France

Where did they go?

Samuel de Champlain Samuel de Champlain
Library of Congress

Since the beginning of the 17th century the French settled in North America. Beginning in Canada in the Province of Quebec the first settlement by Samuel de Champlain was founded in 1608. Another settlement was in Acadia, nowadays Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. In 1682, Robert Cavalier de La Salle sailed up the Mississippi river and calls the surrounding areas Louisiana in the honor of Louis XIV.

By the mid 1700s, England displaced the French settlers among others to English colonies in America. Some 30 years later, seven shiploads of Acadian exiles were sent to Louisiana where they were called Cajuns.

Today more than 8 million US-American claim to have French ancestry and heritage. The majority, almost 1.3 million of the French-Americans reside in the Northeast of the country, mainly in the New England states of Maine and Vermont, about half a million live in Louisiana.

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