Category: Franco-Americans

Blog Update

After six months of regular weekly posts—some twenty-five posts in fact—this blog is shifting gears. Following Mason Wade, its stated mission was and remains to chronicle French Canadians’ larger North American experience, beyond their history in the St. Lawrence River valley, beyond Quebec. As consistent readers know, I am especially interested in the French-Canadian diaspora […]

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Finding a Larger Canvas: Franco-Americans’ Enduring Significance

An earlier version of this essay appeared in Le Forum, vol. 39, no. 3 (fall 2017), 3-5. See the full original version here. How knowledgeable are you of Franco-American history? What about your fellow Americans, or your fellow Canadians—how conversant are they? Unfortunately, many Americans of French descent know little about their heritage; it is […]

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Finding Francos in Diocesan Archives: Balancing Opportunity and Empathy

Unless you are particularly generous with your time and opinion, if you have ever posted a Yelp review, it is likely that you were commenting on a bad experience. For most of us, it is much easier to complain about misfortune, and act on it, than to express appreciation or bestow praise. Through years of […]

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Internet Resources on Franco-American History

Although Franco-Americans are a comparatively little-known cultural minority, from the perspective of U.S. ethnic and immigration history, resources on their past and present abound on the web. The list of links below—granted, not an exhaustive one—is intended as a starting point for those undertaking research on Franco-Americans, or those who may not have the time […]

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Franco-American Religious Controversies: The Corporation Sole

When the Irish men arrived they saw themselves displaced by the French who were occupying their usual pews. This situation did not endure for long, as the French worshippers, offering only minimal resistance, were forcibly dragged out into the aisles. – Philip T. Silvia, Jr., “The Spindle City: Labor, Politics, and Religion in Fall River, […]

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Franco-American Religious Controversies: Cahensly and the Lay Catholic Congress

The importance of Catholic societies, the necessity of union and concert of action to accomplish aught, are manifest. These societies should be organized on a religious, and not on a race or national basis. We must always remember that the Catholic Church knows no north or south, no east or west, no race, no color. […]

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Franco-American Religious Controversies: The Flint Affair

[T]heir singular tenacity as a race and their extreme devotion to their religion, and their transplantation to the manufacturing centres and the rural districts in New-England means that Quebec is transferred bodily to Manchester and Fall River and Lowell. – “The French Canadians in New England,” New York Times (June 6, 1892), 4. By no […]

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Prosper Bender’s American Dream

I am not without hopes, however, that later some one may assume this task, and cause the social and literary activities of those days, and the participants therein, to live over again. – Prosper Bender, Quebec Daily Telegraph, June 29, 1907 As the son of a prominent attorney in Quebec City, young Prosper Bender could […]

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History and the Intangibles of Canada–U.S. Relations

Today marks the 176th anniversary of the Webster-Ashburton Treaty, a defining yet often overlooked moment in Canada–U.S. relations. In 1842, after years of border disturbances and legal controversies, British and American statesmen renewed their commitment to peaceful intercourse. They understood the necessity of restraining passions on both sides of the border, as it was in […]

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Early Canadian Migrations to the United States

As previously noted on this blog, it was not the call of political liberty that drew great numbers of French Canadians to the United States in the nineteenth century, but economic opportunity (if not, sometimes, economic necessity). Life in ethnic clusters, in the shadow of gargantuan textile mills, was but a small facet of this […]

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