“Significant and intriguing. Strengthens the view that French colonists and their descendants are an important part of American heritage and that the worlds they created are significant to our understanding of modern life.”—John A. Walthall, editor of French Colonial Archaeology: The Illinois Country and the Western Great Lakes
Correcting the notion that French influence in the Americas was confined mostly to Québec and New Orleans, this collection reveals a wide range of vibrant French-speaking communities both during and long after the end of French colonial rule. Archaeological Perspectives on the French in the New World highlights the complexity of Francophone societies, the persistence of their cultural traditions, and the innovative means they employed to cope with the cultural and environmental demands of living in the New World.
Analyzing artifacts including clay pipes, colonoware, and food remains alongside a rich body of historical records, contributors focus on how French descendants impacted North America, the Caribbean, and South America even after 1763. Taken together, the essays argue that communities do not need to be located in French colonies or contain French artifacts to be considered Francophone, and they show that many Francophone groups were composed of a mix of ethnic French, Métis, Native Americans, and African Americans. The contributors emphasize the important roles that French colonists and their descendants have played in New World histories.
Elizabeth M. Scott, former associate professor of anthropology at Illinois State University, is the editor of Those of Little Note: Gender, Race, and Class in Historical Archaeology.