World History Connected Home    
Home List journal issues Table of contents
Printer-friendly format  Article citation        

Floating Cloisters and Heroic Women: French Ursuline Missionaries, 1639-1744

Heidi Keller-Lapp, Ph.D.
University of California, San Diego


     By the seventeenth-century, the French Ursulines nuns had developed premier schools for young girls that rivaled in reputation those of the Jesuit colleges for boys. Ursulines educated upper-income bourgeois girls as boarding students and, unique to their order, provided free day schools for poor girls. By 1700, they had over 350 convents throughout France that boarded 10,000-12,000 young girls and educated countless poor students. At the peak of their success in the 1610s, French bishops began implementing the decrees of the Council of Trent that, among other things, cloistered all women's religious orders. This forced previously active communities like the Ursulines to either take formal vows and commit to the contemplative life as sanctioned religious orders or become purely secular communities devoted to active charity work.1 Between 1610 and 1658, all Ursuline convents were cloistered (students were taught in specially designed classrooms inside convent walls), and while some houses welcomed and even sought this change, others resisted it. One group of Ursulines in particular circumvented the constraints of claustration imposed by cloistering by becoming the first female European missionaries to the New World.

     This article describes the four overseas missions of the French Ursulines during France's first wave of colonialism. It is the result of a comparative study of their establishments in Quebec (1639), Martinique (1681), New Orleans (1727), and Pondicherry, India (1738), a study that revealed a larger narrative about the complicated networks of French colonialism and how the Ursulines negotiated competing colonial and ecclesiastical goals. The comparative approach also reveals a uniquely Ursuline agenda, one tightly connected to larger political/ecclesiastical resistance movement within absolutist France. Through participation in overseas missions, Ursulines sought to defend their teaching apostolate from the limitations imposed on them by the French Catholic Church and the Crown that wanted them cloistered. They did so by projecting themselves as femmes fortes (heroic women), Amazons, and Jesuitesses, thereby creating a model of the ideal Ursuline missionary that could be used to unify their divided order under a new, or renewed, identity.

     While this article identifies the contributions of the Ursulines to the early French colonies, it is primarily a study of the impact of missionization on their order. It reveals the impact of colonization on the colonizer, and it demonstrates how involvement in a colonial project shaped the identity of one particular corporate group in early modern France. Moreover, this comparative study of four colonial establishments demonstrates how gender studies can reveal larger systems and institutions at work.

Jesuitesses and Amazons in Quebec

      The French colonial project in New France attracted an ambitious network of northern French Jesuits and d'vots (pious elite patrons).2 By 1638, this network extended to Ursulines throughout France who were defending their active teaching apostolate against those who wanted them strictly cloistered. Jesuits and other patrons recognized one Ursuline in particular, Marie de L'Incarnation from Tours to lead the first Ursuline mission in Quebec with the charge of assisting French Jesuits to convert young Amerindian girls to Christianity. In her visions and in her early correspondence from Quebec, L'Incarnation launched a "Canadian experiment" to join previously divided Ursuline houses into one combined mission of conversion and active teaching. The ideal model of the Ursuline missionary, she argued, could only be achieved outside of France, in the colonies, but could later be replicated among Ursulines back on the continent. In a letter dated August 30, 1644, L'Incarnation described her agenda:

This great peace and union in which we live has already touched many persons of great piety in France and gives hope for the general union of all Ursulines of France, divided into diverse congregations and by distinguished constitutions … I try to pitch some small words of this great goal to all those who I think can in some way co-operate … this is my greatest task since I have been in Canada: our actual establishment and our union.3

     In addition to documenting the process of establishing a unified convent, L'Incarnation's chronicles also served as a sort of Ursuline mission manual in which she created her model of the ideal Ursuline missionary as she wrote. She described her cohort of nuns as "Canadoises," missionaries who were physically strong, healthy, young, tenacious, self-sacrificing, and brave.4 In fact, she described her nuns in ways typically used to describe Jesuit missionaries. Among L'Incarnation's nearly 300 letters, many promoted Ursuline unity with the image of the female Jesuit:

It is true that our cloister does not permit me to follow the laborers of the Gospel [the Jesuits] in the nations that are discovered here everyday: [but] our Lord has given me the honor of calling me here, leaving me as strong in spirit as them, that it seems to me that I am everywhere, and that I work with them in such riches and noble conquests … What has been instituted in this country is a Congregation of the Holy Family for the reformation of households, in which men are conducted by the Reverend Fathers, women associated with the [pious secular women], and the girls, until they will be married, by the Ursulines.5

      The very popular Jesuit Relations confirmed and utilized these same portrayals. Jesuits sought "some brave mistress" to erect a seminary for Amerindian girls, just as they had done for boys and a group of nuns, like them, might be divested "of any fear that the weakness of their sex might induce in them at the though of crossing so many seas and of living among Barbarians."6 Jesuit leaders in Quebec described Ursuline missionaries as "Amazons" and martyrs. The director of the Jesuit mission in New France, Paul Le Jeune, proclaimed that the Amerindians "admired the noble constancy of these young Amazons," who embarked on a voyage "longer than that of Aeneas," and who, in spite of the Ocean, came to seek the salvation of these barbarians in these farthest confines of the earth." 7 These images of the Ursulines as femmes fortes, Amazons, and Jesuitesses were then used by French elites and Ursulines to shape a rhetoric of resistance against the Crown's attempts to control the French Church, not to mention the Ursuline order.

     Under Louis XIV's (1643-1715) program of religious conformity, the influence of lay elites on French ecclesiastical affairs began to break up. Some saw L'Incarnation's "Canadian experiment" as one way to fight papal and state control, and they appropriated her representations into their own treatises against monastic enclosure. During the last half of the seventeenth century, a cadre of Jesuit and Ursuline archivists constructed and circulated Ursuline histories that linked L'Incarnation to a lineage of Catholic reformers and martyrs. Some closely connected the Ursulines to the tradition of classical Greek Amazon warriors and biblical heroines, and others associated the founding of the Jesuits to the founding of the Ursulines in 1534.8 In 1656, for example, a compilation of such texts entitled The Glory of St. Ursula was published and disseminated to solidify the place of the Ursulines in Catholic missionary history. Its contents of included: Paul de Barry (Jesuit), Devotion to the Glorious St. Ursula, the most loved Mother of the Ursulines (1645); Herman Crombach, (Jesuit), The Life and Martyrdom of St. Ursula and the Society of Eleven Thousand Virgins (1647); Jean Hugue-Quarr' (Oratorian), The Life of Blessed Angela Merici (1648); and Book Three of the Religious Ursulines of Canada or New France (1656) by an unknown author. This latter text, for instance, praised one of the Ursulines of Quebec, "a Canadian Amazon," who became like a warrior, raising her "daughters" in the ways of fighting in the "militia of Jesus Christ."9 Collectively these texts reveal attempts to connect the images of L'Incarnation (heroic women, Amazons, and Jesuitesses) to the Ursuline heritage, and they equated the Ursulines with the Jesuits, stating that:

… it should be remembered that Angela [foundress of the Ursuline order] began to erect the first foundations of the Company of St. Ursula at the same time that Saint Ignatius of Loyola was making his first vows and beginning to form the Company of Jesus. Angela began in Italy in 1534, and the same year Saint Ignatius began in France to associate his great men, … God sent Angela, as another Deborah, to recall His people.10

      In 1673, Marie-Augustine de Sainte-Paule Pommereu, an Ursuline archivist from Paris, constructed her own history of the order that featured the Ursulines of New France and demonstrated how they completed a long lineage of crusaders including St. Ursula, "the Archangel of the Apocalypse," Angela Merici, their "spiritual mother," and Marie de l'Incarnation, the "enterprising Christian Amazon" with Solomon-like strength.11

Conflicting Goals in Martinique

      To be considered for the next mission in Martinique, Ursulines tried to demonstrate that they were "canadoises."12 The letters of mother superiors from Rouen and St. Denis, for instance, declare the fervor, youth, good health, and strong constitutions of the sisters in their particular houses. L'Incarnation selected the Ursulines from St. Denis for their "zeal for the salvation of souls."13 These "girls who would be soldiers" were glorified in A Poem of the Six Ursuline Nuns Who Journeyed to Martinique (1682) for their "insolent audacity" in their "heroic enterprise" to "extend [Jesus'] conquests in Martinique as had been done in Canada."14

      By the time the Ursulines arrived in Martinique, however, state and colonial policies were beginning to change, in a way that would have a profound effect on the Ursulines' project of unification through missionization. Under Louis XV's Minister of the Navy, Jean-Baptiste Colbert (1619-1683), colonial policy had shifted from the conversion of native peoples to the retention of colonists, and the Ursulines' new charge was to educate the daughters of colonists to become good French (Catholic) mothers and, thus, to contribute to the moral propriety of the colony and its labor force. The focus of all religious missions, including the Jesuits' and Ursulines', shifted to social policing of the colony--especially with boatloads of marriageable French girls and indentured servants arriving on nearly every ship. According to their Jesuit sponsor Fr. Channevelle, the St. Denis Ursulines would "instruct girls who, when married, would instruct their children, their domestic workers, and their negroes."15 When the Ursulines arrived in St. Pierre, Martinique in June 1682, they immediately began educating the daughters of French and Creole colonists and of African slaves.16

As state resources for colonial projects decreased, the utility of the Ursuline missions became critical for their financial solvency. Financial support back home had begun to shrink due to continued fragmentation within their elite patron network, declining monasticism, and competing state projects. Colbert's economic policies were especially hard on convents and monasteries on the mainland, a matter made worse in the colonies. In their appeals for more royal support, the Ursulines stressed their social utility as teachers and arbiters of French culture. Their correspondence reveals less concern with missionary matters and more with increased negotiations with colonial officials: of the Company of the Indies, the Sovereign Council (the judicial body installed by the Crown in each of its colonies), the royal intendant, and the Governor General. Mother Superior Celière informed Minister Seignelay (son and successor to Colbert), "It is very necessary for us to succeed in drawing [these officials] to us, as has been greatly useful until present."17 The existing seventeenth- and eighteenth-century archival records from the mission in Martinique reveal the extent of Ursuline financial instability that left them in poverty and shifted their focus to matters of social utility over missionary heroism. Still, it was the Ursuline teaching apostolate and missionary zeal ' the Ursuline institut, as they called it ' that appealed to Ursulines seeking a role in the newest French colony, Louisiana.

Defending Their Institut in Louisiana

     Too distracted by war and famine at home to deal effectively with the colonies, Louis XV (1715-74) quickly turned over Louisiana, to the French Company of the Indies in 1720.18 The Company took a major role in the management of the colony; it received the tobacco monopoly, the marketing monopoly of Canadian beaver skins, and exclusive rights to the Guinea slave trade in exchange for transporting settlers and slaves and developing and financing French expansion in Louisiana. The Company also funded and oversaw the Ursuline mission that was assigned to twelve Ursulines from three different convents. Although the Jesuits in New Orleans had originally recruited the Ursulines for their teaching, the Company only agreed to contract them if they would first fulfill the more immediate need for nurses in the military hospital. They took the assignment, but only under the condition that they could still teach, according to their written Rules. The mission in New Orleans reveals how the Ursulines negotiated among increasing, often competing, levels of authority to defend their Ursuline institut.

     The Company had promised the nuns a convent, built to their specifications, upon their arrival, but an acceptable dwelling would not actually be completed until 1734, six years after their arrival. While their temporary accommodations, blocks from the military hospital, allowed them to take in boarders and day students immediately, it kept them from the nursing duties for which they were contracted, or so Mother Marie Tranchepain argued:

The Company has promised to build us [a convent] next to the [hospital]. When it will have kept its word, we shall think of carrying out ours. For it is not fitting that every day we should walk from one end of the city to the other. Our duty does not oblige us to that …19

      Ironically, Tranchepain used the breach of enclosure as a reason to resist the nursing duties that she felt were secondary to their teaching. She did not disguise her mistrust of the Company and even threatened to take her community to St. Domingue, if they did not honor the Ursuline way. She wrote to the ecclesiastical director of the Company, "We have not at all given up the liberty of conscience which we enjoyed in France to come to place ourselves in slavery [here]."20 For Tranchepain, it was better to be cloistered and to retain Ursuline agency than to have a degree of physical freedom and be submitted to a mission that was not their own.

      In Louisiana, the Ursulines were caught among conflicting demands and ambiguous lines of colonial authority. The Company put them under tight surveillance, regularly monitoring their hospital visits (once their convent was constructed), and royal officials urged them to take in increasing numbers of "loose" women needing refuge. The Company, however, opposed this plan because it took them away from their nursing duties. Moreover, the Jesuits wanted them to begin taking in orphans. Mother Tranchepain remained grounded in the Ursuline institut as her primary authority. She defended their teaching function as their primary missionary duty and especially defended their day schools for poor French and slave girls.

     Mother Tranchepain also relied upon the Ursuline institut when selecting a male superior/confessor. The Ursulines wanted the Jesuit priest, Father Ignatius Beaubois, who had sponsored their mission, as their temporal superior and spiritual confessor, but a Capuchin priest rivaled him for this duty, lobbying the Company and circulating rumors about Beaubois' morality.21 Tranchepain argued that the Ursuline Rule granted that they could select the confessor of their choice, and she reminded the Company that they had supported this in their contract. Tranchepain argued for with the Company for months and finally exclaimed:

I have never understood that it was the intention of the Company that we should depend on its orders for our conduct, giving it the authority to subject us to whomever it deemed best … I would have been crazy to accept such a situation.22

     Tranchepain garnered support from the local Governor, who supervised an election among the Ursulines that confirmed Beaubois. Although the nuns elected the confessor of their choice, the controversy caused such a disruption in the colony and back in France that the French Jesuits eventually recalled Beaubois and replaced him with a more moderate choice.

     In New Orleans, the Ursulines relied on their written Rules and Constitutions and their contract with the Company of the Indies to defend their institut. Their very success in exerting their strength and maintaining their connection to the Jesuits, however, would be their undoing in their final mission in India.

Pondicherry ' The Failed Mission

     The short-lived Ursuline mission in Pondicherry, India (1738-44) confirms that the Ursulines had, indeed, been successful in advancing the Ursuline institut through their overseas missions. By the eighteenth century, royal and ecclesiastical officials felt that Ursuline agency and their strong connection to the Jesuits needed to be controlled. In India, every attempt was made to make this mission different from the rest. By design, it was a mission composed of Ursulines from one house (the convent in Vannes) and not from various convents or any houses affiliated with the rebellious Grand Couvent of Paris. Marie de L'Incarnation's plan to unify diverse Ursuline houses under a common Ursuline mission was thwarted and Pondicherry's place in the trajectory of unified Ursuline missions was weakened. Another difference lay in their contract. Unlike the mother superiors who preceded her (L'Incarnation, Celière, and Tranchepain), Mother Marguerite Marquez had no involvement in contract negotiations prior to departing France in 1738. The contract, in fact, was not confirmed until after the Ursulines arrived in India. Thus, without a contract, the Ursulines were more vulnerable to political battles among colonial officials, and it was more difficult for them to defend their teaching against competing interests. Third, the Ursuline confessor controversy in Louisiana had stimulated in Pondicherry the already growing backlash against the Jesuits by the Company of the Indies, the Crown, and the papacy. Thus, for the first time, the Ursulines were divorced completely from the Jesuits in India and were submitted instead to the authority of rival Capuchins. Finally, with no contract, the nuns had no leverage in getting their convent constructed, and with no enclosure to provide stability or legitimacy, they were never able to open their school, and, therefore, had no mission to defend against their critics. The Ursuline mission in India was sabotaged by changing attitudes toward the Jesuits and toward female monasticism in eighteenth-century France.

     In late seventeenth-century India, the Muslim Mughal Khan welcomed French coastal trading posts along the eastern coast, especially when, as Pondicherry, they were located in territory controlled by Hindu Maratha opposition. In 1674, the French Governor fortified the city of Pondicherry, and by 1700 it boasted 800 European settlers and 100 new houses. By 1720, Pondicherry, booming with 70,000 inhabitants (the majority of these Indian Hindus) became a walled city with fine avenues, gardens, a Jesuit college, and a Capuchin missionary house. But it was also a divided city. A canal separated "la ville blanc" (housing a minority of European and Creole Christians) and "la ville noir," (housing the Hindu majority and Indian Muslims). As the colony of settlers grew, the population reached 100,000 by 1735.23 When the increasing number of French colonists began to demand services, including a better education for their daughters, the Ursulines were recruited to fill the assignment.

     In India, an advanced civilization with well-established religious belief systems and strong institutional and social structures, European missionaries were not charged with creating a Christian population among the indigenous peoples as they had been in the New World. Rather, they sought to create a strong Christian minority that would stabilize their European trading posts. To carry this out, the papacy and the French Society of Foreign Missions favored Capuchin missionaries over the Jesuits who had been condemned in the Chinese and Indian rites controversies and who were falling out of favor with Louis XV back in France.

     Because they left France without a signed contract and had not been involved in negotiations, the Ursulines of Vannes were unaware that in Pondicherry their male Superior/Confessor would be the Capuchin friar Father Norbert de Bar who was proposing major several changes in the Ursulines' spiritual direction and in their apostolate. In the contract he designed, he stipulated that as long as they were in Pondicherry, the Ursulines could only have Capuchin confessors; moreover they had to stop practicing the Jesuit Spiritual Exercises that had been important to their order's spiritual formation for generations. They would also be restricted from interacting with the parents of students as they had in previous missions and, to insure their compliance, Norbert was to be lodged "adjacent to their monastery" to monitor their teaching activities, an arrangement that had never been required of previous confessors nor was it typical in any other colonial settings.24 Norbert's plans would diminish the authority of the mother superior, decrease their agency, and change the very nature of the Ursuline institut.

     Norbert's contract was endorsed by the Pondicherry Sovereign Council two months after the Ursulines arrived in 1738. It was then sent to the local bishop in nearby San Thom' for his approval, a move that stirred tensions between Rome and the French Church and between Portuguese and French colonial officials. The marginalia of the contract reveals what passed between the bishop, the Capuchins, and the Sovereign Council for months in a struggle over national and ecclesiastical jurisdictions that doomed the Ursuline mission before it even began.

     The problem was that Pondicherry was a city politically and economically dependent on the French King and inhabited by his subjects. The ecclesiastical seat to which it reported, San Thom', however, was a city that belonged to the Kingdom of Portugal (although the bishopric itself was subject to Rome). Pondicherry, thus, was a French colonial city under the ecclesiastical jurisdiction of a foreign bishop.

     The Bishop of the Diocese of San Thom' claimed that he would support the Ursulines provided they learn Portuguese so that they could accommodate the daughters of Portuguese colonists in the diocese as well. He charged the Ursulines with serving the entire diocese, not just Pondicherry, under the jurisdiction of the papal legate and under his authority as local bishop. He argued from Roman canon law that the Ursulines of France were in India at the service of the Pope, and he threatened to excommunicate the Ursulines, the Capuchins, and the Sovereign Council for any breaches of his authority.

     The French Sovereign Council of Pondicherry, however, challenged the Bishop of San Thom''s authority over the Ursulines. They claimed that under Gallican statutes (agreements between the Pope and Louis XIV), authority over the Ursulines rested with the French King and his representatives on the Sovereign Council and that "Norbert, acting as a delegate of the Bishop of Vannes [in France], thus of the nation, must judge the nuns, who are French …" The Sovereign Council asserted that "if His Grandeur [the bishop] refuses this right to Messieurs of the Company of this monastery, he is thus refusing the King."25

     Mother Marquez, like her Ursuline predecessors, had to negotiate a system of competing interests in order for her mission to survive; this time, however, national interests were at stake. As soon as she learned that Norbert had been assigned as Ursuline Superior, she appealed to her Bishop back in Vannes (not to Norbert, to the Pondicherry Sovereign Council, nor to her local bishop in San Thom'). With little help from Vannes, she finally turned to the Bishop of San Thom' for a compromise: if Norbert must serve as the Superior over their temporal affairs, she hoped that they could at least have a Jesuit confessor to direct their interior spiritual lives. When the Bishop of San Thom' denied her request, she turned over all her correspondence with him to the Sovereign Council in retaliation.

     One year later, still without a settled confessor or a convent, Marquez finally accepted Norbert as the Ursuline Superior and Confessor and requested that he immediately begin to serve her neglected community. The Ursulines had gone without regular masses and spiritual direction for far too long. With no response from Norbert, she desperately recruited a priest from the French ship in port at the time to serve the most basic spiritual needs of her nuns.

     On another issue, Marquez appealed not to her ecclesiastical superiors (Norbert or the Bishop of San Thom'), but to a colonial official (the French Governor) to request passage of one of her nuns back to France. After receiving his support, Marquez appealed to her bishop back in Vannes to assist with these arrangements, completely bypassing the authority of her local bishop in St. Thom'. Like Mother Tranchepain in Louisiana, Mother Marquez demonstrated agency and skill in negotiating layers of colonial authority, but there were too many obstacles to her success.

     The debilitating state of the Ursuline mission finally led the Sovereign Council to ask who held the sovereign authority over the Ursulines? The Bishop of San Thom' appealed to France for a resolution of this crisis, but the response was not what any of the parties wanted. In 1741, three years after their arrival, Cardinal Fleury summoned the Ursulines back to France on the grounds that they had been misinformed and mistreated. The last of the Ursulines did not actually depart Pondicherry until 1744, during which time two had died and one had been secured passage on a French ship. As for the French colony in India, with the departure of the Ursulines in 1744, there would no longer be any European nuns working in Pondicherry. France lost most of its Indian possessions to England in 1763, except for Pondicherry, where the French Society of Foreign Missions remained until the English seized the city in 1793.

     The fate of the Ursuline mission in India was a good indicator of greater tensions in France that threatened the viability of its colonies just as they threatened other structures of the Old Regime. Whereas in the seventeenth century, in the context of Catholic Reform, Ursuline missionaries found legitimacy and agency in their connections with the Jesuits and lay elite networks, and they exploited their status as femmes fortes, Jesuitesses, and Amazons to defend and renew their Ursuline institut. By the eighteenth century, however, the utility of a religious mission (its role in social policing and bolstering national interests) was its value to the Crown. But without a convent in Pondicherry, the Ursuline were never able to open their school and, consequently, never had a chance to demonstrate their utility. Moreover, in France a growing conflict between members of parlement, royalists, and ultramontane clergy erupted in attacks on the utility of religious orders and the value of convent education in general.


     What started out as a gender study about early modern women's religious communities ended up revealing the complicated networks of French colonialism under the Old Regime. A close examination of the four Ursuline colonial missions exposed how the Ursulines negotiated their identity within a state weakened by disputes between Church, political elites, and the Crown. Still, through the many layers of conflicting, often competing authorities, Ursulines relied upon their own Rules and institut to defend their teaching mission and, even after the Revolution, regained their missionary functions.

Biography: Heidi Keller-Lapp received her Ph.D. in European history in 2005 from the University of California, San Diego. Her dissertation, entitled "Floating Cloisters and Femmes Fortes: Ursuline Missionaries in Ancien R'gime France and Its Colonies," dealt the participation of French Ursuline nuns in overseas missions and its impact on their order. This project is part of her broader research interests in gender, race, and religion in European colonialism, in the meaning and role of the cloister in early modern Europe, and in changes in religious practices, beliefs, and identities within the realm of cultural exchange.



1 Intermediate women's religious communities (those who took simple vows and devoted themselves to teaching or caring for the poor) were ultimately forced to declare their apostolate clearly and to accept appropriate modifications to their monasteries. If they wanted to remain active in society, they were expected to distinguish their communities from religious orders completely, give up the habit, move back with their families, and forego taking formal vows. If they wanted to maintain contemplative lives under a monastic Rule, they were required to take formal vows, say the Grand Offices, and abide by all the expectations the cloister.

2 Throughout the seventeenth-century, pious elite men and women, or d'votes, sustained many social and charitable institutions of the French Catholic Church. See Elizabeth Rapley, The D'votes: Women and Church in Seventeenth-Century France (McGill-Queen's University Press, 1990).

3 Letter LXXXI, Marie de l'Incarnation to her son, August 30, 1644, in Marie de l'Incarnation, Correspondance, ed. by Dom Guy Oury (Solesmes: Abbaye Saint-Pierre, 1971), 229.

4 Letter LXXXII, L'Incarnation to one of the parents of an Ursuline of Tours, September 3, 1644 in Oury, Correspondance, 232.

5 Letter XVII, L'Incarnation to her confessor, May 3, 1635. Oury, Correspondance, 42.

6 Reuben Gold Thwaites, ed. The Jesuit Relations and Allied Documents. Vol. 38. (Cleveland, Ohio: Burrows Brothers, 1896-1901).

7 Paul Le Jeune in Thwaites, Jesuit Relations, 1651, Vol. 38, 97, and Jesuit Relations, 1640, Vol. 18, 75-77.

8 Jean Hugue-Quarr' (Oratorian), La Vie de la B. Mère Angèle de Bresse, 1648 in La Gloire de S. Usule (Valen[c]iennes: L'Impr. De L. Boucher, 1656), 99.

9 (Unknown author), Livre Troisième des Religieuses Ursulines de Canada ou de la Nouvelle France, in La Gloire, 274.

10 La Gloire, 99.

11 Marie-Augustine de Pommereu, Les Chroniques de L'Ordre des Ursulines recuielles pour l'usage des religieuses du mme ordre. 1 ère et 2nde parties. (Paris: J. Henault, 1673), preface, 379, 493.

12 Marie de l'Incarnation received letters of application from the Ursulines of Anger, Bourges, Rouen, Paris, and St. Denis.

13 Letter CCLIII, L'Incarnation to du Puys, Mother Superior of St. Denis, Oct. 11, 1669, in Oury, Correspondance, 859.

14 La Pome de six religieuses Ursulines qui sont pass'es la Martinique pour l''tablissement d'un Monastère de leur Ordre … Bibliothèque Mazarine, A15.382, pièce 27.

15 COL C8B 23, fol. 5, s.d. [vers 1680]. L'Abb' Chambron, missionary priest in Martinique, to the Archbishop of Paris and the Minister of the Navy.

16 By 1682, there were 15,000 inhabitants in St. Pierre and 500-600 daughters in need of instruction; fifteen boarding students were already committed to the Ursulines by the time they arrived. There would be 80 boarding students by the end of the seventeenth century, and 250 (the majority Creole) by 1720.

17 COL 8B 85. Mother Celière to the Minister of the Navy.

18 New Orleans was founded as the political and ecclesiastical center of the colony in 1718.

19 COL C13A 11:279-281v. Tranchepain to Abb' Raguet, Company of the Indies, August 17, 1728.

20 Ibid.

21 Father Raphael claimed that Beaubois had tried to molest the Ursulines' chambermaid and that some Ursulines under his direction had arrived in New Orleans pregnant.

22 Ibid.

23 G.B. Malleson, History of the French in India. (London: Longmans, Green, and Co., 1868), 35-36.

24 COL F5A 17, 27-29. R'glemens du Conseil Supr. de Pondichèry pour les 'tablissement des dames religieuses Ursulines … November 19, 1738.

25 COL F5A 17, 41 & 51. Postscript added by the Soverein Council to a letter from the Bishop of St. Thom' to Mère de Marquez, January 2, 1739.







Home | List Journal Issues | Table of Contents
© 2007 by the Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois
Content in World History Connected is intended for personal, noncommercial use only. You may not reproduce, publish, distribute, transmit, participate in the transfer or sale of, modify, create derivative works from, display, or in any way exploit the World History Connected database in whole or in part without the written permission of the copyright holder.

Terms and Conditions of Use