A village caught in the crossfire

Beaubassin and Fort Lawrence National Historic Sites

This now peaceful landscape was once one of the most coveted places in Acadie.

In 1749, French troops came from Quebec to claim the territory north of the Missaguash River. The British responded in the spring of 1750 by sending troops from Halifax to the south of the river. As the British arrived, they found that the French and their First Nation allies had set Beaubassin on fire, including the parish church of Notre-Dame-de-l’Assomption, and the Mi’gmaq chapel of Sainte-Anne. The British withdrew, fearing they would not be able to secure the village. The Acadians and Mi’gmaq of Beaubassin had to flee to the north side of the river.

By the fall of 1750 the remaining Acadian communities south of the river were also burned by the French and their allies. 940 Acadians were now living as refugees in French territory and many Mi’gmaq were displaced by the conflict. The clash at Beaubassin marked the end of attempts at peace and began more than a decade of upheaval and violence in the region.


  • 1696

    War in Europe, New Englanders attack Beaubassin, settlement razed.

  • 1704

    War in Europe, New Englanders attack again.

  • 1713

    Treaty of Utrecht. France cedes Acadie to Great Britain but the boundaries are unclear. First Nations do not recognise the treaty. The Isthmus of Chignecto becomes a disputed borderland.

  • 1722

    Mi’gmaq capture a New England fishing vessel off Chignecto in an ongoing war with British.

  • 1726-1728

    A peace and Friendship Treaty is ratified between British, Mi’gmaq and Wolastoqiyik. Chignecto Chief Argiumeau signs.

  • 1730

    Acadians swear a conditional oath of allegiance to the King of Great Britain, exempting them from taking up arms against French or Mi’gmaq.

  • 1744-1748

    War in Europe. The French use Beaubassin to stage attacks on the British in Nova Scotia. Some Acadians and Mi’gmaq support them.

  • 1749

    British establish a settlement at Kjipuktuk or Chebucto, name it Halifax. French reinforce their positions at the Saint John River and Chignecto.

  • 1749

    Mi’gmaq Joannes Pedousaghtigh of Chignecto renews 1726 treaty with British at Halifax, few other Mi’gmaq signs.

  • 1749

    Many of the Mi’gmaq of Shubenacadie move to Beaubassin.

  • 1750

    British arrive to take control of Chignecto.

  • 1750

    The first Acadians are forced from their homes, beginning an era of upheaval that would last for a generation.

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