Category Archives: Acadians

For French Scientist-Priests, Eclipses Were Teachable Moments

In 1616, one of the most famous conflicts between science and faith occurred in Rome. The Italian scientist Galileo, who had built on the work of Dutch astronomer Nicholas Copernicus, was being challenged by the Inquisition of the Catholic Church. An inquisitorial commission found unanimously that the theory of heliocentrism was not only “foolish and […]

Augusta’s Public School for “French Scholars” Blighted by Truancy, Sickness, and Child Labor

In 1886, the school board of the city of Augusta noted that as more French Canadians were coming to the city, they were increasingly bringing their families with them, or starting families in their new homeland. As a result, the committee recommended that these young “French scholars” be educated in the city’s public school system. […]

A French Thanksgiving Off the Coast of Maine

American thanksgivings are characterized by slabs of roasted meat, free-flowing liquor and good cheer. This tradition is usually traced to the Pilgrim Fathers, and a feast they shared with the local Indians at Plymouth (Massachusetts) in 1621. However, it’s now widely accepted that there are many other possible origins for the tradition of Thanksgiving, including Spanish celebrations […]

The Acadians of York County – Few but not Forgotten

A threat to security; a liability on the public purse; unwanted and unwelcome.  Those sentiments have been applied to today’s refugees, especially this election cycle – but they were also the feelings of many New Englanders to the thousands of Acadians who found themselves placed in towns across Massachusetts (including the District of Maine) in […]