Why Did the Acadians Come to Louisiana?

Acadians settled in Louisiana after being persecuted and forced to leave their homes during the French and Indian War between England and France. While some of the Acadians went back to France, many traveled south to then Spanish-controlled Louisiana.

The Acadian people originally settled Canada in 1604 in areas now known as New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Quebec. This settlement was called Acadie and included both French settlers and the Metis people, who were the offspring of settlers and the indigenous people of Canada. In 1713, the British took control of the colony. While the Acadians were allowed to stay in Canada for the next 45 years, they were accused of being French sympathizers and aiding the French military during the French and Indian War.

During what was termed “The Exile,” the Acadian people were forcibly deported to France, the American Colonies and Louisiana. Some Acadians also went to French-controlled New Quebec. By 1800, more than 4,000 Acadians settled in present-day Louisiana; some came from the lands to which they were exiled and were dissatisfied with their new homes.

While in Louisiana, the Acadians created the Cajun culture, the product of the adaptation of their French traditions and their new homes.