A Canadian slave story 2

A Canadian slave story

A Canadian slave story 3


A Canadian slave story 4



A story about a woman who was forced into slavery and who may or may not have set Montreal on fire: Marie-Joseph Angélique.

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French subtitles by: Marika Lapointe

Special thanks go to the Center d’histoire de Montréal for permission to film on location. If you are interested in the history of Montreal, you should definitely visit the museum – you will see the model we show in the episode shown.

* Correction: Mathieu Léveillé’s name is mispronounced in the video. We sincerely apologize for the mistake due to a missing accent on the second ‘e’ in our script.

* Note: Today’s Basilica Nôtre-Dame in Montreal is a reincarnation of the building that Angélique was brought to in 1734. The ruins of the original building are located under the Place d’Armes just in front of the entrance to the modern cathedral. The construction of the current building was completed in 1829.

* Disclaimer: Since archive images were not recorded for any of the topics in this story, the character designs are fully fictitious for illustration purposes only (created with a mixture of faces from historical photo archives).

Mathieu Léveillé was an executioner in New France from 1733 to 1743, suffering from constant illness and severe melancholy. He hated the work he was forced to do. He had spent the first twenty-four years of his life in the Caribbean and had difficulty adapting to climate change – he was hospitalized in Québec and Quebec City almost immediately after arriving at the Hôtel-Dieu (the oldest hospital north of Mexico) in Quebec City again on numerous occasions. Léveillé died of pneumonia on September 9, 1743.

In Canada, unlike the south, the majority of enslaved people were Aboriginal. The term “panis” in the narrower sense actually referred to the Pawnees, a nation that lived in the Missouri basin and was consistently targeted by the French. Colonists, however, soon began to use Esclave Panis as a generic term for any Aboriginal slave.

In 2012, a public square opposite the Montreal City Hall was named in honor of Marie-Josèphe-Angélique. However, the place was under construction when we filmed there in May 2017. A new unfinished public space called Place des Montréalaises was inaugurated in November 2017 and will be dedicated to Angélique among several other women.

See: https://goo.gl/B9UyqX

“The place is named after women who shaped the history of Montreal. Fortin mentioned Jeanne Mance, Marie-Joseph Angelique, Jessie Maxwell Smith, Ida Roth Steinberg and the 14 engineering students who were murdered at the Montreal Polytechnique in 1989.”

The Hôtel-Dieu burned and was rebuilt three times between 1695 and 1734. In 1861 it was moved from Old Montreal to its current location near Mount Royal.

One of the best sources for this story was an award-winning website: Great Unsolved Mysteries in Canadian History. You can read the actual transcripts of the process, look through maps and pictures, and try to find out the truth in this terrible story yourself. We will never know for sure who started the fire, but we do know that Angélique has been brutally punished for standing up for her own freedom in one way or another. You can sort everything here: https://goo.gl/1G9nB2

The torture scene comes from a public domain film from 1922 called Häxan. It is a Swedish-Danish silent film that borders between documentary and horror. It was just that there was a perfect representation of ‘The Boot’.

A few tangents (more on this in a future blog post):

– Marie-Josèphe-Angélique was silent during her trial, consistently claiming that she only lit the fire when she was brutally tortured. She screamed at Marie-Manon when she felt betrayed by her testimony, and asked the widow’s niece not to incriminate her for fear that she would be forced against her will.

– Claude Thibault’s timeline changes slightly in accounts. He was released either on the day of the fire or on or before the second day. In one case he was seen eating a sandwich in an inn. When he was told that the commercial district was on fire and Angélique was the main suspect, he fled. Was he part of another escape plan? ,

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43 thoughts on “A Canadian slave story”

  1. White supremacy continues the white people in Canada not only were sadistic during n after slavery but they also dont hire us when we go for job interviews. Stop wondering why so many shootings in Toronto we are outsiders.

  2. You will never see a discussion of the history of White slavery though! Islamic invasions into Europe starting in the 7th century from the Middle East and North Africa. The Barbary states of North Africa enslaved 1.5 million White Europeans. No outrage over that and where are reparations for White slavery? I am fed up with the victimhood culture in this country. It all boils down to people who want $$$$ and free stuff because their ancestors experienced hardships. Get a life and get a job, and pay your taxes like everyone else.

  3. This is NOT the story of Angelique. The original story was discovered by students working in a Jesuit monastery in Quebec. The document had been notarized. It was smuggled out and later published. The story resonated with French Canadian women resulting in the public square facing city hall in old Montreal renamed Marie-Josephe-Angelique. This common rendition applies the American Transatlantic slave narrative to Canada. So Angelique becomes a slave, her employer becomes her master and rapist. From the document was discovered, it created a stir since none of this is included. Also Angelique was married to an indentured Irishman. They had two young children. All fled to New England once she was charged. French Canadian women were drawn to the story since historically, the city of Montreal burnt to the ground numerous times. It was built with wood and heated with fire. And also the barbarity of the acts committed against her….with the notary's final inscription " her ashes throw to the wind, forever forgotten". They proved him wrong.

  4. Putting things into perspective, the total population of chattel slaves in the colony of New France between 1689 and 1763 totalled 1131, the exact same number as the largest slave owner in U.S. history, Col. Joshua John Ward of 1850’s South Carolina. Isn’t that a coincidence!.?

  5. "Slavery" is any system in which principles of property law are applied to people, allowing individuals to own, buy and sell other individuals, as a de jure form of property. A slave is unable to withdraw unilaterally from such an arrangement and works without remuneration.
    Slavery still exists around the world. The United Nations has said there are between 40 and 50 million people around the world even today that are Slaves.!!
    We here in the western world have become mentally lazy. We no longer expose people to many topic growing up as a child in school. Schools Only give you enough education to make you a great slave and behave the way the farm wishes you too. We Have become Naive to this in the western world. People Live in there Bubble wrapped world. Even the so called highly educated Professional people. Live in there glass bubble.
    There's a Form of sex Slave too! Woman Children and men Are bought and sold Just like cattle on a farm.
    There's a form of DEBT Slave also! It is still called Debt bondage, also known as debt slavery or bonded labour,(have ever herd the term. Can they be “BONDED”? If so, you got your slave score. Bonded Labour is the pledge of a person's services as security for the repayment for a debt or other obligation, where the terms of the repayment are not clearly or reasonably stated, and the person who is holding the debt and thus has some control over the laborer- This being a modren form of the banks holding over you your credit score. The government using Taxes deducted from your gains.
    Indentured servants were/are men and women who signed a contract (Gainfully employed) (also known as an indenture or a covenant, Employment Contract) by which they agreed to work for a certain number of hours per week and years in exchange for transportation, food, clothing and shelter. (YOUR CAR) and, (YOUR food) And YOUR clothing, and YOUR shelter.(mortgage on your house!)
    Have you signed a Contract for an Education in only one topical area of Expertise ?? Mm Doctoral, Masters..Yip Slaves!
    Have you signed a loan for your education, a car loan or Mortgage? Unless you buy something cash. Or pay for something with your profits. Your unknowingly a slave to your debt. An most of you all will never understand that! Is that an insult to your intelligence. Sort of. But did it just make you think about your life and situation. Hopefully!!
    Examples are
    Has that Modern Hockey Player Signed a contract to play so many games for a couple million a year?? They are Slaves too!! Never truly knowing that though. They are just the modern Gladiator of the Once great Roman empire! Didn't know this. But Gladiators in Roman where paid a lot of money!! Chefs where paid a lot of money too!!
    So Are you seeing how you've been brain washed into believing your Life is a "free" life??? The Illusions of freedom are all around you. Most of you live in a state of Compliance.
    An Not ever really knowing the cage you live in and under. You could be Liberal, Conservative, Open Minded, Religious. All these are the masterfully art of Animal training.

    To be an AWAKENED mind you must be able to see through the cloud of Animal Training. Teach your child Independence! Teach them Critical thinking!! Teach them Life skills!! Teach and expose them at as many topics as there are in an Encyclopedia!!

    Awaken your own mind, Soul and life!! Live free is you can!! An DARE!!

  6. So is there any historical proofs that she was innocent? I mean that's the undertone of this video. She had ample motive and the only witness to say she did not do it was her friend, out of dozens.

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