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|Photo: Joseph Gagné, 2013|
|Photo: Joseph Gagné, 2013|
On September 8, 1760, the governor of New France signed the capitulation of Montreal. The event marked the final act in the military conquest of Canada. Remaining French forces were directed to lay down their arms and surrender to the enemy. However, a large company of soldiers from the troupes de la Marine du Canada blatantly ignored these orders and fell back onto Louisiana which had, up to then, avoided being conquered. What is most remarkable about this troop is that it was lead by the young Captain Pierre Passerat de la Chapelle, second in command at Fort Détroit. Aged only 26 and with no maps to guide him, the young officer had managed to fray his way across a continent without a single loss. Despite the winter snows, the fear of British pursuit, and the danger of hostile natives, La Chapelle’s most pressing danger would not have been any of these, but a fellow officer: Louis Liénard de Beaujeu, commander of Michilimackinac, equally exiling himself into the Illinois Country. The following clash between these men’s military schools of thought would create a contest of ranks and age, and threaten La Chapelle’s honour and command of his men. The story of this important retreat from the Pays d’en Haut to the Pays des Illinois and Louisiana has been overlooked by the historiography of the Seven Years’ War. This talk will describe and analyse the journey of La Chapelle in the geographical and military context of the period, one of crumbling social order on the cusp of Conquest.
The goal of Borealia is to provide an energetic, professional, and respectful space for conversation about research and teaching in early Canadian history. We believe that a dedicated forum for discussion, alongside broader historical associations and publications, will nurture informal networks of scholars and will demonstrate the vitality of the field among colleagues and the public. Borealia (“northern”) is a title expansive enough to take in the breadth of our field. We are interested in all regions of what eventually became Canada, to about 1867, and connections to the wider world. We hope our contributors will reflect the diversity of our field, encompassing cultural, intellectual, political, religious, economic, and other perspectives, and will come from every stage of academic careers. We will strive to have content in both English and French.J'invite donc mes collègues professionnels à se joindre à la liste des collaborateurs pour fournir un contenu français! En espérant vous lire bientôt,