Caption: Madeleine

A worthy representative of 17th-century women in New France, who were neither fragile nor passive, Marie-Madeleine Jarret de Verchères (1678-1747) conducted an exemplary defence of Fort Verchères against an Iroquois attack in 1692, just as her mother had done two years earlier. Her sober account of 1699, often romanticized in late-19th century versions, made her a heroine of our history of everyday life. Like most women in the colony, she knew how to handle arms by the time she was 14 years old. Her contemporary, Bacqueville de la Potherie, said of her that no 'Canadian or officer [could] shoot more accurately'.