ANDRÉ, LOUIS, Jesuit priest and missionary; b. 28 May 1631 at Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, Bouches-du-Rhône, France; d. 19 Sept. 1715 at Quebec.
Louis André entered the Society of Jesus at Lyons on 12 Sept. 1650. After the customary Jesuit training in teaching and ecclesiastical studies, he came to New France, arriving at Quebec on 7 June 1669. The following summer he was sent to the Ottawa mission at Sault Ste Marie with Father Gabriel Druillettes*, a missionary with broad experience who guided André in his early dealings with Indigenous people. André spent the season of 1670–71 with a group of Ottawa refugees from Chagouamigon (Chequamegon Bay on Lake Superior), who were wintering on Manitoulin Island. Returning to Sault Ste Marie in 1671, Father André began twelve years of missionary work in the Baie des Puants (Green Bay) area, devoting much of his effort to the Menominee, the Wild Rice People, who lived along the Menominee River. In 1683, André was recalled to Saint-Ignace (Saint Ignace, Michigan) and worked there until 1684 when he was recalled to Quebec. At the age of 54, after so many years of missionary life, André was assigned to teach philosophy and later Latin, a task which occupied him until 1690. Possibly it was this period of comparative repose that enabled him to compile his valuable Algonquin and Ottawa dictionary as well as his “Préceptes, phrases et mots,” a little conversational manual which can still be read.
In 1690, at the advanced age of 60, Father André again became a missionary to the First Nations, this time on the Saguenay River, physically one of the most difficult mission areas in New France. After two years at Chicoutimi (1690–92), André spent the next six years (1692–98) at Montreal and Quebec, devoting himself to the Indigenous people in those areas, and occasionally to those on the Sept-Îles northeast of Tadoussac. Records regarding André during his last years of active life are somewhat confusing. It is believed that from 1698 to 1700 he was at the mission of Saint-François-de-Sales on the Chaudière River. Father André apparently ended his active work about 1705. He died at Quebec on 19 Sept. 1715, having spent 46 years in New France.
ASJCF, Louis André, Extraits des préceptes, phrases et mots de la langue algonquine, outaouaise pour un missionnaire nouveau. JR (Thwaites). Ivanhoë Caron, “Prêtres séculiers et religieux,” 201. J.-A. Maurault, Histoire des Abénakis, depuis 1605 jusqu’à nos jours (Sorel, 1866), 276f. Rochemonteix, Les Jésuites et la N.-F. au XVIIe siècle, III, 369. A. E. Jones, “A sketch of Father Louis André S. J., an early Wisconsin missionary,” U.S. Catholic Hist. Mag., III (1890), 26–40.