Cumberland County Heritage Network Society

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Talk Focuses on Recently Rediscovered Early Account of the Acadian Deportation

Sara Beanlands, Halifax-based archaeologist and historian, will be giving a talk for the Tantramar Historical Society on Wednesday, April 14 at 7:00 p.m. at Live Bait Theatre in Sackville, New Brunswick. Her talk will be on an original manuscript by Rev. Dr. Andrew Brown, dated 1819, entitled "Removal of the French inhabitants of Nova Scotia by Lieut. Governor Lawrence & His Majesty's Council in October 1755".

In 1852, a tattered box of papers was discovered in the foyer of an Edinburgh boarding house. A collection of manuscripts relating to the early history and settlement of Nova Scotia, including historical notes, original and transcribed documents, and other contemporary papers was found inside. This remarkable collection of documents had belonged to the Rev. Dr. Andrew Brown, a Scottish Presbyterian minister, University of Edinburgh professor and aspiring historian of formidable intellect, who lived and worked in Nova Scotia from 1787 to 1795. In attempting to write a history of North America, Brown collected a substantial amount of documentary evidence relating to Nova Scotia and subsequently dedicated much of his life to preparing a history of the young frontier colony. The papers were later deposited in the British Museum where they ultimately became known as the 'Brown Manuscripts'. Although his work was not published during his lifetime, Brown's collection has since provided scholars with a wealth of documentary material for historical analysis.

More recently, another cache of related manuscripts surfaced in the collections of the Edinburgh University Library. While this assortment of documents has not been subjected to the same degree of scrutiny as the initial collection, it is undeniably deserving of academic attention. Among the most important documents contained within the Edinburgh collection is an original Brown manuscript dated 1819, entitled "Removal of the French Inhabitants of Nova Scotia by Lieut. Governor Lawrence & His Majesty's Council in October 1755". This is one of the earliest known historical accounts of the Acadian Deportation and the focus of this talk.

Sara Beanlands graduated from Dalhousie University in 1998 with a degree in Social Anthropology and is currently completing her Masters degree in History at Saint Mary's University, with a focus on eighteenth-century Nova Scotia. Her work has been published in the Journal of the Royal Nova Scotia Historical Society and the International Journal of Maritime History. She has been a guest speaker at the University of Edinburgh, the Nova Scotia Historical Society, and the Grand Pré National Historic Site.

Sara began her career in archaeology in 1992 and has worked on a number of projects with Parks Canada, including excavations at Fort Anne, For Lawrence and Beaubassin National Historic Sites. She is currently employed as an archaeologist and historian with Cultural Resource Management Group, an archaeological consulting firm based in Halifax.

Further information on this talk, or the Tantramar Heritage Trust, can be obtained by visiting or phoning (506) 536-2541.

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