Franco-American Collection

Alexina Goyette St Denis

"[Ma mère] est venue [aux Etats Unis] tout seule ....elle est venue se promener puis elle a tombé en amour avec mon père [en Canada, mais] elle voulait pas le marier parce qu'il avait des enfants.  ça fait qu'elle a parti puis elle s'est en revenue "icitte"-là, à Auburn; et puis, là, comme de raison, l'amour, des fois, est plus fort que le restant.  Quand elle a pensé elle qu'elle voulait le marrier, bien, elle s'est en revenue [au Canada]."

Alexina Goyette St Denis was born in St Herméngilde, Québec, c.1890.  Her mother, Sophie Carrignan, married her father in Canada, but had already worked in Auburn, Maine, as a young woman - a very unusual circumstance for an unmarried woman in that time.  Her father, Abraham Goyette, already had five children from a previous marriage, and together they raised eight more.  The couple moved to the United States and raised the family in Lewiston.

In this interview, Alexina St Denis describes her childhood and notions of family, idetnity and citizenship.

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