A Distinct Alien Race

The Untold Story of Franco-Americans, Industrialization, Immigration, Religious strife

Ebook

A Distinct Alien Race

Americans don’t think of Canada as a source of potential terrorists—speaking a foreign tongue, serving a foreign religion, and invading their country. But when a million French-Canadians crossed the border between 1840 and 1930, many seeking work in New England’s burgeoning textile industry, they were cast as foot soldiers in an alleged Roman Catholic plot.

A Distinct Alien Race places these Franco-Americans in the context of contemporary issues: the rise and fall of manufacturing in the U.S.; Nativism and the fear of the Other; emigration to the U.S. across land borders; and the construction of race. Vermette traces individuals and families, from the textile barons whose profits in the Caribbean and China trades financed a new industry, to the rural poor of Québec who crowded into fetid tenements after the Civil War. His social history exposes the anti-Franco-American agitation of Protestant clergy, the Ku Klux Klan, and the eugenics movement.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents
A Distinct Alien Race 1
CONTENTS 9
INTRODUCTION 11
Overview 14
Definition of Terms 18
PROLOGUE 23
A Sprint Through 250 Years of History 23
From Ships’ Captains to Captains of Industry 37
SECTION ONE 37
CHAPTER ONE 39
Head of the Mercantile Community of Boston 39
A Textile Industry for New England 50
CHAPTER TWO 50
CHAPTER THREE 62
Enter The Cabots 62
CHAPTER FOUR 77
The First Half-Century 77
Textiles in Brunswick 77
SECTION TWO 89
The Other Side of the Cotton 89
CHAPTER FIVE 91
Franco-Americans Rescue King Cotton 91
Franco-Americans Come to Brunswick 117
CHAPTER SIX 117
CHAPTER SEVEN 131
The Case of the Cabot Mill 131
A Rich Uncle from the States? 152
CHAPTER EIGHT 152
Who Were the Immigrants? 172
CHAPTER NINE 172
CHAPTER TEN 186
They Came from L’Islet 186
SECTION THREE 193
Th eReception of Franco-Americans 193
CHAPTER ELEVEN 195
Franco-Americans and Americanism 195
Fears of Franco-American Conspiracy 212
CHAPTER TWELVE 212
CHAPTER THIRTEEN 244
Eugenics and the Alien in Our Midst 244
A Klan For New England 264
CHAPTER FOURTEEN 264
Tenacity and Modernity 293
SECTION FOUR 293
CHAPTER FIFTEEN 295
Textiles Go South 295
CHAPTER SIXTEEN 308
Drifting Away from Little Canada in Body and Mind 308
CHAPTER SEVENTEEN 318
A Distinct Alien Race No Longer 318
Franco-Americans and Québécois 325
CHAPTER EIGHTEEN 325
EPILOGUE 335
Back to the Cemetery 335
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS 339
NOTES 341
INDEX 379