Tensions Mount on the Chignecto Isthmus

In September 1750 Major Charles Lawrence returned to Beaubassin with 700 British soldiers. This time they were able to land and built a large wooden fort, homes, and barracks on the ruins of the village.

The next year, the French built a fort across the Missaguash River: le fort à Beauséjour. British and New England forces captured the French fort in June 1755 and renamed it Fort Cumberland.

The Deportation of the Acadians began here in August of 1755. The British used both forts to imprison men and boys ten years and older so that their families would not flee the area. In October of 1755, 86 of these prisoners tunneled under the wall of Fort Lawrence and escaped. Two weeks later, some 1,100 Acadians were deported from here to the Anglo-American colonies to the south.

In 1760-61, as conflicts in the region subsided, the British and Mi’gmaq renewed their treaty, promising peaceful interactions in return for hunting and fishing rights. This treaty is part of the Covenant Chain of Treaties still in effect today.

Timeline

  • 1752

    The Shubenacadie Mi’gmaq negotiate a treaty with the British but the Chignecto chief and other leaders did not sign.

  • 1755-1763

    The Acadian Deportation.

  • 1756-1763

    “Seven Years’ War” resulting in the fall of New France.

  • 1760-1761

    The British sign treaties with nine Mi’gmaq communities. Chief Argiumeau, a descendant of the Chignecto Chief who signed in 1726, signs.

  • 1760-1763

    Planters from New England arrive to settle lands left vacant by the Deportation of the Acadians.

  • 1763

    Acadians allowed to return, some settle as tenants in Jolicoeur (Jolicure).

  • 1768

    Acadians take the oath of allegiance and settle at Menoudie and Nappan as tenants of J.F.W. DesBarres.

  • 1772-1775

    1000 to 1200 settlers arrive from Yorkshire, England to settle in the area.

  • 1776

    During the American Revolution Jonathan Eddy of Massachusetts leads some new settlers, First Nations and Acadians in an unsuccessful attack on Fort Cumberland. Acadian homesteads are destroyed as a reprisal for their participation in the attack.

  • 1833

    Fort Cumberland abandoned, its lands leased to local farmers.

  • 1920

    Fort Beauséjour-Fort Cumberland is declared a National Historic Site by the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada (HSMBC).

  • 1923

    Fort Lawrence is declared a National Historic Site by the HSMBC.

  • 2005

    Beaubassin is declared a National Historic Site by the HSMBC.