Acadian to Cajun
Transformation of a People, 1803-1877
A study of unusual documentary resources that disclose the processes of cultural evolution that transformed the Acadians of early Louisiana into the Cajuns of today
This book is the first to examine comprehensively the demographic growth, cultural evolution, and political involvement of Louisiana's large Acadian community between the time of the Louisiana Purchase (1803), when the transplanted culture began to take on a decidedly Louisiana character, and 1877, the end of Reconstruction in Louisiana, when traditional distinctions between Acadians and neighboring groups had ceased to be valid.
Serving as a model for ethnohistories of other nonliterate peoples, Acadian to Cajun reveals how authentic cultural history can be derived from alternative historical resources when primary materials such as newspapers, correspondence, and diaries are not available. Here, Carl A. Brasseaux assembles a composite picture of this large Cajun community. From civil records, federal census reports, ecclesiastical registers, legislative acts, and electoral returns, he reveals the astonishing cultural transformation of the Acadians of Nova Scotia into the Cajuns of Louisiana.