The documentary biography of Jacques Legardeur de Saint-Pierre, an officer in the Troupes de la Marine, who served throughout New France, sheds new light on the business activity of French colonial officers stationed in the West. Many of the eighty previously untranslated documents in Jacques Legardeur de Saint-Pierre demonstrate the extent and profitability of Saint-Pierre's pursuit of business activities while performing official duties in eighteenth-century French North America. The quest for profit permeated Saint- Pierre's career, particularly his command of the Western Sea Post after he succeeded the fabled Pierre Gaultier de Varennes et de la Verendrye. Saint-Pierre and his secret partner General Jacques-Pierre de Taffanel de La Jonquiere, Intendant Franois Bigot, and Meret, secretary to La Jonquiere, used their positions to engage in extensive trade, especially brandy, with the Cree and Assiniboine northwest of Lake Superior. Saint-Pierre's activities provide fresh insights into the North American fur trade.
Jacques Legardeur De Saint-Pierre
Michigan State University Press
Officer, Gentleman, Entrepeneur