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Black Quebec and the story of Marie-Joseph Angelique

Marie-Joseph Angelique b1705 Maderia, Portugual d1737 Montreal, QC

Did you know that Canada participated in the slave trade? Hahaha of course you don’t! You think Canada and you think underground railroad and freedom - Yay! Well, your not wrong. That is a part of our heritage which I will cover dead last this month. But slavery is also apart of our history too. Remember we a French and British colony - or we were now we are a British Commonwealth (we still serve the queen, we are not a republic). So first I’ll start off with one of the few (if only) stories we are taught in school about Black people at all. And that is the lovely Marie-Joseph - who I think you’re gonna love. Then I’ll tell you a little about Quebec. And of course I’ll provide links for further learning.

Alrightie, Marie! Marie began her life in Portugal where she was purchased and brought to the US where she was purchased again and brought to Montreal. The fella who bought her died and she was left to his wife. Now Marie was BAMF and wasn’t here for your shit, she was not the most demure slave in history. At one point asking for and being denied her freedom Marie went on a righteous rant against the lady of the household and threatened her life. Eventually, against the rules, she fell in love with another servant of the household and they decided they would need to escape. Unfortunately it was winter in Quebec so they didn’t make it far before being caught by authorities. Her (white) lover was sent to prison for a few years and she was returned to her household.


A few days (1734) after her lovers release a huge fire erupted in Montreal and over 40 houses were destroyed. Naturally rumours began circulating pointing the finger at Marie-Joseph claiming that the release of her lover motivated a new escape scheme and the fire was a diversion. But loverboy was gone and only Marie was around. No matter - 1 out of 2 aint’ bad. The mob nabbed Marie, who claimed innocence, and arrested her. She stood trial against some 20 plus ‘eye witnesses’ and was charged guilty. Her sentence was..The Boot. This is where they put planks on either side of each leg and squeeze until your legs are bloody and broken. Naturally this was applied to get a confession and find the accomplice. She begged for a speedy death after confessing to the crime and claiming she did so alone. Some time after The Boot she was hung, her body burned and her ashes scattered.

Alright y’all here is the link

Please read about Marie, she is a wonderful person with a rich history. And think of her in context of that Viola Desmond shit the Gov’t pulled last year. We have incredible people who forged a path in this country, who built this country and who showed this country what it meant to be free. That they remain lost to history and never spoken about is the truth of Canada.

Listen, I’m running out of time for the rest so I’ll do a Part II this afternoon and learn ya about Canada’s role in the slave trade.

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