1997-408 | Evangeline A Tale of Acadie

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Evangeline A Tale of Acadie
Birket Foster
1866, 19th century
1.2 x 14.2 x 18.8 cm
Gift of Laurie Landry
This artefact belongs to : © Musée acadien of the Université de Moncton
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Keys to History

A terrible disease strikes the city. The poor, suffering from fever, go to the almshouse to die. Our heroine, a tireless Sister of Mercy, cares for and comforts them constantly.

One Sunday, on her daily visit to the almshouse, Evangeline sees an old man on his deathbed. He has long grey hair. To her amazement, she realizes that it is her beloved Gabriel! He opens his eyes and tries to say the name Evangeline, but dies in her arms.

Deeply saddened, Evangeline resigns herself to the irony of fate and humbly accepts the will of the Almighty.

In the end, the two lovers are laid to rest "side by side, in their nameless graves," in a Philadelphia cemetery.

  • What

    This engraving shows Gabriel on his deathbed, in the arms of Evangeline. The illustration appeared in an edition of the poem Evangeline, A Tale of Acadie, published in London in 1866.

  • Where

    The scene is an almshouse in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

  • When

    Evangeline and Gabriel are reunited in old age. We can therefore assume that the scene is supposed to take place in the early 19th century.

  • Who

    This drawing was done by Jane E. Benham, one of the artists who contributed to the first illustrated edition, published in 1850.