The Louisiana Purchase Bicentennial Celebrations
The President of the United States
The Executive Office of the President
Dear President Bush:
I am a French Citizen of Acadian descent with an avid interest in the history of France and the United-States of America. My ancestors were deported three times from North America by the British forces based in Halifax Nova Scotia, once from Acadia (1755) and twice from the French Islands of Saint-Pierre and Miquelon (1778 and 1793).
In 1778, my family was deported as retribution for France’s support of the war of Independence. Some of my Acadian relatives sought refuge in the French Territories of Louisiana. Others were dispersed in France and England. With the return of Peace, many made it back to Saint-Pierre and Miquelon, others established deep roots in the Bayou of Louisiana.
The people of the French Islands of Saint-Pierre and Miquelon have to this day regarded the United-States of America as the land of Freedom, a guarantor of French Independence in North America in the Face of British Imperialism in the XVIIIth and XIXth centuries.
During the last deportation, between 1793 and 1816, my ancestors survived in the cities of Nantes, Bordeaux, Saint-Malo. This was the era of French Revolution, Napoleon Bonaparte and the French Empire.
It is during this turmoil that Napoleon Bonaparte sold the Louisiana Territories to the United States and ensured the New Republic would forever be a beacon of Freedom in North America.
As a teacher, with my colleague Bernard T, I had the privilege and opportunity to bring Canadian Youths to the wonderful State of Louisiana. What we discovered was a beautiful, thriving, enchanting and fascinating land where culture, history, music and languages came alive in manner no book or lesson could ever impart to young minds. I remain to this day, very fond of my experiences in Louisiana. From Saint-Martinsville to Lafayette, from the French Quarter in New Orleans to Avery Island, the sights and sounds of this beautiful state will remain in our memories forever.
As you well know, this year will mark the Bicentennial of the Louisiana Purchase. I also understand that some issues have clouded the relationship between Paris and Washington. I do hope however that you will find in your hearts and minds the will to open a formal invitation to the President of France, Jacques Chirac. I don’t ask this as a French Citizen nor as an Acadian, but as a witness to History.
Marc Saint-Aubin du Cormier
Cc: Andrew H. Card, White House Chief of Staff
Dr. Condoleezza Rice, National Security Advisor
Mike Foster, Governor of Louisiana
Kathleen Babineaux Blanco, Lieutenant Governor of Louisiana
Jacques Chirac, President of France
Jean-David Levitte, Ambassador of France in Washington