AILLEBOUST DE LA MADELEINE, FRANÇOIS-JEAN-DANIEL D’, merchant-voyageur; b. 7 Oct. 1702 in Montreal (Que.), son of Jean-Baptiste d’Ailleboust* Des Muceaux and Anne Le Picard; m. 24 Nov. 1732 Marie-Charlotte Godefroy de Linctot in Montreal; d. 23 July 1793 at Pointe-aux-Trembles, Montreal Island.
François-Jean-Daniel d’Ailleboust de La Madeleine belonged to a section of the Canadian nobility that in the 18th century, without relinquishing its class privileges and sometimes even because of them, gained a living from the fur trade. He did not own property from which he could draw a substantial income, and his chances of becoming an officer, the most prestigious of careers, were slim because of the limited number of commissions available. Thus he became a voyageur and then a merchant-voyageur. From 1731 to about 1754, by himself or in partnership, he directed some ten trading trips to Michilimackinac (Mackinaw City, Mich.) and Michipicoton (Michipicoten River, Ont.), almost all financed by important Montreal merchant-outfitters such as François Foucher*, Alexis Lemoine*, dit Monière, and Ignace Gamelin.
La Madeleine was thus one of the agents who obtained trade goods on credit, hired a crew for one or more canoes, and left each summer for the western posts. In these enterprises he was first in partnership, from 1731 to 1736, with two of his brothers, Nicolas-Marie d’Ailleboust Des Muceaux and Jean-Baptiste-Alphonse d’Ailleboust de La Boulasserie. Then from 1737 at least until 1742 he was associated with two other brothers, Pierre-Joseph d’Ailleboust de Manthet and Ignace-René d’Ailleboust de Périgny, and after that with Louis Gastineau de Sainte-Marie, to whom Governor Charles de Beauharnois* had granted the trading rights at the post at Michipicoton in 1747. Finally, in 1750 he and Manthet formed a new company with an initial capital of 12,500 livres; this company was dissolved four years later. In 1757 he signed more fur-trade contracts, but he seems to have retired from the business shortly afterwards.
His activities as a merchant-voyageur had not led him to give up hope of becoming an officer in the colonial regular troops. He was nearly 40, however, when he first had the chance to take up this career; in 1742 he was a cadet with the Michilimackinac garrison. At that time he already had three children, so that, according to his superior officers, he was “forced to follow the fur trade to support them.” Perhaps family obligations became too heavy for this would-be officer, or perhaps he was afraid of being transferred to a garrison less convenient for his trading activities than Michilimackinac. In any case he never rose in the military hierarchy.
La Madeleine spent his later years at Pointe-aux-Trembles. In February 1759 he and his brother Manthet had bought a piece of property there on which was built a modest house of squared timbers (pièces sur pièces). Twelve years later he bought his brother’s share and became sole owner.
AN, Col., D2C, 43. ANQ-M, Greffe de J.-B. Adhémar, 4 juin 1732; 12 juin 1733; 9, 27, 28 juin 1747; 9, 10 juill. 1747; 1er mai 1750; Greffe d’Henri Bouron, 11 juin 1750, nos.53, 54; Greffe de L.-C. Danré de Blanzy, 23 juin 1741, 13 juin 1745, 1er févr. 1759; Greffe d’Antoine Foucher, 28 juill. 1767; Greffe de N.-A. Guillet de Chaumont, 28 juin 1737. Archives paroissiales, Notre-Dame (Montréal), Registre des baptêmes, mariages et sépultures, 1702; Saint-Enfant-Jésus (Pointe-aux-Trembles, Qué.), Registre des baptêmes, mariages et sépultures, 1793, f.18. ASSM, 24, Dossier 6. Ste Ann’s Parish (Mackinac Island, Mich.), Registre des baptêmes, mariages et sépultures de Sainte-Anne-de-Michillimakinak (mfm. at PAC, MG 8, G17). [G.-]J. Brassier, Montréal en 1781, déclaration du fief et seigneurie de l’isle de Montréal au papier terrier du domaine de sa majesté en la province de Québec . . . , Claude Perrault, édit. (Montréal, 1969), 136. Massicotte, “Répertoire des engagements pour l’Ouest,” ANQ Rapport, 1929–30, 1930–31. Ægidius Fauteux, La famille d’Aillebout: étude généalogique et historique (Montréal, 1917).