Acadian Redemption: From Beausoleil Broussard to the Queen's Royal Proclamation

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Andrepont Publishing, 2005 - Biography & Autobiography - 175 pages
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Acadian Redemption, the first biography of an Acadian exile, defines the 18th century society of Acadia into which Joseph dit Beausoleil Broussard was born in 1702. The book explains his early life events and militant struggles with the British who had, for years, wanted to lay claim to the Acadians' rich lands. The book discusses the repercussions of Beausoleil's life that resulted in the evolution of the Acadian culture into what is now called the Cajun culture. More than 50 vintage photographs, maps, and documents are included.
 

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Now the shadows of night gather round,
Foreign drums make their terrible sound.
They may tear us apart,
But they can’t still the heart
of your people, O sweet Acadie!
The above verse from the song O, O Acadie! by James Peter Louviere [page 53] speaks to the hearts of all people of Acadian descent. At age 35, I didn’t know I was such a descendant — until that day I stood on the ground impounded from the sea by my ancestors in Acadia over 350 years earlier. Luxuriant green fields stretched out in every direction with only the Church of St. Charles in Grand Pré punctuating the view, and a feeling welled up inside of me that brought tears to my eyes, tears which yet arise today as I type these words. This land, stretching as far as I could see, belonged to my ancestors and it was rudely and illegally wrenched from them in the eighteenth century by an agent of the British crown. I felt as if I had returned home to a place that I had never been before.
Warren Perrin has brought the story of the peace-loving Acadians to life within the covers of this book. He describes how our mutual ancestors only wanted peace with their neighbors and whoever claimed to be “governing” them, the French or the English. Unfortunately both the French and English disliked the Acadians and made life tough for them. After the Acadians had been promised to be allowed to remain peacefully settled in Acadia, a Governor of the region, without authority from the Queen, decided to deport all the Acadians, stripping them of their land, their farms, and most of their possessions. How this came to be is the heart of this book.
When I stood in the green grass of Grand Pré in June, 1975, it never occurred to me that I was violating a law of the Crown specifying that Acadians would be subject to punishment, even death, for returning to Acadia! That law stood unchallenged on the books until Warren Perrin, a Cajun and a lawyer, challenged the Queen to issue a proclamation to undo the law and apologize to the Cajuns, among other things. In December, 2003 the proclamation was issued.
Warren is planning to translate his book into French in the coming year.
 

Selected pages

Contents

The First Broussard in Acadia
1
The Early Years Colonization
5
Beausoleils Four Civil Disputes
9
The Resistance
19
Finalizing the Acadian Problem
33
Departing for a New Life
37
The Settlement of New Acadia
43
The Legacy
57
Apologies
111
Support for the Petition
115
The Royal Proclamation
119
Epilogue
127
Flags Tell the History of Louisiana Acadians 1996
130
Acadian History in Brief Chronology
132
Petition of the Acadians Deported to Philadelphia to the King of england 1760
134
Notes
143

The Broussard Clan in Louisiana
67
Sketches of an Acadian Journey
101
The Petition
105
About the Author
163
Bibliography
167
Copyright

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About the author (2005)

Warren A. Perrin is an attorney in Lafayette, Louisiana, and is a descendant of Beausoleil Broussard. He currently serves as President of the Council for the Development of French in Louisiana (CODOFIL). In 1999, Perrin served as President of a task force appointed to carry out FrancoFete '99, a year-long event comprised of over 1,500 cultural celebrations in recognition of Louisiana's tricentennial. He also helped to establish the non-profit Acadian Heritage and Culture Foundation, Inc. In recognition of his efforts, Perrin has been the recipient of many awards and honors, and has been the subject of many nationally broadcast interviews in the United States, England, and Canada.

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