PÉCAUDY DE CONTRECŒUR, FRANÇOIS-ANTOINE, commandant, seigneur; b. c. 1676, son of Antoine Pécaudy* de Contrecœur, seigneur and officer in the Régiment de Carignan-Salières, and Barbe Denys de La Trinité; d. 2 July 1743 at Montreal.
Like several seigneurs of the time, François-Antoine Pécaudy de Contrecœur was to have a long military career. He was a member of the expedition which Governor Frontenac [Buade*] led against the Onondagas and Oneidas in the summer of 1696. Right after this campaign he was in the contingent which Nicolas Daneau* de Muy led against the English settlements in Newfoundland. In 1704 he was appointed an ensign on the active list, and four years later he took part in the destruction of the village of Haverhill, New Hampshire [see Jean-Baptiste Hertel* de Rouville]. In 1710 he was sent to Port-Royal (Annapolis Royal, N.S.) with Nescambiouit*, Jacques Testard* de Montigny, and a score of seasoned soldiers to bring help to the governor of Acadia, Daniel d’Auger* de Subercase, who was expecting the English to attack.
From 1711 to 1728 Pécaudy de Contrecœur took part in campaigns in which he often won his superiors’ praise. He was appointed lieutenant on 1 July 1715 and captain on 11 April 1727. In October 1729 he was in command of Fort Chambly, on the Richelieu River, succeeding his son in-law Jacques-Hugues Péan de Livaudière; he retained command until 1732.
Pécaudy de Contrecœur became a knight of the order of Saint-Louis on 25 March 1738, and that same year he prepared a map of Lake Champlain. In October 1741 he was in command of Fort Saint-Frédéric (Crown Point), south of Lake Champlain, replacing François Lefebvre Duplessis Faber; he kept this important post until the spring of 1743, when he had to return to Montreal after an illness which he was never to get over.
His military service did not prevent him from developing the seigneury of Contrecœur which he had inherited from his father in 1688. In 1712, according to Gédéon de Catalogne*’s report, the land in this domain was very good and produced all kinds of cereals and vegetables. The number of habitants, 69 in 1681, sank to 44 in 1695, to rise to 138 in 1706 and 283 in 1739. His seigneury of Pancalon (Grand Isle, Vt.), located on Lake Champlain, was not as successful and in 1741, since it had not been developed, was reunited to the king’s domain.
On 2 July 1743 François-Antoine Pécaudy de Contrecœur was buried at Montreal, “at about the age of 67.” On 15 Nov. 1701, before the notary Antoine Adhémar*, he had signed a marriage contract with Jeanne, daughter of Pierre de Saint-Ours* and Marie Mullois. Seven children were born of this marriage. Two daughters made good marriages, and the two sons were active soldiers: Marie-Françoise married Jacques-Hugues Péan de Livaudière, and Louise married Francois Daine; Antoine was killed at 26 years of age in Louisiana by the redoubtable Chickasaws, and Claude-Pierre*, who carried on the line, distinguished himself in the Ohio valley during the Seven Years’ War.
AN, Col., B, 33, f.181; 37, f.191v; 49, f.647; 50, f.492v; 53, f.552; 66, f.27v; 68, f.34; 74, f.68; 76, f.87; 78, ff.45, 69; D2C, 222/1, f.163; E, 90 (dossier Contrecœur), pièces 1–15. ANDM, Registres des baptêmes, mariages et sépultures. ANQ, Seigneuries, Contrecœur. ANQ-M, Greffe d’Antoine Adhémar, 15 nov. 1701. ASQ, Fonds Verreau, Ma Saberdache; Polygraphie, XXVII, 49. Documents relating to seigniorial tenure (Munro), 115. Papiers Contrecœur (Grenier). Fauteux, Les chevaliers de Saint-Louis, 133. Le Jeune, Dictionnaire. P.-G. Roy, Inv. concessions, II, 155–57, 163–66; III, 125; IV, 276–77; Inv. ord. int., II, 123, 165–66, 193, 233, 295; III, 9, 11, 20. F.-J. Audet, Contrecœur, famille, seigneurie, paroisse, village (Montréal, 1940). P.-J.-U. Baudry, “Un vieux fort français,” RSCT, 1st ser., V (1887), sect.i, 93–99. É.-Z. Massicotte, “Les commandants du fort Chambly,” BRH, XXXI (1925), 456–57. J.-E. Roy, “Le patronage dans l’armée,” BRH, II (1896), 117. P.-G. Roy, “Les commandants du fort Saint-Frédéric,” BRH, LI (1945), 325–26.