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Dear America Wiki

Hélène featured on the cover

All of the characters that appear in Maxine Trottier's Alone in an Untamed Land.

Main characters[]

Hélène St. Onge[]

Main article: Hélène St. Onge

Hélène St. Onge (August 18, 1652[1] – 1703)[2] was the second daughter of Louis and S. St. Onge. She had an elder sister named Catherine. In 1666, Hélène and Catherine left France and boarded a ship to New France. Following Catherine's death, Hélène took her place as a filles à marier. In Montréal, Hélène moved in with her aunt through marriage, Barbe Moitié. Hélène also worked in Barbe's inn.

Supporting characters[]

Barbe Moitié[]

Barbe Moitié was the widow of Jules St. Onge. She lived in Montréal, where she operated an inn and one of the city's few legal taverns. Barbe was very talkative and sociable. In October 1666, Hélène, the niece of Barbe's late husband, arrived in Montréal. Barbe allowed Hélène to stay with her and they became close. Hélène continued to work for Barbe, after her marriage in 1667. At the age of sixty-eight, Barbe passed on peacefully in her sleep. She left her inn and estate to Hélène.

Catherine St. Onge[]

Catherine St. Onge (c. 1650[3] – July 20, 1666)[4] was the eldest daughter of Louis and S. St. Onge. Hélène described her as "lovely as a princess" with blonde hair, clear blue eyes, and fair skin. In 1666, Catherine became a filles à marier, following her father's death. Her plan was to marry Armand Lecôté, with whom a marriage was already arranged. Catherine also arranged for Hélène to travel with her, though not as a filles à marier. She died on the voyage to New France. Hélène later named her daughter after Catherine.

Monsieur Deschamps[]

Monsieur Deschamps (died March 1667)[5] was a wealthy Montréal merchant and minor noble. He presented himself as a law-abiding citizen, though he secretly kept an illegal tavern. In 1666, Deschamps recruited Catherine St. Onge as a filles à marier, and later her sister, Hélène. He proposed to Hélène, whom he desired for her lineage. She refused him several times, which he never took seriously. In March 1667, he was killed while on his way to Québec.

Jean Aubry[]

Jean[6] Aubry (c. 1637[7] – 1702)[2] was a gunsmith in Montréal. His first wife, Sesi, a Mohawk, died in childbirth. They had one daughter, Kateri. After his wife's death, Jean and Kateri visited France to see relatives. In June 1666, him and his daughter boarded the Le Chat Blanc, where they met Hélène. After Hélène's sister died, Jean became friends with her and often protected her from Monsieur Deschamps. Jean visited his Mohawk in-laws in late 1666, and became ill with smallpox shortly after. Hélène and his daughter nursed him through the illness. After proposing to Hélène in the spring of 1667, they married in August. They had four children together.

Kateri Aubry[]

Kateri Aubry (born c. 1656)[8] was the daughter of Jean and Sesi. Her mother was Mohawk and her father was French. She was sometimes treated badly because of her mixed heritage. On board Le Chat Blanc, she quickly became best friends with Hélène. In Montréal, Kateri saw Hélène often and stayed with her for several weeks during the winter of 1666. Shortly after, Kateri and Hélène nursed Jean through smallpox. At the age of sixteen, Kateri married Akonni, a Mohawk warrior. They lived at the Kahnawake mission with their children.

Séraphin Poule[]

Séraphin Poule (born c. 1651)[9] was a ship's boy befriended by Hélène. He became a sailor at the age of six and appeared to have had a hard life, according to Hélène. Séraphin also obliged Hélène any information she wished to know. He decided to stay in New France and settled in Montréal, where he became a hired man for Barbe Moitié. Séraphin later became a part-time apprentice to Jean. In later life, Séraphin married Anne Charbonneau and continued to assist Jean. Séraphin became the innkeeper of Barbe's inn, following her death.

Minor characters[]

  • Anne Demerse (born c. 1648)[10] was the daughter of Pierre and Madeleine. Sometime after Catherine's and Hélène's departure from France, she married the Vicompte de Patisse.
  • Armand Lecôté was a member of a prominent family in Montréal. He was engaged to Catherine. After Catherine's death, Hélène visited his home, where she learned he was newly married.
  • Bernice, Cecile, Claudette, Eloise, Jeanne, and Maguerite, filles à marier, who boarded Le Chat Blanc with Hélène. They were all orphans from the girls' orphanage, Salpêtrière.
  • Bernadette was a girl, who worked at Barbe Moitié's tavern.
  • Celine and Lise (died July 18, 1666)[4], two filles à marier from Salpêtrière. They died of the same illness as Catherine on the voyage to New France.
  • Père Denis was a Jesuit priest, who held mass on Le Chat Blanc.
  • Jeanne Mance, an early settler of New France. She opened the hospital, Hôtel-Dieu, in Montréal.
  • Jules St. Onge was Louis' brother. He settled in Montréal, where he married Barbe Moitié. Jules died several years before Hélène arrived in New France, nonetheless his wife took her in and treated her well.
  • Louis St. Onge ("Papa;" died winter 1665 or 1666)[3] was Catherine's and Hélène's father. He died of smallpox, leaving behind a great amount of debt.
  • Madame Laurent was the chaperone of the filles à marier girls. She accompanied many girls from France to New France, including Hélène.
  • Monsieur Lespérance, a widower and carpenter. In April 1667, he married Marie who never speaks.
  • Louise was a servant of the St. Onge family. She was also Hélène's nurse during her childhood.
  • Madeleine Demerse was the wife of Pierre and mother of Anne. During her stay at the St. Onge home, she was extremely rude to Catherine and Hélène.
  • Soeur Marguerite Bourgeoys was a nun in Montréal. The filles à marier stayed with her, until they married.
  • Marie, the name of five filles à marier. Hélène referred to them by their distinguishing features. In September 1666, short Marie and Marie with the freckles married, while Marie with the missing tooth and Marie with the mole married in October. Marie who never speaks was the last to marry in April 1667.
  • Marie de l'Incarnation was a nun, who founded an Ursuline convent in New France.
  • Minette was Hélène's beloved pet cat. She was suppose to stay in France, but at the last second she was allowed to accompany Hélène.
  • Ourson was Kateri's pet dog. He was left in Montréal, when Kateri and her father visited France.
  • Pierre Demerse, Madeleine's husband and Anne's father. He was also a cousin of Hélène and Catherine and became their guardian, following their father's death. Pierre offered to arrange a marriage for Hélène in France, after Catherine died, though Hélène declined.
  • Captain Renville was the commanding officer on Le Chat Blanc.
  • S. St. Onge ("Maman"), whose initials were S.A.L. prior to marriage,[3] was the mother of Catherine and Hélène. She died when Hélène was still an infant.
  • Sesi[11] Aubry (died 1664)[8] was the first wife of Jean and mother of Kateri. She was from a Mohawk tribe near Montréal. Sesi died in childbirth.
  • Père Simard was Hélène's priest in Reignac, France. Hélène often consulted him for advice.

Epilogue characters[]

  • Akonni, a Mohawk warrior, who married Kateri Aubry. They lived with their many children at the Kahnawake mission. He was present at the Great Peace of Montreal.
  • Anne Charbonneau was a widow, who married Séraphin Poule. They had no children together.
  • Marc (born 1669), Catherine (born 1673), Bernice, and Louis, the four children of Hélène and Jean. Bernice was named for Jean's mother, Catherine for Hélène's sister, and Louis for Hélène's father.


See also[]

Dear Canada characters
Main characters

Hélène St. Onge | Sophie Loveridge | Angélique Richard | Geneviève Aubuchon | Mary MacDonald
Susanna Merritt | Isobel Scott | Arabella Stevenson | Johanna Leary | Jenna Sinclair | Harriet Palmer
Julia May Jackson | Rosie Dunn | Kathleen "Kate" Cameron | Josephine Bouvier | Flora Rutherford
Tryphena "Triffie" Winsor | Victoria Cope | Abby Roberts | Dorothy Wilton | Anya Soloniuk | Eliza Bates
Charlotte Blackburn | Fiona Macgregor | Chin Mei-ling | Ivy Weatherall | Sally Cohen | Noreen Robertson
Charlotte Twiss | Mary Kobayashi | Devorah Bernstein | Rose Rabinowitz | Violet Pesheens

Supporting characters

Marianna Wilson | Jane Browning

Lists of characters by book

Alone in an Untamed Land | Winter of Peril | Banished from Our Home | The Death of My Country
With Nothing But Our Courage | Whispers of War | Footsteps in the Snow | A Rebel's Daughter
A Sea of Sorrows | Where the River Takes Me | A Trail of Broken Dreams | A Desperate Road to Freedom
A Country of Our Own | A Ribbon of Shining Steel | Blood Upon Our Land | Days of Toil and Tears
Flame and Ashes | Orphan at My Door | All Fall Down | That Fatal Night | Prisoners in the Promised Land
Brothers Far from Home | No Safe Harbour | If I Die Before I Wake | An Ocean Apart
A Prairie as Wide as the Sea | Not a Nickel to Spare | To Stand On My Own | Exiles from the War
Turned Away | Torn Apart | Pieces of the Past | These Are My Words