In 1755 the British required the Acadians to sign an oath of allegiance; the Acadians had previously signed such oaths but this one was unconditional, while previous oaths included conditions such that they would not be required to take up arms against France or their Micmac allies. When they refused to sign, the decision was made by the British to remove the French Acadians from Nova Scotia. On Aug. 11, 1755 Acadian settlers were deported from Fort Cumberland, formerly called Fort Beausejour. On Sept. 5, 1755 the residents of Grand Pre and Pisiquit were required to assemble and were read the deportation order.
The following is the order read at Grand Pre: (spelling errors in original)
This is a copy of the proclamation of the expulsion of the Acadians from Grand Pre.
I have Received from his Excellency Governor Lawrence, The Kings Commision which I have in my hand and by whose orders you are Convened togather 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 use you have made of them, you your Self Best Know.
The Part of Duty I am now upon is what thoh Necessary is very Disagreable to
my natural make & Temper as I know it Must be Grevious to you who are of the Same Species
But it is not my Business to annimedvert, but to obey Such orders as I receive, and therefore without Hessitation Shall Deliver you his Majestys orders and Instruction.s vizt.
That your Lands & Tennements Cattle of all Kinds and Live Stock of all
Sortes are Forfitted to the Crown with all other your Effects Saving your Money & Household Goods and you your Selves to be removed from this his Province.
Thus it is Preremtorily his Majestys orders That the whole French
Inhabitants of these Districts, be removed, and I am Throh his Majestys Goodness Directed to allow you Liberty to Carry of your Money and Household Goods as Many as you Can without Discomemoading the Vessels you Go in. I Shall do Every thing in my Power that all Those Goods be Secured to you and that you are Not Molested in Carrying of them of and also that whole Familys Shall go in the Same Vessel and make this remove which I am Sensable must give you a great Deal of Trouble as Easey as his Majestys Service will admit and hope that in what Ever part of the world you may Fall you may be Faithfull Subjects, a Peasable & happy People.
I Must also Inform you That it is his Majestys Pleasure that you remain in
Secutity under the Inspection & Direction of the Troops that I have the Honr. to Command.
And Then Declared them Kings Prisoners.
And Gave out the Following Declaration
Grand-Pre September 1755.
All officers and Soldiers and Sea Men Employed in his Majestys Service as well as all his Subjects of what Denomination Soever, are hereby Notif~ed That all Cattle viz Horsses Home Cattle sheep goats Hoggs and Poultrey of Every Kinde, that was this Day Soposed to be Vested in the French Inhabitants of this Province are become Forfitted to his Majesty whose Property they now are and Every Person of What Denomination Soever is to take Care not to Hurt Kill or Destroy anything of any Kinde nor to Rob Orchards or Gardens or to make waste of anything Dead or alive in these Districts Without Special Order; Given at my Camp the Day & place abovesd.
John Winslow (1, 2)
The Acadians were sent to the various British colonies along the east coast from Massachusetts to South Carolina, some were sent to France, and many died on the various ships. Few Acadians remained in Nova Scotia in hiding, but were subject to death if found. Others left for New Brunswick, most of those that made it surrendered at Fort Cumberland as many had died of starvation in Restigouche. Still others made their way to other French-Canadian regions. A significant number made their way to Louisiana and became the Cajuns. Some of the deported Acadians eventually made their way back to the Maritimes, including Nova Scotia and New Brunswick after they were given permission to return in 1764. They were, however, required to settle in less desirable areas. Others settled in Quebec. Many Acadians who were repatriated to France sailed to Louisiana in 1785, where many of their families had settled (particularly from Maryland in 1765).
1. Extract from the Journal of Colonel John Winslow of the Provincial Troops While Engaged in Removing the Acadian French Inhabitants from Grand-Pre. Nova Scotia Historical Society Collections, Vol 3, Halifax, 1883, pp. 94-95