A Scattering of Seeds: The Creation of Canada
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ACADIAN SPIRIT: The Legacy of Philippe d'Entremont
Immigration History


Painting by Maurice LeBlanc
Philippe Muise d'Entremont arrived in Nova Scotia in 1649. He brought his wife and three children, and the ability to read, write and govern. Four years later, in 1653, he founded the Acadian village of Pubnico, a village where Acadians settled and put down roots that are still firmly planted today.

Earlier colonists Samuel de Champlain and Pierre du Gua, sieur de Monts had tried to establish a colony in the first few years of the seventeenth century. The earliest beginnings of Acadia actually date to 1604 when French colonists arrived looking for furs. But the harsh North American winter forced the early colonists back to their more temperate France. Another obstacle was the colonial clashes and bickering over boundaries. These rivalries between the empires of France and Britain would ultimately result in an Acadian migration of another sort: an imposed migration, the Great Expulsion of 1755. Both imperialistic arguments and harsh living conditions would play crucial roles in determining the culture and history of Acadia(1). No matter how complicated, emigration to the New World continued.

The most significant migration of settlers from France had occurred a little before d'Entremont's time. In 1632, Commander de Razilly set out from France with 300 men, his mind firmly set on developing the Acadian colony. Between 1632 and 1636, smaller numbers of settlers, both men and women, trickled into Acadia to lend a hand to the first colonists. By the eighteenth century the Acadian population along the St. Lawrence and the Atlantic coast numbered close to 15,000(2).

Endnotes:

1,2 - The Acadians
by Barry Moody (Grolier Limited, Toronto, 1981).

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