Hotel Riots Case Study

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INTRODUCTION Angelique, a Black slave owned by Thérèse de Couagne, widow of François Poulin de Francheville, was accused and found guilty of arson along with her lover Claude Thibault. In this case she was found guilty of burning down multiple homes and the Hotel-Dieu Hospital in Montreal. The king’s prosecutor who relied on the “Ordinence Criminelle” of 1670, issued an arrest warrant based on public rumour of the cause of the fire. Angelique was then arrested in the Garden of Paupers of the Hotel-Dieu and was led to the king’s gaols. Her trial spread over several weeks, and was subjected to numerous interrogations and confronted with the witnesses. During the length of the trial Angelique remained adamant and complete denied any involvement…show more content…
For the arrest of Angelique the king’s prosecutor relied on the rumour greatly. The day after Angelique was captured she had to undergo the first of her many interrogations behind closed doors. To get witnesses an Ordinence was posted and cried out everywhere in the city and suburbs. All of the depositions that were given were based on the rumour that was spread from person to person. During her arrest she had planned an escape with Claude Thibault. It was also said that she often menaced her mistress and said just before the fire, that her mistress and city would not sleep in their homes. During her interrogation in response to the question about her mistress and the city not being able to sleep in their homes, was that she said if she had done this she would have been possessed by the devil. When news broke that Claude Thibault had escaped and was planning on going to Quebec, the militia set up patrols from Montreal to Quebec, asking young men their full names, where they were going and where they are from. If there was any suspicion they would be arrested and subject to interrogation. At this point Angelique began to place blame on Thibault during her second interrogation. During the second interrogation she also stated that she didn’t know where all the fires started even if they started inside or outside, and she only went to the attic in the morning and was barely in the house that

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