De Maupertuis The degree measurements by de Maupertuis in the Tornionlaakso Valley 1736-1737
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Alexis Clairaut
Réginald Outhier
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Anders Hellant
 The Planström daughters

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Poem for Christine by Maupertuis


The Planström daughters

The French visitors enjoyed their stay in Tornio. During the winter the socialised a lot with the local burghers and their families. In the families they also made acquaintance with local young ladies. These encounters could sometimes have consequences, even dramatic ones. History knows about the destiny of the daughters of alderman Planström and their connections with the expedition members even after their return to Paris.

Elisabeth and Christine Planströn travelled to France together with the expedition or slightly later. They both converted to Catholicism and in Paris Christine took the veil at the convent of Notre Dame du Trésor. Her mental health was shaken for reasons that can not be confirmed. It was Christine to whom Maupertuis wrote a love poem. The place of death of Christina Planström is not known. The demolition of the convent of du Trésor was started in 1793.

Elisabeth Planström spent secular life and married a Frenchman, Mr de Pelletot. The protector the Frenchmen had arranged for Christine, Mme d'Aiguillon, accepted the marriage though she did not fully trust the future husband. Elisabeth received a substantial dowry. The marriage did not take a happy course but ended in a divorce in 1761. In the divorce trial Elisabeth was condemned into four years' imprisonment. In addition to her sentence she fought many years for her right to a pension of which she finally was granted an amount of 3000 livres. In the end also Elisabeth retreated into monastic life at the convent of Holy Sacrament in Rouen and she lived there as a lay sister up to her death. Elisabeth had one son from the marriage with de Pelletot.

The destiny of the Planström sisters gives testimony of the status of the women in those days. An unmarried woman had no chance to manage in life alone. Life in a convent was the only possibility to retain one's honour. The protocols of Elisabeth Planström-Pelletot's trial case on the other hand witness of her perseverance and her courage to claim her rights, even in a foreign country.

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