PART IV “Nos amis, l’ennemi”
Chapter 10: Port Royal and Campobello
Their home at Passamaquoddy (on Campobello) probably in ruins, the Bergeron d’Amboise family
undoubtedly settled down in Port Royal for a while.
Marie-Anne, born in Boston, was baptized in Port Royal on 20 September 1706. Just over three years
later (26 September 1709) daughter Anne (or Anne-Marie) was baptized at the age of two days. Her sponsor
was “Pierre Gaultier, Godmother Demoiselle Marie-Anne Gautier (who signs a very beautiful hand)...
brother (Récollet Father) Justinien Durand.”1 The following year, the final child was born, a son named
Joseph-Augustin.2 According to Fr. Bergeron, a daughter Françoise was born in 1708, but it turns out that
the Françoise he mentioned was probably a granddaughter.
Barthélémy evidently continued his old ways. He seems to have been a merchant (the English said
“smuggler”) in peace time and a privateer (the English undoubtedly said “pirate”) in war time. One
document says that he “sails on his own account” outside of the “occasional trip against the Bostonians.” His
travels took him between the Acadian towns of Port-Royal, the Minas Basin towns (Grand Pré, Cobequid
and Pisiquid), Beauséjour, Chipoudy, etc....3 Up and down Fundy he sailed, with sun and with storm. He
experienced the thrill of whales broaching off the beam and of porpoises racing just under his bows. He saw
the bay from waters fifty feet higher than they had been a mere six hours earlier. Six hours later he was able
to examine towers of rock nearly five storeys tall which could shred his hull when they were submerged. He
sailed and studied, navigated and learned, mastered every square foot of this bay and became a navigator of
During these years there was much more activity between Acadians and Bostonians than either side’s
government would have desired. The Acadians did not have a money economy, but relied on their own local
resources, helping each other in a very “socialist” manner. They traded with various merchants for items
they were not able to provide for themselves. Of course, it has always been practically impossible to tax
trade by barter. Because of this economy, which continued long after the English took over Nova Scotia, the
authorities branded merchants like Barthélémy as smugglers. But this kind of life continued even during
periods of wartime and there are indications that some Boston merchants actually traded muskets, powder
and shot to the French, who gave them to their Indian allies to use against the New Englanders in their wars.
The trade was so common at all times that the Acadians called the Bostonians “Nos amis, l’ennemi—Our
friends, the enemy.” We will even see later on that Barthélémy had a Bostonian friend who seems to have
been quite close.
1. Bergeron, SGCF69d, p.218.
2. Bergeron, LGA, p. 264.
3. Bergeron, SGCF69c, p. 171.
“Nos amis, l’ennemi” Chapter 10: Port Royal and Campobello
Fr. Bergeron tells us of the kind of vessel Barthélémy sailed: “This coastal navigation was as important
as the easily-observed facts: the size of the launch-schooner (chaloupe-goélette) in question, the volume of
its cargo, the five man crew found there,....”1
“Other things that absolutely need to be added to properly judge these men and these things: the passage
alone, from the French Bay to the St. John River, of the reversible falls or of the dangerous passes of the
fiendish narrows that make, even in our day, an exploit as dangerous as rare; furthermore, the frequent and
dense fogs of this Bay which so frighten sailors, without counting the monster tides varying from thirty to
eighty feet (and which require, even today, some quays to be constructed in levels of multiple landings)
cause numerous problems of navigation. It is necessary to have leaned from the top of these quays to view
the sea below to know... vertigo!”2
But all was not trade and peaceful sailing. The Bostonians were determined to conquer Acadia,
evidently believing that would take away their French problem. They laid siege to Port Royal in June 1707.
Bonaventure was ill at the time, right there in the fort. The English destroyed a number of farms and houses,
including Bonaventure’s home and everything he owned. The Bostonians left when St. Castin arrived with a
band of Abenaki Indians, then returned in August. St Castin again came to the rescue. The English left for
good after a number of sharp fights.3
On the other side of the Bay of Fundy, Geneviève’s brother’s family was growing. Charles Serreau de
Saint-Aubin had married a Malecite woman about 1690. The Malecite St. Aubin family settled at Aukpaque,
some miles up the St. John River from Ste-Anne’s Point. It is certain that they were there in 1708; a census
that year list Joseph and his brother Jean-Baptiste as residents.4 These are the only two sons listed by
Stephen A. White. It seems, however, that they had at least one other son. It seems there was another son of
Charles and his Malecite wife: Ambroise, named in honor of “his uncle, Barthélémy Bergeron dit
d’Ambroise (also Amboise), who had married Geneviève Serreau de Saint-Aubin.”5 Ambroise lived in
Aukpaque for most of his life. We will meet him and his brother Joseph again later in this story.
For the next couple years, the Acadians tried to strengthen the fort at Port Royal, while Indians carried
on the land war. Privateers kept after enemy shipping, and the booty captured served as supplies for Port
Royal.6 In 1709 Baptiste settled in Beaubassin where he became a port captain. He sailed often between that
settlement and Placentia, Newfoundland, where he outfitted numerous privateers.7
It seems that the Bergeron d’Amboise family was certainly still in Port Royal in 1709. Fr. Bergeron
wrote that the first register of Port-Royal has this entry: “26 September, baptism of Marie-Anne Bergeron
(who later married Joseph Bellefontaine dit Beauséjour, “in the Chapel of Saint-Laurent of the upper river”)
born of 24th of the same month, daughter of Barthélémy Bergeron and Geneviève Scrault (sic). Sponsor, the
sieur Pierre Gautier, Godmother Demoiselle Marie-Anne Gautier (who signs a very beautiful hand)...
brother (Récollet Father) Justinien Durand.”8
Then came another war. In 1710 the English attacked Port Royal in force. The French garrison was
forced to surrender on 13 October. The whole garrison, including Bonaventure, was shipped off to La
Rochelle, in France. Bonaventure tried to get the French government to accept plans for the recapture of Port
Royal, but he died the following year in La Rochelle.9 The English had conquered (for the final time) the
peninsula known as Acadie Peninsulaire by the French and as Nova Scotia by the English. Port Royal was
renamed Annapolis Royal.
The d’Amboise family appears four years later in the Acadian Census of 1714, made by Father Félix
Pain, Récollet, missionary of Beaubassin, on 28 August. According to all the copies of this census that the
author has seen, it lists the family this way:
“DAMBOUC and wife, 3 sons, 3 daughters.”10
1. Bergeron, SGCF69c, p. 172.
3. DCB, Vol. II, p. 177.
4. White, Vol. II, p. 1465.
5. F. Thériault, p. 22.
7. Ibid., p. 450.
8. Bergeron, SGCF69d, p. 218.
9. DCB, Vol. II, p. 177.
Chapter 10: Port Royal and Campobello “Nos amis, l’ennemi”
For the longest time it never registered that this was our ancestor. Then something clicked. Obviously
the printed records are a misreading of the handwriting; the “i” and the “s” in “Damboise” must have been
run together so that they looked like a “u” while the “e” must have been written hastily so that it looked like
Fr. Bergeron assures us that “Placide Gaudet [one of the greatest Acadian genealogists and historians]
clearly established... that this Damboise was in fact Barthélémy Bergeron d’Amboise.”1
Before continuing, here is a description of Port Royal, written by Father de Rochement, s.j.: “Port
Royal... Is a seaport, and before arriving there one enters the basin for which the entrance is about a hundred
steps wide. This fort is constructed at three places of this entrance and on a small river in which the biggest
buildings went up under the batteries; it is of a good defense of earth and contains the houses of the officers,
the barracks of the soldiers and the magazines of the king; it is at the foot of this fort that there are built
houses of the middle-class... The continuous war that the English have always made there is the cause of its
little growth...”2 The census reported that the d’Amboise family lived in Port Royal, in the sector of the
Cape. Another source, the “Unpublished Documents on Acadia” (1/166), further located the family in the
vicinity of the Cape, but more specifically in the area called the Lower Town and, furthermore, “Near The
On either side of the “DAMBOUC” entry are the following entries: “Abraham DUGAST and wife, 4
sons, 2 daughters” and “René GRANGER and wife, 5 sons, 3 daughters.”4 These seem to be the closest
neighbors to our ancestor’s family. In his analysis of the census data, Fr. Bergeron mentions that they lived
“among neighbors who, sixty years later, ‘found themselves...’ at this Nicoletaine Petite-Cadie [i.e., the
Nicolet region of Québec where St-Grégoire is located]...: the Orillon-Champagnes, the Vigneaus, the
Boudreaus, the Melansons, the Belliveaus, etc.”5
“They have, at this time,” Fr. Bergeron wrote, “three boys (Barthélémy II, Michel and Joseph-Augustin)
and three girls (Marie, Françoise and Marie-Anne).”6 But the daughters had to have been Marie, Marie-
Anne, and Anne (or Anne-Marie).7
In 1714, with Port Royal no longer in French hands, Baptiste acted as an advisor to the French
government on the choice of a new military base on Cape Breton Island.8
Three years later, Marie Bergeron married (Jean-)François Roy at Port-Royal (18 January 1717).9 The
marriage mass was celebrated by Father Justinien Durand, a Récollet missionary.10 This young couple were
probably the first to make Barthélémy and Geneviève grandparents; they may have had a daughter (Marie-
Jeanne) before 1720 (the records are lost) and definitely had a son (Bénoni) in that year.11
Two major family events occurred in 1721. On 21 April 1721, Barthelemy II married eighteen-year-old
Marguerite Dugas, the daughter of Claude Dugas and Marguerite Bourg of Port Royale. She was a cousin of
the Abraham Bourg who lived next door to the Bergeron d’Amboise house in Port Royale.12
Sometime that same year, Michel married a woman whose name we do not know. He had four wives;
we know the names of only two.13 We also do not know where she was from.
The following year (1722) Barthélémy II and Marguerite Dugas had their first child, a son named Jean-
1. Bergeron, SGCF69c, p. 162.
2. Bergeron, SGCF69c, p. 162.
5. Bergeron, LGA, Vol. I, p. 257.
6. Bergeron, SGCF69d, p.218. He was wrong here. Barthélémy and Geneviève never had a daughter named Françoise. The Françoise Bergeron which Fr.
Bergeron lists is actually a granddaughter.
7. White, Vol. I, p. 1122.
8. DCB, Vol. II, p. 450.
9. White, Vol. I, p. 122.
10. Public Archives of Nova Scotia.
11. Bergeron, LGA, Vol. VII, p. 230.
12. White, Vol. I, pp. 562-575.
13. White, Vol. I, p.122.
“Nos amis, l’ennemi” Chapter 11: Campobello (Again?)
During these years, some meaningful events were taking place on the Saint John River, where
Barthélémy had spent some time after his first captivity. Since 1718, Vaudreuil, Governor of New France
and seigneur of Nashwaak (also called Marson), granted Father Jean-Baptiste Loyard, the local missionary,
the power to grant lands to any Acadians who wanted to establish themselves on the Saint John River. In
1722, Vaudreuil demanded that another person perform this task. That person was Alexandre Bourg dit
Bellehumeur, notary of Minas. Bourg still held this power when René Le Blanc took his 1731 census of the
River Saint John inhabitants. He probably even solicited Acadians of the north to leave Minas, cross the Bay
of Fundy and settle on the great river there. Two of Bourg’s own daughters would marry sons of Gabriel
Godin and Andrée-Angélique Jeanne1 and live on the Saint John: Anastasie, of whom we will later hear
more, would marry Jean-Baptiste Godin dit Lincour about 1729, and Marie-Josephe would marry Pierre
Godin dit Chatillon dit Préville on 22 August 1730.2 When Vaudreuil’s son succeeded him as governor, he
re-affirmed Alexandre Bourg in his position as agent to distribute lands. And he did not charge any of the
traditional seigneurial fees from the inhabitants. This, of course, made it much easier for common people to
afford owning a grant of land.3 Nashwaak and Point Saint-Anne certainly had some enlightened leaders at
Chapter 11: Campobello (Again?)
Information from now on becomes very scarce. We do have some indications, however, of where our
family lived and some of the things they did. The information about the Bergeron d’Amboises living on
Campobello comes from materials written and stored in the English-speaking world. Fr. Bergeron did use
the work of Beamish Murdoch, but it seems that he and the Acadian historians and genealogists did not look
First, we know that there were indeed Acadian settlements on Campobello. Guy Murchie wrote in his
Saint Croix Courier series: “It is a matter for sincere regret, however, that we do not know the sites of these
French settlements, particularly that of St. Aubin. Aside from the indirect evidence we have referred to, the
only information we have upon the subject is found upon a map, to be referred to in a future article, made
early in the last century [i.e., the early 1700s] by Captain Cyprian Southack. If the imperfect topography of
this map is correctly interpreted by the present writer, it locates French houses upon Campobello, near
Wilson’s Beach; on Ecose Island, Pleasant Point, and the lower end of Deer Island. Old cellars, believed to
be French, are found upon Indian Island; and others, which are possible French, at Mill’s Point, between Cak
Bay and Waweig. Their other settlements were probably at St. Andrews, at the mouth of the Magaguadavic,
at St. Stephen or Calais, and at Letang.”4
Guy Murchie, in his Saint Croix: Sentinel River, has the following account that is proof, we believe, of
the Bergeron d’Amboises living on Campobello:
In Lovewell's War, so called, Passamaquoddy was the scene of the first encounter of
the campaign. The sloop, Ipswich, in which Hibbert Newton, Collector of Customs at
Annapolis Royal, John Adams, son on one of the councillors of Nova Scotia, and a
Mr. Savage of Boston and his negro servants were passengers, touched at Harbor de
Loutre, Campobello, on June 13, 1722. It proved for them to be a kind of Pearl
They anchored there on their way to Boston with the idea of going ashore for
breakfast at Monsieur Dambois' house. While there they were looking at some flakes
used for drying fish, Pierre Neptune and twelve other Indians, armed with hatchets
and knives, “naked and nearly as long as a bugginett,” seized Captain James Blinn of
the sloop. Blinn struggled and demanded what it meant.
“War,” answered Chief Joseph St. Aubin, who had just come from Saint John, where
it had been planned to seize all English ships, destroy Annapolis, and rid the country
generally of English.
1. F. Thériault, p. 7.
2. White, Vol. I, p.235.
3. F. Thériault, pp. 7-8.
4. Murchie, Courier, Section XXX, third page.
Chapter 11: Campobello (Again?) “Nos amis, l’ennemi”
The party was confined in Dambois' house under guard, the old man [59 years old]
having disappeared. During the scrimmage, however, the two sailors who had rowed
them ashore managed to slip away unnoticed, got in the dinghy, and started for the
sloop. The Indians demanded that Blinn hail them back. Instead he shouted for them
to go on board and make sail. Then he told the Indians, who didn't understand the
order, that the sailors were too frightened to obey.
The Indians insisted that all on the sloop be brought on shore. Accordingly Mr.
Savage at Blinn's request, started to go aboard. On coming along side in a canoe
paddled by two of the Indians with a guard of two other canoes, he slipped quickly
over the side of the sloop and ordered the crew to fire on the canoes. Seeing what was
up, the Indians made off.
The sloop being now under sail and about to escape, the stratagem of the captain
caused the Indians to release the prisoners upon the promise of presents. It was agreed
that two of Dambois' men should go on board for the presents, but Savage sent only a
part of what Blinn had ordered. The Indians refused to accept a part. When Dambois'
men went back for the remainder Savage told them he would send no more unless the
prisoners were released and put on board. He gave them an ultimatum that if this was
not done within the hour, the sloop would sail for Annapolis. Blinn was helpless. He
wrote an order to Savage to show that his plan for release was official. Before the
canoe arrived the third time, however, the sloop had sailed.
The prisoners were now in great fear of the Indian's revenge. Hibbert Newton's
journal, which tells us the story, says that God was good. D’Amboise having returned,
their release was finally arranged by his giving the Indians twenty-seven pistoles’
worth of Indian corn, powder and shot, which together with the presents from the
sloop already delivered amounted to about 60 pounds. The Indians then crossed to
their wigwams on Indian Island where they celebrated all night with occasional
gunfire, which caused the late prisoners some anxiety.1
Captain Blinn had a small shallop stored at Otter harbor. A timely Bay of Fundy fog set in and the
shallop sailed for Grand Manan from which island after another night in the open the harassed voyagers
managed to reach Annapolis with news of another war.2
This story shows up in a number of references of many periods of time. Alden Nowlan, in his
Campobello: The Outer Island, quotes Mr. Hibbert Newton, who was present during these events:
It was Earlely ye 13th wee came to an Anchor att a place called Otter Harbour in
passimaquada. As near as I can guess about six a clock, the Boat was hoisted out and
Mr. Blinn, Mr. Savage, Mr. Adams Jun’., my son Tommy not quite four Years of Age,
with Mr. Savages Negro man and two Sailors belonging to the Sloop, went on shore,
with a Design to have refreshed ourselves at Mons. Dambois’s house the people lookt
very Dejected, and Melancholy at our entering their house, but the reason we could
not Imagine, till Leaveing the Old man’s house, we went a quarter of a mile farther to
his sons house [we do not know which son this was], where is the place the Flakes are,
that they dry their Fish on, we were all Looking at the Fish, when on a Sudden one
Pierre Neptune an Indian, with twelve Other Indians seized on Mr. Blinn with their
Axes in their hands, and Naked Knives very near as Long as a Bugginett. Mr. Blinn at
the first Struggled with them, then one of the Indians clapt his knife to his side, and
had he made the least resistance would in all probability have stabbed him. We
demanded the Meaning of this Treatment: and they answered us, it was warr, and we
their prisoners…. Mr. Blinn Started up and asked him that Called himself Chief, what
they would be att, and what they wanted. They told him his sloop and all his Cargoe,
now in the time they were securing us, Two of our Boat Crew slipt into the Boat, and
were got half way to the sloop, before the Indians Discovered them. When they did
they Order’d Mr. Blinn to hale them a shore, but instead of that, they not
understanding our Language, Mr. Blinn called to them to do as he had Ordered them
that was to bring the Sloop to Saile which accordingly they did. We were verry much
concern’d when we saw the Sloop had left us, and were in great fear the Indians might
do us Some Mischiefs, for they were continually wetting their knives and Swinging
their hatchets in their hands, however God Almighty’s providence so Order’d it they
did us no harm but pointed to us to go into the Cannoes, and carried us to Dambois’
1. Murchie, St. Croix, pp. 121-123
2. Ibid, p. 123.
“Nos amis, l’ennemi” Chapter 12: Laws against Indians
house when they agreed to release us Mr. Blinn paying them, twenty seven pistols,
wch Dambois did for him in Indian Corn powder shot &c. and with things they had
from on board the Sloop, amounted to about 60 pound. Before it was night two of the
Dambois’s went in a Birch Cannoe to acquaint Mr. Blinn’s people to bring the Shallop
to us as soon as it was dark which accordingly they did…. As soon as it was day
rowed the Shallop out of the Harbour, it being quite calm. We had not rowed Long,
before we had a hard gale at N.N.W. wch by the blessing of God carried us safe from
the hands of the Salvages [sic].1
All in all, the treatment of the English by the Indians was quite mild and the price for their release was
actually small. In August, 2001, my wife and I visited the Passamaquoddy Reservation just north of
Eastport, Maine. There was a wonderful tribal museum there, with a huge number of photos on the wall of
people having the surname of “Neptune.” So Pierre Neptune must have been of the native nation we now
know as Passamaquoddy. Joseph St. Aubin was Geneviève’s nephew, the son of her brother Charles who
had married a Malecite woman.2 It would not be much of a stretch to imagine this young man visiting his
aunt and uncle, Geneviève and Barthélémy. Given leaders from the Passamaquoddy and the Malecite, this
Indian war involved at least two of the tribes in Acadia.
Given the incident just quoted, it seems that Charles Serreau de St-Aubin’s son Joseph grew into a
“chieftaincy.” However, “chief” is a very misleading term. With most native nations in what later became
the United States, a native was a leader as long as he had followers. Therefore, Joseph St-Aubin was
persuasive, or had a personality that persuaded others to follow or was leading a popular cause – or all three.
Furthermore, he had probably grown through a series of leadership roles in order to include members of
other nations in his entourage.
Something else is exhibited by this incident: the closeness of the Acadian and Native Nations. From the
very earliest contact, the French in Acadia learned from the Indian peoples, shared with them, intermarried
with them. One thing that helped was that the Acadians farmed land that they had reclaimed from tidal areas
instead of taking tribal lands. Unlike the New Englanders (and the English in general), who were deathly
afraid of the original American peoples, Acadians “didn’t find the Indian culture threatening at all....” In his
book, The Cajuns, Rushton speaks of an undercurrent of paganism, Celtic culture and religious rebellion
within Acadian culture.3 He describes the ability to get along well with the Native Nations as being due to
“the tolerance and pagan base of early Acadian society..., ... the extraordinary elasticity and absorptive
quality which continue to characterize this culture today.”4
Also, it is intriguing that Blinn should stop in at d’Amboise’s for breakfast. This indicates a friendship
of some length and depth. Of course, we have no idea when it began, but we do know that it continued into
the next generation: Captain James Blinn’s son, Peter, shows up in a later event concerning Michel
Bergeron, son of Barthélémy and Geneviève.
Chapter 12: Laws against Indians
When the Massachusetts Bay House of Representatives heard of what had happened to Blinn and
Newton, it passed the following resolution:
That Thirty Men under a proper Officer ... with Provision, Arms and Ammunition be
put on Board the Sloop offered by Margaret Blin the Petitioner, to repair as soon as
may be to Passamaquada, and there to use their best Endeavours to recover from the
Indians the Persons mentioned in the said Petition, to be taken with them the Effects,
belonging to them or any of them, and in case of Refusal to deliver them, or that they
can't find the Persons so unjustly and forcibly seiz'd upon, to make Reprisal of the like
Number of Indians, if possible in order to Exchange them for our People, if it may be,
or if that can't be done, to bring the said Indians to Boston.
And when they have done what is to be performed at Passamaquada, to touch in their
return at the several Places or Harbours on this side, where it is probable there may be
1. Nowlan, pp. 12-13.
2. White, vol. II p.1465.
3. Rushton, p.p. 6-9.
4. Rushton, p. 9.
Chapter 12: Laws against Indians “Nos amis, l’ennemi”
any English Fishery or Vessels to give the Notice of the Fact committed at
Passamaquada, and to warn them, and all such Vessels as they see Fishing on the
Coast to be upon their guard, and in case they hear of any other Persons at any other
Place seiz'd upon by the Indians, to endeavour the recovery of them, or make Reprisal
in their stead.
And it is proposed that so far as the Sloop may be employed in going to
Passamaquada, and in seeking the Recovery of said Blin and his Effects and in return
in case she come directly back, the Sloop and the Sailors belonging to her as to their
Wages and Provisions be at the Charge of said Blin, but as to the Time spent in
Notifying other Places, at the Charge of the Province.1
The reaction of the Bostonians to the Indian actions they believed led to Lovewell’s War, not only
Blinn’s capture, was immediate and potentially violent. On 25 July 17222 the Massachusetts government
issued a proclamation that partially declared:
I do therefore by and with the advice of his Majesty's Council, hereby declare and
proclaim the said Eastern Indians, with their Confederates, to be Robbers, Traitors
and Enemies to his Majesty King George, his Crown and Dignity; and that they be
henceforth proceeded against as such: Willing and Requiring all his Majesty's good
Subjects, as they shall have Opportunity, to do and execute all acts of Hostility against
them; Hereby also forbidding all his Majesty's good Subjects to hold any
Correspondence with the said Indians, or to give Aid, Comfort, Succour or Relief unto
them, on penalty of the Laws in that case made and provided. And whereas there be
some of the said Indians, who have not been concerned in the perfidious and
barbarous Acts beforementioned, and many may be desirous to put themselves under
the Protection of this Government.3
This may have put the Bergeron d’Amboise family in some danger. They were not only located where
Blinn and Newton were captured, but also, as we have seen, Geneviève had Indian relatives. People with
such close family ties as the Acadians and the Native Americans simply could not abide by such laws. We