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- "I thought the de Saint Maxent girls only had eyes for governors."
- ―Aveline to Marie Felicité, 1776.[src]
Born into a life of privilege, Marie Felicité was a true socialite, frequently attending balls and parties. On 13 October 1776, she attended the Capitán's Ball at a New Orleans plantation with her father. There, Marie-Felicité caught the attention of several Spanish soldiers, who attempted to court her by inviting her to dance.
She was then joined by Aveline de Grandpré, the daughter of one of her father's associates. The noblewoman departed as swiftly as she had arrived however, spurned by an untoward remark from one of the soldiers. As Aveline left, Marie Felicité gossiped about the former's African heritage and disinterest in parties.