After 1713, France engaged in a reaffirmation of its territory in Acadia. Besides the construction of Louisbourg on Cape Breton Island, France was resolved in organizing a colony on Isle Saint-Jean (present day Prince Edward Island). The beginning of the colony was slow, only 297 inhabitants by 1728. During the years 1740–1750, hundreds of Acadians fled Nova Scotia , which had been conquered by the British in 1713, to exile themselves on this island. The colony went up to 4,000 inhabitants by 1755.
After Louisbourg had fallen to the British on July 26, 1758 during the French and Indian War, the order of deportation was given two weeks later to the Acadians of Isle Saint-Jean, and the Ile Saint-Jean Campaign began. The authorities had decided to forgo the initiative taken to assimilate them in the thirteen British colonies, and wanted them returned to France. Around 4,600 Acadiens lived on Isle Saint-Jean. In August 1758, 3,100 inhabitants were captured and deported to France. Others succeeded in hiding or fleeing. Of the twelve ships used to transport the Acadians, three sank; Duke William (364 died), Violet (280 died) and Ruby (213 died). In all, 1,649 Acadians, around 53% of the total number deported, died from drowning or diseases.
In 1763, France ceded the Isle Saint-Jean officially to Great Britain, with the Treaty of Paris.
Notes and references
- R.R. Palmer, A History of the Modern World 2nd ed. 1961, p. 234.