Monday, June 20, 2016

Uncle Charles was a Voyageur for Cadillac

Charles Cusson (1672 - 1727), my 9th great-uncle, was a voyageur with Antoine de La Mothe Cadillac on 24 July 1701 when he established a settlement at Detroit.

Cadillac led 100 French voyageurs and 100 Algonquins to "le détroit" (the strait) where they built Fort Pontchartrain du détroit from logs. Their goal is to protect the French fur trade in the Great Lakes from the English and Iroquois.

27 May 1701, Voyageur Contract

"Marché pour le detroit… 27 mai 1701, Adhémar, notaire royal"

"Present were Messieurs Jean Bochart, chevalier, Seigneur de Champigny and Noroy, Counselor of the King in his Councils, Intendant of Justice, police and finances in all the country of La Nouvelle France, acting for and in the name of His Majesty as one party; and Louis Babie of Champlain, Laurent Renauld of Montréal, Charles Dazé of la Rivière des Prairies, Jacques Lemoine of Batiscan, Claude Crevier of Trois-Rivières, René Besnard Bourjoly of Trois-Rivières, François Benoit dit Livernois of Longueuil, Pierre Moriceau of Montréal, Charles Cusson of Montréal, Jean Lemire dit Marsolet of Montréal, Jean-Baptiste Guay of Montréal, Jacques Brisset of l’Île-du-Pas, [Jean] François Frigon of Batiscan, Pierre Lagrave of Montréal, [André Babeuf of La Prairie, deleted], Pierre St. Michel, Michel Roy of Ste-Anne, Edmon Roy dit Chatelreau of Ste-Anne, Simon Ballargé of Cap-de-la-Magdeleine, Claude Rivard L’Orangé of Batiscan, Mathurin Feuilleverte, Jean Turcot of Charlesbourg, Jean-Baptiste Montmelian St-Germain of Québec, # [inserted in the margin: Pierre Desautels dit Lapointe, Henry Belleisle [a] Surgeon], Louis Fafart Lonval of Trois-Rivières, François Pacho of Batiscan, Jean-Baptiste Vanier of Charlebourg, Pierre Toupin of Beauport, René Lintot of Trois-Rivieres, Joseph Cartyé, Jacques Duran, Pierre Colet of Québec, Alexis Lemoine of Batiscan, Louis Chauvin of Montréal, Gabriel Obuchon of Montréal, Latour of Montréal, Lambert Cuillerié of Montreal, Pierre Roy of Ste-Anne, Louis Vaudry of Montréal, Pierre Richard of Montréal, Louis Badaillac of Montréal, Guillaume Vinet dit La Rente, Jean-Baptiste Gatineau, and Louis Gatineau dit Lameslée,

All voyageurs being at present in this said city, as the second party, which parties have contracted and been hired for the following: Be it known that the Said Voyageurs have voluntarily and in good faith hired themselves out, promised, and do promise to faithfully serve the King, to go to Détroit under the leadership of Sieur de Lamothe Cadillac, who will command at the said place of Détroit under the orders of Monsieur Le Chevallier de Callières, governor and lieutenant general for the King in all this country of New France, to whom or to whosoever commands in his place, the said voyageurs promise to obey, to work, and to do all that he will command them, during which time the said voyageurs will not be allowed to do any trading for their profit, directly or indirectly, in any manner at all, subject to the penalty of the laws and of the loss of their wages and salary hereafter declared. This contract is made with the understanding that the hirees will be fed at the expense of the King according to the usual custom for voyageurs, and in addition there will be paid to them in this city or to their procureur [agent] holding their procuration [power of attorney] in good form passed before a notary for each year of service beginning the 1st day of June next year, be it known: to each of the said

Louis Babie; Laurant Renauld; Charles Dazé; Jacques Lemoine; Claude Crevier; René Besnard Bourjoli; François Benoit dit Livernois; Pierre Moriceau; Charles Cusson; Jean Lemire dit Marsolet; Jean Baptiste Guay; Jacques Briset; François Frigon; Pierre Lagrave, [André Babeuf, deleted], Michel Roy, Edmon Roy dit Chatelreau; Simon Bailiarge; Claude Rivard L’Orangé; Mathurin Feuilleverte; Jean Turcot; Jean Baptiste Montmelian St. Germain; Pierre St. Michel; Gatineau Duplessy; Desautels; and BelleIsle, the sum of 300 livres money of France, which totals 400 livres du pays [of the country of New France], and to each of the said"

-- Translated by Suzanne Boivin Sommerville, French-Canadian Heritage Society of Michigan

Charles Cusson was the son of Jean Cusson and Marie Foubert

Five of Charles' brothers -- Jean, Michel, Ange, Nicolas and Joseph were all active as fur-traders from 1690 to 1713, all having received permission to travel to the west.

The west, in this case, was probably no further than the Great Lakes. To control the fur trading and collect appropriate taxes, the French government issued passports (permits), a form of license.

They were difficult to acquire since in many years, only 25 were issued. To conduct fur trading or to travel west without a passport was considered illegal and subject to punishment, most often fines or the confiscation of furs.

They travelled with Nicolas Perrot and Bissot de Vincennes, noted fur-traders and interpreters, to distant places like Indiana, passing by Detroit, Lake Erie and Lake Superior.

Our Lineage:

Charles Cusson (1672 - 1727) - my 9th great-uncle

Jean Cusson (1630 - 1718) - father of Charles Cusson (my 9th great grandfather)

Marie Cusson (1658 - 1732) - daughter of Jean Cusson

Marie Rivet (1673 - 1705) - daughter of Marie Cusson

Marie-Françoise Deneau dit Destaillis (1698 - 1737) - daughter of Marie Rivet

Marie Madeleine Duquet (1734 - 1791) - daughter of Marie-Françoise Deneau dit Destaillis

Gabriel Pinsonneau (Pinsono) (1770 - 1813) - son of Marie Madeleine Duquet

Gabriel (Gilbert) Passino (Passinault) (Pinsonneau) (1803 - 1877) - son of Gabriel Pinsonneau (Pinsono)

Lucy Passino (1836 - 1917) - daughter of Gabriel (Gilbert) Passino (Passinault) (Pinsonneau)

Abraham Lincoln Brown (1864 - 1948) - son of Lucy Passino

Lydia Corinna Brown (1891 - 1971) - daughter of Abraham Lincoln Brown (my maternal grandmother)

If my dad was still alive he would be very much surprised to learn mom's family was in Detroit more than two hundred years before he was born there in 1914.

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