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Marie-Josèphe Dite Angélique: The 1700s Heroine Who Wrote Her Own Story

March 30, 2016

Because We Owe it to Ourselves to Remember Those Who Came Before Us

It doesn’t seem right to look at the amazing contributions of women this month without going back and doing a shout out to an under 31 from the past.

There are queens and healers and freedom fighters and artists, however Marie-Joseph Dite Angelique caught my eye as a woman who, undeterred by her forced circumstances lived out loud, defying her circumstances to her last breath and allegedly burned down Montreal. Also, I didn’t know about her.

And, as this series highlights, Angelique was a boss bitch when that wasn’t a recognized thing, which is, clearly superior boss bitchness.

In short, Angelique was found guilty of burning down half of Montreal in protest of her conditions (being a slave) and was hanged on June 21, 1734.  

Marie-Josèphe Dite Angélique was a Portuguese born slave, whose name was given to her by her last owners (I know, deep breath.) She found herself a slave in New France, now known as Canada, and more specifically around Montreal, working for some horrible people, because, slavery.

She fell in love with a white guy named Claude Thibault and they tried to flee as she was supposedly going to be sent to the Caribbean, which meant not only separation but a harsh death sentence.  She was caught, he escaped, and she as put to death. Evidence was super doubtful but she anyway was found guilty and put to death.

She had loves and lost, she had kids who died and she lived under an oppressive regime that moved her around the world, but she never stopped trying to make her life better.

If that’s not someone for us all to remember and give respect to this month, then I don’t know who would be, right?



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