A Blupete Biography Page


Subercase
(1662-1732).

His full name was Daniel d'Auger de Subercase; he was born in the far southwestern area of France: Bearn. Subercase first came to North America during 1687, landing at Quebec. Subercase was a French military officer. He was with Frontenac when, in 1690, the water borne New England troops appeared before Quebec under the command of Sir William Phips. (Phips was generally outclassed and retired defeated.) He was also with Frontenac when, in 1696, the French marched from Lake Ontario and down through the woods of upstate New York, and there to burn the home town of the Onondaga. (Parkman, Count Frontenac and New France under Louis XIV, p. 291 & p. 433.) In 1702, Subercase was appointed to take over the French stronghold at Newfoundland, Placentia. Through "energy, courage, and devotion to the king's service" Subercase was made a knight of the order of Saint-Louis in 1705 and appointed the governorship of Acadia.

Subercase landed at Port Royal during October of 1706. Port Royal was in a sad state; its earthen fortifications were washed out in several places; its occupants ill supplied (he secretly had stockings and shoes brought up from Boston for his officers). It is to Subercase's credit that the fort and those who were in it were in such a sufficient state so as to withstand the persistent sieging efforts of the English led by Colonel John March during the summer of 1707; but, for the French at Port Royal, the winter of 1707/08 was one of more suffering than usual, as the English before retiring that autumn burnt down the houses around the fort, killed the livestock and uprooted the crops. Other than having sent some boys to act as soldiers, little aid was sent over with the spring supply ships of 1708 and 1709. "The governor was forced to give his sheets and shirts to the sick, and to sell his silver table-service to pay for repairs to the fort." People become abnormal in abnormal times; they lose their minds; they become careless in their relations with others; they become negligent, dishonest and eccentric. Port Royal was a strange garrison to behold with their starving boy soldiers and officers who bickered and schemed. Subercase was to declare in a report to his masters back in France, dated 20th December, 1708, that he would have "as much need of a madhouse as of barricks; and what is worse, I am afraid that the mauvais esprit of this country will drive me crazy too." (Incidentally, it was with this as background that the affair of Louise Guyon and Bonaventure took place.) Little wonder that when the English troops under Vetch and Nicholson landed during the autumn of 1710 that the French capitulated within three weeks, short.

Subercase and his followers, amounting to about 250 persons in all, were put aboard three ships and were landed at France in December of 1710. North America was not to see Subercase again.

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Peter Landry
(1997) (2014)