Diaries of the Acadian Deportations

Wendy Elliott
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Jonathan Fowler with the volume of Deportation diaries he helped edit and annotate. - Submitted

By Wendy Elliott



Gaspereau Press has just released the first volume in its new Diaries of the Acadian Deportations series: Jeremiah Bancroft at Fort Beauséjour & Grand-Pré. It was edited and annotated by Jonathan Fowler and Earle Lockerby.

In 1755, Jeremiah Bancroft enlisted to fight against the French Empire in North America. Embarking from Boston that April with 2,000 of his countrymen, his attention was focused on the objective of capturing Fort Beauséjour at Chignecto, located where today’s New Brunswick and Nova Scotia border is. He could not have predicted the fort’s rapid surrender or his New England force’s redeployment against the civilian population of Acadia.

His journal preserves an eyewitness account of the deportation of the Acadians in the Grand-Pré area, offering readers a day-by-day account of one of the most dramatic events in Canadian history. With an excellent introduction by Fowler and Lockerby, this book is supported with maps and illustrations. This publication marks the first appearance of Bancroft’s diary in book form.

Very familiar with Grand-Pré, Fowler is a historical archaeologist who teaches at Saint Mary’s University. He has wide-ranging interests in the fields of archaeology, anthropology and history. For the past decade, he has directed archaeological excavations at Grand-Pré National Historic Site. He is the co-author, with Paul Erickson, of two popular books on regional archaeology: Underground Nova Scotia and Underground New Brunswick.

Lockerby studied chemistry, engineering and  management before embarking on a 30-year career in the nuclear power industry. Since his retirement, he has turned his attention to 18th-century Maritime history, publishing papers in such peer-reviewed scholarly journals as Acadiensis, Canadian Journal of Native Studies and Native Studies Review. Author of Deportation of the Prince Edward Island Acadians, Lockerby splits his time between Ontario, and Darnley, P.E.I.

This series is intended to bridge popular and scholarly audiences, and the books are written and designed to serve the needs of attentive readers of Canadian history both inside and outside of the academy.

This slim, beautifully printed book was published in Kentville and sells for $25.95.

Organizations: Gaspereau Press, French Empire, Grand-Pré National Historic Site Canadian Journal

Geographic location: North America, Boston, New Brunswick Nova Scotia New England Acadia Saint Mary Maritime Prince Edward Island Ontario Kentville

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