French Village and the Loyalists
The division of Nova Scotia to create the province of New Brunswick in 1784 set forth a wave of migrating Loyalists to settle this new province. Many of them settled on the ruins of abandoned Acadian villages where many Acadians had settled their families. After the destruction of the “Pointe-Saint-Anne” village in the winter of 1759 by Lieutenant Moses Hazen and a group of rangers, where he was only able to capture three of its families, many of the Acadians were able to flee the village. Some of these Acadians fled west and settled near the Malecite village of Ekoupahag. Afterwards, many other Acadians started to settle nearby, and some settled at what became French Village. One of the pioneers of the French Village was Jacques Daniel Godin who was the grandchild of Gabriel Godin who was one of the founders of the Acadian village of “Pointe-Saint-Anne”.1
The French Village was situated about seventeen kilometres from what became the City of Fredericton, and is now part of Kingsclear.2 There are stills ruins of what seems to be an old church that burned to the ground, and also an old cemetery where we can find Acadian tombstones mixed with those of the Loyalists’.3
1. G. Alain and M. Basque: "Une présence qui s’affirme-La communauté acadienne et francophone de Fredericton, Nouveau-Brunswick" (Moncton, Les éditions de la francophonie, 2003), 75-77. 2. Retrieved online on April 2nd, 2012 from: http://archives.gnb.ca/Exhibits/Communities/Details.aspx?culture=en-CA&community=1378 3. Beyea, Andrew Sherwood. The History of French Village submitted to the Kings County Record where it was printed in serial form between October 12th, 1961 and August 9th, 1962. pp. 6-7
“The coming of the Loyalists to Nova Scotia in 1783 provided the implication of challenge for the reorganization of the province.”4 What started it all was the evacuation of the Loyalists from the American colonies. After the division of Nova Scotia to create New Brunswick in 1784, loyalists came to settle along the St-John River and some settled on the site of the French Village that had been previously settled by the Acadians. “By imperial order dated 18 June 1784, Nova Scotia was split into two territories to create New Brunswick.”5 The Canadian Encyclopedia states that “In 1784 present-day New Brunswick was in turn separated from Nova Scotia following the arrival of American Loyalists who demanded their own colonial administrations.”6
Following the end of the war in 1783, the Acadians again had to be on the move as the land they lived on had now been reserved for the loyalist refugees coming to obtain grants of land; land promised by Britain as reward for their loyalty during the war with the Americans.7 Then there was the announcement that the Acadians needed to leave their village along the St-John River to make room for these Loyalists. “Gentlemen - The lieut-governor desires that you will give notice to all the Acadians, except about six families whom Mr Bailly shall name, to remove themselves from St. John’s River, It not being the intention of the government that they should settle there, but to acquaint them that on their application here they shall have lands in all other parts of the province. I am etc. Richard Bulkely.”8 4. W.S. MacNutt: New Brunswick A History: 1784-1867 (Toronto: MacMillan of Canada, 1963), 42. 5. Chaire d’études acadiennes: Acadia of the Maritimes, Thematic Studies from the beginning to the present (Université de Moncton, 1995), 381. 6.The Canadian Encyclopedia: History of Acadia (retrieved online from http://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.com/articles/history-of-acadia. 7. L.M.B. Maxwell: An outline of the History of Central New Brunswick to the time of the Confederation (Sackville, The Tribune Press, 1937), 30. 8. Beyea: The History of French Village, 15.
Upon hearing this news, the Acadians abandoned their village, and set forth to find another place to settle. Many of them...
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