As a major confrontation brewed between France and England over control of North America, Acadia became of vital strategic importance. England sought initially to reinforce its military presence in the region. It founded the town of Halifax in 1749 and introduced settlers throughout the territory. The Governor of Nova Scotia, Edward Cornwallis, demanded that Acadians swear unconditional allegiance to the British Crown, in order to eliminate any possibility of neutrality. In their petitions to the Council of Nova Scotia, the Acadians refused to take such an oath, which could oblige them to take up arms against France, but they did confirm their loyalty to the King of England. The members of the Council, under President Charles Lawrence, rejected any possibility of tolerance towards the Acadians, and on July 28, 1755, decided to expropriate and expel them. Approximately 7,000 Acadians were thus assembled and sent by ship to the English colonies on the Atlantic coast; by 1762, another 2,000 to 3,000 had suffered the same fate. Sickness, epidemics, difficult voyages and harsh exile conditions, which were the result of this deportation, led to many deaths.

The Deportation of the Acadians
The Governor's House and St. Mather's Meeting House, Halifax (Nova Scotia), 1764
CA ANC C-2482