Seeking an Acadian Nation
The 1930 Diary of an Evangeline Girl
Andrepont Publishing LLC
Over the last two and a half centuries, the Acadian Deportation and the epic poem Evangeline have defined the French-speaking people known as Acadians. After their tragic deportation by the British from their homeland, Acadia, now known as Nova Scotia, those who re-settled in Louisiana are today called Cajuns—American, yet clearly distinct. Seeking an Acadian Nation—The 1930 Diary of an Evangeline Girl is a book based on the travel journal and scrapbook of Corinne Broussard, a young woman from Breaux Bridge, Louisiana, who, along with 24 other Evangeline Girls, represented Louisiana in Canada for the 175th anniversary of the Deportation. Here in Corinne's own words is the story of her adventure—a 17-day, 3,000-mile train trip called a pilgrimage by Sen. Dudley J. LeBlanc who spearheaded the trip, and who was preparing to run for governor of Louisiana. This was the first time a group of Cajuns returned to their ancestral homeland since the exile began in 1755. It could be considered the birth of the French Renaissance in Louisiana. Beginning in the 1880s, Acadian leaders in Canada began a movement to reunite all of the Acadians in the world based upon a common language, religion, genealogy, and history. This book has three parts: first, the efforts at reunification to create an Acadian Nation (1880-1930); second, the pilgrimage to Grand-Pré as reported in Corinne's diary, with annotations (1930); and third, the Louisiana French Renaissance (1930-present). This narrative aligns Corinne's personal experiences with the Great Depression, emerging women's rights, religion, prohibition, and other forces reshaping the modern world in between the two world wars. Her journal reveals how history can be gleaned from resources such as scrapbooks, newspapers, correspondence, and diaries. Although the diary and annotations are in English, half of the 46 newspaper articles and other items in the scrapbook materials are in French.
Mary Broussard Perrin is visual artist and former educator and gallery owner living in Lafayette, Louisiana. She is a mixed-media artist working in painting, photo montage, artist books, and performance art. She earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from University of Louisiana at Lafayette; and a Master of Visual Arts degree from the Vermont College of Fine Arts. She has work in the collections of the National Museum for Women in the Arts in Washington, DC; the Ogden Museum of Southern Art in New Orleans, a branch of the Smithsonian; and the Louisiana State Museum. She is co-author/director of Acadie Then and Now, a People’s History, 2015 winner of Le Prix France-Acadie. Attorney Warren A. Perrin is a skills professor at Loyola Law School and an adjunct professor at the University of Louisiana. He was named by five Louisiana governors to lead CODOFIL (1994-2010). In 1999, he was awarded the French National Order of Merit, and the Université Sainte-Anne in Canada gave him an Honorary Doctor of Laws degree. He founded the Acadian Museum and has authored eight books, including Acadie Then and Now, a People’s History, 2015 winner of Le Prix France-Acadie. In 1990, he filed a petition seeking an apology for the Acadian Deportation from Queen Elizabeth II resulting in the signing of the Royal Proclamation of 2003. From 1995 to 2010, he represented Louisiana at five World Francophone Summits. In 2007, he was inducted into the Louisiana Justice Hall of Fame. In 2018, Perrin was named as one of the University of Louisiana Outstanding Alumni.