A Blupete Biography Page

Sieur du Pont Pontgrave, Francis Grave "STUCK IN A FRAME"
(c1554-c1629): -- CLICK HERE --

Pontgrave was a merchant, fur trader, captain in the navy, and a citizen of St. Malo. (Voyages of Champlain by Bourne and Grant, p. xv. See, also, DCB.)
By the time Champlain went up the St. Lawrence with him, in 1603, Pontgrave had already gained considerable experience in his voyages to the new world. Pontgrave had regularly gone to the French trading post which had long been established at Tadoussac.

When, in 1604, de Monts voyaged to Acadia, Pontgrave was in command of the second of the two ships sent; though, in that first year, Pontgrave was restricted to the Canso region and confined exclusively to trading. (See Ganong, p. 31.) "In 1605 he brought supplies to the Acadian colony, and along with Champlain, he chose Port Royal as a site for the new settlement; in 1605 and 1606, de Monts entrusted him with the command of the colony." (DCB.)
Though Port Royal was deserted in 1607, Pontgrave, under the continuing direction of de Monts, continued to serve his long standing friend at Quebec, Champlain. Pontgrave continued to make his annual runs back and forth between France and Quebec; indeed, he was still making these difficult and long sea voyages though he was 70 years old.

The guess is, that Pontgrave died in France sometime after 1629. Marcel Trudel in his short sketch contained in the DCB disclosed that Pontgrave was "jovial by nature" and "drank his liquor straight." He could lose his temper; and, would often roar out, usually because of the pain brought on by the gout.


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Peter Landry
2012 (2020)