SAINT-ÉTIENNE DE LA TOUR, CHARLES DE, trader and soldier; b. between 1663 and 1668 at Cape Sable in Acadia; d. 1731 at Louisbourg.
He was one of five children of the famous Charles de Saint-Étienne* de La Tour and Jeanne Motin* d’Aulnay. Little is known of his early years. As a young man he was apparently a fur trader, with his headquarters at Cape Sable. He incurred severe losses when General Phips* took Acadia in 1690, and lodged a complaint with the Earl of Bellomont, governor of Massachusetts. Late in 1695 La Tour was cited in dispatches by Frontenac [Buade*] for bravery against the enemy. His trading activity continued for some years, as records show that in 1698, or shortly before, he had been fined for trading with the English.
In 1696 he was authorized by his brothers and sisters to plead their case for the re-establishment by the French crown of rights and possessions in Acadia inherited from their parents and long disputed by the Le Borgne family. He was largely successful in his efforts, as is shown by an arrêt of the Conseil d’État of 20 March 1703. The arrêt gave the La Tour family land at Cape Sable, Port La Tour (near Cape Sable), Port-Royal, and Les Mines (Grand Pré, N.S.); it was divided among the La Tour children [see Agathe de Saint-Étienne].
In 1703 Charles was appointed an ensign with the French forces in Acadia. He was a member of the local garrison during the bombardment and capture of Port-Royal by Nicholson in 1710 and was severely wounded. He was promoted lieutenant and in 1714 was stationed at Île Royale. For a time he served as the official government interpreter to the Indians there. He was awarded the cross of the order of Saint-Louis in 1728 for his services and shortly after (on the death of Gédéon de Catalogne) became captain of a company of colonial regular troops that formed part of the garrison at Louisbourg. It was there he died three years later.
In 1699 La Tour had married Angélique Loreau; they had one son, Charles. In 1732 the widow received a pension of 300 livres in recognition of La Tour’s service to his country.
AN, Col., B, 19, f.66v; 29, f.215v; 33, f.401v; 34, f.361v; C11B, 10, f.183; C11D, 5, ff.104, 198v–200; D2C, 47, f.296v; Section Outre-Mer, G3, cartons 2039 (Greffe de J.-C. Desmarest, 1734), 2040 (Greffe de J.-C. Loppinot, 27 nov. 1705). Coll. de manuscrits relatifs à la N.-F., II, 262, 292–93, 297, 316, 362–80, 477, 528. “Correspondance de Frontenac (1689–99),” APQ Rapport, 1928–29, 282. Fauteux, Les chevaliers de Saint-Louis, 124. Azarie Couillard Després, Charles de Saint-Étienne de La Tour, gouverneur, lieutenant-général en Acadie, et son temps, 1593–1666 (Arthabaska, Qué., 1930), 460, 462–65. Murdoch, History of Nova-Scotia, I, 168.