Many websites claim that Marie Bourdon is an Algonkin or Ojibway named « Mehwatta ». However, up to now, no one has ever provided any proof of this.
Marie Bourdon, daughter of Jacques Bourdon, a french settler from St-Godard, parish of Rouen (Seine-Maritime), Normandie, and Marie Ménard, was born Aug. 8, and baptised Aug. 11, 1675 in Boucherville. Both her baptism and marriage record state she was legitimate and there are no document proving she was adopted.
She was married to Jean Cadieux May 30, 1695 at Boucherville. Six children were born from that union. Her first husband died in the Spring of 1709, the youngest of the 6 children whe had with him was only 14 months old.
She was married second to Antoine Quenneville, May 16, 1710 at Longueuil. Three children were born from that marriage.
The original documents are available on line at Ancestry.ca at Quebec Vital and Church Records, Drouin Collection (on subcription).
Also at the FamilySearch Pilot (free).
I've never seen any evidence or documents that she was « adopted » or going by the name « Mehwatta ».
The fact that many early members of the Bourdon, Ménard, Quennevlle and Cadieux families were involved in the fur trade as interpreters, traders and voyageurs does not imply that Marie Bourdon was Native.
« Mehwatta » is said to be a young woman who was « given » to Cadieux as his « country wife » during his stay in Calumet Island.
Legend goes that Cadieux, returning home in the spring of 1709, was attacked by a party of Iroquois. His body was found in the grave he had dug, partly covered with dead leaves, his hand cluching a crucifix and his lament, supposedly written on a piece of birch-bark by his side. History forgot a slight detail : Cadieux was illeterate ! He could not even sign his name on notary contracts.
According to Quebec's historian Benjamin Sulte, « La Complainte de Jean Cadieux » probably appeared into the french-canadian popular musical corpus in the 1840s. The first written version of « La Complainte de Jean Cadieux » was first published by Joseph-Charles Taché in Les Soirées Canadiennes in 1863, followed by the version Ernest Gagnon in Chansons populaires du Canada (1865). « La légende de Cadieux » was born.
Mehwatta is mentionned in the poem by Isabel Ecclestone MacKay « The Passing of Cadieux ». The poem was inspired by the death of Jean Cadieux at Portage des Sept-Chutes (Temiskaming) and his ode to a « slim Algonquin girl » named Mehwatta.
Isabel Ecclestone MacKay's poem was published in 1909 and reprinted in 1916 by John William Gavin in his anthology : Canadian Poets (Toronto : McClelland, Goodchild & Stewart Publishers, p. 237-246) :
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