Sunday, January 5, 2014

Commemorations in 2014?

Here at Charlevoix, we like to don
little party hats and talk about history.
While the hundredth anniversary of the start of the First World War is sure to make this as busy a year as any on the commemorative front, occasions to insist on key moments in the history and heritage of New France will not be as numerous as in 2013. 

This year will  mark the 400th anniversary of the reoccupation of Port Royal (1614) a year after its destruction by Samuel Argall -- but I wouldn't be surprised if this goes unnoticed, like the anniversary of the destruction did this year.

On the other hand, two other foundations are sure to be celebrated.  In Quebec City, the 350th of the foundation of the parish of Notre-Dame de Québec (1664) will be remembered with decorous fanfare among the faithful.

Over in Natchitoches, Louisiana, there will some partying around the 300th anniversary of the community's foundation (1714) by Louis Juchereau de Saint-Denis.  The Fort des Natchitoches was the first  permanent colonial settlement in what would become the modern-day state of Louisiana (Mobile and Biloxi having ended up in Alabama and Mississippi, respectively, and New Orleans being beat by four years).

A couple of notable deaths and birth occurred in 1714, and ought accordingly to attract a little attention: Jeanne Le Ber, Montreal's first religious recluse, and the Acadian privateer Pierre Maisonnat dit Baptiste, an eternal thorn in the side of the New Englanders, both passed away that year; western explorer Pierre Gaultier de La Vérendrye meanwhile came into the world.

And what about 250th anniversaries?  While 1764 brings us beyond the confines of New France, one might point out that the eighteenth months allowed by the Treaty of Paris to Canadians wishing to leave the now-British colony came to an end in August of that year.  Exiled Acadians, meanwhile, were finally allowed to return to their former homes in Nova Scotia.  This was also the year of the negotiation of the Treaty of Fort Niagara.  Oh, and for the first time a newspaper was published in the former French colony : the Quebec Gazette / Gazette de Québec was published (I suppose that Charlevoix, as a bilingual blog, owes something to the first bilingual media outlet in Canada).

Look forward to more on these topics, and several others, in the New Year.


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