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The names appearing below are just a fraction of the Canadian
women of accomplishment. Check out The Famous Canadian Women 's
section ON THE JOB which contains mini profiles of 2000
Canadian Women of Achievement.
Francoise-Marie de La Tour
Born July 28, 1621, France. Died 1645 Saint
John, Canada. She sailed to Port Royal in New France to marry in June 1640,
Charles de Saint-Etienne de la Tour (1593-1666).The couple settled at Fort
la Tour at the mouth of the Saint John River (modern day Nova Scotia) .
She soon became involved in the Acadian Civil War. In 1643 gave birth to her
only child. She escaped a blockade of the Fort and headed to France to plead
her case before the King. The decision came down against her husband and she
escaped to England where she hired a ship to get her back to her husband.
The ship was stopped by laTour's rival Charles de Menou d'Aulnay de
Charnizay (1604-1650) and Francoise was forced to go to Boston. Eventually
she and her husband were reunited in Fort la Tour. In spring 1645 la
Tour was in Boston in the American colonies when the fort was attached.
Assuming command of the Fort Francoise refused to surrender and fought three
days to defend the Fort only to be forced to surrender on the forth day of
battle. Charles de Menou d'Aulnay de Charnizay (1604-1650) slaughtered the
remaining defense forces forcing Francoise to watch the executions. She died
three weeks later. She earned the nickname of Lioness of la Tour.
She was the 1st European woman to make a home in
the colony that would grow to become Acadia.
Marie-Madelaine Jarret de Verchères
March 3, 1678. Died August 8, 1747. The young Madelaine would become
Canada's 1st youth heroes when she, with only a handful of helpers would
successfully defend the family fort against attack. Her exploits have been
written up in several books including HerStory by Susan
Merritt. Her entire life story is recorded in the Dictionary of
Canadian Biography (Volume III). Be sure to check out the true
life adventure at your library.
Mary Elizabeth Crowley
Streets Ridge, Nova Scotia. Died 1869, Streets Ridge, Nova Scotia. Mary
was one member of a family of 10 children. In 1869 a fire broke out in
the family home. Mary was asleep upstairs with her sister and her 2
brothers when she was woke up by her mother’s scremes. Mary awoke 9 year
old Gus and got him to jump out the upstairs window. However when she
tried to wake her sister the Catherine the younger girl was scared and
fought her sister’s efforts. Finally Margaret managed to pick up her
sister and jump to safety. Unfortunately both girls dies within a few
hours from burns. The doctor who had tried to help the wounded girls
took the story of Margaret’s bravery to the Nova Scotia Legislature
where a motion was passed unanimously to honor Mary Elizabeth’s bravery.
A monument was erected in Pugwash, Nova Scotia where Margaret had been
laid to rest. This monument is considered
the 1st monument to be dedicated to a female in Canada.
Blodgett. Born 1918, Regina, Saskatchewan. Died 1991, Norway. Her family
settled in Cobourg, Ontario and as a youngster she loved watching the
steamships on Lake Ontario Fern dreamed of being a sailor. With the
onset of World War ll she saw a chance to serve by becoming a wireless
operator using spark gap radios to transmit Morse code messages. Moving
to Toronto she worked during the day as a stenographer and took night
courses to become a wireless operator graduating in June 1941. The
Canadian Navy did not take women to serve so Fern joined the Merchant
June 13, 1941 she became the 1st Canadian woman to serve in the
on a Norwegian Merchant Navy ship the Mosdale sailing out of Montreal
with Captain Gerner Sunde. Their role was to transport provisions across
the Atlantic. Fern would make 78 of the 98 crossings made by the ship
She and the captain were married a year after she boarded the ship. In
1942 the Norwegian King presented the
husband and wife duo with the
Medal. Fern was the 1st woman to ever receive this Hounour.
Fern left the ship shortly after the war ended and settled in Norway In
1988 the city of Farsund gave Fern a medal for the distinction she
brought the city.
Merna Forster in 100 More Canadian Heroines.