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The Le Moyne Brothers – Pierre

Pierre Le Moyne

Pierre was born to a virtual dynasty of overachievers and domineering men, who literally helped shape the North American continent, as we know it. His father, Charles Le Moyne, immigrated from Dieppe, France to what was known at the time as New France. Basically the beginning of what we know today as Montreal, Canada. Charles worked with Jesuit Priests, who scoured the unexplored wilderness in canoes and on foot. He  learned how to speak the Indian languages of the indigenous tribes throughout the Huron territories. Charles went on to distinguish himself in many Indian skirmishes and battles. He was awarded lands, money, and titles of nobility. He married a girl named Catherine whose family was in the fur trading business, so, Charles got in the Fur business.  He and his brother also created a way to transport these furs and goods by acquiring ships to sail them to proper ports for merchandising. Charles and Catherine had eleven sons and two daughters. His third born son, Pierre was born in July, 1661, in Fort Ville-Marie.(Montreal) With his father being associated with the Jesuit order, Pierre was educated in the Sulpician school, established there almost from its beginning. Like a good Catholic father, Charles encouraged all of his sons to become priests, but, born with that wanderlust ridden blood, none of them did, and almost all of them became soldiers. Pierre was no exception and at age twelve after receiving his First Communion, decided to become a cabin-boy on his uncles ship. He went on to get involved in the fur trade business where he learned to travel by canoe and defend himself against the occasional Indian attack. A few years later he took a job as a quartermaster on one of his fathers ships. Like his father, Pierre distinguished himself in many battles against the Indians, and more importantly to the nobility, the English. The Hudson’s Bay company was founded in 1670 by the English, and they slowly encroached upon French territories diverting furs away from Quebec. The Compagnie du Nord was founded to compete with the English on the bay. Pierre and two of his brothers were called upon to help drive the British from the bay area. They successfully led a campaign that captured three forts and left the English with hardly a footprint in the area. Pierre then went to France to lobby for Compagnie and was awarded a ship to help combat the English encroachment. Pierre had great success and fought several naval battles establishing himself as quite the Naval Commander. When Pontchartrain needed someone to lead a successful mission to find and secure the mouth of the Mississippi, he turned to none other than France’s new naval hero, Pierre Le Moyne. Pierre was summoned to France and another expedition was planned and outfitted. Pierre was assigned three ships, The Badine, The Marin and a warship named The Francois. Everything they would need to establish a fort was loaded on the ships, men to build the forts, livestock and building materials. They also loaded several longboats, canoes, Biscayans and feluccas. Pierre also loaded on, his ace in the hole……his little brother Jean. The expedition leaves for the gulf coast, in our next post!