The french have been on the north american continent since the 1500's starting with jacques Catier and the Huron meeting. in the 1600's the french lost Acadia to the british and were forced from their homes. Many of these Acadians settled in Louisianna, establishing a french colony in the gulf of mexico. General Lafayette was one of George Washingtons helping hands in the revolution against England. By the time there was an established United states Napoleon sold Louisianna along with other regions thus making them all americans. Up north in Vermont and New hampshire there were french. Many of them were woodcutters, loggers, or trappers.
There was never such a surge of french into the US until the irish mill strikes in New England of the late 1800's. The irish were unhappy with work conditions, and rightfully so. Work conditions back then were much like that of todays third world countries sweatshops. This caused great hardship. To work for the mill, meant that you lived in mill housing, Lossing your job meant lossing your home. The mills decided to bring in french farmers from Quebec for cheap labor. These people called "the chinese of the west" came from some of the worlds colded conditions and worked hard. They were bedazzled by the large mill homes in comparison to the log cabins of Quebec. Many of them lived in Franco-American communities such as Taftville or Baltic Connecticut. In the early 1900's french was the dominant language in these towns. I was told as a child that my father spoke only french until grade school, and he was born in 1947. Back in the early 1900's many Quebecois were immigrating the New England through Niagra, Vermont mainly. My great grandfather Lorenzo came into the US through Niagra.