French Ontario in the 17th and 18th Centuries: Important People and Places - Page Banner

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Important People - Title Graphic

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Jacques Duperon Baby (1731-1789)

Fur trader and interpreter in Detroit. He and his brothers established a successful fur trade business in the years following the Conquest. Jacques himself became a judge and militia captain in 1788. His descendants and those of his brothers played an important role in the political and economic life of Upper Canada throughout the 19th century.


Jacques (James) Duperon Baby (1763-1833)

Politician, civil servant, militia officer and landowner in Detroit and York (Toronto). The son of Jacques Duperon Baby. In 1792 he was among the first people appointed to the Executive and Legislative Councils of Upper Canada. He served in a number of other capacities, including Inspector general, and was a member of the Family Compact.


Pierre Boucher (1622-1717)

Interpreter, soldier, seigneur and judge. Author of a Histoire véritable et naturelle des mœurs et productions du pays de la Nouvelle-France (1663), a report to the French Court and public on the colony's situation and resources. The report lead to New France being made a crown colony in 1665 as well as French troops being sent to fight the Iroquois.

Photo: Pierre Boucher Monument, Quebec, 1923 - (Detail)


Joseph Brant

See Thayendanegea


Étienne Brûlé,([ca. 1592]-1633)

Interpreter and explorer. He went to live with the Algonquin in 1610 and was the first European to see the Great Lakes. He explored an area ranging from the Great Lakes to modern-day Maryland. His adoption of First Nations ways of living made him suspect to religious authorities, and his actions during the English occupation of Quebec (1629-1632) led to his murder by the Huron.

Painting: Étienne Brûlé at the mouth of the Humber


Antoine Laumet de Lamothe Cadillac, (1658-1730)

Military officer and explorer. He founded Detroit in 1701. He was also commander at Michilimakinac and Governor of Louisiana.


Canadian Martyrs

Title given by the Catholic Church to eight French Jesuits and donnés (lay assistants) killed while doing missionary work among the Huron, Petun and Iroquois, between 1642 and 1648. They were canonized in 1930.

  • Jean de Brébeuf, (1593-1649)
  • Noël Chabanel, (1612-1649)
  • Antoine Daniel, (1601-1648)
  • Charles Garnier, (1606-1649)
  • René Goupil, (1608-1642)
  • Isaac Jogues, (1607-1646)
  • Jean de La Lande, (died in 1646)
  • Gabriel Lalemand, (1610-1649)
Photo: Canadian Martyrs Church

René-Robert Cavelier de La Salle, (1643-1687)

Explorer, trader and seigneur. He was involved in the foundation of Fort Frontenac (1673) and built Fort Niagara and the Griffon, the first sailing ship on Lake Erie (1679). He found the mouth of the Mississippi (1682), but a later attempt at finding the Mississippi from the sea and establishing a settlement ended in failure and his murder.


Samuel de Champlain, ([ca. 1570]-1635)

Explorer, cartographer and colonizer. He was one of the founders of the Sainte-Croix settlement (1604) and the founder of Quebec (1608). As Governor of New France, he advocated commercial expansion, missionary work and settlement . He travelled in Ontario in 1613 and 1615.

Photo: Samuel de Champlain Statue
Click to see
a larger image (99K)


Pierre-François-Xavier de Charlevoix, (1682-1761)

Jesuit priest, explorer, geographer and historian. He visited North America (1720-1723) on a mission to study the possible existence of a Mer de l’ouest (Western Sea). He later wrote extensively on his mission and on the geography, nature and history of the Americas.


Médart Chouart Des Groseilliers, (1618-[1696?])

Explorer and coureur des bois. He explored the Lake Superior and Hudson Bay areas with his companion Pierre-Esprit Radisson, first for France and later for England. Their work for the English led to the formation of the Hudson's Bay Company.


Daniel Greysolon Duluth, ([ca. 1639]-1710)

Military officer, explorer and coureur des bois. He explored the Lake Superior and Upper Mississippi areas (1679-1686).


Louis Jolliet, (1645-1700)

Explorer, cartographer, fur trader and seigneur. He navigated the Mississippi to the Arkansas River with Jacques Marquette (1673). He was also involved in the fur trade in the Great Lakes area and the north shore of the St. Lawrence River.


Pierre Gaultier de La Vérendrye, (1685-1749)

Military officer, explorer and fur trader. While searching for a route to the Pacific, he explored the Upper Missouri and Saskatchewan Rivers areas (1731-1743). He claimed both these areas for France.



Louis-Armand de Lom d’Arce, baron de Lahontan, (1666-[before 1716])

Military officer and writer. He served in New France from 1683 to 1693. He later wrote books on his years in the colony, which were very popular at the time and contributed to the image Europeans had of North America.


Jacques Marquette, (1637-1675)

Jesuit missionary and explorer. He navigated the Mississippi to the Arkansas River with Louis Jolliet (1673). He died shortly after of illness while doing missionary work among the First Nations of the western Great Lakes.


Jean Nicollet, ([ca. 1598]-1642)

Interpreter and explorer. He visited the Lake Michigan area (1634), looking for a road to China. As an interpreter, he contributed to maintaining the alliances between the French and some of the First Nations of the interior during the English occupation of Quebec (1629-1632).


Pontiac ([between 1712 and 1725]-1768)

Member of the Ottawa First Nation. An influential man among the First Nations of the interior, he led them to war against the British and besieged Detroit (1763). As a result, the British designated the Great Lakes and Ohio areas as “Indian Territory”, but this did little to stop the expansion of white settlement which First Nations opposed.



Joseph-Geneviève Comte de Puisaye, (1755-1827)

A general in the French royalist armies fighting the French Revolution, he founded a royalist settlement in York County, Upper Canada (1798-1802). The settlement was a failure, however, and Puisaye settled at Niagara before returning to England in 1803.



Laurent Quetton St. George, (1771-1821)

French royalist and merchant in York (Toronto). He came to the colony with the Comte de Puisaye in 1798, then established a prosperous business in York. He returned to France when the Monarchy was restored (1815).



Pierre-Esprit Radisson, ([ca. 1640]-ca. 1710]

Explorer and coureur des bois. He explored the Lake Superior and Hudson Bay areas with his companion Médart Chouart des Groseilliers, first for France and later for England. Their work for the English led to the formation of the Hudson's Bay Company.


Jean Baptiste Rousseau, (1758-1812)

Interpreter, merchant and militia officer in York (Toronto) and Ancaster. His family and business relationship with Mohawk leader Thayendanegea (Joseph Brant) enabled him to succeed economically. Jean Baptiste was also involved in the founding of York and Ancaster.


Gabriel Sagard, ([15--]-1636)

Récollet missionary. He served in Huronia (1624-1625). He later wrote a Histoire du Canada, which constitutes an important source of information on the first years of New France. Sagard also compiled a French Huron dictionary (1636).


Simon-François Daumont de Saint-Lusson, (died after 1677)

Military officer and explorer. He explored the Great Lakes area and routes leading to the West. He formally claimed the Great Lakes area for France, at Sault Ste. Marie, 1671.


Thayendanegea ([1742 or 1743]-1807)

Mohawk interpreter, war chief and statesman, also known as Joseph Brant. He was an ally of the British during the American Revolution, and afterward led the emigration of the Mohawk and other First Nations from the United States to the Grand River in Upper Canada.


Pierre chevalier de Troyes, (died in 1688)

Military officer. He led an inland expedition to take English forts at Hudson Bay (1686), of which he left a written account. He died while commanding Fort Niagara and preparing for an offensive against the Iroquois.


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Important Places - Title Graphic

 
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Albany

Located on the Hudson River, Albany was built by the Dutch in 1624 as Fort Orange. It became English in 1663. It was the main British fur trading post during the 17th and 18th centuries.


Annapolis

Founded in 1605 by the French as Port Royal, it was the main town in Acadia. Port Royal was captured by the British in 1710 and renamed Annapolis.


Boston

Founded in 1630 in Massachusetts, Boston was the birthplace of the American Revolution.


Charleston

Founded in 1670, during the 18th century it was the main port for the southern British colonies. Charleston was located in South Carolina.


Detroit

Founded in 1701 by Cadillac, it became, after difficult beginnings, the most important white settlement in the interior. It was occupied by the British in 1760 and besieged by First Nations led by Pontiac in 1763. It officially became American in 1783, but the British did not evacuate the settlement until 1796.

Map: Detroit


Fort Carillon

A fort built by the French in 1755 on Lake Champlain. It was captured by the British in 1759 and renamed Ticonderoga.


Fort Chambly

French fort built in 1666 on the Richelieu River. It protected the route to Montreal. It was captured by the British in 1760.


Fort Cumberland

British fort built in 1754 on the Potomac River.


Fort Duquesne

Fort built by the French in 1754 at the junction of the Ohio, Allegheny and Monongahela Rivers. It was captured by the British in 1758 and renamed Pittsburgh.


Fort Frontenac

First built in 1673 on the site of current-day Kingston. It became a naval base and shipbuilding site, and a transit place for the fur trade. The British destroyed it in 1758, and later used the site for their own military and settlement purposes.


Fort Kaministiquia

A trading post at the mouth of the Kaministiquia River. Founded in 1678, Fort Kaministiquia served as a base for French trade and exploration west of Lake Superior. The Northwest Company (British) built a new fort, Fort William, on this site in 1803. Today, it is part of Thunder Bay.


Fort Miami

French fort first built in 1719 on the site of Fort Wayne, Indiana. It was occupied by the British during the Seven Years War, and destroyed in 1763.


Fort Niagara

A fort first built in 1689 on the west bank of the Niagara River, at Lake Ontario (American side). It was abandoned, then rebuilt in 1725 as an important military installation controlling the route to the Ohio Valley. It was captured by the British in 1759 and occupied by them until 1796 when it passed to the Americans.


Fort Rouillé

The last of three forts to be built in the area given the name Toronto, during the French Regime. This area included the Humber River as well as the surrounding area. Fort Rouillé, was destroyed in 1759.

Photo: Fort Toronto (Rouillé) Monument, [ca. 1890]

Click to see a
larger image (159K)


Fort Rupert

An English fort located on the Nemiskau River, at James Bay (now in Quebec). Fort Rupert was captured by the French in 1686. The ownership of the fort remained in dispute between the two countries until the Treaty of Utrecht (1713) awarded it to Great Britain.


Fort Vincennes

Located in modern-day Illinois, it was founded by the French in 1732. It was occupied by the British in 1760 and the Americans in 1778.


Fort William-Henry

Built by the British in 1755 near Lake Champlain, it changed hands at various times during the Seven Years War and the American Revolution. It became American as a result of the revolutionary war.


Halifax

Capital of Nova Scotia, founded in 1749.


Hudson Bay

The bay was first explored by Henry Hudson in 1611. The area was disputed between the French and English at the end of the 17th and beginning of the 18th century, and was awarded to Great Britain by the Treaty of Utrecht (1713).


Humber River

See Toronto


Huronia

Name given to the area occupied by the Huron First Nation, between Lake Simcoe and Georgian Bay. Champlain visited the area in 1615. It soon became the site of a major French missionary effort.


Jamestown

The first permanent English settlement in Virginia, founded in 1607.


Kaskaskia

French settlement built in 1703 on the Illinois River, it was the centre of a small French colony on the lower Illinois. It was occupied by the British in 1760 and the Americans in 1778.


Kingston

See Fort Frontenac


Louisbourg

A French fortress built in 1718 on Île Royale (now Cape Breton Island). It was captured by the British in 1758 and later destroyed.


Michilimakinac

Founded in 1670 and located in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, Michilimakinac was the site of a mission ( later a fort) . It became the most important trading post for the French fur trade. It was occupied by the British from 1761 to 1796, when it became American.


Mobile

Settlement built by the French on the Gulf of Mexico in 1702. It became British in 1763 and Spanish in 1783, before becoming American in 1813.


Montreal

A French settlement founded in 1642 on an island on the St. Lawrence River. It was an important base for fur traders. Montreal surrendered to the British in 1760 and was briefly occupied by the Americans in 1775-1776.


Moose Factory

Located on the Moose River, at James Bay. An English fort, it was captured by the French in 1686. An ongoing dispute over the Hudson and James Bay areas, including Moose Factory, continued between the two countries until the Treaty of Utrecht (1713) awarded it to Great Britain.


New France

Official name given to the French possessions in North America. At its maximum extent (around 1700), the area claimed by France extended from Hudson Bay to the Gulf of Mexico and from the Mississippi Valley to the Atlantic, excluding British and Spanish colonies along the Atlantic coast.


New Orleans

French settlement built near the mouth of the Mississippi in 1718. It became Spanish in 1763, returned to French rule in 1800 and was ceded to the United States in 1803.


New York

Located at the mouth of the Hudson River, it was built by the Dutch in 1626 as Nieuw (New ) Amsterdam. After its conquest in 1663, New York became one of the main towns of the British colonies.


Oswego

A British fort built on Lake Ontario in 1726. The fort became American in 1783, although the British continued to occupy it until 1796.


Petite côte

Site of a French settlement established in 1749 on the Detroit River, facing Detroit. It was renamed Sandwich after the British Conquest. It is now part of the City of Windsor.


Philadelphia

Town founded in 1682 on the Delaware River. In the 18th century it was the largest city in the British colonies and became the first capital of the United States.


Pickawillany

British fort and trading post located in modern-day Indiana. It was built in 1748 to counter French trade and influence, but was destroyed in 1752.


Province of Quebec

Colony created by Great Britain in 1763. It was originally limited to the St. Lawrence Valley, but was extended to include the Great Lakes area to the Mississippi and Ohio River under the Quebec Act (1774). Part of it was ceded to the United States (1783) and the rest was divided into Upper and Lower Canada in 1791.


Quebec

The capital of New France, founded by Samuel de Champlain on the St. Lawrence River in 1608. Quebec was captured by the British in 1759 and became the capital of British North America.


Sainte-Marie among the Hurons

Headquarters of the Jesuit missions to the Huron (1639-1649), located in Huron County. It was comprised of a fortified compound for French missionaries, lay assistants and soldiers, and a walled village for converted Huron. It was abandoned in 1649 during the Iroquois offensive on Huronia. The mission was rebuilt by the Government of Ontario in the 1960’s.

Photo: Sainte-Marie among the Hurons

San Augustine

A Spanish settlement in Florida, founded in 1565. It became British in 1763, Spanish again in 1783, and American in 1819.


Sandwich

See Petite côte


Sault Ste. Marie

French mission founded in 1668 between Lakes Huron and Superior.


Savannah

Founded in 1732, it was the first capital of Georgia.


Toronto

During the French Regime, the name Toronto was given to the Humber River as well as the surrounding area. Three forts were built in this area. The last fort to be built, Fort Rouillé, was destroyed in 1759. In 1792, a town was established and was called York until 1834 when it was renamed Toronto.


Trois-Rivières

A French settlement and trading post on the St. Lawrence River, founded in 1633.


Williamsburg

Founded in 1699, Williamsburg was Virginia's capital during most of the 18th century.


Windsor

See Petite côte.


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Chronology of Events - Title Graphic

17th Century - Section Graphic

1604

Founding of Sainte-Croix, the first French settlement in North America.


1608

Founding of Quebec by Samuel de Champlain.


1610

Champlain sends Étienne Brûlé to live among the First Nations.


1613

Champlain’s travel on the Ottawa River.


1615

Champlain travels to Huronia.

Beginning of the Récollets’ religion mission to the Huron.


1626

The Jesuits take charge of the Huron mission.


1629-1632

English occupation of New France.


1634

Jean Nicollet’s expedition to Lake Michigan.


1639

Establishment of Sainte-Marie Among the Hurons.


1648-1650

Destruction of Huronia and Sainte-Marie Among the Hurons.


1659-1660

Radisson and Des Groseillers’ trade expedition to Lake Superior.


1668

Establishment of a mission at Sault Ste. Marie.


1670

Establishment of a mission at Michilimakinac.

Founding of the Hudson's Bay Company by English merchants; Radisson and Des Groseillers are involved.


1670-1686

Main wave of state-sponsored French expeditions to the centre of the Continent, notably those of Marquette and Jolliet (1673) and Cavelier de La Salle (1682) on the Mississippi.


1671

At Sault Ste. Marie, Simon Daumont of Saint-Lusson claims the interior for Louis XIV, King of France.


1673

Building of Fort Frontenac (now Kingston).


1679

Building of Fort Niagara and Fort Michilimakinac.

Sinking of the Griffon, the first sailing ship on Lake Erie.


1686

Inland French expedition under the Chevalier de Troyes to capture English forts on Hudson Bay.


1688

Evacuation of Fort Niagara by the French.


1689

Evacuation of Fort Frontenac by the French.


1689-1697

War of the League of Augsburg.


1695

Re-building of Fort Frontenac by the French.


18th Century - Section Graphic

1701

Evacuation of the fort at Michilimakinac by the French.

Great Peace of Montreal between the French and the Iroquois.

Founding of Detroit by the French.


1701-1713

War of Spanish Succession.


1713

Treaty of Utrecht: Acadia (Nova Scotia), Newfoundland and Hudson Bay become British. To view a summary of the Treaty of Utrecht, click here.


1714

Building of a new fort at Michilimakinac by the French.


1720

Building of a French trade post at Niagara.


1720-1729

First French fort at Toronto.


1725

Re-building of Fort Niagara by the French.


1731-1743

Expeditions of La Vérendrye to the Upper Missouri and Saskatchewan Rivers.


1741-1748

War of Austrian Succession.


1749

Decrees by the Governor of New France to encourage settlement at Detroit. Settlement at la Petite côte (Windsor).


1749-1750

Second French fort at Toronto built.


1750

Building of the third French fort at Toronto (Fort Rouillé).


1754

First British-French battles in the Ohio River.


1756-1763

Seven Years War.


1758

Destruction of Fort Frontenac by the British.


1759

Capture of Fort Niagara.

Battle of the Plains of Abraham and fall of Quebec.


1759-1761

Destruction or surrender of the French forts of the interior.


1763

First Treaty of Paris: New France east of the Mississippi (except Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon) becomes British, Louisiana is ceded to Spain. To view a summary of the terms of the first Treaty of Paris, click here.

Royal Proclamation: British civil and criminal law is implemented, the interior is designated as “Indian Territory”. To view a summary of the Royal Proclamation, click here.

First Nations lead by Pontiac attack British troops and besiege Detroit.


1770

Building of a trading post at the mouth of the Toronto (Humber) River by Jean-Bonaventure Rousseau.


1774

Quebec Act: The Great Lakes Area becomes part of the Province of Quebec, French Civil Law is re-introduced. To view a summary of the Quebec Act, click here.


1775-1783

American Revolution.


1783

Second Treaty of Paris: The United States become independent; the frontier is set at the Great Lakes, but the British continue their occupation of some of the forts on the American side of the border. To view a summary of the terms of the second Treaty of Paris, click here.

Beginning of the Loyalist migration.


1791

Constitutional Act: the Province of Quebec is divided between Upper Canada (with an English-speaking majority and British Common Law) and Lower Canada (with a French-speaking majority and French Civil law). To view a summary of the Constitutional Act, click here.


1794

Jay's Treaty: The British formally end their occupation of the American forts along the border between the United Sates and British North America. To view a summary of the terms of Jay's Treaty, click here.


1796

The British leave Detroit, Michilimakinac, Niagara and the other American forts they previously occupied.


1798-1802

French Royalist settlement in York County.

 
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