ÎLE SAINT-JEANThe colony of Île Saint-Jean (Prince Edward Island) was founded by French and Acadian settlers in 1720. Starting in 1749, however, it was populated primarily by Acadian refugees from Nova Scotia. They were joined by hundreds of Acadians fleeing deportation from the mainland in 1755.

After the fall of Louisbourg in 1758, Île Saint-Jean was handed over to the British, who proceeded to deport some 3,000 of its inhabitants to France. Nearly two thirds of the deportees died, either by drowning or by succumbing to disease during the crossing or in the months following their arrival. Among the survivors, many settled in France, while others returned to the Gulf of St. Lawrence region, or left for the Caribbean, but the majority emigrated to Louisiana in 1785.

Approximately 1100 Islanders had escaped deportation in 1758, most of whom took refuge on the mainland. Over time, they put down roots in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, The Gaspé Peninsula, The Magdalen Islands and in Miquelon. Some of them even reached Louisiana. However, a small group returned to the Island. Their descendants form the Acadian community which exists on Prince Edward Island today.

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