French-Canadian Heritage Collection
As we enter the 21st century, population estimates show that there are around 20 million North Americans who are descended from the relatively small number of French immigrants who braved the voyage across the Atlantic to settle the colony of New France in the 17th and early 18th centuries. In fact, there were only about 2,000 colonists in New France by the 1650's and only 55,000 inhabitants in the region we call Quebec today at the time of the British Conquest in the 1750's, but the population continued to increase exponentially under British rule. By the mid-19th century, there were around 700,000 people living in Quebec, the vast majority being French-speaking Canadians, and the land could no longer support the population. The push and pull of political and economic forces in this era led to a massive emigration of French-Canadians into the United States in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Due to this migration, about half of today's 20 million descendants of the early French colonists are U.S. citizens, and many no longer speak the language of their ancestors. This collection of English translations of public domain French-Canadian and Franco-American texts aims to make the history and culture of French North Americans accessible to the widest possible audience, so that the rich cultural legacy of this population may be studied, appreciated, and transmitted to future generations.
French Canadian FolktalesFolktales often communicate cultural values and pass on collective wisdom to future generations. In 19th-century French Canada, the telling of tales was also a way to entertain a crowd huddled by a fire on a cold winter evening. In this collection of English translations of French Canadian folktales, you will find stories that are fantastical, telling of fairies, ghosts, werewolves and devils, as well as stories that are historical, recounting feats of daring and bravery from the early days of the colony; others will describe humorous situations meant to teach a moral lesson or just provoke a laugh. Each captivates and entertains in its own way while drawing the modern reader into the cultural world of early French Canada.
History of the Franco-Americans of Southbridge, MassachusettsBetween 1840 and 1930, approximately one million French-Canadians immigrated to the United States, the vast majority settling in New England. In Southbridge, Massachusetts a century ago, when state representative Félix Gatineau published his important chronicle of the town’s Franco-American community, French-speaking immigrants and their American-born children represented 60% of the town’s population. Gatineau’s History of Franco-Americans of Southbridge, Massachusetts, originally written in French in 1919, translated into English by Dr. Elizabeth Blood, offers a glimpse of what life was like for French-Canadians in Southbridge one hundred years ago, highlighting the role that the French-Canadian community played in establishing the town’s many political, cultural, business, and religious institutions and offering insight into the fascinating character of Félix Gatineau, himself. Originally written in French by Félix Gatineau and published by Lakeview Press (Framingham, Massachusetts) in 1919. Translated from French by Dr. Elizabeth Blood, Salem State University.
History of the Ile d'OrleansThis English translation of L.P. Turcotte's Histoire de l'Ile d'Orleans, originally published in French in 1867, will give today's English-speaking descendants of the early French colonists a peek into the lives of the 17th-century settlers of New France. This book focuses on the history of the Ile d'Orleans – a small island in the middle of the river just north of Québec City – where many early settlers established their homesteads. Originally published in Québec: Atelier Typographique du "Canadien," 21 rue de la Montagne, Basse-Ville, Québec City, 1867 Translated into English by Dr. Elizabeth Blood, Salem State University, Salem, Massachusetts, 2019
A History of Saint Joseph’s Parish in Salem, Massachusetts: 1873-1948This volume focuses attention on the centrality of St. Joseph’s parish (the people as well as the structures) in shaping, sustaining and celebrating the spiritual, cultural and linguistic life of French-Canadians and their descendants. Over seven decades, the parish grew in size and import, providing bilingual and classical education in its schools, organizing and launching social organizations, financial institutions and cultural events to assist its members with life in the United States, and offering a rich religious experience that helped generations of French-Canadian families maintain cultural, faith and linguistic connections to their ancestral homes. Written in 1948, on the occasion of the parish’s seventy-fifth anniversary, the authors not only trace the growth and transformation of St. Joseph’s but offer a close accounting of the place of the parish and its parishioners in the civic, economic and ecclesiastical life of the city, the region, the Commonwealth and even the global church. Originally published Published by the Laurier Association, 1948 Translated from French by Dr. Elizabeth Blood, Salem State University Edited with an Introduction by Dr. Elizabeth Duclos-Orsello, Salem State University