This program will be livestreamed and live captioned on Zoom. Advance registration required.
Join us as Joan DeJean and Jack McCord use maps from the Newberry collection to recreate the European settlement of the vast territory in North America that the French named Louisiana, and to tell the story of one remarkable woman, Marie Baron.
On February 27, 1720, Marie Baron and 95 other female inmates who had been serving time in a notorious Parisian prison were abandoned on an uninhabited island off the Gulf Coast. Most of the women had, like Marie Baron, been falsely charged with “public prostitution.” Those who survived their deportation on a ship named La Mutine, “the Mutinous Woman,” forged such remarkable lives that their impact on this country continues, three centuries later. Their lives are recounted in Joan DeJean’s new book, Mutinous Women: How French Convicts Became Founding Mothers of the Gulf Coast.
In Louisiana, Marie Baron became a person of note and the wife of Jean François Dumont—a mapmaker responsible for many extraordinary maps in the Newberry collection. Dumont recorded events in Louisiana’s history that he himself had not witnessed but that his wife had, embedding her perspective into his vision of the European settlement of North America.
Signed copies of Joan DeJean’s book Mutinous Women are available for purchase online from the Newberry Bookshop.
This event is cosponsored by the Alliance Française de Chicago.
Joan DeJean, Trustee Professor at the University of Pennsylvania, is the author of 12 books on French history and material culture of the 17th and 18th centuries, including The Invention of Paris and The Essence of Style.
Jack McCord served as executive director of the Alliance Française of Chicago for 16 years. His interests, then as now, include the history of the French presence in the New World.