Expulsion of the Acadians
After the British conquest of Acadia in 1710, the 1713 Treaty of Utrecht allowed the Acadians to keep their lands. Over the next forty-five years, however, the Acadians refused to sign an unconditional oath of allegiance to Britain. During the same period, they also participated in various military operations against the British, and maintained supply lines to the French fortresses of Louisbourg and Fort Beauséjour. As a result, the British sought to eliminate any future military threat posed by the Acadians and to permanently cut the supply lines they provided to Louisbourg by removing them from the area.
Without making distinctions between the Acadians who had been neutral and those who had resisted the occupation of Acadia, the British governor Charles Lawrence and the Nova Scotia Council ordered them to be expelled. In the first wave of the expulsion, Acadians were deported to other British colonies. During the second wave, they were deported to Britain and France, from where they migrated to Louisiana. Acadians fled initially to Francophone colonies such as Canada, the uncolonized northern part of Acadia, Isle Saint-Jean and Isle Royale. During the second wave of the expulsion, these Acadians were either imprisoned or deported.
Throughout the expulsion, Acadians and the Wabanaki Confederacy continued a guerrilla war against the British in response to British aggression which had been continuous since 1744 (see King Georges War and Father Le Loutre's War).
Along with the British achieving their military goals of defeating Louisbourg and weakening the Mi'kmaq and Acadian militias, the result of the Expulsion was the devastation of both a primarily civilian population and the economy of the region. Thousands of Acadians died in the expulsions, mainly from diseases and drowning when ships were lost.
By Daniel N. Paul
Acts of unbelievable cruelty to Acadians and Indians by the English CH. XXV
By Dudley LeBlanc
"Towards the end of July 1749, when the news of the truce between the two Crowns had not yet reached New France, the Indians had taken some English prisoners on the Island of Newfoundland; but these prisoners, having informed them of the truce signed the previous year at Aix-la-Chapelle they believed them on their mere word, treated them as brothers, released them from bonds; but in spite of so much kind treatment, these perfidious guests massacred, during the night, twenty-five Indians, men and women."
Numerous acts of unbelievable cruelty to the Indians by the English are of record:
"Towards the end of the month of December 1754," says another document, "Mr. Gorham, commanding a detachment of the English troops found in a lonely place, near Annapolis, two huts of Micmac Indians. In these huts were five women and three children, two of the women being pregnant; but despite the feelings of humanity that such persons were likely to excite, the English not only plundered and burned these huts, but also massacred the five pregnant women and three children. It was even found that the pregnant women had been disembowelled."
"A certain Captain Lovewell," says Hannay, a pro-British historian, "emulous of Harmon’s fame as taker of scalps, and with the patriotism fired by the large bounty offered for this kind of article, gathered a band of volunteers and commenced scalp-hunting. They killed one Indian for whose scalp the company received 100 pounds. He started next year with forty men, surprised the Indians whose scalps netted 1000 pounds. In a subsequent fight he lost his own scalp, as did thirty-four of his men."
I'm not sure if the Expulsion counts as genocide. The English were attacking several groups of people, not just one. And they deported their enemies with no evident thought of exterminating them completely.
Still, this incident shows the Europeans' desire to crush, kill, or destroy the opposition. They wanted it all for themselves, even though they had no right to the land and its resources.
Below: St. John River Campaign: "A View of the Plundering and Burning of the City of Grimross" (1758). Watercolor by Thomas Davies.
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