Cajun Country

By Barry Jean Ancelet; Jay D. Edwards et al. | Go to book overview
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Bibliographical Essay

Pre-Acadian Louisiana History

General histories of Louisiana date back to French colonial times. These treatises provide insight into the ways in which Native Americans and Europeans became acculturated to each other and to the climate and terrain of Louisiana. Most notable are Antoine Simon du Pratz's 1774 Histoire de la Louisiane and the Pénicault narrative Fleur de Lys and Calumet. P. F.X. de S.J. Charlevoix Journal of a Voyage to North America ( 1761) did much to imbue Louisiana and the New World with utopian hues, which French writers of the pre-Romantic and Romantic literary movements quickly elaborated during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.

While these highly personal accounts may lack objectivity they do provide a compelling look at colonial attitudes and events. The same holds true for the multitude of personal memoirs written by the founders of the new colony. A Comparative View of French Louisiana, 1699 and 1762: The Journals of Iberville and Jean-Jacques Blaise D'Abbadie ( Carl Brasseaux, ed.) permits just such a look at the Louisiana the Acadians journeyed towards from their forced internments after their expulsion from Acadia.


The Acadian Migrations

The Acadian migration to Louisiana is revealed in later general histories from a nineteenth-century perspective by Charles Gayarré ( History of Louisiana, 1851-52) and by François Xavier Martin ( The History of Louisiana from the Earliest Period, 1827). Good twentieth- century analyses are in Marcel Giraud four-volume Histoire de la Louisiane Française and Joe Gray Taylor Louisiana: A History.

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