Nantes Harbor

Embarkation of the Acadians in the port of Nantes, France
By Robert Dafford

My thanks to Mr. Dafford for permission
to use his murals on the Acadian Ancestral Home

Nantes has always been a busy sea port and a place where families would gather until it was time for them to sail. This was the same for the Acadians who were preparing to sail to Louisiana in hopes of a new and better life. In 1785, 1,660 Acadians left France for Louisiana. Others had gone after the Treaty of Paris in 1763. There is evidence of Acadians living in New Orleans in 1765.

Nantes was always considered to be the port of departure and of adventure beginning in the early days when large masted ships would sail in and out of port. Through the centuries Nantes has continued to be an important port city.

The Nanates settled along the north shore of the Loire River at the beginning of the first millennium, and gave their name to the city of Nantes. Nordic invaders attacked the city in 843 and killed the bishop in his cathedral. The Normands stayed for a century until Alain Barbe Torte came back from England and got rid of them. The Duke Francois II encouraged trade, and the city became the country's first port on the Atlantic coast during the Middle Ages. The Edict of Nantes signed by Henri IV, guaranteed civil rights and freedom of religion to French Protestants.

In the 18th century, Nantes' port economy reached its peak thanks to trading activity with India. Then it became the most important center for the slave trade. It is at this time that the Dubigeon naval shipyards developed and remained a major factor in the economy of the city for the next two centuries.

Today Nantes is the second largest city after Paris.

Albert J. Robichaux, Jr. author of The Acadian Exiles in Nantes by Albert J. Robichaux, Jr. has asked that the marriages listed in his book that had been contributed to this site by Andre Courville of Louisiana be removed. It is with great regret this action is taken as the AAH had every reason to believe that permission had been obtained.

© Lucie LeBlanc Consentino
Acadian & French Canadian Ancestral Home
2004 - Present

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