1, p. 78; SM Ch.: Folio B-1, Funeral), which calls him Capitain Commandant des Acadiens aux/des Atakapas.  The earliest use of le dernier camp d'en bas is from Théotiste Broussard's burial, dated Jul 27, in Hébert, D., 1-A:149-50 (SM Ch.: Slave Funeral Register v.1, #8-A; SM Ch.: v.1, p. 8).  The earliest use of le premier camp d'en bas is Augustin Bergeron's Aug 31 burial, cited above. 

According to Brasseaux & other researchers, La Pointe des Répos lay on a westward bend of the Teche just above present-day Parks, half way between present-day Breaux Bridge & St. Martinville.  See Brasseaux, Founding of New Acadia, 94, 95; Shane K. Bernard, "La Pointe de Repos--Early Acadian Settlement Site along the Teche," in Bayou Teche Dispatches, 3 Sep 2011, at <>.   Dr. Bernard's blog includes a c1771 survey map by François Gonsoulin listing the families still living there on that date.  They include Amand Thibodeau, Paul Thibodeau, François Guilbeau, Michel Bernard, Simon LeBlanc, Charles Guilbeau, Marie Guilbeau widow Babineau, Sylvain Broussard, & Widow Ducrest.   Dr. Bernard also provides a 1979 rendition of the settlement which includes the above settlers' names minus Sylvain Broussard.  But Donald J. Arceneaux believes that La Pointe de Répos was another one of the original Fausse Pointe communities.  See Arceneaux, D. J., "A New Look at the Initial Acadian Settlement in Attakapas." 

Brasseaux, p. 148, says horseracing, which became a passion among the Acadians/Cajuns, began at La Pointe in the 1790s from which it spread to other prairies communities & then to the Acadian settlements on the river.  One wonders if he means the settled called La Grand Pointe, also called La Pointe, which lay along the Teche between present-day Breaux Bridge & Cecilia. 

Brasseaux, p. 94, says that, either during or after the epidemic of 1765, "An additional forty-four Acadians migrated to La Manque, probably the area adjoining the northern border of the La Pointe distict and extending to the François LeBeau farm two miles below present-day Breaux Bridge."  Brasseaux adds, p. 95n2:  "The location of La Manque, long a matter of speculation, is based on 1771 land grants to Bonaventure Martin, Olivier Thibodeau, Simon LeBlanc, and Joseph Martin--all 1766 residents of the settlement."  See also Voorhies, J. Some Late Eighteenth-Century Louisianians, 124-25.  Brasseaux's La Manque, near present-day Breaux Bridge, may have been the same community later called Anse La Butte, which stands on upper Bayou Vermilion between Breaux Bridge & Lafayette.  See also Brasseaux, Founding of New Acadia, 76, 95.  Donald J. Arceneaux, however, insists that Le Manque was another one of the Fausse Pointe communities.  See Arceneaux, D. J., "A New Look at the Initial Acadian Settlement in Attakapas." 

For current efforts to locate these "initial" Acadian settlements along the Teche, see The New Acadia Project/Projet Nouvelle Acadie, at <>.

323a.  Quotations from Bernard, Cajuns & Their Acadian Ancestors, 30; Brasseaux, ed., Quest for the Promised Land, 49-50.

Semer's letter, written in Apr 1766, caused a brief sensation among the Acadians at Le Havre in France, where his parents were living.  On 13 Sep 1766, Minister of Marine Choiseul-Stainville wrote to Mistral, the superintendent of the navy at Le Havre:  "I have received your letter, written on the twelfth of this past month, as well as the copy of the letter from Mister Semer, an Acadian settled in Louisiana, addressed to his father, who resides at Le Havre.  You direct my attention to the information presented by Semer in his letter.  These details, such as the suitability of the colony's soil and climate, the benefits offered to him and (his) fellow Acadians, have produced among all the Acadian families residing in Le Havre a desire to go to this colony.  They are asking now to be transported to the colony with all their belongings at the king's expense.  It is, however, impossible to approve this request, in view of the fact that the Louisiana colony no longer belongs to France and that considerable expenses will be incurred to transport so many people at a great loss for His Majesty.  Furthermore, the government is presently engaged in finding ways of settling the families of North America in the kingdom (of France).  You may inform the Acadians who are in your district that this project will soon be implemented."  See Brasseaux, ed., Quest for the Promised Land, 77.  Jean-Baptiste's parents & siblings did resettle in France; they were part of the failed settlement scheme in Poitou that lasted only 2 years & retreated from Poitou to Nantes with hundreds of other disgruntled Acadians in late 1775 or early 1776.  Jean-Baptiste's mother died at Nantes in Oct 1776.  His father died there in Dec 1782, less than 3 years before over 1,500 Acadians from France, including Jean-Baptiste's uncle Joseph Semer, 2 of Jean-Baptiste's cousins, & 2 of his siblings, emigrated to LA aboard L'Amitié, the fifth of the Seven Ships.  See Mouhot, ed., "Letter by Jean-Baptiste Semer," pp. 220-22; note 460, below. 

324.  Quotation from Bernard, Cajuns & Their Acadian Ancestors, 30. 

For a clue that the 1765 epidemic may have been malaria, see Ulloa to Grimaldi, 30 Nov 1767, in Brasseaux, ed., Quest for the Promised Land, 107, in which the Spanish governor tells his superior:  "... when the rivers are low, the waters of Attakapas form very toxic puddles from which develop many sicknesses and therefore become a threat to the families."  The other, more insidious mosquito-born disease, yellow fever, was not reported in South LA until 1796.  See Campanella, Bienville's Dilemma, 26, 94.  It is more likely, then, that the epidemic of 1765 was a form of malaria, not yellow fever. 

For the deaths of Marguerite-Anne Thibodeau & Madeleine Broussard, see Hébert, D., Southwest LA Records, 1-A:752 (SM Ch.: Slave Baptism Register v.1, p. 1, #1), Marguerite-Anne's baptismal record, which also records the date of her death; Hébert, D., 1-A:140 (SM Ch.: Slave Funeral Register v.1, #2; SM Ch.: v.1, p. 6).  Olivier Thibodeau remarried to Agnès Brun, widow of Paul Doucet, at Attakapas in c1771. 

For Joseph dit L'Officier Guilbeau's death & burial, see Hébert, D., 1-A:382 (SM Ch.: v. 1, p. 11).  For Jean Dugas, see Hébert, D., 1-A:274 (SM Ch.: Slave Funeral Register v.1, #21-A).  For Alexandre Broussard dit Beausoleil, see note 323, above.  For Marguerite Thibodeau, see Hébert, D., 1-A:752 (SM Ch.: Slave Funeral Register v.1, #20).  For Jacques Hugon, see Hébert, D., 1-A:423-24 (SM Ch.: v.1, p. 13; SM Ch.: Slave Funeral Register v.1, #26).  For Ursule Trahan, see Hébert, D., 1-A:776 (SM Ch.: v.1, p. 14; SM Ch.: Slave Funeral Register v.1, #27).  For Joseph Girouard, see Hébert, D., 1-A:351 (SM Ch.: v.1, p. 15; SM Slave Funeral Register v.1, #33).  For Sylvain Breau, Hébert, D., 1-A:116 (SM Ch.: Slave Funeral Register v.1, #24; SM Ch.: v.1, p. 13), which call him Silvain.  For Isabelle Darois, see Hébert, D., 1-A:216 (SM Ch.: v.1, p. 13; SM Funeral Register v.1, #25), which calls her Isabelle Daroy; note the remarkable differences in their ages.  For Joseph dit Beausoleil, see note 323, above.   

The author is proud to say that he is a descendant of Joseph dit L'Officier Guilbeau, the Beausoleil Broussard brothers, &, of course, Marguerite Thibodeau

325.  Quotation from Brasseaux, ed., Quest for the Promised Land, 52.  See also Appendix

When Aubry heard of Joseph dit Beausoleil's death, he appointed long-time settler Édouard Massé as the new commander at Attakapas.  See Brasseaux, ed., pp. 70n, 88-89. 

326.  Quotations from Brasseaux, Founding of New Acadia, 94.  See also Arceneaux, D. J., "A New Look at the Initial Acadian Settlement in Attakapas." 

Brasseaux calls La Pointe de Répos, La Pointe, a name also used for the later Acadian community of La Grand Pointe, between present-day Breaux Bridge & Cecilia.  See note 410, below. 

Bayou Tortue, or Turtle, should not be confused with Bayou Queue de Tortue, or Tail of the Turtle, which lies farther out on the prairie, west of the Vermilion.  The Tortue flows northward into the upper Vermilion, the Queue de Tortue southwestward into the Mermentau River. 

For the Attakapas Acadians who likely retreated to Cabahannocer, see Appendix

Brasseaux, p. 102, says about Fr. Jean-François:  "... in mid-September, 1765, ... eighty-two Acadians from the Attakapas post, ... like their pastor, Father Jean-François, ... fled the Teche region's raging malarial or yellow fever epidemic."  Italics added.  Brasseaux cites no primary source for this assertion, only Baudier, The Catholic Church in LA, 190, which says that, after building "the first little church at the post," Fr. Jean-François "did not remain long.  He probably returned to France as shortly after this he disappears from the Louisiana records."  Brasseaux, p. 102n17, adds that Fr. Jean-François's "register ends abruptly in January, 1766."  This is true.  See Hébert, D., Southwest LA Records, 1-A:529, 537, 615, for entries dated 8 Jan & 11 Jan 1766.  However, one finds other entries in the Attakapas registers signed by the missionary after he supposedly fled the Teche--on Sep 18 (Alexandre dit Beausoleil's burial), 19, Oct 6, 8, 10, 11, 12, 19, 20 (Joseph dit Beausoleil's burial), 22, 27, 28, 29, Nov 2, 14, & 24.  See Hébert, D., 1-A:18, 53, 58, 116, 119, 137, 216, 260, 274, 276, 351 423-24, 499-500, 746, 776.  If Fr. Jean-François "fled" the Teche, as Brasseaux says, it would have been no earlier than mid-Jan 1766, after the epidemic had ended or at least subsided, unless the gap in the registers' entries between Nov 24 & Jan 8 means that the good father was away from the Teche from late Nov to early Jan.  Perhaps it was then that he "fled the Teche" with part of his flock, only to return briefly after the epidemic had subsided.  If Fr. Jean-François did return to France in 1766, he was, according to Baudier, p. 172, back at New Orleans in 1767, which seems improbable.  No matter, Fr. Jean-François did not return to Attakapas.

327.  Quotation from Brasseaux, Founding of New Acadia, 95.  See also Brasseaux, pp. 96-98; note 323, above. 

Brasseaux provides approximate dates for the new settlements:  1777 for Grand Prairie, 1778 for the lower Vermilion from Lafayette down to Abbeville, 1778-81 for Beaubassin, & 1781 for Carencro.  Brasseaux, pp. 93, 97, are maps entitled "Areas of Acadian Settlement, 1760s" & "Areas of Acadian Settlement, 1785," & include the original & later Attakapas settlement sites. 

The names of these new Attakapas settlements can be found in many of the sacramental records in Father Hébert's Southwest LA Records, vols. 1-A & 1-B, which cover the years 1750-1810.   

328.  See Hébert, D., Southwest LA Records, 1-A:72-77.  The family's name is pronounced BOW-nay. 

The earliest record in Fr. Hébert's first volume of Southwest LA Records for the Bonins is dated 25 Apr 1771, the marriage of Jean-Louis, son of Antoine Bonin & Marie Tellier, to Marguerite, daughter of Acadians Olivier Prince & Marguerite Boudrot, who came to LA from MD in 1767; see Hébert, D., 1-A:74 ((SM Ch.: v.1, p. 21; SM Ch.: Folio A-1, p. 11); the same marriage record also can be found in BRDR, 2:104 (PCP-4, 71); the marriage is recorded at Pointe Coupée because a priest from that church, Father Irénée, performed the ceremony at Attakapas, when that parish had no priest of its own.  Some of these Pointe Coupée & Attakapas records mention Grenoble & Mobile.  The family's name is not found in earlier church records in NOAR, vols. 1 & 2, & BRDR, vols. 1b & 2.  One wonders if the Bonins went to Opelousas with their fellow Alibamons in 1764 & then drifted down to the lower Teche.  Arceneaux, D. J., "A New Look at the Initial Acadian Settlement in Attakapas," places them above the Acadians on the Teche.  Voorhies, J., Some Late Eighteenth-Century Louisianians, 125, the Spanish census, locates the family at Attakapas in Apr 1766 but offers no specifics of their location.  Only Antoine Bonin & one Massé, either André or Édouard, are labeled "Allibamont Established At The Atakapas" in that Spanish census.  All of the other "Allibamont" counted on the prairies in Apr 1766 are found in 2 locations at Opelousas. 

329.  See Brasseaux, ed., Quest for the Promised Land, 75, 88, 89; map; Book Four.

330.  Quotations from Voorhies, J., Some Late Eighteenth-Century Louisianians, 126-27.  See also Oubre, Vacherie, 48-49; Voorhies, J., p. 128; Book Four.

The Allibamonts would not have learned of the French cession of western LA to Spain in Sep 1764, months after their arrival in the colony that Jan.  See Book Four. 

Note that the Penelle & Bertrand listed in Voorhies, J., p. 126, the 2 Doucets on p. 127, & the Henrrique, that is, Henry, on p. 127, were not Acadians but French Creoles--that is, Allibamont

331.  See Brasseaux, ed., Quest for the Promised Land, 43-44; Appendix

Note 326, above, offers the possibility, found in Brasseaux, Founding of New Acadia, 94, that the Acadians who went to Opelousas reached New Orleans with the Broussard party in Feb 1765, went with them to the lower Teche, & retreated back up the Teche towards the Opelousas post during the epidemic that hit the Teche Acadians that summer & fall.  Since these families eventually settled at Opelousas & not Attakapas, I am treating them separately here though they may have come to LA with the Broussards. 

332.  Quotation from Brasseaux, ed., Quest for the Promised Land, 44. 

For Comeau, see NOAR, 2:59 (SLC, B5, 92), which calls the family Comand.  Are the godparents of Louis Comeau a clue that this family & the other later-comers did not go to Attakapas before they settled at Opelousas?  Were the commandant & his wife in New Orleans to escort the later-comers to Opelousas?  Or was the boy baptized at Opelousas after the move from Attakapas, & the ceremony was recorded by a New Orleans priest?  See also Comeaux family page. 

For Guénard, see also Jehn, Acadian Exiles in the Colonies, 90, 96; Wall of Names, 18, which does not list him & calls his wife a widow; White, DGFA-1, 775, 1521; Guénard family page.  Anne Thibodeau remarried to Alibamon François-Marie Rivard, likely a widower, probably at Opelousas in c1767.  She outlived him, too, & remarried, again, to Joseph dit Françoeur, son of Jean-Baptiste Loiseau of Montréal, at Opelousas in Nov 1786.  See Hébert, D., Southwest LA Records, 1-A:328, 745 (LSAR: Opel: 1786), the record of her third marriage, which gives her second husband's name. 

333.  For the Cormier twins, see Arsenault, Généalogie, 2464, 2465, which says they were born in 1765, but the Opelousas census of 1777 says otherwise.  This census & the one for Opelousas in 1771 make it clear that they were twins.  See De Ville, Opelousas Post Census, 1771, 9; De Ville, Southwest LA Families, 1777, 25. 

For Pierre Richard, see Arsenault, Généalogie, 2576; Hébert, D., Southwest LA Records, 1-A:23, 666 (Opel. Ch.: v.1-A, p.75), the record of his second marriage, which gives his parents' names; Richard family page.  Pierre is an ancestor of Cajun musician/poet/activist Zachary Richard. 

334.  See Book Three.

Some Cormier family historians insist that Joseph & Michel were sent to SC with other Chignecto Acadians in 1755, but none of the Joseph & Michel Cormiers recorded there match the brothers.  See Jehn, Acadians Exiles in the Colonies, 231, 234; Milling, Exile Without End, 41-43.  For the Aug 1763 Halifax listing, which calls Joseph a Cormaie but does not name Michel, see Jehn, p. 249.  This researcher believes that Michel, though grown, was listed as one of Joseph's 3 "children."  See also Cormier family page. 

One Cormier family legend has Pierrot escaping with a younger brother from Fort Cumberland dressed as a woman after he answered Monckton's summons.  For his actual escape from the SC-bound vessel & his other adventures thru 1765, see Stephen A. White, "Cormier, Pierre," in DCB, online For more on Pierrot & other members of the immediate family, we await Stephen A. White's DGFA-2.  I will say that during the late 1780s Pierrot & most of his family, after being denied title to their land at Ste.-Anne-du-Pay-Bas (which they had occupied & improved for 13 years) in favor of disbanded British soldiers & American Loyalists, resettled at Memramcook, not far from where they had been living on the eve of Le Grand Dérangement.  Pierrot was by then was a widower.  Sadly, his aged mother died on the move to Memramcook, where the Cormiers again had to fight British authorities and greedy land owners for titles to their land.  After 1809, they were turned out & forced, White tells us, "to find other places to live in the Memramcook valley."  Pierrot died at Memramcook in Mar 1818, age 84.  Many of his descendants--this author's distant cousins--can be found in the Memramcook area today. 

335.  Quotation from Brasseaux, Founding of New Acadia, 94.  See also Brasseaux, Founding of New Acadia, 98. 

A letter from Aubry to the Minister of Marine, dated 30 Apr 1765, in Brasseaux, ed., Quest for the Promised Land, 43-44, says:  "We have the honor of informing you of the arrival of several Acadian families from Saint-Domingue.  Since their arrival, others have come.  Notwithstanding seven or eight who have died, they constitute 231 persons.  More are expected.  We were able to convince them to settle in the districts of Opelousas and Attakapas, and they have departed."  Italics added.  Farther along in the letter, Aubry states:  "This (assistance) will enable them to support themselves (both) now and later at Opelousas and Attakapas and also will facilitate (the establishment of) their settlement."  Italics added.  In another letter to the Minister, also dated Apr 30, Aubry says that "Mister Andry" & his assistant have gone "to Opelousas and the Attakapas."  Italics added. 

The question is, did the party of 39 Chignecto Acadians (231 minus 193 equals 38) remain at Opelousas after Lieutenant Andry and the Broussard party reached the upper Teche?  Or, as Dr. Brasseaux says, did they follow Andry & the Broussards to Attakapas & then move up to Opelousas to escape the epidemic that struck the Teche Acadians that summer?  There are several pieces of evidence that make one question the Brasseaux thesis, though none of it eliminates entirely the Brasseaux thesis as a explanation for where these Acadians first settled.  Note that Aubry, in his Apr 30 letters to the minister, cited above, says the 231 Acadians who had come to New Orleans had agreed to settle "in the districts of Opelousas and Attakapas."  Note, also, that the godparents for Louis, son of Michel Comeau, baptized on 16 May 1765, were Louis Pellerin, Opelousas commandant, & his wife.  Unfortunately, the baptismal record does not say if the ceremony took place at New Orleans or Opelousas.  The baptism was recorded in the St.-Louis church baptismal register by a New Orleans priest.  See NOAR, 2:59 (SLC, B5, 92).  If the baptism took place at St.-Louis church, that means the boy's family did not leave New Orleans until the second half of May, weeks behind the Broussard party, which left in late Apr.  But note that Aubry goes on to tell the minister in his Apr 30 letter that "they have departed," implying that all 231 of the Acadians who had come to New Orleans, including the later-arrivals, if they were later-arrivals, were on their way to the prairies.  If the baptism took place in New Orleans, what was the Opelousas commandant doing in the city at that time?  Had Aubry summoned him there to escort some of the Acadians to Opelousas?  This makes no sense if all 231 Acadians had left the city before Apr 30.  If the baptism took place at Opelousas, where the commandant & his wife resided & where the 231 Acadians would have passed on their way down to Attakapas, were the boy's parents at Opelousas on May 16 to settle, or, as the Brasseaux thesis implies, were they simply moving on to Attakapas?  If they were going to Attakapas, why not wait until they got there for Fr. Jean-François de Civray to baptize the boy? 

As to the "Opelousas and Attakapas" comments in Aubry's Apr 30 letters, note that in a detailed "List of the Provisions and Ammunition Delivered to the Acadian Families Who Sought Refuge in Louisiana," enclosed in Aubry's letter & also dated Apr 30, Ordonnateur Foucault states that this was a "List of the provisions, ammunition and merchandise provided by the king's storehouses in New Orleans to the Acadian families who arrived from St. Domingue to be used during their stay in this city and subsequent settlement in Opelousas."  See Brasseaux, ed., Quest for the Promised Land, 45-46.  Italics added.  Judging by the number of items on the list, it pertains to all 231 Acadians who had reached the city.  Evidently Aubrey & Foucault were not certain exactly where the 231 Acadians would settle on the prairie.  This is affirmed by Aubry's & Foucault's detailed instructions to Lieutenant Andry, dated 17 Apr 1765, which mentions the Attakapas District but leaves it up to Andry & the Acadian leaders to choose the exact sites of their settlements.  See Brasseaux, ed., pp. 33-37.  Until Andry reported back to them, the 2 colonial officials could not have known if all of the Acadians had settled at Attakapas or if some had remained at Opelousas.  In a letter to the Minister, dated 20 Sep 1765, Aubry & Foucault report:  "All these families are hard at work getting settled.  Some families are in Attakapas and Opelousas and others are on the right bank (of the Mississippi River) above the Des Allemands district."  See Brasseaux, ed., 52.  Italics added.   

As usual, I will follow Brasseaux here.  But the question remains:  Where did "At least thirty-two other immigrants" who retreated to Opelousas settle at Attakapas before their retreat?  Professor Brasseaux does not say.  Perhaps they settled on the Teche above La Pointe de Répos, at what later was called La Grand Pointe, & simply moved up bayou when the epidemic struck on the lower Teche.  The important thing to remember is that by Apr 1766, when the Spanish counted the Acadians in the region, these "thirty-two other immigrants" were still at Opelousas, & most of them were there to stay.  That they were 32 and not 39 hints that some of them died soon after reaching the colony, perhaps victims of the Teche valley epidemic.  Louis & Jean Comeau may have been among them.  Timothée Guénard likely was another victim; see note 332, above.  Another possible victim may have been Joseph Léger.  The Opelousas census of Apr 1766 lists the Acadians separately but names only the heads of family & counts 33 Acadians in all (5 of the persons listed with the Acadians were not Acadian).  See Voorhies, J., Some Late Eighteenth-Century Louisianians, 128. 

What of the Canadian card money held by these Halifax Acadians?  In a letter written by Spanish Governor Antonio de Ulloa to the Spanish Minister of State, the Marques de Grimaldi, dated 9 Jul 1766, the governor says:  "During my visit to the Opelousas and Attakapas (posts) [the previous Mar & Apr], the Acadians settled there showed me a small coffer which contained currency of the province of Canada, the total of which is owed them by His Most Christian Majesty [Louis XV of France] and which does not constitute part of the Louisiana debt nor that of the (river) Acadians of which Your Excellency was notified in the month of March.  They total 6,890 livres, 17 sols, which constitute a little more than 13,000 pesos.  To have a statement on their value, I arranged for the superior of the Capuchins to take it himself to Mister Maxênt, the merchant who had taken care of the money of other Acadians."  Was this Canadian currency held by just the Opelousas settlers or by settlers in both prairie districts? 

336.  See Brasseaux, ed., Quest for the Promised Land, 114-15, especially note 154; Brasseaux, Founding of New Acadia, 98-99, 171; Frederick, "In Defense of Crown & Colony," 413-14. 

Father Hébert's Southwest LA Records, vols. 1-A & 1-B, which cover the years 1750-1810, include the names of these Opelousas settlements in many sacramental records.  Brasseaux, Founding of New Acadia, 93, 97, are maps entitled "Areas of Acadian Settlement, 1760s" & "Areas of Acadian Settlement, 1785," & include the original & later Opelousas settlement sites. 

336a.  Quotations from Brasseaux, ed., Quest for the Promised Land, 95, 96, 107.  See also Brasseaux, ed., p. 115n154; Baudier, The Catholic Church in LA, 171

The comment about the toxic puddles at Attakapas can be found in Ulloa to Grimaldi, 30 Nov 1767, in Brasseaux, ed., p. 107.  Is this a hint that the epidemic that killed so many Teche valley Acadians in the summer & fall of 1765 may have been malaria?  See note 324, above. 

The Opelousas settlers elected Frenchmen Gabriel Fuselier de la Claire & Jacques Patin as co-commandants.  They served together until 1770, after which Fuselier, appointed by Spanish Governor O'Reilly, served as sole commandant of both Opelousas & Attakapas until 1774.  See  Brasseaux, pp. 123n159, 123n160. 

Two of the Attakapas petitioners--René Trahan and Jean-Baptiste Broussard--were elected co-commandants in 1768 after Pellerin's ouster & were replaced by Gabriel Fuselier de la Claire in 1770.  See Brasseaux, ed., pp. 124n162, 124n163. 

337.  See Father Hébert's Southwest LA Records, vols. 1-A & 1-B; note 392, below. 

338.  Quotation from Jehn, Acadian Exiles in the Colonies, 269.  Italics added. 

339.  Quotation from Brasseaux, ed., Quest for the Promised Land, 49.  See also Oubre, Vacherie, 70. 

340.  Quotations from Brasseaux, ed., Quest for the Promised Land, 46-49.  See also Oubre, Vacherie, 70. 

340a.  Quotations from Brasseaux, ed., Quest for the Promised Land, 51, 54.  See also Brasseaux, ed., p. 52. 

Brasseaux, Founding of New Acadia, 77, says:  "Hopes for reunification [of all of the Halifax Acadians] at Attakapas were shattered.  Neglected by France since the outset of the Seven Years' War, Louisiana's royal warehouses were almost completely bare by 1765.  Moreover the province's depleted storehouses had been practically exhausted by the arrival of the first Acadians [from Halifax].  Foucault, who again sympathized with the exiles' plight, was unable to extend his customary generosity to immigrants who followed.  ... Lacking alternative solutions [to expensive settlement on the distant prairies], Foucault was compelled to furnish to the immigrants goods purchased from local merchants for 8,890 livres, but the May arrivals [and those who followed] were compelled to settle 'along the right (bank) of the (Mississippi) River, above the German District.'"   

For the redcoats at New Orleans, see Brasseaux, ed., pp. 39-40; Rea, "Military Deserters from British West Florida," pp. 126-27; Rea, "The Career of Lt. John Thomas," pp. 7-8; Book Four.  By Jul, the 34th Foot, 300 strong, had reached the British fort at Manchac on its way upriver, which means the redcoats lingered in the city from May until Jul, during which time many Acadian exiles from Halifax reached New Orleans.  One wonders what measures Aubry & Foucault employed to keep the Acadians & their hated antagonists separated in what was little more than a large town.  As Aubry to Choiseul-Stainville, dated 24 Apr 1765, reveals, it was Aubry's idea that Maj. Robert Farmar, commander of the 34th Foot, travel upriver to IL not via the Bayou St.-Jean portage but "by way of Balise, which is the customary route."  Like the St.-Jean portage, this route would have taken the redcoats to New Orleans.  It also would have given them a greater opportunity to run into ships carrying Acadian exiles, all of whom reached the city via La Balize.  See Brasseaux, ed., p. 40. 

One also wonders if the Broussards were aware of the proximity of this regiment of redcoats & if their awareness had influenced their decision to remain in lower LA & not continue on to the IL country.  See note 313a, above. 

341.  See Appendix

It stands to reason that the exiles from the prison compounds at Halifax, Fort Edward, & Fort Cumberland were the ones who had escaped the British roundups of 1755 & took refuge on Rivière St.-Jean & the Gulf of St.-Lawrence shore in today's eastern New Brunswick.  Many of the escapees moved on to Canada, but others remained as close to their homes as they could.  However, hunger, hard winters, & enemy harassment compelled them to surrender to the British, beginning in 1759.  See Book Three.  Because of geography, it was easier for the Chignecto-area Acadians to escape the British in 1755.  Not so the inhabitants of the lower Minas and Annapolis valleys.  They were living in British territory, & the New English troops who rounded up the Acadians that summer & fall were chillingly efficient in their work.  The great majority of the Minas settlers, & most of the settlers at Annapolis, were shipped off to the British Atlantic colonies.  Few of them returned to Nova Scotia during the war, & those who did ended up in prison camps with their cousins from Chignecto & Rivière St.-Jean until the war ended. 

Forewarned & geographically isolated, the inhabitants of Cobeguit escaped the British roundup of 1755, most of them going via Tatamagouche to French-controlled Île St.-Jean, from where they were deported in late 1758.  Some escaped to the Gulf of St.-Lawrence shore in 1755, hence their presence in the Nova Scotia prisons later in the war.  Brasseaux, Founding of New Acadia, 125, says that the Acadians established at Cabahannocer in 1765 "were predominantly Cobequid natives," but the information in Appendix does not bear this out.  There were Cobeguit natives in the party, to be sure, but they were not predominant in numbers compared to the many other settlements from which the parties came. 

342.  Quotation from Brasseaux, ed., Quest for the Promised Land, 54. 

For Bergeron, see Arsenault, Généalogie, 2419, who says he was born in 1722; Bourgeois, Cabanocey, 163; Oubre, Vacherie, 70; Voorhies, J., Some Late Eighteenth-Century Louisianians, 445; Bergeron family page.

For Lachaussée, see <>; Arsenault, Généalogie, 1660, 2119; Bourgeois, Cabanocey, 171; Brasseaux, ed., Quest for the Promised Land, 54n90; BRDR, 2:404-05 (SJA-1, 40, & SJA-2, 12); Oubre, Vacherie, 70; Voorhies, J. Some Late Eighteenth-Century Louisianians, 424; Lachaussée family page. 

342a.  See Appendix

343.  Quotation from Brasseaux, ed., Quest for the Promised Land, 52.  See also Bourgeois, Cabanocey, 161; Oubre, Vacherie, 60, 70-71; Voorhies, J. Some Late Eighteenth-Century Louisianians, 114-19; Book Four

The Acadians from GA, remember--members of the Cormier, Landry, Poirier, & Richard families--settled on the west bank of the river just below Nicolas Verret in Apr 1764, about the time that Allibamonts settled farther upriver at the edge of the Upper German Coast.  See notes 303 & 330, above; Book Four.  Evidently the west side of the river above Cantrelle, Judice, & Verret & across from the Houma, near the present-day St. James/Ascension parish line, all the way up & beyond the mouth of Bayou Lafourche, was still largely unsettled by Europeans in the spring of 1765

344.  See Baudier, The Catholic Church in LA, 182; Bourgeois, Cabanocey, 171; Voorhies, J. Some Late Eighteenth-Century Louisianians, 424.

Cabahannocer would not get a church of its own until 1768, & then only a temporary shed.  It would not have a parish of its own until 1770.  See note 419, below.   

Mire & his Cormier wife settled in the Attakapas District in the 1780s. 

344a.  See Bourgeois, Cabanocey, 168, 177; White, DGFA-1, 1-9, 122-23, 453-66; Louvière/Damour family page; Books One & Two

Dearth of records during Le Grand Dérangement makes their movements after the autumn of 1758 a matter of speculation.  They may have followed Geneviève's family to Canada but returned to French Acadia and were then shipped off to Boston.  That they were at Boston is attested to by son François's contract for his second marriage, dated 7 Nov 1799, which says he was "native of Bosthon in N. America."  See Hébert, D., Southwest LA Records, 1-A:101, 530 (SM Ct.Hse.: OA-vol.19, #96).  That they went to Halifax in 1763 also is only speculation.  They would not have been allowed to leave MA before that date, & their coming to LA in 1765 attests to their coming from Halifax via Cap-Français, not from any other place. 

Arsenault, Généalogie, 1614, 2418, would have us believe that Michel dit Nantes Bergeron accompanied his family to LA, settled at St.-Jacques (that is, Cabahannocer), is found in the Spanish census of 1766, & died at St.-Jacques, date unrecorded.  So why is he not included in Wall of Names or found in any LA records? 

345.  See Appendix

346.  See Arsenault, Généalogie, 403, 702, 1013, 1026-27, 2560-64; Arsenault, History, 165-66; Hébert, D., Southwest LA Records, CD, 1-A:585-86, & passim; West, Atlas of LA Surnames, 112-13, 182-83n; White, DGFA-1, 1238-40; online Wikipedia, "François Adhémar Monteil, Comte de Grignan"; Mouton family page; Book Six

Arsenault, Généalogie, 702, but not White, DGFA-1, 1238, gives Sr. Jean's arrival in Acadia as c1703.  White, the more careful scholar, offers no arrival date. 

Note the discrepancies in dates between Arsenault & White.  Arsenault, Généalogie, 2561, 2562, gives Jean dit chapeau's birth year as 1755.  Jean is buried in St. John Catholic Cemetery, Lafayette; his grave stone says that he died on 22 Nov 1834 at age 80 & gives his birth year as 1754.  See [photo].  The grave stone date is followed here.  Jean, nickname or dit, chapeau, means hat.  One wonders why.  See Hébert, D., 1-A:511.  Family tradition says that Jean was called Chapeau to distinguish him from older brother Marin, who was called Capuchon, another kind of head gear.  As a result, there are Chapeau Moutons and Capuchon Moutons of South LA. 

Jean dit Chapeau was the founder of present-day Lafayette & father of Alexandre Mouton, the first popularly-elected governor of the State of LA.  See Book Six. 

346a.  For the evolution of the Acadian culture in NS & the impact of exile upon it, see Books Two & Three.  For the physical geography of South LA, see Book Four. 

I use qualifying language in describing Acadian cultural unity because, beginning in the 1710s, Fundy Acadians began migrating from British NS to the French Maritime islands of Île Royale & especially Île St.-Jean, where geography forced them to engage in limited agriculture & concentrate on fishing & lumbering.  This economic divergence, with its impact on the overall culture, lasted for decades and was accelerated by the disturbances at Chignecto in the early 1750s, when hundreds more Acadians emigrated to the Maritime islands.  And then came the Great Upheaval and its decade-long impact on these 600 Acadians from Halifax.  To be sure, relatively few of the 1765 arrivals had lived in the French Maritimes; the island Acadians would come to LA in much greater numbers via France in 1785.  Still, the impact of geographical separation on whatever unity the Acadians may have possessed back in the old country was a part of the cultural baggage of every Acadian exile who came to LA.  See Books Two & Three. 

346b.  See Book Four. 

347.  Quotations from Brasseaux, Foucault and the Rebellion of 1768, 50.  See also Brasseaux, ed., Quest for the Promised Land, 60-61; Kinnaird, "The Revolutionary Period, 1765-81," xviii; Oubre, Vacherie, 72.

Wikipedia, "Antonio de Ulloa," details his scientific attainments but says little about his time in LA. 

348.  Quotations from Brasseaux, Foucault and the Rebellion of 1768, 51-52; Brasseaux, ed., Quest for the Promised Land, 55.  See also Brasseaux, ed., Quest for the Promised Land, 56-57; Brasseaux, Foucault and the Rebellion of 1768, 54, 69.

Brasseaux, Foucault and the Rebellion of 1768, 51, describes the day Ulloa arrived as "that chilly, rainy March day."

Kinnaird, "The Revolutionary Period, 1765-81," xvi, which calls Loyola "commissary of war and military intendant" & names the other Spanish officials who accompanied the governor.  Brasseaux, Foucault and the Rebellion of 1768, 54, calls Loyola simply an intendant.

Treasurer Navarro, later intendant, would remain in the colony after Ulloa was ousted & play an important part in the history of the LA Acadians.   

349.  Quotations from Brasseaux, Founding of New Acadia, 92. 

350.  Quotation from Brasseaux, ed., Quest for the Promised Land, 56.  See Brasseaux, Founding of New Acadia, 92, for more on Grevemberg & the Attakapas Acadians.

351.  See Brasseaux, Founding of New Acadia, 79-80; Brasseaux, ed., Quest for the Promised Land, 55-57

For the use of Punto Cortada for Pointe Coupée, see the baptismal record of Francisco Mauron, dated 28 Jan 1793, in NOAR, 5:262 (SLC, B11, 236). 

352.  Quotation from Brasseaux, ed., Quest for the Promised Land, 67.

353.  Quotation from Brasseaux, ed., Quest for the Promised Land, 67.  See also Brasseaux, ed., pp. 59-62, 65-66; Bernard, Cajuns & Their Acadian Ancestors, 30; Brasseaux, Founding of New Acadia, 79-80.  

354.  Quotation from Brasseaux, ed., Quest for the Promised Land, 67.  See Books Two & Three. 

354a.  Quotation from Brasseaux, ed., Quest for the Promised Land, 66-67. 

355.  Quotation from Brasseaux, ed., Quest for the Promised Land, 69-70. 

356.  Quotations from Bourgeois, Cabanocey, 162, 166For the Apr 1766 census Cabahannocer, see Bourgeois, pp. 161-70; Voorhies, J., Some Late Eighteenth-Century Louisianians, 114-19, 201-14. 

357.  For the Apr 1766 censuses at Attakapas & Opelousas, see Voorhies, J., Some Late Eighteenth-Century Louisianians, 124-28.  See also note 325, above.

358.  Quotations from Brasseaux, ed., Quest for the Promised Land, 59, 66, italics added to second quotation. 

For Aubry's comment about smallpox among the Acadians, dated 14 May 1765, see Brasseaux, ed., p. 49; note 340, above

359.  Quotation from Brasseaux, ed., Quest for the Promised Land, 77-78.  See also Brasseaux, ed., p. 80; Bourgeois, Cabanocey, 14; <>, "Arrival of the Acadians in Louisiana"; Wood, Acadians in Maryland, 31. 

Bourgeois gives the date of arrival as 16 Nov 1766, & says that 216 individuals came "directly from Halifax, Nova Scotia...." She bases her statement on a letter from French Commissary Foucault to his superior, the duc de Praslin, dated 18 Nov 1766, in which the commissary says that the 216 Acadians who arrived in LA "approximately one-and-a-half months ago" came from "Halifax on an English boat chartered at their own expense."  See Brasseaux, ed., p. 80.  However, in a letter from Spanish Gov. Ulloa to the Spanish Minister of State, dated 29 Sep 1766, Ulloa says that the English sloop carrying Acadians had arrived at New Orleans the day before, had departed "Maryland, New England" in late Jun, & numbered 224 men, women, & children.  See Brasseaux, ed., pp. 77-79.

360.  Quotations from Brasseaux, ed., Quest for the Promised Land, 78, 81.  For the plight of the Halifax Acadians on the Acadian Coast on the eve of the arrivals from MD, see Brasseaux, ed., pp 71-74, a plaintive setter from Co-commandant Verret to Governor Ulloa, dated 10 Jun 1766.  Verret pleads for the construction of a hospital in his district to handle all the illness among the Acadians there.  Verret's concerns are reflected in Ulloa's letter to Minister of State Grimaldi, dated 25 Jun 1766, in Brasseaux, ed., pp. 75-76. 

361.  Quotation from Brasseaux, ed., Quest for the Promised Land, 81. 

For early use of the term "Acadian Coast," by Co-commandant Nicolas Verret on 10 Jun 1766, see Brasseaux, ed., p. 72.  See Oubre, Vacherie, 60, for a map of the area, which erroneously lists the first MD arrivals as having come in 1767. 

Jean-Baptiste de Noyen of New Orleans, "a wealthy New Orleans merchant and landowner," bought Jacquelin's ranch by Mar 1767, so those 40 arpents fronting the river evidently were not available to the MD Acadians.  Noyen's partners in the purchase were ____ Mallet & Ordonnateur Foucault.  See Brasseaux, ed., pp. , 86-87n129 & 130, quotation from note 129

361a.  See Appendix.

361b.  See Arsenault, Généalogie, 2593; NOAR, 2:256 (SLC, B5, 146), Alexis's baptismal record; Wall of Names, 25 (pl. 6L); Appendix.  Arsenault attempts to link François Simoneau to the Simons of Acadia, unsuccessfully, as church records & Stephen A. White insist.  François was called "Francisco of La Lorena" in his daughter Françoise-Apolline's marriage record, dated 10 Oct 1793. in BRDR, 2:596, 674 (ASM-2, 4), a compelling clue to his origins.

361c.  See Appendix.

362.  Quotations from Brasseaux, Foucault and the Rebellion of 1768, 57, 61, 62-63; Kinnaird, "The Revolutionary Period, 1765-81," xvi.  See also Brasseaux, Foucault and the Rebellion of 1768, 53-56, 70-71. 

For a brief history of the Superior Council, including the evolution of its "quasi-legislative" powers & augmentation of the power of colonial attorney general, as well as the extent of its powers & duties during Ulloa's governorship, see Brasseaux, Foucault and the Rebellion of 1768, 58-62; Jerry A. Michelle, "From Law Court to Local Government," pp. 408-24, in Conrad, ed., The French Experience in LA

For Aubry's rationalizations of Ulloa's behavior, see his letter to Minister of Marine duc de Choiseul-Stainville, dated 28 May 1766, in Brasseaux, ed., Quest for the Promised Land, 60-64, especially pp. 61, 63-64, in which Aubry concludes:  "In view of such circumstances, His Catholic Majesty [Carlos III] could not have appointed a more worthy governor than Mister de Ulloa.  With his perspicacity, enlightenment, and working knowledge of this country, he will be capable of devising the best ideas the best means of preserving and defending this colony which has now become Mexico's only protection."  Foucault would have written something very different. 

On 1 Jan 1768, the Spanish commissary, Loyola, relieved Foucault of his financial & commercial duties, leaving the Frenchman only his judicial duties as commissaire-ordonnateur, which largely had been assumed by Attorney General Lafrénière.  Foucault did not protest the "demotion" but welcomed it.  See Brasseaux, Foucault and the Rebellion of 1768, 71, who views this as one of Ulloa's small steps in gradually assuming Spanish control of the colony. 

For an example of Ulloa's efforts to counter smuggling in the colony, see Brasseaux, Foucault and the Rebellion of 1768, 63-64. 

363.  Quotation from Voorhies, J., Some Late Eighteenth-Century Louisianians, 426.   See also BRDR, 1a(rev.):59, 93 (SGA-3, 25a), his marriage record, which calls him Michel David, says he was "age ca 20, resident of Louisbourg," gives his & his wife's parents' names, says she was "age ca 18" at the time of the ceremony, & that the witnesses to his marriage were René Hébert (who made his mark), Michel Hébert (who made his mark), Antoine St.-Germain (who signed), & René LeBlanc (who signed); Jehn, Acadian Exiles in the Colonies, 151; Wall of Names, 15; Wood, Acadians in Maryland, 31, 111-12. 

White, DGFA-1, 1215-16, shows that Michel David's mother was a native of Québec & was living at Haute-Ville de Québec a year before her marriage to his father, who probably also was a resident of Québec. White, p. 1216, does not give Étienne-Michel's paternal grandparents' names.  His mother's parents were Jean-Baptiste, son of Jacques Monmellian dit Saint Germain and Claudine Guillet of St.-Sulpice, France, & Hélène, daughter of Jean Juineau & Anne Vuideau, probably of Québec.  Jean-Baptiste & Hélène married at Québec on 30 Jan 1690.

364.  Ulloa's letter to his superior, the marques de Grimaldi, dated 9 Jul 1766, is addressed from New Orleans.  His letter to Grimaldi, dated 29 Sep 1766, is addressed from Balise[sic].  See Brasseaux, ed., Quest for the Promised Land, 76, 79.  Ulloa would remain at La Balize until the following Jul, during which time he married.  See Brasseaux, ed., p. 96n142, in which Brasseaux describes Ulloa's marriage in June 1767 as "a marriage of convenience" which produced 7 children; note 367, below.  See also Brasseaux, Foucault and the Rebellion of 1768, 68, 70. 

For Ulloa's positive attitude about continued Acadian immigration, see Aubry to Ulloa, dated 16 Dec 1766, in Brasseaux, ed., p. 82.  This letter also reveals Aubry's continued support for Ulloa, though it must have annoyed the Frenchman that he now had to travel all the way down to La Balize to consult with the governor. 

365.  Quotation from Brasseaux, ed., Quest for the Promised Land, 80.  Brasseaux, ed., p. 84, includes a sharp letter from French Minister of Marine the duc de Praslin, to Aubry & Foucault, dated 3 Feb 1767, from Versailles, that chastises both officials for the large outlays since Ulloa had arrived, reflected in 2 "bills ... drawn against the general treasury of the colony" for 234,793#5s3d & 41,189#13s2d, "notes [which] cover only general expenses for the first nine months, and those specifically incurred for the Acadian families who came to seek refuge Louisiana and which account for the supplement."  The Minister continues:  "No funds have set aside here [at Versailles] for this purpose.  You can understand, therefore, the embarrassment the matter of these notes has caused me and that an end must be put to it." 

366.  Quotation from Brasseaux, ed., Quest for the Promised Land, 67-68.   

Kinnaird, "The Revolutionary Period, 1765-81," xix, says of early St. Louis:  "... founded originally as a trading post by Laclede and Chouteau in February, 1764, quickly grew into a village of importance and was selected as the headquarters of the first lieutenant governor of Ylinueses."  The name "Paincourt" comes from Aubry to the duc of Choiseul-Stainville, dated 28 May 1766, in Brasseaux, ed., Quest for the Promised Land, 62.  Professor Brasseaux, in note 102, identifies Paincourt as "Present-day St. Louis, Missouri." 

367.  See Brasseaux, ed., Quest for the Promised Land, 38-40; De Ville, St. Gabriel Census, 1777, Introduction by John J. Pastorek; Kinnaird, "The Revolutionary Period, 1765-81," xvii; Rea, "The Career of Lt. John Thomas," pp. 5-8; note 364, above. 

Ulloa, in Brasseaux, ed., p. 92, calls the new Spanish post at the mouth of the river Isla Reina Católica Kinnaird, p. xvii, calls it Isla Real Católica de San Carlos

Kinnaird, p. xvii, says of Ulloa's move to La Balize:  "The reason for this change was that the shifting currents of the river had deepened the northeast channel so that it afforded a safer passage for vessels entering the Mississippi."  He adds:  "On Isla Real, Ulloa constructed a governor's house, a church, barracks, hospital, warehouses, shops, and a wharf over a thousand feet in length.  While he was thus employed, his fiancée, Francisca Ramírez de Laredo, daughter of the Conde de San Javier of Lima, arrived and their marriage took place." 

For Loftus's upriver fiasco, see Rea, "Military Deserters from British West Florida," pp. 124-26; Rea, "The Career of Lt. John Thomas, p. 6; Book Four.  Loftus lost so many of his men to desertion at New Orleans that it was incumbent on the British to avoid the temptations of the city, no matter who held it. 

Rea, p. 6, says:  "... the development of an all-British waterway via the Iberville [Bayou Manchac] to the Mississippi, bypassing New Orleans, offered maximum security, and the commercial advantages to West Florida that might result from drawing the fur trade away from the old French and new Spanish masters of New Orleans...."  What fur trade?  Does he mean the deer skin trade? 

Rea, p. 6, says that Gov. Johnstone named Fort Bute "in honor of his king's leading minister and his own political patron," John Stuart, Third Earl of Bute, who had served as prime minister from May 1762 to Apr 1763.  See online Wikipedia, "John Stuart, 3rd Earl of Bute." 

Rea, p. 9, shows that British engineers were still calling for the opening of Bayou Manchac in late 1768.  Such hopes required the maintenance of a British force at Fort Bute.  Nevertheless, in June 1768, General Thomas Gage, commander-in-chief of British forces in North America, ordered the abandonment of Fort Bute & other British posts on the lower Mississippi.  Rea says, p. 9, that "By October, Fort Bute was abandoned, its defensive works destroyed (though not its barracks and outlying buildings), and its garrison was headed for St. Augustine." 

368.  Quotations from Kinnaird, "The Revolutionary Period, 1765-81," xvii.  See also Kinnaird, p. xvi; Brasseaux, ed., Quest for the Promised Land, 83, 91-92; Rea, "The Career of Lt. John Thomas," p. 8

Kinnaird, p. xvii, calls the San Gabriel commander Juan Orieta. 

Julian Alvarez, "constable of the royal corps of Maritime Artillery," in his report to Ulloa, dated 1767, evidently later that year, called the San Gabriel fort "Fort of the Infante Gabriel in Iberville."  Alvarez called the San Gabriel commander Frederick Joseph de Orieta.  See Brasseaux, ed., Quest for the Promised Land, 83. 

Kinnaird, p. xvii, includes colonists & Indians in the Apr 1767 expeditions, but this is premature.  Judging by the reports of lieutenants Orieta & Piernas, cited above, the Apr expedition consisted only of the officers & enlisted personnel.  The colonists & Indians came later. 

For the name Fort San Infante de Castilla, see Ulloa to Grimaldi, 25 Aug 1767, in Brasseaux, ed., Quest for the Promised Land, 94.  In his letter to Gov. Ulloa, dated 7 Sep 1767, San Gabriel commander Orieta called it Fort of the Infante St. Gabriel.  See Brasseaux, ed., pp. 97-98. 

Rea, "The Career of Lt. John Thomas," p. 8, says that, despite the proximity of the opposing forts, the area "was quiet enough save for the passing of Indians, traders, and British troops moving up and down the river; friendly relations were maintained with the French and then Spanish who established a post just a few hundred yards across the Iberville [Bayou Manchac] from Fort Bute." 

368a.  See Brasseaux, ed., Quest for the Promised Land, 58-59, 98-99, 106-07, 109; Brasseaux, Founding of New Acadia, chap. 10; Brasseaux, French, Cajun, Creole, Houma, chap. 4. 

369.  Quotation from Brasseaux, ed., Quest for the Promised Land, 92. 

370.  Quotation from ibid.  See also Oubre, Vacherie, 75; Wood, Acadians in Maryland, 31-33. 

371.  Quotations from Brasseaux, Founding of New Acadia, 80-81.  

372.  Quotations from Brasseaux, ed., Quest for the Promised Land, 93, 95.  See also Brasseaux, ed., p. 80.   

373.  See Appendix; Oubre, Vacherie, 75.   

374.  Quotations from Brasseaux, ed., Quest for the Promised Land, 99, 100, 101, 104. 

The couple were married on 26 Sep.  See BRDR, 1a:86, 128 (PCP-3, 236; PCP-4, 20).  The bride was only 18 years old.  The groom died soon after the marriage; Marie remarried at New Orleans in Jul 1780.  See NOAR, 3:151, 163 (SLC, M4, 87). 

Unfortunately for our story, the royal surgeon at San Gabriel did not name the young Acadian who wanted to work in the post's hospital. 

374a.  Quotation from Brasseaux, Founding of New Acadia, 103.

375.  Quotation from Brasseaux, ed., Quest for the Promised Land, 102.  See also Brasseaux, ed, p. 101.   

376.  Quotation from Brasseaux, ed., Quest for the Promised Land, 110.  See also Brasseaux, ed, p. 166; Oubre, Vacherie, 75-76. 

Brasseaux, Founding of New Acadia, 82, says that Honoré Braud, a leader of the Feb 1768 party, sailed to New Orleans aboard the Guinea, but other sources say the JaneVoorhies, J., Some Late Eighteenth-Century Louisianians, 200, includes an exact copy of a "Consular certificate granted at N. Potomack, Maryland, to the vessel Jane sailing to the Mississippi with 'one hundred and fifty French neutrals with baggages," December 17, 1767," so this is the Breau party.  See also Wood, Acadians in Maryland, 34.  The Acadians certainly chartered the Jane, under Master Richard Ryder, at Port Tobacco, MD, but perhaps they switched to the Guinea at Cap-Français, or perhaps the Guineau was a smaller vessel that took them from the mouth of the river to New Orleans. 

According to Honoré Breau's deposition, dated Nov 1768, in Brasseaux, ed., Quest for the Promised Land, 166, he & his brother Alexis, before they left MD, believed that LA was still under French rule.  "They would not have come," Honoré testified, "had they known that this colony belonged to Spain." 

Did the Algiers warehouse complex serve also as a kind of quarantine station for large parties of new arrivals? 

377.  See Appendix

378.  Quotations from Brasseaux, ed., Quest for the Promised Land, 110; Brasseaux, Founding of New Acadia, 82.  See also Brasseaux, Founding of New Acadia, 81, 166. 

379.  Quotations from Brasseaux, Founding of New Acadia, 83.  See also Brasseaux, ed., Quest for the Promised Land, 166-67. 

André Jung was a New Orleans merchant.  See Brasseaux, ed., p. 167n216. 

380.  Quotations from Brasseaux, ed., Quest for the Promised Land, 113, 114, 116; Brasseaux, Founding of New Acadia, 84.  See also Brasseaux, ed., Quest for the Promised Land, 110, 115. 

For more on Jacob Walker, see Brasseaux, ed, p. 121n158. 

381.  Quotation from Brasseaux, ed., Quest for the Promised Land, 116, 117, 120.  See also Brasseaux, ed., p. 119; Brasseaux, Founding of New Acadia, 84-85.

Brasseaux, ed, p. 181, notes that 10,000 Choctaw & Chickasaw warriors, allied with the British, lived "near Fort Panmure on the opposite riverbank" from Fort San Luìs.  Acadians fears of Indian attacks were not irrational, & Piernas was essentially lying to them when he insisted that the local Indians were not hostile. 

Piernas's efforts at Fort San Luìs de Natchez did not go unrewarded.  He went on to become captain in 1768, the same year he helped overawe the Acadians at his post, a major in 1776, a lieutenant colonel in 1782, and a colonel in 1785.  He also served as lieutenant governor of Louisiana from 1779-81, during Gálvez's governorship.  See Brasseaux, ed., p. 101m145. 

382.  Quotations from Brasseaux, Founding of New Acadia, 83-85See also Brasseaux, ed., Quest for the Promised Land, 119-20, 167-68. 

Brasseaux, Founding of New Acadia, 85, based on Honoré deposition in Brasseaux, ed., Quest for the Promised Land, 165-69, calls the delegate Joseph Breau a "cousin of the fugitives Alexis and Honoré," which contradicts Arsenault, Généalogie, 2439.  For more on Joseph Breau's struggle with the Spanish, see Brasseaux, Founding of New Acadia, 87.  For his family's plight while he was importuning Ulloa, see ibid.; Brasseaux, ed., Quest for the Promised Land, 143, 168-69. 

In a 25 Apr 1768 report to the governor, Commandant Judice complains about the actions of the Cabahannocer Acadians:  "Immediately upon my return, I hastened to execute the orders with which you have honored me regarding the two Acadian families [those of Alexis & Honoré Breau] who refused to obey your instructions.  I sent a man named Jacques Belfontaine [actually Jacques Godin dit Bellefontaine] and three other men to seize the two families and take them to New Orleans.  However, Sir, instead of executing my orders, these men warned those people, who chose to run away.  I believe that they have every intention of crossing to the English side (of the Mississippi) and of going to Natchez.  As soon as I was informed of their flight, I sent in pursuit well armed men in a boat, in conformity with your instructions, to bring them back here so that they could be sent to New Orleans."  Judice added this P. S.: "I forgot to mention that one of the two Acadian families in question repaired to Des Allemands."  See Brasseaux, ed., Quest for the Promised Land, 129-30, including note 172.  There is no evidence that Ulloa confiscated the property of, or deported, Jacques Godin, who was a bachelor.  It was Honoré who took his family to the German Coast. 

For Charles Gaudet, see Judice to Ulloa, dated 30 May & 6 Jun 1768.  Judice says that there were 2 other Acadians, unnamed, who assisted Godin & Gaudet in helping the Breaus escape.  See ibid., pp. 140-42, including notes 179, 180, & 182. 

383.  Quotation from Brasseaux, Founding of New Acadia, 85-86.  See also Brasseaux, ed., Quest for the Promised Land, 119n156, 130-31, 168-69. 

Lieutenant Piernas revealed an amazing ignorance of the Acadian mindset in many of his missives to Gov. Ulloa.  The report dated 28 Apr 1768 is especially revealing.  He says of the Acadians after the forced meeting of Apr 22 in which he had issued the governor's ultimatum:  "As a result, on the following day, the twenty-third of this month, they appeared, saying that they were sorry for the disapproval that they had shown and that they gladly agreed to be settled, abiding by all of Your Excellency's decisions.  They would have done this earlier if the three men [Joseph Breau & his unnamed companions] who had gone to confer with you had not influenced and motivated them to do what they did.  Not only in this matter, but also in many others, these three were the ones who shaped their destiny from the time they left their country to the present.  It was because of them that they had to endure the trip to New Orleans after having opposed all the favorable proposals (to remain in Maryland), against the judgment of the others.  Because of what has been explained, the survey of the land continues, and I have given orders to enable them to be settled as quickly as possible and to sow (their seed grain) this year."  The last sentence is especially revealing; in order to feed their families, these poor farmers, who came to Louisiana with only the shirts on their backs, would have done, or said, anything to appease this Spanish officer, who held the power of life or death over them.  That Piernas believed that Acadians could be so easily cowed, even by their own kind, speaks volumes of his understanding of their true nature.  See Brasseaux, ed., p. 131. 

384.  Quotation from Brasseaux, Founding of New Acadia, 87.  See also Brasseaux, ed., Quest for the Promised Land, 125n166, 129-30; footnote 382, above. 

Commandant Judice wrote to Gov. Ulloa on 29 Apr 1768:  "The Acadian detachment that I sent in pursuit of the fugitive Acadian families [those of Alexis & Honoré Breau], as described in my letter of the twenty-fifth, was only able to reach them at the English post of Manchac [Fort Bute], where they had taken refuge.  His Excellency the commander stated that whoever took refuge at his post would be welcome.  According to all appearances, all the people destined to settle at Natchez have chosen to cross to the English side.  I believe it is my duty, Sir, to inform you of these developments and to assure you of my zeal."  See Brasseaux, ed., Quest for the Promised Land, 132. 

For Brown's visit to Fort San Luìs, see Brasseaux, ed., Quest for the Promised Land, 131-32.  Piernas does not mention Brown's interviews with the local Acadians, so the Briton likely conducted them surreptitiously. 

There is no evidence that any of the Acadians at Fort San Luìs crossed to the British side of the river & remained there.  The Breau brothers did cross the river into British West FL, but only to escape Ulloa; they did not remain there.  

384a.  Quotations from Brasseaux, Founding of New Acadia, 86, 103. 

Piernas mustered the Fort San Luìs militia on May 24.  See Piernas to Ulloa, dated 29 May 1768, in Brasseaux, ed, pp. 139-40, in which he fails to identify the militia officers, saying only:  "On the twenty-fourth of this month, I gathered them together to organize the militia and, from among them, I selected the eldest and most respected person as their captain.  My selection was also based on his favorable disposition (toward the Spanish) and on the fact that he was the first to convey his regrets at the opposition of the others regarding settlement here.  (He indicated then that) he, his family, and his brother's family would remain at the settlement, even if his companions obtained Your Excellency's permission to relocate.  In view of these circumstances, I named him captain, and I had the other official positions, such as sergeant and corporal filled by lots cast by the eldest and most venerable (Acadians) in order to avoid any complaints and resentment should others be preferred because of their personality or other reasons.  Immediately after all were nominated, I had the arms and ammunition destined for the militia distributed among them.  I appeared in uniform and had the rest of the garrison dressed in theirs.  I raised the fort's flag and, having the complete company arrayed in formation, I recognized its officers, sergeants and corporals as indicated in the attached letter [not included], which I am sending to Your Excellency, so that you may know their names and numbers."  Piernas adds:  "To instill in them a sense of honor and to make the ceremonial organization more solemn, I observed the necessary formalities, and, in the king's name, I advised them of the distinguished honor that was conferred on them by naming it (the newly formed company) the Spanish militia of the Most Serene Princess of Asturias and they should be known as such.  This distinction should stimulate them to show gratitude and obedience in all that is asked of them in the royal service and in defense of the fort.  In response, they generally exhibited a positive attitude and appreciation, being very satisfied with this favor and all the others received."  Professor Brasseaux offers this wonderful piece of irony in note 178, p. 139:  "The Princess of Asturias [was] Maria Luisa of Parma (1751-1819), the wife of the future Carlos IV of Spain.  Carolos (1748-1819), the second son and heir of Carlos II, was named Prince of Asturias in August 1759.  He took Maria Luisa, the daughter of his uncle, Felipe, Prince of Parma, as his bride in 1764.  An 'outrageous flirt," she entered into numerous sexual liaisons with courtiers, the most notorious of which--with Manuel Godoy--had disastrous political consequences for Spain."  Needless to say, had the San Luìs Acadians known the true character of the princess, they would have enjoyed a good laugh ... out of the hearing of Piernas, of course.  So who was the captain of this oddly-named militia company?  The oldest male head of family in the Breau party was Alexis Breau, age 44 in 1768, but he was in hiding.  The next oldest was Basile Landry, age 41, whose brother Joseph, age 38, also was in the party; the Landry brothers, in fact, were married to Boudrot sisters.  Did the Landry brothers remain at Fort San Luìs when Ulloa's successor, O'Reilly, released the Acadians from the settlement?  Basile certainly did not.  He emigrated to the Attakapas District in 1770s.  If the militia captain was Basile Landry, one suspects that he played Piernas like a fine-tuned Acadian fiddle. 

385.  Quotations from Brasseaux, ed., Quest for the Promised Land, 125.  See also Brasseaux, Founding of New Acadia, 86. 

385a.  See Brasseaux, ed., Quest for the Promised Land, 124.

386.  Quotations from Brasseaux, ed., Quest for the Promised Land, 146, 157, 165. 

For the deaths of Marthe Clouâtre, Claire Trahan, Marguerite Dupuis, Jean-Baptiste Dupuis, & Marie Breau, see Brasseaux, ed., pp. 133, 142, 146, 159n206, 162, 163; BRDR, 1a:28 (PCP-3, 262; PCP-4, 31).  See also Brasseaux, ed., pp. 163, 165. 

For the likelihood that the Fort San Luìs Acadians suffered from malaria in the summer of 1768, see Brasseaux, ed., 146-47n188. 

Brasseaux, Founding of New Acadia, 103, points out that the chronic dysentery among the San Luìs Acadians was the result of an unsanitary water source

In Sep, Marguerite Breau, wife of François Babin, was sent downriver to Pointe Coupée in hopes that she could get better care there than she was getting at Fort San Luìs.  François accompanied his wife.  See Brasseaux, ed., pp. 162, 164.  Marguerite survived her ailment.  See Robichaux, Bayou Lafourche, 1770-98, 8, the Ascension census of 1770. 

Élisabeth Breau, age 25 when she came to the colony, & Anne-Gertrude Breau, age 23 in 1768, became Ursuline nuns soon after their mother Claire Trahan died.  Claire's youngest surviving daughter, Madeleine Breau, age 21 in 1768, married twice, first to Étienne Benoit at St.-Jacques in Jan 1771, & second to Michel Cormier, widow of Anne Sonnier & Catherine Stelly, & the author's paternal ancestor, at Opelousas in Feb 1789.  Élisabeth died at the Ursuline convent in May 1771, age 29.  Anne-Gertrude, who became Sister Marie Joseph, died probably at the Ursuline convent in 1818, age 72.  Madeleine died in Lafayette Parish in Sep 1825, age 78.  There is no evidence that Claire's oldest surviving child & only surviving son, Pierre Breau, ever married, so, except for its blood in a line of the Benoit family, Charles Breau's line of the Breau family did not survive in the Bayou State. 

386a.  For the Cabahannocer marriages, see Bourgeois, Cabanocey, 171-72.  The two non-Acadian spouses there were grooms--Jacques LaChaussée of Canada, who married Marie-Marthe LeBlanc, & Saturnin Bruno probably from Italy, who married Scholastique dite Collette Léger

For the San Luìs marriages, see Brasseaux, ed., Quest for the Promised Land, 137n175; BRDR, vol. 1b.  Note that the Breau party was more or less a large extended family & had been forced to live at a remote outpost.  As a result of being surrounded by so many cousins, these young women had a severely restricted pool of potential husbands.  Nor should one forget the tug of the exotic on the human heart.  Is it significant that none of these 6 Acadian brides had fathers who were still living?

For Sergeant Beloti's orders, see Brasseaux, ed., Quest for the Promised Land, 153. 

The only Acadian-Acadian marriage I have found at Fort San Luìs was Pierre Guédry's remarriage to Claire Babin on 23 Jan 1769.  Claire was Marie Babin's sister. 

387.  Quotation from Brasseaux, Founding of New Acadia, 86.  See also Brasseaux, ed., Quest for the Promised Land, 126n168, 132.

For Piernas's many letters to Ulloa from late Mar to early Sep, all of which mention the Acadians, see Brasseaux, ed., pp. 120-22, 127-40, 142, 146-50, 152-56; note 383, above. 

Ulloa & Piernas were so naive about the Acadians' true intentions that they expected more of them to settle at Fort San Luìs.  See Piernas to Ulloa, dated 3 Sep 1768, in Brasseaux, ed., p. 153. 

388.  Quotations from Brasseaux, ed., Quest for the Promised Land, 115, 127169, 128, 147-48, 158.  See also Brasseaux, ed., p. 114; Brasseaux, Foucault and the Rebellion of 1768, 72-73

The author's paternal ancestor, Michel Cormier, and his older brother Joseph, were among the 11 Opelousas petitioners.  Knowing, as I do, the Cormier temper, I can imagine what Michel and Joseph's reaction would have been to the governor's cold refusal. 

For an example of Ulloa's callousness towards the Germans, see a letter from Ulloa to Judice, dated 15 Sep 1768, in Brasseaux, ed., pp. 158-59, in which the governor tells the Cabahannocer commandant:  "German Coast residents ... must obtain a certificate from Mister D'Arensbourg, stating that they are young men who have no other landholdings.  I will not permit any of the Germans to leave their settlements."  See also Oubre, Vacherie, 77, 78.  Darensbourg was related to colonial Attorney General Lafrénière, an enemy of Ulloa, thru a niece whose husband was the attorney general's brother-in-law.  See Dawdy, Devil's Empire, 184.  Note that when Honoré Breau & his family took refuge on the German Coast during the spring of 1768 while eluding Ulloa, Darensbourg, who likely represented the attitude of his community, looked the other way. 

388a.  Quotation from Kinnaird, "The Revolutionary Period, 1765-81," 75-76

389.  Quotations from Brasseaux, Foucault and the Rebellion of 1768, 72-73.  See also Kinnaird, "The Revolutionary Period, 1765-81," pp. 77-81, Ulloa to Grimaldi, dated 26 Oct 1768, written on the eve of Ulloa's ouster & containing numerous references to disgruntled Acadians. 

390.  Quotations from Brasseaux, Founding of New Acadia, 88; Brasseaux, Foucault and the Rebellion of 1768, 80.  See also Brasseaux, Foucault and the Rebellion of 1768, 76-79.

Brasseaux, Founding of New Acadia, 88n38, says:  "The Acadians were apparently housed at the New Orleans residence of a man named Denville (Derneville?) on the night of October 28."  Denville = De Ville? 

391.  Quotations from Texada & Faraldo, transl. & ed., "Governor Alejandro O'Reilly's Voyage from Havana to New Orleans," p. 374; Brasseaux, ed., Quest for the Promised Land, 165, 168See also Brasseaux, ed., pp. 166-67, 169; Brasseaux, Founding of New Acadia, 88; Brasseaux, Foucault and the Rebellion of 1768, 84. 

Kinnaird, "The Revolutionary Period, 1765-81," pp. 81-82, Ulloa to Bucareli, dated 16 Nov 1768, was written at Isla Real Católica De San Carlos.  Kinnaird, pp. 83-84, Ulloa to Bucareli, dated 8 Dec 1768, was written from Havana. 

Kinnaird, p. 84, Loyola to Bucareli, dated 20 Apr 1769, shows that, despite the revolutionary decree of Oct 29, not all of the Spaniards were deported from New Orleans, among them Commissary Juan Josef de Loyola. 

392.  See Jehn, Acadian Exiles in the Colonies, 155; Wood, Acadians in Maryland, 180-81; Appendix for the 1769 arrivals.   

393.  See Jehn, Acadian Exiles in the Colonies, 152; Wood, Acadians in Maryland, 154, 186; Appendix

394.  See Appendix

395.  See Kinnaird, "The Revolutionary Period, 1765-81," pp. 140-42; Oubre, Vacherie, 76; Appendix

Why were Pierre Primeau and Susanne Plante listed with the Acadian families?  See Kinnaird, "The Revolutionary Period, 1765-81," pp. 141-42. 

The author is proud to say that he is a direct descendant on his mother's side of Honoré Trahan & Jacob Miller, as well as Pierre Primeau & Susanne Plante.  Troy Landry, the famous alligator hunter on History Channel's popular "Swamp People," is a direct descendant on his father's side of Nicolas Marcoff, whose family name evolved into Malbrough

396.  Quotations Kinnaird, "The Revolutionary Period, 1765-81," pp. 137-38.  See also Brasseaux, Founding of New Acadia, 104; De Quesada, Spanish Colonial Fortifications in North America, 46-47, which includes a short history & a color illustration of Presidio La Bahía, TX, c1767. 

Brasseaux says the Britain, as he calls the ship, landed at Matagorda Bay, which is adjacent to Espiritu Santo. 

An imaginative account of the voyage is quoted in Oubre, Vacherie, 76, which says that "at least one German, Jean Augustin Malbrough, was born during the captivity at San Antonio[sic]." 

397.  Quotation from Kinnaird, "The Revolutionary Period, 1765-81," p. 138.  See also Oubre, Vacherie, 76. 

398.  See Brasseaux, Foucault and the Rebellion of 1768, 84-85; O'Neill, "Bienville," 3:383; Oubre, Vacherie, 78, which implies, erroneously, that Bienville was still alive in late 1768. 

399.  See Brasseaux, Foucault and the Rebellion of 1768, 84; Wikipedia, "Alejandro O'Reilly." 

400.  Quotations from Texada & Faraldo, transl. & ed., "Governor Alejandro O'Reilly's Voyage from Havana to New Orleans," p. 375.  See also Brasseaux, Foucault and the Rebellion of 1768, 84-85; Brasseaux, Founding of New Acadia, 88, who says that "Acadians along the lower river joined their German neighbors in offering token resistance to Spanish Gov. Alejandro O'Reilly's two-thousand-man army of occupation in August, 1769"; McDermott, ed., The Spanish in the Mississippi Valley, 53, who says O'Reilly had 3,000 Spanish soldiers.

Texada & Faraldo, transl. & ed., pp. 371-75, details O'Reilly's voyage from Havana to LA, including the exact sailing position, as well as the name, of each vessel in the flotilla, an English translation of the captain-general's letter to the officials at New Orleans, & Bouligny's account of his voyage up to the city & back.  

Oubre, Vacherie, 78, gives O'Reilly 4500 Spanish soldiers!  He says that residents of the Acadian & German coasts "first determined to oppose the landing of the Spaniards," but says nothing of resistence, so common sense prevailed.  On p. 79, he cites a British source, Pittman, European Settlements, in asserting that many Germans & Acadians contemplated moving to the British side of the river to escape Spanish rule.  This did not happen of course. 

401.  Quotation from Brasseaux, Foucault and the Rebellion of 1768, 85.  See also Brasseaux, pp. 86-89; Oubre, Vacherie, 79. 

In France, Foucault, after a brief investigation, spent 18 months in the Bastille as a sop to the Spanish government.  He was released in late June 1771 & reinstated in the royal service.  The French Court even beseeched the Spanish government to restore his confiscated property in LA.  In 1772, Foucault finally received promotion from naval scribe to naval commissioner, which had been promised to him back in Apr 1765--hardly punishment for his actions against Ulloa.  Foucault served as ordonnateur at Pondichéry in French India in 1772.  In 1776, he was transferred to Mauritius, which the French called Île-de-France.  He retired from the royal service in Aug 1783 with a substantial pension and died at Tours, France, in 1803, age 79.  See Brasseaux, pp. 95-96. 

402.  See Brasseaux, Foucault and the Rebellion of 1768, 90.  Oubre, Vacherie, 79, adds Jean-Baptiste de Noyan, one of Bienville's nephews, to the conspirators who were executed by firing squad, but Brasseaux does not mention him even among those who were sentenced to long prison terms. 

402a.  See Kinnaird, "The Revolutionary Period, 1765-81," p. 140; Brasseaux, Founding of New Acadia, 104; Brasseaux, Scattered to the Wind, 67; <>, "Passengers on the Ship 'Britania'; <>, Glenn R. Conrad, "German Settlers in Louisiana"; Oubre, Vacherie, 76; Appendix

Kinnaird, p. 142, notes that, as the result of a decree issued by Gov. O'Reilly on 16 Nov 1769, the 16 families from MD, Acadian, German, & otherwise, were issued "sixteen large axes, sixteen hatchets, sixteen spades, sixteen iron pots, six drawing knives, and two hundred and sixty-seven pesos in money at the rate of three pesos to each person."  Since the Germans were heading to San Gabriel & would be part of the militia there, they also were issued "one gun, twelve gun-flints, and three pounds of powder." 

Robichaux, German Coast Families, 60, points out that these were the last Germans to migrate to LA during the colonial period.

Brasseaux, Founding of New Acadia, 104, implies that all of the Acadians who came to LA aboard Britannia were sent by the Unzaga government in mid-Apr 1770 to the west bank at San Gabriel, which would have been across the river from the original settlement near the fort.  His note 22, citing a primary sources, places them "on the west bank of the Mississippi River below Bayou Plaquemine."  The St. Gabriel census of 1777, however, places Olivier Benoit and his family on "the right bank, ascending," which would be the east bank of the river, though Étienne Rivet and his family were counted that year on "the left bank, ascending," which would have been the west bank.  See De Ville, St. Gabriel Census, 1777, 5, 9.  If Honoré Trahan & his relations had gone to the west bank of the river at San Gabriel or Ascension, they did not remain there long.  They first appear in LA census records not at St.-Gabriel but at Opelousas, in 1774.  See De Ville, Mississippi Valley Mélange, 1:39-40.

403.  Quotations from Brasseaux, Founding of New Acadia, 89, 104; Kinnaird, "The Revolutionary Period, 1765-81," p. 146.  See also Appendix.

The British having abandoned Fort Bute & their other lower Mississippi positions in the autumn of 1768, O'Reilly abandoned not only Fort San Luìs but also Fort San Gabriel, but he maintained the San Gabriel settlement with its Acadian  & German militia force.  See Frederick, "In Defense of Crown & Colony," 398; Kinnaird, p. 157; Rea, "The Career of Lt. John Thomas," pp. 9-10.  British abandonment of the lower Mississippi posts, as well as removal of their troops from West Florida, which proved to be temporary, had been ordered by Gen. Thomas Gage, commander-in-chief of British forces of North America, in June 1768.  Although the defenses at Fort Bute on Bayou Manchac were destroyed in the autumn of 1768 to deny them to an enemy, the post's buildings remained & were used by local British traders until Jan 1770, when the last of the traders abandoned the site.  In October 1771, a British Indian agent, retired artillery officer John Thomas, formerly a member of the garrison at Fort Bute, occupied the site of the dismantled fort with his family.  See Rea, pp. 9-10, 12-13. 

404.  See Brasseaux, Founding of New Acadia, 127; Clark, J. C., "New Orleans:  Its First Century of Economic Development," pp. 43-44; Frederick, "In Defense of Crown & Colony," 397; Kinnaird, "The Revolutionary Period, 1765-81," pp. 143, 157-59; McDermott, ed., The Spanish in the Mississippi Valley, 53-55; Oubre, Vacherie, 80. 

The Recopilación de las leyes de lost reynos de las Indias, or Recapitulation of the King's Laws Relating to the Indies, began under Philip II in 1570 & was completed in 1680.  It "embodied all of the various rules, orders, and separate instructions which the Spanish rulers had issued pertaining to the American colonies."  See McDermott, ed., p. 55. 

C. Richard Arenas, in McDermott, ed., p. 53, points out that "the practical politician O'Reilly did not ignore the importance of the French laws and practices of long usage.  He published a summary of the Spanish code in French, which language he continued to use when communicating with the various French-speaking post comandantes.  Whenever possible he even settled local disputes in accordance with the local customs of the place where they occurred, without referring them to the proper judicial tribunals."  Arenas concludes:  "Governor O'Reilly skillfully blended the use of intimidation and peaceful persuasion into an effective policy designed to achieve his aims." 

In LA, the Spanish would continue the French policy of granting, not selling, public land.  Not until the Americans arrived would LA colonists have to pay for public land acquired directly from the government.  See McDermott, ed., p. 54. 

405.  See Brasseaux, Founding of New Acadia, 167ff; Kinnaird, "The Revolutionary Period, 1765-81," pp. 143, 151, 157-59; McDermott, ed., The Spanish in the Mississippi Valley, 53. 

In one of his softer measures, belying his later sobriquet "Bloody O'Reilly," the general-turned-governor pardoned Darensbourg, ordered him to sell his property on the German Coast & to reside peacefully in New Orleans, where the old fellow died in 1779, age 83.  See Robichaux, German Coast Families, 142. 

After O'Reilly took formal control of the colony in Aug 1769, Charles-Philippe Aubry's work was done.  He left the colony late that year, after helping to interrogate his enemy Foucault, but his fate was very different from Foucault's.  Aubry died in the wreck of the Père de Famille off Bordeaux, France, on 17 February 1770, within sight of home.  See Brasseaux, "Aubry," 22-23.  Aubry evidently departed LA with 2 chests full of Spanish silver as a reward for helping O'Reilly.  See Brasseaux, Foucault and the Rebellion of 1768, 87n51.  Aubry never married. 

Gov. Gálvez appointed Louis-Charles DeBlanc of Natchitoches--another French Creole--as commandant of Attakapas.  See Laussat, Memoirs, 82. 

406.  See Appendix for Numbers; Appendix for Families; Appendix for Caribbean Basin.  

This would change, of course, in 1785, when most of the Acadians in France came to LA.  See Clark, A. H., Acadia, viii. 

407.  Quotations from Brasseaux, Founding of New Acadia, 98.  See also Brasseaux, pp. 99, 171. 

408.  See De Ville, Opelousas Post Census, 1771, 9, in which Joseph is erroneously called "Jean Bapte."; De Ville, Mississippi Valley Mélange, 1:39-40, the 1774 census; De Ville, Southwest LA Families, 1777, 22, 25; note 388, above; Book Two; Cormier Family Page.   

Poteaux-en-terre, or post in ground, also called earthfast contruction, means that the supporting posts for the house were sunk into the soil, so that the house essentially had no foundation.  Bousillage is a clay-&-retted Spanish moss mixture packed between the exterior & interior walls of a half-timbered house that served as effective insulation.  Early settlers in Louisiana learned the technique from local Indians. 

409.  See De Ville, Southwest LA Families, 1777, 20, 22, 24, 25, 26. 

Ages here are not always the ones given in the censuses but are calculated from other sources as well.  Surname spellings are those currently used in LA. 

410.  Quotation from Brasseaux, Founding of New Acadia, 92.  See also Brasseaux, pp. 93-94, 171; notes 323, 326, 349, above; Book Four. 

411.  See De Ville, Attakapas Post Census, 1771; Voorhies, J., Some Late Eighteenth-Century Louisianians, 280-82; De Ville, Southwest LA Families, 1777, 8-15; Broussard Family Page  

Ages here are not always the ones given in the censuses.  Surname spellings are those currently used in LA. 

411a.  See De Ville, Southwest LA Families, 1777

Ages here are not always the ones given in the censuses.  Surname spellings are those currently used in LA. 

412.  See De Ville, Attakapas Post Census, 1771; Voorhies, J., Some Late Eighteenth-Century Louisianians, 281-82; De Ville, Southwest LA Families, 1777, 8, 9, 12-15. 

Ages here are not always the ones given in the censuses.  Surname spellings are those currently used in LA. 

413.  Quotations from Brasseaux, Founding of New Acadia, 103, 106.  See also Brasseaux, pp. 114-15; note 411a, above. 

414.  See De Ville, St. Gabriel Census, 1777, 1-12. 

Ages here are not always the ones given in the censuses.  Surname spellings are those currently used in LA. 

414a.  See De Ville, St. James Census, 1777, 21. 

Ages here are not always the ones given in the censuses.  Surname spellings are those currently used in LA. 

414b.  Brasseaux, Founding of New Acadia, 121, concludes:  "Within ten years most of the exiles attained a standard of living at least equal to that of predipersal Nova Scotia.  In 1777, for example, the typical Acadian resident of Ascension Parish owned 14.7 cattle, 11.59 hogs, and 1.03 sheep.  These figures compare favorably with corresponding ones--12.7 cattle, 8.95 hogs, and 12.04 sheep--enumerated in the 1701 census of Mines, the area from which most of the immigrants of the late 1760s were drawn.  As the void created by the dearth of sheep was filled by large flocks of chickens (22.1 in the average household in 1772), the median holdings in New Acadia [along the river in the 1770s] were at least on par with those of veille Acadie."  See also Brasseaux, p. 191. 

415.  See Robichaux, Bayou Lafourche, 1770-98, 9-19. 

Ages here are not always the ones given in the censuses.  Surname spellings are those currently used in LA. 

416.  Quotations from Brasseaux, Founding of New Acadia, 157, 161-62.  See also Brasseaux, chap. 8, entitled "Acadian Anticlericalism," which includes, on pp. 155-56, a summation of the Acadians' relationship with the Church in Acadia/Nova Scotia:  "Acadians had come to view the Catholic church in the same light as the colonial government--that is, an agency established solely to provide essential services.  Such services were to be provided without disruption of the parishioners' routine secular activities and without undue financial burden.  Any deviation from this conceptual framework precipitated spontaneous outbursts....  For many if not most late seventeenth- and eighteenth-century Acadians, Catholic missionaries were shadowy figures who provided the settlers minimal contact with the church hierarchy.  Forced to fend for themselves, even to the point of conducting paraliturgical services, the immigrants ultimately came to divorce religion from the area's traditionally dominant religious institution.  Priests consequently became little more than petty religious administrators, stripped of their cloak of religious invincibility and vulnerable to personal criticism....  Prevailing predispersal attitudes toward the church remained unchanged at the time of the Acadians' arrival in Louisiana." 

See Brasseaux, pp. 158-59, for two examples of Acadian men clashing with their parish priests. 

417.  See Baudier, The Catholic Church in LA, 171, 190-91; Brasseaux, ed., Quest for the Promised Land, 145; Griffin, Attakapas Country, 215; Hébert, D., Southwest LA Records, 1-A:615; <>, now closed; Appendix.

Brasseaux, Founding of New Acadia, 156, calls Fr. Jean-François "a habitual gambler only recently returned from exile at Mobile," & concludes that "the errant missionary abandoned his post [at Attakapas] only a few months after his appointment, perhaps because of the epidemic then raging among his parishioners.  He failed to return, and the chronically understaffed Capuchin order, the only missionary society remaining active in Louisiana during the late 1760s, failed to secure a replacement." 

For the controversy between Fr. Bernardo de Deva & Attakapas commandant Jean Delavillebeuvre over the placement of the church building in 1791, see De Ville, Mississippi Valley Mélange, 2:63-65.  Fr. de Deval served the parish only from 1790-92, so he must have lost the argument with the commandant. 

418.  Quotation from Brasseaux, Founding of New Acadia, 157.  See also Baudier, The Catholic Church in LA, passim; Appendix.

419.  Quotations from Brasseaux, ed., Quest for the Promised Land, 103, 105-06, 145; Clark, Acadia, 195.  See also Baudier, The Catholic Church in LA, 182; Bourgeois, Cabanocey, 171-72; Brasseaux, Founding of New Acadia, 156, 167-169; Brasseaux, ed., Quest for the Promised Land, 130; Voorhies, J., Some Late Eighteenth-Century Louisianians, 424-25; Appendix.

Bourgeois, p. 9, insists that Jacques Cantrelle not only donated land for the church at St.-Jacques, but also built it.  Oubre, Vacherie, 64, disagrees:  "His [Jacques Cantrelle's] lands extended from below the present St. James Catholic Church down to around St. James Co-Op Sugar Mill, above present St. James High School....  Above his property, there was a tract of land identified on the census [at Cabahannocer in Apr 1766] on which there were no church or buildings of any kind.  Accordingly, Cantrelle's lands and the lands designated for a church were two separate entities.  It was not necessary for Cantrelle to donate land.  The lands for a future church were apparently assigned before Cantrelle arrived on the scene [Oubre says not until 1765-66], at a point when there were already several groups of Acadians who had settled, and it is incorrect that he gave land for a church."  See also ibid., p. 63.  For the 1766 census reference to 4 arpents of land "For the parish," on which also was listed 6 head of cattle & places it between Jacques Cantrelle & Louis Judice, see Bourgeois, p. 162; Voorhies, J., Some Late Eighteenth-Century Louisianians, 116, the same census, calls the piece of land for the church "The Rectory," lists no cattle, & also places it between Santhiago Canterelle & Luis Judice

Co-commandant Judice lived on the west bank of the river at Cabahannocer. 

420.  See Baudier, The Catholic Church in LA; Appendix.

Louis Judice, in fact, remarried to an Acadian, Marie-Henriette Rassicot, widow of Pierre Lecompte and native of Cherbourg, France, at Ascension church on 19 Jun 1795, when he was 64 years old & still commanding the Ascension district.  The Ascension priest who recorded the marriage calls him "Captain of German Coast Militia, Commandant of this District."  The bride was only 25 years old!  She had come to LA from France in 1785 aboard L'Amitié.  See BRDR, 2:395, 616 (ASC-2, 64), for the marriage record. 

421.  See Baudier, The Catholic Church in LA; Appendix.

422.  See Baudier, The Catholic Church in LA; Appendix.

423.  See Baudier, The Catholic Church in LA, 190, 238-39; De Ville, Opelousas History, 18; Appendix.

424.  See Baudier, The Catholic Church in LA; Din, Canary Islanders of LA, chap. 3; Kinnaird, "The Revolutionary Period, 1765-81," pp. xxvii-xxix, 326-27; Appendix.

In the early 1790s, Gov. Carondelet sent a few recently-arrived German Catholic families to Galveztown & promised to send more until they reached 100 in number.  See note 519, below. 

425.  For the clash between Acadians & Creoles in LA, see Brasseaux, Founding of New Acadia, chap. 9. 

426.  The early-married couples were Amand Thibodeau & Gertrude Bourg on Feb 17; Pierre Darois & Marie Bourgeois on Apr 8; Joseph Girouard & Ursule Trahan on Apr 8; François-Joseph Savoie, a widower, & Marie Landry on Jul 22; & Joseph Gaudet & Marguerite Bourgeois on Dec 10.  See NOAR, 2:31, 261 (SLC, B5, 185, & M2, 15); NOAR, 2:31, 66, 136, 267 (SLC, B5, 185 & M2, 16); NOAR, 2:167, 251 (SLC, B5, 188 & M2, 19); NOAR, 2:31, 134 (SLC, B2, 189 & M2, 20). 

For the Cabahannocer marriages of 1766-68, see Bourgeois, Cabanocey, 171-72; Voorhies, J., Some Late Eighteenth-Century Louisianians, 424-25.  This list also includes 6 marriages of Cabahannocer couples conducted at New Orleans, with only one date given, all of them endogamous. 

The non-Acadian grooms at Cabahannocer were Jacques Lachaussée, fils, a Canadian (no kin to "Acadian" Philippe de Saint-Julien Lachaussée) who married a LeBlanc, & Saturnin Bruno, perhaps an Italian, who married a Léger.  See Voorhies, J., p. 425. 

See also Appendix

427.  See Bourgeois, Cabanocey, 171; BRDR, 1a:86, 128 (PCP-3, 236; PCP-4, 20); BRDR, 1b:28, 170 (PCP-3, 249; PCP-4, 25); BRDR,  1b:30-31, 36-37 (PCP-4, 33; PCP-3, 268); BRDR, 1b:124, 169 (PCP-4, 35; PCP-3, 272); BRDR, 2:104, 608 (PCP-2, part 2, 110; PCP-4, 71); BRDR, 2:168, 202, 722 (SJA-1, 43; ASC-1, 139); BRDR, 2:297, 704 (PCP-2, part 2, 140); BRDR, 2:560 (SJA-1, 39); BRDR, 2:154 556 (SJA-1, 43); BRDR, 2:183, 226-27 (SJA-1, 44a); BRDR, 2:291, 521 (SJA-1, 48); BRDR, 2:290, 521 (SJA-1, 51a); BRDR, 2:141, 390 (ASC-1, 121); BRDR, 2:168, 715 (ASC-1, 155); Hébert, D., Southwest LA Records, 1-A: 58, 367-68 (LSAR: Opel.: 1766-3); Hébert, D., 1-A:80, 546 (SM Ct.Hse.: OA-vol. 1, #3); Hébert, D., 1-A:131, 559-60 (SM Ch.: Folio F); NOAR, 2:159, 261 (SLC, M2, 21); NOAR, 2:6, 40 (SLC, B5, 190); NOAR, 2:17, 163 (SLC, M2, 27); NOAR, 2:167, 255 (SLC, M2, 38 & 41); Voorhies, J., Some Late Eighteenth-Century Louisianians, 425; Appendix

See note 386a, above, for more exogamous marriages between Acadian brides & Spanish soldiers at Fort San Luìs de Natchez in 1768. 

For Schaaf/Chaufe/Chauffe, see Robichaux, German Coast Families, 308-12. 

The Cormier/Stelly marriage was not recorded, per se, but evidence of it can be found in the church records contained in Father's Hébert's Southwest LA Records, vol. 1-A.  See also Robichaux, pp. 329-32.  I am proud to say that they are my paternal ancestors. 

428.  Quotation from Conrad, Attakapas Domesday Book, xxiv. 

As this author's Acadian marriage study shows, during the 90-plus years from Feb 1765 thru Dec 1861, the exogamous rate among Acadians (based on surname) across 16,079 recorded marriages was a remarkable 38.1 %.  See Appendix.

429.  Quotation from McDermott, ed., The Spanish in the Mississippi Valley, 57.  See also Din, Canary Islanders of LA, 15; Kinnaird, "The Revolutionary Period, 1765-81," p. xxvii.

429a.  See Din, Canary Islanders of LA. 

430.  See Din, Canary Islanders of LA.  St.-Maxent was the merchant who had been tasked by French officials to redeem Canadian card money for the newly-arrived Acadians back in 1765. 

Winzerling, Acadian Odyssey, 151, says that on 20 Sep 1785, while the 7 ships' expeditions were arriving in the colony, Spanish Intendente Navarro appointed Lieutenant Nicolas Verret (he did not include a fils in his name) "to help guide the new colonists in their building program" on Bayou Lafourche, granting Verret a salary of $500 per year.  "He [Verret] acquitted himself so well in that duty that on May 8, 1786, Count de Gálvez appointed him commandant of the district of Valenzuela."  So who commanded the district between 1784, after Anselme Blanchard stepped down, & May 1786?  Winzerling does not say.  Din, p. 74, a more recent work, citing primary sources, says that Gov. Miró appointed Verret, fils as commandant of Valenzuéla in 1784, which is followed here. 

431.  See Din, Canary Islanders of LA; De Ville, Mississippi Valley Mélange, 2:32. 

432.  See Din, Canary Islanders of LA

433.  See Bergerie, They Tasted Bayou Water; Brasseaux & Fontenot, Steamboats on Louisiana's Bayous, chap. 3; Din, Canary Islanders of LA, chap. 4; Hébert, D., Southwest LA Records, 1-A:805-19, a list of the Malagueños settlers at New Iberia taken from Spanish archives.

Bouligny had come to the colony with O'Reilly in 1769.  His service in LA did not end with his efforts on the lower Teche.  Twenty years later, in 1799, he served as acting governor of Spanish LA after Manuel Gayoso de Lemos y Amorin, who had served as governor since 1797, died in office.  Bouligny died in 1800, age 64.

Bergerie's appendices contain English translations of contracts signed by Malagueños settlers on the eve of their departure for Spanish America & communications between Bouligny & Gov. Gálvez. 

For Fr. Grumeau's service at New Iberia, see Hébert, D., 1-A:814.  There was no resident priest at Attakapas Post until 1781, so the priest from Opelousas served a missionary in the Attakapas District. 

For Abscher/Abshire, see Hébert, D., 1-A:1-3, 815.  For Beard, see Hébert, D., 1-A:40, 815.  Abshire married a Hargrave from VA, but Beard seems to have been married to a fellow native of Ireland, Brigit Kennon, when he came to LA. 

433a.  Quotation from De Ville, St. Gabriel Census, 1777, Introduction by John J. Pastorek, [ii-viii], [v], citing J. W. Caughey's Bernardo De Galvez in Louisiana: 1776-1783.  See also Eric Beerman, "Victory on the Mississippi, 1779," in The Spanish Presence in LA, pp. 192-202; Kinnaird, "The Revolutionary Period, 1765-81," xxviii; online Wikipedia, "Capture of Fort Bute"

433b.  Quotation from De Ville, Mississippi Valley Mélange, 2:53.  See also Beerman, "Victory on the Mississippi, 1779"; Kinnaird, "The Revolutionary Period, 1765-81," pp. xxvi-xxvii.  

Spain came into the war as an ally of France, but a friend of a friend is still a friend. 

433c.  Quotations from De Ville, Mississippi Valley Mélange, 2:50, 53. 

433d.  See Beerman, "Victory on the Mississippi, 1779." 

433e.  See De Ville, Mississippi Valley Mélange, 50-52, 54-56, for Gov. Gálvez's militia rosters from the German & Acadian coasts & the 2 prairie districts.  The men are listed here in the order in which they appear in the rosters, but the spelling of their names has been standardized. 

433f.  See Rea, "The Career of Lt. John Thomas," pp. 9-35; online Wikipedia, "British West Florida"; online Wikipedia, "Capture of Fort Bute"; note 367, above.   

Thomas was dismissed as an Indian agent in 1772, as much for fighting with local British traders (he killed one of them in self-defense!) as for his ill-advised dealings with the Indians.  Amazingly, Thomas, a demonstrably unstable fellow, was restored to the post at Manchac in 1773.  See Rea, pp. 25-35. 

434.  Quotation from Beerman, "Victory on the Mississippi, 1779," p. 199.  See also Albert W. Haarmann, "The Spanish Conquest of British West Florida, 17791781," in The Spanish Presence in LA, pp. 203-18; Kinnaird, "The Revolutionary Period, 1765-81," pp. xxviii-xxx.

British Fort Charlotte, the former French Fort Condé, at Mobile surrendered to Gálvez in early Mar 1780.  Gálvez captured British Pensacola in May 1781.  See Kinnaird, "The Revolutionary Period, 1765-81," pp. xxix-xxx. After 1783, Pensacola served as the capital of a resurrected Spanish West Florida. 

Gálvez's rosters for the Acadian Coast companies, cited above in De Ville, Mississippi Valley Mélange, 2:50-52, do not contain the names of either Jean-Baptiste dit Petit Hébert & Mathurin Landry, both married men, ages 37 and 24, respectively, the latter married for only a few months.  These rosters, then, are probably incomplete as to the actual number of Acadians who were a part of the expedition.  According to Beerman, p. 199, Petit-Jean Hébert's widow continued to receive his Spanish pension after he died; Beerman says he died in 1798, but Petit-Jean died in Apr 1797, age 55.  See BRDR, 2:364 (ASC-4, 28), for his burial record, which calls him Juan [Hébert], "husband of Marie de Pui [Dupuis] of Iberville Parish" & is dated 20 Apr 1797. 

435.  Brasseaux, Founding of New Acadia, 106, says:  "The absence of significant Acadian immigration between 1769 and 1785, the land surveys of 1771 and 1772, the issuance of formal land grants in 1775 and 1776, and the imposition of increasingly stringent restrictions on intracolonial movement by Governor Luis de Unzaga and Bernardo de Gálvez interacted to confine the overwhelming majority of river and upper Lafourche Acadians to their original homesites until the 1790s."  This means that whatever movement there would have been upriver from the original St.-Gabriel settlement areas during the late 1770s & early 1780s would have been limited. 

436.  See Brasseaux, Founding of New Acadia, 114-15.

436a.  See Clark, J. C., "New Orleans:  Its First Century of Economic Development," p. 43; Winzerling, Acadian Odyssey, 131.

437.  Quotation from Brasseaux, Founding of New Acadia, 113-14.  See also Brasseaux, p. 106. 

Brasseaux says that most of the Acadian families who first settled lower down on Bayou Lafourche had come from MD in 1767.  Acadian families in the Valenzuéla census of Jan 1788 who had come to LA before 1785 included those of Anselme Le Borgne de Bélisle (who had come to the colony in 1767), François-Sébastien Landry (1767); François Simoneaux, whose wife was Acadian (1766); Joseph Simoneaux, François's son, whose wife also was Acadian; Simon Simoneaux, another of François's sons, whose wife was Acadian; Joseph Landry (1766); Firmin Babin (1768); Joseph Comeaux (1768); Pierre dit Vielliarde Landry (1766); Germain Bergeron (1765); & Jean-Baptiste Sonnier (1765).  See Robichaux, Bayou Lafourche, 1770-98, 23-24, 43.  Note that only 2 of them came to the colony in 1767.  Brasseaux says that these families settled along the west bank of the bayou from present-day Donaldsonville down to Labadieville.  Since the Jan 1788 census was the first general one taken on the Lafourche, one wonders when Brasseaux's "at least eighteen families," elsewhere counted at 17, resettled on the bayou & who were the heads of the other families not listed in this footnote. 

438.  See Beers, French & Spanish Records of LA, 28; Brasseaux, Founding of New Acadia, 107; Kinnaird, "The Revolutionary Period, 1765-81," p. xvi; Winzerling, Acadian Odyssey, 131.

Navarro was born at La Caruna on 20 Nov 1738, son of Vincente Navarro & Catalina Blanco.  He served as contador of LA from 1770-79, alcade, or mayor, of New Orleans in 1778, & intendente from 1779.  See Light T. Cummins, "Navarro, Felix Martin Antonio," in DLB, p. 596; <>, Dictionary of LA Biography, who says that Navarro was intendente until 1788; Winzerling, p. 160, says he was replaced by Juan Ventura Morales in Apr 1786.  The Spanish intendente in LA did not become independent of the governor's authority, like a French intendant or commissaire-ordonnateur, until Dec 1786.  See Beers, p. 29. 

439.  Quotations from Brasseaux, Founding of New Acadia, 107, 108; Winzerling, Acadian Odyssey, 131.  See also Winzerling, pp. 126, 133. 

440.  Quotations from Winzerling, Acadian Odyssey, 132.  See also Brasseaux, Founding of New Acadia, 108. 

Blanchard's mother was a Thériot.  His wife was a LeBlanc.  All 3 of those families were well-represented in the 7 Ships' expeditiond.  Blanchard's compensation as commissioner for the care of the new Acadian arrivals was $500 a year, so his appointment was long-term.  See Winzerling, p. 132. 

441.  Quotations from Winzerling, Acadian Odyssey, 133; Brasseaux, Founding of New Acadia, 109.  See also Brasseaux, p. 211; Hébert, D., Acadian Families in Exile 1785, 2-11; Appendix

Fr. Hébert's study is the most recent & most complete listing for the 7 Ships' expeditions.  All of the ships' embarkation lists & most of the debarkation rolls have survived, but the debarkation list for Le St.-Rémi has not been found. 

Several of the Bon Papa families were headed by widows. 

442.  Quotations from Winzerling, Acadian Odyssey, 133. 

443.  Quotations from Winzerling, Acadian Odyssey, 134-35.  See Winzerling, chap. 7, for the Corsica mess that pitted Acadian against Acadian in 1777. 

444.  See Winzerling, Acadian Odyssey, 135-36, 140; Hébert, D., Acadian Families in Exile 1785, 12-29; Appendix for Lafourche; Appendix for Attakapas; Appendix for Opelousas. 

445.  Quotation from Winzerling, Acadian Odyssey, 137.  See also Winzerling, p. 136; Brasseaux, Founding of New Acadia, 110-11

446.  See Winzerling, Acadian Odyssey, 136-37.

447.  See Winzerling, Acadian Odyssey, 137, 157-58. 

447a.  Quotation from Winzerling, Acadian Odyssey, 137

448.  See Hébert, D., Acadian Families in Exile 1785, 30-41; Appendix.

449.  Quotation from Winzerling, Acadian Odyssey, 138.  See also Brasseaux, Founding of New Acadia, 111. 

My numbers for Beaumont passengers going to Lafourche & Attakapas differ slightly from Winzerling's.  See Appendix for Lafourche, & Appendix for Attakapas.  For Acadians from Le Beaumont who went to St.-Jacques, see Appendix

449a.  See Winzerling, Acadian Odyssey, 158; Voorhies, J., Some Late Eighteenth-Century Louisianians, 527. 

Miró's successor as governor, Baron de Carondelet, recruited Peyroux in the early 1790s to lure more Roman Catholic settlers to LA, but Peyroux's greed got the best of him, & the mission failed.  See note 519, below.  

450.  Quotation from Winzerling, Acadian Odyssey, 139. 

451.  Quotations from Winzerling, Acadian Odyssey, 139-41. 

Winzerling, p. 140, does not say where the new hall was built, but on p. 143 he refers to the St.-Rémi village camp "on the other side of the river," which would have been Algiers. 

For the listing of 16 families under the title "Those from Morlaix arriving at Paimboeuf in order to embark on the same ship," see Hébert, D., Acadian Families in Exile 1785, 57-59.  It stands to reason that if Le St.-Rémi carried baggage for the passengers aboard La Bergère, which had left Paimboeuf on May 14, Le St.-Rémi would have gone to that port after leaving St.-Malo, unless the 16 families from Morlaix & the extra baggage were transported overland across Brittany to St.-Malo, which would have cost more than sailing a fast frigate around to the other side of the peninsula.  One also has to wonder why Acadians from Morlaix journeyed to Paimboeuf to catch a ship, since Morlaix, located on the north side of Brittany, is closer to St.-Malo than to Nantes. 

452.  See Hébert, D., Acadian Families in Exile 1785, 42-65. 

The debarkation list for St.-Rémi did not survive unfortunately.  See Winzerling, Acadian Odyssey, 145, for the number of stowaways aboard the vessel. 

453.  Quotations from Winzerling, Acadian Odyssey, 141-42.   

454.  Quotation from Winzerling, Acadian Odyssey, 142.   

455.  See Winzerling, Acadian Odyssey, 143-44; Brasseaux, Founding of New Acadia, 111; Appendix for Lafourche; Appendix for Attakapas. 

This researcher has not been able to find the names of the St.-Rémi passengers who went to Nueva Gálvez & Baton Rouge. 

Winzerling, p. 144, says that Navarro appointed Anselme Blanchard as commandant of the Acadians at Lafourche, implying that it happened in late 1785.  Winzerling may be confusing Blanchard's tenure as commandant of the Valenzuéla District in 1781-84, before the Acadians arrived from France, with his appointment as commander of the St.-Rémi resettlement effort in late 1785 & early 1786.  Evidence shows that in late 1785 Nicolas Verret, fils was still commandant of the Valenzuéla District, which ran from just south of the confluence with the Mississippi all the way down Bayou Lafourche.  Winzerling goes on to say about Blanchard:  "To the Acadians of La Fourche, Blanchard not only showed himself a deeply interested commandant and advisor in the successful establishment of the colony, but also a kind, sympathetic, and able administrator.  In his patronage of the Acadians he was next to Martin Navarro as a promoter and colonizer of Louisiana."  High praise indeed.

456.  See Winzerling, Acadian Odyssey, 144. 

457.  Quotations from Winzerling, Acadian Odyssey, 145-46. 

458.  Quotations from Winzerling, Acadian Odyssey, 145-46.  

459.  See Hébert, D., Acadian Families in Exile 1785, 66-85. 

460.  See Brasseaux, Founding of New Acadia, 111; Kinnaird, "Post War Decade, 1782-91," p. 169; Winzerling, Acadian Odyssey, 146-47. 

My figures for the number of L'Amitié passengers going to Nueva Gálvez, which, like Winzerling, also counts non-Acadians, differs substantially from his 37 families with 54 members.  See Appendix.  My numbers going to Attakapas--4 families with 20 members--also differs slightly from Winzerling.  See Appendix

461.  Winzerling, Acadian Odyssey, 147, says La Ville d'Archangel left St.-Malo in "mid-August." 

462.  Quotations from Winzerling, Acadian Odyssey, 147-49.  See also Winzerling, p. 150. 

Winzerling, p. 147, says that La Ville d'Archangel reached La Balize on Nov 4.  

The ships' debarkation list is dated 3 Dec 1785, which means it was not made until the ship finally reached New Orleans.  See Winzerling, p. 147; Hébert, D., Acadian Families in Exile 1785, 86. 

462a.  See Winzerling, Acadian Odyssey, 150. 

463.  See Hébert, D., Acadian Families in Exile 1785, 86-105; Winzerling, Acadian Odyssey, 149-50; Appendix

464.  See Brasseaux, Founding of New Acadia, 111; Winzerling, Acadian Odyssey, 149-50. 

Based on surnames, only 23 of the Ville d'Archangel passengers who went to Bayou Lafourche were Acadians.  The others bore French surnames--Hervé, Langlinais, & Nogues.  I am proud to say that I am a direct descendent on my father's side of Jean-Louis Langlinais, stepson of Jacques Mius d'Entremont; after he came of age, Jean-Louis left the Lafourche & moved to the Attakapas District, where he married Acadian Céleste, daughter of Acadian René dit Petit-René LeBlanc, who had come to the colony in Feb 1765 with the Broussards.  Jean-Louis is the progenitor of the Langlinais family of southwest LA.  See BRDR, vol. 2; Hébert, D., Southwest LA Records, vols. 1-A, 1-B, 2-A, 2-B; 2-C.

464a.  Quotation from Winzerling, Acadian Odyssey, 152.  See also Winzerling, p. 151. 

465.  Quotations from Winzerling, Acadian Odyssey, 151.  See also Winzerling, p. 150. 

466.  See Brasseaux, Founding of New Acadia, 111; Hébert, D., Acadian Families in Exile 1785, 106-111; Winzerling, Acadian Odyssey, 151; Appendix.

467.  See <>; Kinnaird, "Post War Decade, 1782-91," p. 169. 

For this researchers numbers, see Appendix & Appendix

Winzerling, Acadian Odyssey, 153-54, says that Count de Aranda counted 1,596 Acadians going from France to LA, more than the number reported by Navarro, but then the count revised his official report to 1,574.  Intentende Navarro's report, cited above, gives a total of 1,587 individuals coming LA.  Moreover, Navarro's report lists 375 families embarked in France but 429 families in LA.  This larger number reflects his generosity in granting head-of-family status to Acadians who arrived in LA ahead of other members of their families. Winzerling, p. 142, writes:  "Navarro did all in his power to reunite families and relatives.  Many Acadians became separated from one another in their haste to be among the first to leave for Louisiana.  When Spain's humane treatment of the exiles in Louisiana was learned abroad, family heads would make any sacrifice to leave France as fast as possible in order to be among the first to receive Spain's grant of arable land in Louisiana.  As a consequence D'Aspres reported that there was considerable confusion at times among the Acadians awaiting transportation.  They knew that ultimately they would find their respective families, but until then the loneliness was heavy, and eagerness to get settled made it all the more so.  To heal all wounds Navarro granted these lonesome persons the rights of family head, which meant a subsidy of ten cents [per day] instead of seven and a half cents."  No wonder they loved him so much! 

Aranda's report lists 85 dead & 12 desertions, offset by 39 births & 15 "immigrants."  His goal had been 1,700 Acadians.  According to Winzerling, p. 154:  "His [Aranda's] failure to secure that quota of colonists was one reason for his postponing their removal from December, 1784, to May, 1785." 

For contradictions in the various Spanish reports, especially concerning stowaways, see Winzerling, pp. 155-56.  Aranda's final figure, counting the stowaways aboard Le St.-Rémi & L'Amitié, rose to 1,624, but most of these stowaways were not Acadians. 

Winzerling, p. 153, claims that "As an integral attempt, the Acadian colonization in Louisiana surpassed by many hundreds kindred attempts such as that by the Pilgrim fathers in 1620 and the Massachusetts Bay Company in 1629.  Spain and Louisiana share the unique distinction of having staged the world's largest trans-Atlantic colonization project on the North American continent."  Not quite.  The English outdid the Spanish ... twice.  In June 1629, 5 ships arrived at Salem in Massachusetts Bay colony bearing 400 settlers, including the Puritan leader, John Winthrop.  The next year, 17 more ships arrived in the colony bearing 1,000 more settlers.  From 1630-42, some 16,000 settlers migrated from England to Massachusetts Bay, dwarfing anything the Spanish & French would do in settling their claims in the New World.  See Encyclopedia of World History at <>.  Over a century later, in May 1749, the British sent 2,576 men, women, & children in 13 transports from London to Chebucto harbor, Nova Scotia, where they established the settlement of Halifax.  See Faragher, A Great & Noble Scheme, 249; Book Two.  So although it was not the greatest single migration of Europeans to the New World, the 7 Ships Expedition of 1785 was nonetheless an impressive feat of logistics, especially considering that over 1,600 individuals were sent to LA in only 5 months time.  Dr. Carl Brasseaux, in his essay at <>, now closed, says that the 7 Ships Expedition of 1785 was "the largest single migration of Europeans into the Mississippi Valley...."   But even this claim may be challenged.  A few years before, in the late 1770s, the Spanish government had recruited hundreds of Isleños from the Canary Islands for settlement in Louisiana.  In 1778 & 1779, the Spanish sent 8 ships full of Isleños to LA with over 2,000 people aboard.  However, because of the war that had just broken out between Spain & Britain, 3 of the ships landed in Havana & did not go on to New Orleans.  Five of the 8 vessels from the Canaries either sailed directly to New Orleans or continued on to New Orleans from Havana.  Governor Gálvez counted 1,582 new arrivals in Jul 1779.  See Din, Canary Islanders of LA, chap. 2.  Compare this to the official count of 1,574 Acadians embarked in France in 1785.  However, stowaways raised the number of 1785 immigrants to just over 1,600.  No matter, the 7 Ships' expedition of 1785 was an impressive feat of transportation & colonization by the Spanish government.  According to Winzerling, p. 154, the venture cost Spain "'305,743 libras tornessas y 8 seuldos', that is, about $61,148.68," but, unless this cost is adjusted for inflation, it carries little meaning for today's reader. 

Clark, A. H., Acadia, viii, notes:  "The dispersion of the Acadians in the decade following 1755 scattered them widely.  Many returned to the Maritimes later in the century but the only other area in which they were able to maintain a cultural identity was in Louisiana where so many of them finally gathered and where, in the 1780's, there may have been the largest single block of Acadians."  He likely means the late 1780s, following the arrival of the 7 ships. 

468.  See Brasseaux, Founding of New Acadia, 111; Winzerling, Acadian Odyssey, 159-60

468a.  Quotation from Winzerling, Acadian Odyssey, 159. 

The Acadians must have been upset when, according to Winzerling, Navarro was replaced as intendente in Apr 1786 by Juan Ventura Morales.  However, Cummins, "Navarro," p. 596, says that Navarro was intendente of LA until 1788, when he was recalled to Spain to advise the King on LA matters as intendente de ejército, which he did until 1790, the year he retired from Spanish service.  Meanwhile, according to Cummins, Navarro had "Amassed in Louisiana a large personal fortune based on the slave trade and real estate."  Navarro "Never married, but recognized Adelaïde de Blanco Navarro," who became an important LA planter, "as his natural daughter.  He died at Madrid on 26 May 1793, age 54.  Appropriately, he is a prominent figure in Robert Dafford's mural, "The Arrival of the Acadians in Louisiana," which graces an entire wall on the ground floor of the Acadian Memorial in St. Martinville; Navarro is figure number 4, on the left side of the huge painting, the bearded fellow wearing the hat facing figure number 5, Olivier Térrio

469.  See Baudier, The Catholic Church in LA, 204-05, 220, 237, 241-42. 

When O'Reilly established formal Spanish control over LA in Aug 1769, the colony's priests no longer would answer to the French Archbishop of St.-Domingue, in charge since the British formally took over Québec in 1763.  LA priests now answered to the Bishop of Santiago de Cuba.  In 1785, an Auxiliary Bishop of Cuba, Spanish Capuchin Father Cirillo de Barcelona, took office at New Orleans.  His jurisdiction included not only Spanish LA, but also Spanish FL, which Britain returned to Spain in 1783.  In 1787, LA was placed under the Bishop of Havana, with Father Cirillo still serving as auxiliary at New Orleans.  Finally, in Apr 1793, a papal bull created the Diocese of New Orleans, & St.-Louis church, destroyed in the great fire of Mar 1788 & rebuilt from 1789-94, became a cathedral.  The first bishop of the new diocese, Don Louis Ignacio Maria de Penalver y Cardena, a native of Havana, did not take his seat at New Orleans until Jul 1795.  See Baudier. 

470.  See Baudier, The Catholic Church in LA, 197, 220-21, 239, 252, 286; Din, Canary Islanders of LA, 74; Robichaux, Bayou Lafourche, 1770-98, 48, 181

471.  See Baudier, The Catholic Church in LA, 207, 229, 238, 254; note 483, below. 

471a.  Quotation from Brasseaux, Founding of New Acadia, 105.  See also Brasseaux, p. 208; BRDR, vol. 2; Hébert, D., Acadians in Exile, 554; Hébert, D., South LA Records, vol. 2; Robichaux, Acadians in St.-Malo, 33-34, 117-20, 369. 

Brasseaux, p. 105, counts 19 aboard La Brigite, also spelled La Brigitte, including the captain.  This researcher counts 18.  See Appendix

One wonders who Joseph Gravois III's relatives were at Ascension.  Probably Bourgs, who settled just about everywhere.  Joseph III's wife Madeleine had no siblings in LA, but she had cousins there aplenty.  The only other Acadian Gravois families in the colony, who would have been Joseph III's cousins from Chignecto, were at St.-Jacques, just downriver from Ascension, & had been there since 1765.  See Bourg/Bourque & Gravois family pages. 

472.  See Robichaux, Bayou Lafourche, 1770-98, 22-48. 

473.  See  Robichaux, Bayou Lafourche, 1770-98, 22-48. 

Nicolas Daublin's wife was named Catherine.  Their daughter, Marie-Anne-Barbe, called Barbe, married Jean-Baptiste, called Baptiste, son of Acadians Augustin dit Justice Doucet & his second Marie-Anne Précieux of Île St.-Jean, at Ascension in Jun 1789.  Baptiste was a native of St.-Servan, near St.-Malo, France, & had come to LA with his widowed mother aboard L'Amitié

474.  See Robichaux, Bayou Lafourche, 1770-98, 22-48. 

475.  See Robichaux, Bayou Lafourche, 1770-98, 22-48. 

476.  See Robichaux, Bayou Lafourche, 1770-98, 22-48.  For the 1777 censuses at St.-Gabriel, & Ascension, revealing the number of hogs being raised in those river districts, see notes 414. & 415., above. 

477.  See Robichaux, Bayou Lafourche, 1770-98, 22-48. 

478.  See Robichaux, Bayou Lafourche, 1770-98, 22-48. 

479.  See Robichaux, Bayou Lafourche, 1770-98, 22-48. 

480.  See Robichaux, Bayou Lafourche, 1770-98, 110, 150, 151-81; Robichaux, LA Census & Militia Lists, 1770-89, 115-46. 

481.  Quotations from Voorhies, J., Some Late Eighteenth-Century Louisianians, 524, 526, 528.  See also Voorhies, J., pp. 525, 527. 

482.  See BRDR, 2:250, 342; Southwest LA Records, 2-B:58; NOAR, 6:144; Robichaux, Bayou Lafourche, 1770-98  

483.  See <>; Appendix

According to Baudier, The Catholic Church in LA, 207, 229, 238, an Irish priest, Fr. Michael O'Reilly, was assigned to the Feliciana Parish in the 1790s, but "By 1804, this church, built in 1785, was 'in ruins and demolished'."  Fr. O'Reilly may have served at the new parish at Bayou Sara, not at Bayou des Éc6res. It is significant that no parish registers for Bayou des Écores exist.  It may be that the dearth of priests for the parish led to no registers being created.  Records of Bayou des Écores baptisms, marriage, and burials can be found in the Pointe Coupee registers, and some in the Baton Rouge church registers after 1793.

484.  Quotation from Baudier, The Catholic Church in LA, 254.  See also Baudier, pp. 206-07, 229, 238; Brasseaux, Founding of New Acadia, 110. 

Brasseaux notes that Bayou Lafourche was more popular with the Acadians than the upriver settlements of Manchac, Baton Rouge, & Bayou des Écores because the Lafourche was closer to other Acadian communities and "not uncomfortably near thriving Anglo-American communities." 

The West Florida Rebellion of 1810, with its distinctive blue and white banner, is well-documented.  See Davis, W. C., The Pirates Laffite, 65-67; online Wikipedia, "Republic of West Florida."  The inaugural address of the short-lived republic's only governor, Fulwar Skipwith, says it all:  "...wherever the voice of justice and humanity can be heard, our declaration, and our just rights will be respected.  But the blood which flows in our veins, like the tributary streams which form and sustain the father of rivers, encircling our delightful country, will return if not impeded, to the heart of our parent country.  The genius of Washington, the immortal founder of the liberties of America, stimulates that return, and would frown upon our cause, should we attempt to change its course."  What Acadian exile or his children could applaud such a sentiment?

485.  Quotation from Brasseaux, Founding of New Acadia, 189.  See also Brasseaux, pp. 179-80; De Ville, Mississippi Valley Mélange, 2:34; Book Three. 

486.  Quotations from Brasseaux, ed., Quest for the Promised Land, 98-99, 109; Brasseaux, Founding of New Acadia, 183, 184.  See also Brasseaux, Founding of New Acadia, 182, 185, 189; Brasseaux, French, Cajun, Creole, Houma, chap. 4

The Houma once lived on the Yazoo River in present-day Mississippi, but they moved downriver by the late 1600s.  The red boundary marker that Iberville had seen atop a bluff on the east bank of the river at the site of present-day Baton Rouge in Mar 1699 marked the southern edge of Houma territory.  Their main village then stood near modern-day Angola, not far from today's boundary line between LA & MS.  After a neighboring tribe, the Tunica, massacred them in 1706, the remnants of the Houma moved down the east bank of the river and settled across from the Fork, where they were joined by other tribes during the following decades.  Although the Houma were close to the French, they & the Spanish did not get along.  See Brasseaux, French, Cajun, Creole, Houma, 117-20; Kniffen et al., Indian Tribes of LA, 78-79, 85, 235. 

For a list of the remaining petit tribes along the river, including their dwindling numbers, c1771, see Rea, "The Career of Lt. John Thomas," p. 13. 

487.  See Brasseaux, Founding of New Acadia, 184-85. 

As more Europeans, especially Acadians, settled along lower Bayou Lafourche, the Houma migrated to the coastal marshes of present-day Terrebonne Parish, near the city named after them.  For the nation's fate, see Brasseaux, French, Cajun, Creole, Houma, chap. 4. 

488.  See Brasseaux, Founding of New Acadia, 185, 190.  According to Kniffen et al., Indian Tribes of LA, 75, in 1805 the village of the Opelousa lay 15 more miles west of the city named for them, which would place them on Prairie Faquetaique.  There were only 20 of them left in 1814, & by the 1930s they were no more.  The Atakapa also ceased to exist as an identifiable tribe by the 20th century.  The Chitimacha, on the other hand, still live on lower Bayou Teche. 

489.  See Brasseaux, Founding of New Acadia, 185-87. 

490.  See Appendix for Attakapas, & Appendix for Opelousas. 

491.  See De Ville, Opelousas History, 24-30; De Ville, Mississippi Valley Mélange, 2:63; Frederick, "In Defense of Crown & Colony," 397; Griffin, Attakapas Country, 215

492.  See De Ville, Opelousas History, 19-20. 

493.  See De Ville, Southwest LA Families, 1785, 16-31; Voorhies, J., Some Late Eighteenth-Century Louisianians, 320-65. 

The sub districts that contained no Acadians in 1796 were Plaisance, Plaquemine, Manne, Coteau, Church, & Bayou Chicot.  Acadian families made up 53% of the Bellevue sub district & 43% of the Grand Coteau sub district that year. 

494.  See De Ville, Southwest LA Families, 1785, 1-15; De Ville, Mississippi Valley Mélange, 2:65. 

495.  See Brasseaux, Founding of New Acadia, chap. 11, for a detailed discussion of Acadian slave holding. 

496.  Quotation from Brasseaux, Founding of New Acadia, 190.  See also Brasseaux, Acadian to Cajun, 4; Books One & Three. 

The indexes in Clark, A. H., Acadia, & Griffiths, From Migrant to Acadian, major works on Acadian history, do not include the word "slavery." 

496a.  See Mathé Allain, "Africans, Slaves, Slavery, and Manumissions," pp. 176-82, in Conrad, ed., The French Experience in LA; Allain, "Not Worth a Straw," 79; Baudier, The Catholic Church in LA, 88, 160; Clark, J. C., "New Orleans:  Its First Century of Economic Development," pp. 38-43; Hall, G. M., Africans in Colonial LA; Taylor, J. G., Louisiana, 11-12; Trudel, Canada's Forgotten Slaves; <>; <>. 

497.  See Brasseaux, Founding of New Acadia, 188-91; De Ville, Attakapas Post Census, 1771, 12; De Ville, Opelousas Post Census, 1771; De Ville, Mississippi Valley Mélange, 1:39-42, the 1774 census for Opelousas; Voorhies, J., Some Late Eighteenth-Century Louisianians, 280-82, the 1774 census for Attakapas. 

Brasseaux, p. 191, notes that "Louisiana's first Acadian slaveholders were four Cabannocé residents, two of whom were descendants of the early patriarchs in the thriving Beaubassin district.  The remaining members of this select circle were scions of prosperous families at the St. John River and Cobequid posts.  There are no extant slave conveyances for these individuals, but their bondsmen were almost certainly purchased on credit from New Orleans merchants in 1765.  These black laborers were quickly pressed into service, assisting their new masters in clearing the dense hardwood forests hindering development of their fertile riverfront properties."  Professor Brasseaux does not name the 4 Acadian slaveholders.  He cites the Cabanocé census of 1766, but copies of that census in Bourgeois, Cabanocey, 161-70, & Voorhies, J., Some Late Eighteenth-Century Louisianians, 114-19, which contains a column for slaves, list none among the Acadians.  The Cabahannocer census of Sep 1769, unfortunately, did not count slaves.  See Bourgeois, pp. 173-79; Voorhies, J., pp. 440-85.  Unfortunately, nor did the St.-Jacques census of 1777.  See De Ville, St. James Census, 1777

498.  See De Ville, Southwest LA Families, 1777

499.  See De Ville, St. Gabriel Census, 1777; De Ville, Acadian Coast, 1779, 11-27, which details slaveholding only at St.-Jacques, not Ascension & St.-Gabriel; Robichaux, Bayou Lafourche, 1770-98, 9-19

Brasseaux, Founding of New Acadia, 196, says that 26.9% of Acadian households at Iberville held slaves in 1777, 39% at Ascension, & 41.9% at St.-Jacques. 

500.  See De Ville, Southwest LA Families, 1785

501.  Quotations from Brasseaux, Founding of New Acadia, 192-93. 

502.  Quotation from Brasseaux, Founding of New Acadia, 193. 

503.  Quotations from Brasseaux, Founding of New Acadia, 193.  See also Brasseaux, p. 194. 

Paul Foret was in his late 30s at the time & had lived at St.-Jacques before moving upriver to Ascension by 1770.  His farm was on the west bank of the river, so that is likely the side on which he led the patrol.  He owned a single slave in 1777.  See Robichaux, Bayou Lafourche, 1770-98, 2, 10.  The Widow Landry's identity is anyone's guess. 

504.  Quotation from Brasseaux, Founding of New Acadia, 194-95. 

505.  Quotations from Brasseaux, Founding of New Acadia, 192, 195. 

506.  See Robichaux, Bayou Lafourche, 1770-98, 22-48, 111-81. 

507.  See Voorhies, J., Some Late Eighteenth-Century Louisianians, 345-65. 

508.  See Campanella, Bienville's Dilemma, 200; online Wikipedia, "Eli Whitney." 

509.  Quotations from Follett, The Sugar Masters, 10; Campanella, Bienville's Dilemma, 200.  See also online Wikipedia, "Jean-Étienne Boré," "Étienne de Boré"; note 522a, below.   

Boré's birth date is variously given as 27 Dec 1740, 1741, & 1742.  His wife's name is variously given as Jeanne-Marguerite-Marie & Marie-Marguerite Destréhan des Tours.  Her family name also is spelled D'Estrehan.  Their marriage date is variously give as Sep & Nov 1771.  Boré's plantation is the site of today's Audubon Park in the city's famous Garden District.  His two Hispanic neighbors were named Mendez & Lopez. 

Groom, Patriotic Fire, 70, without documentation, attributes the demise of the indigo industry in LA to "a plague of caterpillars" but offers no dates. 

Laussat, Memoirs, 51-52, 59-61, 70, offers a glimpse into the colony's sugar industry, which Laussat observed on an upriver tour in Nov 1803 (he was the French colonial prefect who oversaw the transfers of the colony from Spain to France & from France to the United States).  On his tour of the river's east bank above New Orleans, which included Étienne de Boré's plantation, he reported that on a single day "we skirted one cotton plantation, five general agriculture plantations, and twenty-seven sugar plantations, nearly all belonging to respectable old Creole families.  This was the richest section of the colony.  They were 'grinding,' as they say to describe the manufacturing of sugar at the beginning of winter.  The plantation where we lunched was making its first attempt with Tahiti sugarcane imported into Louisiana.  They were delighted with it."  See Laussat, p. 59.  Boré had been the first to use the South Pacific cane.  See Laussat, p. 124n1, which details more of Boré's improvements in growing & processing sugarcane.  Laussat also visited the plantation of Boré's brother-in-law, Jean-Noël Destréhan, in St. Charles Parish.  Laussat describes "M. d'Estréhan" as "the most active and intelligent sugar planter of the colony."  Follett, pp. 17-18, agrees.  Amazingly, by 1803, Boré's 1795 triumph had helped transform LA into a major sugar-growing region.  A leading authority on the LA sugar industry says that Boré & Destréhan "cultivated Creole and Otaheite cane," not the better known ribbon variety, which was not introduced in LA until 1817.  See Follett, pp. 22-23, quotation from p. 23. 

Laussat was so impressed with the pioneer sugar planter that, during the 20-day interregnum in Dec 1803 between the Spanish surrender of the colony & Laussat's handing it over to the Americans, he named Boré mayor of New Orleans.  See Faber, "Passion of the Prefect," pp. 281-82.  For an entirely negative report on Boré's abilities by American Gen. James Wilkinson, hardly a paragon of civic virtue himself, see Faber, p. 282n30.  Wilkinson was writing to President Jefferson in Jul 1804, when the newly-created New Orleans Conseil de Ville, also called the Municipal Council, led by Boré, was becoming "a fortress of anti-American resistance."  Boré, fed up with American policies, resigned as mayor in 1804 & remained a staunch Bonapartist & defender of Creole hegemony in territorial LA.  See Faber, pp. 283-84, 288-89; note 538, below.   

510.  See Appendix

511.  See Appendix

512.  See Appendix; Cormier, Jeansonne, & Lejeune family pages. 

The Lejeunes of St. Landry pronounce their family name luh-JHERN or luh-JHAN, not luh-JHOON. 

513.  See Appendix

514.  See Appendix.   

515.  The best source on the transition from Acadien to Cajun remains Brasseaux's work, especially his Acadian to Cajun.  Bernard, The Cajuns, takes our story into the 20th century. 

516.  See Baudier, The Catholic Church in LA, especially pp. 214-15; Ermus, "Reduced to Ashes," especially pp. 315-16. 

For the floor plan of the original St.-Louis church, see Baudier, p. 82.  For a sketch of the new St.-Louis church "as originally erected in 1794," see Baudier, p. 216. 

The great fire of 1788 & the urban renewal that followed is what gave N'Orleans the wonderful iron grillwork that graces today's French Quarter--architecturally, the "Spanish Quarter." 

517.  Quotations from Clark, J. C., "New Orleans:  Its First Century of Economic Development," pp. 43-44.  See also Ermus, "Reduced to Ashes," pp. 312, 330-31.

518.  Quotations from Clark, J. C., "New Orleans:  Its First Century of Economic Development," pp. 44, 46; Gilbert C. Din, "Spain's Immigration Policy in Louisiana and the American Penetration, 1792-1803," in The Spanish Presence in LA, p. 334.  See also Din, "Spain's Immigration Policy & the American Penetration," pp. 335, 347n4

519.  Quotations from Din, "Spain's Immigration Policy & the American Penetration," p. 336.  See also Brasseaux, Founding of New Acadia, 204; Din, "Spain's Immigration Policy & the American Penetration," pp. 335, 337. 

In 1792, about the time of Peyroux's mission to Philadelphia, Térrio sued the Frenchman for failing "to keep his solemn promise of mutual assistance, 'of sharing his last piece of bread,'" with Térrio after they reached LA.  See Brasseaux, pp. 203-04, Appendix A, entitled "The Peyroux-Terrio Feud"; Theriot family page. 

Anyone who emigrated to Spanish LA & took the oath of allegiance to the new King, Carlos IV, became a Spanish subject, not a Spanish citizen.  (King Carlos III had died in 1788.)

Ste.-Geneviève is in today's state of MO. 

One wonders if members of the William Caruthers family from nearby Deptford Township, NJ, were among the 25 passengers on Peyroux's vessel.  See Hébert, Southwest LA Records, vol. 1-A; Caruthers family sketch.  If so, here would have been another of Peyroux's frauds:  the Caruthers were Protestants, not Catholics. 

520.  Quotation from Din, "Spain's Immigration Policy & the American Penetration," p. 337.  See also Samuel Flagg Bemis, "Pinckney's Treaty:  America's Advantage From Europe's Distress, 1783-1800," in The Spanish Presence in LA, pp. 28-39; Hall, G. M., Africans in Colonial LA, 317-18; Noel M. Loomis, "Philip Nolan's Entry into Texas in 1800," in McDermott, ed., The Spanish in the Mississippi Valley, p. 121; online Wikipedia, "Pinckney's Treaty." 

George Rogers Clark's French Revolutionary backing came from none other than Edmond-Charles Gênet, French ambassador to the U.S. in 1793.  See Hall, G. M., cited above; online Wikipedia, "Edmond-Charles Gênet," which, strangely, does not mention Gênet's role in the planned invasion of Spanish LA. 

521.  See Hall, G. M., Africans in Colonial LA, 346; online Wikipedia, "French Revolution," "Dechristianisation of France during the French Revolution"; Books Two & Three. 

The National Convention abolished slavery in French colonies on 16 Feb 1794, 2 1/2 years after the slave revolt began in St.-Domingue. 

522.  See Hall, G. M., Africans in Colonial LA, 317-18, 347; online Wikipedia, "French Revolution"; note 520, above.   

522a.  Quotations from Hall, G. M., Africans in Colonial LA, 317-18.  See also Hall, G. M., chap. 11.

523.  Quotation from Baudier, The Catholic Church in LA, 239.  See also Baudier, pp. 229, 291-92; Griffin, Attakapas Country, 76-77. 

524.  See Hall, G. M., Africans in Colonial LA, 346-47; online Wikipedia, "Haitian Revolution"; <>. 

525.  See online Wikipedia, "French Revolution," "Napoleon." 

525a.  See online Wikipedia, "Third Treaty of San Ildefonso."

526.  See Hall, G. M., Africans in Colonial LA, 317-18; online Wikipedia, "Napoleon," "Manuel Gayoso de Lemos."

527.  Quotations from online Wikipedia, "Louisiana Purchase." 

528.  Quotation from Davis, W. C., The Pirates Lafitte, 11.  See also Faber, "Passion of the Prefect," p 264; Taylor, A., Internal Enemy, 116; online Wikipedia, "Louisiana Purchase," "Haitian Revolution." 

Jefferson, having declared neutrality in the fight between France & the St.-Domingue rebels, nonetheless favored the rebels in their struggle.  But when Haiti declared its independence, Jefferson & the Republican-dominated Congress refused to recognize the new Haitian government & imposed a trade embargo on the new republic!  See Taylor, A., Internal Enemy, 103, which quotes Jefferson as saying:  "The existence of a negro people in arms, occupying a nation which it has soiled by the most criminal acts, is a horrible spectacle for all white nations."  An interesting sentiment for the author of the American Declaration of Independence.   

The Surveillant, 32 guns, was the ship that had deposited French Prefect Laussat, his family, & other officials at New Orleans the previous Mar.  See note 531, below. 

529.  See online Wikipedia, "Louisiana Purchase."

530.  See Faber, "Passion of the Prefect," p. 277; online Wikipedia, "James Wilkinson," "Louisiana Purchase," "William C. C. Claiborne."

531.  Quotations from Faber, "Passion of the Prefect," p. 264; Laussat, Memoirs, xv-xvi.   See also Faber, p. 269; Laussat, p. 17.

Laussat, p. 115n6, says that Laussat was "a man of thirty-six years" when he went to LA, but his birth in Nov 1756 would make him age 46 in Mar 1803. 

Laussat admitted in his memoirs that this was his first ocean voyage, so he may have never left France.  See Laussat, pp. 3, 115n6.  One wonders why Napoléon appointed such a naïf as a colonial prefect. 

For Laussat's voyage from France, see Laussat, pp. 3-13.  On p. 3, he describes the Surveillant, which he does not name, as a "small brig of thirty-two guns" under Capt. Girardais, who offered the prefect & his family his cabin.  Laussat was accompanied by 21 others, which likely included his wife & daughters. 

They reached La Balize on Mar 20 & took nearly a week to ascend the river.  They spent one of those days on the east bank at what Laussat called Fort Plaquemine as well as Fort St.-Philippe, where they were feted.  Fort Bourbon, later Fort Jackson, lay across the river on the west bank.  See Laussat, pp. 13-16. 

532.  Quotations from Faber, "Passion of the Prefect," pp. 264, 265, 269-70; Laussat, Memoirs, 17.  See also Faber, pp. 271, 275-76; Laussat, p. 18, 64, 118n27.

One wonders what the Creoles and Acadians would not have thought of Laussat's true feelings about "colonial weakness" derived from prolonged contact "with an inferior race."  See Faber, p. 271. 

533.  Quotations from Faber, "Passion of the Prefect," pp. 271, 273; Laussat, Memoirs, 82, 84.  See also Faber, pp. 272, 274. 

Fr. Barrière, in fact, was beloved of his parishioners.  See note 523, above. 

534.  Quotation from Faber, "Passion of the Prefect," p. 276.  See also Faber, pp. 273-75, 277; Laussat, Memoirs, 42-48, 120n44. 

His official duties required Clark to communicate frequently with United States Secretary of State Madison. 

535.  Quotations from Faber, "Passion of the Prefect," pp. 277, 278.  See also Faber, p. 279. 

536.  Quotation from Laussat, Memoirs, 64.  See also Laussat, pp. 59-63. 

On p. 59 of his English-language memoir, Laussat says that "I began my round of visits on horseback at the end of November, 1803," but the rest of his memoir shows that he began the upriver journey in late Oct. 

Laussat proved to be a fairly keen judge of age, at least of men.  In Nov 1803, Pierre Michel, born at Annapolis Royal in c1737, would have been 66 years old.  Marie Léger, his second wife, also a native of Annapolis Royal, had been born there in c1744.  She would have been age 59 in Nov 1803 & would not have appreciated being called a sexagenarian by a supercilious French bureaucrat.  One wonders if the prefect asked them to tell their respective stories of how they came to LA.  If he had, he would have learned much about the Acadian experience during Le Grand Dérangement:  In the autumn of 1755, both Pierre and Marie had been exiled to CN, Marie's family moving on to NY before going to St.-Domingue with other Acadians in 1763 or 1764.  Evidently Pierre, following his father, Jacques, fils, went to St.-Domingue from CN, reaching Port-au-Prince in Aug 1764.  Pierre settled at Le Mirebalais, where his marriage to fellow Acadian Marguerite Poirier was "attested to" in Sep 1764; they had married in New England without benefit of priest 2 years earlier.  Marguerite, along with Pierre's father, died soon afterwards in St.-Domingue, among the hundreds of Acadians to perish there.  If Marguerite gave Pierre any children, they did not survive infancy.  Pierre, now a widower in his late 20s, left the colony as soon as he could; he either booked passage on his own to LA or, more likely, hooked up with one of the parties that came through Cap-Français from Halifax in 1765 and reached New Orleans later that year--one of the relatively few Acadians to come to LA directly from the Caribbean Basin.  Marie Léger's story is a similar one; she, too, seems to have come to LA directly from St.-Domingue, as a 21-year-old orphan, accompanied by a younger sister & brother, in 1765.  She married Pierre at New Orleans--this was her first marriage--in Mar 1766, & they settled with hundreds of other Acadians at Cabahannocer on the river; they lived on the east bank of what became the Lower Acadian Coast.  Pierre owned 2 slaves in Mar 1779.  He died in St. James Parish (formerly Cabahannocer) in Mar 1813, in his mid-70s.  Marie died in St. James Parish in May 1826, in her early 80s, still a widow.  Three of their sons created families of their own, as did 7 of their daughters.  See Michel family page; Léger family page; Appendix; note 499, above. 

537.  Quotations from Laussat, Memoirs, 64-65. 

Evidently Laussat & party also visited, or at least searched for, the home of Acadian Bonaventure Gaudin, whom he mentions in his memoir, p. 65.  This likely would have been Bonaventure Gaudin, fils, native of Rivière St.-Jean, who came to LA from Halifax via Cap-Français as a 12-year-old in 1765 & followed his family to Cabahannocer.  In 1803, Bonaventure, fils was married to Marie Broussard, a native of Attakapas & granddaughter of Acadian resistance fighter Joseph dit Beausoleil.  Bonaventure, fils & his family had lived in New Orleans the year before Laussat's tour of the lower river, but they maintained a residence at Cabahannocer. 

Laussat's tour via the east river road took him nearly to Baton Rouge by mid-Nov, & then he came downriver via boat, stopping, among other places, at Michel Cantrelle's plantation on the Acadian Coast.  Laussat returned to New Orleans by Nov 24 after a 3-week sojourn.  See Laussat, pp. 65-73. 

538.  Quotations from Faber, "Passion of the Prefect," pp. 280, 282.  See also Faber, pp. 281, 283-84, 287n38, 288-90.

539.  Quotations from Faber, "Passion of the Prefect," p. 285. 

After the exchange of territorial jurisdiction, William C. C. Claiborne's official title would be "Governor of the Mississippi Territory, Exercising the Powers of Governor Intendant of the Province of Louisiana."  Do the words "intendant" & "province" in the title infer that the United States of America had joined Britain, France, Holland, Spain, & Portugal as yet another imperial power in the Americas? 

On pp. 285-87, Faber offers a tantalizing picture of what the Bonapartist Louisiana may have been like if the Americans had failed to purchase the colony. 

Laussat lingered at New Orleans for several months after the Dec 20 ceremony, allowing himself to become the center of a Bonapartist circle that resisted Claiborne & Wilkinson at every turn & made more difficult the transition from French to American control.  In Apr 1804, Laussat moved on to his new post as prefect of Martinique.  The renewed war with Britain required that he leave New Orleans under an assumed name--Peter Lanthois--carrying a fake passport sanctioned by Claiborne in case Laussat ran afoul of the British blockade.  Laussat also had to leave his wife & daughters in New Orleans.  See Faber, pp. 288-90. 


BOOK ONE:         French Acadia

BOOK TWO:        British Nova Scotia and the French Maritimes

BOOK THREE:     The Great Upheaval

BOOK FOUR:       French Louisiana

BOOK SIX:           The Bayou State

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Copyright (c) 2001-15  Steven A. Cormier