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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, […]

All in the Family – The Franco-Americans of Yarmouth

Yarmouth, Maine, is not generally considered a “Franco-American town” – and with good reason.  The US Census Bureau estimates the Franco-American population of the community at about 630, or 11% of the total.  But, small as it may be, Yarmouth’s Franco-American community has an interesting story to tell. Apart from its diminuitive size, one distinguishing […]

Daniel Mitchell’s Decade Among the Abenaki

One Saturday evening, in the early spring of in 1752, three boys were bringing home the cattle from the common pasture near the meetinghouse in North Yarmouth, Maine [1], back to Benjamin Mitchell’s farm. It should have been a relatively routine chore for the lads, aged seven, eleven and twelve.  But at the intersection of Main Street and […]

When Canada Was the Problem Neighbor (Life on the Border, Part 1)

A Canadian Mountie and Vermont State Trooper pose at the border near Highwater, QC, in 1941, for the opening of the Montreal-Portland (Maine) oil pipeline. (Libraries and Archives Canada)   From out these wilderness haunts, bands of men have for years made systematic raids on…settlements, and woe to the man, woman or  child who has interfered […]