My Nova Scotia Books 5

📚 Purchased from a gift/souvenir shop in Chester, N.S. Sadly, I cannot recall the name and cannot find it in Apple Maps.

Of all the books I got in Nova Scotia, this was the most powerful. The Expulsion of the Acadians – also called the Great Deportation – which occurred from 1755-64, is one of the great scars of history on this beautiful place, perpetrated by the brutal British colonial government on a peaceful agrarian population whose crime was that they spoke French. The Expulsion echoes still in this region and its local culture.

There are a great number and variety of books on the topic of the Great Deportation; the Grand Pré Visitors Center had books covering all aspects of the event, ranging from academic histories to fictional retellings. Longfellow’s poem “Evangeline” exists in many different formats.

But this book felt different. Acadian Driftwood, despite its slim profile, is packed with thorough research and scholarship, imaginative storytelling using the known facts, and a deeply personal exploration by its author, Tyler Leblanc.

Leblanc did not even know his ancestors were Acadian until he traced his genealogy back to Joseph LeBlanc (his great-great-great-great-great-great-grandfather). The book tells the separate histories of Joseph and his 10 siblings who were expelled from their homes and lands and quite literally scattered to the four winds. Each chapter follows the trail of an individual sibling, where they ended up, and how they possibly fared. Some of them died at sea, others who made their way to France, England, Philadelphia, and yes, Louisiana, and even some who hid out and escaped the clutches of the British soldiers. The book describes the type of life and living conditions Leblanc’s ancestors would have found in these unsafe and openly hostile environments, so different from the green and peaceful Acadia they had known.

A short, powerful book that tells you what you need to know factually about the Great Deportation and what you should know emotionally, personally, about how that event played out in these individual lives. And then ponder how the world treats refugees today and ask yourself: is it any better? Is it any different?

Acadian Driftwood - The Band - YouTube

Acadian Driftwood - Wikipedia (background on The Band’s song)

How Tyler LeBlanc looked into his Nova Scotia roots and uncovered a connection to Acadian history | CBC Books

Michael E Brown @brownstudy