Cajuns and Their Acadian Ancestors: A Young Reader's History by Shane K. Bernard

By Shane K. Bernard

Cajuns and Their Acadian Ancestors: a tender Reader's background strains the four-hundred-year historical past of this precise American ethnic workforce. whereas written in a structure understandable to junior-high and high-school scholars, it is going to end up attractive and informative to boot to grownup readers looking a one-volume exploration of those amazing humans and their predecessors. The narrative follows the Cajuns' early ancestors, the Acadians, from seventeenth-century France to Nova Scotia, the place they flourished until eventually British infantrymen expelled them in a sad occasion referred to as Le Grand Dérangement (The nice Upheaval)--an episode appeared by way of many historians as an example of ethnic detoxing or genocide. as much as one-half of the Acadian inhabitants died from disorder, hunger, publicity, or outright violence within the expulsion. approximately 3 thousand survivors journeyed throughout the 13 American colonies to Spanish-controlled Louisiana. There they resettled, intermarried with individuals of the neighborhood inhabitants, and advanced into the Cajun humans, who this day quantity over a half-million. seeing that their arrival in Louisiana, the Cajuns have built an unmistakable identification and a powerful experience of ethnic satisfaction. In fresh many years they've got contributed their unique delicacies and accordion-and-fiddle dance song to American pop culture. Cajuns and Their Acadian Ancestors: a tender Reader's heritage contains quite a few photographs and over a dozen sidebars on subject matters starting from Cajun track to Mardi Gras. Shane ok. Bernard is historian and curator of McIlhenny corporation, manufacturers of TABASCO® model pepper sauce, and Avery Island, Inc. he's the writer of Swamp Pop: Cajun and Creole Rhythm and Blues; The Cajuns: Americanization of a humans; and TABASCO®: An Illustrated heritage.

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I arrived here in the month of February 1765 with 202 Acadian persons, including Joseph Bro[u]ssard, called [Beausoleil], and all of his family, . . all coming from Halifax and having passed by [Haiti]. Beausoleil led [the group] and paid the passage for those who didn’t have the means. After us, there arrived yet another 105 in another ship and then eighty, forty, [and] some twenty or thirty, in three or four others. I believe there are about 500–600 of us Acadians, counting women and children.

The newly poor included not only genteel Acadian sugar planters but persons of Spanish, German, and French Creole heritage. Confronted by starvation, they put aside their pride and took jobs as day laborers, tending someone else’s land for low wages, or as tenant farmers, also known as sharecroppers, who paid a portion of their harvests to landlords. Suddenly, most people in south Louisiana were as penniless as the Acadian subsistence farmers—the same Acadians whom Spanish, German, and French Creole neighbors had once seen as lazy and ignorant.

Those most easily distinguishable as Cajun are generally Acadian in origin, having come to Louisiana with the Acadian exiles between 1765 and 1785. These surnames include (to name only a few) Allain, Arceneau/ Arceneaux, Aucoin, Babin, Babineau/Babineaux, Benoit/Benoît, Bergeron, Bernard, Blanchard, Boudreau/Boudreaux, Bourg/Bourque, Bourgeois, Brasseaux/ Brasseux, Braud/Breau/Breaux, Broussard, Brun, Castille, Chiasson, Comeau/ Comeaux, Cormier, Cyr, Daigle, David, Doucet, Dugas/Dugat, Dupuis/Dupuy, Foret/Forêt, Gaudet, Gautreau/Gautreaux, Giroir, Granger, Gravois, Guédry/ Guidry, Guilbeau, Hebert/Hébert, Jeansonne, LaBauve, Landry, Langlinais, LeBlanc, Leger, LeJeune, Martin, Melancon, Mouton, Naquin, Orillon, Pellerin, Pitre, Poirier, Prejean, Richard, Robichaud/Robichaux, Rodrigue, Roy, Savoie/ Savoy, Sonnier/Saunier, Thériot, Thibodeau/Thibodeaux, Trahan, and Vincent.

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