SABREVOIS, JACQUES-CHARLES DE, soldier, captain in the colonial regular troops, commandant at Detroit and at Fort Chambly, town major of Montreal, knight of the order of Saint-Louis; b. c. 1667 at Garancière-en-Beauce, son of Henri de Sabrevois, Sieur de Sermonville, and of Gabrielle Martin; d. 1727 at Montreal.
In 1682 Sabrevois received a commission as lieutenant on half-pay in the Régiment de La Fère. He seems to have come to New France in 1685, and there he received in 1687 an order from the king to occupy the post of lieutenant in an infantry company, replacing the Sieur Damours* de Chauffours.
It was in the company of his brother-in-law, Nicolas Daneau de Muy, that he first served in New France. He took an active part in the campaigns against the Iroquois; during the winter of 1695–96, for example, although recently married, he accompanied Louis de La Porte de Louvigny on his expedition against the Iroquois of Grande Presqu’île, between the St Lawrence and Ottawa Rivers. He was also a member of Buade* de Frontenac’s expedition during the summer of 1696 against the same enemies. He earned a citation as a “good officer.” In 1702 he became captain of a company of colonial regular troops, replacing Daniel d’Auger de Subercase, and a few years later, in 1709, he took part in the defence of the colony against Francis Nicholson, who was attacking via Lake Champlain. That same year Governor Rigaud de Vaudreuil called him a “very good officer,” and the following year he elaborated: “he is one of the best officers we have here, devoted to duty and well fitted for campaigns in this country.”
Thanks to his service record, he obtained still more enviable posts. In 1712 the minister promised to name him commandant at Detroit, if François Dauphin de La Forest, who was sick at Quebec, was unable to return there. Sabrevois occupied this post only from 1715 to 1717, for he had serious differences with Claude de Ramezay, whom he accused of preventing him from enjoying his fur-trading privilege. Rigaud de Vaudreuil, in rejecting the complaint – “knowing him to be a very selfish man, he does not think that [Sabrevois] made big profits at Detroit, but he certainly did not lose anything there” – stressed Sabrevois’ “hardness,” his “avarice,” which proved that he “was not a proper person to govern Indians.”
Recalled from Detroit, Sabrevois went to France to defend himself and to recruit “50 men in Paris” for the Canadian troops. It was not until 1720 that he returned from France to occupy the post of commandant at Fort Chambly. Vaudreuil, who judged him to be “very worn out and very grasping” – he added that he would not entrust to him “a post where there was trading to be done” – relieved him of his command in 1724, but was rebuked for this by the king. The following year Sabrevois was appointed town major at Montreal in succession to François LE Verrier. He died there on 19 Jan. 1727. He had been made a knight of the order of Saint-Louis in 1718.
In 1695 Sabrevois had married Jeanne, daughter of Pierre Boucher, and six children were born of this marriage, three of them being sons: Charles, Sieur de Sabrevois; Christophe, Sieur de Sermonville; and Clément*, Sieur de Bleury; the first two took up a military career.
AN, Col., B, 13, 23, 34, 35, 36, 40, 41, 42; C11A, 8, 15, 120. Coll. de manuscrits relatifis à la N.-F., III. “Correspondance de Vaudreuil,” APQ Rapport, 1942–43, 438; 1946–47, 418, 458. Fauteux, Les chevaliers de Saint-Louis. É.-Z. Massicotte, “Les commandants du Fort Chambly,” BRH, XXXI (1925), 456. P.-G. Roy, Les officiers d’état-major. E.-Z. Massicotte, “Les Sabrevois, Sabrevois de Sermonville et Sabrevois de Bleury,” BRH, XXXI (1925), 7–14; 40–42; 77–84.