Bureaucracy and the Expulsion of the Acadians
From the blog at http://JohnWood1946.wordpress.com
I debated what to title this posting without being too inflammatory, and finally decided upon Bureaucracy and the Expulsion of the Acadians. There is no avoiding, however, that it is a story of ethnic cleansing. Two documents follow, the first being Nova Scotia Governor Charles Lawrence’s instructions to the military in carrying out the Expulsion, and the second being his notice to other colonial governors to expect shipments of displaced people. These are from Report and Collections of the Nova Scotia Historical Society, a collection of papers dated in Halifax 1883.
Nova Scotia Governor Charles Lawrence
(Spelling is as found)
Bureaucracy and the Expulsion of the Acadians
- Instructions to Lieutenant Colonel Winslow:
Hallifax, 11th August, 1755
Instructions for Lieutenant Colonel Winslow Commanding His Majestye’s Troops att Mines; or in His Absence for Captain Alexr Murray Commanding His Majesty’s Troops Piziquid in Relation to the Transportation of the Inhabitants of the Districts of Mines Piziquid, River of Canard, Cobequid etc. out of the Province of Nova Scotia.
Sir, Having in my Letter of the 31st of July Last Acquainted Captain Murray with the Reasons which Induced His Majesty’s Council to Come to the Resolution of Sending Away the French Inhabitants and Clearing the Whole Country of Such Bad Subjects, (Which Letter he will Communicate to you together with the Instructions I have Since that Sent Him) it only Remains for Me to Give you Necessary Orders and Instructions for Puting in Practice What has Ben So Solemly Determined.
That the Inhabitants May Not have it in their Power to Return to this Province, Nor to Join in Strengthening the French of Canada or Louisbourge, it is Resolved that they shall be Dispersed Among His Majesty’s Colonies Upon the Continent of America.
For this purpose Transports are Sent Up the Bay to Ship off those at Chignecto And Colonel Monckton will Order those he Cannot fill their unto Mines Bason to Carry off Some part of the Inhabitants of these Districts; you Will have Vessels Also from Boston to Transport one Thousand Persons Reckoning Two Persons to a Ton.
Upon the arrival of these Vessels from Boston And Chignecto in the Bason of Mines, as Many of the Inhabitants of the Districts of Mines, Piziquid, Cobiquid, the River of Canard, &c.; as Can Be Collected By Any Means, Particularly the Heads of Families & Young Men are to Be Shipped On Board of them at the Above Rate of Two Persons to a Ton Or as Near it as Possible; the Tonnage to be ascertained By Charter Parties of the Severall Transports; Which you Will Be Furnished With an Account of From the Masters.
And to Give You all the Ease Possible Respecting the Victualling of these Transports; I have Appointed Mr. George Saul to Acte as Agent Victualler Upon this Occasion, And have given him Particular Instructions for that Effect, Which he has Directions to Communicate to you. And to Furnish You With a Copy of upon his Arrivall From Chignecto; With Provisions Ordered for Victualling the whole Transports.
Destination of the Vessels Appointed to Rendivous in the Bason of Mines
To be Sent to North Carolina. Such a Number as Will Transport Five hundred Persons or their abouts.
To be Sent to Virginia. Such a Number as Will Transporte One Thousand Persons.
To Marylande. Such a Number as will Transporte Five hundred persons or in Proportion, if the Number if the — to — Shipped Oft Should Exceed two thousand Persons.
If the Transports from Boston Should Arrive In Mines Bason Before Mr. Saul the Agent Victualler Shall Arrive from Chignecto, they Must Remain their till he Does Arrive with the Provisions, But in Case You Shall have Imbarked Any of the Inhabitants Before the Agent Victualler be On the Spot, You will If Necessary Allow Each Person So Imbarked Five Pounds of Flower and one pound of Pork for Every Seven Days. Which Allowance Mr. Saul has Orders to Replace.
When the People are embarked you will please to Give the Maste of Each Vessell One of the Letters (of which you will Receive a Number Signed By Me) Which you will Address to the Governour of the Province or Commander in Chief for the time Being where they are to be put on Shore and enclose therein the Printed form of the Certificate to be Granted to the Masters of the Vessells to Intitle them to their Hire as Agreed Upon By Charter Party: And with Each of these you will Give the Masters their Sailing Orders in writing to Proceed According to the above Destination, And Upon their Arrivall Immediately to wait Upon the Governers or Commanders in Chief of the Provinces to Which they are Bound—with the Said Letters and to Make all Possible Dispatch in Debarking their Passengers and Obtaining Certificates thereof Agreeable to the Form Afforesaid: And you will in these Orders Make it a Perticular Injunction to the Said Masters to be as Carefull and watchfull as Possible During the whole Course of the Passage; to Prevent the Passengers from Making any Attempt to Seize Upon the Vessells By Allowing only a Small Number to be Upon the Decks at a Time, and Useing all Other Necessary Precautions to Prevent the Bad Consequences of Such Attempts; And that they Be Perticularly Carefull that the Inhabitants have Carried no Arms or Other Offencive Weapons on Board with them at their Imbarkation; As Also that they See the Provisions Regularly Issued to the People Agreable to the Allowance proportioned in Mr. Saul’s Instructions.
As Captain Murray is well Acquainted with the People &c. with the Country, I would have you Consult with Him Upon all occasions, And Perticularly with Relation to the Means Necessary for Collecting the People together, So as to Get them On Board; And if you Find that fair Means will not Do with them, you Must Proceed By the Most Vigorous Measures Possible not Only in Compeling them to Embarke But in Depriveing those who Shall Escape of all Means of Shelter or Support By Burning their Houses and Distroying Everything that May Afford them the Means of Subsistance in the Countrey. You will Receive Herewith a Copy of the Charter Party; which the Masters of the Transporte Vessels taken here have entered Into with the Goverment, For your Information as to the Terms; those From Boston will Be Nearly the Same, and as you See they are hired By the Month you will Use all Possible Dispatch to Save Expence to the Publick.
If it is not very Inconvenient I would have you Send the Sloop Dove to Annapolis to take on Board part of the Inhabitants their, Destined for Connecticut to Which Place that Vessel Belongs.
As Soon as the Transports have Received Their People On Board, And Are Ready to Sail you are to Acquaint the Commander of His Majesty’s Ship therewith that He May take them Under Convoy and put to Sea without Loss of Time.
When you have Executed the Buisness of Shipping Off all that Can Be Collected of the Inhabitants in the Districts About Mines Bason you will March your Self or Send a Strong Detachment to Annapolis Royal to Assist Major Handfeild in Shipping off those of that River, And you will So Order it as all the Straglers that May be Met with by the way May be taken up and Carried to Annapolis in Order to their Being Shipped with the Reste.
- Circular Letter from Governor Lawrence to the Governors of the other colonies:
Hallifax in Nova Scotia, 11th of August, 1755
Sir, The success that has attended His Majesty’s Armes in Driving the French from the Encrochments they had Made In the Province Furnished Me with a Favourable Oppertunity of Reducing the French Inhabitants of this Colony to a Proper Obedience to His Majesty’s Goverment or Forcing them to Quit the Country. These Inhabitants were Permitted to Remain in Quiet Possession of their Lands, Upon Condition they Should take the Oath of Allegiance to the King within one year after the Treaty of Utretch by which this Province was Ceded to Great Britain; With this Condition they have Ever Refuced to Comply without having at the Same time from the Governor an Assurance in Writing that they Should not Be Called Upon to Bear Arms in the Defence of the Province And with this General Phillips Did Comply of which Step His Majesty has Disapproved, And the Inhabitants Pretending Therefrom to be in a State of Neutrality between His Majesty and His enemies have Continually Furnished the French and Indians with Intelligence, Quarters, Provisions and Assistance In Annoying the Governmente, and While one Part have Abetted the French Incroachments By their Treachery, the Other have Countananced them by Open Rebellion. And Three Hundred of them were Actually found in Armes in the French forte at Beausejour When it Surrendered.
Notwithstanding all their former Bad Behaviour as His Majesty was Pleased to Allow me to Extend Still further His Royall Grace to Such as would Return to their Duty, I Offered Such of them as had Not Ben Openly in Arms Againste us a Continuance of the Possession of their Lands If they would take the Oath of Allegiance Unqualified with Any Reservations whatso Ever, But this they have Most Audaciously as Well as Unanimously Refused, And if they would Presume to Do this when their is a Large Fleet of Ships of War in the Harbour And a Considerable Land Force in the Province, What Might Not wee Expecte from them When the Approaching Winter Deprives us of the Former, And When the Troops Which are only Hirede from New England Occasionally and for a Small Time Have Returned Home?
As by this Behaviour the Inhabitants Have forfeited all title to their Lands and any further favour from the Government; I Called together His Majesty’s Council att which the Honourable Vice Admiral Boscaven & Rear Admiral Mostyn Assisted to Consider By what Means We Could with the Greatest Security and effect rid Ourselves of a Set of People who would forever have Ben an Obstruction to the Intentions of Settling this Colony and that it was now from their Refussal of the Oath Absolutely incumbent Upon Us to Remove.
As to their Numbers Amount to Near Seven Thousand Persons, the Driveing them off With Leave to Go Whither they Pleased, would have Doubtless Strengthened Canada, With so Considerable a Number of Inhabitants, and as they have no Cleared Land to Give them at Present, Such as Are Able to Bear Armes, Must have ben Immediately Employed In Annoying this ande the Neighboring Colonies, to Prevent Such an Inconveniency, it was Judged a Necessary, and the Only Practible Measure to Divide them among the Colonies, where they May be of Some Use as Most of them Are Healthy Strong People, And as they Cannot easily collecte themselves together Again it will Be out of their Power to Do any Mischief, And they May Became Proffitable and it is Possible in time Faithful Subjects.
As this Step was Indispensibly Necessary To the Security of this Colony Upon whose Preservation from French Incrochments the Prosperity of North America its esteemed in a Great Measure Dependant. I have not the Least Reason to Doubt of your Excellency’s Concurrence And that will Receive the Inhabitants I now Send and Dispose of them in Such Manner as May Best Answer Our Designs in Preventing their Reunion.
As the Vessells employed in This Service are Upon Monthly Hire I beg the Favour of you to Expedite as Much as Possible their Discharge And that they May Be Furnished with a Certificate of the Time thereof Agreable to the Form Enclosed.
I am, Sir, Your Most Obedient and Most Humble Servant,