FLEURY DESCHAMBAULT, JACQUES DE, Canadian priest, missionary in Acadia; b. 15 Aug. 1672 at Quebec, son of Jacques-Alexis de Fleury* Deschambault, and of Marguerite de Chavigny; d. 29 Aug. 1698 at Mines (Minas Basin).
He was the eldest son of one of the most eminent families in the country. His father, a lawyer in the Parlement of Paris, had emigrated to Canada in 1671; he had married the same year, had become king’s attorney at Montreal, and had distinguished himself in the great expedition led by Buade de Frontenac against the Iroquois.
Fleury Deschambault received his classical education and began his theology at Quebec. He was still only a sub-deacon when he left for Acadia with Abbé Thury in 1693. From there he went to France, where he was ordained priest for the seminary of Quebec. He returned to Canada in 1694, spent a year at Quebec, and went back to Pentagouet (Castine, Maine) as assistant to M. Thury.
In 1697 the French court organized an expedition against the English colonies in America. Indians and troops from Canada were to wait for the squadron at Pentagouet. But the Marquis de Nesmond, the commander of the fleet, having lost two months’ time at sea, did not venture to attack Newfoundland and because the season was far advanced he returned to France with nothing accomplished. The Indians, however, after waiting all summer, decided to organize a foray before dispersing. A group of 120 braves was to go down the Penobscot and join up with an equal number of Abenakis from the Kennebec River. When they reached the Îles de Pemaquid, the Indians encountered three English vessels, which gave chase to them. A fight ensued which lasted several hours and caused some loss of life on both sides. Abbé Deschambault, who accompanied the expedition, has left us an account of it. He died on 29 Aug. 1698 at Mines. He was only 26 years old.
AN, Col., C11A, 3, f.66, f.179 (publié dans la Correspondance de Talon, APQ Rapport, 1930–31, 154). ASQ, Amédée-E. Gosselin, “Notes pour servir à la bibliographie des prêtres du Séminaire de Québec, avec références en marge.” Maximilien Bibaud, Le panthéon canadien, éd. Adèle et Victoria Bibaud (Montréal, 1891), 93–97. BRH, XXII (1916), 206–8. H.-R. Casgrain, Les Sulpiciens et les prêtres des Missions-Étrangères en Acadie (1676–1762) (Québec, 1897).