LE VERRIER DE ROUSSON, FRANÇOIS, town major of Montreal, king’s lieutenant at Quebec, knight of the order of Saint-Louis; b. c. 1656 in Paris, son of Nicolas Le Verrier, seigneur of Boisguibert, and Madeleine Houdon; buried 7 Nov. 1732 at Quebec.
Le Verrier first had a rather long military career in France. In 1672 he was serving in the first company of the King’s Musketeers. He was appointed a cornet in the Régiment de Varennes in 1675, then a half-pay lieutenant and a lieutenant on the active list in the Régiment de la Valette in 1682. He was wounded in the eye in 1684, was put on half-pay two years later, and on 17 March 1687 he was appointed a captain in the colonial regular troops. It was in this capacity that he came to New France in the same year.
On 10 Sept. 1688 Le Verrier accidentally killed his friend, Jacques Boucher de Montizambert, a son of Pierre Boucher. The victims parents were convinced that it was simply a hunting accident and solemnly declared: “we are perfectly aware of his innocence in this matter. . . . For our part therefore we exonerate the aforementioned Sieur Le Verrier of the said death.”
Le Verrier’s military career was not affected by this accident and continued to advance. He was wounded twice in the campaigns against the Iroquois in 1689 and 1693. This did not however slow down his advancement: in January 1693 he was a midshipman; he was promoted ship’s captain with a commission in March 1694, and sub-lieutenant on 5 March 1695.
On 6 Sept. 1697 the governor of Montreal, Callière, sent him “to the foot of the Long Sault on the great river to take up position on the north side in the place that in his judgement is the most suitable for defending both shores” in order to stop all passing canoes. If possible, he was to construct a log fort there, or at least an abatis for protection against the enemy. Le Verrier seems to have carried out his mission unsatisfactorily, since the king blamed him in a personal letter for his lack of zeal in performing his duty.
This did not prevent him from being made a Chevalier of Saint-Louis in 1713 “on account of his services,” and from being appointed town major of the troops at Montreal on 12 May 1714. That same year an anonymous note described him thus: “He is a fairly good officer and has dignity.” In 1724 he received a pension of 400 livres in recognition of the wounds that he had received. The following year he replaced Louvigny [LA Porte] as king’s lieutenant at Quebec. He was given the highest praise by the intendant, Claude-Thomas Dupuy, in a letter of 20 Oct. 1727: “M. Le Verrier, the king’s lieutenant at Quebec, who was in command there during the absence of the governor general Beauharnois* de La Boische, has conducted himself with all the ardour, vivacity, and experience of an officer of longstanding; he has seen war waged by M. de Turenne, consequently in an expert manner. This appears in everything he does, his vigilance is unceasing, and no one is firmer or more constant than he in observing the regulations of the service.” In 1730 Vaudreuil [Rigaud] also stressed his zeal and his activity and noted that Le Verrier “loves and enforces discipline.” But all these commendations were not sufficient to obtain for Le Verrier the post of governor of Trois-Rivières which he coveted.
In 1704 François Le Verrier de Rousson married Jeanne-Charlotte de Fleury Deschambault, daughter of Jacques-Alexis de Fleury and Marguerite de Chavigny de Berchereau. They had one daughter and a son, Louis*, who, like his father, took up a military career. In 1743 Le Verrier’s widow took as her second husband Pierre de Rigaud* de Vaudreuil de Cavagnial, the last governor of New France.
AN, Col., B, 33–37; C11A, 34, 49, 53. “Correspondance de Vaudreuil,” APQ Rapport, 1946–47, 443; 1947–48, 137–339. P.-G. Roy, “Ce que Callières pensait de nos officiers,” 321–33. Fauteux, Les chevaliers de Saint-Louis, 106. P.-G. Roy, Les officiers d’état-major, 146–55. Tanguay, Dictionnaire, V, 395. Claude de Bonnault, “Notes sur MM. Leverrier, père et fils,” BRH, XXXV (1929), 288–91. Montarville Boucher de La Bruère, “La mort de Jacques Boucher de Montizambert,” BRH, XXXIV (1928), 12–19.