Saturday, October 29, 2005

History of Saint Pierre and Miquelon

History of Saint Pierre and Miquelon. This is a short account of the history of this last remaining French territory in North America. While obscure today, the islands were important during the rum running days of American Prohibition as well a source of conflict between the USA and Vichy France in World War II.

Wikipedia notes, "Saint-Pierre and Miquelon (French Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon) 46°47′ N 56°12′ W is a French overseas collectivity consisting of several small islands off the eastern coast of Canada near Newfoundland. It is the only remainder of the former colonial territory of New France."

From the site:

First settled by the French in the early 17th century, the islands represent the sole remaining vestige of France's once vast North American possessions.

The 1912 Catholic Encyclopedia wrote, "Known to the earliest Breton and Basque fishermen, this group already bore its present name when Jacques Cartier identified it in 1535, The first settlement dates from 1604. In 1689 Bishop St-Vallier visited it from Placentia, blessed a chapel, and left a priest in charge. The Recollects sent to Placentia (1691) attended this mission. The islands were successively ceded to England (Treaty of Utrecht, 1712), restored to France (Treaty of Paris, 1763), thrice captured by the English (1778, 1793, and 1808), and thrice retroceded to France (Treaties of Versailles, 1783, of Amiens, 1802, and of Ghent, 1814). Many Acadians fled thither after the dispersion of Grand Pré (1755) and the fall of Louisbourg (1757)."

"The first missionaries who came after the Treaty of Paris were the Jesuits Bonnecamp and Ardilliers, with dubious jurisdiction from the Bishop of La Rochelle (1765). The islands now separated from the jurisdiction of Quebec were erected by Propaganda into a prefecture Apostolic, and formed the first mission confided by Rome to the Seminary of the Holy Ghost. MM. Girard, prefect, and de Manach, who sailed the same year, were driven by a storm to Martinique. They were replaced (1766) by MM. Becquet and Paradis, likewise of the Holy Ghost Seminary, or Spiritains, as well as several of the following. In 1775 the prefect, M. Paradis, with his companion and 300 families were expelled by the English. M. de Longueville succeeded him in 1788. In 1792 M. Allain, vice-prefect, and his companion, M. Le Jamtel, were forced by the French Revolution to leave for the Magdalen Islands, with a number of Acadians who, remaining faithful to the King of France, refused to take the oath of the Constitution. The former inhabitants returning in 1816, M. Ollivier, who accompanied them, applied for jurisdiction to the Bishop of Quebec. He was appointed vice-prefect in 1820. His successors, with the same title, were MM. Charlot (1841), Le Helloco (1854), Le Tournoux (1864), Tiberi (1893); the two last named belonged to the newly-restored Congregation of the Holy Ghost."

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