Marie-Josèphe dite Angélique (died June 21, 1734) was the name given by her last owners to a Portuguese-born black slave in New France (later the province of Quebec in Canada). She was tried and convicted of setting fire to her owner’s home, burning much of what is now referred to as Old Montreal. It had been generally accepted that Angélique was guilty, but it has recently been argued that she was innocent of the crime and was convicted more on the basis of her reputation as a rebellious runaway slave than on the basis of factual evidence. A competing theory is that she was guilty of the crime but was acting in rebellion against slavery. No consensus has been reached by historians regarding Angélique’s actual guilt or innocence.
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