Acadia was created in 1604 by Samuel CHAMPLAIN. The firsts colonists arrived soon after and were mostly from the western part of France, particularly from the Poitou region. They settled on the fertile lands of the maritimes. In 1654 war was declared between France and England, which made life more difficult for the Acadians, until 1755 when they were dispersed. This was called the "Grand Dérangement", meaning the Great Disturbance. The Acadians set sail for the American coast, England and France. In France, they settled in 2 locations: Belle-Ile-en-Mer and in the Poitou region. For some, the adventure had not been completed, as they crossed the Atlantic Ocean once again, this time heading towards Louisiana, where they would join the increasing number of Cajuns.

The Acadian colony at Poitou

At the end of July 1772 a Royal council held at Compiegne decide to settle the Acadiens who lived in the port towns in an agricultural settlement, which still had to be created. Bertin, the minister of agriculture, was in charge of the project. He contacted the Marquis de Perusse des Cars, who already had some experience in this are, because he had a part of his land cleared by a small colony of Germans. Bertin asked him to settle 150 Acadien families (1500 people) on his lands at Monthoiron. At the end of 1773 the Acadiens arrived at Chatellerault. There were 1472 of them there in July 1774. However the hardest part of the job still had to be done, clearing the land and building the farms.
The Acadians were dissapointed because the work wasn't progressing quickly, the land was not as fertile as in Acadia, and only some of the families were really motivated by the project. Disputes started, and some of the people refused to work at clearing the land. Also, some of the Acadians, who were supposed to be farm workers, were really sailors. Finally the death of their protector, Louis XV, was a new reason for unrest. Those who weren't farm labourers decided to go back to the port towns. Many of the Acadiens left Chatellerault to go to Nantes, where they hoped to leave for Louisiana where many of their fellow-countrymen had settled.
Only some of the families stayed on the settlement, rested from their travels, and took up the modest and quiet life of thepeasants of central France. Among these people were several of my ancestors.




Renseignements complémentaires sur la colonie d'Archigny


La Ferme-musée d'Archigny - La ferme-musée acadienne d'Archigny,(France)
--http://www.vi.interpc.fr/archigny/fr20/musee_acad.html


ROUX François                                                                                                                                                                                        05/09/98