Etienne de Véniard sieur de Bourgmont
A timeline compiled by Dan Hechenberger
||Etienne de Veniard sieur
de Bourgmont born at Cerisy Belle-Etoile in Central Normandy
(Father: Charles de Veniard, sieur du Veger, a respected surgeon)
(great-uncle Mai Pierre Pitot, Grand Vicar of Bishop of Quebec,
Msgr. de la Croix de Saint Valier)
||Etienne was found guilty
of poaching on lands of the Monastery of Belle-Etoile, along
with his stepfather and his uncle Gabriel Jean, the village
priest. Etienne probably left for New France this year. He did
not pay the 100 livres fine. His sister, Francoise, and his
uncle, Gabriel Jean, were obliged to take over his debt.
||The expedition of Charles
Juchereau de St. Denys, including Etienne Bourgmont, now an
ordinary soldier in the Troupes de la Marine, arrived at the
River Des Peres mission village on his way to set up a tannery
at the mouth of the Ouabache (Ohio) River. Pere Mermet, SJ,
was assigned to go with them. Pere Marest traveled with them
to the winter camp of Kaskaskia Chief Rouensa. Pere Marest tried
to get the Kaskaskia to settle near the tannery, but they refused.
||For 18 months Etienne Bourgmont
lived among the Mascouten, trading and hides and furs, probably
for Juchereau's tannery.
||On orders of his commanding
officer, Antoine Laumet, sieur de Lamothe Cadillac, Ensign Etienne
Bourgmont left Quebec for Fort Ponchartrain at Detroit.
|1706, end of
||Ensign Etienne de Veniard,
sieur de Bourgmont took over command of Fort Ponchartrain at
Detroit from Alphonse Tonti. The fort was very short on gunpowder.
(Bourgmont was 26 years old).
||Ottawa Chief Le Pesant launched
a surprise attack on a group of Miami warriors walking near
Ft. Ponchartrain. Father Constantin, the missionary, and a French
sergeant, who were both outside the fort, were killed during
the attack. Thirty Ottawas were killed by French, Huron, and
Miami gunfire from the fort.
| Commandant Cadillac reported
the March attack to French Minister of Marine Pontchartrain.
The Marquis de Vaudreuil, the governor general of New France
also wrote to Minister Pontchartrain criticizing Ensign Bourgmont.
Soon after Cadillac had returned to the fort, Ensign Bourgmont
||Bourgmont lived as a coureur
de bois (an illegal trader) with the mixed blood Madame Tichenet
around the Grand River of Lake Erie. During part of this time,
they were joined by other deserter: Betellemy Pichon, known
as La Roze, a soldier named Jolicoeur, and some others.
||Deserter La Roze was captured,
tried for desertion, and testified that two of the other deserters
drowned and one was shot and eaten by the starving survivors.
La Roze was sentenced to have his head broken by eight soldiers
till death followed.
||Etienne Bourgmont returned
to the area around Ft. Pontchartrain to help the Algonkin tribes,
along with the Missouri and Osage in the fight against the Fox
Indians. He became infatuated with the young daughter of a Missouri
Chief. Afterwards he moved to the Missouri village at the mouth
of the Grand River.
||Bourgmont, his Missouri
wife and some other Missouri traveled around the southern portion
of the Illinois Country, for a time with two other French traders
and their Indian women. Pere Marest, SJ missionary among the
Kaskaskia, officially complains about the scandalous behavior
of Bourgmont and the others traveling with the Indian women.
In France, the Jesuit archbishop of Reims, Msgr. Pierre Tellier,
the personal confessor of King Louis XIV, asks Minister Ponchartrain
about Bourgmont. An order goes out to arrest Bourgmont.
||Bourgmont makes a clandestine
trip to Fort Louis at Mobile. He probably communicates with
Governor Antoine Laumet, sieur de lamothe Cadillac. On the return
trip to the Missouri village, Bourgmont writes an "Exact
Description of Louisiana, of Its Harbors, Lands and Rivers,
and Names of the Indian Tribes That Occupy It, and the Commerce
and Advantages to Be Derived Therefrom for the Establishment
of a Colony"
||An order goes out from the
office of the governor general of New France to arrest Bourgmont
and his companions at the first favorable opportunity.
The French Monarchy sent orders to the governor of Louisiana,
Antoine Laumet, sieur de Lamothe Cadillac, to arrest Bourgmont
''as soon as he appears at Fort Louis at Mobile".
||Etienne Bourgmont and his
men traveled the Missouri River at least to the mouth of the
Platte River. Bourgmont writes an exact description of "The
Route to Be Taken to Ascend the Missouri River." The route
document eventually finds its way to the office of eminent cartographer
Guillaume Delisle. On a copy of the document, his brother, Joseph-Nicolas,
wrote: "Je crois que ce memoire est de Monsieur de Bourgmont.
(I believe this report is by Monsieur de Bourgmont.) In a separate
file, Joseph-Nicolas Delisle added: "This route, concerning
which I have found a map drawn by my brother, seems to date
from 1714, and was written by Monsieur de Bourgmont, who was
sent from Canada some time earlier to make investigations, for
which he lived for some years with the Missouris. M. Le Page,
who knew him particularly well, has heard him say that no one
before him had ever traveled so far up the river. "
1718, Sept. 25 Commandant General Jean-Baptiste Le Moyne de
Bienville, who replaced Cadillac, requested the French government
to grant Bourgmont the Cross of Saint Louis, the highest decoration
the King could bestow, in recognition of outstanding service
||The Council of the Colony
of Louisiana issued an ordinance stating that Bourgmont was
sent to the Illinois and other Indian nations to make alliances
for the Company. He also brought chiefs to Isle Dauphine, but
all died except one, whom Bourgmont agreed to escort back to
his village. He would then go to Paris where, the ordinance
stated, he would be paid 4,279 livres which had been due him
for six months. All of this was "in recognition of the
service he has rendered, without drawing any inference from
any other fact. Bourgmont took the chief back to the Illinois
Country and was back in New Orleans on March 16, 1720.
||Bourgmont and his Missouri
Indian son departed for France on the Duc de Noailles.
||Bourgmont arrived in Paris
during great excitement and speculation over John Law's Compagnie
des Indes. News also reached Paris of the Spanish Villasur expedition,
which had been defeated by tribes friendly to the French because
Bourgmont was commissioned a captain in the colonial troops.
|Bourgmont was named "Commandant
of the Missouri River." In a contract with Bourgmont, agreed
to by His Royal Highness the Duc d'Orleans, Regent of France,
it was written that the explorer would: 1.) bring peace to the
tribes bordering New Mexico; 2.) build a fort on the Missouri
River. Both of these to would be done to insure future trade.
In return, Bourgmont would be granted Letters of Nobility.
||In a royal letter, Bourgmont
was advised that the king had created him a Chevalier of the
Order of the Cross of Saint Louis. He was also granted a concession
of land in Louisiana.
|1721, May 8
|Bourgmont married Jacqueline
Bouvet des Bordeaux in his home village of Cerisy Belle-Etoile.
||Bourgmont left for New Orleans
on the La Loire.
||After recuperating from
a long, serious illness, Bourgmont requested supplies, boats
and men for a two-year expedition to build a fort and go west
of the lower Missouri River. The council balked at the expense
of his requests. During Bourgmont's time in France, John Law's
plans had collapsed in 1720 and support for the colony disappeared.
|| Bourgmont left New Orleans
traveling north to begin his expedition.
||The Council of the Illinois
sent a directive to Bourgmont to cut back on the original plan
and only build a small post and return. The stated purpose of
his mission was now only to encourage the Missouri to fight
against the Fox during the current war.
||Bourgmont skillfully replied
by letter to the Council that his mission had not changed since
he left Paris, except the Council was now more concerned about
cost than purpose. Bourgmont and his men completed Ft. d'Orleans
||Bourgmont, with the help
of the Missouri, Oto, Kansa and Osage traveled to the Padoucahs
on the southern Plains and brought peace between them and the
French allied tribes.
with 9 Chiefs - 4 Missouri, 4 Osage, 1 Oto - and the Missouri
Chiefs daughter (his former Indian wife, the mother of
his Missouri son) to New Orleans. At Ft. de Chartres they were
joined by 5 Illinois chiefs and Reverend father Nicolas-Ignace
his delegation arrived in New Orleans but the Superior Council
of Louisiana eliminated the interpreters and reduced the size
of the party to one chief each from the Illinois, Missouri,
Osage and Oto, and the Missouri chiefs daughter, along
with Sergeant Dubois.
||Bourgmont and his delegation
boarded the vessel La Bellone, along with the former Gov. Jean-Baptiste
Lemoyne de Bienville, to sail to France.
|The La Bellone
sank at the first port of call, Dauphin Island at the mouth
of Mobile Bay.
||Having crossed the Atlantic
in the vessel La Gironde, Bourgmont and his Indian delegation
arrived in Paris.
||The Indian delegation visited
the City of Paris and the King's chateaux at Versailles and
Marly and Fountainebleau. They hunted in the royal forest with
the young king, Louis XV. They then returned to New Orleans
and their own people.
de Veniard, sieur de Bourgmont was elevated to the nobility
with the rank of écuyer (squire).
|Compiled From Bourgmont:
Explorer of the Missouri, 1698-1725 By Frank Norall @1988,University
of Nebraska Press, Lincoln