Love lost; love regained. Freedom; oppression. The casual cruelty of great nations; the plight of the weak and dispossessed. And against all hope - survival and a new life. 'The Scattered' dramatizes the incredible life of one man and the people he loved, caught up in the saga that befell the Acadians, a simple, peaceable people, who were expelled by the British from their homes in Nova Scotia, Canada, in 1755. The great powers - France and Britain - were caught up in a titanic battle for power in North America. The small enclave of French-speaking Acadians were in the way and were brushed aside. In Crucible of War by historian Fred Anderson, an account of the battle for power in North America between France and Britain during the Seven Years war of 1756- 1763, described the expulsion as 'chillingly reminiscent of modern ethnic cleansing' operations... executed with a coldness and calculation rarely seen in other wartime operations. As former US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld memorably remarked, 'Stuff happens' and 'The Scattered' painfully reflects the implacable real politick that govern the actions of global powers and so often results in misery for the weak. So it was with the Acadians. Most of them were sent to the British colonies in North America - and treated shamefully. But one group was prevented from landing in Virginia and shipped to concentration camps in Britain. After six harrowing years were condemned to dismal exile in France with many compelled to risk their lives in tropical hell holes in Haiti and Guyana and even the bleak outpost of the Falkland Islands. For thirty years the stoic heroes of 'The Scattered' endured this exile until they were invited to start a new life in Louisiana. This extraordinary story has many resonances to the way unwanted and dispossessed people are treated by powerful countries today. Furthermore, though the facts are known by many in the Acadian community, this is a saga that has yet to be told in a way that captures the anguish, the sheer fortitude, and the will to survive of this small band of 'cousins' as they called each other. Above all, this is a story of an individual - his courage, his perseverance, his passion. There was a Jambo LeBlanc, the victim - and hero - of this book. He was 26 when the British seized him, his wife, and two children from their home in the village of Grand Pré in Nova Scotia. That was on October 27, 1755. His wife died in a Liverpool prison. Heartbroken, this unconquerable soul nevertheless found a new love in the ghetto and together, against pitiless odds, they stayed together until a new world beckoned. On June 29, 1785 LeBlanc landed in New Orleans and settled nearby. Today the LeBlancs and the Terriots, Richards and the Heberts -all descendants of those who survived those brutish years - live on in Louisiana. Now, of course, they are called Cajuns.
[North Charleston, SC : CreateSpace], c2012
Branch Call Number:
388 p. ; 23 cm