MAUM2004.a | Open letter - Marichette
Open letter - Marichette
February 14th 1895, 19th century
This artefact belongs to: © Centre d'études acadiennes
Keys to History
In the late 19th century, a time when women's role and opinion were still not highly valued, someone who spoke out against received ideas and was not afraid to stir up Acadian public opinion made her appearance -- Marichette, a colourful old Acadian woman. The mother of many children, she was poor and not well educated, but she led her husband around by the nose. Marichette was actually a persona created by Émilie C. LeBlanc (1863-1935), a schoolteacher on St. Mary's Bay, in Nova Scotia, who was originally from Memramcook, NB.
Between 1895 and 1898, the newspaper L'Évangéline published a series of 13 letters from Marichette. In colloquial style, the writer looked at Acadian society with a critical eye, raising issues such as women's rights, Acadian pride and the living conditions of Acadians. Politics, religion and the economy were all subjects of her letters.
Despite the short duration of her "correspondence," Marichette managed to spark a social debate, attracting sympathizers and detractors, leaving no one indifferent.
Marichette's letters are written in colloquial language.
Émilie LeBlanc, alias Marichette, taught in Weymouth, NS.
After four years of writing her letters, Marichette stopped in 1898.
Marichette's true identity was unknown for a long time.