JUCHEREAU DUCHESNAY, JEAN-BAPTISTE, army and militia officer, merchant, seigneur, and politician; b. 16 Feb. 1779 in Beauport, Que., son of Antoine Juchereau* Duchesnay and Catherine Dupré; m. 1 Sept. 1807 Eliza Jones at Quebec, and they had four children; d. there 13 Jan. 1833 and was buried two days later in the church at Beauport.
Jean-Baptiste Juchereau Duchesnay came from one of the richest families of the seigneurial aristocracy in the Quebec region. In 1792 he was placed as a boarder at Quebec, where for three years he attended the Petit Séminaire. He chose a military career, becoming in 1796 an ensign in the Royal Canadian Volunteer Regiment, under Lieutenant-Colonel Joseph-Dominique-Emmanuel Le Moyne* de Longueuil and his own godfather, Major Ignace-Michel-Louis-Antoine d’Irumberry de Salaberry. He was promoted lieutenant, and like his half-brother Antoine-Louis served until the regiment was disbanded in 1802.
In March of that year Duchesnay borrowed £100 from lawyer Jean-Antoine Panet* and set himself up as a merchant at Lotbinière. However, he rejoined the army in 1805, being commissioned an ensign in the 60th Foot, a unit in which his brother Michel-Louis* also served. On the eve of his departure to join it he sent his illegitimate daughter, Marie-Anne, who was then aged four, to board with a family at Lotbinière. In 1806 he was promoted lieutenant in the same regiment.
During the War of 1812 Duchesnay served as a captain in the Voltigeurs Canadiens, under Charles-Michel d’Irumberry de Salaberry. He distinguished himself on several occasions, particularly in the battle of Châteauguay on 26 Oct. 1813. The next day Governor Sir George Prevost* wrote a report in which he made a point of stressing Duchesnay’s performance. Duchesnay was made a major on 25 Feb. 1814, and in July of the following year he was placed on half pay.
In March 1821 Duchesnay was named provincial aide-de-camp by Governor Lord Dalhousie [Ramsay*], an appointment bringing him the rank of lieutenant-colonel in the militia. Two years later he took command of the Saint-Jean-Port-Joli battalion of militia and in 1828 he was called on to serve as militia inspector. In April 1832 he was appointed to the Legislative Council. The following month he became a member of the Quebec Board of Health. But by then a cholera epidemic was raging, and to this malady Duchesnay succumbed on 13 Jan. 1833.
At his father’s death in 1806 Jean-Baptiste Juchereau Duchesnay had inherited the use of the seigneury of Grande-Anse. He had, however, never taken up residence on the seigneurial domain, preferring to live at Quebec and entrust management of the fief to two brothers, Jean-Baptiste and Charles Taché. He rented out the communal mill and had a sawmill built which he subsequently also leased. By the terms of his father’s will the seigneury was to go to Jean-Baptiste’s male heirs, but all his children predeceased him. It thus came to be purchased by Amable Dionne*, a Kamouraska merchant.
ANQ-Q, CE1-5, 16 févr. 1779, 15 janv. 1833; CE1-66, 1er sept. 1807; CN1-16, 4 juin 1812; CN1-178, 9 mai 1812; 14 janv. 1815; 30 mars, 23 nov. 1819; CN1-262, 30 juill. 1804; 26, 29 oct. 1805; CN1-284, 15 mars 1802. ASQ, Fichier des anciens. PAC, RG 68, General index, 1651–1841. Quebec Gazette, 27 April 1812; 29 March, 7 June 1821; 28 April 1823. F.-J. Audet, “Les législateurs du Bas-Canada”; “Officiers canadiens dans l’armée anglaise,” BRH, 29 (1923): 155–56. Le Jeune, Dictionnaire. Officers of British forces in Canada (Irving). Turcotte, Le Conseil législatif. Wallace, Macmillan dict. P.-G. Roy, La famille Juchereau Duchesnay (Lévis, Qué., 1903).
Cite This Article
Céline Cyr and Michelle Guitard, “JUCHEREAU DUCHESNAY, JEAN-BAPTISTE,” in Dictionary of Canadian Biography, vol. 6, University of Toronto/Université Laval, 2003–, accessed April 24, 2014, http://www.biographi.ca/en/bio/juchereau_duchesnay_jean_baptiste_6E.html.
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|Author of Article:||Céline Cyr and Michelle Guitard|
|Title of Article:||JUCHEREAU DUCHESNAY, JEAN-BAPTISTE|
|Publication Name:||Dictionary of Canadian Biography, vol. 6|
|Publisher:||University of Toronto/Université Laval|
|Year of publication:||1987|
|Year of revision:||1987|
|Access Date:||April 24, 2014|