A Blupete Biography Page


Jean-Louis de Raymond, Comte de Raymond
(c.1702-1771).

On August 3rd, 1751, Jean-Louis de Raymond arrived at Louisbourg to take over his post as its new Governor and continued on in that position until 1753. Raymond, though not surprising for a French officer of the age, was "vain and domineering," apparently, however, excessively so. As the DCB described, he was "pathologically obsessed with his self-importance."1

His principal instruction was to "manage" the Indians; viz turn them loose on the settlers at Halifax and threaten, albeit indirectly, the mainland Acadians that they too should fear the Indians and that in the circumstances all they might do is to relocate to French territory. Raymond, like all French governors, was therefore to use the Indians as an effective ally in the war against the British.2

To Raymond's credit he did much to help along the French settlement of Cape Breton. As we can see he "encouraged" the Acadians on peninsular Nova Scotia to move. Further, he supported any soldier who married to move to the outlying areas in Cape Breton. In 1751, Raymond built a road, 18 leagues in length, which connected Port Toulouse (St. Peters) to Louisbourg. The building of this road, incidently, was to contribute to Raymond's downfall; he was removed from his position at Louisbourg in 1753; one of the reasons being, the unauthorized expense in the building of this road, and, the fact that it could be used by the English in an attack against the French at Louisbourg.3

Raymond made no friends; he "frequently clashed" with his chief officers. And while it may be that Raymond was not to be much appreciated by his brother officers and ultimately by his superiors back in France; he is, today, much appreciated by historians and genealogists alike for his efforts in making a thorough and detailed account of the population at both Ile Royale (Cape Breton) and Ile Saint-Jean (Prince Edward Island). On February 5th, 1752, one of his officers, Sieur de la Roque, under Raymond's direction, was to travel throughout Ile Royal and Ile St. Jean -- "through all the ports, harbours, creeks, rivers and to all places ... generally, where there are settlers ..."4

In October of 1753, having been relieved of his post, Raymond returned to France. (Charles-Joseph d'Ailleboust (1688-1761), his chief officer at Louisbourg, took over as acting governor until the arrival of Drucour in 1754.)

Raymond had, as one contemporary explained, such an intense zeal for matters of interest to him, that he would not listen to anyone who would give him advise. His character was such that those around him became as intense as their master; either intensely loyal, or intensely in opposition.5

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FOOTNOTES:

[1] The DCB continues: "He tried to impress Rouille [his superior in France] by sending Canadian animals to France, and even included partridge pies that were putrid on arrival. When iron pyrites (fool's gold) was discovered, Raymond rashly announced that Ile Royale was a new Peru. Because of such stories, rumours circulated in the ports of France that he was deranged."

[2] See Parkman, Montcalm and Wolfe (vol. 1), p. 106. The Micmac Indians, in exchange for "a gift of cloth, blankets, powder, and ball," did their job and harassed the English at Halifax, but they soon tired of it. In the following year, 1752, a treaty is signed by the natives undoubtedly due to the persuasive nature of the new governor at Halifax, Peregrine Thomas Hopson.

[3] Johnston, A History of the Catholic Church in Eastern Nova Scotia, p. 59.

[4] The results, the census of 1752, is set out in Canadian Archives Report (CAR); vol. II (Ottawa: S.E. Dawson, 1906).

[5] One such French officer at Louisbourg, who took a hearty dislike to Raymond, was Thomas Pichon, the spy of Beausejour, the activities of whom we take up in part 6 of this history.

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Peter Landry
2012 (2014)