After 1755: Archives and Acadian Identity


This article originally appeared at Borealia and is reposted here with their permission.

by Stephanie Pettigrew

In 1909, a scholar at Université Laval, M. J. E. Prince, conducted a public lecture in Québec to a captive audience on the subject of a recently published book on Acadia. The book, written by Edouard Richard, was reported as “cloué au pilori”—nailing to the pillory—both Charles Lawrence, the villainous British Governor of Nova Scotia who had commenced the deportation of the Acadians in 1755, and Thomas Akins, the publisher of several collections of documents concerning Nova Scotia in the eighteenth century.[1] Another article from the same year published in the Moniteur Acadien calls Akins’ work “less an attempt to make better understood and illustrate the History and progress of Society in Nova Scotia, than to justify the expulsion of the Acadians in 1755… [Akins’ work] is one abounding in prejudice rather than an…

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