#91 - WAS TO BE SENT BACK TO NOVA SCOTIA FROM EXILE

Yarmouth Vanguard, Tuesday, September 25, 1990

This was Jacques d'Entremont, son of another Jacques and of Anne de La Tour, the father of the three brothers who settled in Pubnico after the return from exile, Joseph, Paul and Benoni. He was born around 1679 at the Manor House of the family, on the northern bank of Hipson's Brook, Upper East Pubnico. He was already about 44 years of age when he married in 1723 Marguerite Amirault, daughter of François Amirault, dit Tourangeau, and of Marie Pitre, of Baccaro Passage, more precisely of the Sand Hills. To be closer to this family, they settled in Barrington Head, their dwelling place being located on the western bank of Barrington Harbour, close to the mouth of the river. They had seven children, four boys and three girls, viz., the three brothers mentioned above, plus the oldest, Jacques, married before the Expulsion to Marguerite Landry (see sketch No. 89) who were to be expelled in France; of the three girls, Marie married René Landry (see sketch No. 89); Anne married to Abel Duon, the origin of th d'Eon family of today, and Marguerite who died unmarried.

In April of 1756, when during the night of Wednesday, the 21st, Jedidiah Preble invaded the Acadian establishments of what is now Shelburne County and burned 44 buildings, the members of Jacques d'Entremont's family were among the 72 Acadians that he took to Boston.

Some of them were to be quartered separately and placed in different towns in Massachusetts, viz., Marblehead, Medfield and Walpole. In 1757, we find Jacques, his wife and three of their children in Walpole. The foundation of the hut in which they lived was still visible 30 years ago, built on the side of a bank, close to the Neponset River; that is when I took its measurements, which were of 24 feet by 28, and jotted down an accurate description of it. It had belonged to a Jeremiah Dexter. Its last occupants were the members of a mulatto family from Maryland, by the name of Richard R. Diggs, whose name appears in the 1880 census. The place was demolished shortly after.

While Jacques d'Entremont was living in this miserable shanty, not having enough to eat, he and his family clothed in rags, restrained in his activities and travels, far from his homeland, his sisters in Cape Breton were enjoying every comfort of life with plenty to eat, free from all restrictions. They had married high ranking officers of the army, who were from wealthy families, being themselves among the richest in Louisburg. I told you in sketch No. 7 about their other sister, Anne Mius d'Entremont, who married three times, "widow at 13, millionaire at 34", living at this time in south-western France. These families were very influential in the government of Ile Royale (Cape Breton), Anne having even been married to one of the former Governors. At the time its Governor was Augustin de Drucourt. They petitioned him to write to the Governor of Massachusetts, Thomas Pownall, to send back to Nova Scotia their brother, "Monsieur de Poconcourt" (Mr. of Pocomcourt, sic, for Pobomcoup, alias Pubnico).

We do not have Durcourt's demand, but we have Pownall's answer, dated from Boston, November 10, 1757, that I translate from the French: "I would feel happy if I had the power to give you a proof of my good will with regard to your demand concerning Monsieur de Pocomcourt, even though he is a subject of His British Majesty, but, since his is old and French by birth, and of those who are more inclined towards their native land, I will willingly give him permission to depart from here; that is why I have given orders to look for him; he is far from this town and I was not able to have him leave on this voyage, nevertheless, he will reach you by the first occasion that I will have, and for that, I will send him to Halifax".

Note that in 1757, Jacques d'Entremont was about 78. Although Pownall says that he is far from Boston, the distance from Walpole where he was, to the State House in Boston is a mere 20 miles.

In sketch No. 33, I was saying that Governor Pownall was very sympathetic towards the Acadians, being willing even to accept in Massachusetts those who in 1758 were getting ready to spend another harsh winter in the woods of Argyle and Tusket. Unfortunately he was prevented from doing so by his Council.

What happened afterwards with regard to this affair, we are not told. As a matter of fact, Pownall's letter just quoted is the only document that we have which mentions it. It is sure that Jacques d'Entremont would not have left his wife and children in exile in Massachusetts, while he would have been free to leave. Even if Pownall would have wanted to pursue Jacques' relief and send him to Cape Breton, he would not have been able to do so, as, at the beginning of the following June, Admiral Edward Boscawen was invading Louisburg, which fell the following month, July 26, 1758.

Excactly a year later, July 28, 1759, Jacques d'Entremont died at Walpole, in the hut he had been living in for the past three years. He was buried in Roxbury, in the Eliot cemetery, at Andrew Coyle Square, at the corner of Eustis and Washington Streets, about ten miles from Walpole.

Father Ferdinand Blanchet, Pastor of West Pubnico, wrote in 1860 in the parish registers, that his tombstone still existed then "around Boston (Rockberry)", and that it had been seen there by one of his parishioners five years before. He says that he had offered a Mass the previous year at the 100th anniversaary of his death for the repose of his soul, requested by his descendant in Pubnico.

Of all the Acadians who were sent into exile, this is the only one where there had been efforts to send back free to Nova Scotia one of them.

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