Following the Deportation, many Acadian families went into a long period of isolation. Living in constant fear and practically in hiding until the end of the 18th century, they only came out into the open to settle in small groups apart from the British colonists.

Acadians, aside from the odd fishing schooner happening by, received few guests in their new communities. For many families, whose existence revolved first and foremost around the home, a stranger was seldom encountered. If a stranger chanced to come along, he was at first met with distrust, but this suspicious attitude generally soon gave way to Christian charity, calling for a warm greeting and a sharing of one’s frugal meal.

An Englishman, especially if he was a Protestant, was looked upon with especial fear and distrust. Very early, some Acadian communities nonetheless had to deal with an Anglophone presence. Protestant for the most part, these settlers of various British origins formed, in fact, with their own religious temples, their school and their social life, a parallel society. Still, clashes between the two groups were not rare … Forming a minority in most cases, the English Read More
Following the Deportation, many Acadian families went into a long period of isolation. Living in constant fear and practically in hiding until the end of the 18th century, they only came out into the open to settle in small groups apart from the British colonists.

Acadians, aside from the odd fishing schooner happening by, received few guests in their new communities. For many families, whose existence revolved first and foremost around the home, a stranger was seldom encountered. If a stranger chanced to come along, he was at first met with distrust, but this suspicious attitude generally soon gave way to Christian charity, calling for a warm greeting and a sharing of one’s frugal meal.

An Englishman, especially if he was a Protestant, was looked upon with especial fear and distrust. Very early, some Acadian communities nonetheless had to deal with an Anglophone presence. Protestant for the most part, these settlers of various British origins formed, in fact, with their own religious temples, their school and their social life, a parallel society. Still, clashes between the two groups were not rare … Forming a minority in most cases, the English-speaking newcomers exerted a monopoly on economy and political power in the villages. For instance, the Blackhall family in Caraquet, who simultaneously held many administrative offices in the 19th century.

Once a good friend, the Indian was also looked upon with suspicion by the Acadian in his new Acadia. As a rule, they had been on good terms before the Deportation. In the troubled years from 1755 to 1763, the Micmacs were even a great help for many Acadian families. All this changed, however, at the end of the 18th century. From then on, Acadians tended to settle in areas already occupied by Indians, which of course brought on many tensions and changed for ever their friendly relations.

© Village Historique Acadien, Province of New Brunswick, 2003. All Rights Reserved.

A minority in several Acadian communities, settlers of British origin nonetheless held most administrative offices at the local level in the 1800s. Some even held several such functions such as justice of the peace, postmaster, school trustee, etc.

Village Historique Acadien

© Village Historique Acadien, Province of New Brunswick, 2003. All Rights Reserved.


While relations between Acadians and American Indians are not as cordial as they once were, Micmacs have always been present in the daily life of Acadian communities.

Village Historique Acadien

© Village Historique Acadien, Province of New Brunswick, 2003. All Rights Reserved.


Following the 1870s, the advent of the railroad greatly favored the construction of hotels in many Acadians communities.Travellers, tourists and travelling salesmen are then more frequently seen in Acadian villages.



A visit from a travelling salesman is not only eagerly awaited by the storekeeper, it is appreciated by the neighborhood folk who like to look at the last novelties and hear the news from abroad.

Village Historique Acadien
2002
© Village Historique Acadien, Province of New Brunswick, 2003. All Rights Reserved.


While we like to gripe about the state of our roads, we easily forget that our ancestors did not have access, until the first half of the 20th century, to such a well-developed highway system. Moreover, they did not have the opportunity like us to travel ten of kilometers any day just to go shopping "in town". Let us not forget that a short car ride of some twenty minutes nowadays would have required, at the time, a trip of several hours. In short, travel was a luxury not available to everyone and was only resorted to when necessary.

Before the advent of the railway in the second half of the 19th century, travel was an activity chiefly practiced by waterway, since roads were scarce and in very bad condition. In fact, roads tended to look more like narrow paths and were often muddy, bumpy and murderous on carriage wheels, making the roads barely suited for the use of buggys and horses, let alone the first automobiles which arrived in Acadian communities in the 1910s. They certainly suffered a good deal of flat tires on those roads. Many people actually preferred walking to riding on the rough roads.

Because of this limited mobility, the boundaries of Read More
While we like to gripe about the state of our roads, we easily forget that our ancestors did not have access, until the first half of the 20th century, to such a well-developed highway system. Moreover, they did not have the opportunity like us to travel ten of kilometers any day just to go shopping "in town". Let us not forget that a short car ride of some twenty minutes nowadays would have required, at the time, a trip of several hours. In short, travel was a luxury not available to everyone and was only resorted to when necessary.

Before the advent of the railway in the second half of the 19th century, travel was an activity chiefly practiced by waterway, since roads were scarce and in very bad condition. In fact, roads tended to look more like narrow paths and were often muddy, bumpy and murderous on carriage wheels, making the roads barely suited for the use of buggys and horses, let alone the first automobiles which arrived in Acadian communities in the 1910s. They certainly suffered a good deal of flat tires on those roads. Many people actually preferred walking to riding on the rough roads.

Because of this limited mobility, the boundaries of the village and of the church parish marked the limits of know territory for most people. News from the family and neighbours was the chief concern and news from the outside world was practically non-existent until the creation of the first newspapers, such as the Moniteur Acadien in 1867. Of course, Acadians could always resort to the postal service, which could be very slow, depending on the means of transportation. Even if the coming of the telephone to New Brunswick dates from the late 1880s, it was not very reliable. Indeed, several decades went by before telephones became widespread in Acadian homes.

© Village Historique Acadien, Province of New Brunswick, 2003. All Rights Reserved.

For our forebears, a walk was generally the most reliable way to travel.

Village Historique Acadien
2002
© Village Historique Acadien, Province of New Brunswick, 2003. All Rights Reserved.


Until the early 1900s, sailing on the sea and rivers was the chief means of transportation and communication. Travel was by schooner or steam trawler on great distances, and by rowboat on shorter trips.

Village Historique Acadien

© Village Historique Acadien, Province of New Brunswick, 2003. All Rights Reserved.


Automobiles, which appear in the early 1900s, sometimes have trouble riding on roads and bridges designed for horses and carts.

Village Historique Acadien

© Village Historique Acadien, Province of New Brunswick, 2003. All Rights Reserved.


Between the 1870s and 1920s, the construction of railroad lines enabled many Acadian communities to ship their agricultural and commercial products more easily to other parts of North America.

PANB
c. 1905
P 38-357
© PANB


Learning Objectives

The learner will:
  • give in own words a few examples of how Acadians “dealt” with strangers;
  • list a few of the challenges an Acadian family was facing in the 19th century when wanting to travel or communicate with others.

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