A SON OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION
I had waited impatiently and with much anticipation for the mailman to deliver the package which I had ordered a full six weeks earlier. I had seen the revolutionary war set in a marvel comic book and I just had to have it! I was only seven years old, yet, I had a steady source of income from working at our family grocery store. I was paid three dollars a week to; sweep, mop floors, bag potatoes and dust shelves- and try to stay out of the way. The conceptual drawing on the back cover of the comic book was very much exaggerated. It was nothing like the actual toy soldiers and miniature cannons in the box which I opened. I was still excited to play with the tiny soldiers, I would re-enact battles of which I had read in history books and even made up a few of my own. All of the battles I had my armies fight in took place in the original colonies for the simple fact that they were the only locations of battles in the history books available to me. With patriotic fervor I would add my own twist to the outcome of the engagements in order to insure that the continental army was always victorious. I fantasized about actually being one of the generals planning strategies and routing the British troops in order to establish our great country. Time passed and my attentions were diverted to other things as I aged and matured.
I attended St. Leo the Great elementary school where I excelled in my history classes, as I was always a fan of learning about the past. In high school and college I took special joy in learning about American history and the revolutionary war period in particular. I felt disconnected in a way because of my Acadian ancestry. The Acadians were never mentioned in my classes or studies as a factor in the birth of the United States of America. I studied with passion and learned more about the ways in which the Cajun people were treated as second class citizens throughout our existence here in this country. I felt a great sense of detachment and disappointment as I was personally exposed to the degrading remarks and mean hearted jokes about our unique language and culture. We had arrived and settled in this New World in 1604- before the pilgrims and Plymouth Rock, but we were treated as though we were outsiders. I grew to view the Revolutionary War as an event of which I had no connection to.
Carrol and Catherine Martin, have always been interested in genealogy and have worked tirelessly to document our various ancestral lineages. I waited anxiously for the different endeavors to be compiled and printed in order to read them and to learn of the trials and tribulations of those who came before me. I was attending a French table at the Blue Moon Saloon one night when I got into a conversation with Dr. Maraist. He was a professor at UL of Lafayette who told me about being eligible to become a member of the Sons of the American Revolution (SAR). I was stunned and bewildered for no one had ever explained the role which the Acadians of South Louisiana had played in defeating the English Crown. Dr. Maraist explained how the Acadians under the Spanish governor Galvez had fought courageously in the battles to secure the Mississippi river. This control of the lower Mississippi eliminated the establishment of a second front and supply line for the redcoats.
John Francois, an author and historian of the Acadian and French culture in this country was also in charge of the SAR society of the Attakapas region. Mr. Francois worked many hours to file the mountain of paperwork needed to prove eligibility to become a compatriot in the coveted Sons of the American Revolution society. The day finally came when I got confirmation that I was actually a descendant of one of the veterans of the American Revolutionary war! On a Thursday night here in Lafayette at don’s restaurant I attended a meeting of the Sons of the American Revolution. We said the pledge of allegiance (which means a hell of a lot more to me now) and did the oath of the SAR. We were then led in prayer by Father Domingue. That night my Father and three brothers and I were inducted as compatriots of the SAR. It was a special night to us, but especially for my father, Wallace Breaux. Father has always been a champion of the Cajun culture and history. I am proud to be a member of the Sons of the American Revolution, and a descendant of Firmin Breaux. Firmin fought in the revolutionary war and also founded the Town of Breaux Bridge, Louisiana. I am glad to be able to educate people of the sacrifice the Cajun people made in order to establish the great democracy of the United States of America. I now understand that history is usually written by the victor and that some facts are skewed or simply ignored for whatever reason deemed acceptable. I go on record to clarify that the Cajun people of Louisiana were truly heroes in the formation of our Republic.
God Bless America
Compatriot- Karl A. Breaux