Acadian Timeline

1603  Pierre Dugua de Mons is given monopoly of the fur trade in New France, now Nova Scotia, by King Henri IV, and becomes the first governor of Acadie.

1604  De Mons and Samuel de Champlain, along with 77 other men, leave France to sail to New France. During the first winter at the settlement in Île Ste-Croix, a lack of fresh fruit and vegetables leads to an outbreak of scurvy. Of 79 men, 65 fall ill of scurvy; 35 of them die.

1605  De Mons and the remaining men move their settlement to Port-Royal, a location that they hope will have milder winters. It becomes the first permanent settlement in New France.

1632  Although French settlement is continuous, a large number of settlers arrive between 1632 and 1653. Ownership of Acadie is fought over by France and England, and it exchanges hands many times.

1654  Under English rule, French settlement ceases, but it resumes in 1670 following the Treaty of Breda (1667).

1713  The Treaty of Utrecht ends the War of Spanish Succession, making the Acadians in Nova Scotia permanent British subjects. Île Royale (Cape Breton) and Île Saint-Jean (Prince Edward Island) remain under French control.

1719  Work begins on the Fortress of Louisbourg to secure France’s stronghold on Île Royale. It becomes one of the busiest ports on the Atlantic coast.

1745  Louisbourg falls to British forces from New England. The Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle returns Louisbourg to the French in 1748.

1749  The establishment of Halifax engrains a solid British presence in Nova Scotia.

1755  Acadians refuse to sign an oath of allegiance to Britain that would make them loyal to the Crown instead of being “French neutrals.”

British Lieutenant Governor Charles Lawrence and the Nova Scotia Council decide on July 28 to deport the Acadians.

The deportation orders are given on August 11, 1755, beginning the Grand Dérangement.

British military begin the deportation process at Fort Beauséjour and order the Acadians’ settlements to be destroyed.

1755-1764  More than 6,000 Acadians are forcibly removed from their homes and deported to Québec, the 13 Anglo-American colonies, as well as Britain, and France. Many are put in jail or die at sea. Others make their way to Québec, hide with the Mi’kmaq in Nova Scotia, or travel to present-day New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island.

Between 10,000 and 18,000 Acadians are displaced during le Grand Dérangement, and thousands more are killed. Many families who are separated during this period are never reunited.

1763  The Treaty of Paris grants Great Britain colonial possession of North America, except the islands of St. Pierre and Miquelon, off the coast of Newfoundland.

1764  British authorities allow Acadians to return in small isolated groups. They return slowly, settling in various locations in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island. Others end up in Newfoundland, the West Indies, and even the Falkland Islands.

1765-1785  About 3,000 deported Acadians travel from France to settle in Louisiana, which had become a colony of Spain in 1763. Their descendents, the Cajuns, maintained the culture and language to some degree.

1836  Simon d’Entremont is the first Acadian to be sworn in as a member of the Legislative Assembly of Nova Scotia.

1847  The American poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s poem Évangéline is published, based on the events surrounding the Deportation of 1755. The title character becomes a folklore heroine.

1864  St. Joseph’s College is founded in Memramcook, N.B.; it is the first higher educational institution in Acadie.

1867  Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Ontario, and Québec are united together by the British North America Act, becoming the Dominion of Canada.

1881  The first Acadian convention establishes August 15 as National Acadian Day.

1884  An Acadian flag and a national anthem are adopted at the second Acadian convention.

1890  Collège Ste-Anne, today called Université Sainte-Anne, is established in Pointe-de-l’Église (Church Point), NS.

1923  Peter J. Veniot became the first Acadian Premier of New Brunswick.

1960  Louis J Robichaud is the first Acadian to lead his party to an election victory, serving as Premier of New Brunswick until 1970.

1963  The Université de Moncton is founded and becomes the largest francophone institution of higher education outside Québec.

1994  The first Congrès mondial acadien is held in southeastern New Brunswick.

1996  The creation of a French-language school board, the Conseil scolaire acadien provincial, provides the Acadian and francophone students of Nova Scotia with French first language education from primary to grade 12.

1999  The Congrès mondial acadien is held in the Acadiana region, Louisiana.

2003  A proclamation, issued in the name of the Queen by the Governor General in 2003, recognizes the wrongs suffered by the Acadians during the Grand Dérangement (Deportation). July 28 was set aside as a day to commemorate the Great Upheaval, beginning in 2005, the 250th anniversary of the Grand Dérangement.

2004  The Congrès mondial acadien is held in Nova Scotia. The year 2004 marks the 400th anniversary of continuous French settlement in North America, and it is proclaimed l’Année de l’Acadie in Nova Scotia.

2005  This year marks the 250th anniversary of the Grand Dérangement.

2009  Congrès mondial acadien is held in the Acadian Peninsula of New Brunswick.

2012  The landscape of Grand-Pré is declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.