M499 | Commission by Louis de Buade, comte de Frontenac, naming Le Moyne de Maricourt as a replacement of Le Moyne d'Iberville, May 15, 1690.

 
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Manuscript
Commission by Louis de Buade, comte de Frontenac, naming Le Moyne de Maricourt as a replacement of Le Moyne d'Iberville, May 15, 1690.
1690, 17th century
On paper
28.9 x 20.9 cm
M499
© McCord Museum
Description
Keywords:  Order (1)
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Description

David Ross McCord collected a number of documents from New France that date to the mid-17th century and refer to various prominent citizens and institutions. The brothers Pierre Le Moyne d'Iberville and Paul Le Moyne de Maricourt were both military men who participated in the Hudson Bay expedition against the English, under the command of the Chevalier de Troyes. Le Moyne d'Iberville was later named commander in Hudson Bay. This letter, dated May 15, 1690, was an order given by Frontenac, the Governor of New France, officially confirming Le Moyne de Maricourt as commander in Hudson Bay in the event of his brother's absence or death.

Keys to History

This order by Louis de Buade, comte de Frontenac, Governor and Lieutenant General of New France, appoints Le Moyne de Maricourt to succeed Le Moyne d'Iberville as commander of the Compagnie de la Baie du Nord. The order was signed on May 15, 1690. The Compagnie de la Baie du Nord, founded in 1682, held a monopoly on the Hudson Bay trade until 1700.

Europeans considered written documents like this order to be the primary concrete symbols of an agreement. Aboriginal people, however, did not commonly value written texts in this way. In fact, historical accounts tell us that Aboriginal participants at treaty negotiations often felt uncomfortable at the sight of constantly scribbling clerks. Nevertheless, they eventually began requesting duplicate copies of the agreements written by colonial scribes. In 18th-century Aboriginal diplomacy, wampum belts served as invitations to enter into discussions, either between Aboriginal communities or with Europeans. Wampum was also presented to confirm and record the different proposals made during treaty negotiations.

  • What

    This is a manuscript written in sepia ink on laid paper that records an order by Louis de Buade, comte de Frontenac, Governor and Lieutenant General of New France. Europeans created and preserved written documents, in contrast to Aboriginal people, who concluded agreements with a verbal accord accompanied by gifts and ceremony.

  • Where

    This manuscript refers to events that took place in New France - Quebec specifically. In the 18th century, many such written agreements were transported back to France, shown to the King, and stored in archives where they can still be seen today.

  • When

    This manuscript dates to 1690. The Compagnie de la Baie du Nord, founded in 1682, had a monopoly on the Hudson Bay trade until 1700.

  • Who

    Louis de Buade, Comte de Frontenac et de Palluau (1622-1698), was Governor General of New France from 1672 to 1682, and from 1689 to his death in 1698. Paul Le Moyne de Maricourt (1663-1704) was a soldier and highly respected diplomat, called upon numerous times to negotiate with the Iroquois.