Acadia – recorded as the first French colony in America, though it was, oh, so much more than that. History will say that it came about through the good relations developed between the French and the Native American peoples, who managed to intermarry and live harmoniously on fertile New England ground. As a matter of fact, those Acadians lived in relative peace until the exact unfortunate time that England and France went to war on American soil, thereby also involving the Native Americans and thus being termed the French Indian War.
At such time, the English began attacking the Acadian colonies, though not because of how the history books might have you imagine. Oh, heavens no. The Acadians were quite capable of defending themselves, you see, as it was by no accident that certain Frenchmen had sought out certain American natives upon their arrival to this continent with which they should breed. These arrangements had, in fact, been a matter of great necessity and duty among these tribes, occurring by anything but happenstance, arrangements going back through the ages, over many centuries past.
Eventually, many Acadian descendants became trapped before coming into their own, or before developing an understanding of why they’d been targeted. They were declared as prisoners of the King of England, who thought he could claim them for His Majesty’s service, just as readily as he intended to claim the territory. Many of those who seemed to be of use to His Majesty were sent back to England on ships to be jailed and forced to carry out his plans, regardless of their lack of desire to garner future cooperation. Many resisted by killing themselves along the way to prevent that which would be forced upon them. Other departed ships full of escapees made it as far as the Carolinas before being rerouted from the coasts towards England. Those who were not slaughtered were overtaken and caged to assure their compliance.
Many of the Acadians who were deemed unworthy for His Majesty’s needs were either slaughtered on site or were forced to be scattered well away from the New England area. To escape death, many fled by horse, riverboat or on foot to the once French-controlled, now becoming more Spanish, Louisiana territory. There, some eventually discovered others of their kind, some even from German descent. Over time, those in the Louisiana territory learned to lay low, while their fame was reduced to legends, then their legends reduced to forgotten memories. Within that time, their named identity transitioned from Acadians to that of the misunderstood French accent that created an English version still known as Cajuns. Meanwhile, Massachusetts hid a large number of the exiles. Some who were suspected were fortunate enough to merely be watched for a time, then deemed of no great threat or value to anyone.
In all cases and without exception, these homeless Acadian exiles were reported to have contracted a devastating viral infection among themselves, something described as being akin to smallpox but apparently affecting only the adults and no others who accidentally came into contact. Some were reported to have died from it, though rumors circulated that was yet another trick to keep the English away. Without doubt, many others survived and their ancestors continue to flourish today. In their disbursement, most, like the Cajuns, are no longer recognized for who they legitimately once were – or who they once claimed to be. Most descendants do not even realize their own historical connections to one another.
Yet, for those who do…they understand the importance, the underlying power, of their ancestral past to every single being’s future.