Thursday, July 25, 2013

The Acadians Among Us

New Maryland Historical Trust Sign Unveiled

RECOGNITION GIVEN TO MARYLAND’S ACADIAN HERITAGE

Nearly 260 years ago a small group of refugees landed on the shores of Maryland against their will. The year was 1755, during the outset of the French and Indian War, but a different war was being waged against the French Catholics - known as Acadians - as they were expelled from their lands in Nova Scotia, Canada. Four shiploads, carrying about 900 Acadians, were unloaded on the shores of Maryland in November 1755 and by 1770 the majority of these displaced Acadians left by ship to Louisiana.

Rarely discussed in history books, these Acadian people were the early settlers of Oxford, Newtown (today Chestertown), Georgetown, Fredericktown, Baltimore, Annapolis, Upper Marlboro, Lower Marlboro and Port Tobacco and many of their names are found in the Maryland 1763 Acadian census.

At the Manokin River Park in Princess Anne, MD on July 28, 2013 at 3:00 pm, a Maryland Historical Trust Sign will be unveiled, recognizing the Acadians' contribution to Maryland's mainstream history and experience on the Eastern Shore. Marie Rundquist, author of Revisiting Anne Marie: How an Amerindian Woman of Seventeenth-Century Nova Scotia and a DNA Match Redefine “American” Heritage and Cajun by Any Other Name: Recovering the Lost History of a Family and a People, in support of the Maryland Historical Trust marker program, researched and outlined the important and little-known story of the expulsion of the Acadians from their lands in Nova Scotia and their forced resettlement throughout the colonies, including the Chesapeake Bay area.

Rundquist states, “Visitors searching for signs describing Acadian history in Maryland, and particularly their ancestors' experience on the Eastern Shore, will no longer be disappointed; by reading the Maryland Historic Marker in Princess Anne, they will discover the nearly hidden role of Acadians in Maryland's early history. Visitors will also find out about the remarkable, historic, Acadian connection that links Maryland's Eastern Shore with Nova Scotia, Canada and the Acadian (“Cajun”) people of Louisiana.”

The public is welcome to join the celebration and share in this historic event.

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