Why was Marie writing a will?

Family Scene

For French settlers living in Illinois, the physical distance between France and Illinois was far greater than was the spiritual, intellectual, or emotional distance. In North America, French settlers maintained and enforced the customs and traditions in which they had been raised. The French marked the rituals of daily life--from the purchase of flour to the birth of a child--with a variety of legal documents and contracts. By writing a will, in the presence of witnesses and a notary, Marie Rouensa revealed how much she felt a part of the French community.


© Illinois State Museum 31-Dec-96