DU PONT DUVIVIER, FRANÇOIS, sub-lieutenant in the navy, captain in Acadia and Île Royale (Cape Breton Island); b. 5 Sept. 1676 at Sérignac, Saintonge; d. 31 Oct. or 1 Nov. 1714 in Louisbourg.
Duvivier was the second of nine sons and one daughter of Hugues Du Pont and Marie Hérauld de Gourville. Two brothers, Michel Du Pont de Renon and Louis Du Pont* Duchambon, also served in Acadia and Île Royale. Duvivier married on 12 Jan. 1705 Marie Mius d’Entremont, the daughter of Jacques Mius, Baron de Pobomcoup, and Anne de Saint-Étienne de La Tour, a daughter of Charles de Saint-Étienne* de La Tour. From this union there came seven children: François* (b. April 1705), Joseph-Michel, Joseph, Louis, and Michel were all born in Port-Royal (Annapolis Royal, N.S.); Anne-Marie in Sérignac; and Marie-Joseph (b. in 1715 after her father’s death) in Louisbourg.
Duvivier was a midshipman at Rochefort from 1692 until 1702. That year he was awarded the rank of sub-lieutenant in the navy and the captaincy of a new company of colonial regular troops in Acadia. Though the governor of Acadia, Daniel Wauger de Subercase, expressed satisfaction with Duvivier’s conduct when the English under John March attacked Port-Royal in 1707, he described him in 1708 as “negligent beyond imagination . . . , totally lacking in experience and emulation . . . [but] nevertheless a good fellow.”
Duvivier’s chief claim to notoriety in the colony was the irregular circumstances of his marriage in January 1705 before the Recollet Félix Pain*. He had failed to secure the permission of either his family or the commanding officer at Port-Royal. The commander, Simon-Pierre Denys de Bonaventure, lamented that such alliances between officers and young women of obscure birth and humble circumstances could not but seriously affect their careers and their diligence in the king’s service. Though in Port-Royal the incident aroused the passions of those involved, as well as the curiosity. of the settlers, the ministry was content to write letters reprimanding Duvivier and the superior of the Recollets in France for the insubordination of the priests of the order in Acadia.
Following the surrender of Port-Royal to the British under Nicholson in 1710, Duvivier returned to France. In June 1712 he was awarded the command of a company in Canada but failed to leave Paris in time to embark, for which negligence he was severely reprimanded by the minister of Marine. He sailed finally in 1713 from La Rochelle as a captain in the expedition which officially founded the colony of Île Royale. Undoubtedly because of his previous Acadian connections, he was sent that summer to Nova Scotia to encourage and organize the removal of the Acadians to the new French colony.
At his death in the autumn of 1714, his widow was awarded a small pension. She remained for several years in Île Royale before moving to Paris where she was reported as residing in 1734. At least three of Duvivier’s sons entered the service in Île Royale where they soon acquired the reputation of being more zealous for trade than for the military.