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  • Writer's pictureJoanne Jacobs

Je retourne

Canyon Saint Anne is just north of Quebec City

I'm back in the US of A, though not actually home yet. We had lovely weather in Montreal and Quebec, though the fact that it was a bit warmer than usual means we hit early fall color rather than the peak of the season. I did three walking tours without a single broken bone, and made it down 487 steps at Montmorency Falls without crippling myself. (We took the cable car up.)

One of the guides told us that the early French inhabitants of Quebec were fur traders, explorers, soldiers and, overwhelmingly, men. From 1663 to 1673, Louis XIV recruited 770 young women -- orphans and others with poor marriage prospects -- to travel to Quebec. They were required to marry within two months, but they had their choice of eager men. As good Catholics, they were expected to have large families. They did. Eleven generations later, it's estimated that almost two-thirds of French Canadians -- more than 7 people people -- are descendants of the King's Daughters.

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