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"I also sorted over the patches in my quilt bag. Some of the women here have given me bits they can spare, so my collection has grown. But I have had a strange thought. Are not the scraps in my bag like we Acadians, torn away from where they belong, bundled together in a strange place?"
—Angélique writes about her quilt [3]

Angélique Melanson (née Richard; c. 1743 – 1830 ) was an Acadian born in Grand-Prè. She was the daughter of Madeleine and Michel Richard. Angélique was a witness of the Great Expulsion.

Biography

Early life

Angélique was born around 1743 to Madeleine and Michel Richard in Grand-Prè, Acadia. She had three older siblings; Catherine, Victor, and Claude and four younger siblings; Cécile, Zachary, Marie-Josèphe, and Josèph-Marie.

Great Expulsion

Angélique Richards hears that Victor is running off with a man named Beausoleil to fight against the British to prevent them from taking Acadian lands. Victor does leave and leaves the family in despair and anger.

When Angélique's father signs a petition for the British to return the boats and guns of the Acadians to them, Governor Lawrence becomes furious with the Acadians. Angélique's father and the other men who signed the petition have to go to Halifax and they are imprisoned there.

Meanwhile, in Grand-Prè all boys (10 and up) and men are imprisoned in the local church by New England soldiers and then they are taken to ships in the bay. Not long after this all the remaining citizens of Grand-Prè are taken to the ships, as well.

Angélique and her father are split up from Catherine and her husband from Basile, since they are put on different ships. Angélique's grandmother passes away on their ship the Leynord not long after they are deported from their lands.

They are on the Leynord for 58 days before they land in Annapolis, Maryland. The people of Annapolis are furious that they have to find home for the Acadians but a kindly woman named Mistress Finnerty takes in the Richard family. While residing in the Finnerty household, Cécile Richard (Angélique's younger sister) dies from an affliction of the lungs. They all mourn her loss but then are forced to leave since Acadians may not reside in households where English Papists live (which the Finnerty's were.)

The Richard family leaves on a ship to nearby Baltimore and there a man named Andrew Stygar finds the Acadians an abandoned home which they all live in together. While here Angélique's father is released from imprisonment and finds his family at the Acadian house.

Later life

The Seven Years War between the French and British occur while the Acadians still reside in the house in Baltimore. They are shunned from society since the people of Baltimore are siding with the British. During this time though Angélique's mother and Jehanne Melanson and her mother open a laundry shop. In addition to this Angélique's father, Claude, and Zachary begin work in a carpentry shop and Angélique is promoted from scullery maid to head parlour maid in the Hardcastle household.

After the war the Richard family is reunited with Michel Richard's brother, Paul Richard and his family. Angélique gets to see her friend and cousin and Geneviève one last time before she and her family move to the new French colony of Louisiana.

The Richard, Melanson, and many other Acadian families decided to continue North to return to their old Acadian lands which they find have been taken over by British settlers. They journey farther north and settle on a new farm by the St. John River.

There Angélique marries Jean-Baptiste Melanson who has been in love with her since they danced at Angélique's older sister Catherine's wedding many years before. They have 6 children, 3 daughters and 3 sons. One of them is named Cécile for her blue eyes that her deceased aunt had.

Personality and traits

Angélique was known for being headstrong and in the beginning of the story she often complains after her younger sister, Cécile and her chores. This changes throughout the story and she begins to realise how foolish she was and becomes more aware of the world around her.

Family tree

Behind the scenes

Appearances

References

  1. Banished from Our Home, Sharon Stewart, Page 8
  2. Banished from Our Home, Sharon Stewart, Page 174
  3. Banished from Our Home, Sharon Stewart, page 165
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