March 27, 1935
As Written By Our Versatile Local Contributor, A. L. Morse.
Editor The Register:
The last article printed in The Register from the pen of P. F. Lawson interested me very much, particularly its reference to the historic past concerning the "Expulsion of the Acadians" from Grand Pre in 1755.
I must say that from my earliest boyhood I have always felt sorry for the poor Acadians, in fact I have shed not enough tears to float a ship but enough to appear as blots on the paper as I wrote. I once got a letter from a young lady friend who said at the end of the letter, "I do not know what you will think of the blots on the letter which I write, whether they are tear spots or ink spots but form your own conclusion as I am all through writing any more." Now, if any teardrops from my eyes fell on the page written by her, it does not matter as it came out all right in the end. So, also, has it all come right with the Expulsion of the Acadians, or otherwise our friend Lawson would not have the experience he is having and will have in organizing that great gathering of the descendants of those old Acadians when they come to visit the land of their French ancestors.
When I sat down to write I did not intend to write as I have been writing, not at all, but to write a simple tale of treasure trove left buried by the poor French people. How often have I sat and listened as a boy to my relatives and friends telling of money found buried in different places in Kings and Annapolis Counties. In some cases there has been a chart of location of the treasure. Anyway a clue to guide the seeker in his hunt for it.
Now comes the tale. My maternal ancestors arriving in Halifax not many years after the Expulsion of the Acadians, continued their journey on foot, arriving in the eastern end of Kings County and squatting on a vacant place, commenced housekeeping. They, having no money to hire help, secured the help of a neighbor who had a yoke of oxen who sent his sons to drive them. They also had a plow, a French plow by the way. You may wonder how they happened to have a yoke of oxen. It is a well known fact that a great many cattle were left on the land vacated and I could unfold another authentic tale concerning the German settlers of Lunenburg County who came through the woods and drove them back. Some say that even Evangeline's beautiful heifer did not escape their rapacity.
But on with my tale. Just imagine yourself hitching up your team some fine morning in May and, holding the plow handles with a rim grip, singing out to the boy driver: "Keep those oxen in the furrow and don't be gawking all around the farm." "Get up, Spark! Gee Bright! You old lump of contrariety," or words much more emphatic. Suddenly bringing up with a jerk, and lo, you are hung up on a root. But in this case of my ancestor it proved to be the bail of a huge iron pot which caught the point of the plough and slid up as far as the beam and brought the team up ver suddenly. Now my great grandfather must have been a very quick witted man for he caught on very quickly as to the contents of the pot, and stepping ahead, seated himself immediately over the handle, and placing both hands directly over that part of his anatomy nearest the appendix, said to the boy: "Unhook the oxen and take them home, leave the plow; I have a violent cramp of the stomach; when I recover I will let you know." If the boys of that time were anything like I used to be, there is no doubt but that he acceded very willingly.
To hasten the telling of this tale the sequel is this. My ancestors, young married people, as soon as possible unearthed the pot, the contents of which enabled them to erect a fine house. When they died they left property which was valued at $12,000 but I am sorry to say that easy money is "uneasy money" and it passed away in the next generation, nothing left to posterity. Alas and alack! All I have in my possession is the old plow and the huge French pot in which the loot was found.
(Sgd.) A. L. Morse.
P. S. - One thing more I would like to write for the benefit of friend Pete. It is this. If he should meet with any direct descendants of the old French Exiles of 1755, tell them of this true account of which I have written and if they can prove without a shadow of a doubt that they are descendants of those who deposited their wealth in the pot, I will gladly deliver over into their keeping the old pot together with all it contains at the present time.