Tracing the Threads of Early new France – Kelsey Salvesen

As a PhD candidate in Historical past, specializing in early North America and the French Atlantic (largely within the seventeenth and 18th centuries, with some spillover into the nineteenth century), my research has taken me to archives in a variety of cities in a number of completely different countries. Until this summer time, I had mainly labored with documentary archives-handling account books, manuscript annals of religious orders, letters, parchment deeds, and even as soon as a saint’s relic that had been tucked into an envelope together with more mundane items. These largely handwritten sources gave me quite a bit to work with, as I tried to reconstruct a greater picture of gender, race, and religion in New France, however I knew there was more information I might glean if I might entry object sources alongside the more familiar documentary sources.

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Samsung GroupThis summer time, I was able to do just that. With the aid of Summer time Discipline Funding from the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, I visited the collections of two museums within the Quebec space: the Museum of the Ursulines of Quebec, in Quebec City, and the Huron-Wendat Museum in Wendake, Quebec. Among the many textiles I had the opportunity to look at have been a number of embroidered altar frontals relationship to the seventeenth and 18th centuries.

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These decorative cloths would have been displayed on the altar of the mission church, Notre Dame de Lorette, which still stands a few 5 minute stroll from the entrance to the Museum. The museum also has a number of sets of embroidered priestly garments (chasubles, stoles, etc.) from the identical normal interval (mostly 18th century). One of many features of these textiles and items of this nature that fascinates me is their circulation-across the ocean and inside New France-and the role they played in binding together communities. Many have since been refurbished, however the one pictured below has undergone the least restoration.

We know, as an illustration, that the Ursuline nuns of Quebec usually received altar ornaments, cloth, and related items from their counterparts in France; the Ursulines embroidered chasubles for the Jesuits (the order that staffed the mission church Notre Dame de Lorette, in what’s immediately Wendake); and textile items present up incessantly within the account books of every of the early orders in the Quebec area. It is fitting, then (although not surprising) that the imagery found on one of many altar coverings from the Lorette church-that of a sacrificial lamb on the altar of the cross-is also featured on an Ursuline altar on show right now of their chapel. I’m solely able to show right here photographs of the exterior of the Ursuline buildings-their chapel.

Monastery-because the order does not permit me to publicly share pictures of the items of their assortment. I am serious about these in particular for what we are able to find out about girls’ schooling, and societal ideals relating to gender and religion, from the content material of those samplers, particularly the stitched texts. The Ursulines also possess a collection of largely nineteenth-century schoolgirl embroideries from the Ursuline college. There was a mix-up on the Ursuline Museum, and I was sadly not capable of work of their archives for the size of time anticipated, but it was nonetheless a fruitful go to. I can, nevertheless, embody a short description of what I used to be looking for of their holdings. I was capable of look by numerous textile sources, starting from dyed porcupine quills utilized by the Ursulines to create Huron-Wendat style packing containers, baggage, and other gadgets using historically aboriginal materials (these specific quills had been unlabeled, but the follow of imitation-Amerindian items became common within the 18th century), to elaborately embroidered altar cloths dating again to the 17th and 18th centuries.