Maryland Historical Trust Sign being Unveiled Celebrating Acadian Heritage
New Maryland Historical Trust Sign Unveiled
RECOGNITION GIVEN TO MARYLAND’S ACADIAN HERITAGE
Nearly 260 years ago a small group of refugees landed on the shores of Maryland against their will. The year was 1755, during the outset of the French and Indian War, but a different war was being waged against the French Catholics – known as Acadians – as they were expelled from their lands in Nova Scotia, Canada. Four shiploads, carrying about 900 Acadians, were unloaded on the shores of Maryland in November 1755 and by 1770 the majority of these displaced Acadians left by ship to Louisiana.
Rarely discussed in history books, these Acadian people were the early settlers of Oxford, Newtown (today Chestertown), Georgetown, Fredericktown, Baltimore, Annapolis, Upper Marlboro, Lower Marlboro and Port Tobacco and many of their names are found in the Maryland 1763 Acadian census.
At the Manokin River Park on July 28, 2013 at 3:00 pm, a Maryland Historical Trust Sign will be unveiled, recognizing the Acadians’ contribution to Maryland’s mainstream history and experience on the Eastern Shore. Marie Rundquist, author of Revisiting Anne Marie: How an Amerindian Woman of Seventeenth-Century Nova Scotia and a DNA Match Redefine “American” Heritage and Cajun by Any Other Name: Recovering the Lost History of a Family and a People, in support of the Maryland Historical Trust marker program, researched and outlined the important and little-known story of the expulsion of the Acadians from their lands in Nova Scotia and their forced resettlement throughout the colonies, including the Chesapeake Bay area.
Rundquist states, “Visitors searching for signs describing Acadian history in Maryland, and particularly their ancestors’ experience on the Eastern Shore, will no longer be disappointed; by reading the Maryland Historic Marker in Princess Anne, they will discover the nearly hidden role of Acadians in Maryland’s early history. Visitors will also find out about the remarkable, historic, Acadian connection that links Maryland’s Eastern Shore with Nova Scotia, Canada and the Acadian (“Cajun”) people of Louisiana.”
The public is welcome to join the celebration and share in this historic event. Notable speakers include:
Warren A. Perrin has a Juris Doctorate degree from Louisiana State University School of Law, and is an attorney with the firm of Perrin, Landry, deLaunay, Dartez & Ouellet. From 1994 – 2010, he was President of CODOFIL (the Council for the Development of French in Louisiana), and an Adjunct Professor at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. He was a member of the board of directors of the Congrès Mondial Acadien – Louisiane 1999, President of the Lt. Governor’s Task Force of FrancoFête ’99, and the founder of the Acadian Museum of Erath, Louisiana. In 1999, French President Jacques Chirac bestowed on him the French National Order of Merit Award and the Université Sainte-Anne in Canada gave him an Honorary Doctor of Laws degree. He is the author of five books dealing with the French culture, including Acadian Redemption, the first biography of an Acadian exile that also tells how he obtained a successful resolution of his Petition for an apology from the Queen of England for the Acadian deportation. The Queen’s Royal Proclamation was signed on December 9, 2003. The book was translated into French as Une Saga Acadienne. He represented Louisiana and the United States at the World Francophone Summits in Bucharest, Romania, Quebec and Switzerland. In 2007, he was inducted into the Louisiana Justice Hall of Fame. In 2012, he was named Chair of the Francophone Section of the Louisiana State Bar Association.
An Acadian genealogist and historian from Louisiana, R. Martin Guidry has studied the culture, language, history and genealogy of the Acadians for over 40 years. Marty is Immediate Past-President of the Board of Directors of the Acadian Memorial Foundation in St. Martinville, Louisiana and continues to serve as a member of the Board. He is President of Les Guédry d’Asteur – the North American association of the Guédry family. Marty has published numerous articles on Acadian history and genealogy, has presented seminars on the subject as well as conducted genealogical workshops. He oversees four genealogical websites and aids Acadian families seeking their family roots. Marty’s research into the history and genealogy of the Acadians uses original civil and ecclesiastical records from the 1600′s through the present-day.
Rex Simpkins is the President, Board of County Commissioners, Somerset County, since December 7, 2010 (member, representing District 2, since 2006; vice-president, 2006-10). Member, Board of Health, Somerset County, 2006-. Treasurer Tri-County Council for the Lower Eastern Shore of Maryland, 2013 (member, 2006-; 1st vice-chair, 2008; chair, 2009). Native of Somerset County, Maryland. Member, Legislative Committee, Maryland Association of Counties, 2011-.
Also present will be noted officials from Maryland State, Local, and Somerset County Government.