Musée des Acadiens des Pubnicos et Centre de recherche
Gentlemen I have received from His Excellency Governor Lawrence the King's commission which I have in my hand and by who's orders you are conveyed together to manifest to you His Majesty's final resolution to the French inhabitants of this his province of Nova Scotia who for almost half a century have had more indulgence granted them then any of his subjects in any part of his Dominions. What you have made of them you yourself best know.
(quoted by John Winslow in : Acadie; Esquisse d'un parcours; Sketches of a Journey. p.52)
The promise made to the Acadians that families were not to be divided during the process were not kept. Lawrence's motives were not at all sympathetic to the Acadian's plight as evidenced in a letter he sent to Colonel Robert Monckton: " I would have you not wait for the wives and the children coming in but ship off the men without them." (quoted in Naomi Griffiths, "The Acadian Deportation; Causes and Development," Ph.D thesis, p. 176).
After Acadians had boarded the ships orders were given to destroy homes and to round up livestock. In this way Acadians who had escaped, or were planning to, would not have their former homes to run to nor would they have their cattle and sheep to rely on. Today, the very site of the first deportation, at Grand-Pré is marked by a cross.
In total it is estimated that between ten and twelve thousand Acadians were either deported, imprisoned or escaped and hid in the wooded hillsides close by. For those who did run ingenious ways were contrived by the authorities to force them out of hiding. Winslow had warned Acadians that "if within 2 days the absent ones are not delivered up, military execution would be immediately visited upon the next of kin." (quoted in Dudley LeBlanc, The Acadian Miracle, p.174)
Some Acadians from Cap-Sable were made prisoners, during British raids in 1756, 1758 and 1759. They were deported either to Boston or to France.
Following the fall of Fortress Louisbourg (1758) three thousand five hundred Acadians were deported from l'Île Saint-Jean (today Prince Edward Island) to France. Seven hundred of these perished when two boats were lost at sea.
In 1762 a deportation failed when Massachusetts authorities refused the exiled Acadians. They were returned to Nova Scotia. It seems that this event was a major factor in the decision to stop the deportations.
Information on this page is from the website Acadian Odyssey