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A Distinct Alien Race: The Untold Story of Franco-Americans with author David Vermette

October 7 @ 6:30 pm - 7:30 pm

The Jacob Edwards Library invites you to attend a presentation by author David Vermette on his recently published book “A Distinct Alien Race” The Untold Story of Franco-Americans. All welcome! Light refreshments will be provided by the Friends of Jacob Edwards Library. The author will sign copies of the book after the program. Copies of the books will be available for sale.

In the later-19th century, French-Canadian Roman Catholic immigrants from Quebec were deemed a threat to the United States, potential terrorists in service of the Pope. Books and newspapers floated the conspiracy theory that the immigrants seeking work in New England’s burgeoning textile industry were actually plotting to annex parts of the United States to a newly independent Quebec. Vermette’s groundbreaking study sets this neglected and poignant tale in the broader context of North American history. He traces individuals and families, from the textile barons who created a new industry to the poor farmers and laborers of Quebec who crowded into the mills in the post-Civil War period. Vermette discusses the murky reception these cross-border immigrants met in the USA, including dehumanizing conditions in mill towns and early-20th-century campaigns led by the Ku Klux Klan and the Eugenics movement. Vermette also discusses what occurred when the textile industry moved to the Deep South and brings the story of emigrants up to the present day. Vermette shows how this little-known episode in U.S. history prefigures events as recent as yesterday’s news. His well documented narrative touches on the issues of cross-border immigration; the Nativists fear of the Other; the rise and fall of manufacturing in the U.S.; and the construction of race and ethnicity.

David Vermette is a freelance writer, researcher, and editor.  A Distinct Alien Race: The Untold Story of Franco-Americans is the author’s first book and was published in October 2018. This presentation is part of  a tour in the New England states.

Copies of A Distinct Alien Race will be available for sale and a booksigning will follow the presentation.

Sponsored by Friends of Jacob Edwards Library and The Last Green Valley/Walktober.


October 7
6:30 pm - 7:30 pm
Event Category:


Jacob Edwards Library
508 764-5426


Jacob Edwards Library
236 Main Street
Southbridge, MA United States
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