A Blupete Biography Page

Charles Biencourt de Saint-Just "STUCK IN A FRAME"
(1591-c1623): -- CLICK HERE --

Biencourt was to bear much responsibility and see much action during his short life, much of it spent in Acadia. He was the elder son of Poutrincourt and, as a fifteen year old, came to Acadia with his father at a time when it was just founded. He, apparently, and readily, interacted with the Indians and was to quickly learn their language, an accomplishment which was to serve him and the other Frenchmen well in the years to come in the conduct of their main business: trading for fur pelts.

As we can see from its early history, Port Royal was deserted by all its French occupants in 1607. In 1610, Poutrincourt having now exclusive rights over Port Royal and its region, returned with his family (his son, Biencourt, included). Once Port Royal was re-established, leaving the colony in the care of his 18 year old son, Biencourt, Poutrincourt returned to France.

By this time, it is best to remember, the Jesuits had gained ascendency in the royal court and had the ear of the infant king's mother. The ladies of the court wanted to save souls at Acadia and wanted the job to be done by their black robed friends, the Jesuits. The Poutrincourt family, like many families in France, both Catholic and Protestant, were very suspicious of the Jesuits; and so, it should not be surprising to hear that these suspicions carried over into the young colony at Port Royal during the years 1610-1614. A number of disrupting disagreements broke out between the young Biencourt and the two Jesuit priests which were thrust upon him, Pierre Biard and Enemond Masse. There are a number of unbecoming scenes which might be recounted, including: the time the old Micmac chief, Membertou was dying, and over his bed, Biencourt and the Jesuits argued as to where the chief was to be buried (See DCB, vol. 1, p. 100.); or, the time that Biencourt would not allow the Jesuits to leave Port Royal to pursue their missionary efforts in other parts of Acadia, and how one of the Jesuits secretly took his leave of the colony; or, the time Biencourt and a ship's captain were ceremoniously excommunicated; or, the time that Biencourt bargained with his English conqueror, Argall, for the return of Argall's prisoner, Father Biard, (whom Biencourt believed led the English forces to Port Royal) so that he might hang the treacherous Jesuit: all of this conflict, of course, made for interesting times in early Acadia; but, effectively, brought the second attempt to permanently establish Port Royal to an end.

When, in March, 1614, Poutrincourt arrived at Port Royal after a three year absence he was "to find the fort in ruins and the inhabitants starving." (DCB, vol. 1, p. 98.) This was primarily due to the English raid (Argall) which was carried out in November of 1613. Poutrincourt returned to France giving up his efforts to keep Port Royal going. Biencourt, the son, however, chose to stay behind and thereafter, it is supposed to have lived with the Indians. So too, his friends the La Tours chose to stay on in Acadia. And while likely contact was kept up between the La Tours and Biencourt, it seems, the La Tours ran their own establishment at another part of Acadia, the Cape Sable area, where they prospered as a result of their trading activities. As for Biencourt: well, it is reported he died either in the year 1623 or 1624. He left his estate to his cousin, Charles La Tour.


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Peter Landry
2012 (2020)