This article is of great interest to me because Henry Schuyler Thibodaux, the founder of Thibodaux, Louisiana, is my third cousin, 6 times removed.
We have numerous common ancestors resulting from the close knit nature of the Acadian and Cajun communities.
The closest of them, all being ninth great-grandparents of mine include: Vincent Brun and Marie Renée Breau, Étienne Emanuel Hébert and Marie Anne Gaudet, and François Gautrot.
Researchers revealed their findings Wednesday in their efforts to unlock the mystery of an American tragedy more than 130 years in the making and said more work is needed.
On Nov. 23, 1887, at least 30 people lost their lives during a racially motivated attack carried out by a mob of white men against black sugar plantation workers protesting a wage system that effectively kept them tied to the farms where they worked.
Although no one knows for sure how many people lost their lives during what became known as the Thibodaux Massacre, historians estimate 30-60 were murdered during the day-long attack.
Laura Browning, who’s assisting in the research of the historical documents associated with the massacre, read a first-hand account of that infamous day.
“On Wednesday morning of Nov. 23, 1887, about five o’clock, I heard a shot fired,” Browning read. “A moment later I heard two more fired after the other.”
The burial site of the victims wasn’t recorded. But through oral histories, it’s believed the property of the American Legion Post 513 in Thibodaux is possibly the site of the mass burial.
John DeSantis, author of the book “The Thibodaux Massacre: Racial Violence and the 1887 Sugar Cane Labor Strike,” said much of the information we have from that time period was passed down from person to person.
“In situations like this oral history is sometimes all that you have, especially when it comes to a mass burial of people who were killed under extremely spurious circumstances,” DeSantis said.
The aim of the project is to not only locate and identify victims’ remains but hopefully give them a proper burial as well, researchers said.
Related posts you might like:
Melansons and the Acadian Expulsion
A breakthrough in the mysterious Melanson genealogy?
Pierre dit Laverdure and Priscilla Mellanson – A Family Mystery
The Bourgs of Acadia
My list of the best genealogy links for Acadian research.
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