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Information reposted and shared by Friends of Beaubears Island Inc., Senior Historical Correspondent, John English

There will be 2 posts of this content due to the large amount of content. One will be in French and the other in English.
Version française in an additional post.
Part B

Disclosure: I have significant Acadian ancestry (despite the judgment of my surname); Anne Ouestnorouest and Pierre Martin are part of it. Centuries ago, people were given a surname corresponding to their skills (a builder or mason was called Tom Builder and George Mason). I personally believe that a paternal ancestor who lived in Ireland could speak and write English, so they were named for example a James English.

Acadians on the Miramichi

In the refugee camp at Cocagne, during the winter of 1755-1756, there were several families of Caniba (Kennebec), Malecite, and Abenaki who had followed Boishébert after his retreat from Fort Ménagouèche at the mouth of the Saint John River. The men had participated in Boishébert’s campaigns on the Petitcodiac River and in the Isthmus of Chignecto region during autumn 1755. These were the Aboriginal fighters who retrieved from the British the livestock confiscated from the Acadians during the preceding summer and fall. With these animals, both the Native and the Acadian refugee families were able to feed themselves over that winter.70 It is hard to judge how many people comprised this group of First Nations families, but they certainly numbered several hundreds of individuals, based on Le Guerne’s remarks: “Boishébert collaborated with Father Germain to sustain the neediest families [of Acadians] and 400 to 500 Native families whom he kept for military operations.”71 It appears that these families moved to Camp Espérance in the summer of 1756 with the Acadian refugee families and were to winter over there in preparation for the siege of Louisbourg, which the French believed would occur in the summer of 1757.72 
It happened that Camp Espérance was established at a time of scarcity throughout New France and the col-onies of Île Royale and Île-Saint-Jean. As early as the beginning of the winter of 1756-1757, Camp Es-pérance ran short of food. At first, just as promised, Intendant François Bigot sent out from Québec a ship loaded with provisions for the Miramichi, even though the whole of Québec itself was low on food. Unfor-tunately, contrary winds forced the ship to stop along the way.73 Boishébert also looked to Île-Saint-Jean for help, but Villejouin could do nothing for him, since that colony was down to the last of its own provi-sions.74 As a result, by the beginning of winter, with the fish depleted – and despite the 40 cattle that had arrived from the Petitcodiac75 – the shortage was so severe that Boishébert was forced to reduce rations for the Acadian refugees, the Aboriginal families, and the soldiers.76 The bread ran out very quickly. People resorted to eating the hides of the cattle they had consumed the year before, along with the small remain-ing supply of seal oil.77 Once those items were gone, breast-feeding children died.78 The desperate Acadi-ans began suspecting that surplus food had been hidden from them. In January of 1757, they rebelled and armed themselves to force the supposed hoarders to share.79 Boishébert had to intervene. He demanded to know what they thought they were doing, to which they responded: “Prolonger nos jours” (i.e., “staying alive”). Boishébert was so distressed and moved by the answer that he immediately turned over half of his own food reserves. He then recruited anyone with enough remaining strength to build sleds to transport the weakest persons over the snow to the Pokemouche River, about 26 leagues away (some 100 kilome-ters).80 A group of 500 persons undertook that painful journey, of whom 83 died. Had it not been for some cattle hides that Abbé Manach gave them as they passed by his mission (10 leagues, about 40 kilometers, from Camp Espérance), the death toll would have been even greater.81
Boishébert, meanwhile, still had 1,200 persons to feed, Acadians and Aboriginals as well as soldiers. But he had no food left. So, he suggested that another group follow the earlier migration to the Pokemouche River and bring back a supply of fish for those staying behind. Of the party who went, three did not make it to the destination, but after 11 days, the others returned to Camp Espérance with the bit of help everyone was waiting for. This sustenance was enough to enable another wave of the feeblest refugees to set out for the Pokemouche. By many repeated excursions for fish, the camp was able to get through the winter. By the end of March, however, the ice had become too thin to allow any more trips to the Pokemouche, and the supplies of fish and eels were quickly depleted. People had to fall back to eating any leftover beaver skins, and soon had nothing to consume but their deerskin footwear. And so, Boishébert, “the officers, sol-diers, and Acadians, all completely debilitated, collapsed to the ground,” waiting to die. Just at that point, a ship loaded with provisions from Québec made it through the ice to Miramichi.82
Vaudreuil, in fact, was quite conscious of the troubles afflicting Camp Espérance, and he informed the Min-ister of the Marine in France that Bigot would be sending a shipload of provisions as soon as the winter ice broke up, bringing as much assistance as Québec could spare.83 The ship did not leave Québec until 9 May. Vaudreuil used that opportunity to send along his correspondence for Louisbourg and Paris.84 An additional supply boat for Miramichi left Port-Toulouse, Cape Breton, after 30 April 1757, under the command of Alex-andre LeBlanc, a son of the Joseph LeBlanc known as “LeMaigre.”85 It seems that the order came from François-Gabriel d’Angeac,86 commander of the posts at Port-Dauphin and Port-Toulouse, but it likely origi-nated with Augustin de Boschenry de Drucour, governor of Île Royale, who was quite aware of the harrow-ing situation at Camp Espérance, since Boishébert would certainly have requested his help as well. Alt-hough falling far short of the need, food supplies did continue to flow during the winter 87 from the Acadi-ans of Petcoudiac, Chipoudie, Memramcook, Caraquet, and even the folk displaced from Beaubassin. But starting in the spring of 1757, supply ships arrived regularly, ensuring provisions for Camp Espérance. Spe-cifically, we know that schooners and ships (some of them from Québec) unloaded cargos on the following dates: in 1757, on 12 and 15 June, 8 and 20 September, and 30 December; and in 1758, on 1 and 8 Septem-ber, as well as 8, 11, and 12 October, and 5 November.88 As a result, the winters of 1757-1758 and 1758-1759 were much less onerous for the refugees of Camp Espérance, who at least had a bite to eat, probably including meat, lard, and salt fish. 
Numbers 
Just how many people were at Camp Espérance on the Miramichi in the winter of 1756-1757 and what was the death toll? Relying on the figures that Clos provides in his memoir, we can establish the total number of occupants at around 1,800, counting Native people, soldiers, and refugees. This figure includes the breast-feeding Acadian children who perished, the 500 or so refugees who left for the Pokemouche River, and some 1,200 other surviving individuals who stayed behind at the camp. Of the latter 1,200, then, how many were Acadian refugees, how many were Aboriginal (fighters and family members), and how many were White soldiers? 
First of all, the Clos memoir mentions the “small garrison” of Camp Espérance, which suggests that sol-diers were a minor component of the total.89 At the end of the spring of 1757, as expected, Boishébert had to go to the aid of the fortress town of Louisbourg, under siege by the British. Joubert was the Louis-bourg officer under whom Boishébert and his men came to serve. He wrote that Boishébert had with him, in July 1757, “a hundred and ten Caniba [Kennebec], Malecite, and Abenaki and a hundred Mi’kmaq whom sieur de Boisbert [sic] brought from Acadie with eighteen soldiers and one hundred and fifty Aca-dian militiamen.”90 Assuming that Boishébert left some of his soldiers at Miramichi – maybe a dozen men – we can estimate the total size of his garrison at some 30 men, which is to say, similar to the size of his garrison at Fort La Tour (Ménagouèche) at the mouth of the Saint John River, two years earlier, these sol-diers having come with him to Cocagne.91 
What of the Aboriginal people in Camp Espérance? Assuming a mistake on the part of Le Guerne (or of the person who transcribed his correspondence to Prévost) when writing 400 to 500 “families” instead of “persons,” we venture to say that they numbered around 500 individuals at most.92 
Subtracting 500 First Nations persons and 30 soldiers from 1,200, we are left with a figure of approxi-mately 670 Acadian refugees. To find the number of Acadian refugees occupying Camp Espérance at the beginning of the winter of 1756-1757, we add the 500 who migrated to Pokemouche in mid-winter, plus the breast-feeding children who died of starvation (and whose number we estimate below). Basing our analysis on the data in the official documents, then, we arrive at total of approximately 1,250 at the start of the season. Now, let us examine this approximation more closely. Is there additional support for that conclusion? 
We can test the count by two additional methods: first, by calculating from reports on migrations; and second, by extrapolating from census data and genealogical compilations. 
We begin with migrations. Vaudreuil claims that there were, besides Aboriginal people, 600 persons93 at the Cocagne camp the preceding winter (1755-1756), including 230 individuals or 50 families from Memramcook who departed for Île-Saint-Jean in the spring. That left 370 Acadians at Cocagne. Later, 87 more Acadian refugees migrated to the Island, including 16 of the 50 returnees from South Carolina,94 be-fore Villejouin refused to accept any more. Now, just around that time, Le Guerne arranged for some families from Shepody to move to the Island. It is highly likely that the latter families account for most of those 87 persons, that is, 71 of them. But there was also migration in the other direction. Once Camp Es-pérance was established at summer’s end, some of the migrants to Île-Saint-Jean moved to the Miramichi, although we can only guess at how many of them did so.95 Besides those people, we must add those who arrived in the summer of 1756 from Port Royal, whose number Vaudreuil estimated at 30 families and Le Guerne at 50 or 60 households.96 Furthermore, Boishébert advised Vaudreuil in the summer of 1756 that there were 1,000 Acadians still in the region of the Three Rivers – Shepody, Petitcodiac, and Memramcook – and that 250 of them were planning to move to the refugee camp.97 Obviously, it is possible that this move never came to pass, but if it did, then we are left with an estimate of 1,250 to 1,300 Acadian refu-gees at Camp Espérance by the autumn of 1756.98
.. we[the authors] come up with a figure of 847 persons who were enumerated in the 1754-1755 census surveys, and who possibly turn up among the Acadian refugees present at Camp Espérance in the winter of 1757.106
.. Through these sources, as well as Stephen A. White’s genealogical notes, we believe we have identified the majority of the households and individuals who stayed at Camp Espérance in 1756-1757. We [the authors] present the list: (full list details at https://acadiens-metis-souriquois.ca/aams-blog/news-and-reflections-the-acadian-refugee-camp-on-the-miramichi-1756-1761-march-30-2018, acadian_households_at_camp_espérance_on_the_miramichi_in_winter_1756-1757.pd)
HOUSEHOLDS DEFINITELY at CAMP ESPÉRANCE 9 by Husbands or father’s surname(only because the whole family back then was usually known by this):

Allain, Arostéguy, Arseneau, Aucoin, Aupin, Babin, Babineau, Bazert , Belliveau, Benoit, Bernard, Berthier, Bertrand, Blanchard, Bonnevie, Boudrot, Bourg, Bourgeois, Boutin, Breau, Broussard, Brun, Caissie, Caylan, Célestin, Chalou, Chiasson, Comeau, Cormier, Corporon, Cronier, Cyr, Daigre, Darois, David, Deveau, Doiron, Doucet, Dubois, Dugas, Duon, Dupuis, Forest, Gaudet, Gautrot, Gilbert, Giraud, Girouard, Gousman, Granger, Grenon, Guédry, Guénard, Guilbeau, Guispet, Haché, Hébert, Johnson,  La Ville, Labauve, Lalande, Landry, Lanoue, Lapierre, LeBlanc, Léger, Lemire, Levron, Maillet, Marchand, Melanson, Ménard, Michel, Mouton, Nuirat, Pellerin, Pinet, Pitre, Poirier, Porlier, Pothier, Préjean, Raymond, Renaud, Richard, Robert, Robichaud, Roy, Ruault, Saint-Julien de La Chaussée , Saulnier, Savoie, Surette, Tardif, Thébeau, Thériot, Trahan, Vigneau, Vincent

The pdf also has a list of ADDITIONAL FAMILIES WHOSE PRESENCE at CAMP ESPÉRANCE IS UNCERTAIN BUT LIKELY 

Eye-witness accounts of this tragic episode offer very few details about the number of victims. Le Guerne says merely: “Last winter these poor people died in great numbers from hunger and want.”111 What was in Le Guerne’s mind when he said: “great numbers”? We will probably never know. We do, at least, have Boishébert’s statements. According to the document prepared for his defence when he was tried for his role in the “Canada Affair,”112 86 persons perished in the first two trips to the Pokemouche River and “all the children died.”113

The “Canada Affair” was a scandal, with legal proceedings, around financial mismanagement in the St. Lawrence River colony (which, as noted earlier, was known at the time as “Canada,” while “Québec” referred only to the town). Boishébert was accused of having had a role. In her Boishébert biography in the Dictionary of Canadian Biography, P. E. LeBlanc (1979) comments as follows: “After the fall of Canada in 1760 Boishébert re-turned to France. He was accused of having participated in Intendant Bigot’s schemes and shortly after was im-prisoned in the Bastille. It was claimed that he had profited personally from the purchase in Quebec of supplies for the starving Acadians. After 15 months in prison he was acquitted.”  

Artistic representation of an Acadian family at the time of the Grand Dérangement: (family statue)

The latter is a rather audacious claim, given what we know about the survivors of Camp Espérance.114 Vaudreuil is more careful in his comments – un-doubtedly based on information from Boishébert himself or from Le Guerne – saying that it was, in fact, unweaned babies who died. (Shades of mod-ern-day television images of children dying in droughts and other disaster zones.) How many such children might have perished? Among the families at Camp Espérance, we found 140 wives who could have borne a child.115 It is quite unlikely that all these women were nursing a baby at the same time, but it is reasonable to suppose that at least half of them were doing so, thus, about 70 women. 
If we assume that 70 nursing babies were lost, and add those who did not survive the trips to Pokemouche, the total death toll (according to Boishébert) would be about 156 over that winter of 1757. 
There is yet another statistic from that tragic episode. It appears in a memorandum presented to the Duke de Choiseul around 1762, concerning a manifesto delivered by “the powers of Canada” – meaning
the British authorities in control of Québec – to the Court of France, opposing the treaty of neutrality and pacification signed by the Acadians in February 1760.116 Here is the argument presented to the duke as a basis for denouncing the conditions under which the Acadians were forced to surrender to the British: “The authors of this manifesto have taken insufficient care to inform themselves of the sore necessity and extreme difficulty in which the Acadians and their missionary found themselves for several years, with no food of any kind, to the point where more than 400 of them died for lack of sustenance and nutrition.”117 This memorandum does not identify its author, but we suspect it was Abbé de l’Isle-Dieu, who was un-questionably one of the most well-informed people in France at the time, apart from the Acadians them-selves and their missionaries, from whom this individual would have obtained his information. The mis-sionary referenced in the memo is no doubt Abbé Jean Manach, who had been deported from Acadie a year after advising the Acadians to sign the treaty of neutrality and pacification that is mentioned in this document.118 That priest was present at the Miramichi in the winter of 1757, so he himself was in a posi-tion to know in full detail the misery that prevailed among the Acadian refugee families in Camp Es-pérance. That figure of 400 deaths comes closer to Le Guerne’s portrayal of the scope of the tragedy, and is quite close to Fraser’s claim of 500 victims.119 In his unpublished notes on the hardships among Acadian refugee families on the Miramichi, Placide Gaudet estimates that 400 died there.120 Assuming that the figure of 400 victims is correct, we have to conclude that around 1,000 survivors remained in the spring of 1757, out of the 1,400 Acadian refugees who had been at Camp Espérance the preceding autumn. Of those who made it through that winter, 120 then left for Québec,121 while approximately 880 persons re-mained in Acadie. 
Bishop de Pontbriand of Québec wrote in October 1757 about the sorrowful condition of the Acadians: “And then there are still 800 or 900 at Miramichi, north of Isle St. Jean just across the water, who would like nothing better than to make it over there, where they could settle at Malpek or Bedek [Malpèque or Bedèque], if they are to have any hope of surviving instead of perishing from want and suffering at Mira-michi.”122 Bazagier’s Restigouche list of October 1760 tells of 529 persons at Restigouche,123 194 at Mira-michi, 150 at Caraquet, and 26 at Shippagan, giving a total of 899 individuals who could have spent time at Camp Espérance, but this list was prepared four years after the refugee camp was set up, so the list could have been inflated by births that occurred in the interim. If we sum up the data from 1763 in the lists of Acadians at Fort Cumberland (Beauséjour), Halifax, and Annapolis Royal, we get a total of 658 per-sons. If we add to this figure the 230 persons imprisoned at Fort Edward in 1761 and 1762, we get a total of 888 individuals who could have been at Camp Espérance.124 Here likewise, we must exclude children born since 1757. When we then add in the people who are missing from the 1763 lists but who did spend the winter of 1757 at the Miramichi refugee camp, we get a lot closer to the figure of 880 survivors of that winter who stayed in Acadie afterward. Taking this into account, then, it is realistic to set the number of victims in Camp Espérance at about 400 persons, which is the figure provided in the memorandum to the Duke de Choiseul around 1762.

Epilogue 
With the fall of Louisbourg in July 1758, the fate of Camp Espérance was permanently sealed. The following spring, Boishébert, commander at the site, would return to Québec from Restigouche, his new headquarters, leaving the latter under the command of Lieutenant Jean-François Bourdon de Dambourg125. But in the meantime, upon leaving Louisbourg in the summer of 1758, he had first headed toward the Saint John River region. Fur-ther down the Atlantic coast of present-day Maine, he fought a highly successful battle against the British around Fort George.126 Just as he and his men were getting ready to set off again, they got word that the British were attacking sites on the Saint John and the Miramichi.127 In fact, on the day after the surrender of Louisbourg, the commander of the British army in North America, General Jeffery Amherst, had ordered Brigadier-General James Wolfe to lead an expedition against the settlements of the Miramichi, Gaspé, and others in the vicinity.128 To execute those orders, Wolfe assigned Colonel James Murray to lead a force of close to 800 men against the settlements on the Miramichi River. Murray got there aboard the Juno, captained by John Vaughan, who, on 15 September 1758,129 urged Murray to act as quickly as possible, since the ship was riding in dif-ficult waters at the mouth of Miramichi Bay, exposed to onshore winds that threatened to drive the vessel aground on the coast.130 With 300 of his men, Murray led an assault on the French post of Baie des Ouines (present-day Bay du Vin on the south side of Miramichi Bay), which had been deserted, except by surgeon Jean-Louis Bazert and his family, who were taken prisoner. When he learned of another settlement on the opposite shore of Miramichi Bay – the Mi’kmaq mission now known as Burnt Church – Murray immediately sent troops to burn the church as well as the homes of the Mi’kmaq and the Acadian refu-gees.131 Bazert also told Murray: 
That Ten Leagues up the River there was another Settlement very considerable of neutrals and some Family’s who had fled from the Is-land of St. John’s since the taking of Louisbourg. That the whole were in a starving Condition, had sent away the most part of their Effects to Canada [Québec], and were all to follow immediately as they every Hour expected the Eng-lish, & besides could not subsist since they could not now be supported by Sea as they formerly were before Louisbourg was taken, that the Inducement for settling in that River was the Furr Trade, which is very considerable, no less than Six Vessels hav-ing been loaded there with that Commodity this Summer. That Monsr. Boisbert commands the whole as well as the Settlement on St. John’s River, that he is at present with his Company at Fort George, against which he is to act in Conjunction with a Detachment from Montcalm’s army & is no more to return to Miramichi, which is abandoned for the reasons above given. 132 
Bazert also informed Murray that the river passage to Camp Espérance was very narrow, but deep enough for his sloop. With the mild weather, Murray wanted to travel upriver to destroy Camp Espérance, but after consulting with Captains Vaughan and Bickerton, he decided to drop the idea and bring his men aboard ship.133 Since the ships’ commanders were distinctly nervous about the security of their ships, the little fleet weighed anchor on September 18134 and regained Louisbourg a week later, leaving Camp Es-pérance intact.135 

Boishébert implies that he and his men arrived at the Miramichi just before James Murray’s expedition left the place.136 Now, this seems implausible, since Boishébert only learned of Murray’s expedition when Monckton’s own expedition reached the mouth of the Saint John on September 16, which is the day after Murray’s force arrived at Miramichi. The latter left there on the 18th. Boishébert would have needed more than 48 hours to get from the Saint John to the Miramichi, especially since his forces were travelling in canoes with long portages to cross. 
According to Cooney, Camp Espérance was: “…a Town comprising upwards of two hundred houses includ-ing a Chapel and Provisions Stores at Beaubair’s [i.e., Beaubear’s or Boishébert’s] Point.”137 This refugee camp was, indeed, a quite substantial establishment. Besides the chapel and houses, it included the structures typical of any military post of the time, that is, the commander’s house, barracks, a hospital, a forge, a bakery, the priest’s house, warehouses, and even a wharf.138 In addition, houses and sheds or storehouses were built at Caraquet139 and at Baie-des-Ouines, and even a house upriver on the Miramichi at the starting-point of the portage to the Saint John.140 Cooney also reports that, besides the refugees at Camp Espérance and Baie-des-Ouines, some families were living at Néguac and at Canadian Point, and that artillery batteries had been installed on Beaubear Island and at French Cove.141 He adds: “They more-over had a manufactory for arms, as well as a ship yard and Commissariat Store at Fawcett’s Point, now owned by Joseph Cunard & Co. but then called after the French Commissary.”142 

In the spring of 1759, Boishébert, along with his successor Bourdon, transferred the encampment from the Miramichi to the Restigouche, further north.143 The families from Île-Saint-Jean followed, along with the refugee families who had been at Camp Espérance since the summer of 1756. Some of those families had already left that unhappy locale in 1758, as we hear from Murray: “that there are several Habitations dispersed all over the Bay, for many Leagues both above and below where we were.”144 Wolfe adds: “From Pas-beau round the Bay des Chaleurs to Caraquet, there are no french Inhabitants, from Caraquet to Miramichi, there may be about forty, who either fish, or trafick with the Indians for Furr.”145 According to the information that Wolfe drew upon, along with what the surgeon Jean-Louis Bazert told James Mur-ray, the majority of the refugee families were still at Camp Espérance at summer’s end in 1758. So too were some families from Île-Saint-Jean. They would subsequently move to the camp that Bourdon estab-lished on the Restigouche River where we find them in October 1760.146

Of the households and single individuals who had been at Camp Espérance in 1756-1757, more than half decided to stay in Acadie,160 while the rest settled mainly in Louisiana, but also in Québec, France, and Saint-Domingue (Haiti). Thanks to the DGFA, we are able to track the refugee families of Camp Espérance, as shown in the Appendix. Of the 429 households or unat-tached individuals who were at the camp, we know where 308 of them settled, specifically: 121 in Acadie (48 in Nova Scotia, 5 in Prince Edward Island, and 68 in New Brunswick), 101 in Louisiana, 53 in Québec, and 33 in France (including 22 in Miquelon and 5 in Saint-Domingue).161
..the main Acadian settlements (NB ones listed here) where descendants of the Camp Espérance people are to be found, based on our information about where family members eventually settled: Barachois, Cap-Pelé, Dieppe, Memramcook (including Beaumount and Pré-d’en-Haut), Scoudouc, Shédiac, and Shemogue (Chimougoui) in Westmoreland County; Bouctouche, Cocagne, Grande-Digue, Richibucto, Richibucto-Village, Saint-Louis-de-Kent, and Saint-Charles-de-Kent Parish in Kent County; Néguac in Northumberland County; Bathurst (Nepisiguit), Caraquet, Petit-Rocher, Shippagan, and Tracadie in Gloucester County; and Saint-Basile in Madawaska County.   
For lack of sources offering precise details, we will probably never know that exact number of Acadian ref-ugees who lived at Camp Espérance on the Miramichi during that winter of 1756-1757, nor the number who died there. One thing is clear, however: in the various earlier studies of this episode, the figures ap-pear to be inflated, judging by the information we have extracted from documentary materials of that time. That conclusion is especially clear from the genealogical notes, which give indisputable data on the persons who survived that fateful winter. Our best estimate is that approximately 1,400 Acadian refugees were at the camp then. Relying on the finding that 880 persons survived and were living in Acadie in the immediate aftermath, and that another 120 departed for Québec, we place the number of deaths at about 400 individuals, which is to say, close to one-third of the Acadian refugees who began the winter of 1756-1757 at Camp Espérance.

Camp d’Espérance Memorial at Wilson’s Point, Miramichi (note: The author’s research shows that the plaque contains an overestimate of the number of refugees at the site): (picture of monument).

(source: text excerpts above are from “The Acadian Refugee Camp on the Miramichi, 1756-1761” by Ronnie-Gilles LeBlanc. He is a former archivist at the Centre d’études acadiennes and historian at Parks Canada Agency. And has a Ph. D. in history from Université Laval, his research and publications focus on eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Acadian history. 

Letter from the Acadians who took refuge at Miramichi sent to James Murray, governor of the district of Québec, August 11, 1761:

Further information such as explanatory maps of Saint Croix & Acadia: Acadian Deportation, Migration, and Resettlement: https://umaine.edu/canam/publications/st-croix/acadian-deportation-migration-resettlement/

Visit the Boishébert National Historic Site of Canada: https://www.pc.gc.ca/apps/dfhd/page_nhs_eng.aspx?id=162

Discover Miramichi aboard the 50 passenger, double-decker Max Aitken tour boat Relax as your colorful Acadian Captain, Azade Haché interprets the river and its history.  Miramichi River Boat Tours offer daily cruises and special charters including meals are available.
Learn about the ‘headless nun’ at French Fort Cove: https://mynewbrunswick.ca/folklore/the-headless-nun/
Visit the impressive Acadian village: https://villagehistoriqueacadien.com/en
August 15 is the day that Acadians gather together to celebrate National Acadian Day (source: Canada.ca)
Carrefour Communautaire Beausoleil is the Miramichi’s francophone school:  at 1-506-627-4125, or visit: www.carrefourbeausoleil.ca on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/carrefourbeausoleil/ They usually can provide the Miramichi Acadian Day events.Image attachmentImage attachment+2Image attachment

Information reposted and shared by Friends of Beaubears Island Inc., Senior Historical Correspondent, John English

There will be 2 posts of this content due to the large amount of content. One will be in French and the other in English.
Version française in an additional post.
Part B

Disclosure: I have significant Acadian ancestry (despite the judgment of my surname); Anne Ouestnorouest and Pierre Martin are part of it. Centuries ago, people were given a surname corresponding to their skills (a builder or mason was called Tom Builder and George Mason). I personally believe that a paternal ancestor who lived in Ireland could speak and write English, so they were named for example a James English.

Acadians on the Miramichi

In the refugee camp at Cocagne, during the winter of 1755-1756, there were several families of Caniba (Kennebec), Malecite, and Abenaki who had followed Boishébert after his retreat from Fort Ménagouèche at the mouth of the Saint John River. The men had participated in Boishébert’s campaigns on the Petitcodiac River and in the Isthmus of Chignecto region during autumn 1755. These were the Aboriginal fighters who retrieved from the British the livestock confiscated from the Acadians during the preceding summer and fall. With these animals, both the Native and the Acadian refugee families were able to feed themselves over that winter.70 It is hard to judge how many people comprised this group of First Nations families, but they certainly numbered several hundreds of individuals, based on Le Guerne’s remarks: “Boishébert collaborated with Father Germain to sustain the neediest families [of Acadians] and 400 to 500 Native families whom he kept for military operations.”71 It appears that these families moved to Camp Espérance in the summer of 1756 with the Acadian refugee families and were to winter over there in preparation for the siege of Louisbourg, which the French believed would occur in the summer of 1757.72
It happened that Camp Espérance was established at a time of scarcity throughout New France and the col-onies of Île Royale and Île-Saint-Jean. As early as the beginning of the winter of 1756-1757, Camp Es-pérance ran short of food. At first, just as promised, Intendant François Bigot sent out from Québec a ship loaded with provisions for the Miramichi, even though the whole of Québec itself was low on food. Unfor-tunately, contrary winds forced the ship to stop along the way.73 Boishébert also looked to Île-Saint-Jean for help, but Villejouin could do nothing for him, since that colony was down to the last of its own provi-sions.74 As a result, by the beginning of winter, with the fish depleted – and despite the 40 cattle that had arrived from the Petitcodiac75 – the shortage was so severe that Boishébert was forced to reduce rations for the Acadian refugees, the Aboriginal families, and the soldiers.76 The bread ran out very quickly. People resorted to eating the hides of the cattle they had consumed the year before, along with the small remain-ing supply of seal oil.77 Once those items were gone, breast-feeding children died.78 The desperate Acadi-ans began suspecting that surplus food had been hidden from them. In January of 1757, they rebelled and armed themselves to force the supposed hoarders to share.79 Boishébert had to intervene. He demanded to know what they thought they were doing, to which they responded: “Prolonger nos jours” (i.e., “staying alive”). Boishébert was so distressed and moved by the answer that he immediately turned over half of his own food reserves. He then recruited anyone with enough remaining strength to build sleds to transport the weakest persons over the snow to the Pokemouche River, about 26 leagues away (some 100 kilome-ters).80 A group of 500 persons undertook that painful journey, of whom 83 died. Had it not been for some cattle hides that Abbé Manach gave them as they passed by his mission (10 leagues, about 40 kilometers, from Camp Espérance), the death toll would have been even greater.81
Boishébert, meanwhile, still had 1,200 persons to feed, Acadians and Aboriginals as well as soldiers. But he had no food left. So, he suggested that another group follow the earlier migration to the Pokemouche River and bring back a supply of fish for those staying behind. Of the party who went, three did not make it to the destination, but after 11 days, the others returned to Camp Espérance with the bit of help everyone was waiting for. This sustenance was enough to enable another wave of the feeblest refugees to set out for the Pokemouche. By many repeated excursions for fish, the camp was able to get through the winter. By the end of March, however, the ice had become too thin to allow any more trips to the Pokemouche, and the supplies of fish and eels were quickly depleted. People had to fall back to eating any leftover beaver skins, and soon had nothing to consume but their deerskin footwear. And so, Boishébert, “the officers, sol-diers, and Acadians, all completely debilitated, collapsed to the ground,” waiting to die. Just at that point, a ship loaded with provisions from Québec made it through the ice to Miramichi.82
Vaudreuil, in fact, was quite conscious of the troubles afflicting Camp Espérance, and he informed the Min-ister of the Marine in France that Bigot would be sending a shipload of provisions as soon as the winter ice broke up, bringing as much assistance as Québec could spare.83 The ship did not leave Québec until 9 May. Vaudreuil used that opportunity to send along his correspondence for Louisbourg and Paris.84 An additional supply boat for Miramichi left Port-Toulouse, Cape Breton, after 30 April 1757, under the command of Alex-andre LeBlanc, a son of the Joseph LeBlanc known as “LeMaigre.”85 It seems that the order came from François-Gabriel d’Angeac,86 commander of the posts at Port-Dauphin and Port-Toulouse, but it likely origi-nated with Augustin de Boschenry de Drucour, governor of Île Royale, who was quite aware of the harrow-ing situation at Camp Espérance, since Boishébert would certainly have requested his help as well. Alt-hough falling far short of the need, food supplies did continue to flow during the winter 87 from the Acadi-ans of Petcoudiac, Chipoudie, Memramcook, Caraquet, and even the folk displaced from Beaubassin. But starting in the spring of 1757, supply ships arrived regularly, ensuring provisions for Camp Espérance. Spe-cifically, we know that schooners and ships (some of them from Québec) unloaded cargos on the following dates: in 1757, on 12 and 15 June, 8 and 20 September, and 30 December; and in 1758, on 1 and 8 Septem-ber, as well as 8, 11, and 12 October, and 5 November.88 As a result, the winters of 1757-1758 and 1758-1759 were much less onerous for the refugees of Camp Espérance, who at least had a bite to eat, probably including meat, lard, and salt fish.
Numbers
Just how many people were at Camp Espérance on the Miramichi in the winter of 1756-1757 and what was the death toll? Relying on the figures that Clos provides in his memoir, we can establish the total number of occupants at around 1,800, counting Native people, soldiers, and refugees. This figure includes the breast-feeding Acadian children who perished, the 500 or so refugees who left for the Pokemouche River, and some 1,200 other surviving individuals who stayed behind at the camp. Of the latter 1,200, then, how many were Acadian refugees, how many were Aboriginal (fighters and family members), and how many were White soldiers?
First of all, the Clos memoir mentions the “small garrison” of Camp Espérance, which suggests that sol-diers were a minor component of the total.89 At the end of the spring of 1757, as expected, Boishébert had to go to the aid of the fortress town of Louisbourg, under siege by the British. Joubert was the Louis-bourg officer under whom Boishébert and his men came to serve. He wrote that Boishébert had with him, in July 1757, “a hundred and ten Caniba [Kennebec], Malecite, and Abenaki and a hundred Mi’kmaq whom sieur de Boisbert [sic] brought from Acadie with eighteen soldiers and one hundred and fifty Aca-dian militiamen.”90 Assuming that Boishébert left some of his soldiers at Miramichi – maybe a dozen men – we can estimate the total size of his garrison at some 30 men, which is to say, similar to the size of his garrison at Fort La Tour (Ménagouèche) at the mouth of the Saint John River, two years earlier, these sol-diers having come with him to Cocagne.91
What of the Aboriginal people in Camp Espérance? Assuming a mistake on the part of Le Guerne (or of the person who transcribed his correspondence to Prévost) when writing 400 to 500 “families” instead of “persons,” we venture to say that they numbered around 500 individuals at most.92
Subtracting 500 First Nations persons and 30 soldiers from 1,200, we are left with a figure of approxi-mately 670 Acadian refugees. To find the number of Acadian refugees occupying Camp Espérance at the beginning of the winter of 1756-1757, we add the 500 who migrated to Pokemouche in mid-winter, plus the breast-feeding children who died of starvation (and whose number we estimate below). Basing our analysis on the data in the official documents, then, we arrive at total of approximately 1,250 at the start of the season. Now, let us examine this approximation more closely. Is there additional support for that conclusion?
We can test the count by two additional methods: first, by calculating from reports on migrations; and second, by extrapolating from census data and genealogical compilations.
We begin with migrations. Vaudreuil claims that there were, besides Aboriginal people, 600 persons93 at the Cocagne camp the preceding winter (1755-1756), including 230 individuals or 50 families from Memramcook who departed for Île-Saint-Jean in the spring. That left 370 Acadians at Cocagne. Later, 87 more Acadian refugees migrated to the Island, including 16 of the 50 returnees from South Carolina,94 be-fore Villejouin refused to accept any more. Now, just around that time, Le Guerne arranged for some families from Shepody to move to the Island. It is highly likely that the latter families account for most of those 87 persons, that is, 71 of them. But there was also migration in the other direction. Once Camp Es-pérance was established at summer’s end, some of the migrants to Île-Saint-Jean moved to the Miramichi, although we can only guess at how many of them did so.95 Besides those people, we must add those who arrived in the summer of 1756 from Port Royal, whose number Vaudreuil estimated at 30 families and Le Guerne at 50 or 60 households.96 Furthermore, Boishébert advised Vaudreuil in the summer of 1756 that there were 1,000 Acadians still in the region of the Three Rivers – Shepody, Petitcodiac, and Memramcook – and that 250 of them were planning to move to the refugee camp.97 Obviously, it is possible that this move never came to pass, but if it did, then we are left with an estimate of 1,250 to 1,300 Acadian refu-gees at Camp Espérance by the autumn of 1756.98
.. we[the authors] come up with a figure of 847 persons who were enumerated in the 1754-1755 census surveys, and who possibly turn up among the Acadian refugees present at Camp Espérance in the winter of 1757.106
.. Through these sources, as well as Stephen A. White’s genealogical notes, we believe we have identified the majority of the households and individuals who stayed at Camp Espérance in 1756-1757. We [the authors] present the list: (full list details at acadiens-metis-souriquois.ca/aams-blog/news-and-reflections-the-acadian-refugee-camp-on-the-miram..., acadian_households_at_camp_espérance_on_the_miramichi_in_winter_1756-1757.pd)
HOUSEHOLDS DEFINITELY at CAMP ESPÉRANCE 9 by Husband's or father’s surname(only because the whole family back then was usually known by this):

Allain, Arostéguy, Arseneau, Aucoin, Aupin, Babin, Babineau, Bazert , Belliveau, Benoit, Bernard, Berthier, Bertrand, Blanchard, Bonnevie, Boudrot, Bourg, Bourgeois, Boutin, Breau, Broussard, Brun, Caissie, Caylan, Célestin, Chalou, Chiasson, Comeau, Cormier, Corporon, Cronier, Cyr, Daigre, Darois, David, Deveau, Doiron, Doucet, Dubois, Dugas, Duon, Dupuis, Forest, Gaudet, Gautrot, Gilbert, Giraud, Girouard, Gousman, Granger, Grenon, Guédry, Guénard, Guilbeau, Guispet, Haché, Hébert, Johnson, La Ville, Labauve, Lalande, Landry, Lanoue, Lapierre, LeBlanc, Léger, Lemire, Levron, Maillet, Marchand, Melanson, Ménard, Michel, Mouton, Nuirat, Pellerin, Pinet, Pitre, Poirier, Porlier, Pothier, Préjean, Raymond, Renaud, Richard, Robert, Robichaud, Roy, Ruault, Saint-Julien de La Chaussée , Saulnier, Savoie, Surette, Tardif, Thébeau, Thériot, Trahan, Vigneau, Vincent

The pdf also has a list of ADDITIONAL FAMILIES WHOSE PRESENCE at CAMP ESPÉRANCE IS UNCERTAIN BUT LIKELY

Eye-witness accounts of this tragic episode offer very few details about the number of victims. Le Guerne says merely: “Last winter these poor people died in great numbers from hunger and want.”111 What was in Le Guerne’s mind when he said: “great numbers”? We will probably never know. We do, at least, have Boishébert’s statements. According to the document prepared for his defence when he was tried for his role in the “Canada Affair,”112 86 persons perished in the first two trips to the Pokemouche River and “all the children died.”113

The “Canada Affair” was a scandal, with legal proceedings, around financial mismanagement in the St. Lawrence River colony (which, as noted earlier, was known at the time as “Canada,” while “Québec” referred only to the town). Boishébert was accused of having had a role. In her Boishébert biography in the Dictionary of Canadian Biography, P. E. LeBlanc (1979) comments as follows: “After the fall of Canada in 1760 Boishébert re-turned to France. He was accused of having participated in Intendant Bigot’s schemes and shortly after was im-prisoned in the Bastille. It was claimed that he had profited personally from the purchase in Quebec of supplies for the starving Acadians. After 15 months in prison he was acquitted.”

Artistic representation of an Acadian family at the time of the Grand Dérangement: (family statue)

The latter is a rather audacious claim, given what we know about the survivors of Camp Espérance.114 Vaudreuil is more careful in his comments – un-doubtedly based on information from Boishébert himself or from Le Guerne – saying that it was, in fact, unweaned babies who died. (Shades of mod-ern-day television images of children dying in droughts and other disaster zones.) How many such children might have perished? Among the families at Camp Espérance, we found 140 wives who could have borne a child.115 It is quite unlikely that all these women were nursing a baby at the same time, but it is reasonable to suppose that at least half of them were doing so, thus, about 70 women.
If we assume that 70 nursing babies were lost, and add those who did not survive the trips to Pokemouche, the total death toll (according to Boishébert) would be about 156 over that winter of 1757.
There is yet another statistic from that tragic episode. It appears in a memorandum presented to the Duke de Choiseul around 1762, concerning a manifesto delivered by “the powers of Canada” – meaning
the British authorities in control of Québec – to the Court of France, opposing the treaty of neutrality and pacification signed by the Acadians in February 1760.116 Here is the argument presented to the duke as a basis for denouncing the conditions under which the Acadians were forced to surrender to the British: “The authors of this manifesto have taken insufficient care to inform themselves of the sore necessity and extreme difficulty in which the Acadians and their missionary found themselves for several years, with no food of any kind, to the point where more than 400 of them died for lack of sustenance and nutrition.”117 This memorandum does not identify its author, but we suspect it was Abbé de l’Isle-Dieu, who was un-questionably one of the most well-informed people in France at the time, apart from the Acadians them-selves and their missionaries, from whom this individual would have obtained his information. The mis-sionary referenced in the memo is no doubt Abbé Jean Manach, who had been deported from Acadie a year after advising the Acadians to sign the treaty of neutrality and pacification that is mentioned in this document.118 That priest was present at the Miramichi in the winter of 1757, so he himself was in a posi-tion to know in full detail the misery that prevailed among the Acadian refugee families in Camp Es-pérance. That figure of 400 deaths comes closer to Le Guerne’s portrayal of the scope of the tragedy, and is quite close to Fraser’s claim of 500 victims.119 In his unpublished notes on the hardships among Acadian refugee families on the Miramichi, Placide Gaudet estimates that 400 died there.120 Assuming that the figure of 400 victims is correct, we have to conclude that around 1,000 survivors remained in the spring of 1757, out of the 1,400 Acadian refugees who had been at Camp Espérance the preceding autumn. Of those who made it through that winter, 120 then left for Québec,121 while approximately 880 persons re-mained in Acadie.
Bishop de Pontbriand of Québec wrote in October 1757 about the sorrowful condition of the Acadians: “And then there are still 800 or 900 at Miramichi, north of Isle St. Jean just across the water, who would like nothing better than to make it over there, where they could settle at Malpek or Bedek [Malpèque or Bedèque], if they are to have any hope of surviving instead of perishing from want and suffering at Mira-michi.”122 Bazagier’s Restigouche list of October 1760 tells of 529 persons at Restigouche,123 194 at Mira-michi, 150 at Caraquet, and 26 at Shippagan, giving a total of 899 individuals who could have spent time at Camp Espérance, but this list was prepared four years after the refugee camp was set up, so the list could have been inflated by births that occurred in the interim. If we sum up the data from 1763 in the lists of Acadians at Fort Cumberland (Beauséjour), Halifax, and Annapolis Royal, we get a total of 658 per-sons. If we add to this figure the 230 persons imprisoned at Fort Edward in 1761 and 1762, we get a total of 888 individuals who could have been at Camp Espérance.124 Here likewise, we must exclude children born since 1757. When we then add in the people who are missing from the 1763 lists but who did spend the winter of 1757 at the Miramichi refugee camp, we get a lot closer to the figure of 880 survivors of that winter who stayed in Acadie afterward. Taking this into account, then, it is realistic to set the number of victims in Camp Espérance at about 400 persons, which is the figure provided in the memorandum to the Duke de Choiseul around 1762.

Epilogue
With the fall of Louisbourg in July 1758, the fate of Camp Espérance was permanently sealed. The following spring, Boishébert, commander at the site, would return to Québec from Restigouche, his new headquarters, leaving the latter under the command of Lieutenant Jean-François Bourdon de Dambourg125. But in the meantime, upon leaving Louisbourg in the summer of 1758, he had first headed toward the Saint John River region. Fur-ther down the Atlantic coast of present-day Maine, he fought a highly successful battle against the British around Fort George.126 Just as he and his men were getting ready to set off again, they got word that the British were attacking sites on the Saint John and the Miramichi.127 In fact, on the day after the surrender of Louisbourg, the commander of the British army in North America, General Jeffery Amherst, had ordered Brigadier-General James Wolfe to lead an expedition against the settlements of the Miramichi, Gaspé, and others in the vicinity.128 To execute those orders, Wolfe assigned Colonel James Murray to lead a force of close to 800 men against the settlements on the Miramichi River. Murray got there aboard the Juno, captained by John Vaughan, who, on 15 September 1758,129 urged Murray to act as quickly as possible, since the ship was riding in dif-ficult waters at the mouth of Miramichi Bay, exposed to onshore winds that threatened to drive the vessel aground on the coast.130 With 300 of his men, Murray led an assault on the French post of Baie des Ouines (present-day Bay du Vin on the south side of Miramichi Bay), which had been deserted, except by surgeon Jean-Louis Bazert and his family, who were taken prisoner. When he learned of another settlement on the opposite shore of Miramichi Bay – the Mi’kmaq mission now known as Burnt Church – Murray immediately sent troops to burn the church as well as the homes of the Mi’kmaq and the Acadian refu-gees.131 Bazert also told Murray:
That Ten Leagues up the River there was another Settlement very considerable of neutrals and some Family’s who had fled from the Is-land of St. John’s since the taking of Louisbourg. That the whole were in a starving Condition, had sent away the most part of their Effects to Canada [Québec], and were all to follow immediately as they every Hour expected the Eng-lish, & besides could not subsist since they could not now be supported by Sea as they formerly were before Louisbourg was taken, that the Inducement for settling in that River was the Furr Trade, which is very considerable, no less than Six Vessels hav-ing been loaded there with that Commodity this Summer. That Monsr. Boisbert commands the whole as well as the Settlement on St. John’s River, that he is at present with his Company at Fort George, against which he is to act in Conjunction with a Detachment from Montcalm’s army & is no more to return to Miramichi, which is abandoned for the reasons above given. 132
Bazert also informed Murray that the river passage to Camp Espérance was very narrow, but deep enough for his sloop. With the mild weather, Murray wanted to travel upriver to destroy Camp Espérance, but after consulting with Captains Vaughan and Bickerton, he decided to drop the idea and bring his men aboard ship.133 Since the ships’ commanders were distinctly nervous about the security of their ships, the little fleet weighed anchor on September 18134 and regained Louisbourg a week later, leaving Camp Es-pérance intact.135

Boishébert implies that he and his men arrived at the Miramichi just before James Murray’s expedition left the place.136 Now, this seems implausible, since Boishébert only learned of Murray’s expedition when Monckton’s own expedition reached the mouth of the Saint John on September 16, which is the day after Murray’s force arrived at Miramichi. The latter left there on the 18th. Boishébert would have needed more than 48 hours to get from the Saint John to the Miramichi, especially since his forces were travelling in canoes with long portages to cross.
According to Cooney, Camp Espérance was: “…a Town comprising upwards of two hundred houses includ-ing a Chapel and Provisions Stores at Beaubair’s [i.e., Beaubear’s or Boishébert’s] Point.”137 This refugee camp was, indeed, a quite substantial establishment. Besides the chapel and houses, it included the structures typical of any military post of the time, that is, the commander’s house, barracks, a hospital, a forge, a bakery, the priest’s house, warehouses, and even a wharf.138 In addition, houses and sheds or storehouses were built at Caraquet139 and at Baie-des-Ouines, and even a house upriver on the Miramichi at the starting-point of the portage to the Saint John.140 Cooney also reports that, besides the refugees at Camp Espérance and Baie-des-Ouines, some families were living at Néguac and at Canadian Point, and that artillery batteries had been installed on Beaubear Island and at French Cove.141 He adds: “They more-over had a manufactory for arms, as well as a ship yard and Commissariat Store at Fawcett’s Point, now owned by Joseph Cunard & Co. but then called after the French Commissary.”142

In the spring of 1759, Boishébert, along with his successor Bourdon, transferred the encampment from the Miramichi to the Restigouche, further north.143 The families from Île-Saint-Jean followed, along with the refugee families who had been at Camp Espérance since the summer of 1756. Some of those families had already left that unhappy locale in 1758, as we hear from Murray: “that there are several Habitations dispersed all over the Bay, for many Leagues both above and below where we were.”144 Wolfe adds: “From Pas-beau round the Bay des Chaleurs to Caraquet, there are no french Inhabitants, from Caraquet to Miramichi, there may be about forty, who either fish, or trafick with the Indians for Furr.”145 According to the information that Wolfe drew upon, along with what the surgeon Jean-Louis Bazert told James Mur-ray, the majority of the refugee families were still at Camp Espérance at summer’s end in 1758. So too were some families from Île-Saint-Jean. They would subsequently move to the camp that Bourdon estab-lished on the Restigouche River where we find them in October 1760.146

Of the households and single individuals who had been at Camp Espérance in 1756-1757, more than half decided to stay in Acadie,160 while the rest settled mainly in Louisiana, but also in Québec, France, and Saint-Domingue (Haiti). Thanks to the DGFA, we are able to track the refugee families of Camp Espérance, as shown in the Appendix. Of the 429 households or unat-tached individuals who were at the camp, we know where 308 of them settled, specifically: 121 in Acadie (48 in Nova Scotia, 5 in Prince Edward Island, and 68 in New Brunswick), 101 in Louisiana, 53 in Québec, and 33 in France (including 22 in Miquelon and 5 in Saint-Domingue).161
..the main Acadian settlements (NB ones listed here) where descendants of the Camp Espérance people are to be found, based on our information about where family members eventually settled: Barachois, Cap-Pelé, Dieppe, Memramcook (including Beaumount and Pré-d’en-Haut), Scoudouc, Shédiac, and Shemogue (Chimougoui) in Westmoreland County; Bouctouche, Cocagne, Grande-Digue, Richibucto, Richibucto-Village, Saint-Louis-de-Kent, and Saint-Charles-de-Kent Parish in Kent County; Néguac in Northumberland County; Bathurst (Nepisiguit), Caraquet, Petit-Rocher, Shippagan, and Tracadie in Gloucester County; and Saint-Basile in Madawaska County.
For lack of sources offering precise details, we will probably never know that exact number of Acadian ref-ugees who lived at Camp Espérance on the Miramichi during that winter of 1756-1757, nor the number who died there. One thing is clear, however: in the various earlier studies of this episode, the figures ap-pear to be inflated, judging by the information we have extracted from documentary materials of that time. That conclusion is especially clear from the genealogical notes, which give indisputable data on the persons who survived that fateful winter. Our best estimate is that approximately 1,400 Acadian refugees were at the camp then. Relying on the finding that 880 persons survived and were living in Acadie in the immediate aftermath, and that another 120 departed for Québec, we place the number of deaths at about 400 individuals, which is to say, close to one-third of the Acadian refugees who began the winter of 1756-1757 at Camp Espérance.

Camp d’Espérance Memorial at Wilson’s Point, Miramichi (note: The author’s research shows that the plaque contains an overestimate of the number of refugees at the site): (picture of monument).

(source: text excerpts above are from “The Acadian Refugee Camp on the Miramichi, 1756-1761” by Ronnie-Gilles LeBlanc. He is a former archivist at the Centre d’études acadiennes and historian at Parks Canada Agency. And has a Ph. D. in history from Université Laval, his research and publications focus on eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Acadian history.

Letter from the Acadians who took refuge at Miramichi sent to James Murray, governor of the district of Québec, August 11, 1761:

Further information such as explanatory maps of Saint Croix & Acadia: Acadian Deportation, Migration, and Resettlement: umaine.edu/canam/publications/st-croix/acadian-deportation-migration-resettlement/

Visit the Boishébert National Historic Site of Canada: www.pc.gc.ca/apps/dfhd/page_nhs_eng.aspx?id=162

Discover Miramichi aboard the 50 passenger, double-decker Max Aitken tour boat Relax as your colorful Acadian Captain, Azade Haché interprets the river and its history. Miramichi River Boat Tours offer daily cruises and special charters including meals are available.
Learn about the ‘headless nun’ at French Fort Cove: mynewbrunswick.ca/folklore/the-headless-nun/
Visit the impressive Acadian village: villagehistoriqueacadien.com/en
August 15 is the day that Acadians gather together to celebrate National Acadian Day (source: Canada.ca)
Carrefour Communautaire Beausoleil is the Miramichi’s francophone school: at 1-506-627-4125, or visit: www.carrefourbeausoleil.ca on Facebook at: www.facebook.com/carrefourbeausoleil/ They usually can provide the Miramichi Acadian Day events.
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August 12th, 10:58 am
Information reposted and shared by Friends of Beaubears Island Inc., Senior Historical Correspondent, John English

There will be 2 posts of this content due to the large amount of content. One will be in French and the other in English.

Version française in an additional post.

Part A

Disclosure: I have significant Acadian ancestry (despite the judgment of my surname); Anne Ouestnorouest and Pierre Martin are part of it. Centuries ago, people were given a surname corresponding to their skills (a builder or mason was called Tom Builder and George Mason). I personally believe that a paternal ancestor who lived in Ireland could speak and write English, so they were named for example a James English.

Acadians on the Miramichi
https://umaine.edu/canam/publications/st-croix/acadian-deportation-migration-resettlement/
https://www.acadian.org/history/ordre-du-bon-temps-champlains/
“The Acadian Refugee Camp on the Miramichi, 1756-1761”
This article addresses one of the least-known parts of Acadian history: the experience of families who re-mained in Acadie1 between 1755 and 1764. Most studies of Acadian history have treated this question quite briefly or superficially, preferring to focus on the fate of the families who were exiled to the Anglo-American colonies or to Europe in this period. And yet, it is one of the most significant episodes in the legacy of Acadie, since the families who stayed behind constitute a major part of the ancestry of the Aca-dian community of the Gulf of St. Lawrence and the Atlantic Canadian region. 
A great many of these families spent the winter of 1756-1757 at Camp Espérance on the Miramichi River.3 Famine and contagion spread death through the population, already worn down by dislocation, disposses-sion, and flight. How many Acadian refugees were at Camp Espérance during this fateful winter? And how many persons met their end there? 
Some researchers – including Alonzo LeBlanc and Fidèle Thériault in the 1980s – have already raised these questions and tried to piece together a few partial answers.4 LeBlanc concludes that 600 to 700 people died there that winter, in a population of 3,500 Acadian refugees. Thériault estimates the population at around 6,000, and the death toll at 500 to 800, “according to the sources”5 – that is, Robert Cooney, who numbers the victims at over 800, Bona Arsenault at around 600, James Fraser at 500, and Marguerite Michaud at more than 400.6 Neither Cooney nor Fraser cites sources, but clearly their figures are based on oral tradition; the longer the elapsed time since the event, the more inflated the numbers become. Ar-senault and Michaud offer the reader no specific sources, and consequently, their statistics must be taken as hypothetical.
(During our [the authors] research on this topic for the 2012 publication, we found only a single mention of the name given to the Miramichi refugee camp, that is, “Camp Espérance.” (Translator: in this context, espérance connotes “hope.”) This usage occurs in a document that Placide Gaudet transcribed in 1884, in the Memramcook area. It is a prom-issory note dated  Aug. 1758, addressed by the custodian of the royal stores at Miramichi to the widow of Jean Part, for services as a baker “at camp d’Espérance.” See Placide Gaudet to Benjamin Sulte, 23 Dec. 1884, Placide-Gaudet collection, file 1.31-6, Centre d’études acadiennes Anselme-Chiasson (hereafter CEAAC). We use that la-bel in this study. After this article appeared in 2012, however, Rénald Lessard of the Archives nationales du Qué-bec discovered a set of documents concerning French Acadie (present-day New Brunswick) for the years 1751 to 1760. Although the item addressed to Jean Part’s widow is missing there, the collection includes 4,554 others of the same kind. These materials are found in the Archives nationales de France, series V, Grande Chancellerie et son Conseil, sub-series V7, Commissions extraordinaires du Conseil d’État du roi, 346 (hereafter series V7). Dis-covery of these documents has allowed us to flesh out this study, especially in relation to Camp Espérance and the site at Restigouche or Petite-Rochelle.)
Unquestionably, the events leading to the creation of Camp Espérance constitute one of the most signifi-cant chapters in the entire annals of the Acadian people. In June 1755, the British capture of Fort Beauséjour and Fort Gaspareau sounded the death knell for France’s dreams of empire in Acadie, but for the Acadian community, its consequences were utterly disastrous. It meant destruction and expulsion at the hands of the British. Within the Acadian population of around 14,100 in 1755,10 the English-controlled territory (peninsular Nova Scotia) accounted for 6,345. In the region of Beaubassin11 and the “Three Riv-ers” – Shepody (Chipoudie), Petitcodiac (Petcoudiac), and Memramcook – there were 2,897. This is a total of 9,242 persons, as claimed by the Abbé de l’Isle-Dieu in a letter to the Minister of the Marine in France, in the fall of 1755.12 The greater part of the Acadian population of peninsular Nova Scotia was expelled between October and November 1755, except for the settlements in the Cobequid region, Tatamagouche, and the Cape Sable area, and a few families in the districts of Pisiquid (or Pigiguit), Minas (Les Mines), and Annapolis Royal (Port Royal). These exiles numbered approximately 5,056, including: 50 from the Lunen-burg area (Mirligouèche); about 1,100 from Pisiquid; 2,242 from Minas (Grand-Pré and Rivière-aux-Ca-nards); and 1,664 from Port Royal.13 Another 1,014 individuals were taken from Beaubassin and the Three Rivers (Shepody, Petitcodiac, and Memramcook).14 And so, from a total Acadian population of 9,242 in peninsular Nova Scotia and present-day southeastern New Brunswick, around 6,070 were ex-pelled to the Anglo-American colonies in the autumn of 1755. What about the other persons, estimated at 3,172,15 who were not caught and expelled by the colonial authorities of Nova Scotia in this first phase of the Acadian Expulsion? For the most part, these people had to find refuge in the existing settlements on French-held Île-Saint-Jean and Île Royale (today’s Prince Edward Island and Cape Breton), or else in the surrounding forest, the latter not being the easiest option for a sedentary rural people who had drawn their living mainly from their own crops. 
The greater Beaubassin region, including Three Rivers:
In the Port Royal district, as we learn from Abbé François Le Guerne,16 “only about thirty families were saved, most of whom retreated into the woods to live with the inhabitants of Cape Sable, while the rest stayed in the forest nearby.” He adds that the British authorities did not target the Cape Sable region during this first stage of the Expulsion.17 Nonetheless, in the spring of 1756, with the return of the New England militia who had carried out the Expulsion in autumn 1755, a contingent stopped in the Cape Sable area and captured some of the inhabitants, who were put onto ships and carried off to Massachusetts. In the fall of 1758 and spring of 1759, two more expeditions would scoop up some more Cape Sable Acadi-ans and transport them to Halifax, and from there, they would be exiled to France.18 As for the families from Port Royal who had found temporary shelter there in the fall of 1755, most left the area in the spring of 1756 for a new refuge along the Petitcodiac River, and reached that destination by the summer. At that same time, some families from Minas also arrived at the Petitcodiac. According to Abbé Le Guerne, these families “numbered about 50 or 60,” and first made it to the Petitcodiac in mid-August. They subse-quently left for Cocagne,20 then moved along to the Miramichi,21 where they reunited with their neighbors who had escaped expulsion via the Pembroke.22 
The fate of the Tatamagouche and Cobequid families was similar, except they found refuge on Île-Saint-Jean.23 Some families from the Minas and Port Royal areas – or some individuals, at any rate – apparently stayed in peninsular Nova Scotia to conduct armed resistance against the British forces.24 
In the region of Beaubassin and the Three Rivers, close to two-thirds of the population eluded expulsion, that is, 1,883 of the 2,897 persons tallied in the census of autumn 1754 and winter 1755, just before the fall of Fort Beauséjour. Of this number, close to 500 persons from the Beauséjour and Tintamarre districts made their way directly to Île-Saint-Jean in November of 1755, under the guidance of Abbé Le Guerne.25 The group consisted of around a hundred women and their children, along with several youths, some old people, and five or six younger adult men. The core of the group were wives and children of men who had been expelled without them. These women had, in fact, followed Abbé Le Guerne’s advice in refusing to join their husbands. The priest had assured them that their husbands would come back to them, no matter where their exile took them. Thus, some 300 families from the Tintamarre, Memramcook, Petitcodiac, and Shepody River settlements did escape expulsion in the fall of 1755.26 Although some left for Île-Saint-Jean, about 250 families remained in the region at the end of autumn

A View of Miramichi, a French Settlement in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, destroyed by Brigadier Murray detached by General Wolfe for that purpose, from the Bay of Gaspe:

The day after capturing Forts Beauséjour and Gaspareau at the end of June 1755, the British turned their attention to Fort La Tour or Ménagouèche at the mouth of the Saint John River. This French post, under the command of the young officer Charles Deschamps de Boishébert, had a meager garrison of only 30 men. They could not withstand a siege or attack by the British from Beaubassin. Assessing the futility of resistance, Boishébert sent all the munitions upriver and ordered his force to flee. A few days later, the British pulled back, not wanting to venture further upstream for fear of attack from Boishébert and his troops. They were also afraid that the First Nations allies of the French and the local Acadians would come to the fort’s defence. 
Immediately, Boishébert notified the Governor of New France, Pierre de Rigaud de Vaudreuil de Cavagnial, who approved the commander’s actions, under the circumstances, for Boishé-bert’s tactic had stopped the British from taking the post, and had “prevented the inhabitants from falling into English hands, where they would have suffered the same ill treatment that the people of Beauséjour underwent.” Governor Vaudreuil also ordered him to make camp wherever Boishébert thought best, but offered him the option of going home to Québec. Boishé-bert turned down the latter alternative. He preferred to stay in Acadie until the fall, hoping that the situation would improve enough by then to let him get help from Qué-bec. Toward mid-August, responding to Acadian appeals, he proceeded to the Petitcodiac River with a detachment of 120 men, comprising 30 White soldiers and 90 Aboriginal fighters. There, on 2 September 1755, he sur-prised a detachment of New England militia, who were aiming to destroy the settlements along the Petitcodiac, having done the same on the Shepody the day before. In a few hours of fighting, Boishébert and his men inflicted a punishing defeat on the Anglo-American troops, who suffered heavy losses before retreating to their vessels and heading back to Fort Cumberland.

Camp Espérance 
From the outset, the question of the Acadian refugees posed a problem for the French colonial authori-ties, who did not know quite what to do with them. They had to be fed, which would cost the public treasury dearly and make an already difficult situation worse, especially in these times of shortage. Abbé François Le Guerne and Boishébert had been trying since the fall of 1755 to direct these refugees either to Île-Saint-Jean or to the Saint John River, intending that they eventually be moved to Québec City or elsewhere in Québec.58 The Acadians, however, were very lukewarm to the idea of taking refuge in Québec. Their reticence is spelled out in this passage from Le Guerne,59 who had been pushing unsuc-cessfully since autumn 1755 for them to do this. 
Acadian people, in general, are quite surprisingly irresolute. They do not want, for all the world, to be taken captive [by the British]. They would rather be brought to Michilimackina.60 On the other hand, going to Québec means committing to an even greater sacrifice. It means saying farewell to their country, their settlement, their houses, abandoning their animals and so many other things to which they are deeply attached. It is hard even to think about that. They suppose, with some reason, that they would undergo considerable hardship even before embarking, and during the journey to Québec itself. (Our people would go more willingly to Île-Saint-Jean or to the Saint John River, but they fear famine in the latter place and the English in the other.) It distresses them to consider that, once in Qué-bec, they would never return from exile. That is the way these good folks think, these people who have never travelled outside their own country. To hear them talk, they would be mis-erable anywhere else, with never enough meat to fill their bellies. Acadie, they say, until these recent years, was Paradise on Earth. 
Despite this reluctance among his parishioners, Le Guerne remained convinced, into the summer of 1756, that emigration to Québec was the best op-tion for them. Villejouin could accommodate no more refugees on Île-Saint-Jean, and Vaudreuil was still waiting for a decision from the minister in France about which approach to take with these people. The situation was all the more pressing, given that 50 or 60 families from Port Royal and Minas in Nova Scotia were asking to transfer to French territory, not to mention the families still present in the Three Rivers region of the Shepody, Petitcodiac, and Memramcook.

According to Le Guerne: 
A certain interest-group has emerged, wanting to bring them to Miramichi. Even one of our col-leagues – not having thought it through very carefully – has joined this group and has secretly done all he could to persuade the Acadians that this is their best choice. In this, he has been all too successful, with negative consequences for these poor folks, who were more than happy that someone offered a way to avoid leaving their own country. Trusting that those leaders sought nothing but the well-being of the Acadians, the refugees sent representatives to Mon-sieur the General to persuade him that Miramichi was an excellent locale, a haven from the Eng-lish, with abundant hunting and fishing.
He does not name the persons responsible for establishing a refugee camp at Miramichi, but it most prob-ably was Boishébert and Abbé Jean Manach, the priest in charge of the mission in the Mi’kmaw commu-nity at Miramichi. In fact, Boishébert would state in 1763 that it was he himself who first ordered the Aca-dian refugees to move to Miramichi, and that Vaudreuil had agreed to this request. That is likely what happened, but this is what Vaudreuil wrote on the matter: 
The Acadians all sent me representatives who claimed to Monsieur the Intendant and me that Miramichi is the only place to which they can withdraw in order to make it through next winter. They argued that the fishery is abundant there, and with a little help sent down from Québec, they hope to manage. They said that such aid could reach them more easily there than on the Saint John River, given the difficulty of transportation via Thémiscouata. We have agreed to their request. I have ordered Monsieur de Boishébert to move all the Acadians from Cocagne to Miramichi, along with those families along the Saint John River that cannot be supplied, and to put them to work making sheds to store the supplies that Monsieur the Intendant is going to send. 
The transfer of refugees from Cocagne to the Miramichi was carried out when the Acadian deputies re-turned in August 1756. Some refugee families, however, did stay at Cocagne, and remained a responsibil-ity of the French after that.
By summer’s end in 1756, the refugee camp of Miramichi, or Camp Espérance, took shape. The Acadian refugees were not the only people to find refuge there. There were also Aboriginal families, allies of the French, whose menfolk had been recruited to fight the British in return for sustenance. Like the Acadian refugees, the First Nations people living as the King’s dependents were expected to prove themselves use-ful to him.Image attachmentImage attachment+2Image attachment

Information reposted and shared by Friends of Beaubears Island Inc., Senior Historical Correspondent, John English

There will be 2 posts of this content due to the large amount of content. One will be in French and the other in English.

Version française in an additional post.

Part A

Disclosure: I have significant Acadian ancestry (despite the judgment of my surname); Anne Ouestnorouest and Pierre Martin are part of it. Centuries ago, people were given a surname corresponding to their skills (a builder or mason was called Tom Builder and George Mason). I personally believe that a paternal ancestor who lived in Ireland could speak and write English, so they were named for example a James English.

Acadians on the Miramichi
umaine.edu/canam/publications/st-croix/acadian-deportation-migration-resettlement/
www.acadian.org/history/ordre-du-bon-temps-champlains/
“The Acadian Refugee Camp on the Miramichi, 1756-1761”
This article addresses one of the least-known parts of Acadian history: the experience of families who re-mained in Acadie1 between 1755 and 1764. Most studies of Acadian history have treated this question quite briefly or superficially, preferring to focus on the fate of the families who were exiled to the Anglo-American colonies or to Europe in this period. And yet, it is one of the most significant episodes in the legacy of Acadie, since the families who stayed behind constitute a major part of the ancestry of the Aca-dian community of the Gulf of St. Lawrence and the Atlantic Canadian region.
A great many of these families spent the winter of 1756-1757 at Camp Espérance on the Miramichi River.3 Famine and contagion spread death through the population, already worn down by dislocation, disposses-sion, and flight. How many Acadian refugees were at Camp Espérance during this fateful winter? And how many persons met their end there?
Some researchers – including Alonzo LeBlanc and Fidèle Thériault in the 1980s – have already raised these questions and tried to piece together a few partial answers.4 LeBlanc concludes that 600 to 700 people died there that winter, in a population of 3,500 Acadian refugees. Thériault estimates the population at around 6,000, and the death toll at 500 to 800, “according to the sources”5 – that is, Robert Cooney, who numbers the victims at over 800, Bona Arsenault at around 600, James Fraser at 500, and Marguerite Michaud at more than 400.6 Neither Cooney nor Fraser cites sources, but clearly their figures are based on oral tradition; the longer the elapsed time since the event, the more inflated the numbers become. Ar-senault and Michaud offer the reader no specific sources, and consequently, their statistics must be taken as hypothetical.
(During our [the authors] research on this topic for the 2012 publication, we found only a single mention of the name given to the Miramichi refugee camp, that is, “Camp Espérance.” (Translator: in this context, espérance connotes “hope.”) This usage occurs in a document that Placide Gaudet transcribed in 1884, in the Memramcook area. It is a prom-issory note dated Aug. 1758, addressed by the custodian of the royal stores at Miramichi to the widow of Jean Part, for services as a baker “at camp d’Espérance.” See Placide Gaudet to Benjamin Sulte, 23 Dec. 1884, Placide-Gaudet collection, file 1.31-6, Centre d’études acadiennes Anselme-Chiasson (hereafter CEAAC). We use that la-bel in this study. After this article appeared in 2012, however, Rénald Lessard of the Archives nationales du Qué-bec discovered a set of documents concerning French Acadie (present-day New Brunswick) for the years 1751 to 1760. Although the item addressed to Jean Part’s widow is missing there, the collection includes 4,554 others of the same kind. These materials are found in the Archives nationales de France, series V, Grande Chancellerie et son Conseil, sub-series V7, Commissions extraordinaires du Conseil d’État du roi, 346 (hereafter series V7). Dis-covery of these documents has allowed us to flesh out this study, especially in relation to Camp Espérance and the site at Restigouche or Petite-Rochelle.)
Unquestionably, the events leading to the creation of Camp Espérance constitute one of the most signifi-cant chapters in the entire annals of the Acadian people. In June 1755, the British capture of Fort Beauséjour and Fort Gaspareau sounded the death knell for France’s dreams of empire in Acadie, but for the Acadian community, its consequences were utterly disastrous. It meant destruction and expulsion at the hands of the British. Within the Acadian population of around 14,100 in 1755,10 the English-controlled territory (peninsular Nova Scotia) accounted for 6,345. In the region of Beaubassin11 and the “Three Riv-ers” – Shepody (Chipoudie), Petitcodiac (Petcoudiac), and Memramcook – there were 2,897. This is a total of 9,242 persons, as claimed by the Abbé de l’Isle-Dieu in a letter to the Minister of the Marine in France, in the fall of 1755.12 The greater part of the Acadian population of peninsular Nova Scotia was expelled between October and November 1755, except for the settlements in the Cobequid region, Tatamagouche, and the Cape Sable area, and a few families in the districts of Pisiquid (or Pigiguit), Minas (Les Mines), and Annapolis Royal (Port Royal). These exiles numbered approximately 5,056, including: 50 from the Lunen-burg area (Mirligouèche); about 1,100 from Pisiquid; 2,242 from Minas (Grand-Pré and Rivière-aux-Ca-nards); and 1,664 from Port Royal.13 Another 1,014 individuals were taken from Beaubassin and the Three Rivers (Shepody, Petitcodiac, and Memramcook).14 And so, from a total Acadian population of 9,242 in peninsular Nova Scotia and present-day southeastern New Brunswick, around 6,070 were ex-pelled to the Anglo-American colonies in the autumn of 1755. What about the other persons, estimated at 3,172,15 who were not caught and expelled by the colonial authorities of Nova Scotia in this first phase of the Acadian Expulsion? For the most part, these people had to find refuge in the existing settlements on French-held Île-Saint-Jean and Île Royale (today’s Prince Edward Island and Cape Breton), or else in the surrounding forest, the latter not being the easiest option for a sedentary rural people who had drawn their living mainly from their own crops.
The greater Beaubassin region, including Three Rivers:
In the Port Royal district, as we learn from Abbé François Le Guerne,16 “only about thirty families were saved, most of whom retreated into the woods to live with the inhabitants of Cape Sable, while the rest stayed in the forest nearby.” He adds that the British authorities did not target the Cape Sable region during this first stage of the Expulsion.17 Nonetheless, in the spring of 1756, with the return of the New England militia who had carried out the Expulsion in autumn 1755, a contingent stopped in the Cape Sable area and captured some of the inhabitants, who were put onto ships and carried off to Massachusetts. In the fall of 1758 and spring of 1759, two more expeditions would scoop up some more Cape Sable Acadi-ans and transport them to Halifax, and from there, they would be exiled to France.18 As for the families from Port Royal who had found temporary shelter there in the fall of 1755, most left the area in the spring of 1756 for a new refuge along the Petitcodiac River, and reached that destination by the summer. At that same time, some families from Minas also arrived at the Petitcodiac. According to Abbé Le Guerne, these families “numbered about 50 or 60,” and first made it to the Petitcodiac in mid-August. They subse-quently left for Cocagne,20 then moved along to the Miramichi,21 where they reunited with their neighbors who had escaped expulsion via the Pembroke.22
The fate of the Tatamagouche and Cobequid families was similar, except they found refuge on Île-Saint-Jean.23 Some families from the Minas and Port Royal areas – or some individuals, at any rate – apparently stayed in peninsular Nova Scotia to conduct armed resistance against the British forces.24
In the region of Beaubassin and the Three Rivers, close to two-thirds of the population eluded expulsion, that is, 1,883 of the 2,897 persons tallied in the census of autumn 1754 and winter 1755, just before the fall of Fort Beauséjour. Of this number, close to 500 persons from the Beauséjour and Tintamarre districts made their way directly to Île-Saint-Jean in November of 1755, under the guidance of Abbé Le Guerne.25 The group consisted of around a hundred women and their children, along with several youths, some old people, and five or six younger adult men. The core of the group were wives and children of men who had been expelled without them. These women had, in fact, followed Abbé Le Guerne’s advice in refusing to join their husbands. The priest had assured them that their husbands would come back to them, no matter where their exile took them. Thus, some 300 families from the Tintamarre, Memramcook, Petitcodiac, and Shepody River settlements did escape expulsion in the fall of 1755.26 Although some left for Île-Saint-Jean, about 250 families remained in the region at the end of autumn

A View of Miramichi, a French Settlement in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, destroyed by Brigadier Murray detached by General Wolfe for that purpose, from the Bay of Gaspe:

The day after capturing Forts Beauséjour and Gaspareau at the end of June 1755, the British turned their attention to Fort La Tour or Ménagouèche at the mouth of the Saint John River. This French post, under the command of the young officer Charles Deschamps de Boishébert, had a meager garrison of only 30 men. They could not withstand a siege or attack by the British from Beaubassin. Assessing the futility of resistance, Boishébert sent all the munitions upriver and ordered his force to flee. A few days later, the British pulled back, not wanting to venture further upstream for fear of attack from Boishébert and his troops. They were also afraid that the First Nations allies of the French and the local Acadians would come to the fort’s defence.
Immediately, Boishébert notified the Governor of New France, Pierre de Rigaud de Vaudreuil de Cavagnial, who approved the commander’s actions, under the circumstances, for Boishé-bert’s tactic had stopped the British from taking the post, and had “prevented the inhabitants from falling into English hands, where they would have suffered the same ill treatment that the people of Beauséjour underwent.” Governor Vaudreuil also ordered him to make camp wherever Boishébert thought best, but offered him the option of going home to Québec. Boishé-bert turned down the latter alternative. He preferred to stay in Acadie until the fall, hoping that the situation would improve enough by then to let him get help from Qué-bec. Toward mid-August, responding to Acadian appeals, he proceeded to the Petitcodiac River with a detachment of 120 men, comprising 30 White soldiers and 90 Aboriginal fighters. There, on 2 September 1755, he sur-prised a detachment of New England militia, who were aiming to destroy the settlements along the Petitcodiac, having done the same on the Shepody the day before. In a few hours of fighting, Boishébert and his men inflicted a punishing defeat on the Anglo-American troops, who suffered heavy losses before retreating to their vessels and heading back to Fort Cumberland.

Camp Espérance
From the outset, the question of the Acadian refugees posed a problem for the French colonial authori-ties, who did not know quite what to do with them. They had to be fed, which would cost the public treasury dearly and make an already difficult situation worse, especially in these times of shortage. Abbé François Le Guerne and Boishébert had been trying since the fall of 1755 to direct these refugees either to Île-Saint-Jean or to the Saint John River, intending that they eventually be moved to Québec City or elsewhere in Québec.58 The Acadians, however, were very lukewarm to the idea of taking refuge in Québec. Their reticence is spelled out in this passage from Le Guerne,59 who had been pushing unsuc-cessfully since autumn 1755 for them to do this.
Acadian people, in general, are quite surprisingly irresolute. They do not want, for all the world, to be taken captive [by the British]. They would rather be brought to Michilimackina.60 On the other hand, going to Québec means committing to an even greater sacrifice. It means saying farewell to their country, their settlement, their houses, abandoning their animals and so many other things to which they are deeply attached. It is hard even to think about that. They suppose, with some reason, that they would undergo considerable hardship even before embarking, and during the journey to Québec itself. (Our people would go more willingly to Île-Saint-Jean or to the Saint John River, but they fear famine in the latter place and the English in the other.) It distresses them to consider that, once in Qué-bec, they would never return from exile. That is the way these good folks think, these people who have never travelled outside their own country. To hear them talk, they would be mis-erable anywhere else, with never enough meat to fill their bellies. Acadie, they say, until these recent years, was Paradise on Earth.
Despite this reluctance among his parishioners, Le Guerne remained convinced, into the summer of 1756, that emigration to Québec was the best op-tion for them. Villejouin could accommodate no more refugees on Île-Saint-Jean, and Vaudreuil was still waiting for a decision from the minister in France about which approach to take with these people. The situation was all the more pressing, given that 50 or 60 families from Port Royal and Minas in Nova Scotia were asking to transfer to French territory, not to mention the families still present in the Three Rivers region of the Shepody, Petitcodiac, and Memramcook.

According to Le Guerne:
A certain interest-group has emerged, wanting to bring them to Miramichi. Even one of our col-leagues – not having thought it through very carefully – has joined this group and has secretly done all he could to persuade the Acadians that this is their best choice. In this, he has been all too successful, with negative consequences for these poor folks, who were more than happy that someone offered a way to avoid leaving their own country. Trusting that those leaders sought nothing but the well-being of the Acadians, the refugees sent representatives to Mon-sieur the General to persuade him that Miramichi was an excellent locale, a haven from the Eng-lish, with abundant hunting and fishing.
He does not name the persons responsible for establishing a refugee camp at Miramichi, but it most prob-ably was Boishébert and Abbé Jean Manach, the priest in charge of the mission in the Mi’kmaw commu-nity at Miramichi. In fact, Boishébert would state in 1763 that it was he himself who first ordered the Aca-dian refugees to move to Miramichi, and that Vaudreuil had agreed to this request. That is likely what happened, but this is what Vaudreuil wrote on the matter:
The Acadians all sent me representatives who claimed to Monsieur the Intendant and me that Miramichi is the only place to which they can withdraw in order to make it through next winter. They argued that the fishery is abundant there, and with a little help sent down from Québec, they hope to manage. They said that such aid could reach them more easily there than on the Saint John River, given the difficulty of transportation via Thémiscouata. We have agreed to their request. I have ordered Monsieur de Boishébert to move all the Acadians from Cocagne to Miramichi, along with those families along the Saint John River that cannot be supplied, and to put them to work making sheds to store the supplies that Monsieur the Intendant is going to send.
The transfer of refugees from Cocagne to the Miramichi was carried out when the Acadian deputies re-turned in August 1756. Some refugee families, however, did stay at Cocagne, and remained a responsibil-ity of the French after that.
By summer’s end in 1756, the refugee camp of Miramichi, or Camp Espérance, took shape. The Acadian refugees were not the only people to find refuge there. There were also Aboriginal families, allies of the French, whose menfolk had been recruited to fight the British in return for sustenance. Like the Acadian refugees, the First Nations people living as the King’s dependents were expected to prove themselves use-ful to him.
... See MoreSee Less

August 12th, 10:56 am
Information republiée et partagée par Friends of Beaubears Island Inc., correspondant historique principal, John English

Il y aura 2 publications de ce contenu en raison de la grande quantité de contenu. Lun sera en français et lautre en anglais.

English version in an additional post.

Divulgation : Jai dimportantes lignées acadiennes (malgré le jugement de mon nom de famille); Anne Ouestnorouest et Pierre Martin en font partie. Il y a des siècles, les gens recevaient un nom de famille correspondant à leurs compétences (un constructeur ou un maçon sappelait Tom Builder et George Mason). Je crois personnellement quun ancêtre paternel qui vivait en Irlande pouvait parler et écrire langlais, donc ils ont été nommés par exemple un James English.

PT: B

Le transfert des réfugiés de Cocagne vers la Miramichi seffectue au retour des députés acadiens en août 1756. Certaines familles de réfugiés restent cependant à Cocagne et restent à la charge des Français par la suite67.
À la fin de lété 1756, le camp de réfugiés de Miramichi, ou Camp Espérance, prend forme. Les réfugiés acadiens ne sont pas les seuls à y trouver refuge. Il y avait aussi des familles autochtones, alliées des Français, dont les hommes avaient été recrutés pour combattre les Britanniques en échange de leur subsistance.
Au camp de réfugiés de Cocagne, durant lhiver 1755-1756, se trouvaient plusieurs familles de Caniba (Kennebec), de Malécites et dAbénaquis qui avaient suivi Boishébert après sa retraite du fort Ménagouèche à lembouchure de la rivière Saint-Jean. Les hommes avaient participé aux campagnes de Boishébert sur la rivière Petitcodiac et dans la région de listhme de Chignecto au cours de lautomne 1755. Ce sont les combattants autochtones qui ont récupéré aux Britanniques le bétail confisqué aux Acadiens au cours de lété et de lautomne précédents. Avec ces animaux, tant les familles autochtones que les familles réfugiées acadiennes ont pu se nourrir pendant cet hiver70. Il est difficile dévaluer le nombre de personnes composant ce groupe de familles des Premières Nations, mais elles comptaient certainement plusieurs centaines dindividus, daprès Le Les propos de Guerne : « Boishébert a collaboré avec le père Germain pour soutenir les familles [dAcadiens] les plus nécessiteuses et 400 à 500 familles autochtones quil gardait pour les opérations militaires. familles de réfugiés et devaient passer lhiver là-bas en préparation du siège de Louisbourg, que les Français pensaient avoir lieu à lété 1757
Il se trouve que le Camp Espérance a été établi à une époque de disette dans toute la Nouvelle-France et les colonies de lÎle Royale et de lÎle-Saint-Jean. Dès le début de lhiver 1756-1757, le camp Espérance manque de vivres. Au début, comme promis, lintendant François Bigot envoie de Québec un navire chargé de vivres pour la Miramichi, même si tout le Québec est à court de vivres. Malheureusement, des vents contraires contraignirent le navire à sarrêter en cours de route. Boishébert se tourna également vers lÎle-Saint-Jean pour obtenir de laide, mais Villejouin ne put rien pour lui, car cette colonie était à bout de forces. .74 Par conséquent, au début de lhiver, avec lépuisement du poisson – et malgré les 40 bovins qui étaient arrivés de la Petitcodiac75 – la pénurie était si sévère que Boishébert a été contraint de réduire les rations pour les réfugiés acadiens, les familles autochtones, et les soldats. Le pain sest épuisé très vite. Les gens se sont mis à manger les peaux du bétail quils avaient consommé lannée précédente, ainsi que le peu dhuile de phoque qui restait. Une fois ces articles disparus, les enfants allaités sont morts. le surplus de nourriture leur avait été caché. En janvier 1757, ils se révoltent et sarment pour forcer les supposés accapareurs à partager79. Boishébert doit intervenir. Il a exigé de savoir ce quils pensaient quils faisaient, ce à quoi ils ont répondu : « Prolonger nos jours » (cest-à-dire « rester en vie »). Boishébert fut si affligé et ému par la réponse quil retourna immédiatement la moitié de ses propres réserves de nourriture. Il recruta alors toute personne ayant encore assez de force pour construire des traîneaux pour transporter les plus faibles sur la neige jusquà la rivière Pokemouche, à environ 26 lieues (environ 100 kilomètres)80. Un groupe de 500 personnes entreprit ce pénible voyage, dont 83 décédés. Neut été des peaux de bœufs que labbé Manach leur a données au passage de sa mission (à 10 lieues, soit à environ 40 kilomètres, du Camp Espérance), le bilan aurait été encore plus lourd.
Boishébert, quant à lui, avait encore 1 200 personnes à nourrir, Acadiens et Amérindiens ainsi que des soldats. Mais il navait plus de nourriture. Ainsi, il a suggéré quun autre groupe suive la migration antérieure vers la rivière Pokemouche et ramène un approvisionnement en poisson pour ceux qui restent. Du groupe qui est parti, trois ne sont pas arrivés à destination, mais après 11 jours, les autres sont retournés au Camp Espérance avec le peu daide que tout le monde attendait. Cette subsistance était suffisante pour permettre à une autre vague de réfugiés les plus faibles de partir pour la Pokemouche. Grâce à de nombreuses excursions répétées pour pêcher, le camp a pu passer lhiver. À la fin du mois de mars, cependant, la glace était devenue trop mince pour permettre dautres voyages vers le Pokemouche, et les réserves de poissons et danguilles se sont rapidement épuisées. Les gens ont dû se rabattre sur les restes de peau de castor et nont bientôt plus eu à consommer que leurs chaussures en peau de daim. Ainsi, Boishébert, « les officiers, soldats et Acadiens, tous complètement affaiblis, se sont effondrés », attendant de mourir. Juste à ce moment-là, un navire chargé de provisions de Québec a traversé la glace jusquà Miramichi
Vaudreuil, en fait, était tout à fait conscient des troubles qui affligent le Camp Espérance, et il a informé le Ministre de la Marine en France que Bigot enverrait une cargaison de provisions dès que la glace dhiver se serait rompue, apportant autant dassistance que Québec pouvait sen passer. Le navire ne quitta Québec que le 9 mai. Vaudreuil en profita pour envoyer sa correspondance pour Louisbourg et Paris84. Un autre bateau de ravitaillement pour Miramichi quitta Port-Toulouse, Cap-Breton, après le 30 avril 1757, sous le commandement dAlexandre LeBlanc, fils du Joseph LeBlanc connu comme « LeMaigre. Royale, qui était tout à fait au courant de la situation déchirante au Camp Espérance, puisque Boishébert aurait certainement lui aussi demandé son aide. Bien quétant bien en deçà des besoins, les vivres continuent daffluer durant lhiver 87 des Acadiens de Petcoudiac, Chipoudie, Memramcook, Caraquet et même des déplacés de Beaubassin. Mais à partir du printemps 1757, des navires de ravitaillement arrivent régulièrement, assurant le ravitaillement du camp dEspérance. Plus précisément, nous savons que des goélettes et des navires (dont certains de Québec) déchargeaient des cargaisons aux dates suivantes : en 1757, les 12 et 15 juin, les 8 et 20 septembre et le 30 décembre ; et en 1758, les 1er et 8 septembre, ainsi que les 8, 11 et 12 octobre et le 5 novembre. Camp Espérance, qui a au moins mangé un morceau, probablement de la viande, du saindoux et du poisson salé.

Nombres
Combien y avait-il de personnes au Camp Espérance sur la Miramichi à lhiver 1756-1757 et quel en fut le bilan ? En se basant sur les chiffres que Clos fournit dans ses mémoires, on peut établir le nombre total doccupants à environ 1 800, en comptant les Amérindiens, les militaires et les réfugiés. Ce chiffre comprend les enfants acadiens allaités qui ont péri, les quelque 500 réfugiés qui sont partis pour la rivière Pokemouche et quelque 1 200 autres survivants qui sont restés au camp. Sur ces 1 200 derniers, combien étaient des réfugiés acadiens, combien étaient des autochtones (combattants et membres de la famille) et combien étaient des soldats blancs ?
Tout dabord, les mémoires du Clos mentionnent la « petite garnison » du Camp Espérance, ce qui suggère que les soldats étaient une composante mineure du total89. A la fin du printemps 1757, comme prévu, Boishébert doit se rendre au aide de la ville fortifiée de Louisbourg, assiégée par les Britanniques. Joubert était lofficier de Louis-bourg sous lequel Boishébert et ses hommes venaient servir. Il écrit que Boishébert avait avec lui, en juillet 1757, « cent dix Caniba [Kennebec], Malécites et Abénakis et cent Mikmaq que le sieur de Boisbert [sic] a amenés dAcadie avec dix-huit soldats et cent cinquante Des miliciens acadiens. Fort La Tour (Ménagouèche) à lembouchure de la rivière Saint-Jean, deux ans plus tôt, ces soldats étant venus avec lui à Cocagne.91
Quen est-il des Autochtones du Camp Espérance? En supposant une erreur de la part de Le Guerne (ou de celui qui transcrivit sa correspondance à Prévost) en écrivant 400 à 500 « familles » au lieu de « personnes », on se risque à dire quelles comptaient tout au plus environ 500 individus92.
En soustrayant 500 membres des Premières Nations et 30 soldats de 1 200, on se retrouve avec un chiffre denviron 670 réfugiés acadiens. Pour trouver le nombre de réfugiés acadiens occupant le camp Espérance au début de lhiver 1756-1757, on ajoute les 500 qui ont migré à Pokemouche au milieu de lhiver, plus les enfants allaités qui sont morts de faim (et dont on estime le nombre dessous). En basant notre analyse sur les données des documents officiels, nous arrivons donc à un total denviron 1 250 en début de saison. Maintenant, examinons cette approximation de plus près. Y a-t-il un soutien supplémentaire à cette conclusion?
Nous pouvons tester le comptage par deux méthodes supplémentaires : premièrement, en calculant à partir des rapports sur les migrations ; et deuxièmement, en extrapolant à partir des données de recensement et des compilations généalogiques.
Nous commençons par les migrations. Vaudreuil prétend quil y avait, outre les Autochtones, 600 personnes93 au camp de Cocagne lhiver précédent (1755-1756), dont 230 individus ou 50 familles de Memramcook partis pour lÎle-Saint-Jean au printemps. Il restait 370 Acadiens à Cocagne. Plus tard, 87 autres réfugiés acadiens ont migré vers lîle, dont 16 des 50 rapatriés de la Caroline du Sud94, avant que Villejouin ne refuse den accepter davantage. Or, à peu près à cette époque, Le Guerne sest arrangé pour que certaines familles de Shepody déménagent sur lîle. Il est fort probable que ces dernières familles regroupent la majorité de ces 87 personnes, soit 71 dentre elles. Mais il y avait aussi des migrations dans lautre sens. Une fois le Camp Espérance établi à la fin de lété, certains des migrants de lÎle-Saint-Jean se sont déplacés vers la Miramichi, bien quon ne puisse que deviner combien dentre eux lont fait95. À ces personnes, il faut ajouter celles qui sont arrivées à lété 1756 de Port Royal, dont Vaudreuil estimait le nombre à 30 familles et Le Guerne à 50 ou 60 ménages. Shepody, Petitcodiac et Memramcook – et que 250 dentre eux prévoyaient de déménager au camp de réfugiés. 1 300 réfugiés acadiens au Camp Espérance à lautomne 1756.
.. nous [les auteurs] arrivons au chiffre de 847 personnes qui ont été dénombrées dans les enquêtes de recensement de 1754-1755, et qui se retrouvent peut-être parmi les réfugiés acadiens présents au Camp Espérance à lhiver 1757.106
.. Grâce à ces sources, ainsi quaux notes généalogiques de Stephen A. White, nous croyons avoir identifié la majorité des ménages et des individus qui ont séjourné au Camp Espérance en 1756-1757. Nous [les auteurs] présentons la liste : (liste complète sur https://acadiens-metis-souriquois.ca/aams-blog/news-and-reflections-the-acadian-refugee-camp-on-the-miramichi- 1756-1761-30-mars-2018, ménages_acadiens_au_camp_espérance_sur_la_miramichi_en_hiver_1756-1757.pd)
MÉNAGES DÉFINITIVEMENT au CAMP ESPÉRANCE 9 par le nom de famille du mari ou du père (seulement parce que toute la famille à lépoque était généralement connue sous ce nom):

Allain, Arostéguy, Arseneau, Aucoin, Aupin, Babin, Babineau, Bazert , Belliveau, Benoit, Bernard, Berthier, Bertrand, Blanchard, Bonnevie, Boudrot, Bourg, Bourgeois, Boutin, Breau, Broussard, Brun, Caissie, Caylan, Célestin, Chalou, Chiasson, Comeau, Cormier, Corporon, Cronier, Cyr, Daigre, Darois, David, Deveau, Doiron, Doucet, Dubois, Dugas, Duon, Dupuis, Forest, Gaudet, Gautrot, Gilbert, Giraud, Girouard, Gousman, Granger, Grenon, Guédry, Guénard, Guilbeau, Guispet, Haché, Hébert, Johnson, La Ville, Labauve, Lalande, Landry, Lanoue, Lapierre, LeBlanc, Léger, Lemire, Levron, Maillet, Marchand, Melanson, Ménard, Michel, Mouton, Nuirat , Pellerin, Pinet, Pitre, Poirier, Porlier, Pothier, Préjean, Raymond, Renaud, Richard, Robert, Robichaud, Roy, Ruault, Saint-Julien de La Chaussée , Saulnier, Savoie, Surette, Tardif, Thébeau, Thériot, Trahan, Vigneau, Vincent

Le pdf contient également une liste de FAMILLES SUPPLÉMENTAIRES DONT LA PRÉSENCE au CAMP ESPÉRANCE EST INCERTAINE MAIS PROBABLE

Les récits de témoins oculaires de cet épisode tragique offrent très peu de détails sur le nombre de victimes. Le Guerne dit simplement : « Lhiver dernier, ces pauvres gens sont morts en grand nombre de faim et de misère. Nous ne le saurons probablement jamais. Nous avons, au moins, les déclarations de Boishébert. Selon le document préparé pour sa défense lors de son procès pour son rôle dans « laffaire Canada »,112 86 personnes ont péri lors des deux premiers voyages à la rivière Pokemouche et « tous les enfants sont morts ».113

L« affaire Canada » a été un scandale, avec des poursuites judiciaires, autour de la mauvaise gestion financière dans la colonie du fleuve Saint-Laurent (qui, comme indiqué précédemment, était connue à lépoque sous le nom de « Canada », tandis que « Québec » ne faisait référence quà la ville) . Boishébert est accusé davoir joué un rôle. Dans sa biographie de Boishébert dans le Dictionary of Canadian Biography, P. E. LeBlanc (1979) commente ce qui suit : « Après la chute du Canada en 1760, Boishébert retourna en France. Il fut accusé davoir participé aux manigances de lintendant Bigot et fut peu après emprisonné à la Bastille. On prétendait quil avait profité personnellement de lachat à Québec de vivres pour les Acadiens affamés. Après 15 mois de prison, il a été acquitté.

Représentation artistique dune famille acadienne au moment du Grand Dérangement :(statue de famille).

Cette dernière affirmation est plutôt audacieuse, compte tenu de ce que lon sait des rescapés du Camp Espérance114. bébés non sevrés qui sont morts. (Nuances dimages télévisées modernes denfants mourant dans des sécheresses et dautres zones sinistrées.) Combien denfants de ce type auraient pu périr ? Parmi les familles du Camp Espérance, nous avons trouvé 140 épouses qui auraient pu avoir un enfant.115 Il est peu probable que toutes ces femmes allaitent un bébé en même temps, mais il est raisonnable de supposer quau moins la moitié dentre elles donc, donc, environ 70 femmes.
Si nous supposons que 70 bébés allaités ont été perdus, et ajoutons ceux qui nont pas survécu aux voyages à Pokemouche, le nombre total de morts (selon Boishébert) serait denviron 156 au cours de cet hiver 1757.
Il y a encore une autre statistique de cet épisode tragique. Il apparaît dans un mémoire présenté au duc de Choiseul vers 1762, concernant un manifeste délivré par « les puissances du Canada » – cest-à-dire
les autorités britanniques contrôlant Québec – à la Cour de France, sopposant au traité de neutralité et de pacification signé par les Acadiens en février 1760.116 Voici largument présenté au duc pour dénoncer les conditions dans lesquelles les Acadiens ont été contraints de se rendre aux Britanniques : « Les auteurs de ce manifeste nont pas pris soin de sinformer de la dure nécessité et de lextrême difficulté dans lesquelles les Acadiens et leur missionnaire se sont trouvés pendant plusieurs années, sans nourriture daucune sorte, au point que plus plus de 400 dentre eux moururent faute de nourriture et de nourriture. à lépoque, mis à part les Acadiens eux-mêmes et leurs missionnaires, de qui cet individu aurait obtenu ses renseignements. Le missionnaire mentionné dans la note est sans doute labbé Jean Manach, qui avait été déporté dAcadie un an après avoir conseillé aux Acadiens de signer le traité de neutralité et de pacification mentionné dans ce document118. Ce prêtre était présent à la Miramichi à lhiver 1757, il était donc lui-même en mesure de connaître en détail la misère qui régnait parmi les familles acadiennes réfugiées au Camp Espérance. Ce chiffre de 400 morts se rapproche de la représentation de lampleur de la tragédie par Le Guerne et est assez proche de laffirmation de Fraser de 500 victimes119. Dans ses notes inédites sur les difficultés des familles réfugiées acadiennes de la Miramichi, Placide Gaudet estime que en supposant que le chiffre de 400 victimes est exact, il faut conclure quil restait environ 1 000 survivants au printemps 1757, sur les 1 400 réfugiés acadiens qui sétaient trouvés au camp Espérance lautomne précédent. De ceux qui ont survécu à cet hiver, 120 sont ensuite partis pour Québec121, tandis quenviron 880 personnes sont restées en Acadie.
Mgr de Pontbriand de Québec écrivait en octobre 1757 au sujet de la triste condition des Acadiens : « Et puis il y en a encore 800 ou 900 à Miramichi, au nord de lIsle Saint-Jean juste de lautre côté de leau, qui ne voudraient rien de mieux que de sen remettre là, où ils pourraient sétablir à Malpek ou Bedek [Malpèque ou Bedèque], sils veulent avoir quelque espoir de survivre au lieu de périr de misère et de souffrance à Mira-michi. Restigouche123, 194 à Mira-michi, 150 à Caraquet et 26 à Shippagan, soit un total de 899 personnes qui auraient pu passer du temps au Camp Espérance, mais cette liste a été dressée quatre ans après linstallation du camp de réfugiés. liste pourrait avoir été gonflée par les naissances survenues entre-temps. Si nous additionnons les données de 1763 dans les listes dAcadiens à Fort Cumberland (Beauséjour), Halifax et Annapolis Royal, nous obtenons un total de 658 personnes. Si lon ajoute à ce chiffre les 230 personnes emprisonnées au Fort Edouard en 1761 et 1762, on obtient un total de 888 individus qui auraient pu être au Camp Espérance124. les personnes qui manquent aux listes de 1763 mais qui ont passé lhiver 1757 au camp de réfugiés de Miramichi, on se rapproche beaucoup du chiffre de 880 survivants de cet hiver qui sont restés en Acadie par la suite. Compte tenu de cela, il est donc réaliste de fixer le nombre de victimes au camp dEspérance à environ 400 personnes, ce qui est le chiffre indiqué dans le mémorandum au duc de Choiseul vers 1762.

Épilogue
Avec la chute de Louisbourg en juillet 1758, le sort du Camp Espérance est définitivement scellé. Au printemps suivant, Boishébert, commandant du site, reviendra à Québec de Restigouche, son nouveau quartier général, laissant ce dernier sous le commandement du lieutenant Jean-François Bourdon de Dambourg125. Mais entre-temps, en quittant Louisbourg à lété 1758, il sétait dabord dirigé vers la région du fleuve Saint-Jean. Plus loin sur la côte atlantique de lactuel Maine, il a mené une bataille très réussie contre les Britanniques autour de Fort George.126 Alors que lui et ses hommes sapprêtaient à repartir, ils ont appris que les Britanniques attaquaient des sites. sur le Saint John et la Miramichi127. En effet, le lendemain de la capitulation de Louisbourg, le commandant de larmée britannique en Amérique du Nord, le général Jeffery Amherst, avait ordonné au brigadier-général James Wolfe de mener une expédition contre les colonies de la Miramichi, la Gaspésie et dautres dans les environs128. Pour exécuter ces ordres, Wolfe chargea le colonel James Murray de diriger une force de près de 800 hommes contre les colonies de la rivière Miramichi. Murray est arrivé à bord du Juno, commandé par John Vaughan, qui, le 15 septembre 1758,129 a exhorté Murray à agir le plus rapidement possible, car le navire naviguait dans des eaux difficiles à lembouchure de la baie de Miramichi, exposée aux vents du large. qui menaçait déchouer le navire sur la côte130. Avec 300 de ses hommes, Murray mena un assaut contre le poste français de la baie des Ouines (lactuelle baie du Vin du côté sud de la baie de Miramichi), qui avait été déserté , sauf par le chirurgien Jean-Louis Bazert et sa famille, qui sont faits prisonniers. Lorsquil a appris lexistence dun autre établissement sur la rive opposée de la baie de Miramichi - la mission Mikmaq maintenant connue sous le nom de Burnt Church - Murray a immédiatement envoyé des troupes pour incendier léglise ainsi que les maisons des Mikmaq et des réfugiés acadiens. 131 Bazert a également dit à Murray :
À dix lieues en amont de la rivière, il y avait une autre colonie très considérable de neutres et de quelques familles qui avaient fui lîle de Saint-Jean depuis la prise de Louisbourg. Que lensemble était dans un état de famine, avait envoyé la plupart de leurs effets au Canada [Québec], et devaient tous suivre immédiatement car ils sattendaient à chaque heure à langlais, et dailleurs ne pouvaient pas subsister puisquils ne pouvaient pas maintenant être soutenu par la mer comme ils létaient autrefois avant la prise de Louisbourg, que lincitation à sinstaller dans cette rivière était le commerce des fourrures, qui est très considérable, pas moins de six navires y ont été chargés avec cette marchandise cet été. Ce Monsr. Boisbert commande le tout ainsi que lEtablissement de la Rivière Saint-Jean, quil est présentement avec sa Compagnie au Fort George, contre laquelle il doit agir de conjonction avec un Détachement de larmée de Montcalm & ne doit plus retourner à Miramichi, qui est abandonné pour les raisons indiquées ci-dessus. 132
Bazert a également informé Murray que le passage de la rivière vers le Camp Espérance était très étroit, mais suffisamment profond pour son sloop. Avec le temps doux, Murray voulait remonter le fleuve pour détruire le Camp Espérance, mais après avoir consulté les capitaines Vaughan et Bickerton, il décida dabandonner lidée et damener ses hommes à bord du navire133. leurs navires, la petite flotte leva lancre le 18 septembre 18134 et regagna Louisbourg une semaine plus tard, laissant intact le camp Espérance135.

Boishébert sous-entend que lui et ses hommes sont arrivés à la Miramichi juste avant que lexpédition de James Murray ne quitte lendroit136. Cela semble invraisemblable, puisque Boishébert na appris lexistence de lexpédition de Murray que lorsque la propre expédition de Monckton a atteint lembouchure du Saint-Jean le 16 septembre, ce qui est le lendemain de larrivée des forces de Murray à Miramichi. Ce dernier en est parti le 18. Boishébert aurait mis plus de 48 heures pour se rendre de la Saint-Jean à la Miramichi, dautant plus que ses forces voyageaient en canots avec de longs portages à traverser.
Selon Cooney, le Camp Espérance était : « … une ville comprenant plus de deux cents maisons, y compris une chapelle et des magasins de provisions à Beaubairs [cest-à-dire, Beaubears ou Boishéberts] Point. »137 Ce camp de réfugiés était, en effet, un établissement assez important . Outre la chapelle et les maisons, il comprenait les structures typiques de tout poste militaire de lépoque, cest-à-dire la maison du commandant, des casernes, un hôpital, une forge, une boulangerie, la maison du prêtre, des entrepôts et même un quai138. De plus, des maisons et des hangars ou entrepôts furent construits à Caraquet139 et à Baie-des-Ouines, et même une maison en amont sur la Miramichi au point de départ du portage vers le Saint-Jean140. Cooney rapporte aussi quoutre les réfugiés de Camp Espérance et Baie-des-Ouines, des familles vivaient à Néguac et à Canadian Point, et que des batteries dartillerie avaient été installées à lîle Beaubear et à French Cove.141 ​​Il ajoute : « Ils avaient de plus une manufacture darmes, ainsi quun chantier naval et un magasin de lintendance à Fawcetts Point, maintenant propriété de Joseph Cunard & Co. mais alors appelé daprès le commissaire français.

Au printemps 1759, Boishébert, avec son successeur Bourdon, transfère le campement de la Miramichi à la Restigouche, plus au nord143. Les familles de lÎle-Saint-Jean suivent, ainsi que les familles réfugiées qui sont au camp Espérance depuis lété de 1756. Certaines de ces familles avaient déjà quitté ce lieu malheureux en 1758, comme nous lapprend Murray : « quil y a plusieurs habitations dispersées dans toute la baie, sur plusieurs lieues au-dessus et au-dessous de lendroit où nous étions. »144 Wolfe ajoute : « De Pas-beau autour de la baie des Chaleurs à Caraquet, il ny a pas dhabitants français, de Caraquet à Miramichi, il peut y en avoir une quarantaine, qui soit pêchent, soit trafiquent avec les Indiens pour la fourrure. »145 Selon les informations dont sinspire Wolfe, ainsi que ce que le chirurgien Jean-Louis Bazert raconte à James Mur-ray, la majorité des familles de réfugiés se trouvent encore au Camp Espérance à la fin de lété 1758. Il en va de même pour certaines familles de lÎle-Saint-Jean. Ils se rendront par la suite au camp que Bourdon a établi sur la rivière Restigouche où nous les retrouvons en octobre 1760.

Parmi les ménages et les célibataires qui avaient été au Camp Espérance en 1756-1757, plus de la moitié décident de rester en Acadie160, tandis que le reste sétablit principalement en Louisiane, mais aussi à Québec, en France et à Saint-Domingue (Haïti). Grâce à la DGFA, nous sommes en mesure de suivre les familles réfugiées du Camp Espérance, comme le montre lannexe. Des 429 ménages ou personnes seules qui se trouvaient au campement, on sait où 308 dentre eux se sont installés, soit : 121 en Acadie (48 en Nouvelle-Écosse, 5 à lÎle-du-Prince-Édouard et 68 au Nouveau-Brunswick), 101 en Louisiane , 53 au Québec et 33 en France (dont 22 à Miquelon et 5 à Saint-Domingue).
..les principaux établissements acadiens (NB ceux énumérés ici) où se trouvent les descendants des gens du Camp Espérance, daprès nos informations sur les endroits où les membres de la famille se sont éventuellement installés : Barachois, Cap-Pelé, Dieppe, Memramcook (incluant Beaumount et Pré- den-Haut), Scoudouc, Shédiac et Shemogue (Chimougoui) dans le comté de Westmoreland; Bouctouche, Cocagne, Grande-Digue, Richibucto, Richibucto-Village, Saint-Louis-de-Kent et Saint-Charles-de-Kent Parish dans le comté de Kent; Néguac dans le comté de Northumberland; Bathurst (Nepisiguit), Caraquet, Petit-Rocher, Shippagan et Tracadie dans le comté de Gloucester ; et Saint-Basile dans le comté de Madawaska.
Faute de sources offrant des détails précis, nous ne saurons probablement jamais le nombre exact de réfugiés acadiens qui ont vécu au Camp Espérance sur la Miramichi durant cet hiver 1756-1757, ni le nombre qui y sont morts. Une chose est claire cependant : dans les différentes études antérieures de cet épisode, les chiffres semblent gonflés, à en juger par les informations que nous avons extraites des matériaux documentaires de lépoque. Cette conclusion ressort particulièrement des notes généalogiques, qui fournissent des données incontestables sur les personnes qui ont survécu à cet hiver fatidique. Notre meilleure estimation est quenviron 1 400 réfugiés acadiens se trouvaient alors au camp. En se basant sur le constat que 880 personnes ont survécu et vivaient en Acadie dans limmédiat, et que 120 autres sont parties pour Québec, on place le nombre de décès à environ 400 individus, soit près du tiers de la population acadienne. réfugiés qui ont commencé lhiver 1756-1757 au Camp Espérance.

Mémorial du Camp d’Espérance à Wilson’s Point, Miramichi (note : les recherches de l’auteur montrent que la plaque contient une surestimation du nombre de réfugiés sur le site) : (photo du momument)

Plus dinformations telles que des cartes explicatives de Sainte-Croix et de lAcadie : Déportation, migration et réinstallation des Acadiens : https://umaine.edu/canam/publications/st-croix/acadian-deportation-migration-resettlement/

Visitez le lieu historique national du Canada de Boishébert : https://www.pc.gc.ca/apps/dfhd/page_nhs_fra.aspx?id=162

Découvrez Miramichi à bord du bateau dexcursion à deux étages Max Aitken de 50 passagers. Miramichi River Boat Tours propose des croisières quotidiennes et des charters spéciaux comprenant des repas sont disponibles.
En savoir plus sur la « nonne sans tête » à French Fort Cove : https://mynewbrunswick.ca/folklore/the-headless-nun/
Visitez limpressionnant village acadien : https://villagehistoriqueacadien.com/fr
Le 15 août est le jour où les Acadiens se rassemblent pour célébrer la Fête nationale des Acadiens (source : Canada.ca)
Carrefour Communautaire Beausoleil est lécole francophone de Miramichi : au 1-506-627-4125, ou visitez : www.carrefourbeausoleil.ca sur Facebook à : https://www.facebook.com/carrefourbeausoleil/ Ils peuvent généralement fournir la Journée des Acadiens de Miramichi événements.Image attachmentImage attachment+2Image attachment

Information republiée et partagée par Friends of Beaubears Island Inc., correspondant historique principal, John English

Il y aura 2 publications de ce contenu en raison de la grande quantité de contenu. L'un sera en français et l'autre en anglais.

English version in an additional post.

Divulgation : J'ai d'importantes lignées acadiennes (malgré le jugement de mon nom de famille); Anne Ouestnorouest et Pierre Martin en font partie. Il y a des siècles, les gens recevaient un nom de famille correspondant à leurs compétences (un constructeur ou un maçon s'appelait Tom Builder et George Mason). Je crois personnellement qu'un ancêtre paternel qui vivait en Irlande pouvait parler et écrire l'anglais, donc ils ont été nommés par exemple un James English.

PT: B

Le transfert des réfugiés de Cocagne vers la Miramichi s'effectue au retour des députés acadiens en août 1756. Certaines familles de réfugiés restent cependant à Cocagne et restent à la charge des Français par la suite67.
À la fin de l'été 1756, le camp de réfugiés de Miramichi, ou Camp Espérance, prend forme. Les réfugiés acadiens ne sont pas les seuls à y trouver refuge. Il y avait aussi des familles autochtones, alliées des Français, dont les hommes avaient été recrutés pour combattre les Britanniques en échange de leur subsistance.
Au camp de réfugiés de Cocagne, durant l'hiver 1755-1756, se trouvaient plusieurs familles de Caniba (Kennebec), de Malécites et d'Abénaquis qui avaient suivi Boishébert après sa retraite du fort Ménagouèche à l'embouchure de la rivière Saint-Jean. Les hommes avaient participé aux campagnes de Boishébert sur la rivière Petitcodiac et dans la région de l'isthme de Chignecto au cours de l'automne 1755. Ce sont les combattants autochtones qui ont récupéré aux Britanniques le bétail confisqué aux Acadiens au cours de l'été et de l'automne précédents. Avec ces animaux, tant les familles autochtones que les familles réfugiées acadiennes ont pu se nourrir pendant cet hiver70. Il est difficile d'évaluer le nombre de personnes composant ce groupe de familles des Premières Nations, mais elles comptaient certainement plusieurs centaines d'individus, d'après Le Les propos de Guerne : « Boishébert a collaboré avec le père Germain pour soutenir les familles [d'Acadiens] les plus nécessiteuses et 400 à 500 familles autochtones qu'il gardait pour les opérations militaires. familles de réfugiés et devaient passer l'hiver là-bas en préparation du siège de Louisbourg, que les Français pensaient avoir lieu à l'été 1757
Il se trouve que le Camp Espérance a été établi à une époque de disette dans toute la Nouvelle-France et les colonies de l'Île Royale et de l'Île-Saint-Jean. Dès le début de l'hiver 1756-1757, le camp Espérance manque de vivres. Au début, comme promis, l'intendant François Bigot envoie de Québec un navire chargé de vivres pour la Miramichi, même si tout le Québec est à court de vivres. Malheureusement, des vents contraires contraignirent le navire à s'arrêter en cours de route. Boishébert se tourna également vers l'Île-Saint-Jean pour obtenir de l'aide, mais Villejouin ne put rien pour lui, car cette colonie était à bout de forces. .74 Par conséquent, au début de l'hiver, avec l'épuisement du poisson – et malgré les 40 bovins qui étaient arrivés de la Petitcodiac75 – la pénurie était si sévère que Boishébert a été contraint de réduire les rations pour les réfugiés acadiens, les familles autochtones, et les soldats. Le pain s'est épuisé très vite. Les gens se sont mis à manger les peaux du bétail qu'ils avaient consommé l'année précédente, ainsi que le peu d'huile de phoque qui restait. Une fois ces articles disparus, les enfants allaités sont morts. le surplus de nourriture leur avait été caché. En janvier 1757, ils se révoltent et s'arment pour forcer les supposés accapareurs à partager79. Boishébert doit intervenir. Il a exigé de savoir ce qu'ils pensaient qu'ils faisaient, ce à quoi ils ont répondu : « Prolonger nos jours » (c'est-à-dire « rester en vie »). Boishébert fut si affligé et ému par la réponse qu'il retourna immédiatement la moitié de ses propres réserves de nourriture. Il recruta alors toute personne ayant encore assez de force pour construire des traîneaux pour transporter les plus faibles sur la neige jusqu'à la rivière Pokemouche, à environ 26 lieues (environ 100 kilomètres)80. Un groupe de 500 personnes entreprit ce pénible voyage, dont 83 décédés. N'eut été des peaux de bœufs que l'abbé Manach leur a données au passage de sa mission (à 10 lieues, soit à environ 40 kilomètres, du Camp Espérance), le bilan aurait été encore plus lourd.
Boishébert, quant à lui, avait encore 1 200 personnes à nourrir, Acadiens et Amérindiens ainsi que des soldats. Mais il n'avait plus de nourriture. Ainsi, il a suggéré qu'un autre groupe suive la migration antérieure vers la rivière Pokemouche et ramène un approvisionnement en poisson pour ceux qui restent. Du groupe qui est parti, trois ne sont pas arrivés à destination, mais après 11 jours, les autres sont retournés au Camp Espérance avec le peu d'aide que tout le monde attendait. Cette subsistance était suffisante pour permettre à une autre vague de réfugiés les plus faibles de partir pour la Pokemouche. Grâce à de nombreuses excursions répétées pour pêcher, le camp a pu passer l'hiver. À la fin du mois de mars, cependant, la glace était devenue trop mince pour permettre d'autres voyages vers le Pokemouche, et les réserves de poissons et d'anguilles se sont rapidement épuisées. Les gens ont dû se rabattre sur les restes de peau de castor et n'ont bientôt plus eu à consommer que leurs chaussures en peau de daim. Ainsi, Boishébert, « les officiers, soldats et Acadiens, tous complètement affaiblis, se sont effondrés », attendant de mourir. Juste à ce moment-là, un navire chargé de provisions de Québec a traversé la glace jusqu'à Miramichi
Vaudreuil, en fait, était tout à fait conscient des troubles qui affligent le Camp Espérance, et il a informé le Ministre de la Marine en France que Bigot enverrait une cargaison de provisions dès que la glace d'hiver se serait rompue, apportant autant d'assistance que Québec pouvait s'en passer. Le navire ne quitta Québec que le 9 mai. Vaudreuil en profita pour envoyer sa correspondance pour Louisbourg et Paris84. Un autre bateau de ravitaillement pour Miramichi quitta Port-Toulouse, Cap-Breton, après le 30 avril 1757, sous le commandement d'Alexandre LeBlanc, fils du Joseph LeBlanc connu comme « LeMaigre. Royale, qui était tout à fait au courant de la situation déchirante au Camp Espérance, puisque Boishébert aurait certainement lui aussi demandé son aide. Bien qu'étant bien en deçà des besoins, les vivres continuent d'affluer durant l'hiver 87 des Acadiens de Petcoudiac, Chipoudie, Memramcook, Caraquet et même des déplacés de Beaubassin. Mais à partir du printemps 1757, des navires de ravitaillement arrivent régulièrement, assurant le ravitaillement du camp d'Espérance. Plus précisément, nous savons que des goélettes et des navires (dont certains de Québec) déchargeaient des cargaisons aux dates suivantes : en 1757, les 12 et 15 juin, les 8 et 20 septembre et le 30 décembre ; et en 1758, les 1er et 8 septembre, ainsi que les 8, 11 et 12 octobre et le 5 novembre. Camp Espérance, qui a au moins mangé un morceau, probablement de la viande, du saindoux et du poisson salé.

Nombres
Combien y avait-il de personnes au Camp Espérance sur la Miramichi à l'hiver 1756-1757 et quel en fut le bilan ? En se basant sur les chiffres que Clos fournit dans ses mémoires, on peut établir le nombre total d'occupants à environ 1 800, en comptant les Amérindiens, les militaires et les réfugiés. Ce chiffre comprend les enfants acadiens allaités qui ont péri, les quelque 500 réfugiés qui sont partis pour la rivière Pokemouche et quelque 1 200 autres survivants qui sont restés au camp. Sur ces 1 200 derniers, combien étaient des réfugiés acadiens, combien étaient des autochtones (combattants et membres de la famille) et combien étaient des soldats blancs ?
Tout d'abord, les mémoires du Clos mentionnent la « petite garnison » du Camp Espérance, ce qui suggère que les soldats étaient une composante mineure du total89. A la fin du printemps 1757, comme prévu, Boishébert doit se rendre au aide de la ville fortifiée de Louisbourg, assiégée par les Britanniques. Joubert était l'officier de Louis-bourg sous lequel Boishébert et ses hommes venaient servir. Il écrit que Boishébert avait avec lui, en juillet 1757, « cent dix Caniba [Kennebec], Malécites et Abénakis et cent Mi'kmaq que le sieur de Boisbert [sic] a amenés d'Acadie avec dix-huit soldats et cent cinquante Des miliciens acadiens. Fort La Tour (Ménagouèche) à l'embouchure de la rivière Saint-Jean, deux ans plus tôt, ces soldats étant venus avec lui à Cocagne.91
Qu'en est-il des Autochtones du Camp Espérance? En supposant une erreur de la part de Le Guerne (ou de celui qui transcrivit sa correspondance à Prévost) en écrivant 400 à 500 « familles » au lieu de « personnes », on se risque à dire qu'elles comptaient tout au plus environ 500 individus92.
En soustrayant 500 membres des Premières Nations et 30 soldats de 1 200, on se retrouve avec un chiffre d'environ 670 réfugiés acadiens. Pour trouver le nombre de réfugiés acadiens occupant le camp Espérance au début de l'hiver 1756-1757, on ajoute les 500 qui ont migré à Pokemouche au milieu de l'hiver, plus les enfants allaités qui sont morts de faim (et dont on estime le nombre dessous). En basant notre analyse sur les données des documents officiels, nous arrivons donc à un total d'environ 1 250 en début de saison. Maintenant, examinons cette approximation de plus près. Y a-t-il un soutien supplémentaire à cette conclusion?
Nous pouvons tester le comptage par deux méthodes supplémentaires : premièrement, en calculant à partir des rapports sur les migrations ; et deuxièmement, en extrapolant à partir des données de recensement et des compilations généalogiques.
Nous commençons par les migrations. Vaudreuil prétend qu'il y avait, outre les Autochtones, 600 personnes93 au camp de Cocagne l'hiver précédent (1755-1756), dont 230 individus ou 50 familles de Memramcook partis pour l'Île-Saint-Jean au printemps. Il restait 370 Acadiens à Cocagne. Plus tard, 87 autres réfugiés acadiens ont migré vers l'île, dont 16 des 50 rapatriés de la Caroline du Sud94, avant que Villejouin ne refuse d'en accepter davantage. Or, à peu près à cette époque, Le Guerne s'est arrangé pour que certaines familles de Shepody déménagent sur l'île. Il est fort probable que ces dernières familles regroupent la majorité de ces 87 personnes, soit 71 d'entre elles. Mais il y avait aussi des migrations dans l'autre sens. Une fois le Camp Espérance établi à la fin de l'été, certains des migrants de l'Île-Saint-Jean se sont déplacés vers la Miramichi, bien qu'on ne puisse que deviner combien d'entre eux l'ont fait95. À ces personnes, il faut ajouter celles qui sont arrivées à l'été 1756 de Port Royal, dont Vaudreuil estimait le nombre à 30 familles et Le Guerne à 50 ou 60 ménages. Shepody, Petitcodiac et Memramcook – et que 250 d'entre eux prévoyaient de déménager au camp de réfugiés. 1 300 réfugiés acadiens au Camp Espérance à l'automne 1756.
.. nous [les auteurs] arrivons au chiffre de 847 personnes qui ont été dénombrées dans les enquêtes de recensement de 1754-1755, et qui se retrouvent peut-être parmi les réfugiés acadiens présents au Camp Espérance à l'hiver 1757.106
.. Grâce à ces sources, ainsi qu'aux notes généalogiques de Stephen A. White, nous croyons avoir identifié la majorité des ménages et des individus qui ont séjourné au Camp Espérance en 1756-1757. Nous [les auteurs] présentons la liste : (liste complète sur acadiens-metis-souriquois.ca/aams-blog/news-and-reflections-the-acadian-refugee-camp-on-the-miram... 1756-1761-30-mars-2018, ménages_acadiens_au_camp_espérance_sur_la_miramichi_en_hiver_1756-1757.pd)
MÉNAGES DÉFINITIVEMENT au CAMP ESPÉRANCE 9 par le nom de famille du mari ou du père (seulement parce que toute la famille à l'époque était généralement connue sous ce nom):

Allain, Arostéguy, Arseneau, Aucoin, Aupin, Babin, Babineau, Bazert , Belliveau, Benoit, Bernard, Berthier, Bertrand, Blanchard, Bonnevie, Boudrot, Bourg, Bourgeois, Boutin, Breau, Broussard, Brun, Caissie, Caylan, Célestin, Chalou, Chiasson, Comeau, Cormier, Corporon, Cronier, Cyr, Daigre, Darois, David, Deveau, Doiron, Doucet, Dubois, Dugas, Duon, Dupuis, Forest, Gaudet, Gautrot, Gilbert, Giraud, Girouard, Gousman, Granger, Grenon, Guédry, Guénard, Guilbeau, Guispet, Haché, Hébert, Johnson, La Ville, Labauve, Lalande, Landry, Lanoue, Lapierre, LeBlanc, Léger, Lemire, Levron, Maillet, Marchand, Melanson, Ménard, Michel, Mouton, Nuirat , Pellerin, Pinet, Pitre, Poirier, Porlier, Pothier, Préjean, Raymond, Renaud, Richard, Robert, Robichaud, Roy, Ruault, Saint-Julien de La Chaussée , Saulnier, Savoie, Surette, Tardif, Thébeau, Thériot, Trahan, Vigneau, Vincent

Le pdf contient également une liste de FAMILLES SUPPLÉMENTAIRES DONT LA PRÉSENCE au CAMP ESPÉRANCE EST INCERTAINE MAIS PROBABLE

Les récits de témoins oculaires de cet épisode tragique offrent très peu de détails sur le nombre de victimes. Le Guerne dit simplement : « L'hiver dernier, ces pauvres gens sont morts en grand nombre de faim et de misère. Nous ne le saurons probablement jamais. Nous avons, au moins, les déclarations de Boishébert. Selon le document préparé pour sa défense lors de son procès pour son rôle dans « l'affaire Canada »,112 86 personnes ont péri lors des deux premiers voyages à la rivière Pokemouche et « tous les enfants sont morts ».113

L'« affaire Canada » a été un scandale, avec des poursuites judiciaires, autour de la mauvaise gestion financière dans la colonie du fleuve Saint-Laurent (qui, comme indiqué précédemment, était connue à l'époque sous le nom de « Canada », tandis que « Québec » ne faisait référence qu'à la ville) . Boishébert est accusé d'avoir joué un rôle. Dans sa biographie de Boishébert dans le Dictionary of Canadian Biography, P. E. LeBlanc (1979) commente ce qui suit : « Après la chute du Canada en 1760, Boishébert retourna en France. Il fut accusé d'avoir participé aux manigances de l'intendant Bigot et fut peu après emprisonné à la Bastille. On prétendait qu'il avait profité personnellement de l'achat à Québec de vivres pour les Acadiens affamés. Après 15 mois de prison, il a été acquitté.

Représentation artistique d'une famille acadienne au moment du Grand Dérangement :(statue de famille).

Cette dernière affirmation est plutôt audacieuse, compte tenu de ce que l'on sait des rescapés du Camp Espérance114. bébés non sevrés qui sont morts. (Nuances d'images télévisées modernes d'enfants mourant dans des sécheresses et d'autres zones sinistrées.) Combien d'enfants de ce type auraient pu périr ? Parmi les familles du Camp Espérance, nous avons trouvé 140 épouses qui auraient pu avoir un enfant.115 Il est peu probable que toutes ces femmes allaitent un bébé en même temps, mais il est raisonnable de supposer qu'au moins la moitié d'entre elles donc, donc, environ 70 femmes.
Si nous supposons que 70 bébés allaités ont été perdus, et ajoutons ceux qui n'ont pas survécu aux voyages à Pokemouche, le nombre total de morts (selon Boishébert) serait d'environ 156 au cours de cet hiver 1757.
Il y a encore une autre statistique de cet épisode tragique. Il apparaît dans un mémoire présenté au duc de Choiseul vers 1762, concernant un manifeste délivré par « les puissances du Canada » – c'est-à-dire
les autorités britanniques contrôlant Québec – à la Cour de France, s'opposant au traité de neutralité et de pacification signé par les Acadiens en février 1760.116 Voici l'argument présenté au duc pour dénoncer les conditions dans lesquelles les Acadiens ont été contraints de se rendre aux Britanniques : « Les auteurs de ce manifeste n'ont pas pris soin de s'informer de la dure nécessité et de l'extrême difficulté dans lesquelles les Acadiens et leur missionnaire se sont trouvés pendant plusieurs années, sans nourriture d'aucune sorte, au point que plus plus de 400 d'entre eux moururent faute de nourriture et de nourriture. à l'époque, mis à part les Acadiens eux-mêmes et leurs missionnaires, de qui cet individu aurait obtenu ses renseignements. Le missionnaire mentionné dans la note est sans doute l'abbé Jean Manach, qui avait été déporté d'Acadie un an après avoir conseillé aux Acadiens de signer le traité de neutralité et de pacification mentionné dans ce document118. Ce prêtre était présent à la Miramichi à l'hiver 1757, il était donc lui-même en mesure de connaître en détail la misère qui régnait parmi les familles acadiennes réfugiées au Camp Espérance. Ce chiffre de 400 morts se rapproche de la représentation de l'ampleur de la tragédie par Le Guerne et est assez proche de l'affirmation de Fraser de 500 victimes119. Dans ses notes inédites sur les difficultés des familles réfugiées acadiennes de la Miramichi, Placide Gaudet estime que en supposant que le chiffre de 400 victimes est exact, il faut conclure qu'il restait environ 1 000 survivants au printemps 1757, sur les 1 400 réfugiés acadiens qui s'étaient trouvés au camp Espérance l'automne précédent. De ceux qui ont survécu à cet hiver, 120 sont ensuite partis pour Québec121, tandis qu'environ 880 personnes sont restées en Acadie.
Mgr de Pontbriand de Québec écrivait en octobre 1757 au sujet de la triste condition des Acadiens : « Et puis il y en a encore 800 ou 900 à Miramichi, au nord de l'Isle Saint-Jean juste de l'autre côté de l'eau, qui ne voudraient rien de mieux que de s'en remettre là, où ils pourraient s'établir à Malpek ou Bedek [Malpèque ou Bedèque], s'ils veulent avoir quelque espoir de survivre au lieu de périr de misère et de souffrance à Mira-michi. Restigouche123, 194 à Mira-michi, 150 à Caraquet et 26 à Shippagan, soit un total de 899 personnes qui auraient pu passer du temps au Camp Espérance, mais cette liste a été dressée quatre ans après l'installation du camp de réfugiés. liste pourrait avoir été gonflée par les naissances survenues entre-temps. Si nous additionnons les données de 1763 dans les listes d'Acadiens à Fort Cumberland (Beauséjour), Halifax et Annapolis Royal, nous obtenons un total de 658 personnes. Si l'on ajoute à ce chiffre les 230 personnes emprisonnées au Fort Edouard en 1761 et 1762, on obtient un total de 888 individus qui auraient pu être au Camp Espérance124. les personnes qui manquent aux listes de 1763 mais qui ont passé l'hiver 1757 au camp de réfugiés de Miramichi, on se rapproche beaucoup du chiffre de 880 survivants de cet hiver qui sont restés en Acadie par la suite. Compte tenu de cela, il est donc réaliste de fixer le nombre de victimes au camp d'Espérance à environ 400 personnes, ce qui est le chiffre indiqué dans le mémorandum au duc de Choiseul vers 1762.

Épilogue
Avec la chute de Louisbourg en juillet 1758, le sort du Camp Espérance est définitivement scellé. Au printemps suivant, Boishébert, commandant du site, reviendra à Québec de Restigouche, son nouveau quartier général, laissant ce dernier sous le commandement du lieutenant Jean-François Bourdon de Dambourg125. Mais entre-temps, en quittant Louisbourg à l'été 1758, il s'était d'abord dirigé vers la région du fleuve Saint-Jean. Plus loin sur la côte atlantique de l'actuel Maine, il a mené une bataille très réussie contre les Britanniques autour de Fort George.126 Alors que lui et ses hommes s'apprêtaient à repartir, ils ont appris que les Britanniques attaquaient des sites. sur le Saint John et la Miramichi127. En effet, le lendemain de la capitulation de Louisbourg, le commandant de l'armée britannique en Amérique du Nord, le général Jeffery Amherst, avait ordonné au brigadier-général James Wolfe de mener une expédition contre les colonies de la Miramichi, la Gaspésie et d'autres dans les environs128. Pour exécuter ces ordres, Wolfe chargea le colonel James Murray de diriger une force de près de 800 hommes contre les colonies de la rivière Miramichi. Murray est arrivé à bord du Juno, commandé par John Vaughan, qui, le 15 septembre 1758,129 a exhorté Murray à agir le plus rapidement possible, car le navire naviguait dans des eaux difficiles à l'embouchure de la baie de Miramichi, exposée aux vents du large. qui menaçait d'échouer le navire sur la côte130. Avec 300 de ses hommes, Murray mena un assaut contre le poste français de la baie des Ouines (l'actuelle baie du Vin du côté sud de la baie de Miramichi), qui avait été déserté , sauf par le chirurgien Jean-Louis Bazert et sa famille, qui sont faits prisonniers. Lorsqu'il a appris l'existence d'un autre établissement sur la rive opposée de la baie de Miramichi - la mission Mi'kmaq maintenant connue sous le nom de Burnt Church - Murray a immédiatement envoyé des troupes pour incendier l'église ainsi que les maisons des Mi'kmaq et des réfugiés acadiens. 131 Bazert a également dit à Murray :
À dix lieues en amont de la rivière, il y avait une autre colonie très considérable de neutres et de quelques familles qui avaient fui l'île de Saint-Jean depuis la prise de Louisbourg. Que l'ensemble était dans un état de famine, avait envoyé la plupart de leurs effets au Canada [Québec], et devaient tous suivre immédiatement car ils s'attendaient à chaque heure à l'anglais, et d'ailleurs ne pouvaient pas subsister puisqu'ils ne pouvaient pas maintenant être soutenu par la mer comme ils l'étaient autrefois avant la prise de Louisbourg, que l'incitation à s'installer dans cette rivière était le commerce des fourrures, qui est très considérable, pas moins de six navires y ont été chargés avec cette marchandise cet été. Ce Monsr. Boisbert commande le tout ainsi que l'Etablissement de la Rivière Saint-Jean, qu'il est présentement avec sa Compagnie au Fort George, contre laquelle il doit agir de conjonction avec un Détachement de l'armée de Montcalm & ne doit plus retourner à Miramichi, qui est abandonné pour les raisons indiquées ci-dessus. 132
Bazert a également informé Murray que le passage de la rivière vers le Camp Espérance était très étroit, mais suffisamment profond pour son sloop. Avec le temps doux, Murray voulait remonter le fleuve pour détruire le Camp Espérance, mais après avoir consulté les capitaines Vaughan et Bickerton, il décida d'abandonner l'idée et d'amener ses hommes à bord du navire133. leurs navires, la petite flotte leva l'ancre le 18 septembre 18134 et regagna Louisbourg une semaine plus tard, laissant intact le camp Espérance135.

Boishébert sous-entend que lui et ses hommes sont arrivés à la Miramichi juste avant que l'expédition de James Murray ne quitte l'endroit136. Cela semble invraisemblable, puisque Boishébert n'a appris l'existence de l'expédition de Murray que lorsque la propre expédition de Monckton a atteint l'embouchure du Saint-Jean le 16 septembre, ce qui est le lendemain de l'arrivée des forces de Murray à Miramichi. Ce dernier en est parti le 18. Boishébert aurait mis plus de 48 heures pour se rendre de la Saint-Jean à la Miramichi, d'autant plus que ses forces voyageaient en canots avec de longs portages à traverser.
Selon Cooney, le Camp Espérance était : « … une ville comprenant plus de deux cents maisons, y compris une chapelle et des magasins de provisions à Beaubair's [c'est-à-dire, Beaubear's ou Boishébert's] Point. »137 Ce camp de réfugiés était, en effet, un établissement assez important . Outre la chapelle et les maisons, il comprenait les structures typiques de tout poste militaire de l'époque, c'est-à-dire la maison du commandant, des casernes, un hôpital, une forge, une boulangerie, la maison du prêtre, des entrepôts et même un quai138. De plus, des maisons et des hangars ou entrepôts furent construits à Caraquet139 et à Baie-des-Ouines, et même une maison en amont sur la Miramichi au point de départ du portage vers le Saint-Jean140. Cooney rapporte aussi qu'outre les réfugiés de Camp Espérance et Baie-des-Ouines, des familles vivaient à Néguac et à Canadian Point, et que des batteries d'artillerie avaient été installées à l'île Beaubear et à French Cove.141 ​​Il ajoute : « Ils avaient de plus une manufacture d'armes, ainsi qu'un chantier naval et un magasin de l'intendance à Fawcett's Point, maintenant propriété de Joseph Cunard & Co. mais alors appelé d'après le commissaire français.

Au printemps 1759, Boishébert, avec son successeur Bourdon, transfère le campement de la Miramichi à la Restigouche, plus au nord143. Les familles de l'Île-Saint-Jean suivent, ainsi que les familles réfugiées qui sont au camp Espérance depuis l'été de 1756. Certaines de ces familles avaient déjà quitté ce lieu malheureux en 1758, comme nous l'apprend Murray : « qu'il y a plusieurs habitations dispersées dans toute la baie, sur plusieurs lieues au-dessus et au-dessous de l'endroit où nous étions. »144 Wolfe ajoute : « De Pas-beau autour de la baie des Chaleurs à Caraquet, il n'y a pas d'habitants français, de Caraquet à Miramichi, il peut y en avoir une quarantaine, qui soit pêchent, soit trafiquent avec les Indiens pour la fourrure. »145 Selon les informations dont s'inspire Wolfe, ainsi que ce que le chirurgien Jean-Louis Bazert raconte à James Mur-ray, la majorité des familles de réfugiés se trouvent encore au Camp Espérance à la fin de l'été 1758. Il en va de même pour certaines familles de l'Île-Saint-Jean. Ils se rendront par la suite au camp que Bourdon a établi sur la rivière Restigouche où nous les retrouvons en octobre 1760.

Parmi les ménages et les célibataires qui avaient été au Camp Espérance en 1756-1757, plus de la moitié décident de rester en Acadie160, tandis que le reste s'établit principalement en Louisiane, mais aussi à Québec, en France et à Saint-Domingue (Haïti). Grâce à la DGFA, nous sommes en mesure de suivre les familles réfugiées du Camp Espérance, comme le montre l'annexe. Des 429 ménages ou personnes seules qui se trouvaient au campement, on sait où 308 d'entre eux se sont installés, soit : 121 en Acadie (48 en Nouvelle-Écosse, 5 à l'Île-du-Prince-Édouard et 68 au Nouveau-Brunswick), 101 en Louisiane , 53 au Québec et 33 en France (dont 22 à Miquelon et 5 à Saint-Domingue).
..les principaux établissements acadiens (NB ceux énumérés ici) où se trouvent les descendants des gens du Camp Espérance, d'après nos informations sur les endroits où les membres de la famille se sont éventuellement installés : Barachois, Cap-Pelé, Dieppe, Memramcook (incluant Beaumount et Pré- d'en-Haut), Scoudouc, Shédiac et Shemogue (Chimougoui) dans le comté de Westmoreland; Bouctouche, Cocagne, Grande-Digue, Richibucto, Richibucto-Village, Saint-Louis-de-Kent et Saint-Charles-de-Kent Parish dans le comté de Kent; Néguac dans le comté de Northumberland; Bathurst (Nepisiguit), Caraquet, Petit-Rocher, Shippagan et Tracadie dans le comté de Gloucester ; et Saint-Basile dans le comté de Madawaska.
Faute de sources offrant des détails précis, nous ne saurons probablement jamais le nombre exact de réfugiés acadiens qui ont vécu au Camp Espérance sur la Miramichi durant cet hiver 1756-1757, ni le nombre qui y sont morts. Une chose est claire cependant : dans les différentes études antérieures de cet épisode, les chiffres semblent gonflés, à en juger par les informations que nous avons extraites des matériaux documentaires de l'époque. Cette conclusion ressort particulièrement des notes généalogiques, qui fournissent des données incontestables sur les personnes qui ont survécu à cet hiver fatidique. Notre meilleure estimation est qu'environ 1 400 réfugiés acadiens se trouvaient alors au camp. En se basant sur le constat que 880 personnes ont survécu et vivaient en Acadie dans l'immédiat, et que 120 autres sont parties pour Québec, on place le nombre de décès à environ 400 individus, soit près du tiers de la population acadienne. réfugiés qui ont commencé l'hiver 1756-1757 au Camp Espérance.

Mémorial du Camp d’Espérance à Wilson’s Point, Miramichi (note : les recherches de l’auteur montrent que la plaque contient une surestimation du nombre de réfugiés sur le site) : (photo du momument)

Plus d'informations telles que des cartes explicatives de Sainte-Croix et de l'Acadie : Déportation, migration et réinstallation des Acadiens : umaine.edu/canam/publications/st-croix/acadian-deportation-migration-resettlement/

Visitez le lieu historique national du Canada de Boishébert : www.pc.gc.ca/apps/dfhd/page_nhs_fra.aspx?id=162

Découvrez Miramichi à bord du bateau d'excursion à deux étages Max Aitken de 50 passagers. Miramichi River Boat Tours propose des croisières quotidiennes et des charters spéciaux comprenant des repas sont disponibles.
En savoir plus sur la « nonne sans tête » à French Fort Cove : mynewbrunswick.ca/folklore/the-headless-nun/
Visitez l'impressionnant village acadien : villagehistoriqueacadien.com/fr
Le 15 août est le jour où les Acadiens se rassemblent pour célébrer la Fête nationale des Acadiens (source : Canada.ca)
Carrefour Communautaire Beausoleil est l'école francophone de Miramichi : au 1-506-627-4125, ou visitez : www.carrefourbeausoleil.ca sur Facebook à : www.facebook.com/carrefourbeausoleil/ Ils peuvent généralement fournir la Journée des Acadiens de Miramichi événements.
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August 12th, 10:50 am