LE COMTE DUPRÉ, GEORGES-HIPPOLYTE, known as Saint-Georges Dupré, merchant, militia officer, military transport officer, deputy chief road commissioner (grand voyer substitut), and politician; b. 23 March 1738 at Montreal (Que.), son of Jean-Baptiste Le Comte* Dupré and Marie-Anne Hervieux; d. 26 Nov. 1797 at Montreal.
Son and grandson of successful merchants, Georges-Hippolyte Le Comte Dupré traded in his early years, till at least 1770. His inclination, however, like that of his older brother Jean-Baptiste*, was for a military and government career; both men felt strong loyalty to the crown. Georges-Hippolyte, a major in the Canadian militia in Montreal at the beginning of the American invasion in 1775, later became a colonel, as did his brother in Quebec. One of the six Canadians among the 12 notables who signed the capitulation of Montreal on 12 Nov. 1775, Le Comte Dupré was also one of the ten Montrealers “recognized as good Royalists” and disarmed by order of the American general, David Wooster. On 6 Feb. 1776 he and three other militia officers were imprisoned at Fort Chambly for refusing to surrender their commissions. On 25 June 1776, after the departure of the Americans, Le Comte Dupré was one of three officers, including Edward William Gray* with whom he had been imprisoned, appointed in the District of Montreal to collect arms and American commissions from disaffected militia and to seize and try spies and fifth columnists – experience no doubt helpful for his peacetime role as inspector of police in Montreal (1788–97).
From 1775 till his death Le Comte Dupré was a militia commissary for corvées and for transport of military provisions and stores in the District of Montreal; his son Pierre-Hippolyte succeeded him. During the war Le Comte Dupré had been largely responsible for transport to the western posts, which comprised a vast and difficult hinterland where logistics were the key to military control. This hinterland provided a vital shield for Canada and Le Comte Dupré’s management of transport there was probably his most significant achievement. He served on the frontier, probably as transport commissary, in the campaign of 1777 under Burgoyne and William Phillips. He should not be blamed for the “inactivity and desertion of the Canadian corvées” deplored by Burgoyne, for he was specifically held back from accompanying them as superintendent by Governor Sir Guy Carleton* who felt he could not “be spared from the duty of collecting and forwarding” them. Le Comte Dupré’s competence was acknowledged at the end of the war by Haldimand, who in 1783 appointed him deputy chief road commissioner in the District of Montreal to act in the region for the chief road commissioner of the province, François-Marie Picoté de Belestre, who treated his office as a sinecure.
Like most Canadian gentlemen in the 1780s, Le Comte Dupré was opposed to an elective legislature and the extension of English law, but like many others, when the change came, he secured election to the House of Assembly, representing Huntingdon, a county in Lower Canada which extended west from the Richelieu River on the southern shore of the St Lawrence, from 1792 to 1796. He doubtless won the voters’ “affection” through a breadth of outlook that had been revealed in his just administration of the corvée and in his humane treatment of suspected American sympathizers during the war.
The two wives of Georges-Hippolyte Le Comte Dupré died young. On 9 Jan. 1764 he had married at Montreal Marie-Charlotte, daughter of Daniel-Hyacinthe-Marie Liénard* de Beaujeu; she died in 1769 after the birth of their second son. His second wife was Marie-Louise-Charlotte de La Corne, the daughter of Luc de La Corne. The young woman left home because of her father’s objections to her marriage and only after “much noise” was his consent given. They were married on 22 March 1770 at Saint-Vincent-de-Paul (Laval) on Île Jésus. Marie-Louise-Charlotte died in January of the following year at the age of 20.
[An oil portrait in the Château de Ramezay, Montreal, painted by Louis-Chrétien de Heer* as late as 1799, is claimed to represent Le Comte Dupré: a.j.h.r.]
ANQ-M, État civil, Catholiques, Notre-Dame de Montréal, 24 mars 1738, 9 janv. 1764; Saint-Vincent-de-Paul (Laval), 22 mars 1770. BL, Add. mss 21733, f.3; 21789, ff.203, 204 (copies at PAC). PAC, MG 24, L3, pp.116–22, 2684–92, 2952–54, 2980–81, 3150–51, 3166, 3180–81, 3200–1, 3215, 3379–81, 3790–91, 3832–33, 3871–72, 3898, 3968, 4139–40, 4187, 4223–26, 4233–34, 4245–47, 4300–1, 4357–59, 4432–34, 4468–70, 4533–34, 4571–74, 4585–94, 4648–49, 4656–58, 4750–53, 4762–64, 4802–4, 4841–42, 4878–80, 4924–25, 4975–77, 4994–95, 5008–10, 5017–18, 5025–26, 5042–43, 5065–67, 5083, 5332–34, 5371–72, 5381–83, 5391–92, 5403–5, 5440–48, 5467–68, 5474–75, 5480, 5484–86, 5490–91, 5533–35, 5566–68, 5577–82, 5585–91, 5595–97, 5675–76, 5737–38, 5760, 5779–82, 5795–96, 5903–4, 5923–24, 6477–78, 6537–38, 6746, 6863, 6893–94, 7100–1, 7141, 7178–80, 7191, 7210–11, 32753–54, 33247–52; RG 8, I (C series), 201, p.118.
American archives (Clarke and Force), 4th ser., IV, 991, 1004–5. Invasion du Canada (Verreau), 34, 37, 93, 96–98, 319. “Inventaire des biens de Luc Lacorne de Saint-Luc,” J.-J. Lefebvre, édit., ANQ Rapport, 1947–48, 33, 35, 88–89. PAC Rapport, 1887, 332, 336. Montreal Gazette, 10 July 1792. Quebec Gazette, 22 Jan. 1789, 20 Dec. 1792, 7 Dec. 1797. Almanach de Québec, 1788, 1795. Caron, “Inv. de la corr. de Mgr Briand,” ANQ Rapport, 1929–30, 83. Burt, Old prov of Que. (1933), 286–87, 412. E. B. De Fonblanque, Political and military episodes . . . derived from the life and correspondence of the Righ Hon. John Burgoyne . . . (London, 1876), 239, 248. Neatby, Quebec, 149, 164, 201–3, 251–52. P.-G. Roy, La famille Le Compte Dupré (Lévis, Qué., 1941).