In the December 2007 archives of the AFC LIst was a message from Stephen White regarding a talk he gave on the anniversary of the sinking of the ship Duke WIlliam (carrying Acadian passsengers to Europe) and in this talk he was also going to mention the plight of over 300 Acadians in Quebec City, who died from smallpox.Here is the text of that archived message:
From Stephen A. White: anniversary of the Duke William sinking in 1758
“Today is the anniversary of the sinking of the Duke William in 1758, the event that took the greatest number of Acadian lives at a single stroke of all the tragedies of the Grand Dérangement. Three hundred sixty-two Acadians perished on that vessel. The Duke William went down just one day after the sinking of the Violet, in which around another 280 Acadians lost their lives, and on the sixteenth a third transport, the Ruby, ran aground in the Azores, killing over 200 more. The three wrecks thus carried off in the space of four days in December 1758 some 850 Acadians.
To mark this terrible series of events, and to commemorate as well all those who lost their lives during the Grand Derangement, the Federation des associations de familles acadiennes has held ceremonies each December 13th since 2003. Today these ceremonies take place between noon and one p.m. at the City Hall in Dieppe, N. B.
All who can are cordially invited to attend. For those who are unable to do so, it is recommended that they set aside a few moments to reflect upon the tragedy that befell the Acadian people between 1755 and 1763, and particularly upon the fates of those who did not survive the catastrophes of that period. It is hoped that in time Acadian descendants everywhere will observe this date, to remember those who died, just as they now observe August 15th, to remember those who survived.
As part of today's program, I will say a few words about the victims of the smallpox epidemic that carried off over 300 Acadians in Québec City between November 1757 and February 1758. Just 250 years ago this plague was at its height, and the priests at Notre-Dame church were burying six to eight Acadians each and every day.
It is worth pointing out that the segment of the Acadian population that suffered the most from these trials was that of the children. Of the 222 Acadians who died at Québec City between November and December 1757, 145 were children and adolescents.”