BOUCHER DE BOUCHERVILLE, PIERRE (baptized François-Pierre), officer in the colonial regular troops, seigneur; b. 9 June 1689 at Boucherville (Que.), son of Pierre Boucher de Boucherville and Charlotte Denys de La Trinité; buried 12 Sept. 1767 at Boucherville.
Following family tradition, Pierre Boucher de Boucherville had a military career. His grandfather, Pierre Boucher*, had been a soldier, and his father and several of his uncles were officers in the colonial regular troops. Boucher de Boucherville’s career can easily be reconstructed by means of a report he wrote in 1748 for the minister of Marine, Maurepas, with a view to obtaining a promotion.
Boucher de Boucherville joined the colonial regular troops in 1702 as a cadet, and in 1707 he was sent to Detroit to serve under Lamothe Cadillac [Laumet*]. After returning from Detroit in 1710 he was appointed intelligence agent to the commandant of the garrison at Sault-Saint-Louis (Caughnawaga, Que.). Later he carried out several different missions, some of which were normally reserved for officers whereas he was only a cadet. On at least one occasion he acted as peacemaker with the Indians. In 1720 he went to France; he returned to the colony the following year with the rank of ensign and a post as commandant of the Îles de la Madeleine, where he served for two years. In 1724 he was sent to Lake Champlain at the head of a detachment in order to prevent smuggling there.
In 1727, when it was decided to establish a post among the Sioux, Pierre Boucher de Boucherville was chosen second in command under his uncle, René Boucher de La Perrière, who led the expedition. They reached Lake Pepin (Wis.-Minn.) around the end of the summer and there they set up Fort Beauharnois. The following year Boucherville, on his way to Montreal, stopped at Michilimackinac, where he joined Constant Le Marchand* de Lignery’s expedition against the Foxes. After this unsuccessful campaign Boucherville returned to Fort Beauharnois, where he assumed command in place of his uncle, who had had to return to Montreal because of illness. But in September 1728, on the advice of Lignery, who feared an attack by the Foxes, Boucherville left the fort by means of the Mississippi, which he believed the least dangerous route. He was nevertheless attacked, and was a prisoner of the Kickapoos and Mascoutens for over five months. He took advantage of his forced stay among these Indians to make friends with them; he offered to try to make peace with the Illinois for them and during the winter succeeded in concluding a treaty embracing the three tribes. According to Maximilien Bibaud*, Boucherville left an account of his stay in the Sioux country, “Relation des aventures de M. de Boucherville à son retour des Sioux en 1728 et 1729, suivie d’observations sur les mœurs des sauvages,” but the whereabouts of this manuscript today is not known.
After returning to Montreal, probably during the summer of 1729, Boucherville was married there on 14 Sept. 1731 to Marguerite, Pierre Raimbault*’s daughter, by whom he had six children. In 1732 he obtained permission from the minister of Marine to go to France on private business, and in 1734 he was appointed to Fort Frontenac (Kingston, Ont.). The following year he was sent to Fort Niagara (near Youngstown, N.Y.), and in 1736, when the commandant of the fort, Nicolas Blaise* Des Bergères de Rigauville, was relieved of his post, Boucherville replaced him. That same year he was appointed a lieutenant in the colonial regular troops. Boucherville served as commandant at Niagara for three years, then returned to Montreal. In 1745 he received command of Fort Chambly, and the following year he was sent to Fort Saint-Frédéric (Crown Point, N.Y.), where he served as lieutenant and interpreter. He did garrison duty in Montreal again in 1748, and was appointed captain in March 1749.
On 1 Jan. 1758, after 56 years in the colonial regular troops, Boucherville was retired with a pension and received the cross of the order of Saint-Louis in recognition of his services. He remained in Canada after the conquest; a note in his military record dated 25 Sept. 1766 mentions that his advanced age and infirmities had not permitted him to return to France and that from 1760 on he had not received the pension of 540 livres granted him in 1758. Pierre Boucher de Boucherville died in 1767 in the seigneury of Boucherville, of which he had been joint seigneur.
AN, Col., E, 43 (dossier Pierre Boucher), pièces 1–4; Marine, C7, 39 (dossier Boucher de Boucherville). PAC Report, 1904, app. K. Fauteux, Les chevaliers de Saint-Louis, 166. Tanguay, Dictionnaire. Maximilien Bibaud, Le panthéon canadien (Montréal, 1891), 33. P.-G. Roy, “Les commandants du fort Niagara,” BRH, LIV (1948), 166–67.