July 21, 2015
This year, we celebrate the 250th anniversary of a significant event in the history of America and of Louisiana. The year was 1765. To the great surprise of the French officers in charge of the colony of La Louisiane, a ship arrived at the port of New Orleans carrying nearly 200 French-speaking, Roman Catholic men, women and children. They were exiles from a place called Acadie, the present-day maritime provinces of Canada: Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. They called themselves Acadians, and they were looking for a home./ For the better part of a decade, most of the men on this ship had been resistance fighters. They had waged a guerilla campaign against the British Empire. The latter, with overwhelming military power, was engaged in the forced ethnic cleansing of the Acadians from the lands first settled by their ancestors in 1604. (Yes, the Acadians predate the Pilgrims.) Thousands of Acadians perished. In Acadian history, this struggle is known as Le Grand Derangement, The Great Upheaval.