Meteghan Center - "La Pointe-Noire"

Meteghan Center is located between Meteghan River and the village of Meteghan. Meteghan Center known locally as "La Pointe-Noire" ... meaning... "The Black Point"... and was apparently referred to in earlier days as "La Pointe-du- Noire"...meaning... "The Black's Point". The name used locally originated based on tradition...from the fact that a black man lived in this village.

Whether the name originated from this is a myth or a fact...the historical truth is that there was indeed a black person who lived here. His name was Anselme Hatfield who went under the name "Sam". Sam was born in New York about 1777... the year after the Declaration of Independence... and he was the son of Samuel and Ann Hatfield. Sam when still a young lad some how made his way to Weymouth...then known as Sissiboo and it was at this time that a black person made his appearance at La Pointe-Noire.

Paul Dugas, Jr. who lived in Meteghan Center took young Sam in. It isn't clear if Paul Dugas adopted Sam or took him in as a servant in the context of "slave"...but the fact remains that on 1 July 1798 Anselme Hatfield having reached his 21 th year was given his freedom at Sissiboo by virtue of a document signed by Stephen Jones, Esq....who was the local Justice of the Peace and by John McCullough. there was some black person living what's the big deal you ask ?. Nothing yet...but now the plot thickens. Anselme loved to roam. About a year and a half later on 12 April 1800 we find Sam in the Sainte-Anne-du-Ruisseau area being baptized by Father Sigogne...and then having been properly sprinkled by the good Father...Sammy was on a roll.

Seven months later on 18 November 1800 in Sainte-Anne-du-Ruisseau he married Marie Mius... known today as Muise. She was the daughter of Charles Amand Mius and Marie Mius.

Now the place was starting to shake and bake. The good Acadian women were probably were the men. The mere idea that one of their Acadian girls was marrying a black man created a scandal beyond the typical family embarrassment.

Father Sigogne who was relatively new to the area having arrived only the previous year was determined to put a stop to this malicious gossip. Therefore one Sunday morning he walked up to his pulpit and I'm quite certain with a touch of fire and brimstone analogy...he lambasted his flock for all the aspersions they were bestowing on this soon to be married couple. He proclaimed that Sam was baptized and in the eyes of the Catholic Church...a white Acadian girl could marry him if she wished ... regardless of the colour of his skin.

But Father Sigogne was also an educated and worldly person and to this effect he did what any person who in today's society would do to eliminate the possibility of any liability...he went to Marie Mius's parents and had Charles Amand and Marie Mius sign a declaration confirming their consent to the marriage of their daughter to Sam Hatfield...this being executed the week prior to the wedding... this document was signed the 11 November at Rivière Tousquet (Tusket River), Yarmouth County in the presence of James Lent, Justice of the Peace.

After his wedding...Anselme Hatfield return to Baie Ste.-Marie to work for his former master...Paul Dugas of Meteghan Center. Their first child was born the following 10 April 1801 and was baptized the following day at l'Église Ste.-Marie at Pointe-de-l'Église as stated in the records of this parish. Ten children are know to have been born from this union...all in the Baie Ste.-Marie area.

Thus be the source of the name "La Pointe-Noire. A book could be written about Sam Hatfield and his brother-in-law...Jean-Marie Blanchard...another black man who incidentally married Marie's sister...Claire Mius...much of which would be based at la Baie Ste.-Marie.