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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Probably the best loved of American poets the world over is Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. Many of his lines are as familiar to us as rhymes from Mother Goose or the words of nursery songs learned in early childhood. Like these rhymes and melodies, they remain in the memory and accompany us through life.

From his friend Nathaniel Hawthorne, Longfellow got a brief outline of a story from which he composed one of his most favorite poems, 'Evangeline'. The original story had Evangeline wandering about New England in search of her bridegroom. Longfellow extended her journey through Louisiana and the western wilderness. She finds Gabriel, at last, dying in Philadelphia.

'Evangeline' was published in 1847 and was widely acclaimed. Longfellow began to feel that his work as a teacher was a hindrance to his own writing. In 1854, he resigned from Harvard and with a great sense of freedom gave himself entirely to the joyous task of his own poetic writing. In June of that year, he began 'The Song of Hiawatha'.

History of the Acadians

     The Acadians began as a group of (primarily French) settlers in 17th century Canada. Over the years, they have been subjected to numerous hardships that usually result in the disappearance or assimilation of a culture. The Acadians were able to retain large portions of their identity, even after their homeland was taken and they were exiled. Although some were later incorporated into other cultures and societies, their heritage is still evident in the lives of their descendants. 
     This online presentation will begin with the origin of the Acadians. We will then look at the Acadians as they settled a new land and created their own culture. The next major chapter in Acadian history is the Grande Derangement... when the Acadians were stripped of their land and exiled. Following this tragic dispersion, the Acadians found themselves in new lands.  Although scattered, there still remained large numbers of Acadians in two places. Those who escaped (and returned) to Canada developed their own Acadian culture (in Canada) in several areas. The other major group of Acadians found themselves in Louisiana and became today's Cajuns.   Along the way, you will find several other aids, such as a History Timeline, Maps, and Additional Resourses. 

The Louisiana French "Acadian" "Cajun" History Page.  Welcome to the Cajuns' of Louisiana.  Many speak French and have French customs.  A Cajun is someone who has descended from the French-Acadians who were banished from Nova Scotia, Canada by the British and, subsequently, migrated to South Louisiana.

The Acadians were French settlers of eastern Canada who were exiled from their land in the 1750's. The Cajuns are their descendants who settled in Louisiana. Today, thousands of Acadian-Cajun descendants cherish their rich legacy of history and genealogy.