RALLUAU (Ralleau), JEAN, explorer and secretary to Dugua de Monts; baptized 5 Jan. 1576 in Blois, France, son of Estienne Ralluau and Marguerite Du Four.
We know little of the life of Jean Ralluau before he joined the de Monts expedition of 1604 and served as secretary to the leader. Soon after the arrival of the expedition at Nova Scotia, when de Monts decided to wait at Port-au-Mouton for his second vessel to make rendezvous, Ralluau and Champlain used the opportunity to make a short voyage of exploration to the south of that place. At the end of August Ralluau was sent back to France to report the successful founding of the colony on Île Sainte-Croix (Dochet Island) to de Monts’s partners in the trading company and to arrange for fresh stores to be sent out as soon as possible the next spring. He returned to Acadia with the supply ship in 1605, then accompanied de Monts back to France later that season. He sailed from La Rochelle on 13 May 1606 aboard the Jonas, being sent with supplies and a party of men that included Marc Lescarbot and Jean de Biencourt de Poutrincourt. At Canseau (Canso) he left the Jonas and succeeded in finding at Port-Royal (Annapolis Royal) the settlers who, despairing of receiving relief, were on their way to France.
The next year it was Jean Ralluau whom de Monts entrusted to carry word to Port-Royal that the company’s exclusive trading privileges had been cancelled and the colonists were to abandon the settlement, but he found the news had already been received from Chevalier. There is reference to Ralluau with Angibault, dit Champdoré, making a trip to Port-Royal again in 1608 to trade and to examine its condition since de Monts’s monopoly had been extended one more year. During this same visit they made a trip up the Saint John River for a distance of some 50 leagues in a search for Secoudon, chief of the Malecites there. They were likely the first Europeans to explore the Saint John for any distance, and they supplied a good description of the country and its vegetation.
In 1612 he was involved, with de Monts, in lawsuits over supplies for the fur trade in America. By 1615 Ralluau was managing at Paris the interests of the Compagnie du Canada as well as acting as Sillery’s secretary. At that time he had power of attorney from Champlain authorizing him to act for Champlain in an involved dispute over the fur trade with Samuel Georges, Jean Macain, and others. On 1 Jan. 1628, he made an assignment of debts agreement in Paris, after which we lose track of him.
Champlain, Works (Biggar). Lescarbot, History (Grant), II, 240. Huguet, Poutrincourt, 203, 234. Robert Le Blant and Marcel Delafosse, “Les Rochelais dans la vallèe du Saint-Laurent (1599–1618),” RHAF, X (1956–57), 346–47. Pierre Du Gua, sieur de Monts, records: colonial and “Saintongeois,” ed. W. I. Morse (London, 1939), 62–64, 73–74, 82.
Revisions based on:
Arch. Municipales, Blois, France, “Reg. paroissiaux et d’état civil,” Saint-Sauveur, 5 janv. 1576: archives.blois.fr/article.php?larub=56 (consulted 15 Nov. 2018). Robert Le Blant, “Un compagnon blaisois de Samuel Champlain: Jean Ralluau (5 janvier 1576–après le 1er janvier 1628),” RHAF, XIX (1965–66): 503–12.