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 The Governors of New France:
  How They Affected the Lalonde Family

The following is an interpretation of the events in New France during the period from 1672 to 1710 and how the Lalondes were affected. While Jean De Lalonde was settling in the western part of the island of Montreal at Baie D'Urfe, the events happening in Quebec City and Versailles were to have a profound effect on the Lalonde family ...


by Eric Lalonde (ericllnd@sympatico.ca)

From 1672-82 Frontenac was the governor of New France. He was a strong governor and kept the Indians as allies and kept the peace. In 1681 Colbert, the first minister of King Louis put his son the Marquis de Seignelay in charge of all the affairs of New France. The change gave the opportunity for those opposed to Frontenac to make their case for his removal. This resulted in a controversy between two factions at Versailles. The King became impatient with the controversy and decided to end it in 1682 by recalling Frontenac.

This turn of events had a disastrous effect on New France. The King appointed La Barre governor to replace Frontenac. La Barre immediately got into a controversy with the explorer La Salle and lost favour with the residents of New France. He also appeared weak to the Indians and was only interested in increasing his personal fortune. As a result relations with the Indians deteriorated. He was recalled in 1685 and the Marquis Denonville replaced him. Denonville inherited the already deteriorating situation with the Indians which he promptly made much worse. The King had suggested that it would be a good idea if some Indians were sent to Paris to act as galley slaves for his vessels. Denonville, wishing to curry favour with the King, used the annual fur festival in May 1686 as a cover to capture 40 Indians and ship them to France. Needless to say this infuriated the Indians and along with the weakness being shown by the new governors led them to believe that they could now overcome the French and should look to the English as allies.

This led in 1687 to the Indian raids on New France. And so as a direct result of the weakness of the successors to Frontenac, Jean along with four others was killed in a raid on Baie D'Urfe on Sept. 30, 1687 and the whole community was abandoned and the Lalondes took refuge in Lachine. Though unhurt the Lalondes experienced the Lachine massacre on Aug. 5 1689.

To save new France the King recalled Denonville and reappointed Frontenac as governor. Frontenac was especially effective in times of crisis and by the time of his death in 1698 he had prepared the way for the peace treaty that was signed in 1701. This treaty allowed the Lalondes to return to their farm at Baie D'Urfe.

In 1703 another governor with a great impact on the Lalondes was appointed. Philip de Rigaud Vaudreuil was governor from 1703 to 1725. Now that peace existed with the Indians and they were now his allies he concerned himself with both keeping the Indians content and preventing the English from capturing French territory. His main area of concern was Acadia. To keep the English off guard and prevent them from attacking Acadia he embarked on a series of raids in New England. The largest of those raids happened on Feb.29, 1704 at Deerfield. In that raid, Sarah Allen was captured and brought to Montreal. She was subsequently sold to Jean Quenet of Baie D'Urfe as a domestic. It was there that she met Guillaume Lalonde the youngest son of Jean and Marie. They were married at St-Louis de Haut de L'Ile in 1710.

So both good and bad governors of New France had a very direct impact on the Lalonde family.

© 2002 Chris Lalonde & Eric Lalonde                                        Updated: June 22, 2003