Chronicles of a Spy in Acadia: The French Englishman

This episode is the first in a three-episode series of “Chronicles of A Spy in Acadia”: a student-produced podcast researched, written, recorded and edited by the students of Brock University’s History 4P11 State and Society in Colonial Canada class.

The podcast centers on Atlantic colonial Canada in the 18th century by looking at the events through the eyes of a real-life historical spy: Thomas Pichon. Thomas Pichon was a French man sent to take on a legislative position in the military Fort of
Beausejour in 18th century Acadia (present-day Nova Scotia). Eager for money and prestige, however, in 1754 he was recruited to spy for the British and played a pivotal role in the French-Acadian defeat at the 1755 Siege of Beausejour.

This episode gives listeners a front row seat to history students interviewing “the ghost” of Thomas Pichon about the events of 1755 and Pichon’s life leading up to it. Pichon was known to exaggerate and be a man invested in his own self-interests, and his character beyond the grave is hardly estranged from that.

Filled with quotations from Pichon’s genuine letters and memoirs published after his death, listeners get a chance to not only see the true thoughts and motivations of Pichon as he betrayed France and the Acadians, but also to better understand the events that made Canada into the country it is today.

 

Links

Beaubassin: On the Edge of Empires

@CBCNovaScotia Centuries-old cannonballs detonated in Gagetown, N.B. (Tweet) Nov. 19, 2021.

Brock University Department of History

 

Sources

Crowley, T.A. “Biography: PICHON, THOMAS, Thomas Tyrell,” Dictionary of Canadian Biography, University of Toronto, 1979.

Webster, John Clarence. Thomas Pichon “The Spy of Beausejour,” An Account of His Career in Europe and America with Many Original Documents. Translated by Alice Webster. Shediac, NB: 1937.

 

Credits

Interviewer 1- Yannick
Interviewer 2- Micayla
Narrator- Erin
Ghost of Thomas Pichon- Dexter

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