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1727 The first convent in North Country is founded by Ursuline nuns in New Orleans, a settlement founded by the French in 1718. Taiwan Map Though the Ursulines are based in Italy, they will serve the French colony by opening a hospital, a school, and an orphanage. They also look after the so-called casket girls, who have been sent from France to marry Frenchmen in colonial Louisiana. Casket is an English corruption of the French cassettes, which refers to the large hope chests that the girls bring with them.
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Filled with home-starting necessities and serving as dowry, the chests improve the girls' bargaining position in marriage arrangements, while their marriages will ensure the most enduring French cultural presence in the whole Mississippi Valley. 1730 Deborah Read Rogers arranges a common-law marriage with Benjamin Franklin. Read's husband is missing and presumed remarried and or dead in the West Indies, but without proof, she cannot legally marry another man.