J. L. BELL is a Massachusetts writer who specializes in (among other things) the start of the American Revolution in and around Boston. He is particularly interested in the experiences of children in 1765-75. He has published scholarly papers and popular articles for both children and adults. He was consultant for an episode of History Detectives, and contributed to a display at Minute Man National Historic Park.

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Friday, April 25, 2014

Van Ruymbeke on French Migrations to America, 1 May

On 1 May, the French Cultural Center in Boston will host a talk by Dr. Bertrand Van Ruymbeke, Professor of American History at the Université de Paris, on “French Migrations to America Before 1800.”

The description of this lecture says:
French and Francophone migrations to America before 1800 were very diverse. First the Huguenots arrived in the 1680s. They were Calvinist refugees. They settled mostly in New England, New York, Virginia, and South Carolina. Arriving in the colonies in a very auspicious time they quickly and thoroughly integrated.

Seventy years later, in the mid-1750s, the Acadians were deported from Nova Scotia to all the British seaboard colonies. Poor and Catholic, these refugees were unwelcomed and went through a very difficult time before either returning to Nova Scotia or going to Louisiana after the Seven Years War in 1763.

In the 1790s three types of French migrants arrived in the United States: the refugees from Saint-Domingue; the émigrés, often part of the nobility, from Revolutionary France; and a handful of Catholic priests also from France. Settling in American port cities (Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Charleston), these Catholic émigrés and refugees for the most part did not remain in the United States.
Prof. Van Ruymbeke’s books include From New Babylon to Eden: The Huguenots and Their Migration to Colonial South Carolina and L’Amérique avant les États-Unis: Une histoire de l’Amérique anglaise, 1497-1776, which won the Prix France-Amériques in 2013.

The French Cultural Center is at 53 Marlborough Street in Boston. This event is scheduled to run from 6:30 to 8:30 P.M., including a question period and reception afterward. It is free to members of the center and $5 for others. Register for the event here.

[The picture above shows Father Francis Matignon (1753-1818), who arrived in Boston in 1792 and stayed for the rest of his life.]

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