KING LOUIS XV OF FRANCE
Louis XV was born February 15, 1710 and died May 10, 1774. He was king of France from 1715-74. He was born at the Palace of Versailles. Until the royal legal age of maturity at fourteen, his uncle, Philippe d'Orléans, acted as Regent. Cardinal Fleury, until his death in 1743, acted as the Chief Minister of France.
The son of Louis, Duke of Burgundy and Marie-Adélaide of Savoy, and great-grandson of King Louis XIV, Louis was part of the Bourbon Dynasty. At age two, his father, mother and brother all died within one week, leaving him heir to the French throne. He was crowned King of France at the age of five in the Cathedral at Reims.
His great-grandfather, Louis XIV, had left France in a financial mess, and in general decline. Louis XV worked hard but unsuccessfully to overcome the fiscal problems. At Versailles, the King and the nobility surrounding him showed signs of boredom that symbolized a monarchy in steady decline.
At first he was known popularly as Louis XV, Le Bien-aimé (the well-beloved) after a near-death illness in Metz in 1744 when the entire country prayed for his recovery. However, his weak and ineffective rule was a contributing factor to the general decline which led to the French Revolution. Popular faith in the monarchy was shaken by the scandals of Louis' private life, and by the end of his life he had become the well-hated. In 1757 a would-be assassin entered Versailles and stabbed him in the side with a penknife.
In 1743, France entered the War of the Austrian Succession. During Louis' reign, Corsica and Lorraine were won, but a few years later, King Louis XV lost the huge colonial empire as a result of the Seven Years' War with Great Britain. The 1763 Treaty of Paris which ended the Seven Years' War was one of the most humiliating episodes of the French monarchy. France abandoned India, Canada, and the left bank of the Mississippi River. Although France still held New Orleans and lands to the west of the Mississippi, as well as Guadeloupe, it was this defeat and signing of the treaty that represented the first stage of a total abandonment of the New World. French prestige sank, its foreign policies a dismal failure.
King Louis XV died of smallpox at the Palace of Versailles.
Because Louis XV's son the dauphin had died nine years earlier, Louis's grandson ascended to the throne as King Louis XVI.
LE LOUTRE, JEAN-LOUIS
(he signed LeLoutre), priest, Spiritan, and missionary; b. 26 Sept. 1709 in the parish of Saint-Matthieu in Morlaix, France, son of Jean-Maurice Le Loutre Després and Catherine Huet; d. 30 Sept. 1772 in the parish of Saint-Léonard in Nantes, France.
As soon as he had been ordained, he sailed for Acadia and in the autumn of that year appeared at Louisbourg, Île Royale (Cape Breton Island). Le Loutre was supposed to replace Abbé Claude de La Vernède de Saint-Poncy, the parish priest at Annapolis Royal (N.S.), whose relations with the British governor, Lawrence Armstrong*, had become strained [see Claude-Jean-Baptiste Chauvreulx*]. By the time he set foot on the American continent, however, the difficulties between Saint-Poncy and Armstrong had been ironed out and the governor had agreed that the parish priest should retain his post. Taking advantage of this situation, Pierre Maillard*, a missionary on Île Royale, wrote to the home authorities requesting that Le Loutre be allowed to replace Abbé de Saint-Vincent, a missionary to the Mi'kmacs, and make his residence at Shubenacadie, on the river of the same name, 12 leagues from Cobequid (near Truro, N.S.).
On 22 Sept. 1738 Le Loutre left Île Royale for the Shubenacadie mission, an immense territory stretching from Cape Sable to Chedabucto Bay in the north and present-day Cumberland Strait in the west. Le Loutre was to minister to the Indians as well as to the French posts at Cobequid and Tatamagouche, where Abbé Jacques Girard would replace him in 1742, and he concerned himself indirectly with the Acadians on the east coast of Nova Scotia. He remained on cordial terms with the British authorities until 1744.
The Acadians had always been very obedient to the Catholic Church represented by these priests who ministered to them or the communities around them. They had always bent to the brimstone and fire preached to them. This attitude would be no different with LeLoutre who had a passion for what he did but who also lacked principals in his demands on both the Indian and Acadian communities.
When the Acadians showed no inclination to be subjected to his demands, he would threaten them with Indian warfare telling them that he would send the Indians to bring peril to them and to their families even telling them they would watch their wives and children die at the hand of the Mi'kmaq right before their eyes as well as their lands wasted. At one point, there was even remonstrance toward LeLoutre from the then Bishop of Quebec. Unfortunately, Leloutre's passion to get his way knew no bounds.
He had no mercy for the Acadians of Beaubassin and Chignecto, when in 1755 he set fire to the church and demanded that the Acadians do the same to their homes, barns and properties - he enlisted the help of the Indians to make sure this would happen. With their properties burning behind them, the Acadians of Beaubassin crossed to the French site across the Missaguash and became refugees of the French fort of Beauséjour. They would know poverty and hunger. LeLoutre told the Acadians who were on the outside of the fort walls that they had to fight the British soldiers when they attacked - instead, they ran away as they had no inclination to go to war.
The British routed the incapable French officers and soldiers of the garrison. Thomas Pichon, commisary of stores, had been a traitor and ally of the British in helping to take down the fort. He had been carrying on secret correspondence with the commandant of Fort Lawrence, and informing him of all that was going on within the French fort. It as in part form this source that the designs of the French against the British were becoming known in Halifax and more expecially, the goings-ons of "Moses", the name by which Pichon referred to LeLoutre because he always carried on as if he had led the Acadians out of bondage as had Moses of the Bible.
Meanwhile, the Acadians yearned to return to their lands, take the oath and live in peace with the English. LeLoutre was so resolved that this should not happen that he told them "If you go, you will have neither priests nor sacraments, but will die like misearble wretches." Of course, the assertion was false. Priests and sacraments had never been denied them but he manipulated them with such threats.
Well once the British attacked the fort, where was LeLoutre? He had escaped and was well on his way to Quebec knowing full well that if caught the British might execute him.
Once in Quebec, he hoped to make his way to France but was captured by the British Le Loutre was taken prisoner, and despite the minister of Marine’s efforts he was not released until eight years later, on 30 Aug. 1763, after the signing of the treaty of Paris. He then went on to France and when the Acadians arrived there following repatriation, he did what he could to help them and did obtain for each a special gratuity of 600 livres.
Historians are unanimous in recognizing the importance of Le Loutre’s activity in Acadia but differ in their assessment of the significance of his role as a missionary. Several, particularly those writing in English, have criticized him for having acted more as an agent of French policy than as a missionary, and they hold him largely responsible for the deportation of the Acadians from Nova Scotia in 1755, because in threatening them with reprisals if they signed the oath of loyalty, he condemned them to a forced exile. Before a judgement is made on Le Loutre’s career in Acadia, however, three important points must be considered: in the 18th century France claimed to be the defender of the Catholic faith; Acadia was populated with French Catholics governed by the Protestant British; missionaries were the only representatives of the French government among the Acadians tolerated by Great Britain. According to Le Loutre almost any means could be used to remove the Acadians, who were in danger spiritually, from British domination. He used the means at his disposal: arguments of a religious nature and the Indians. His method was debatable, but it was in keeping with the logic of his age, when in France as in England religion was at the service of the state.
He was probably excessively zealous, and his conduct was often questionable, but his sincere devotion to the cause of French Acadia cannot be doubted. He cannot be held responsible for the deportation of the Acadians.
LE GUERNE, FRANÇOIS
(sometimes written Guerne or De Guerne), Spiritan, priest, and missionary; b. 5 Jan. 1725 at Kergrist-Moëlou (dept of Côtes-du-Nord), France, son of Yves Le Guerne; d. 6 Dec. 1789 at Saint-François-de-Sales, Île d’Orléans, Quebec.
On 1 July 1749, after a few years at the Séminaire du Saint-Esprit in Paris, François Le Guerne entered the Séminaire des Missions Étrangères, where Abbé de L’Isle-Dieu, the bishop of Quebec’s vicar general in Paris, paid his board. Early in the summer of 1750 he left for Quebec, sailing on the frigate Diane from Rochefort; at that time he was only a tonsured cleric. He spent more than a year in Quebec, completed his theological studies, and was then ordained priest by Bishop Pontbriand [Dubreil*] on 18 Sept. 1751.
Le Guerne went to Acadia, probably in 1752, to minister to the settlers around Fort Beauséjour (near Sackville, N. B.). At first he served some 80 families at Tintemarre (Tantramar), but after the departure of Abbé Le Guet (Du Guay) early in 1754 he had at least 200 families scattered over nearly 40 leagues along the Shepody, Petitcodiac, and Memramcook rivers. Obliged to travel from one post to another for two months of every year, he asked the bishop of Quebec for another missionary to assist him with his heavy burden. He worked in cooperation with Jean-Louis LE Loutre, who ministered to the Indians in the region.
In June 1755 Fort Beauséjour was captured by British troops under Robert MONCKTON. Le Guerne refused to compel the Acadians to resist the British because Louis DU Pont Duchambon, the commandant of the fort, and Abbé Le Loutre “had said on leaving that it was in the habitants’ interest to be quite submissive.” So strongly were the Acadians attached to their lands that Le Guerne doubted many would heed a counsel of disobedience, and he was reluctant to be held responsible for the misfortunes of those who did. On seeing the sad fate that befell them anyway – those who presented themselves at the fort were imprisoned with a view to deportation – Le Guerne changed his mind; accompanied by a large number of his parishioners he took to the woods north of the Shepody, Petitcodiac, and Memramcook rivers. With Charles DESCHAMPS de Boishébert he attempted to facilitate the escape of families still at liberty and to organize the resistance of those Acadians who wished to continue harassing the enemy. He had repeatedly to go into hiding because Monckton sought to have him arrested. Nearly 200 families shared his lot, living in extreme poverty, without flour, salt pork, cooking fat, molasses, or adequate rations of meat. By March 1756 Le Guerne had managed to get some 500 Acadians across to Île Saint-Jean (Prince Edward Island) [see Gabriel Rousseau de Villejouin]. Many of his former flock, however, were too attached to their lands and paid no heed to his appeals, hoping that Acadia would again become French.
In order to escape the British Le Guerne left Acadia for good in August 1757. On his arrival in Quebec he immediately wrote to Governor Vaudreuil [RIGAUD] to request aid for the Acadians; however the situation was critical in the St Lawrence valley and the governor refused his request. Abbé de L’Isle-Dieu wanted to send Le Guerne to the mission to the Tamaroas (Cahokia, now East St Louis, Ill.), but Bishop Pontbriand kept him in Quebec hoping that he would be able to return to Acadia once peace had been restored. Since the war did not end, the bishop entrusted him in 1758 with the parish of Saint-François-de-Sales on Île d’Orléans.
Le Guerne spent the remainder of his career in that parish, absenting himself for a year (1768–69) to give a course in rhetoric at the Petit Séminaire in Quebec. In October 1789 about 50 of his parishioners, citing Le Guerne’s “state of languor and infirmity,” asked Bishop HUBERT to recall him, and the bishop advised him to retire. They complained that they had been harshly treated by their pastor and reproached him for denying his services to a large number of his flock and for seeking to enrich himself by every means. He died two months later. Among other legacies in his will Le Guerne left 360 livres to the Séminaire de Québec, 3,600 livres to the Séminaire du Saint-Esprit in Paris, and 3,600 livres to his relatives in Brittany.
GEORGE III (1760-1820 AD)
George III was born in 1738, first son of Frederick, Prince of Wales and Augusta. He married Charlotte of Mecklinburg-Strelitz in 1761, to whom he was devoted. The couple produced a prolific fifteen children: nine sons and six daughters. George was afflicted with porphyria, a maddening disease which disrupted his reign as early as 1765. Several attacks strained his grip on reality and debilitated him in the last years of his reign. Personal rule was given to his son George, the Prince Regent, in 1811. George III died blind, deaf and mad at Windsor Castle on January 29, 1820.
George III succeeded his grandfather, George II, in 1760 (Frederick, Prince of Wales, had died in 1751 having never ruled). George was determined to recover the prerogative lost to the ministerial council by the first two Georges; in the first two decades of the reign, he methodically weakened the Whig party through bribery, coercion and patronage. Prime Minister, William Pitt the Elder was toppled by Whigs after the Peace of Paris, and men of mediocre talent and servile minds were hand-picked by George as Cabinet members, acting as little more than yes-men. Bouts with madness and the way he handled the American Revolution eroded his support and the power of the Crown was granted again to the Prime Minister.
The Peace of Paris (1763) ended the Seven Years' War with France, with the strenuous, anti-French policies of the elder Pitt emphasizing naval superiority in the colonial warfare. Great Britain emerged from the conflict as the world's greatest colonial power. England thrived under peacetime conditions, but George's commitment to taxing the American colonies to pay for military protection led to hostilities in 1775. The colonists proclaimed independence in 1776, but George obstinately continued the war until the final American victory at Yorktown in 1781. The Peace of Versailles, signed in 1783, ensured British acknowledgment of the United States of America. The defeat cost George dearly: his sanity was stretched to the breaking point and his political power decreased when William Pitt the Younger became Prime Minister in 1783. George reclaimed some of his power, driving Pitt from office from 1801-04, but his condition worsened again and he ceased to rule in 1811.
The peace following the French war settlement was short-lived. A mere ten years later, England joined a continental alliance against French revolutionary forces who, after gaining power in France, sought total French hegemony across Europe. By 1797, the largest part of Europe was under French dominance, with England standing alone against the revolutionary Republic. The British Navy again proved decisive, defeating French forces at Camperdown, Cape St. Vincent and the Battle of the Nile in 1797, and finally at Copenhagen in 1801. Peace was negotiated at Amiens in 1802, with the French supreme on land and the British at sea. Napoleon Bonaparte seized supreme power in France at the turn of the century, and renewed attacks against England in 1803. Hostilities with France lasted until 1814 taking several forms. Arthur Wellesley, Duke of Wellington, led the land attack; the navy, commanded by Lord Horatio Nelson won the decisive battle off Cape Trafalgar, and imposed a blockade of Europe to offset Napoleon's " continental system" which was forbidden from importing British goods; and the younger Pitt guided the government through the hardships of total war. In addition to the continental conflict, England went to war again with the United States between 1812-14, over the British practice of pressing American seamen into service in the British Navy. Both conflicts were resolved in 1814; Napoleon was deposed and England agreed not to abscond with American sailors. Napoleon returned to Europe briefly in 1815, but was soundly defeated by continental forces led by Wellington.
George's madness ultimately left the fate of the crown on his eldest son George, Prince Regent. Prince George was put in the daunting position of attempting to govern according to the increasingly erratic will of his father. A letter received by novelist E. M. Frostier from his aunt, Marine Thornton, describes the situation: "... there he was sitting on the Throne with his King's Crown on, his robes scarlet and ermine, and held his speech written out for him, just what he had to say. But, oh dear, he strode up and made a bow and began "My Lords and Peacocks'. The people who were not fond of him laughed, the people who did love him cried, and he went back to be no longer a king, and his eldest son reigned in his stead".
(1661–1750), colonial governor, was born in Pembrokeshire, the son of Richard Philipps and his wife, Frances, née Noel. At sixteen or seventeen years of age Philipps enlisted in the army, where he distinguished himself primarily as an active whig. After William of Orange set sail in 1688, but before he landed in England, Philipps distributed whig manifestos to his fellow troops. He was arrested and condemned for sedition, but in the ensuing chaos the death sentence was never carried out. After the revolution of 1688 he served in William III's army, at the battle of Boyne and subsequently in Flanders and Spain.
In 1712 Philipps purchased, at a price of 7000 guineas, the colonelcy of the 12th regiment of foot. Five years later he exchanged this commission for the governorship of Nova Scotia. He was simultaneously appointed governor of the British outpost on Newfoundland and colonel of a new regiment, the 40th, which had been formed to garrison the two territories. Philipps never visited Newfoundland, and he was replaced as governor there in 1729. He remained governor of Nova Scotia until 1749, though he spent less than three years in residence in the colony.
None the less, even from a distance, Philipps was able to assist in Nova Scotia's administration. Since 1710, when the British conquered the colony (which had been known as Acadia) from the French, the garrison had been almost continuously understaffed and undersupplied. Owing to his military position Philipps acquired reliable supplies for the garrison and maintained more or less constant manpower levels, accomplishments which had eluded his predecessors. His other important early accomplishment was to fortify Canso, an island off the Atlantic coast that served as a drying station for fishermen. He hoped that the military base which he established on the island in 1720 would trigger the economic redevelopment of the eastern half of the province. This larger plan never materialized, but the base helped create economic and political links between the fishermen of New England and the government of Nova Scotia, links which proved crucial for the survival of British rule after the French attacked the colony in 1744. New England's fishermen were a powerful lobby in support of the Massachusetts government's decisions to reinforce the garrison of Nova Scotia in 1744 and pre-emptively attack the French at Louisbourg in 1745.
Philipps is best remembered, though, for the policies he adopted towards the Acadians, the descendants of the original French colonists in the region. When he was first appointed, Philipps had hoped to remove the Acadians from their lands and replace them with English-speaking protestant settlers. During his visit to Nova Scotia in 1720 he and his provincial council had petitioned the Board of Trade in favour of the plan. The effort achieved modest political success; the board endorsed the proposed expulsion in 1721 in a report to George I. But Philipps received no money or logistical support, and in the end no official authorization. The rise of Sir Robert Walpole reshaped the political landscape and restricted the financial resources available to would-be colonial promoters. Furthermore, after Philipps's return to Britain in 1722 the Mi'kmaq (the native people of Nova Scotia) took up arms against his colonial government and the Acadians professed neutrality in the conflict. These events helped reorder Philipps's priorities. He ceased advocating the expulsion of the Acadians, and instead supported a political accommodation with them.
Philipps returned to Nova Scotia for the last time in the summer of 1729. During his fifteen-month stay he engaged in negotiations with Acadians from various parts of the province and persuaded almost all of Nova Scotia's adult male Acadian inhabitants to swear allegiance to the British crown. By taking the oath the Acadians acknowledged British sovereignty over the colony, but in exchange they obtained recognition of their special status and limited autonomy. Philipps promised them (orally) that they would never be pressed into military service. Subsequent administrators claimed that Philipps's promise was illegal and furthermore that it contradicted and invalidated the terms of the oath of allegiance. Chief Justice Jonathan Belcher jun. made this argument in order to justify the removal of the Acadians from Nova Scotia in 1755. Unwittingly, therefore, Philipps helped lay the legal groundwork for the Acadian removal.
After 1730 Philipps treated his governorship primarily as a sinecure, though he remained interested in issues of patronage connected to the garrison there. Working with King Gould, the colony's agent in London, he participated in negotiations over appointments within the provincial garrison and council. He also took a hand in negotiations over the sale of the chaplaincies for the garrison. But the internal government of Nova Scotia concerned him very little. Philipps was twice married: first to Elizabeth Cosby (d. c.1739), with whom he had at least two children, and, second, to Catherina Bagshawe, née Stratham. He died in Westminster on 14 October 1750 and was buried in Westminster Abbey.
military officer, governor of Nova Scotia; b. c. 1709 in England, son of Herbert Lawrence; d. Halifax, Nova Scotia, 19 Oct. 1760.
Charles Lawrence’s life before his arrival in Nova Scotia in July 1749 is obscure, and existing accounts of it are inaccurate. It seems that he was commissioned in the 11th Regiment of Foot in 1727, was in the West Indies from 1733 to 1737, and then served in the War Office. He was promoted lieutenant in 1741 and captain in 1742, and fought with the 54th regiment in 1745 at Fontenoy (Belgium) where he was wounded. He was gazetted major with the 45th regiment (Warburton’s), and joined it at Louisbourg, Île Royale (Cape Breton Island), in 1747. His family was related to the Montagus, which partly explains why he enjoyed the patronage of George Montagu Dunk, 2nd Earl of Halifax, president of the Board of Trade. This connection was his only source of influence, however, and he was without private means. He was popular in the army and was known to be strong, energetic, and direct in his methods.
Lawrence became a company commander in the 40th regiment in Nova Scotia in December 1749. The following April Governor Edward Cornwallis* sent him with a small force to establish British authority in the isthmus of Chignecto. On the north bank of the Missaguash River Lawrence found French forces under Louis de LA CORNE, who had orders to prevent British penetration beyond that point and who had had the village of Beaubassin, near the south bank of the river, burned. Rather than fight the French, with whom the British were not at war, or admit to any territorial limitation, Lawrence withdrew.
Authorities in London were divided on the question of how far their troops in Nova Scotia should proceed in peace time in establishing British claims to the whole of Acadia. The Duke of Bedford, secretary of state for the Southern Department, had refused to reinforce Cornwallis so that he could implement these claims. But the Duke of Newcastle, prompted by Lord Halifax, intervened and despite royal opposition ensured that the 47th regiment was sent to Cornwallis in June 1750. Lawrence was promoted lieutenant-colonel about this time, and in August he left for the Missaguash River with a stronger force and routed a group of Indians led by the Abbé Jean-Louis Le Loutre*. Captain John ROUS, the naval commander supporting the landing of troops in this engagement, was full of praise for Lawrence’s coolness and leadership under fire. Cornwallis, in dispatches to London, commended his tactics. In the fall of 1750 Lawrence built Fort Lawrence on the south bank of the river. He remained there through the following year, and returned to Halifax in 1752, about the time that Peregrine Thomas HOPSON succeeded Cornwallis as governor.
In the summer of 1753 Governor Hopson chose Lawrence to direct the settlement of the European Protestants who had waited vainly since their arrival in Halifax in 1751 and 1752 for the land promised them. Hopson decided to settle them on the coast south of Halifax at Mirligueche, renamed Lunenburg. There the French would not be able to stir up trouble for them, although Indian raids were to be expected. Lawrence accompanied the settlers to Lunenburg in June and supervised the establishment of the colony.
The settlers found cleared land, but most of the work remained to be done. Soured by months or years of waiting in squalid huts in Halifax, they were impatient to stake their claims and to start cultivation. Lawrence had seen the effects of Indian raids in different parts of the province and had to persuade the settlers to build defences before anything else. It was human to ignore a danger which few of them had experienced and it required artifice on Lawrence’s part to make them do communal work. “Decent people,” he noted, had to be cajoled into sleeping in communal shelters for protection and sharing them with those who were “dirty [and] full of Vermin.” Building supplies were pilfered and fights over favoured sites were frequent. But little by little this “inconceivably turbulent” crew was brought to see that they must either “proceed in another manner, or have [their] throats cut.” By a mixture of bribery, bullying, and verbal persuasion, Lawrence gained their affection – “not only their hats but their hearts,” as he described it – and retained it, to his political advantage, after his return to Halifax in August 1753. By then Hopson was preparing to return to England and had summoned Lawrence back as president of the council.
In 1754 Governor William Shirley of Massachusetts approached Lawrence with a plan to drive the French troops out of their Chignecto forts. Both men were sure of Lord Halifax’s support and took advantage of an ill-advised letter from Thomas Robinson, the new secretary of state, ordering them to cooperate to throw the French out of Acadia. Robinson later repudiated the letter, but Shirley used it as authority to plan an operation. Late in the fall of 1754 he and Lawrence raised two battalions in Massachusetts, giving the command to Lieutenant-Colonel Robert Monckton*, assisted by the New Englander John Winslow*. This force was to attack Fort Beauséjour (near Sackville, N.B.), which the French had built on the north shore of the Missaguash River, opposite Fort Lawrence. Without authority, Lawrence paid for the force with the annual parliamentary grant for Nova Scotia. Early in 1755 General Edward Braddock, commander-in-chief in North America, sailed for America with flexible orders for the removal of French “encroachments” given him by the Duke of Cumberland, commander-in-chief of the army. Braddock was permitted to undertake several operations against the French simultaneously if he had sufficient troops. He authorized Monckton’s expedition and it sailed from Boston on 19 May 1755. Fort Beauséjour fell to Monckton on 16 June.
The capture of Beauséjour was the only British success that year, but Lawrence had no orders for exploiting it. Braddock was killed near Fort Duquesne (Pittsburgh, Pa.) early in July [see Daniel-Hyacinthe-Marie Liénard de Beaujeu], while Shirley, his second in command, was proceeding towards Fort Oswego (Chouaguen) for operations against the French. In June, off Louisbourg, Vice-Admiral Boscawen let most of the French fleet escape with reinforcements for Louisbourg, Quebec, and Montreal. In an atmosphere of doubt about his superiors’ activities and intentions and of apprehension about the enemy’s, the defence of what he had gained became Lawrence’s main concern.
As early as 1 May the Nova Scotia Council had considered how to deal with the Acadians north of the Missaguash once Beauséjour had fallen. Those who had deserted to the French under the blandishments of Le Loutre could be punished for breaking their limited oath of allegiance to George II [see Richard PHILIPPS] if they had taken up arms or assisted the French. The other Acadians in this area could be required to depart to whatever destination the defeated garrison chose. The decision to expel all these Acadians was formally taken by the council on 25 June. The council planned to put settlers from New England on the vacated Acadian lands of the Chignecto isthmus as a barrier between the French in Île Royale and Île Saint-Jean (Prince Edward Island) and the Acadians remaining on the Nova Scotia peninsula. A military force in Chignecto would raid northwards and eventually enable the rest of Acadia beyond the Missaguash (present-day New Brunswick) to be settled. This was also Lord Halifax’s conception.
John Winslow was the linchpin of the plan to obtain New England settlers. But owing to Lawrence’s uncertainty about how to exploit his victory, Winslow was not permitted enough time to survey the land around Chignecto after the fall of Beauséjour. Inactivity caused the discipline of Winslow’s troops to collapse and he quarrelled with Monckton, who had been ordered to recruit New Englanders for the regular battalions. Shirley also raided their ranks for his own use on the American continent. Winslow became embittered and lost interest in settlement. Short of troops and under the impression that the French were going to counter-attack, Lawrence turned his attention to securing his communications with Chignecto and was thus forced to deal with the issue of the loyalty of the Acadians of the peninsula. The scene was set for the tragedy.
Lawrence learned from the correspondence of previous governors, such as Richard Philipps and Peregrine Thomas Hopson, that although he should not drive the Acadians into the arms of the French, he should not grant them tenure unless they took an oath of allegiance which included the promise to bear arms for the English king. There was to be no compromise with the principle that before receiving the rights of subjects, they must accept their duties, and that Acadians who had left the country could not return without taking the oath. Hopson had been told to demand the oath when the circumstances of the province allowed. It had been an assumption of Lord Halifax’s policy since 1749 that that moment would arrive when the French military presence had been removed from Nova Scotia. A change in the attitude of Acadian leaders after the French surrender at Beauséjour seemed to bear out this assumption.
Early in July 1755 a group of 15 delegates from Minas (Grand Pré region) came before the council to present a petition concerning the confiscation of their boats and arms that spring by Alexander MURRAY at Fort Edward (Windsor). Lawrence took advantage of their presence to demand of them an unqualified oath of allegiance. The Acadians were reluctant to believe that the English would at last enforce the oath or protect them from Indian and French reprisals if they now took it. Consequently they refused the unqualified oath without a general consultation with the populace of Minas. Lawrence and his council insisted that each man decide on the oath himself, and when they still refused to do so they were imprisoned.
Exasperated by the Acadians’ intransigence the English became legalistic and felt compelled to pursue their course to the end. New Acadian delegates were summoned from Annapolis Royal and Minas to meet with Lawrence and the council, which included John Rous, John Collier, and Jonathan Belcher*. On 25 July the Annapolis delegates were told “they must now resolve either to take the Oath without any Reserve or else quit their lands, for that Affairs were now at such a Crisis in America that no delay could be admitted.” They and the Minas delegates refused the oath and on 28 July were “ordered into confinement.” The council, having resolved to expel all Acadians who rejected the oath, agreed that “it would be most proper to send them to be distributed amongst the Several Colonies on the Continent.” Admiral Boscawen and Vice-Admiral Savage Mostyn attended this meeting and assented to the council’s decision. Over the next few months most of the Acadian population of Nova Scotia was rounded up and transported to the American colonies, from Massachusetts to South Carolina.
The expulsion proved to have been as unnecessary on military grounds – with the subsequent capture of Louisbourg and Quebec – as it was later judged inhumane. Lawrence was not a cruel man, however, even if he lacked imagination. It is too simple to explain the decision as simply a matter of greed; legalism, deference to precedent, and over reliance on the collective responsibility of councils – marks of the age – provided an umbrella for it. The policies of the Board of Trade over the years, ambiguous in many respects, were specific in demanding the oath when the occasion arose. The unauthorized operation against Beauséjour provided the occasion. No military plan existed in London for the Nova Scotia operation, but after the expulsion Lawrence received no reprimand for acting without orders. His decision was made in that “motly state neither peace nor war” (Lord Holdernesse) which Nova Scotia had experienced since 1749. The chief elements in the affair were confusion, misunderstanding, and fear. Each step towards the tragedy created the facts which pointed to the next. At no time did those who had the power also have the information to decide aright. They planned in a vacuum. Indeed, the only note of irritation appearing in letters from London in the months after the expulsion was caused by the complaints of the American governors on whom the Acadians had been foisted with little or no notice. Lawrence had overlooked the administrative and social implications of what he had considered a military operation.
In July 1756 Lawrence became governor of Nova Scotia. He saw as his most important task the settlement of the Acadian lands. But by 1757 merchants who were opposed to his personal rule, such as Joshua Mauger* and Ephraim Cook, had convinced the Board of Trade that settlers would not come unless they had an elected assembly. They also tried to show that Lawrence had favoured his friends with contracts and offices and would not call an assembly for fear of exposure.
In October 1754 the Board of Trade had instructed Jonathan Belcher, on his arrival as chief justice, to inquire into the legality of enactments made without an assembly. He reported that the governor’s instructions did not make an assembly mandatory and pointed out that only one township would qualify for representation at that time. In fact, he added, an assembly would be a hindrance to the administration of the province. Both the attorney-general and solicitor-general of Great Britain, however, advised that without an assembly Lawrence’s acts as governor could be illegal. The board then instructed Lawrence to prepare a scheme for setting up an assembly, although it was aware that undue representation might be given to “dram-sellers” and contraband runners in Halifax, and that the Lunenburg settlers, who were not yet naturalized, could not be represented until 1757. The board also knew that an assembly might be a forum for the struggle which had broken out in Hopson’s time between the New England and British elements in the population. The correspondence about various schemes dragged on through 1755 and 1756.
The council finally hammered out a plan by which an assembly could be convened in April 1757. But Lawrence, who was stalling until he could get the Lunenburg votes, instigated a memorial, with only 11 signatures, demanding that the plan first be submitted to London. He then departed for Boston early in 1757 to meet Lord Loudoun [John Campbell], commander-in-chief of British forces in America, giving instructions that Monckton, president of the council in his absence, should issue writs for elections only if “he found the people pressing.” Monckton received a memorial but would not issue the writs. Angered, Belcher, Charles Morris, and two others in the council petitioned the Board of Trade in March. In May the board also received a petition from the grand jury of Halifax and was finally persuaded that the issue had shifted from recognizing the rights of Englishmen to cleansing the administration. The petition accused Lawrence of bias against merchants and failure to advertise contracts, of preventing the council from examining his accounts and allowing offices to accumulate in a few hands. These accusations were familiar enough to the board, but they indicated that Lawrence was losing support.
Lawrence might have prevented the alliance between members of the council and the Halifax merchants simply by issuing the writs after his return from Boston in May 1757. But he claimed that Loudoun did not approve of assemblies and that he could not attend to the matter himself that summer because he would be involved in preparations for an expedition against Louisbourg. He went off to Chignecto in the fall, on Loudoun’s orders, to strengthen its defences. He was determined not to submit to pressure, lest he lose control of his government. In February 1758 the board finally ordered Lawrence to convene an assembly. When he received this order in May, he told the council he would issue writs for the autumn. He intended to fill council vacancies with his supporters, and hoped that the Louisbourg campaign, in which he was about to take part, would prove victorious and thereby restore his popularity.
Lawrence, with the temporary rank of “brigadier in America,” commanded a brigade under General Jeffery Amherst* in the successful expedition against Louisbourg. He returned to Halifax in September to help prepare the British forces for operations against Quebec in 1759. Stores were scarce but he improvised. Thousands of pairs of shoes were made, arms repaired, and light infantry units formed and trained. Lawrence paid special attention to feeding the troops and thanks to fresh meat, milk, spruce beer, and “our climate in spite of the opinions of the C.O.s,” the sick recovered. When James WOLFE, the commander of the Quebec expedition, returned in the spring, that critical young man had nothing but praise for Lawrence and his subordinates. Lawrence had hoped to command a brigade at Quebec; in the end the commands went to Monckton, James Murray*, and George Townshend*, that of the latter through political influence. It was a “mortifying situation” to be left behind, but Lawrence threw off his disappointment and turned to the problems of settlement and politics in Nova Scotia, which were less glamorous, but in the long run more important, than commanding a brigade on the Plains of Abraham.
The first meeting of the new assembly had taken place on 2 Oct. 1758, with 20 assemblymen present, and its business was conducted with surprisingly little trouble. Lawrence’s support on the council grew in August 1759 with the appointment of Richard Bulkeley*, Thomas SAUL, and Joseph Gerrish*, to the seats left vacant by the absence of William Cotterell, Robert Grant, and Montagu WILMOT. In December the first Lunenburg representatives entered the assembly, and Lawrence received an address of praise from that body for his achievements in the province.
Lawrence’s aggressive policy for finding settlers had much to do with his success. He was supported by Charles Morris, the surveyor and council member, who was involved deeply in the settlement plans. Lawrence began the drive to settle the Acadian lands in October 1758 with a proclamation seeking proposals for settlement. In January 1759 a second proclamation informed would-be settlers of the actual terms they could expect. Each grant would combine cultivated land and wild woodland. One thousand acres was the maximum initial grant for each family, with further grants available when the terms of the first one had been complied with. The proclamations were directed mainly at New Englanders.
Settlers were reluctant to break new forest land while the marsh land of Chignecto and the cleared areas of the Annapolis valley were vacant. To resolve this difficulty, Lawrence preferred to combine old land with new in each grant and thus offered favourable conditions usually permitted only to those breaking in new lands. He had been instructed to submit proposals for settling the old lands to the Board of Trade, but he disregarded this directive and informed the board of his policies after the fact, as was his custom. The board was angry, but by the time it had explained that the good lands were intended as rewards for the army and navy, Morris had surveyed lots with representatives of “some hundreds of associated substantial families” from New England and had promised them advantageous conditions. The board could not cancel the arrangements and had to be satisfied with Lawrence’s assurances that new land taken by Monckton’s expedition up the Saint John River in the fall of 1758 and land on the Miramichi River would be kept for the military. Lawrence wrote privately to Lord Halifax, however, to point out that servicemen were bad settlers.
Their “drunken, dissolute and abandoned” habits, “particularly that most unhappy one,” idleness, made them quite unsuitable. Lord Halifax’s influence ensured that when the commissioners for Trade and Plantations received copies of the grants in 13 townships at the end of 1759 under conditions which they had earlier condemned, they wrote that it was a great satisfaction “to us . . . to express to you our approbation.” From the Board of Trade, which seldom had anything good to say about its governors, that was praise indeed.
Lawrence’s death on 19 Oct. 1760 took everyone by surprise. “I should have taken an annuity on his life as soon as anyone I knew,” wrote Amherst to General James Murray. It was a shock to his friends that this enormous, bluff, and competent man could have been struck down so quickly after catching a chill. His many friends grieved for him, though relief may have been uppermost in the minds of the New Englanders and publicans of Halifax. After his death the Board of Trade ordered an investigation of charges against him of “partiality, profusion and private understanding” in relation to provision contracts for the Nova Scotia settlements, and of maintaining his own vessels at the expense of the colony. It was also charged that he had assumed illegal powers in intervening on behalf of soldiers who were being tried for civil offences in the courts. The board declared that he had granted lands in larger amounts to single persons than was permitted, and that he had concealed the real cost of his land policy. It later complained that he had placed all trade with the Indians in the hands of a government agency. Jonathan Belcher investigated the charges against Lawrence and reported, in January 1762, that “upon the best examination in the severest charges” the accusations were unfounded.
The prosecution of the war against the French had been the first duty of the North American governors in these years. Shirley was the only one among them who had persuaded his assembly to act vigorously in this cause; the others were at one with Whitehall in considering that their assemblies were a nuisance. In this light, Lawrence’s policy concerning the assembly was justified. His land policy was in the best interests of the province, and Lord Halifax himself had advised the establishment of a government agency for Indian trade for the whole North American frontier region. It is true, however, that Lawrence favoured his friends with contracts and on occasion protected soldiers from the civil courts. Yet he did not grow rich as Governor George CLINTON of New York was reputed to have done. In fact, the charges against him might not have been pressed had Lord Halifax not left the Board of Trade in 1761 to be lord lieutenant of Ireland.
Referring to the monument raised to Lawrence’s memory in St Paul’s Church, Halifax, to indicate the late governor’s popularity, Belcher wrote, “In a grateful sense of his affection and services the last tribute that could be paid to his memory was unanimously voted by the General Assembly at their first meeting after the late Governor’s universally lamented decease.” These sympathetic remarks by a contemporary with whom Lawrence had sometimes been at odds and the considerations mentioned above should be placed in the scales against the views of historians who condemn him for his inhumanity to the Acadians.
army officer and office-holder; b. 10 May 1703 at Marshfield, Massachusetts, son of Isaac Winslow and Sarah Wensley; m. in 1725 Mary Little, and they had two sons; m. secondly Bethiah Johnson, née Barker; d. 17 April 1774 at Hingham, Massachusetts.
John Winslow was a member of one of the most prominent families of New England; his great-grandfather and grandfather had both been governors of the Plymouth Bay colony. After holding a few minor positions in Plymouth, he was commissioned captain of a provincial company in the abortive Cuban expedition organized in 1740. Apparently through the influence of Governor William Shirley of Massachusetts, Winslow transferred soon afterwards to the British army and served as a captain in Richard Philipps*’ regiment (40th Foot) at Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia, and St John’s, Newfoundland. In 1751 he exchanged with a half-pay captain of Shirley’s former regiment and returned to Massachusetts, where he looked after his property and represented Marshfield in the General Court of 175253. In 1754 he was promoted major-general of militia by Shirley and chosen to command a force of 800 men which was sent to the Kennebec River (Maine) to consolidate British positions in the area and prevent French encroachments. There Winslow planned and built forts Western (Augusta, Maine) and Halifax (Winslow, Maine). The expedition added greatly to his popularity, and he was thus a natural choice as the lieutenant-colonel of a provincial regiment raised by Shirley in 1755 to aid Lieutenant Governor Charles Lawrence* of Nova Scotia in his attempts to sweep French influence from the province.
Winslow played a conspicuous role at the capture of Fort Beauséjour (near Sackville, N.B.) in June 1755 and in the defeat of French ambitions in the Chignecto region during the summer; his journals provide an important eye-witness account. Throughout the expedition differences of temperament had caused him to clash with the commander, Lieutenant-Colonel Robert MONCKTON, a British regular officer; problems of pay and provisioning added to the tension. Monckton appears to have used little tact in dealing with his touchy second in command, at one point ordering that Winslow’s regimental colours be forcibly seized. A furious Winslow confided to his journal that “This Transaction Causd Great uneassiness to both officers & Soldiers & raisd my Temper some.” He was probably equally to blame for the friction, however, since he resented not having been given command of the expedition.
After the reduction of the French forts in the Chignecto region, Winslow was ordered to proceed to Grand Pré, the largest Acadian community in the Minas area, and there carry out the removal of the population of that region. Although often believed solely responsible for carrying out the deportation, Winslow was in charge of only one segment of a much larger operation. On 5 Sept. 1755 he informed the assembled Acadian men of the Grand Pré region that they, their families, and their portable goods were to be removed from the province. Winslow termed the business “Very Disagreable to my natural make & Temper,” but he carried out his orders with care, military precision, and as much compassion as circumstances allowed. The numerous delays in procuring transports caused the deportation to take far longer than had been anticipated, but by November he had shipped some 1, 510 Acadians to Pennsylvania, Maryland, and other British colonies to the south. Plans had been previously made to use Winslow as an agent for the settlement of the now vacant farm lands, but they were not carried out.
Winslow instead returned to Massachusetts in November, and the following year reached the high point of his military career when he was appointed by Shirley to command the provincial troops in the expedition against Fort Saint-Frédéric (near Crown Point, N.Y.). However, he fought bitterly with Lord Loudoun, the commander-in-chief, over Loudoun’s proposed integration of the provincial troops with the regulars. The provincial soldiers had enlisted to serve only under their own officers, while their officers feared that if the integration came about they would lose their rank, which they held only by colonial commission. The issue nearly developed into a mutiny of the provincial troops and a revolt of their officers, but Winslow eventually agreed to the integration under threats from Loudoun and after pleadings from Shirley. Little of military importance, however, was achieved in the campaign.
This expedition appears to have marked the end of Winslow’s military career. He returned to Massachusetts in 1757 and represented Marshfield in the General Court from 1757 to 1758 and from 1761 to 1765. In 1762 he served as a member of the St Croix River boundary commission, and about 1766 moved to Hingham, where he lived the rest of his life.
BARRY M. MOODY
Winslow’s journals have been published: “Journal of Colonel John Window of the provincial troops, while engaged in removing the Acadian French inhabitants from Grand Pre . . .” and “Journal of Colonel John Window of the provincial troops, while engaged in the siege of Fort Beausejour, in the summer and autumn of 1755 . . . ,” N.S. Hist. Soc., Coll., III (1883), 71–196, and IV (1885), 113–246.
Colonial governor of Massachusetts, was born in Preston, Sussex, England, in 1693. He died in Roxbury, Massachusetts on March 24, 1771. Originally from Preston, England, he first arrived in Boston in 1731 with the intention of practicing law. Ten years following his arrival in New England, he was named Governor of Massachusetts.
He was a commissioner for the settlement of the boundary between Massachusetts and Rhode Island and acted as such when he was appointed governor of Massachusetts in 1741. He administered the government of the colony until 1745 and in this year planned the successful expedition against Cape Breton. He was in England from 1745 to 1753 and was one of the commissioners at Paris for settling the limits of Nova Scotia and other rights in 1750. In 1753 he returned as governor of Massachusetts, treatied with the eastern Indians in 1754, explored Kennebec river, and erected several forts. He was commander-in-chief of the forces in British North America at the opening of the French war in 1755, planned the expedition of General John Prideaux against Niagara, and went with it as far as Oswego. In 1759 he was made lieutenant-general, and he later became governor of one of the Bahama islands. Returning to Massachusetts in 1770, he built the mansion in Roxbury that was afterward the residence of Governor Eustis. He published Electra, a tragedy; Birth of Hercules, a mask; a Letter to the Duke of Newcastle" with a journal of the Siege of Louisburg (1745); the Conduct of General William Shirley briefly stated (London, 1758). His son, William was killed with General Braddock in 1755. Another son, Sir Thomas who was born in Boston, died in March, 1800. He was a major-general in the British army, created a baronet in 1786, and was governor of the Leeward islands.
Shirley had little admiration for the Acadians. On one occasion, he said, that they were "the most obnoxious French inhabitants of Nova Scotia". Shirley strongly believed that the Acadians would form a fifth column against English forces in the region and perceived them to be a menace because of their proximity to New England.
In June 1755, only a few months before the beginning of the deportation, Shirley launched a 2,000 man attack against Fort Beauséjour. This became a harbinger of things to come considering how Shirley and Lawrence cooperated in the deportation. In Boston, Governor Shirley did not hesitate to accept the deportees even though their numbers were great, mainly because they were unarmed and because at the time, Massachusetts was the best defended of all the colonies. Following the deportations, Shirley lost his posting (1756), but the impact of his ideas and actions had already caused enormous damage. He died in 1771, in Roxbury Massachusetts.
army officer and colonial administrator; b. 24 June 1726 in Yorkshire, England, second son of John Monckton, later lst Viscount Galway, and Lady Elizabeth Manners; d. 21 May 1782 in London, England. Although apparently never lawfully married, he raised and was survived by three sons and a daughter.
In 1741, at age 15, Robert Monckton was commissioned in the 3rd Foot Guards, which sailed to Flanders the following spring to serve in the War of the Austrian Succession. Monckton saw action at Dettingen (Federal Republic of Germany) and at Fontenoy (Belgium), staying on in Flanders after the British army was recalled to suppress the Jacobite rebellion in 1745. Commissioned captain in the 34th Foot on 27 June 1744, he was promoted major on 15 Feb. 1747/48 and lieutenant-colonel of the 47th Foot on 28 Feb. 1751/52. On his father’s death later that year Monckton became member of parliament for the family-controlled seat of Pontefract but was soon posted to Nova Scotia.
Monckton’s introduction to Canada was as commander of Fort Lawrence (near Amherst, N.S.), which faced the French Fort Beauséjour across the Missaguash River near Chignecto Bay. This military frontier was calm between his appointment in August 1752 and the following June; Monckton and Jean-Baptiste Mutigny de Vassan, his counterpart at Beauséjour, exchanged notes, deserters, and runaway horses. Undoubtedly both sides were also gathering intelligence and reinforcing prejudices. Called to Halifax in June 1753 to preside over a court martial, Monckton stayed on to accept membership in the colony’s Council.
German settlers at the new south shore community of Lunenburg were restive that autumn, and when news of an armed confrontation between the settlers and the local garrison reached the Council on 18 Dec. 1753, Monckton volunteered to lead a 200-man force to restore peace. Lieutenant Governor Charles Lawrence* and his Council advocated a reasonable approach so that “afterwards the consequences will lye on themselves should you be obliged to proceed to Extremitys.” Monckton was courteously received at Lunenburg and negotiated a return to order by what Lawrence called “moderate and most judicious measures” [see Jean Pettrequin* and Sebastian ZOUBERBUHLER].
The aftermath, however, reveals the contrast between Monckton’s humane perspective and the sterner views of his superior, Lawrence. Having disarmed the settlers peaceably and traced the source of the rumours that had caused the trouble, Monckton then advocated forgiveness. Lawrence would not accept this counsel and informed Monckton rather ominously: “. . . tho the merciful part is always the most agreable (particularly with Foreigners unacquainted with our laws and Customs) in disturbances of this nature, yet it is seldom the most effectual.” Though one of the participants in the troubles was imprisoned for crimes and misdemeanors after Lawrence tried but failed to obtain a charge of high treason against him, most of the lieutenant governor’s suggestions for legal retribution were ignored.
Robert Monckton’s most memorable independent military command in North America was the successful campaign against the Chignecto forts, Beauséjour and Gaspereau (near Port Elgin, N.B.), in June 1755. Lawrence had joined Massachusetts Governor William Shirley in preparing the plan of operations during the preceding winter, based upon a general British order to counter French “encroachments.” Monckton spent the winter in Boston using his knowledge of Fort Beauséjour in detailed preparation for the attack. Here he quarrelled with John WINSLOW, one of his subordinate commanders, and relations between the two men were poor throughout the campaign. A convoy of 31 transports and three warships left Boston on 19 May 1755, carrying nearly 2,000 New England provincial troops and 270 British regulars, and dropped anchor near the mouth of the Missaguash River on 2 June. Secrecy and careful planning resulted in an unopposed landing and relatively light resistance as Monckton’s troops moved to invest Fort Beauséjour two days later. The garrison under Louis Du PONT Duchambon de Vergor, though outnumbered more than four to one, should have been able to resist longer than two weeks. Monckton’s careful professional approach along a ridge northeast of the fort had hardly begun when the disheartened defenders proposed terms of capitulation on 16 June. Monckton granted the garrison passage to Louisbourg, Île Royale (Cape Breton Island), and pardoned Acadian irregulars who had taken up arms under threat of death. The next day Benjamin Rouer* de Villeray, the commander of Fort Gaspereau, accepted the same terms without a shot being fired. Monckton’s success in the campaign was based upon surprise and good deployment of superior resources.
Precipitate collapse of the French defence of the Chignecto Isthmus left Monckton and Lawrence in command of an army of some 2,500 men, most of whom had volunteered for a whole year and all of whom were being paid and provisioned by the British government; in fact, unknown to the Treasury, the operation was being financed out of the annual parliamentary grant for the administration of Nova Scotia. Following supplementary orders, Monckton dispatched a small squadron to investigate the situation at the mouth of the Saint John River (N.B.), and by 2 July he had learned that the French garrison there had blown up its fort and retired. With his major responsibilities carried out so quickly, Monckton used his own men and hired Acadians to repair Fort Beauséjour (renamed Fort Cumberland) and to improve area roads. Many of the local inhabitants surrendered their arms, including the prominent partisan Joseph Brossard*, dit Beausoleil. But when the Acadian deputies negotiating with Lawrence refused the unqualified oath of allegiance, as they had done successfully for decades, Lawrence used his unprecedented military forces to respond with unprecedented severity: he ordered the expulsion of the Acadians. With characteristic efficiency but no apparent enthusiasm, Monckton carried out his orders to lure the inhabitants into custody, to burn their villages, and to supervise the deportation of the 1,100 people he collected in Chignecto.
Sole victor in a year of British defeats in North America, Monckton was made lieutenant governor of Nova Scotia in December 1755. During the next three years he acted as governor twice, both times handling preparations for the colony’s first legislature. He was thus occupied in the summer of 1758 when AMHERST captured Louisbourg. That autumn he was given command of an expedition to scourge the Saint John River country (N. B.). A force of nearly 2,300 men, including the 2nd battalion Royal American Regiment (60th Foot) of which Monckton was now colonel, provided the base and advance troops for a cautious, deliberate expedition which destroyed houses, cattle, and crops for some 70 miles up the river. Few people were captured, but the expedition’s purpose was to force any Acadians raiding British-held territory to retire to Quebec by spring. Begun on 11 September, the operation was completed on 21 November. Early in 1759 Amherst called Monckton south to New York, intending he should command the southern region. Monckton was still in New York when James Wolfe* chose him to be second in command in the campaign against Quebec that summer.
Monckton’s role in the capture of Quebec was considerable. Shortly after the arrival of the British fleet at Quebec [see Sir Charles Saunders], Monckton led the four regiments that established control of the south shore of the St Lawrence River at Pointe-Lévy (Lauzon and Lévis). Initially intended to protect the fleet, this position was soon used by Wolfe to establish powerful batteries facing the city. Monckton commanded the unsuccessful attempt to land on the Beauport shore on 31 July, though he had been sceptical of the plan. As the summer wore on, Wolfe’s frustration prompted harsh measures against vulnerable settlements. There is evidence that Monckton delayed and moderated the execution of these orders in his command on the south shore. Tension between Monckton and Wolfe appeared briefly, though it was not as serious as Wolfe’s differences with the other senior members of his staff. At the end of August, Wolfe asked his brigadiers for their written opinion on three alternative battle plans, all focusing on the Beauport shore. Monckton, Murray, and George Townshend* rejected all three plans, and proposed attacking above Quebec – a concept which proved successful. Monckton commanded the crucial landing at Anse au Foulon early on 13 September and the British right on the Plains of Abraham later that day, being wounded through the chest during the battle. He resented Townshend’s excluding him from the negotiations for the capitulation of the city and recovered quickly enough to assume command of the city and its environs. In the month he served in this capacity Monckton displayed firmness in punishing soldiers who committed crimes and showed concern for the civilian population. One of his last orders, urging commanders not to allow their men to marry local girls, was a grudging admission that the army’s relations with the Canadians were improving.
Monckton left Quebec for New York on 26 October. Honours were mixed with new responsibilities; he had been made colonel of the 17th Foot earlier that month and on 29 April 1760 became commander of the British troops in the southern provinces. In February 1761 he was promoted major-general and on 20 March became governor and commander-in-chief in the province of New York. Monckton crowned his successful military career the following winter as commander of the army that captured the West Indian island of Martinique. His overwhelming forces took the supposedly impregnable French position within three weeks of landing. The terms of capitulation, modelled on the surrender of Guadeloupe in 1759 with minor changes, suggest that Monckton was a careful and well-informed negotiator. By June 1762 he was back at his post in New York. Monckton left North America for England on 28 June 1763, though he retained the governorship of New York until 14 June 1765, and was subsequently regarded as a “friend of America.” After exoneration by a court martial in 1764 on charges brought by a dismissed officer, Monckton became governor of Berwick-upon-Tweed on 14 June 1765 and was promoted lieutenant-general in 1770.
Luckless investment in the East India Company in this turbulent period of its history stimulated Monckton’s interest in, and need for, a post in India. Though he first had royal support, and later had the company’s nomination, he was not appointed commander-in-chief of the army there. He declined the government’s alternative offer of the command of the army in America when that post became vacant but accepted a valuable land grant on the West Indian island of St Vincent. In 1774 he served briefly again as MP for Pontefract, but seems to have played no part in the Coercive Acts or the Quebec Act.
Governor of Portsmouth, England, from 1778, and MP for the town in the Admiralty interest, Monckton held these positions until his death in 1782. He was buried in St Mary Abbot’s Church, Kensington (London).
BROSSARD (Broussard), dit Beausoleil, JOSEPH,
settler, member of the militia; b. 1702 at Port-Royal (Annapolis Royal, N.S.), son of Jean-François Brossard* and Catherine Richard; d. 1765 in Louisiana. (The Pennylvania Gazette tells us that he had been to France.)
Joseph Brossard is still revered today, particularly by the Acadians in Louisiana where he has become a legendary figure, for his bravery as leader of the resistance of the Acadians in the upper reaches of the Petitcodiac River at the time of the deportation. It must, however, be noted that not all of his exploits are recorded in the archives.
In September 1725, at Annapolis Royal, Brossard married Agnès, the daughter of Michel Thibodeau (Tibaudeau) and Agnès Dugas. Some years later he went to settle at Chipoudy (Shepody, N.B.), with his brother Alexandre. In this period Joseph was twice brought before the council of Annapolis. In 1724 he was accused of having treated an Acadian roughly, and in 1726 of being the father of an illegitimate child. Although he denied the latter accusation, he was imprisoned for some time for refusing to provide for the child’s maintenance.
Brossard settled at Le Cran (Stoney Creek, south of Moncton, N.B.) about 1740. At the time of the battle of Minas at the beginning of 1747, Brossard gave assistance to Nicolas-Antoine Coulon de Villiers’s troops. On 21 October William Shirley, governor of Massachusetts, outlawed Brossard and 11 others for having provisioned the French troops.
In June 1755 the British, who were disputing possession of the Chignecto isthmus with the French, laid siege to Fort Beauséjour (near Sackville, N.B.). Brossard engaged in some skirmishes against the invaders and, in one outing, captured a British officer. In relating this incident the French officer Louis-Thomas Jacau* de Fiedmont testified that Brossard was recognized to be one of the bravest and most enterprising of the Acadians. On 16 June, the very day the fort capitulated, he was so bold as to attack the British camp with 60 men, French and Indians; he lost only one man. Two days later, provided with a safe conduct, he went to see Colonel Robert Monckton* for he proposed acting as mediator between the British and Indians on condition that he be granted an amnesty. Monckton agreed to this arrangement, subject, however, to Charles Lawrence’s approval.
Brossard and his family probably took to the woods at the time of the deportation of the Acadians. It is possible that he joined forces with Charles Deschamps* de Boishébert, along with the other heads of families in the region, to resist a British detachment which had come to devastate Chipoudy and Petitcodiac in September 1755. Shortly afterwards, Brossard, under orders from Governor Pierre de Rigaud* de Vaudreuil, fitted out a small privateer and was successful in capturing some prizes in the Bay of Fundy. Aided by his four sons and the Acadians who had taken refuge along the Petitcodiac River, he continued to harass the British forces. It was perhaps during an encounter with the troops commanded by George SCOTT which had come to lay waste the Petitcodiac region in November 1758 that he was wounded in the foot and obliged to go for a time to the other side of the Miramichi River.
A few Acadians were still resisting the British authorities in 1761 after the fall of Quebec and Louisbourg, Cape Breton Island. William Forster, a British colonel, wrote to General Jeffery Amherst* in August 1761: “These people are Spirited up in their obstinacy by one BeauSoleil . . . and one or two others who have already rendered themselves so obnoxious to the English that they are conscious of the treatment they deserve at our hands.” Brossard was reduced to a state of famine by November, and had no recourse but to surrender, along with a group of settlers, to Colonel Joseph Frye, the commandant of Fort Cumberland (formerly Fort Beauséjour). In October of the following year Brossard and his family were among the prisoners held in Fort Edward (Windsor, N.S.). Subsequently, they were sent to Halifax where they were confined until the treaty of Paris in 1763. Later in the year Brossard was arrested at Pisiquid (Windsor) and found to be in possession of a letter written by the ambassador of France in London in which the Acadians were urged to leave and go to France. Brought once more before the governor’s council in Halifax, he was not released until the following year; it was then, it seems, that he chartered a schooner to sail to Saint-Domingue (Hispaniola) with some other Acadians. The climate overcame many of them, and Brossard is believed to have taken the survivors to Louisiana at the beginning of 1765.
On 8 April 1765, in New Orleans, Charles-Philippe Aubry, the commandant of Louisiana, appointed Joseph Brossard captain of the militia and commandant of the Acadians in the region of the Attackapas, which included the parishes of Saint-Landry, Saint-Martin, and Lafayette. He died a few months later and was buried on 20 October at Beausoleil, near the site of the present-day town of Broussard, a few miles south of Lafayette.
DESCHAMPS DE BOISHÉBERT ET DE RAFFETOT, CHARLES,
officer in the colonial regular troops; b. 7 Feb. 1727 at Quebec, son of Henri-Louis Deschamps* de Boishébert and Louise-Geneviève de Ramezay; m. 7 Sept. 1760 his cousin Charlotte-Élisabeth-Antoinette Deschamps de Boishébert et de Raffetot at Cliponville (dept of Seine-Maritime), France, and they had one son; d. 9 Jan 1797 at Raffetot (near Rouen), France.
Charles Deschamps de Boishébert entered upon a military career early in life. His name appears on a list of gentlemen cadets dated 1 Oct. 1739, with the comment “a promising young man, very steady.” In 1742 he joined the Quebec garrison as assistant adjutant. During the years 1744 and 1745 he participated in several expeditions along the New York frontier.
To counterbalance the British presence in Acadia, which had increased since the capture of Louisbourg, Île Royale (Cape Breton Island), by William Pepperrell*’s troops in 1745, a force of some 700 soldiers, with Indian support, left Quebec for Acadia in June 1746 under the command of Jean-Baptiste-Nicolas-Roch de RAMEZAY. On his arrival Ramezay learned of the presence of British troops at Port-La-Joie (Fort Amherst, P.E.I.) and he sent Boishébert there on reconnaissance. Boishébert reported two British warships and 200 soldiers, and he apparently accompanied the party of Micmacs and a few young officers under Joseph-Michel LEGARDEUR de Croisille et de Montesson which returned to attack the enemy at Port-La-Joie. In October, and until 3 November, he took part in the unsuccessful siege of Annapolis Royal (N.S.), the British administrative and military headquarters in Acadia. During the winter Ramezay prepared an expedition against the force under Arthur Noble* which was stationed at Grand Pré. Boishébert was wounded in the battle fought there on 11 Feb. 1747 (N.S.). Following this French victory he returned to Quebec with the rest of the troops. In August he was placed in command of a cartel-ship leaving for Gaspé, where he was to effect an exchange of prisoners with the British. The mission accomplished, he returned again to Quebec.
On 28 Feb. 1748 Boishébert was promoted lieutenant, and he soon was engaged in operations in yet another part of New France. The previous year had seen the threat of a general Indian uprising in the west [see Orontony*], and in the spring of 1748 Boishébert was among the reinforcements sent under Pierre-Joseph Céloron* de Blainville to Detroit, which was particularly endangered. He took part in an expedition that took revenge on the Indians for attacks that had been made on the French in the vicinity.
From 1749 Boishébert was again in Acadia. At this time the boundary question, unresolved since 1713, was taking a new turn: France had decided to set the limits of Acadia at the Missaguash River [see Jean-Louis LE LOUTRE]. Boishébert was sent to the mouth of the Saint John River to oppose any attempt by the British to establish themselves there. A lively discussion took place immediately after his arrival when John Rous*, the senior British naval officer on the Nova Scotia station, arrived to claim the mouth of the Saint John for the British. Boishébert nonetheless remained firm. He rebuilt Fort Menagouèche (Saint John, N.B.) and, disguised as a fisherman, went up and down the coasts of Acadia in order to assess the Acadians’ loyalty to France.
In 1751 Governor La Jonquière [Taffanel*] gave Boishébert the honour of carrying the official dispatches to France; at court he received a gratuity of 2,000 livres. The next year he was back in Canada, and he soon became involved in the west once more. To counter the threat of British expansion into the Ohio valley, Governor DUQUESNE had decided to link Lake Erie to the Ohio by a series of forts. Boishébert, whom the governor described as “a very zealous and deserving officer,” led an advance detachment which left Montreal in February 1753 to prepare for the arrival of the main force. He landed at Presqu’île (Erie, Pa) early in May 1753 and apparently spent the summer in the region, under the orders of Paul Marin* de La Malgue, who was in command of the expedition. On 28 August he was put in charge of Fort de la Rivière au Bœuf (Waterford, Pa), but he held this posting only briefly.
By late autumn Boishébert was back in Quebec. In 1754 he again left for Acadia, with the title of commandant of Fort La Tour, at the mouth of the Saint John, and there he worked to counter persistent British efforts to establish themselves. He also made a study of the harbours between Acadia and Boston. The capture of Fort Beauséjour (near Sackville, N.B.) on 16 June 1755 by MONCKTON’s forces marked a turning-point in Boishébert’s career. Immediately after the fort fell, the British commander dispatched a large detachment against the handful of militiamen at Fort La Tour. As there was no hope of a successful outcome, Boishébert burned his fort before the enemy arrived and sought refuge among the local populace, continuing meanwhile to fight the enemy. The rest of his career in Acadia was spent working to secure the Acadians’ loyalty to France, bringing to French territory as many of those in British-occupied regions as possible, and with the Indians’ help constantly skirmishing against the enemy.
Shortly after the capture of Fort Beauséjour Boishébert learned that the British intended to attack the villages of Chipoudy (Shepody), Petitcodiac (near Hillsborough), and Memramcook; he immediately left for Chipoudy but arrived too late to prevent the village from being destroyed. On 3 Sept. 1755, however, he confronted a British detachment at Petitcodiac. After three hours of desperate struggle, during which they suffered heavy losses, the British fled. Boishébert, who had lost only one man, returned to the Saint John River with 30 of the most destitute families.
In order to forestall any British notion of taking revenge on the Acadians, Boishébert sent his lieutenant, François Boucher de Niverville (Nebourvele) Grandpré, to the Petitcodiac region. This officer was also to prevent supplies and munitions from being transported between the Fort Beauséjour region and Baie-Verte. In the mean time Boishébert himself went to Memramcook to keep the British from landing there. He spent part of the winter of 1755–56 at Cocagne (near Shediac). On 24 January he was caught in a British ambush nearby but succeeded in escaping without loss. On 17 March 1756 he was promoted captain.
Boishébert’s constant vigilance over these settlements shows clearly that he wanted at all cost to prevent further systematic deportations of the Acadians by the British. The settlers had already been deported from the region of Tintemarre (Tantramar), despite Boishébert’s attempts to evacuate the most destitute families. His efforts were limited by a scarcity of supplies, which coincided from 1756 to 1758 with a period of extreme poverty for most Acadians. Boishébert’s position was further complicated by the enemy’s constant advance. According to prisoners who had been taken to Quebec, there was a permanent detachment of 1,000 British at Fort Cumberland (the former Fort Beauséjour), 150 in the Baie-Verte region, and 150 at Fort Lawrence (near Amherst, N.S.). Boishébert nevertheless held his ground on the Saint John River under difficult conditions. On 12 Oct. 1756 he even undertook an expedition against Fort Monckton (formerly Fort Gaspereaux, near Port Elgin, N.B.), but the enemy evacuated the fort and set fire to it before he arrived. In January 1757 he went to the Miramichi River and there set up his headquarters and a refuge for the Acadians. With Father Charles GERMAIN’s help he tried to sustain the Acadians’ resistance to the British.
Boishébert’s orders were to go to the aid of Louisbourg, if necessary. In 1757 rumours of a planned British attack on the fortress led Augustin de Boschenry* de Drucour, governor of Île Royale, to send for him. The anticipated attack did not take place, and Boishébert withdrew to Quebec where he spent the winter. He was to leave for Louisbourg early in the spring of 1758, but he delayed his departure until the beginning of May. Bougainville* predicted that “having left too late, Boishébert will probably amuse himself trading in furs at Miramichi.” No evidence has been found that Boishébert was involved in trade, but he did indeed arrive too late. By the time he had collected a small force of Acadians and Indians and reached Louisbourg it was the beginning of July, and the British had landed a month earlier. He took up position at Miré (Mira), north of the fortress, and was expected to conduct guerrilla operations against the British siege lines. His efforts were of limited effectiveness, mainly because of the lack of munitions and supplies, the small number of soldiers under his command, and their poor physical condition. Some of the Indians and Acadians deserted so that he had but 140 able-bodied soldiers. In this precarious situation Boishébert succeeded in killing only one British soldier, taking one prisoner, and burning a guardhouse. Drucour and Abbé Pierre Maillard*, who was with the expedition, reproached him for his inactivity; Maillard later wrote that Boishébert had “from his earliest youth received more protection and favours than anyone else and so had been able to go to command at posts where there was more opportunity to become rich through trade than to win fame through military deeds.” Boishébert, who had been made a knight of the order of Saint-Louis earlier that year, was aware that a greater effort had been expected of him on the expedition.
After Louisbourg fell on 26 July 1758, Boishébert withdrew, with the enemy in pursuit. He brought back a large number of Acadians from the region around Port-Toulouse (St Peters, N. S.) to the security of his post on the Miramichi. On 13 August he left Miramichi with 400 soldiers for Fort St George (Thomaston, Maine). His detachment reached there on 9 September but was caught in an ambush and had to withdraw. This was Boishébert’s last Acadian expedition. In the autumn he left for Quebec. Montcalm*, who did not like Boishébert, wrote to LÉVIS: “He has made a hundred thousand écus in the last campaign,” and, indulging his inclination to gossip, added: “I think he is lavishing his youth and his money on you-know-who.”
With a corps of Acadian volunteers Boishébert took part in the defence of Quebec in the summer of 1759, and also in the decisive battle on the Plains of Abraham. In the winter he returned for the last time to Acadia, to gather reinforcements for the defence of Canada and to restore the morale of the discouraged Acadians. Learning upon his arrival that certain missionaries, among them abbés Jean Manach* and Pierre Maillard, had encouraged the Acadians to submit to the British, Boishébert spoke out against this attitude and vigorously reproached the missionaries for their baseness towards the mother country.
After the fall of Canada in 1760 Boishébert returned to France. He was accused of having participated in Intendant BIGOT’s schemes and shortly after was imprisoned in the Bastille. It was claimed that he had profited personally from the purchase in Quebec of supplies for the starving Acadians. After 15 months in prison he was acquitted.
In 1763 Boishébert was involved in plans for settling Acadians at Cayenne (French Guiana) and vainly tried to obtain a military appointment there. In 1774 his request for an appointment as inspector of colonial troops was turned down. His Canadian seigneury of La Bouteillerie, also known as Rivière-Ouelle, was sold that year. Until his death, on 9 Jan. 1797, he lived in France at Raffetot, a property he had acquired through his marriage.
LEBLANC, dit Le Maigre, JOSEPH,
farmer, trader, and Acadian patriot; b. 12 March 1697 at Les Mines (near Wolfville, N. S.), son of Antoine Leblanc and Marie Bourgeois; m. 13 Feb. 1719 Anne, daughter of Alexandre Bourg*, dit Belle-Humeur, and Marguerite Melanson, dit La Verdure; d. 19 Oct. 1772 at Kervaux, in the parish of Le Palais, Belle-Île, France.
So little is known of Joseph Leblanc’s early life that it is difficult to explain what prompted him to side with successive French efforts to reconquer Acadia in the 1740s. He was one of only a dozen patriots who actively supported the French at this time, and the pattern of his collaboration closely follows that of his contemporary, Joseph-Nicolas GAUTIER, dit Bellair.
Leblanc made a notable contribution to the expedition led by François Du Pont* Duvivier against Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia, in the late summer of 1744. For Leblanc this expedition was primarily a commercial venture: in a petition, drafted some years later, he claimed that it had cost him 4,500 livres though the extant accounts total only 1,200 livres. Leblanc’s figures may well have been inflated to include expenses incurred in carrying Duvivier’s dispatches to Louisbourg, Île Royale (Cape Breton Island), during the siege of Annapolis Royal in September. On the 22nd of that month Duvivier ordered him to go to Louisbourg post-haste, “on pain of being handed over to the mercy of the savages.” It was 18 October before Leblanc reported back, and by that time Duvivier was at Beaubassin (near Amherst, N.S.), having lifted the siege. Duvivier’s threat notwithstanding, Leblanc had seized the opportunity to take a number of sheep and black cattle to sell in Louisbourg.
In the aftermath of the expedition, the Nova Scotia authorities sought out those Acadians who had collaborated with the French. Leblanc at first refused to appear before the Nova Scotia Council, “as so many things were falsely Imputed to him which made him afraid.” When he was finally persuaded to come forth he pleaded ignorance of any wrongdoing, “not being enlightened enough to distinguish between a time of war and a time of untroubled peace.” However implausible, his explanations appear to have satisfied the council for he was asked to do nothing more than post £100 as a bond of good behaviour.
Within months, in the summer of 1745, Leblanc was busily engaged in assisting a new French effort led by Paul Marin de La Malgue. He was captured, charged, convicted, and incarcerated for six months at Annapolis Royal “in a frightful dungeon, laden with chains.” In February 1746 he managed to escape, just in time to assist the huge French fleet commanded by the Duc d’Anville [LA Rochefoucauld] which had been sent to recapture both Acadia and Île Royale. At Minas Leblanc assembled 230 head of livestock to provision the fleet. By the time his herds arrived at Annapolis Royal, however, the ill-fated expedition had come to its inauspicious end. Having lost 2,000 livres in his abortive speculation, and now at the mercy of the British authorities, Leblanc abandoned his assets at Minas and fled to the remote Beaubassin region.
When Île Royale was restored to France in 1749, Leblanc settled with his family at Port-Toulouse (St Peters). Late in 1750, Jacques Prévost* de La Croix, the financial commissary of the colony, described him as being “reduced to begging.” He was given crown rations for three years; in 1752 he could claim only one small boat, 25 cattle, and 16 fowl.
After the fall of Louisbourg in 1758 Leblanc fled to Miquelon. Shortly after his wife died on 13 July 1766 he moved to Belle-Île-en-Mer (dept. of Morbihan), France, settling with his family among other Acadian refugees in the village of Kervaux. It is likely that he remained in France until his death there in 1772.
settler; b. 3 Aug. 1734 in Rivière-des-Héberts (near River Hebert), N.S., son of Pierre Cormier and Cécile Thibodeau (Thibaudeau); d. 24 March 1818 in Memramcook, N.B.
Pierre Cormier’s family moved about 1750 to the French-controlled side of the Chignecto Isthmus, perhaps in response to the blandishments of Jean-Louis Le Loutre*, and in 1752 they were living at Aulac (N.B.). Early in 1755 Pierre married Anne Gaudet, daughter of Augustin Gaudet and Agnès Chiasson of nearby Tintemarre (Tantramar). Anne was often called Nannette; hence Pierre came to be nicknamed Pierrot à Nannette. They were to have five sons and two daughters.
Cormier’s repute derives from the colourful tradition of his escape from the British on the eve of the Acadian deportation of 1755 [see Charles Lawrence*]. There is more than one version of this tradition, but the greatest credibility may be given that recorded in 1877 by the genealogist Placide Gaudet*, who had the advantage of consulting many of Cormier’s grandchildren. According to Gaudet’s account, Pierrot, taken prisoner with his brothers at Jolicœur (Jolicure, N.B.), was put aboard a Carolina-bound deportation vessel but slipped overboard the night before its departure. By creeping through the tall hay on shore he attained an aboiteau guarded by British soldiers and, when their backs were turned, clambered onto the butt of a timber over the water. Swinging from one butt end to another, he succeeded in crossing the aboiteau unobserved. On the other bank he again crept through the fields until he was able to break for the woods. After narrowly evading a band of soldiers tracking him with a dog, he arrived at an extent of water separating him from an Acadian encampment. Once recognized he was soon crossed over. Learning from these families that his own had fled the night before toward Quebec, Pierrot immediately left in search of them. The Cormiers were reunited at Sainte-Anne (near Fredericton, N.B.), where they remained until Robert Monckton*’s raids persuaded them to move to Kamouraska (Que.), likely in 1758.
According to another tradition, Pierrot, Jacques, and François Cormier were serving in the militia at the fall of Quebec in 1759. Subsequently they joined a French frigate at Pointe-Lévy (Lauzon and Lévis), lured with other young Acadians by promises of passage to France. After engagement with two British war vessels near the fîlets Jacques-Cartier, the frigate ran aground. Only about 60 of 160 crew members managed to swim ashore through the icy April waters, but these included the three Cormier brothers. This tradition likely refers to the encounter off Cap-Rouge between Jean Vauquelin* and Robert Swanton* in May 1760.
Pierre Cormier and Anne Gaudet resided at L’Islet (Que.) between 1761 and 1764, but about 1765 they returned to Sainte-Anne with his mother and four brothers. By July 1783 Pierrot had cleared 20 acres of a tract he had continuously occupied for 13 years. The Acadians of Sainte-Anne had not secured title to their farms, however, and grants to disbanded soldiers and loyalists were soon encroaching on what they considered to be their land. They deemed the small acreage reserved to them insufficient to support their families. Learning of vacant land on the west side of the Memramcook River, about 20 families removed there between autumn 1786 and summer 1787, including those of Pierre Cormier and four of his married children. Pierrot had meantime lost his Nannette, and his aged mother died during the trip.
The vacant land at Memramcook had been granted to Joseph Goreham* and then sold to Joseph Frederick Wallet DesBarres*. On 5 June 1792 the Cormiers and others presented a memorial to the New Brunswick government complaining of the “extravagant” demands of DesBarres’s assign, Mary Cannon*, and arguing that his land should be escheated and granted to them in consideration of the substantial improvements made during their occupation. Their efforts were thwarted by DesBarres and his agents, but it was not until after 1809 that they were turned out to find other places to live in the Memramcook valley.
STEPHEN A. WHITE
AD, Charente-Maritime (La Rochelle), État civil, Beaubassin, 1712–48 (mfm. at CÉA). AN, Section Outre-mer, G1, 466, no.30. Arch. paroissiales, Saint-Thomas (Memramcook, N.-B.), Reg. des baptémes, mariages et sépultures (mfm. at CÉA). CÉA, Fonds Placide Gaudet, 1.28-6,1.33-7, 1.64-24; “Notes généalogiques sur les familles acadiennes, c.1600–1900,” dossier Cormier-3. PANB, RG 10, RS108, Petition of William Anderson, 1785; Petition of Charles Bickle, 1785; Petition of French inhabitants of Dorchester, 1809; Petition of John Jouett, 1785; Petition of John Ruso, 1785; Petition of Joseph Sayre, 1786. PANS, RG 1, 409. Tanguay, Dictionnaire, 3: 129. Clément Cormier, “La famille Cormier en Amérique,” L’Évangéline (Moncton, N.-B.), 8 août 1951: 4–5; 10 août 1951: 5. Placide Gaudet, “La famille Cormier,” Le Moniteur acadien (Shédiac, N.-B.), 22, 29 janv. 1885.
THIBODEAU (Thibaudeau), SIMON,
potter; b. c. 1739 in Pisiquid (Windsor, N.S.), son of Alexis Thibodeau and Marie-Anne Blanchard; d. 24 Oct. 1819 in Saint-Denis, on the Richelieu, Lower Canada.
The Thibodeaus, like many Acadian families, were deported in 1755 [see Charles Lawrence*] and ended up in Philadelphia, Pa. They went to live in Boston, Mass., around 1763, and then in 1770 settled at Quebec. Simon Thibodeau probably accompanied his family in all its moves and did his apprenticeship in the Thirteen Colonies with Pierre Vincent, a relative who was also in exile.
In 1774 Thibodeau, who was a master potter by then, was living in the faubourg Saint-Roch; there he bought a frame-house that was “falling into ruins,” likely with the intent of setting up shop. On 12 June 1775, at Quebec, he married Marie-Anne Drolet, daughter of a master blacksmith. In the autumn of that year he enlisted in the Canadian militia of Quebec, and in December he joined his fellow citizens in repulsing the attack by the American forces under Richard Montgomery*.
In 1776 Thibodeau displayed his business sense when he decided to leave Quebec, where there were already several potters, and to buy a lot at Saint-Denis for a workshop. He was in this way recognizing the possibilities of the region for a potter: it was a prosperous rural area within easy reach of the Montreal market via the St Lawrence and of the United States via the Richelieu; it also had abundant greyish-blue clay along the banks of the river as well as in the open fields just a foot below the surface.
At Saint-Denis Thibodeau, who was well informed about both domestic demand and the requirements of the American market, put his capabilities as a businessman and a meticulous craftsman to use in his enterprise. In 1785 he sold his first site at Saint-Denis to Louis Robichaud, who was also a master potter, and moved to the riverside, where the clay was of better quality and easier to extract.
The potter’s craft included the tasks of extracting the clay, fashioning the pieces, drying, glazing, and firing. Although shaping the articles and preparing the solution for glazing remained the prerogatives of the master, the other tasks could be carried out by apprentices. With this in mind Thibodeau in 1779 took on Joseph Leprince for 6 years, and then in 1788 engaged Nicolas Prévot for 12 years. Thibodeau’s workshop made terrines, bowls, pitchers, and jars for household use, to meet the needs of the habitants, who used earthenware for preparing, cooking, and preserving food.
Thibodeau’s business was highly prosperous, and he invested his money in real estate. In 1783 he obtained a site in the faubourg Saint-Roch at Quebec from the Jesuits and the following year had it surveyed with a view to putting up a house. In 1788 he rented this house, to which he added a stable, to his brother-in-law François Coupeaux, and in 1815 sold it for £240. Thibodeau also rented his other house in the faubourg Saint-Roch to a master cooper. In addition he purchased a farm, a woodlot to supply his kilns with fuel, and pieces of land in the Saint-Denis region.
In his private as in his professional life Thibodeau associated mainly with members of his family and other craftsmen. In particular he continued to maintain relations with Pierre Vincent, who became to some degree his agent at Quebec, assuming responsibility for collecting his rentals. At Saint-Denis he struck up a friendship with Louis Bourdages*, a notary and member of the assembly, who was the son of Acadians; in 1810 Bourdages wrote and promoted the sale of a “seditious” pamphlet entitled Le sincère ami, to which Thibodeau subscribed.
Thibodeau’s wife, Marie-Anne, died on 6 June 1816. She had borne six children, four of whom died in infancy. Thibodeau then had an inventory drawn up of his assets. He possessed more than 15,000 livres in Spanish piastres. In addition he held several loans and four pieces of land in the Richelieu valley. His house was very large, comparable in size to the homes of the prominent villagers; his furniture was well made, and his possessions gave proof of his wealth and easy circumstances. A year after his wife’s death Thibodeau, who had given up his workshop, made a gift of everything he owned to his son Joseph, a merchant in Saint-Denis. In return he asked Joseph to provide him with board and lodging and to supply him with a horse every year. He also enjoined his son to take care of him and to secure for him the comforts of religion.
Simon Thibodeau died on 24 Oct. 1819 and was buried the next day at Saint-Denis. No one in his family had taken over the workshop to carry on his line of production; but Saint-Denis had, under Thibodeau, become a place favoured by potters and it would continue to be so long after his death.