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Marie-Joseph Angelique (Marie Marie-Joseph Angelique)

Marie-Joseph Angelique

Folk Figure. Better known simply as Angelique, she was born a black slave of Portuguese descent in New France, later the province of Quebec, where she belonged to a wealthy businesswoman named Therese de Couagne and her husband, Francois Poulin de Francheville. Obtained by de Couagne from French authorities, her purpose was more for breeding with other slaves and servicing her master’s husband. A highly respectful woman who was devoted to her lover, she was very much opposed of these actions. Upon the death of the madam’s husband in 1733, Angelique’s freedom seemed close, but Therese de Couagne decided to keep her. On the night of April 10, 1734, she argued with Madame de Couagne about the arrangements and in turn the madame threatened to kill her. That night, while the de Couagne slept Angelique set fire to the estate and watched it burn. The fire then raged out of control and burned 40 or more other buildings and residences in old Montreal, causing massive devastation but miraculously no fatalities. After setting the fire Angelique tried to escape but was captured and taken to the local jail. Over the next months she was beaten, tortured, and whipped by the executioner until she finally confessed to the crime. She was brought before Judge Pierre Raimbault and was found guilty on June 4, 1734. Sentenced to the death penalty, she was scheduled to be hung. Before her execution, though, she was forced to walk through town with a sign made from the wood of her master’s burned home with the word “arsonist” written on it. Her hand was also been cut off and she was forced to ask God, the King of France, and her fellow subjects for forgiveness. On June 21, 1734 her execution was carried out. After her death, her body was burned and her ashes were strewn to the wind. Folklore then arose stating that if one traveled to the section of Old Montreal, one can see a beautiful tanned skin woman in ghostly form walking around with a sign around her neck. The figure is said to be the ghost of Angelique’s tormented but lost soul. It is one of Canada’s great ghost stories. The 1995 play “Angelique” by Lorena Gale, and the 2006 book, “The Hanging Of Angelique”, by Afua Cooper, focus on this subject. Her story has also been told on the television ghost series, “Creepy Canada.” (bio by: K)

Born

  • January, 01, 1970
  • unknown

Died

  • June, 06, 1734

Other

  • Cremated

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