The Acadians and the fort
Fort Beauséjour – Fort Cumberland National Historic Site
The Acadian population was comprised of the families who first settled around the fort at Beauséjour, and others who had fled their lands on the east side of the Missaguash River. These refugees helped with maintenance work on the fort and with the building of dykes.
Provisioning the garrison was one means of deriving economic benefit, although needy refugees received rations from the fort. Trade with Louisbourg and Île Saint-Jean via Baie Verte and Tatamagouche constituted another source of income for the Acadians in the region. They exported cattle, poultry, fish, vegetables, flour, furs and lumber.
Appeasing the locals
In 1754 the French missionary, Le Loutre, undertook a vast dyke-building project for which he had been able to obtain considerable monies from Versailles. The project was designed to appease the original Acadian settlers who did not welcome the arrival of hundreds of refugees into the area. Le Loutre also hoped to pacify the latter who wanted to go back to their farms. The refugees even sent two representatives to Quebec to petition civil and ecclesiastical authorities on their behalf. They were not greeted with much sympathy and, in fact, were criticized for the lack of gratitude and loyalty with regard to their missionaries and their mother country.
Defending the fort
Out of a total of about 3,000 Acadians living on the Isthmus of Chignecto and in the Shepody, Petitcodiac and Memramcook region, Commandant de Vergor estimated that about 700 were able to bear arms. However, all of them feared British reprisals if they took up arms. In June 1755, Vergor was only able to rally between 200 and 300 Acadian and a number of Indigenous people to join the 200 soldiers defending the fort at Beauséjour.Next part: Tensions in the 1750s
- Long before the Fort: Acadian settlement
- First warfare
- Zone of contention, place of growth
- The construction of a fort at Beauséjour
- Life inside the Fort during the French regime
- Tensions of the 1750s
- The siege of 1755
- The deportation of the Acadians
- The start of the British occupation
- Settlers from Yorkshire
- The 1776 siege of Fort Cumberland
- Changes to the fort after the second siege
- Creation of the national historic site
- Archeological digs
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