FC: Filles Du Rois | 2010 | By Jerilyn Stroud and Decora Bevan
1: It all began when the Fur Trade started in Canada. The men came to make money, and naturally they needed woman. So, the king sent 'his daughters'. | The Fille Du Rois were a group of chosen woman sent to Canada to meet and marry men in the fur trade. They encouraged the men to stay and make a family. They populated the area with more French Canadians.
2: Goodbye! | Travelling | by boat | a | First group to come to Quebec came in 1633
3: Home | Quebec | The trip across the Atlantic Ocean was long and treacherous. It would usually take a total of three months as long as the weather would cooperate. The ships were very crowded and sanitation was not top priority. Disease was common among the women as bacteria and germs spread quickly among the crowded and filthy conditions. Food was a scarce commodity on the voyage as three months was too long to keep perishable foods such as fruit, vegetables, and meat from spoiling.
4: They came between 1633-1673 | nearly 800 woman traveled from Paris to New France
6: It usually took between 4-5 months between arrival and getting married, but for girls aged 13-16 it usually took longer, so a little over 15 months. | About 2500 colonists lived in new France, mostly on the north shore of the Saint Lawrence between Quebec and Montreal. The Iroquois and the populous English colonies on the Atlantic Coast were constant threats, so the need for populating New France was a large concern among the king and colonial advisor's. For awhile, the men of marriageable age outnumbered the woman who could be married, so after the three years of service was up, the men returned to France. The woman that were usually chosen as brides were the country girls, because they were healthy and good for working.
7: Woman were carefully chosen for youth, health, strength and attractiveness. A lot of girls were already spoken for before they got off the boat.
8: A common misconception is that the filles du roi were recruited from the lowest class of the population of Paris, and that many were prostitutes | In addition to any dowry (supplies, supplied by the government) of goods that the bride may have brought with her from France, each couple was given an assortment of livestock and goods to start them off in married life: a pair of chickens and pigs, an ox, a cow and two barrels of salted meat. The King's Gift of 50 livres is believed to have been a customary addition to the dowry, but only 250 out of 606 known marriage contracts make reference to an additional dowry given by the King. Once married, there was an incentive to have large families. A yearly pension of 300 livres was granted to families with ten children, rising to 400 livres for 12 children and more for larger families. They increased the population over the 11 years the program ran by 168% making the population about 6700.
10: The Fille Du Rois are responsible for the French colonization in Canada, and a lot of the first population. | and another Fun Fact
11: Something kind of funny is the belief that Quebec girls are prettier than those from the Trois Rivires and Montréal areas, because the ships made their first stop at the port of Québec. Consequently, the Québec boys had "first pick." All the left-overs were sent up-river to the other two settlements. This, of course, is a joke among the folks in Québec city