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Tuesday, June 24, 2014

awesome school assignment & canadian history

Angelique & the Burning of Montreal 



So what do you see in this painting?! You'll notice the girl and the fire and the background. The girl's name is Marie Joseph Angelique. She was a black slave in Montreal, Canada. She was born in Portugal and her mistress wanted to send her to the West Indies. She often menaced her mistress and was known to be rude and outspoken. It is said that she loved a man named Claude Thibault (a white man), who later ditched her.

Now you're probably wondering about that terrible fire. Many people think that Angelique set the fire. There were so many fires in both Montreal and Quebec city that this case is usually considered very insignificant, even though it burned down a hospital and 45 houses. Most historians simply accept the fact that the court found Angelique guilty. They had her hanged and her body was burned.

However, as people who studied New France became more interested in the daily life of its residents, Angelique got more attention because she was a woman and because she was black. New France was usually thought of as a homogeneous society, but when we explore the case of Angelique, there seems to be a tension among the society.

On the eve of the fire, Angelique was with a girl named Marie. She was a slave girl too, an aboriginal one. Angelique said "My mistress and the city will not sleep in their homes." Or at least that's what Marie claimed Angelique said, who later filed as a witness to Angelique's crime.

During the fire, many people escaped and took refuge in a garden near the hospital. Angelique was sleeping there with some knives, scissors, and belongings that she managed to save from the fire. While she slept, a public rumor was going around town saying that Angelique had set the fire.

So she was rudely awakened and arrested based on the public rumor. However, no one could find enough evidence that she actually set the fire. None of the witnesses, including Marie, had claimed to actually see her start the fire.

The court was about to let her go free when a 5-year-old child was brought fourth. The little girl claimed that she had seen Angelique set the fire.

This was enough for the court to execute Angelique. (How could they believe a child though?!) O.o

Before she was hanged and her body was burnt, she was put under torture. Angelique said she set the fire but she didn't give away the names of any partners in crime.

That's just a briefing of the case. Read more about it here on the Canadian mysteries website.

Some people think she didn't set the fire. Others saw it as a brave attempt to escape slavery. But was she actually trying to rebel against slavery or just trying to avoid being set to the west Indies?!

and what about Claude Thibault?! Could he have had something to do with it too?!

For an awesome school assignment that we had, we had to make monologues about this case stating our opinion. We investigated lots of documents which were found on the Canadian mysteries website that I mentioned.

The position I chose to take was that she was one of Canada's first black heroes. I think she tried to rebel against slavery. My monologue sucks though. But if you want to read it here it is: Link to a monologue by me about Angelique .

Jonathan's Monologue 

This is the monologue that beats all monologues....

My friend, Jonathan, deserves an A+++++++++++ on this project. See for yourself.... he even made a video:




He put in a lot of work.


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