Excerpts from 1,100-word article
LOUSIANA'S ACADIANA TELLS 'THE REST OF THE STORY...'
St Martinsville, Louisiana: Beneath a
300 years old oak tree the Romero
brothers, Lenais and Ophe, sit playing
their accordion and triangle as they do
most days in this sleepy part of town.
Nearby, the Bayou Teche is quiet and
sluggish, and I am hard pressed to
visualize times when 3,000 Acadians
expelled from Nova Scotia found
refuge on these shores........
Louisiana bears little resemblance to the Annapolis Valley farmlands
from which the Acadians were banished. In 1605 theirs had been the first
permanent European settlement north of Florida. They didn't rob the land of
its fur-bearing animals but instead created arable land from existing marshes.
They built large earthen dikes along the shores, and soon had herds of cattle
grazing on former marshlands. They grew prodigious wheat crops, established
productive orchards and vegetable gardens. And they bothered no one.
It all changed after 1713 when Grand Pre
became a British possession. A French attempt
to re-take the lands had the British so worried
their commander issued an ultimatum: all must
swear allegiance to the crown or be deported.
In that one year alone some 6,000 residents of
French origin were expelled from lands settled
by their forefathers. Some found their way to
Louisiana, where they became known as