Dr. Sylvie Beaudreau
Being at Plattsburgh has been a rewarding experience for me, both as a scholar and a teacher. Since arriving here I have been able to explore the local community’s heritage as a borderland area. The whole North Country is rich in history, and, not surprisingly, French Canadians made up a large immigrant group here.
Many of the local names in this region — Bushey, Shambo, Trombly, Favro, for example — are modifications of the French names Boucher, Archambault, Tremblay, and Favreau. From earliest times this area has been characterized by people on the move — from Iroquois nations, to New England pioneers, to French Canadian seasonal workers, and Irish emigrants. French Canadians moved to upstate New York, and many New York loyalists moved to Canada after the American Revolution.
So Plattsburgh provides a unique vantage point for the understanding of both American and Canadian history. Currently I am using this borderland location to enrich the understanding of North American history. It can be compared to the southwestern borderlands of the United States which present an equally fascinating picture of migration and hybridization of cultures.
There is a lot of history right here, “on the ground,” so to speak, and I am interested in getting students to see this!