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(1) Date: Thu, 22 Apr 1999 21:15:23 -0500 (CDT) From: Harald E L Prins <email@example.com> Subject: REPLY: Marie Angelique in Paris The e-mail given for Professor Dickason has an error. As pointed out by my colleague, Charles Martijn, the "a" in Dickason was inadvertently left out. The correct e-mail address is: firstname.lastname@example.org In appreciation, Harald E.L. Prins, PhD Professor, Anthropology Kansas State University - - - - - (2) Date: Fri, 23 Apr 1999 09:41:06 -0500 (CDT) From: Harald E L Prins <email@example.com> Subject: REPLY: Marie Angelique in Paris With permission from my colleague Charles Martijn (ethnohistorian & archaeologist in Quebec), I am posting his response to Olive Dickason's fascinating query. His response, very detailed, is equally fascinating! Harald E.L. Prins, PhD Professor, Anthropology Kansas State University ---------- Forwarded message ---------- About a week ago, a very insistent Frenchman (M. Rolin ? Rolain ?) phoned me from Paris asking for that same information. He gave me to understand that he is a medical doctor, and not an anthropologist or historian. I could not provide him with an immediate answer, although in the back of my mind, I vaguely remembered something to which Norman Clermont had once drawn my attention. A couple of days ago I succeeded in tracing this reference, and will let you have it in a second. Let me explain first, however, that seeing as you are the Canadian ethnohistorian who has published the most on Amerindian visits to Europe, I tried to make up for my ignorance by giving M. Rolin your name and telephone number. The information provided by Harald in his Internet call for help on your behalf differs to some extent from the information supplied to me by M. Rolin. Unfortunately, I neglected to ask him for his source. He stated categorically that Marie-Angélique was a Panis "slave" in the household of Mme. de Courtemanche at Brador on the Quebec Lower North Shore. He did not mention that she had lived with the Montagnais-Naskapi, or that she assumed the name "de Courtemanche" in 1720. Do you know Françoise Niellon ? She is an historical archaeologist who lives here in Quebec City. She has done a great deal of work on Lower North Shore 17th and 18th century archaeology, and has also carried out considerable archival research in France, relating to that period. Copies of Niellon's unpublished manuscripts and research notes are on deposit at the Documentation Center of the Ministry of Culture and Communications here in Quebec City. However, I did not want to consult them without notifying her first, and so I did a bit of freelance checking around in various publications. This is what I've found out so far. Augustin Le Gardeur de Courtemanche, the husband of Mme. de Courtemanche (née Marie-Charlotte Charest; widow of Pierre-Gratien Matel de Brouage) was a soldier who eventually obtained a concession and settled down at Brador to engage in a seal fishery and to trade with the Innu (Montagnais) Indians. He died in 1717, and his stepson, François Martel de Brouague took over the establishment. His mother, Mme. de Courtemanche, remained with him in Brador until 1720. She had with her three daughters from her second marriage. In 1720, her domicile in Brador burned down and she eventually decided to return to France that year. It surprised me to be told by M. Rolin that the de Courtemanche family had a Panis slave. I was vaguely aware that de Brouage had several Inuit domestic/slaves, and said so. However, M. Rolin insisted that this particular person, Marie-Angélique, was a Panis, and that I probably confused her with Acoutsina, a captive Inuit girl who lived at Brador from 1717-1719, when she was returned to her family. I consulted TRUDEL, Marcel (1960): "L'Esclavage au Canada Français". Les Presses de l'Uiversité Laval, Québec. On pp.81-82, he states that in 1717: "Augustin Legardeur de Courtemanche capture au Labrador une esquimaude et elle est encore à Québec, à titre d'esclave, en 1720 lorsque Charlevoix y arrive: c'est probablement la sauvagesse anonyme qui passe en France avec la veuve de ce Courtemanche". Trudel gives as his source: Charlevoix, "HISTOIRE" (1744), Vol.I:26-28; Bulletin des recherches historiques, No.41 (1935), p.128. In a later volume (1990): "Dictionnaire des esclaves et de leurs propriétaires au Canada français" Éditions Hurtubise HMH, Ville la Salle, Marcel Trudel repeats more or less the same thing (p.367). He also lists 10 Marie-Angéliques who were Panis slaves in Nouvelle-France, but the dates and data on these do not correspond with the information provided by M. Rolin. On p.350 of his 1960 publication he states that there were altogether 24 slaves named Marie-Angélique, including Blacks, Inuit, Métis, Montagnais and Panis, but again none of these fit the date and the data proffered by M. Rolin. Incidentally, M. Rolin told me that he was familiar with Trudel's publications. I finally managed to retrace the reference Norman Clermont had once directed my attention to, and found a copy at the bibliothèque de l'Université Laval: TINLAND, Franck, 1968: "L'Homme Sauvage: Homo Ferus et Homo Sylvestris". Payot, Paris. Tinland was interested in case studies of feral persons, often mentally handicapped children who somehow managed to survive in the wilds and possessed mostly rudimentary linguistic skills. Studies of such cases used to be the rage at one time, especially during the l8th and l9th centuries: For example, "The Wild or Wolf Boy of X...", etc. Tinland provides a number of details about a person called Marie-Angélique (First page of chapter I, and pp.68-71). He drew his information from two sources, neither of which I was able to consult in the library of the Université Laval: Madame H..., 1761: "Histoire d'une jeune fille sauvage." (Attributed to Charles-Marie de La Condamine), Paris. Tinland states that this work seems to have been originally written in 1755 (p.69). It relates that: "Au mois de septembre 1731, une fille de 9 à 10 ans, pressé par le soif, entre sur la brune dans le village de Songi [Sogny], situé à quatre ou cinq lieues de Châlons, en Champagne..." (1761:3). We can see immediately that something is wrong here. In 1720 Mme. de Cortemanche's "slave" must have been at least a teenager, so that by 1731 she would have been in her twenties! The girl of Sogny came to be called Mlle. Le Blanc. The account of her by Madame H.... (1761:29-30) goes into all kinds of speculations as to her origin and how she ended up in Champagne, France. In Tinland's opinion (p.71), these hypotheses "ne reposent guère que sur des prétendus souvenirs, qui semblent plus le fruit des questions posées et de la suggestion que d'authentiques réminiscences, comme d'ailleurs elle [Mme. H.....] en convient elle-même. Les conclusions qu'en tire l'auteur sont malheureusement plus de nature à faire planer le doute sur l'ensemble de l'oeuvre qu'à en attester la véracité. Elles conduisent à faire de Marie-Angélique une fille d'Esquimaux [sic !] transférée aux Antilles [sic !], puis ramenée en Europe - sans doute en Hollande [sic !]. Il n'est guère de sûr, concernant son passé...". In other words, Marie-Angélique was a historical personage, but nothing is really known about her original background and whether she was a Panis or an Inuit by birth, who had been brought over to France in 1720. Tinland refers to a second source: RACINE, Louis, 1808: "Épitre II sur l'homme", et "Eclaircissement sur la fille sauvage dont il > a parlé dans l'Épitre II sur l'homme". Oeuvres, Paris [Vol.II, pp.123-124, et Vol.VI, pp.574-582]. I don't know if it was Racine who provided the additional details indicated in Harald's e.mail message: the various name changes: Mme. de Courtemanche in Marseilles; M.A. des Olives at a later date; and M.A. Memmi LeBlanc in later years. The whole story is inconclusive and strikes me as suspect. You should get M. Rolin to indicate where he obtained his original information about Marie-Angélique being a Panis slave and accompanying Mme. de Courtemanche to France in 1720; changing her name on a number of occasions; being quarantined (in Marseilles?) for over 7 months due to a plague epidemic; living in France, Belgium and Germany, etc. Charles Martijn, Quebec