Working Women in New France
Ages 11-14

MysteryQuest 18
Support Materials 3 (Briefing Sheet)

Learning About Rose

Rose is a 14-year-old girl living in France. She has two sisters and three brothers. They live with their parents in a small village where their father has a fairly prosperous farm. The boys work on the farm, the girls help at home. Rose’s mother, your aunt, was fortunate enough to receive some schooling so she has taught all of her children how to read the Bible. There are not many suitable young men in the village for Rose to choose as a husband so it has been decided that she will come to Montreal to work. Other than being able to read and write her name, Rose’s only other skills are domestic – she can sew and has helped her mother with other household tasks such as laundry, cleaning, and cooking. She is eager to learn but is very shy and has trouble meeting new people. The family has been able to raise enough money to send Rose off with 400 ecus* to help her get established. Rose does not know what kind of work she would like to do, but she is kind and loving and would like to feel she belongs somewhere.

*In several documents, you will find references to different coins used in New France. For example, a regular day labourer was paid 30 to 40 sols. For giving testimony about the fire, Louis Langois was paid 45 sols and his wife, Marie, was paid 30 sols. To help you understand the amounts, here are the equivalents for those coins:

1 liard = 3 deniers
12 deniers = 1 sol
20 sols = 1 livre
6 livres = 1 ecu

(Encyclopedia of Acadian-Cajun Genealogy & History: Money,