At news of a ship’s arrival with a contingent of Filles du Roi, men were said to hurry to greet the passengers. Many were probably eager for female companionship. Orders from the Intendant requiring young men to find a bride soon after a ship’s arrival or lose their hunting and fishing privileges most likely spurred them on as well. And perhaps the King’s gifts upon marriage were also seen as helping to jumpstart a farm. For whatever reason, the arrival of these women must have been a joy, at least for those seeking to stay in the colony, maintain their freedom and a brighter future than in France, and still have a family.
How must these women have felt when they walked off the ship into the throngs of men to their new, though temporary, home in Quebec City, Trois Rivieres, or Montreal? Did they think, “What have I done?” or were they both excited and scared about the adventure ahead? [⇒]