Having grown up in Canada, this was required reading and I must say, it was, and remains, one of my favourites. It is hugely tragic, but incredibly interesting as a history.
Longfellow's work details the exile of the French Acadians from Nova Scotia by the English in the mid-18th century, many of whom ended up in Louisiana (the word "cajun" being a bastardization of "acadian,") and the lifelong search of one woman named Evangeline for her love Gabriel from whom she was separated during the exile.
There is some debate as to Evangeline's actual existence, but the fact is, whether she existed or not, under another name (as many believe) or not at all, but she is immortalized in a beautiful epic poem, in a parish in Louisiana and in a driving route in Nova Scotia.
Longfellow's poem brings to the forefront an oft-neglected piece of both Canadian and American history in a beautiful, if tragic, story.