Pierre Dugué de Boisbriand

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Pierre Dugué de Boisbriand

Death: Died in France
Immediate Family:

Son of Michel-Sidrac Dugué de Boisbriand, seigneur of Mille-Îles and Marie Moyen
Brother of PIerre Duguay dit LaFranchise; Jean Sidrac Duguay; Marie-Therese Duguay; Jacques Duguay; Jeanne Duguay and 6 others

Occupation: Governor of French territory of Louisiana
Managed by: Joel Scott Cognevich
Last Updated:

About Pierre Dugué de Boisbriand

Pierre Dugué de Boisbriand (21 February 1675 – 7 June 1736) was a Canadien who commanded several areas in North America colonized by France in the early 18th Century, rising to become the fourth governor of the French colony of Louisiana.

As a French military officer, Dugué held a succession of posts from 1699 to 1726 at France's settlements on the Gulf Coast and on the Mississippi River in present-day Illinois. He served at various times as commander of outposts at Mobile, Natchez, Louisiana, and the area known as the Illinois Country during his military career.

Dugué was a cousin and fellow officer of brothers (Jean-Baptiste Le Moyne de Bienville and Pierre Le Moyne d'Iberville), with whom he served on expeditions during French colonization in North America. Their achievements included capturing English fortifications in Canada, and founding the colonies at Mobile and New Orleans.

In 1719, Dugué led an expedition to the area south of present-day St. Louis. Eighteen miles north of the Jesuit mission at Kaskaskia, he established an outpost that he named Fort de Chartres. The fort became the center of military and civilian activity in the area known as Upper Louisiana and the Illinois Country. From 1724-1726, Dugué served in New Orleans as Governor of Louisiana in the first French era after his predecessor Bienville returned to France for an extended period of time.

While commandant of Fort de Chartres, Dugué conveyed land nearby to his nephew, Ste. Therese Langlois, who founded the town of Prairie du Rocher ("Prairie of the Rock") on the site. The town is one of the oldest French colonial communities to survive into the 21st Century in the American Midwest.

Like several other French colonial commanders, Dugué was recalled to France in the 1720s to answer charges of mismanagement. He was then replaced as governor of Louisiana by Étienne Périer in 1727. He lost his military commission, but was later awarded a pension by the king. He died in France on June 7, 1736.

Regarding the name Dugué, translation errors and imprecision led to several spellings, including "Duguay", "Dugay" and "Duqué". The name "Boisbriand", which refers to the family's property in Canada, also appears as "Boisbriant". Sometimes, this name is used alone. Thus, "Pierre Dugué, sieur de Boisbriand" is sometimes identified as simply "Sieur de Boisbriand" or even "Pierre Boisbriand" (or "Boisbriant") in contemporary texts.

DUGUE DE BOISBRIAND, Pierre Sidrac, administrator. Born, Montreal, Canada, February 21, 1675; son of Michel Sidrac, a Canadian seigneur, and Marie Moyen. Joined the French Navy in 1691 rising to the rank of ensign in 1694. Accompanied Pierre Le Moyne d'Iberville (q.v.) on his second expedition to Louisiana in 1700. Along with Bienville (q.v.) and Châteaugué (q.v.), his cousins, carried out numerous reconnaissances for Iberville. Became aide-major to Bienville, 1702 and made a trip to Pensacola to borrow supplies from the Spanish in 1703. Badly wounded in 1705 while accompanying a group of Chickasaw through hostile Choctaw territory and returned to Mobile on a stretcher. During recuperation nursed back to health by Marie-Françoise de Boisrenaud (q.v.), but was prevented from marrying her due to opposition from Bienville, who felt she was too closely allied to Nicolas La Salle (q.v.). Shortly before returning to France in 1717 appointed commandant of the Mobile and Dauphin Island district. Used his time in France to settle personal business affairs and to lobby in support of Bienville's return as governor. Lobbying may have contributed to Bienville's appointment as governor in March 1718. Returning from France Boisbriand rewarded by being named commandant of the Illinois district on April 17, 1718. As commandant supervised the building of Fort de Chartres. When Bienville fell from grace and was recalled in late 1724 Boisbriand named acting governor, remaining as such until the arrival of Perier (q.v.) on March 15, 1727. Now out of favor because of close ties to Bienville, Boisbriand left New Orleans, November, 1728. Reaching France in the spring of 1729, suffered censure and was dismissed from the royal service. Belatedly awarded a modest pension in 1730. Lived long enough, however, to see fortunes reversed and Bienville reappointed governor in 1733. Died in France, June 7, 1736. B.C. Sources: Jay Higginbotham, Old Mobile: Fort Louis de la Louisiane, 1702-1711 (1977); Marcel Giraud, Histoire de la Louisiane française, 4 vols. (1953-1974); A. Krebs, "Pierre Sidrac du Gué de Boisbriant," Dictionnaire de Biographie française, XI; W. Stanford Reid, "Pierre Dugué de Boisbriand," Dictionary of Canadian Biography, II (1969); Dunbar Rowland and Albert G. Sanders, eds., Mississippi Provincial Archives: French Dominion (1927-1932), I-III.

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Pierre Dugué de Boisbriand's Timeline

February 21, 1675
June 7, 1736
Age 61