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Original title:  Charles Le Moyne de Longueuil

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LE MOYNE DE LONGUEUIL, CHARLES, Baron de LONGUEUIL, the second to hold the title, officer in the colonial regular troops, governor of Montreal, acting administrator of New France; b. 18 Oct. 1687 at Longueuil (Que.), son of Charles Le Moyne* de Longueuil, Baron de Longueuil, and Claude-Élisabeth Souart d’Adoucourt; d. 17 Jan. 1755 in Montreal.

Charles Le Moyne de Longueuil early embraced a career in arms. Following the example of his father and several other members of the Le Moyne family, he went to learn the military profession in France, and was at Rochefort in December 1705, serving as a midshipman. He returned to Canada and on 18 June 1712 he obtained the expectancy of an appointment as lieutenant. A year later the king granted him his commission. A diligent officer and “very steady in his conduct,” he was promoted captain on 13 May 1719, after six years as a lieutenant. On 28 April 1726 his father, at the time acting administrator of New France, appointed him commandant of Fort Niagara (near Youngstown, N.Y.), a post much sought after by Canadian military officers, as were all the posts in the pays den haut at the period, for the supplementary income that the fur trade brought them. In 1729, after his father’s death on 7 June of that year, he inherited the title of Baron de Longueuil. Finally, after 14 years as a captain, Charles Le Moyne was promoted on 1 April 1733 town major of the government of Montreal, replacing François de Gannes de Falaise. The following year, 1734, Louis XV made him a knight of the order of Saint-Louis as a reward for his 31 years of “good and loyal services.”

In June 1739 the town major of Montreal was sent by Governor Charles de Beauharnois to Louisiana to aid the governor of that colony, Bienville [Le Moyne], the Baron de Longueuil’s uncle, in his struggle against the Chickasaw tribe. The expedition, consisting of a detachment of 442 men, 319 of them Indians, was successful in pacifying the Chickasaws, thanks to Captain Pierre-Joseph Céloron de Blainville, who on 22 Feb. 1740 intimidated them sufficiently through a bold attack to make them seek peace.

Charles Le Moyne was back in Montreal in the summer of 1740 and remained there until May 1743, when he took over as king’s lieutenant at Trois-Rivières in place of Louis Liénard de Beaujeu, who was incapacitated by illness. In March 1748 he returned to Montreal as king’s lieutenant, and was responsible for the government of Montreal until a governor was appointed to succeed Josué Dubois Berthelot de Beaucours, who had been retired because of his advanced age. On 23 May 1749 the king informed him of his appointment to the important post of governor of Montreal, an office which in the military hierarchy of Canada at that period came after that of governor general. In addition, Montreal was the centre of the fur trade, the gateway to the pays den haut, and nerve centre for all the military expeditions towards the pays den haut and Louisiana.

On 25 March 1752, after the death of the governor general, La Jonquière [Taffanel], Charles Le Moyne, as governor of Montreal and as the senior officer on the general staff, was put in charge of the administration of New France by Intendant Bigot* until a new governor was appointed. He seized the occasion to ask the king to confirm him in this function, just as his father had done 27 years earlier, but the king could not accede to this request, for on 1 Jan. 1752, even before La Jonquière’s death, he had appointed the Marquis Duquesne* to the office. During the four months of his interim government, Le Moyne succeeded, with the help of the inhabitants of Montreal, in convincing the minister, Rouillé, to give up the project of suppressing the Hôpital-Général of Montreal, which Mother d’Youville [Dufrost*] had just taken in hand. On Duquesne’s arrival in August 1752 Le Moyne resumed his functions as governor of Montreal, exercising them until his death on 17 Jan. 1755.

On 29 April 1730, at Saint-Ours, in the presence of many representatives of the Canadian nobility, Charles Le Moyne de Longueuil had married Catherine-Charlotte, the daughter of Marguerite Legardeur de Tilly and the late Louis-Joseph Le Gouès de Grais, a captain in the colonial regular troops, and the step-daughter of Pierre de Saint-Ours* and Charles Le Moyne de Longueuil, first Baron de Longueuil, both deceased. Between 1721 and 1739 18 children were born of this marriage, six of whom survived their father: two sons, who were officers in the colonial regular troops, and four daughters. At his death Charles Le Moyne left a large inheritance consisting of a house on Rue Saint-Paul in Montreal, a farm on Île Sainte-Hélène, 11,681 livres 10 sols in personal goods, including 5,103 livres 10 sols in silverware, 1,104 livres 5 sols in “solid gold,” 1,075 livres in furniture, 566 livres in linen, and 284 livres in clothing, 34 animals valued at 436 livres, and two black slaves “valued” at 500 livres each.

Charles Le Moyne de Longueuil, a rich man, a member of the nobility and the military élite of New France, was a typical example of the sons of great Canadian families who were able to accede to the highest offices in New France and indirectly to wealth, thanks to their rank, the prestige of their “noble name,” and the patronage which, in New France as in the mother country, played a prominent role in the distribution of vacant offices in the king’s service.

André Lachance

AN, Col., B, 87, ff.32ff., 40v; 89, f.78; 103, f.21v; C11A, 98, ff.86, 345, 350; 101, f.125; D2C, 222/2, f.25; E, 203 (dossier Germain), 290 (dossier Le Moyne de Longueuil, Charles II). ANQ-M, Greffe L.-C. Danré de Blanzy, 12 mars 1755; Greffe de Pierre Raimbault, 29 avril 1720; Registre d’état civil, Notre-Dame de Montréal, 20 oct. 1687, 19 janv. 1755. “Une expédition canadienne à la Louisiane en 1739–1740,” APQ Rapport, 1922-23, 156ff. Tanguay, Dictionnaire. Frégault, François Bigot, II, 53ff. A. Jodoin et J.-L. Vincent, Histoire de Longueuil et la famille de Longueuil (Montréal, 1889), 231ff. P.-G. Roy, “Les gouverneurs de Montréal (1642–1760),” Cahiers des Dix, VII (1942), 116–17.

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André Lachance, “LE MOYNE DE LONGUEUIL, CHARLES, Baron de LONGUEUIL (1687-1755),” in Dictionary of Canadian Biography, vol. 3, University of Toronto/Université Laval, 2003–, accessed September 2, 2014, http://www.biographi.ca/en/bio/le_moyne_de_longueuil_charles_1687_1755_3E.html.

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Permalink: http://www.biographi.ca/en/bio/le_moyne_de_longueuil_charles_1687_1755_3E.html
Author of Article: André Lachance
Title of Article: LE MOYNE DE LONGUEUIL, CHARLES, Baron de LONGUEUIL (1687-1755)
Publication Name: Dictionary of Canadian Biography, vol. 3
Publisher: University of Toronto/Université Laval
Year of publication: 1974
Year of revision: 1974
Access Date: September 2, 2014