February 6, 2015
Black History Month: Marie Joseph Angelique and the people of Kahnawake:
The story of Marie Joseph Angelique who was bought and sold in Portugal. She went to France and then to New France. Her story brings out an interesting little known and unrecognized fact. She made a reputation for herself for being a runaway slave as she wanted to go back home and be free.
On one of her trips to freedom she managed to cross the St Laurent and find asylum in Kahnawake for the winter. Mohawks were never slaves however according to their historians they were serfs of France. Many people who fled went to Kahnawake to find freedom as Mohawks are very inclusive and welcoming to strangers.
In the late 1780 slavery was not only allowed but practiced under the French colonial regime. Quebec went as far as New Orleans and was part of New France hence Black slaves could be bought and sold from Quebec City to Montreal to New Orleans.
Similar stories of First Nations offering freedom to Blacks is found in New Orleans a few documentaries were made on the topic. Sadly, she was caught and brought back to her mistress more than likely beaten into submission then accused of burning her abusive mistress' house she was burnt alive in Old Montreal.