About this Source of Information

The source of these documents.
These documents were taken from colonial correspondence: letters sent back and forth between Canada and France. Letters sent from Canada (series C11A) were addressed to the Ministre de la Marine et des Colonies. They included reports; memoirs and petitions addressed to the minister or the king by the authorities in the colony, religious orders, merchants, entrepreneurs and other individuals; copies of letters exchanged between people in the colony; and copies of letters exchanged with the authorities of other colonies (English or French) or with people in France. Replies by the king, his comments, his ordinances, his nominations, etc. can be found under the B series.

The purpose of these documents.
The letters sent to the Ministre des Colonies (C11A series) are what first inform us of the extent of the losses incurred during the fire of April 10, 1734, and the numerous claims presented by the authorities in Canada. In these letters, researchers will come across requests from individuals, the costs incurred for the reconstruction of the Hôtel-Dieu hospital, the situation of the Hospitaller Sisters, as well as details surrounding the actual trial against Angélique and Claude Thibault.

The correspondence from the king (B series) has been used to provide an image of life at the time: the various aspects of the city and its administration, society in Montréal, slavery, and the justice system. Many letters were retained since they provide information on the steps taken to reconstruct the burned sector of the city.

How to locate these documents.
The original letters are preserved in France at the Centre des archives d’Outre-Mer (Aix-en-Provence). The National Archives of Canada have copies under serial number MG1, Series C11A, General Correspondence; Canada, 1540-1784. The series includes approximately 100,000 pages of documents classified in a methodical and chronological order. The correspondence from the king is under serial number MG1, Series B, Letters Sent.