Date(s) - 05/03/2019
6:00 pm - 7:00 pm

Dana Center Lecture Room



We’re excited to announce a very special lecture…..Fears of Conspiracy: How were French-Canadian Immigrants Received in New England in the 19th century? A must attend for all interested in our immigration story.

The lecture is presented by author, researcher, and blogger, David Vermette. This is David’s second visit to the Franco-American Centre. This time we are fortunate to be part of David’s tour promoting his new book – A Distinct Alien Race: The Untold Story of Franco-Americans: Industrialization, Immigration, Religious Strife.

Here’s some background on the lecture topic and link to purchase the book if interested:

“The French number more than a million in the United States…. They are kept a distinct alien race, subject to the Pope in matters of religion and of politics. Soon…they will govern you, Americans.” — British-American Citizen (Boston), 1889

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, elements in the press, clergy and public sector cast them as foot soldiers in an alleged Roman Catholic plot to subvert the United States.

David Vermette’s new book A Distinct Alien Race (Montreal: Baraka Books, 2018) places New England’s Franco-Americans in the context of contemporary issues: the rise and fall of manufacturing in the U.S.; Nativism; emigration to the U.S. across land borders; and the construction of race. In this talk, Vermette will discuss how Franco-Americans were perceived by the U.S. mainstream when they were an immigrant community in New England in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. He will show how Franco-Americans had their own concept of citizenship and what it meant to be an American. He will also discuss the bizarre and outlandish conspiracy theory that surrounded the newcomers from French Canada.

David Vermette is the author of A Distinct Alien Race: The Untold Story of Franco-Americans. He is a researcher and writer originally from Massachusetts.