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Torture and the Truth: Angélique and the Burning of Montreal

Torture and the Truth: Angélique and the Burning of Montreal

This site includes a complete collection of historical documents and images, and one animation, related to the story of a black slave called Marie Angelique. When Montreal caught fire in April 1734, suspicion fell on Marie Angelique, accused of setting the fire to cover an escape with her white lover, a salt smuggler exiled from France. But if that was her motive, why did she stay to help her mistress save her possessions instead of fleeing? True she confessed but only after torture. Her punishment was to be hanged and then burnt. But did she really start the fire? What does her story tell us about slavery, torture and fire in early Canada? Site users are encouraged to come up with their own interpretations of primary documents, rather than relying on other people’s analyses. Educators have access to a Teachers' Guide and experts’ interpretations of the mystery. The site is available in English and French.


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Emily Forand
Emily Forand (Faculty)
10 years ago

I only had a few minutes to browse the site, but I loved the introduction and the clear setup of the home page. The material seems intriguing for many classroom purposes. I would like to use it as an example of how real-life events can produce story-telling opportunities, and also good potential topics for essays.

Time spent reviewing site: 8 minutes