LEGARDEUR DE BEAUVAIS, RENÉ, midshipman, officer in the colonial regular troops; baptized in Quebec on 3 Oct. 1660, son of Charles Legardeur* de Tilly and Geneviève Juchereau de Maur; d. 26 Dec. 1742 in Montreal.
René Legardeur de Beauvais spent the greater part of his young adult years in the west, combining fur-trading with military service. In August 1683 he set out from Michilimackinac to trade in the Illinois country, but was pillaged en route by the Iroquois and returned empty-handed. The following year he led the Batiscan militia in Le Febvre * de La Barre’s ill-fated campaign against the Iroquois. In 1686–87, while serving as Daniel Greysolon* Dulhut’s lieutenant at Fort Saint-Joseph (on the west shore of the St Clair River), he was present when Olivier Morel* de La Durantaye claimed the area bounded by lakes Erie and Huron in the king’s name. In addition, he helped the western post commandants rally the Indians for Brisay* de Denonville’s 1687 campaign against the Iroquois. He subsequently returned to Montreal, and directed his fur-trading interests from there.
Beauvais was commissioned half-pay lieutenant in 1688, lieutenant in 1690, and received the brevet of midshipman in 1694. He headed westward again two years later, this time leading the La Montagne and Lorette mission Indians in Buade* de Frontenac’s expedition against the Iroquois. In 1714, with recommendations from several superiors, he was commissioned captain. He served briefly at Fort Saint-Joseph (probably Niles, Mich.) in the 1720s, and held the post of commandant of Fort Frontenac (Kingston, Ont.) from 1728 to 1736. He was awarded the coveted cross of the order of Saint-Louis in 1733.
Beauvais was married three times. His first wife, Marie-Barbe, daughter of Pierre de Saint-Ours*, whom he married on 19 Sept. 1694 in Montreal, died in 1705 after bearing 11 children. He married Madeleine Marchand, widow of Jean Malhiot, in Montreal in 1715. She died in 1722, and three years later he took his third wife – Louise Lamy, widow of Charles-Paul de Marin* de La Malgue, in Montreal. Beauvais died in 1742 at the age of 82.
AN, Col., C11A, 6, 9, 10, 11, 14, 21, 22, 34; D2C, 47; 222/2, p.44 [in the Alphabet Laffilard, the date of his promotion to a lieutenancy and his date of death are wrong. c.j.r.]; Marine, B2, 96, ff.9–9v; C7 (dossier Legardeur de Beauvais). ANQ-M, Greffe d’Antoine Adhémar. “Correspondance de Vaudreuil,” APQ Rapport, 1947–48, 237. Royal Fort Frontenac (Preston and Lamontagne). Fauteux, Les chevaliers de Saint-Louis, 128. Le Jeune, Dictionnaire. Tanguay, Dictionnaire. Kellogg, French régime, 227–28. Gérard Malchelosse, “Le poste de la Rivière Saint-Joseph (Mich.) (1691–1781),” Cahiers des Dix, XXIII (1958), 139–86.