MARIE-JOSEPH-ANGÉLIQUE, black slave; b. c. 1710; hanged 21 June 1734 in Montreal.
This slave, the property of François Poulin de Francheville, was baptized 28 June 1730 at Montreal. At that time she was the mistress of César, Ignace Gamelin’s black, by whom she had a son in January 1731 and twin boys in May 1732. Then she fell in love with a white man, Claude Thibault, and decided to flee with him to New England, since she had reason to believe that Francheville’s widow was thinking of selling her. In the night of 10–11 April 1734, perhaps to cover her flight, she set fire to the Francheville house on Rue Saint-Paul. The fire spread and turned into a conflagration: 46 houses and the Hôtel-Dieu were destroyed. The slave was caught by the constabulary (Thibault was never found), thrown into prison, and on 4 June was sentenced to make honourable amends, to have her hand cut off, and to be burnt alive. When the case was appealed, the Conseil Supérieur on 12 June mitigated somewhat the horror of the punishment: she was to be taken in a rubbish cart to the church door, where she was to make a formal confession of guilt; then she was to be hanged, before her body was burned. This sentence was carried out in Montreal on 21 June, after the slave had first been tortured. Her ashes were cast to the winds.
AQ, NF, Dossier du Cons. sup., Mat. crim., IV, 237; NF, Registre criminel, IV, 24–26. P.-G. Roy, Inv. Jug. et délib., 1717–1760, II, 147f. Marcel Trudel, L’esclavage au Canada français; histoire et conditions de l’esclavage (Québec, 1960), 226–29.