Seeking an Acadian Nation: The 1930 Diary of an Evangeline Girl
by Warren A. Perrin and Mary B. Perrin
Edited by Sam Broussard
About the Book
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.
About the Authors
Mary Broussard Perrin is a 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 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.
Attorny 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.
Praise for Seeking an Acadian Nation
"As Dudley "Coozan Dud" Le Blanc's granddaughter, I know he was proud of Corinne Broussard who was on the First Official Louisiana Acadian Pilgrimage to Grand-Pré and whose diary offers to us an invaluable insider's view of 1930 America and Canada."
-M.M. LeBlanc, award-winning author of Evangeline: Paradise Stolen, The Acadian Miracle 53rd Ann. Ed and The True Story of the Acadians 93rd Ann. Ed.
"Miss Broussard's diary, augmented by a scholarly preface, footnotes and photos, comes to life with her youthful outlook. She offers keen observations about a trip that would mark an important step in US-Canadian relations, as well as strengthen the ties among all Acadians torn apart 175 years ago by the Acadian Deportation."
-David Cheramie, Ph.D., Director of Vermilionville
"This is a delightful account of a young Acadian girl embarking on the trip of a lifetime as a representative of Louisiana and of her people, the Cajuns."
-William Arceneaux, Ph.D., President of CODOFIL (Council for the Development of French in Louisiana)
"What a remarkable book of the Cajun Renaissance (1880-present) showing that Sen. LeBlanc was a leader in reuniting the Acadias of the world."
-Trent Angers, Author of Dudley LeBlanc: A Biography
Softcover | 203 Pages | ISBN: 9780976892779