AILLEBOUST D’ARGENTEUIL, PIERRE D’, soldier; b. at Quebec, 19 June 1659, son of Charles-Joseph d’Ailleboust* Des Muceaux and Catherine Legardeur de Repentigny; d. at Montreal, 15 March 1711.
Argenteuil belonged to two of the most prominent families of New France. In November 1687 he married Marie-Louise, daughter of Pierre Denys de La Ronde, at Quebec and in the 1690s he obtained the seigneuries of the Îles Bourdon and of Argenteuil from his father. Argenteuil became a half-pay lieutenant in 1690, and in 1710 he reached his highest rank, captain of a company.
Throughout the 1690s Argenteuil made many trips to the Michilimackinac region. He led several fur trade convoys back to Montreal, and Buade* de Frontenac often praised his work. In the early 1700s Argenteuil was at the Detroit post, working closely with Cadillac [Laumet]. He also figured prominently in the Le Pesant affair of 1706–7 and its aftermath – the Miami troubles of 1708. Argenteuil went with Jean-Paul Legardeur de Saint-Pierre, his cousin, from Detroit to Michilimackinac where Le Pesant was apprehended and returned to Detroit for trial. In 1708, Argenteuil convinced the Sagina Ottawas to go to Cadillac’s aid at Detroit. The reports of this event disparage Cadillac’s role, but Argenteuil performed well and had the confidence of all the warring factions.
In 1709 Argenteuil was in the east, and played a prominent role in the assaults on the forts at St John’s, Newfoundland [see Lloyd]. In the summer of 1710, Argenteuil was back in the Ottawa country, where he succeeded in making peace among the various Algonkian tribes. Rigaud de Vaudreuil was so impressed that in October of the same year he sent Argenteuil to the Iroquois country on a peace mission.
Argenteuil’s most important assignment came in March 1711 when Vaudreuil appointed him leader of a major expedition to the western country. His orders were to make contact with all the warriors of the western tribes, gather them at Detroit, then lead them east to fight against the English and the Iroquois. Argenteuil never went on this mission, as he died of apoplexy in Montreal on 15 March 1711, only days after he had received his orders.
Frontenac and Vaudreuil both entrusted Argenteuil with important missions. Even Clairambault d’Aigremont, who wrote damaging reports about Cadillac and his officers, several times wrote that Argenteuil “has as much influence over savages as anyone can have . . . but, in other ways, he has little discretion.”
Of Argenteuil’s 11 children, several were prominent in military and fur-trading affairs. Argenteuil’s widow died on 5 Nov. 1747.
AN, Col. C11A, 24, f.208v; 28, ff.165–73v. Charlevoix, History (Shea). “Correspondance de Frontenac (1689–99),” APQ Rapport, 1927–28, 159; 1928–29, 381 “Correspondance de Vaudreuil,” APQ Rapport, 1939–40, 389, 401; 1946–47, 390–91, 413, 444 Michigan Pioneer Coll., XXXIII, 342–46, 350–61, 374, 382, 385–86, 424–52, 487–91, 497–502, 534 NYCD (O’Callaghan and Fernow), IX, 676, 847–48, 855 Recensement du Canada, 1666 (APQ Rapport), 108 A Roy, Inv. greffes not., VII, 46. P.-G Roy, “Ce que Callières pensait de nos officiers,” 321–33; Inv. Concessions. Wisconsin State Hist. Soc. Coll., XVI. Godbout, “Nos ancêtres,” APQ Rapport, 1951–53, 470–71. Tanguay, Dictionnaire, I, 152; III, 223.