Soldiers of the Atlantic Seaboard

Acadia And Newfoundland

A Different Situation in Acadia

The position of the colonists in Acadia was very different from those in Canada. The perpetual danger during the 1650s that forced the latter to leave never their homes unless armed to the teeth did not exist in Acadia, for the Amerindians there were not hostile. Indeed, the Abenakis and Micmacs were the most precious of allies. The inhabitants of the first Acadian trading posts certainly had to take up arms on occasion, and the colonists around Port-Royal were warned after 1627 to be ready to provide support to the soldiers, if necessary. However, attempts to arm the colonists, such as that made in 1670 when muskets were sent out to them, were only moderately successful. Nor were the atmosphere of feudal struggles and intermittent long periods of English occupation that were a part of life in seventeenth-century Acadia propitious to the organization of a militia.

As a result, militias did not flourish in Acadia as they did in Canada. France therefore decided to provide for the defence of this strategically vital territory in other ways.