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LA TOURASSE, CHARLES (known as Chevalier), sergeant in the French garrison at Port-Royal in Acadia, temporary English commandant there, 1690–3; ensign in the company of Claude-Sébastien de Villieu*, in Acadia; d. 1696.

In the spring of 1690 Sir William Phips captured Port-Royal (Annapolis Royal, N.S.) and the French governor of Acadia, Louis-Alexandre Des Friches* de Menneval. Phips himself remained at Port-Royal only for 10 or 12 days after its capitulation. Before he left it, however, he assembled as many of the inhabitants as he could and had them take the oath of allegiance to William and Mary. Then for the preservation of peace at Port-Royal, pending the arrival of a governor from Boston, Phips constituted a council, of which La Tourasse was appointed president, and the remaining members were six other leading inhabitants, one of whom was Alexandre Le Borgne de Belle-Isle. La Tourasse continued as English commandant at Port-Royal for some time, with the approval of Joseph Robinau de Villebon, a military officer who returned from France to Acadia in June 1690. The English did not establish a garrison at Port-Royal. Villebon attributed their failure to do so to the fact that the inhabitants at Port-Royal refused, as he had told them to do, to sign a guarantee for the actions of the Indians in the event that an English garrison should be sent to Port-Royal.

In the autumn of 1691 the vessel in which Villebon, now the governor of Acadia, was returning from France via Quebec to Acadia, captured a New England vessel carrying Col. Edward Tyng, who had been named governor of Nova Scotia by the New England authorities, who claimed Acadia by right of conquest. Upon his arrival at Port-Royal on 26 Nov. 1691, Villebon found the English flag flying, but still no Englishmen to defend it. The next day he assembled the inhabitants and in their presence took formal possession of Port-Royal and of all Acadia, in the name of the French monarch. Villebon did not even find it necessary to disturb the provisional government set up there by Phips. All he had to do was to instruct La Tourasse to favour the French cause whenever he could do so without embarrassing his relations with the English; then he continued in the direction of Fort Jemseg, where he established his government. Subsequently Villebon directed La Tourasse to take no steps save those which he prescribed for him. When Abraham Boudrot offered to go to Boston, under the pretext of trading, in order to see what designs were afoot there, La Tourasse suggested that his own wife, née Catherine Bugaret, in whom the English had confidence, might accompany Boudrot in order to give Villebon proof that she was a loyal Frenchwoman. Villebon gave his consent to this proposal, but La Tourasse’s wife died on the voyage to Boston in 1693, and after her death, La Tourasse abandoned the post given to him by the English.

On 15 Feb. 1694 La Tourasse received a commission as an ensign, and on the 13 March following, in a “memorandum intended for the instruction of the sieur de Villebon,” who was then established at Fort Naxouat (Nashwaak), the minister wrote: “His Majesty has had the vessel La Bretonne fitted out to bring help. . . . This vessel carries 10 soldiers to replace those who may be missing from among the 40 that His Majesty wishes to maintain at the said fort with the sieur Chevallier [La Tourasse], whom His Majesty has made an ensign in the Sieur de Villieu’s company, in recognition of his faithfulness and of the devotion that he has displayed in His Majesty’s service since the coming of the English to Acadia.”

When Benjamin Church* decided to seize the Bay of Fundy and lay siege to Fort Naxouat, La Tourasse acted as a scout under Villebon’s orders; he was killed in an ambush on or about 9 Oct. 1696.

In collaboration with C. Bruce Fergusson

Recensement de 1693 (Acadie). Coll. de manuscrits relatifs à la Nouv.-France, II, 4–5 (“de la Tourasse”), 146, 241–47 (“Chevalier”). PAC Report, 1912, App. E, 54–66; App. F, 67–73 (“Latourasie” and “Lattoras”). Murdoch, History of Nova-Scotia, I. Parkman, Count Frontenac and New France (24th ed.). Webster, Acadia.

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Cite This Article

In collaboration with C. Bruce Fergusson, “LA TOURASSE, CHARLES,” in Dictionary of Canadian Biography, vol. 1, University of Toronto/Université Laval, 2003–, accessed September 22, 2023, http://www.biographi.ca/en/bio/la_tourasse_charles_1E.html.

The citation above shows the format for footnotes and endnotes according to the Chicago manual of style (16th edition). Information to be used in other citation formats:

Permalink:   http://www.biographi.ca/en/bio/la_tourasse_charles_1E.html
Author of Article:   In collaboration with C. Bruce Fergusson
Title of Article:   LA TOURASSE, CHARLES
Publication Name:   Dictionary of Canadian Biography, vol. 1
Publisher:   University of Toronto/Université Laval
Year of publication:   1966
Year of revision:   1979
Access Date:   September 22, 2023