NOLAN LAMARQUE, CHARLES, merchant; b. 25 Nov. 1694 in Montreal, son of Jean-Baptiste Nolan, a merchant, and Marie-Anne de La Marque; d. 5 Oct. 1754 in Montreal.
Like many other men enlisted to go to the west, Charles Nolan added to his patronymic his mother’s name, which he wrote in a single word and without the nobiliary particle. In 1717 Nolan Lamarque was enlisted by Alphonse Tonty*, whose second wife was Nolan’s mother, and went to Fort Pontchartrain (Detroit) for three years. Once his enlistment was over, he in turn launched into the fur trade and equipped numerous traders with articles of trade. He also hired for himself or his partners more than 100 “boatmen-voyageurs” for the west during his career.
Nolan Lamarque wanted to ensure solid foundations for his commercial enterprise and went into partnership on 28 Sept. 1726 with Antoine Pascaud Jr [see Antoine Pascaud*] of La Rochelle; on 28 May 1732 he renewed this agreement. Each partner invested in the company a sum of 32,600 livres. But Nolan Lamarque neglected to present a balance sheet and to pay in the revenues from the company’s operations, and on 4 June 1735 his partner named Denis Goguet, a Quebec merchant, as his special procurator to annul the deed of partnership and to draw up a financial report. The inquiry, conducted by Goguet, revealed that a profit of 107,004 livres 14 sols had been realized and that the sum of 82,102 livres 7 sols was due Pascaud. In order to settle the matter out of court and to compensate Nolan Lamarque for the difficulties he had incurred, Goguet consented to reduce the debt by 11,102 livres 7 sols. A balance remained due of 71,000 livres, payable in four unequal instalments.
In the desire once more to put his business, which had become mediocre, on a sound footing, Nolan Lamarque founded a new company on 21 April 1738 with his brother, Jean-Marie Nolan, Jean-Baptiste Legras, and Ignace Gamelin* Jr. The company obtained from Pierre Gaultier de Varennes et de La Vérendrye “all the trade in the west,” in return for 1,000 livres in cash per year. On 9 Oct. 1738 Nolan Lamarque joined La Vérendrye at Fort La Reine (Portage la Prairie, Man.), and on 16 October he went with the explorer into the Mandan country. At the beginning of February Nolan Lamarque was back at Fort La Reine, and at the end of the month he reached Fort Maurepas, on the Red River, where he waited in vain until 23 April for a party of Indians in several canoes laden with furs; he then went to the Rivière Ouinipigon (Winnipeg River) to intercept them and prevent them from going to Hudson Bay to sell their peltries to the English. Not having succeeded as he had hoped, Nolan Lamarque returned to Montreal. The company was dissolved in 1741.
The following year his wife, Marie-Anne Legardeur de Saint-Pierre, whom he had married in Montreal on 28 Jan. 1727, died. He did not remarry, and continued his activities as a “merchant-outfitter” and silent partner until his death, which occurred on 5 Oct. 1754 in his house built in 1730 on Rue Saint-Paul. Nolan Lamarque still owed Antoine Pascaud the sum of 59,644 lives 14 sols.
ANQ-M, Greffe de C.-R. Gaudron de Chevremont, 6 juill. 1736; Greffe de Michel Lepailleur, 27 janv. 1727; Greffe de J.-C. Porlier, 21 avril 1738; Greffe de J.-C. Raimbault, 9 mai 1730; Registre d’état civil, Notre-Dame de Montréal, 25 nov. 1694, 28 janv. 1727, 6 oct. 1754. “Aveu et dénombrement pour l’île de Montréal,” APQ Rapport, 1941–42, 89. PAC Report, 1905, I, xxxix. Massicotte, “Répertoire des engagements pour l’Ouest,” APQ Rapport, 1929–30. Tanguay, Dictionnaire. Champagne, Les La Vérendrye. Antoine d’Eschambault, “Le voyage de La Vérendrye au pays des Mandannes,” RHAF, II (1948–49), 424–31.