The following book review was written by Bobbi King:
Dudley Joseph Le Blanc (1894-1971), who continued to speak his ethnic Cajun French language for all his life, was a patent oil salesman (made him wealthy), an elected Louisiana state legislator and congressional U.S. senator, staunch advocate and defender of Acadian culture and history, and author, whose books celebrated the life of Acadian peoples and memorialized the forced Acadian Exile via his extensive personal research and publication of Acadian history.
The Acadian Miracle was published 50 years ago, in 1966. (An earlier book, The True Story of the Acadians, was previously reviewed in this newsletter). His granddaughter, M.M. Le Blanc, has taken the original manuscript and improved upon it, while maintaining original text, source material, and tone. This 50th Anniversary edition contains new content, added tables and charts, and appendices reorganized and revised. There are simple pencil drawings of people and events that illustrate the text, some maps, and tables with names.
The first chapter reviews the origin of the name “Acadians” and goes into the early history of the settlers, originally from France and under French authority. Eventually, the Acadians fell under British rule, who, according to Le Blanc, did not look kindly upon the Acadians. The most significant event, the Deportation of Acadians to New England in the 1750s, is recounted here in great detail: the beginnings of the deportation activities, where the Acadians ended up, and the later chapters are epilogues for the dislocated peoples.
There are several pages of lists of names, whether a local census or list of Grand Pre deportees. There are several censuses and military units’ lists in the appendices. There is no index, so you’ll need to search the pages for imbedded lists, but the story is so compelling that reading through the pages in no chore. It’s a sad story of displacement and deprivation, unfortunately only too common throughout our histories. But the authors have included many lists of names and families, so this is, besides a detailed history of the Acadians, a source for genealogy. The endnotes are many pages of source entries for anyone interested in further research.
The Acadian Miracle is cited as “Though stripped of their lands, their goods, their guns, their children and their very names; though lost in the multitudes “like leaves of autumn” the Acadians were stronger than the enemy.” Final chapters narrate the events and survival of the Acadians in the years following, in the English colonies and American states.
If you have Acadian ancestry, this would be a rich source of learning about the culture, daily life, history of, and difficulties of the Acadian people. If you’re fortunate enough to find a family in the book related to you, this would become a rich source of personal history.
The Acadian Miracle (50th Anniversary edition ) by Dudley J. Le Blanc is available from Amazon at: http://amzn.to/2GuxtvZ.