“A Distinct Alien Race: The Untold Story of Franco-Americans: Industrialization, Immigration, Religious Strife,” by David Vermette Submitted photo

A presentation and book signing by author David Vermette will be presented at 12 p.m. on Wednesday, April 10, at the Franco Center in Lewiston. Vermette will read from his book, “A Distinct Alien Race: The Untold Story of Franco-Americans: Industrialization, Immigration, Religious Strife,” have books available for purchase and signing, and follow up with questions and answers after the presentation.

Author David Vermette Submitted photo

“Our patrons have told us that they are very interested in attending presentations from authors who have written Franco-American related books,” said Denise Scammon, marketing and development director at the Franco Center. “This book will be of interest to historians, as well.”

Vermette will discuss his book’s French Canadian immigrant theme. According to Vermette, 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 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 is a writer, researcher, editor, and a speaker on Franco-American history and identity. He is originally from Massachusetts.

“Attendees at our September Books and Stories program, which featured local Franco-American author Suzanne Roy, stated that the Ku Klux Klan’s negative reflection of Franco Americans and Catholics was not something they remember hearing about,” said Scammon. “David will share information about how the Ku Klux Klan’s local activities stirred up animosity against Franco Americans.”

The Franco Center is at 46 Cedar St., Lewiston. Parking is available in the mill lot. The building is handicap accessible on the Lincoln St. Alley side.

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login first for digital access. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.