Thursday, August 14, 2014

Recap: Late July, Early August

As the summer winds down, it's proven rather daunting to keep up with all the New-France-related-news that's fit to print.  So allow me just a quick recap:

In Quebec City, this year's Fêtes de la Nouvelle-France was by all accounts a great success.  Joseph Gagné has an interesting write-up of his experience interpreting a voyageur at the festival over on his blog.

Throughout Quebec, August is the Mois de l'archéologie, or Archaeology Month, and the program is packed as usual.  Meanwhile, the Congrès Mondial Acadien, or Acadian World Congress, will be in full swing from August 8th through the 24th.  This festival of Acadian and Cadien or Cajun culture and history is held every five years.  This time around, it is co-hosted across international and provincial borders, by the counties of Aroostook (Maine), Témiscouata (Quebec), Victoria, Madawaska, and Restigouche (New Brunswick).

I might also note a couple of anniversaries -- post-Conquest ones, mind you, but of interest nonetheless.  It was the 250th of the construction, on the site Fort Duquesne, of Pittsburgh's Fort Pitt Blockhouse (1764).  The 251st of the Battle of Bushy Run (1763), the British victory that became a critical turning point during Pontiac's War, was for its part marked by a re-enactment

Parks Canada meanwhile reminded us that it was also the 232nd anniversary of the French capture of Prince of Wales Fort (1782) on Hudson's Bay.  Samuel Hearne, the famous fur trader and explorer, surrendered it without firing a shot to the commander of the French fleet, who was none other than Jean-François de Galaup, comte de Lapérouse.  Two decades earlier the latter had taken part in a couple of supply expeditions towards Louisbourg and in the odd little campaign against Newfoundland that marked the end of the Seven Year's War on North American soil.  Within three years of his victory on Hudson's Bay, however, Lapérouse would earn his true place in history books with his ill-fated attempt at circumnavigating the globe and his disappearance in the South Pacific.