Mme Françoise-Marie Jacquelin de La Tour (1602-1645)

Caption: Mme Françoise-Marie Jacquelin de La Tour (1602-1645)

In the 1640s, the French settlements in Acadia were subject to a bitter feudal conflict between Charles Menou d’Aulnay and Charles de Saint-Etienne de La Tour, the two noblemen who claimed sole authority over the colony. While de La Tour was absent in April 1645, Menou d’Aulnay attacked his fort on the St. John River (now at St. John, NB) with 200 men and artillery. Mme. Françoise-Marie Jacquelin de La Tour (1602-1645) rose to the occasion and led the fort’s small garrison of about 45 men for three days. The fourth day, the fort finally fell by treason. Mme de La Tour was spared the massacre that followed, but died three weeks later of unknown but probably natural causes. This brave and determined woman was one of Canada’s first heroines as well as the first European woman to raise a family in present-day New Brunswick. Adam Sherriff-Scott. (DND Library)