John Mack Faragher
, the Yale professor who wrote A Great and Noble Scheme, the new book on the Acadian expulsion by the British, will be the guest speaker at the French-Canadian Genealogical Society of Connecticut
’s spring membership meeting at 1 p.m. Saturday, May 20, at the United Congregational Church in Tolland, CT.
The talk is open to the public without charge. It should be of special interest to anyone with ancestral ties to Acadia, the former French colony that spread over what is now Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and parts of Maine.
Faragher has called the roundup of the Acadians and the scattering of families to the American colonies and elsewhere an early form of ethnic cleansing. The tragedy inspired the poem, “Evangeline,” by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.
Faragher is Arthur Unobskey professor of history at Yale as well as professor of American studies and director of the Howard R. Lamar Center for the Study of Frontiers and Borders. He teaches the history of the American West.
Born in Arizona and raised in southern California, he received his Ph.D. from Yale in 1977 and taught at Mount Holyoke College for 15 years before joining the Yale faculty in 1993. His earlier books have included Women and Men on the Overland Trail; Sugar Creek: Life on the Illinois Prairie; Daniel Boone: The Life and Legend of an American Pioneer, and, with Robert V. Hine, The American West: A New Interpretive History.
A Great and Noble Scheme, published in 2005 by W. W. Norton & Company, is subtitled, “The Tragic Story of the Expulsion of the French Acadians from their American Homeland.”
In it, Faragher has used his talents as a historian to shed new light on the Acadian tragedy, finding surprising facts and fresh meanings in overlooked archives and other primary sources. He tells the story from both the Acadian and British sides and also includes the little known consequences to the Micmaq Indians allied with the Acadians.
The title comes from a British correspondent’s dispatch from Nova Scotia published on Sept. 4, 1775, in the Pennsylvania Gazette, saying: “We are now upon a great and noble Scheme of sending the neutral French out of this Province, who have always been secret Enemies. If we effect their Expulsion, it will be one of the greatest Things that ever the English did in America ....”
Copies of Faragher’s book will be available at the meeting for purchase and signing.
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