The University of Maine at Fort Kent is pleased to announce that Dr. Patrick Lacroix, Director of the Acadian Archives acadiennes, was recently published in the American Review of Canadian Studies.

His piece, Prelude to the “Great Hemorrhage”: French Canadians in the United States, 1775-1840, establishes the context in which French Canadians left the St. Lawrence River valley to settle in the Midwest, in New England, and in our borderland region. It shows that their migrations did not begin in the second half of the nineteenth century, but much earlier. The French Canadians who moved east from the 1820s onward joined the pioneering Acadian families and intermarried.

“Most people of French heritage in the Madawaska region today can trace family lines both to colonial Acadia and to Quebec, which our extensive collection of Quebec genealogies reflects,” said Dr. Lacroix. “My article lays out the social and economic circumstances for the creation of French-Canadian settlements outside of Quebec and the rise of a hybrid French culture.”

The research Dr. Lacroix conducts is deeply connected to the mission of the Acadian Archives, which is centered on the history and culture not only of Acadians, but of all French-heritage peoples in St. John River valley. Our region drew farm laborers and lumberjacks from the Lower St. Lawrence; religious orders from the Diocese of Quebec taught in local schools. People moved back and forth. New research on the 1820s and 1830s, like the work of Beatrice Craig and other scholars, helps trace the circumstances that created this cultural exchange and the distinct society we find in the Upper St. John Valley. The collections of the Acadian Archives, like Dr. Lacroix’s research, can provide guidance and insights for community members who wish to learn more about these migrations.

For more information on the Acadian Archives, please go to the Acadian Archives webpage or call (207) 834-7536.