Esther Pariseau of St. Martin, Laval, Quebec.
Esther's revolutionary spirit made itself known early in life. She admired her older brother, another Joseph, who led a Patriote militia allied with the Sons of Liberty in response to the political turmoil in French Canada. The Napoleonic Wars were raging in France, and over in "new world" French Canada the Catholics were fighting for the right to practice their religion. Soon her brother Joseph's oversized ego due to his new leadership role irritated Esther so badly that she founded a chapter of what she called the Younger Sons and Daughters of Liberty as a home guard militia.
Arguments for the First Female Architect in North America.
Mother Joseph did all of this of course, but since she was both female and her projects were all public works through the Sisters of Providence there were few official offices or positions to be noted.
Sister Joseph Heads to Oregon in 1856.
Her Admired, Masculine Nature...
Equally artist and an architect, she always designed her buildings with the thought that God's poor and infirm deserved to be surrounded by beauty. She was responsible for designing the buildings, supervising their construction, and fund raising. Each of her "begging tours" into mining camps lasted several months and raised between $2,000 and $5,000 towards her projects. These tours were dangerous, and she faced perils including strange men, bears, cougars, wolves, attacks from local Indigenous tribes and once even saved another Sister from drowning. She also managed to boldly outwit a gang of robbers once by convincing one of the younger thieves to please hand her bag to her for a moment and then quickly hid her significant funds in her underwear.