Photographies: Les Canadiens français à New Bedford, Massachusetts et Manchester, New Hampshire, 1909-1912

Comme nous l’avons vu précédemment, Lewis Wickes Hine s’est impliqué au début du XXe siècle, avec le National Child Labor Committee, dans la lutte contre l’exploitation du travail des enfants aux États-Unis. Son outil: la photographie. Plusieurs – très jeunes- Canadiens français apparaissent sur ces photos. Les billets précédents traitaient de Burlington, Vermont et de Lowell, Massachusetts. Dans ce billet-ci, vous pourrez voir ces enfants qui travaillaient dans les usines de New Bedford (Massachusetts) et Manchester (New Hampshire) en 1909.  Les légendes sont celles indiquées par le site internet de la Library of Congress.

Pour en savoir plus sur Alfred Benoit, qui apparaît  sur certaines de ces photos, rendez-vous ici. Merci à Pierre Lagacé (Nos Ancêtres, Souvenirs de guerreOur Ancestors).

Débutons par New Bedford en 1912 puis Manchester en 1909.

Alfred Beniot, 191 North St. Sweeper in Bennett Mill, in spinning room #2 has been there two months; seemed to be 11 yrs. old. Alfred recorded as 12 years old.

Alfred Beniot, 191 North St. Sweeper in Bennett Mill, in spinning room #2 has been there two months; seemed to be 11 yrs. old. Alfred recorded as 12 years old.

Wilfred Tremblay, 1332 Davol St., a doffer in spinning room of Cartwright Mills; apparently 12 years old. Said « Me brudder-in-law got me the job last summer. Been there even (i.e., ever?) since

Fred Millette, 592 First St., is boy in center of picture with cap on side of head and arms folded. Works in finishing room. Birth certificate make him 14.

Arthur Sarasin, 7 Acushnet Block. Works in weaving room. At his house his people said he was fourteen last week

Alfred Beniot, 191 North St. Sweeper in Bennett Mill, in spinning room #2 has been there two months; seemed to be 11 yrs. old. Alfred recorded as 12 years old.

Interior Wamsutta Mill, Wilfred Pepin, 42 Bowditch St. (youngest boy, appears 13 yrs. old). Has been working a few weeks in Mule Room #4.

Smallest is James Veary. The next in size are sweepers; Thomas Munds, 3 Blackburn St.; Thomas Heywood, 7 Peniman St.; Romeo Perrault, 26 Reynolds St.; they are doubtful in age.

Steven Fortier, 111 Talman St., (about 13). Been working nearly two years in Spool Room of Bristol Mill

Two girls and boy beginning work in Amoskeag Mfg. Co., Manchester, N. H. 1:00 P.M., May 21, 1909. Photo taken in outer hall of spinning room where I saw them working. Left hand is Diana Gelivas, #45 Schuyler St. Other one is Rose Hamal, 451 Main St. Many others in that room and in the other mills still younger

A few of the small girls and boys (not the smallest ones) that I found working in the spinning room of one of the Amoskeag Mfg. Co. mills at Manchester, N.H. Photo taken at 1:00 p.m., May 21, 1909, in hallway of spinning room. Many others there and in the other mills. Smallest boy (on left hand) is Geroge Brown, No. 1 Corporation. Corner of Granite and Bedford Sts. Next is, Eugene Lamy, 16 Marion St. Girls: Melvina Proulx, 145 Cartier St. Laura Oclair, 145 Cartier St.

3 Boys going to work at 1 P.M. May 21, 1909. Photo taken in outer hall of spinning room of one of the mills of Amoskeag Mfg. Co., Manchester, N.H., where I found them working. Smallest boy is 48 inches high. Jospeh Arthur Houle, 498 Cartier St.,.

Boy with bare arms, Fred Normandin, 15 Bridge St., has been working in Amoskeag Mfg. Co., mill No. 1, Manchester, N.H. for several months.

Joseph Arthur Houle. (See photo #787.) I saw him working in Amoskeag Mfg. Co. Manchester, N.H

Boys working in Amoskeag Mfg. Co., Manchester, N.H. Largest one is Ernest Lamontague, 316 Notre Dame Street. Smallest, Armedos Deshais, 4 Marion St. Said he was 12 years old and beginning to sweep

Billets reliés

Photographies: Travailler dans les usines de la Nouvelle-Angleterre (Burlington, Vermont, début XXe siècle)

Liste des noms de lieux d’origine française aux États-Unis

Louis Berthiaume (Lewis Barttrow) et la Guerre de Sécession

Les Canadiens français de Lowell, Massachusetts

Les Franco-Américains au 19e et au 20e siècle: témoignages (première partie)

Dans le American Life Histories: Manuscripts from the Federal Writers’ Project, 1936-1940, on retrouve quelques bribes de l’histoire des Franco-Américains aux États-Unis. Philipe Lemay et Steve Comeau sont parmi les personnes qui ont témoigné de leur expérience. Ces témoignages contiennent plusieurs informations sur la vie des Canadiens français avant et après leur émigration au États-Unis. On y aborde le travail dans les usines, leur vie avant d’émigrer, les raisons qui les ont incité à partir, les relations difficiles avec les Irlandais (dont Jean-Baptiste Blanchette a été la victime en 1880), la vie communautaire, le catholicisme, l’éducation, etc.


Philippe Lemay
Philippe Lemay a émigré aux États-Unis en 1864 avec sa famille. Ils habitaient à  Saint-Ephrem d’Upton. Philippe Lemay a  à Lowell puis à Manchester.


French Canadians from the province of Quebec have worked in the mills of Manchester for a long, long time. There was one as far back as 1833, and for more than 50 years they kept on coming until now we are 35,000 strong, 40% of the entire population of the city. Ours is said to be the largest single nationality group.
I am going to tell you as well as I can the story of the French Canadian textile worker; what brought him here; how he came, lived, worked, played and suffered until he was recognized as a patriotic, useful and respected citizen, no longer a ‘frog’ and ‘pea soup eater,’ a despised Canuck. And it’s the story of all the French Canadians who settled in New England mill towns. The picture of one French Canadian textile worker and the picture of another are just as much alike as deux gouttes d’eau, or, as we have learned to say in English, like two peas in a pod.

Pour lire la suite, cliquez ici. Si ce lien ne fonctionne pas, lien numéro 2 et tapez  »Philippe Lemay »

Steve Comeau
Steve Comeau est né à South River, Nouveau Brunswick, en 1876. Ses parents ont plus tard déménagé à Kouchidouduac, Nouveau-Brunswick. Il a émigré au Maine en 1896. Il a habité Greenville et Waterville.

A study of French Canadians in the eastern part of Maine, at least, can not be regarded in the same light as a study of an alien racial group that has occupied a part of a territory largely inhabited by Americans, or dominated by groups of other nationalities. I don’t think that the French in Canada regard eastern Maine exactly as they would foreign soil. There are a number of reasons why this should be so. Many of the early explorers who sailed from the old world and travelled through this region, and many of the early pioneers who settled here were French. This section once formed a part of the province of Acadia, and for long periods it was owned and controlled by Frenchmen. French Jesuits played a prominent part in the early religious life of the inhabitants, and in many communities scarcely any language but French was spoken. Even today same villages are predominantly French, and French Canadians and French Americans form a varying proportion of the population of every town.
In those early times there were many French in Canada, but there were also many in eastern Maine. Part of the time there was no boundary line between the two lands. The French here « grew up with the land. » They fought in the Revolutionary War and in the War of 1812. Maine first belonged to the Indians, and when America established its independence, the French in Maine did not feel as thought they belonged to an alien race.

Pour lire la suite Si ce lien ne fonctionne pas, cliquez ici et entrez  »Steve Comeau »

Alex Lavoie

Il a habité Old Town. Extrait

It’s too bad old Zeb (an uncle of his) isn’t alive. He knew a lot about this stuff. (magic, ghosts, superstitions) I remember a story they used to tell about a time when there was an epidemic of black cholera over on the island (French Island). There was an old covered wooden bridge that ran across the river at that time, and guards bad been stationed at this end of the bridge to prevent any one from crossing in either direction.

Pour lire le texte complet, cliquez ici Si ce lien ne fonctionne pas, cliquez ici et entrez  »Alex Lavoie »

Vital Martin

La transcription complète rend bien l’accent de monsieur Martin. Extrait

Worked on the farm and in the woods in Canada. Went to Lille when he was 17 years old in 1898. Worked there 15 years mostly as a carpenter but sometimes in the woods. Moved to Old Town in 1913 and has remained here ever since. Went to school only two years in Canada between the ages 6 and 8. The small house in which he lives and the large corner lot on which it stands belong to the church. He is janiotr of the church. He takes care of the fires in the convent school, the sisters’ house, the church, and the priest’s home; shovels paths and keeps ice off the roofs. Mows lawns and does other work about the church property in the summer time. The job keeps him pretty busy. Is a very fast and eifficient worker. Good carpenter. Has never worked in a factory. Interested in local politics and local affairs. Is a Catholic. A little above medium height, slim, and dark. Has good teeth and a scar on his left eyebrow. Talks with a pronounced French accent in spite of his years in Maine. Smokes cigars.

Pour lire le texte complet, cliquez ici. Si ce lien ne fonctionne pas, cliquez ici et tapez  »Vital Martin ».

La suite de ce billet se trouve ici (cliquez).

Billets reliés
Contre vents et marées L’histoire des francophones de Terre-Neuve et du Labrador

Journaux francophones en ligne hors-Québec 19/20e siècle Canada/États-Unis

Photographies anciennes des francophones de Old Town, Maine

Ann Wiley, bourreau (1775, Détroit)

Cartes anciennes: des trésors sur le web