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Franco-American Holiday Traditions

“Je vous souhaite une bonne et heureuse année, une bonne santé, et le paradis à la fin de vos jours”   With those words, or variations thereof, generations of French Canadians and Franco-Americans have welcomed in hundreds of New Years. The New Years blessing is traditionally given by the patriarch of the family – the […]

Where are the Franco-Americans?

Between 1850 and 1930, something like a million French Canadians left Canada for the United States.  Today, their descendants number almost 10,000,000.  But where did they go?  Which parts of the US have the most people of French-Canadian descent? We can go some way to answering those questions by using data published annually by the […]

Watch: Canadian Immigration to Maine, 1850-1940

Where do Maine’s Franco-Americans live?  That’s a question that’s at once both easy and difficult to answer.  The easy answer recalls large population centers well-known for their Franco-American communities – Lewiston, Biddeford, Waterville, Sanford, Augusta, Old Town, and places in the Saint John River Valley like Fort Kent, Madawaska, and Sainte Agathe. But there’s another […]

The 14th Colony – Maine and the Invasion of Canada, 1775

This past week saw the celebration of Independence Day in the US, of course, but also Canada Day north of the border. Over the winter of 1775-6, Maine was the setting for an audacious but ultimately failed bid that, if successful, would have had drastic ramifications for the history of both countries. Colonel Benedict Arnold, […]