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Jacques Legardeur de Saint-Pierre

officer, gentleman, entrepreneur

Joseph L. Peyser

Publication Year: 1996

The documentary biography of Jacques Legardeur de Saint-Pierre, an officer in the Troupes de la Marine, who served throughout New France, sheds new light on the business activity of French colonial officers stationed in the West. Many of the eighty previously untranslated documents in Jacques Legardeur de Saint-Pierre demonstrate the extent and profitability of Saint-Pierre's pursuit of business activities while performing official duties in eighteenth- century French North America. The quest for profit permeated Saint- Pierre's career, particularly his command of the Western Sea Post after he succeeded the fabled Pierre Gaultier de Varennes et de la Vérendrye. Saint-Pierre and his secret partner General Jacques- Pierre de Taffanel de La Jonquière, Intendant François Bigot, and Meret, secretary to La Jonquière, used their positions to engage in extensive trade, especially brandy, with the Cree and Assiniboine northwest of Lake Superior. Saint-Pierre's activities provide fresh insights into the North American fur trade

Published by: Michigan State University Press

Contents

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pp. 6-7

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Maps

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p. 8-8

...2. Signatures of the betrothed and witnesses on Jacques Legardeur de Saint-Pierre and Marie-Joseph Guillimin's marriage contract, 7. Battlefield drawing showing the fortified Chickasaw villages 11. Plan showing lots and major buildings in the Saint-Pierres , ...

Illustrations

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p. 8-8

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Manuscripts Translated for This Book

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pp. 9-13

First page of Saint-Pierre's Western Sea expedition journal. 178 A Prospective Plan

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Foreword

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pp. 14-15

Endowment for the Humanities self-study grant, which resulted in the development of a ten-year Interpretive Plan for its historic sites in Mackinaw City and on Mackinac Island, Michigan. During the self-study process it became apparent that research into French-language documents was essential for future exhibits and programs. The planning team agreed ...

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Preface

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pp. 16-27

The translation into English of significant, hitherto untranslated Michilimackinac post is a basic goal of the French Michilimackinac Research Project. Michilimackinac's vital role in maintaining and expand ing New France's upper colony, particularly around the western Great Lakes and to the northwest, is reflected in many kinds of correspondence ...

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Introduction

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pp. 28-35

In the first half of the seventeenth century, as the English colo nized most of the Adantic coast of North America, the French moved into the interior of the continent via the St. Lawrence River. By the 1670s, French fur traders and missionaries were operating in the western Great Lakes region, winning the Lakes Indians as their allies and trading ...

Notes

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pp. 36-37

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Chapter One: First Commands, 1729–1737

Chagouarnigon post, also known as La Pointe, on the southwest shore of Lake Superior, near Ashland, Wisconsin. The strategic post, a gateway to the Siouan tribes, had been reestablished in 1718 by his father, Captain Jean-Paul Legardeur de Saint-Pierre, and there is evidence that Jacques lived there as a teenager, becoming proficient in Indian languages and cul ...

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Chagouamigon (La Pointe), 1729–l 732

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pp. 38-51

Chagouarnigon post, also known as La Pointe, on the southwest shore of Lake Superior, near Ashland, Wisconsin. The strategic post, a gateway to the Siouan tribes, had been reestablished in 1718 by his father, Captain Jean-Paul Legardeur de Saint-Pierre, and there is evidence that Jacques lived there as a teenager, becoming proficient in Indian languages and cul ...

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The Miami Post, 1733–1734

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p. 52-52

After seven years the copper mines had produced little, and Maurepas ordered the venture to close down amidst suspicions that La Ronde's true partnership, around 1733 he was reassigned by Beauharnois to command the Miami post judging from internal evidence in the following unsigned letter in Saint-Pierre's handwriting sent to Beauharnois on 25 March ...

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Fort Beauharnois (The Sioux Post), 1734–1737

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pp. 53-62

...question of any objection whatever and I am not able to do so with out disobeying the orders that you did me the honor of stipulating in the preceding [letter] that I received. You do me the honor Sir of pointing out to me that you were not able to be persuaded that I accorded myself that right. It would make me unworthy of all your ...

Notes

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pp. 63-67

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Chapter Two: Marriage and New Assignments, 1738–1745

...lower colony. It was during this time, on 27 October 1738; that the thirty seven-year-old bachelor married Marie-Joseph Guillimin, the twenty three-year-old minor daughter of Charles Guillimin, king's councillor in the Superior Council of New France, a shipbuilder and once-wealthy mer chant descended from a noble family of Brittany. Two days earlier, on 25 ...

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Marriage at Quebec, 1738

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pp. 68-73

...lower colony. It was during this time, on 27 October 1738; that the thirty seven-year-old bachelor married Marie-Joseph Guillimin, the twenty three-year-old minor daughter of Charles Guillimin, king's councillor in the Superior Council of New France, a shipbuilder and once-wealthy mer chant descended from a noble family of Brittany. Two days earlier, on 25 ...

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The Second Chickasaw War, 1739–1740

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p. 74-74

Councillor And his Attorney In the Jurisdiction of Trois Rivieres, Second Quebec, Saint-Pierre signed a power of attorney, this time to his wife, Marie-Joseph Guillimin, upon being ordered by Beauharnois to join a Canadian unit about to depart for Louisiana.1s This 4S0-man French and ...

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The Miami Post, 1741–1744

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pp. 75-95

Indian detachment, three-quarters of which was composed of allied Longueuil, town major of Montreal. The detachment left Montreal in mid-June to reinforce the army of Louisiana governor Jean-Baptiste Le Moyne de Bienville, Longueuil's uncle, who was engaged in a costly war against the Chickasaws, allies and trading partners of the Carolina English. ...

Notes

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pp. 96-101

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Chapter Three: King George’s War, 1745–1747

...colonies initiating King George's War, the North American extension of the War of the Austrian Succession, began in 1744. Jean-Baptiste-Louis Le Provost Duquesnel, commandant of Louis bourg, attacked and destroyed the English fort on Canso Island, Nova Scotia, on 13 May 1744, but his subse quent expedition against Annapolis Royal failed. The English colonists ...

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The Saratoga Campaign, 1745

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pp. 102-107

...colonies initiating King George's War, the North American extension of the War of the Austrian Succession, began in 1744. Jean-Baptiste-Louis Le Provost Duquesnel, commandant of Louis bourg, attacked and destroyed the English fort on Canso Island, Nova Scotia, on 13 May 1744, but his subse quent expedition against Annapolis Royal failed. The English colonists ...

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The Relief of Fort St. Frédéric, 1745–1746

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pp. 108-111

...take away a command that I held as a result of your orders up to the point of Departure is something that my sense of propriety cannot Permit me to tell you sir with all possible respect that nothing like it has / ever been carried out in the service except for serious offenses. One would have to be insensitive to tolerate with equanim ...

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The Defeat of the Mohawk Raiding Party, 1747

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pp. 112-113

Enemy territory, as well as to send me [promptly?] any News that I have the honor, Sir, to be your most humble and obedient servant. The English did not attack either Fort St. Frederic or the Montreal area that winter, and in 1746, after wintering in the woods, Saint-Pierre returned to Montreal. In July he led a detachment of 500 Indians overland ...

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The Huron Conspiracy, 1747

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p. 114-114

...lights [Battifeux]; [Folio 228r] 8 wad extractors; 24 gunflints; 8 portage Harnesses [Colliers de portage]; 12 lbs of dwarf deerskins in 16 pairs of moccasins; 24 ells of Lyon cloth in 8 Shirts; 2 2 1/2 point Blankets; 2 ells of flannel duffel [molton]16 in 2 pairs of leggings; 112 ell of Cloth in 2 Breechcloths; 2 muskets; 1 ell of woolen Cloth in 4 ...

Notes

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pp. 115-117

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Chapter Four: Michilimackinac, 1747–l 749

...to 1747, left that post in July 1747 with a war party of Potawatomis, Illinois, Sauks, Miamis, and Menominees to raid rural settlements in New Noyelles de Fleurimont, known as De(s) Noyelle(s), was acting comman dant of the post after La Corne's departure. After accomplishing their mis sion, on 30 August 1747, La Corne's Indians were assembled in Montreal ...

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The Relief and Command of Michilimackinac, 1747

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pp. 118-124

...to 1747, left that post in July 1747 with a war party of Potawatomis, Illinois, Sauks, Miamis, and Menominees to raid rural settlements in New Noyelles de Fleurimont, known as De(s) Noyelle(s), was acting comman dant of the post after La Corne's departure. After accomplishing their mis sion, on 30 August 1747, La Corne's Indians were assembled in Montreal ...

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Michilimackinac, 1747–l 749

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pp. 125-138

...murderers and reported them to Saint-Pierre after the arrival of his convoy in the middle of October, forty-five days after his departure from Montreal. Saint-Pierre achieved one of his most outstanding accomplish ments at Michilimackinac when he took the murderers into custody in Upon arriving at his strategic new post among the Ottawas in October ...

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Petition for the Cross of St. Louis, 1749

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pp. 139-143

Always anxious to obtain an appointment which would restore his pri vate trading and profits, Saint-Pierre nevertheless fulfilled his important duties in action against New England and in charge of Michilimackinac for the duration of King George's War. But in the spring of 1749, with Michilimackinac for Montreal where he arrived before 22 August. On ...

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Lotbiniére’s Mission to Michilimackinac, 1749

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pp. 144-148

However if we have a favor to ask of you, it is that of granting them their lives. Scarcely touched by their speeches, I told them51 that I could not be master of their fate of which their father Ononthio52 was the sole possessor and who could not dispense with having them tied up like the criminals they were and that they had to be ready to ...

Notes

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pp. 149-155

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Chapter Five: Beyond Michilimackinac: The Western Sea (Part I), 1750–1751

The notion of a western sea that would provide the French with a navi gable northern water route to Asia can be traced back to Giovanni da Verrazano who sailed for Francis I of France in 1524. Finding "a barrier of new land" (the Atlantic coast of North America), he unsuccessfully sought "a strait to penetrate to the Eastern ocean." By 1717, the king's first geogra ...

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The Mythical Western Sea

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pp. 156-158

The notion of a western sea that would provide the French with a navi gable northern water route to Asia can be traced back to Giovanni da Verrazano who sailed for Francis I of France in 1524. Finding "a barrier of new land" (the Atlantic coast of North America), he unsuccessfully sought "a strait to penetrate to the Eastern ocean." By 1717, the king's first geogra ...

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Saint–Pierre’s Controversial Appointment, 1750

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pp. 159-161

InJune 1731 La Verendrye and his fifty-man expedition left Montreal, rested and reprovisioned at Michilimackinac, and pushed on through Kaministiquia to found Fort Saint-Pierre at Rainy Lake. In subsequent years La Verendrye founded seven other posts further to the northwest, all eight collectively known as the Western Sea posts. In the next eighteen ...

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Preparations for the Western Sea Expedition, 1750

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pp. 162-173

Beyond Michilimackinac: The Jiliestern Sea (Part I), 1750-1751 135 Now optimistic about increasing his income in the years immediately ahead, Saint-Pierre in February 1750 bid 9,360 livres, almost nine times his annual captain's salary of 1,080 livres, in the auction of the home of the late Franyois de Gannes, king's lieutenant of Montreal. This house was ...

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La Jonquiére’s Orders, 1750

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pp. 174-178

Beyond Michilimackinac: The Western Sea (Part I), 1750-1751 147 On 27 May 1750 Saint-Pierre received two sets of his final orders from the governor-general. The first of these, consisting of eight pages of detailed instructions regarding the maintaining of peace among the far western tribes, the reestablishment of the forts that the La Verendryes ...

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Famine, Knighthood, Supplies, and Brandy, 1751

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pp. 179-184

Sr. Le Gardeur de St. Pierre, Infantry Captain, ordered by us to go in search of The Western Sea, IS ORDERED to stop all the Canoes that he will find on his way which Are not provided with our authorization and to seize the Brandy and English trade goods that they might have on board and to send back the canoes and individuals who are in charge ...

Notes

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pp. 185-189

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Chapter Six: The Western Sea (Part II), 1752–1753

The two synchronous manuscripts that have come to light illustrate in great detail Saint-Pierre's two distinct roles during his years as comman dant of the posts of the Western Sea. His orders specified that he had been "assigned to go in search of the Western Sea" and "to disregard even his plans for personal gain."l His official report of 7 October 1753 covers the ...

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Meret’s Letter, 1752

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pp. 190-203

The two synchronous manuscripts that have come to light illustrate in great detail Saint-Pierre's two distinct roles during his years as comman dant of the posts of the Western Sea. His orders specified that he had been "assigned to go in search of the Western Sea" and "to disregard even his plans for personal gain."l His official report of 7 October 1753 covers the ...

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Saint–Pierre’s Journal, 1750–l 753

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pp. 204-220

For thus etc. For the Execution of the presents the said debtor established as his irrevocable residence in this town The house of Lyonnais, the Tavern keeper, on St. fran~ois street at which location etc. notwithstanding etc. promising etc., obligating etc. Renouncing etc., done and executed at the said montreal in the Office of danri~ ...

Notes

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pp. 221-227

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Chapter Seven: The Beginning of the French and Indian War, 1753–1755

By the late 1740s traders from Virginia and Pennsylvania had estab lished fruitful relationships with the Iroquois (Mingo), Delaware, Shawnee, and Miami Indians in the Ohio River Valley. The French viewed with alarm the success of the English traders at their trading posts of Venango on the Allegheny and Logstown near the forks of the Ohio, and as far west on ...

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The Ohio Valley Command, 1753–1754

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pp. 228-248

By the late 1740s traders from Virginia and Pennsylvania had estab lished fruitful relationships with the Iroquois (Mingo), Delaware, Shawnee, and Miami Indians in the Ohio River Valley. The French viewed with alarm the success of the English traders at their trading posts of Venango on the Allegheny and Logstown near the forks of the Ohio, and as far west on ...

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Death at the Battle of Lake George, 1755

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pp. 249-251

A month later the French avenged the ambush by sending a 500-man expedition supported by allied Indians against Washington and his 400 militiamen in their hastily built Fort Necessity, about fifty miles south of Fort Duquesne. After suffering heavy casualties, Washington surrendered and was permitted to return to Virginia with most of his men. Feeling ...

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The Governor’s Eulogy, 1755

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p. 252-252

Saint-Pierre had previously survived more than a quarter-century of Mohawks, and the English, all in the service of his king. In the month after Saint-Pierre's death, his qualities as an officer and the meaning of his loss to the colony were expressed by Governor-General Vaudreuil in an unusual and eloquent request to Minister of Marine Jean-Baptiste ...

Notes

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pp. 253-257

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Chapter Eight: Epilogue

Saint-Sacrement (Lake George) was not decisive. The English colonials' planned attack on Fort St. Frederic and invasion of New France from the south were stopped in their tracks. At the same time, the preemptive strike by Dieskau failed to defeat his enemy the way Braddock had been crushed at the Monongahela, and it was the French who were obliged to withdraw ...

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The Worldly Possessions of Saint-Pierre, 1755

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pp. 258-270

Saint-Sacrement (Lake George) was not decisive. The English colonials' planned attack on Fort St. Frederic and invasion of New France from the south were stopped in their tracks. At the same time, the preemptive strike by Dieskau failed to defeat his enemy the way Braddock had been crushed at the Monongahela, and it was the French who were obliged to withdraw ...

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Conclusion

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pp. 271-273

It is clear that the Saint-Pierres participated in the common practice of the well-to-do in New France of converting a portion of their wealth to silverware which retained its full bullion value despite currency devalua tions and rising inflation.25 What is not entirely clear is the profit that the Saint-Pierres' 6,200 gallons of brandy would bring in-after expenses ...

Notes

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pp. 274-277

Appendix 1: Saint–Pierre’s Transactions in Charles Nolan Lamarque’s Account Books, 1735–1736

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pp. 278-295

Appendix 2: Saint–Pierre’s Expense Vouchers at Michilimackinac 1747–1749

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pp. 296-313

Appendix 3: Inventory of the Possessions Left by Saint–Pierre

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pp. 314-335

Bibliography

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pp. 336-345

Index

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pp. 346-364


E-ISBN-13: 9780870139437
Print-ISBN-13: 9780870134180

Page Count: 275
Publication Year: 1996