Online eBook: Acadian Culture in Maine

If you have Acadian ancestry, especially those who moved from Acadia to northern Maine, you will want to read a 92-page report on the history and culture of Maine’s upper St. John Valley that is available online free of charge. Acadian Culture in Maine, a 1994 publication of the National Park Service can be found on the web site of the University of Maine at Fort Kent Acadian Archives at http://acim.umfk.maine.edu.

acadian-culture-in-maine

The 1994 print run was limited to 1,000 copies that sold out quickly. The Park Service did not have the necessary funds for a second publication. Now the Park Service has made the book available online at no charge. The result is lower expenses for the National Park Service and a much wider audience for this reference book.

The Acadians featured in this book are those Americans of French descent connected by history to the upper St. John Valley of Maine and New Brunswick, including the descendants of early Acadian settlers of the St. John Valley.

The book details the travels of the Acadians from Gran Pre, Nova Scotia, through the Gran Derangement by the British, who scattered the Acadians up and down the East Coast. The Web site has 110 new color images that did not appear in the original book. The images include paintings by Edmundston, New Brunswick, artist Claude Picard, including one of the Gran Derangement, or the expulsion of Acadians.

The Web site creators also added teachers’ references and lesson plans to teach the travails of the Acadians. The site includes a wealth of information on Acadians in Maine. The book also can be printed from the site.

I spent a fascinating evening reading this online book. Of course, it was fascinating to me because about 50% of my ancestors were French-speaking Acadians and Quebecois who lived in the St. John River Valley. I especially noted the pictures of two different churches in which many of my ancestors were christened or married or were mourned at their funerals.

If you have an interest in Acadian history, you will enjoy this online book. If you have French-speaking ancestors from the St. John River Valley, you will more than enjoy it; you will find it fascinating.

Acadian Culture in Maine can be found at http://acim.umfk.maine.edu.

4 Comments

I only have one Acadian ancestor, and he was in Nova Scotia, in the Grand Prè area (Evangeline country). But I’ve been fascinated with Acadian culture for years. This will make a good read.

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I remember as a kid in midldle-or-early high school (mid-1940’s) being required to read “Evangeline” and , like any unready kid, I had no idea that what later became known as “ethnic cleansing” had ever existed. It was many years before I began learning the brutal lesson that the Acadians, like the Irish being thrown out of their homes in the “Great Plantation” diaspora, were unfortunate members of a host of political pawns in a very long history of displacement that continues to this day.

I recently re-read Longfellow’s poem and wish that I could have appreciated what it meant back then. I think it would have made me more sympathetic for the Koreans who were trying to put their lives back together while we dumb GI’s were storming through the countryside.

I suppose my brother-in-law, who had gone through France, Belgium and into Germany could have explained it but, like so many others, he had a lot of trouble talking about such subjects for a very long time.

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I am unable to figure out how to get the book to print. The instructions they give aren’t useful.

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