LEWISTON – “Loyal but French,” a new book by Lewiston native Mark Paul Richard is the first comprehensive study of the French-Canadian presence in this city from the Civil War to the 21st Century.

Richard, who is currently the coordinator of the Canadian Studies program at the State University of New York – Plattsburg, earned a doctorate in history from Duke University for this meticulously documented account of an immigrant population’s accommodation to the U.S. during the industrial revolution, and beyond.

Language, culture and religion were not left at the border. Rather, these newcomers continued to weave their own way through the fabric of Lewiston’s evolution. They left lasting landmarks – such as the Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul – as symbols of a proud and patriotic people.

Richard researched this story from many sources, including the Dominican Archives of Montreal, the Sisters of Charity Archives of St. Hyacinthe and Lewiston’s French language newspaper, Le Messager.

Richard will be at USM’s Lewiston-Auburn College on Monday, Dec. 29, at 2 p.m., at an event sponsored by the Franco-American Collection to discuss his research and sign copies of “Loyal but French.” This book and other Franco-American items are available at the college’s bookstore.


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