First book in journal series offers eyewitness account of Acadian Deportation

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Jonathan Fowler holds up a copy of Jeremiah Bancroft at Fort Beauséjour & Grand-Pré, a new book he co-edited with Earle Lockerby. PHOTO SUBMITTED

The first volume in a new ‘Diaries of the Acadian Deportations’ series, Jeremiah Bancroft at Fort Beauséjour & Grand-Pré, edited by Jonathan Fowler and Earle Lockerby, was released last week by Gaspereau Press.

This series is intended to bridge popular and scholarly audiences, and the books are written and designed to serve the needs of attentive readers of Canadian history both inside and outside of the academy.

In 1755, Jeremiah Bancroft enlisted to fight against the French Empire in North America. Embarking from Boston that April with 2,000 of his countrymen, his attention was focused on the objective of capturing Fort Beauséjour at Chignecto, located on the present-day border between New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.

Bancroft could not have predicted the fort’s rapid surrender, nor his New England force’s redeployment against the civilian population of Acadia. His journal preserves an eyewitness account of the deportation of the Acadians in the Grand-Pré area, offering readers a day-by-day account of one of the most dramatic events in Canadian history.

Edited, introduced and annotated by Jonathan Fowler and Earle Lockerby, and supported with maps and illustrations, this publication marks the first appearance of Bancroft’s diary in book form.

Fowler is a historical archaeologist who teaches at Saint Mary’s University and has wide-ranging interests in the fields of archaeology, anthropology and history. For the past decade, Fowler has directed archaeological excavations at Grand-Pré National Historic Site. He is the co-author, with Paul Erickson, of two popular books on regional archaeology, Underground Nova Scotia and Underground New Brunswick.

Lockerby studied chemistry, engineering and management before embarking on a 30-year career in the nuclear power industry. Since his retirement, he has turned his attention to 18th-century Maritime history, publishing papers in such peer-reviewed scholarly journals as Acadiensis, Canadian Journal of Native Studies and Native Studies Review. Author of Deportation of the Prince Edward Island Acadians, Lockerby splits his time between his residence in Sandford, ON, and his summer cottage at Darnley, PE.

Organizations: Gaspereau Press, French Empire, Grand-Pré National Historic Site Canadian Journal

Geographic location: North America, Boston, New Brunswick Nova Scotia New England Acadia Pré Saint Mary Maritime Prince Edward Island Sandford

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