Books·Canadians

The Hanging of Angélique

Afua Cooper tells the story of Marie-Joseph Angélique, a slave woman convicted of starting a fire that destroyed a large part of Montréal in April 1734.

Afua Cooper

Writer, historian and poet Afua Cooper tells the astonishing story of Marie-Joseph Angélique, a slave woman convicted of starting a fire that destroyed a large part of Montréal in April 1734 and condemned to die a brutal death. In a powerful retelling of Angélique's story — now supported by archival illustrations — Cooper builds on 15 years of research to shed new light on a rebellious Portuguese-born black woman who refused to accept her indentured servitude. At the same time, Cooper completely demolishes the myth of a benign, slave-free Canada, revealing a damning 200-year-old record of legally and culturally endorsed slavery. (From HarperCollins Canada)

From the book

"Marie-Joseph Angelique, negress, slave woman of Thérèse de Couagne, widow of the late François Poulin de Francheville, you are condemned to die, to make honourable amends, to have your hand cut off, be burned alive, and your ashes cast to the winds." — Judge Pierre Raimbault, June 4, 1734.

On June 21 1734, Marie-Joseph Angelique ended her life dangling from a hangman's noose in Montréal. It was an inglorious end.


From The Hanging of Angelique by Afua Cooper ©2005. Published by HarperCollins Canada.

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