Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Complicated relationship of the Governor of Montreal and Rene Bourassa


IT’S COMPLICATED, but in March 1729, Charles Lemoine de Longueuil, GOVERNOR OF MONTREAL granted permission to René Bourassa [who is related by marriage] to carry letters to New England.

• Charles Lemoine de Longueuil, Governor of Montreal’s father is Charles Le Moyne de Longueuil et de Chateauguay who is the brother-in-law AND Trading Post partner of Jacques Leber our 9th great-uncle.

• Jacques Leber, our 9th great-uncle, is the brother of Francois Leber (a voyageur) our 8th great-grandfather.

• Francois Leber’s daughter Marie Le Ber, our 7th great-grandmother, is the wife of Francois Bourassa AND is the mother of Rene Bourassa dit LaRonde.

RENÉ BOURASSA DIT LA RONDE IS A COUREUR DE BOIS: A FUR TRADER WHO TRADES DIRECTLY WITH THE INDIANS.

In the early decades of the 18th century the merchants in the English colonies were paying on the average twice the French price for beaver pelts.  Tempted by these profits, René Bourassa, dit La Ronde, ventured into the extensive illicit trade between Montreal and Albany, New York.  He was caught, however, and in July 1722 fined 500 livres.

By 1726 he had entered the western trade, which his father had followed over 30 years earlier.  In partnership with Nicolas Sarrazin and François Lefebvre Duplessis Faber, Bourassa dispatched canoes to the pays d’en haut in 1726.  The following year he traded to Baie-des-Puants (Green Bay, Wis.), where Duplessis was commandant. 

ALTHOUGH HIS MAIN FOCUS WAS THE WESTERN TRADE, IN MARCH 1729 BOURASSA CARRIED LETTERS TO NEW ENGLAND, A TRIP WHICH WAS PROBABLY COVER FOR ILLEGAL TRADE.




By 1735 he was connected with business associates of Pierre Gaultier de Varennes et de La Vérendrye. In that year Bourassa hired engagés to go to La Vérendrye’s posts at Fort Saint-Charles (on Lake of the Woods) and Fort Maurepas (a few miles above the mouth of the Red River). He himself was at Saint-Joseph (Niles, Mich.) in July but wintered with the explorer at Saint-Charles.

In 1736, Rene Bourassa established a small trading post on Crane Lake where the Vermillion River flows into it.

He eventually settled at Michilimackinac where he spend many years .



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