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François Picquet

A Stan Klos Edited Biography

PICQUET, François, French missionary, born in Bourg en Bresse, 6 December, 1708; died in Verjon, 15 July, 1781. He was the son of poor laborers, but by his intelligence interested the vicar of his parish, who sent him to school. He was employed in missionary work among peasants when he was eighteen years old, united with the Congregation of St. Sulpice in 1729, and, after being ordained priest, was sent at his request to Canada.

 

He arrived in Montreal in December, 1735, and fixed his residence in 1737 among the Indians near Lake Temiscaming, founding there a mission, which prospered from the outset. He induced the Algonquins and Nipissings to swear allegiance to the king of France, and, being much impressed with the strategic position of Lac de Deux Montagnes, he induced these tribes to abandon their old quarters in 1740, and established them in the fertile regions around the lake, thus securing Montreal from possible invasion from the north.

 

He received 5,000 livres from Louis XV, and employed it to build a limestone fortress, which was afterward of great value to the colony during the struggle with the English. He then induced the Indians to cultivate the soil, kept up a correspondence with the northern and southern tribes, and was often chosen as arbitrator between the natives and the colonial authorities.

 

During the war of 1742 he armed and disciplined the Indians of his mission, and did good service. He obtained in 1749 from Governor La Galissonniere permission to begin a new settlement, and built La Présentation (now Ogdensburg NY). In 1753 he was summoned to Paris by the secretary of the navy to report on his mission, and received from the king a present of 3,000 livres and some books.

 

Returning to Canada in the spring of 1754, he took an active part in the following war, twice saved Quebec from invasion, destroyed the English forts and establishments upon the southern shores of Lake Ontario, also participating in the defeat of General Braddock.

 

He fought under Montcalm, was slightly wounded at Quebec in 1759, and after the surrender of that place resolved to return to France, as the English had put a price on his head. Assuming Indian dress, he escaped from the city during a stormy night, rejoined his Indians, and, crossing northern Canada and Michigan, went by way of Illinois and Mississippi rivers to New Orleans, where he arrived in the spring of 1760. Being detained twenty-two months in the latter city, he occupied his time in studying the natural resources of the country.

 

In October, 1762, he landed in Bordeaux after a dangerous journey, in which the vessel was twice chased by English cruisers. The assemblies of the clergy of France that met in 1765 and 1770 recommended him to the king and twice voted him a present of 1,200 livres for his labors in Canada. In 1777 Pope Pius VI summoned him to Rome, paid the expenses of his journey, gave him a public audience, appointed him a chamberlain, and made him a present of 5,000 livres.

 

Despite these high recommendations, Louis XV, who felt that the loss of Canada was owing to his neglect of the best interests of France, disliked everything that might remind him of his former possession, and refused to provide for Picquet, who died in great poverty at the house of his sister, a peasant-woman of the little village of Verjon.

 

The English, who had learned to fear and respect him, gave him the surname of the Great Jesuit of the West, but Picquet had never any connection with that company, of which he was even an opponent.

 

The astronomer Lalande wrote an account of Picquet's life, which was published in the "Lettres edifiantes" (Paris, 1786). Picquet published "Memoire sur l'etat de la colonie du lac des Deux Montagnes" (1754); "Memoire sur les Algonquins et Nipissings" (1754); "Histoire du rôle joué par les lndiens lors de l'invasion du Canada en 1756," which was written at the suggestion of Pope Pius VI. (1778); and "Histoire des etablissements de la foi fondes par la congregation de Saint Sulpice dans la Nouvelle France du Nord ou Canada" (2 vols., 1780).

 

Edited Appletons Encyclopedia by John Looby, Copyright © 2001 StanKlos.comTM

PICQUET, François

PICQUET, François, French missionary, born in Bourg en Bresse, 6 December, 1708; died in Verjon, 15 July, 1781. He was the son of poor laborers, but by his intelligence interested the vicar of his parish, who sent him to school. He was employed in missionary work among peasants when he was eighteen years old, united with the Congregation of St. Sulpice in 1729, and, after being ordained priest, was sent at his request to Canada. He arrived in Montreal in December, 1735, and fixed his residence in 1737 among the Indians near Lake Temiscaming, founding there a mission, which prospered from the outset. He induced the Algonquins and Nipissings to swear allegiance to the king of France, and, being much impressed with the strategical position of Lake Deux Montagnes, he induced these tribes to abandon their old quarters in 1740, and established them in the fertile regions around the lake, thus securing Montreal from possible invasion from the north. He received 5,000 livres from Louis XV, and employed it to build a limestone fortress, which was afterward of great value to the colony during the struggle with the English. He then induced the Indians to cultivate the soil, kept up a correspondence with the northern and southern tribes, and was often chosen as arbitrator between the natives and the colonial authorities.

During the war of 1742 he armed and disciplined the Indians of his mission, and did good service. He obtained in 1749 from Governor La Galissonniere permission to begin a new settlement, and built La Presentation (now Ogdensburg NY). In 1753 he was summoned to Paris by the secretary of the navy to report on his mission, and received from the king a present of 3,000 livres and some books. Returning to Canada in the spring of 1754, he took an active part in the following war, twice saved Quebec from invasion, destroyed the English forts and establishments upon the southern shores of Lake Ontario, also participating in the defeat of General Braddock. He fought under Montcalm, was slightly wounded at Quebec in 1759, and after the surrender of that place resolved to return to France, as the English had put a price on his head. Assuming Indian dress, he escaped from the city during a stormy night, rejoined his Indians, and, crossing northern Canada and Michigan, went by way of Illinois and Mississippi rivers to New Orleans, where he arrived in the spring of 1760. Being detained twenty-two months in the latter city, he occupied his time in studying the natural resources of the country.

In October, 1762, he landed in Bordeaux after a dangerous journey, in which the vessel was twice chased by English cruisers. The assemblies of the clergy of France that met in 1765 and 1770 recommended him to the king and twice voted him a present of 1,200 livres for his labors in Canada. In 1777 Pope Pius VI summoned him to Rome, paid the expenses of his journey, gave him a public audience, appointed him a chamberlain, and made him a present of 5,000 livres. Despite these high recommendations, Louis XV, who felt that the loss of Canada was owing to his neglect of the best interests of France, disliked everything that might remind him of his former possession, and refused to provide for Picquet, who died in great poverty at the house of his sister, a peasant-woman of the little village of Verjon. The English, who had learned to fear and respect him, gave him the surname of the Great Jesuit of the West, but Picquet had never any connection with that company, of which he was even an opponent.

The astronomer Lalande wrote an account of Picquet's life, which was published in the "Lettres edifiantes" (Paris, 1786). Picquet published "Memoire sur l'etat de la colonie du lac des Deux Montagnes" (1754); "Memoire sur les Algonquins et Nipissings" (1754); "Histoire du rôle joue par les lndiens lors de l'invasion du Canada en 1756," which was written at the suggestion of Pope Pius VI. (1778); and "Histoire des etablissements de la foi fondes par la congregation de Saint Sulpice dans la Nouvelle France du Nord ou Canada" (2 vols., 1780).  Edited Appletons Encyclopedia, Copyright © 2001 VirtualologyTM

Edited by Father John J. Looby, Ogdensburg NY

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