THAUMUR DE LA SOURCE, DOMINIQUE-ANTOINE-RENÉ, priest of the seminary of Quebec, missionary to the Mississippi region; b. at Montreal, where he was baptized 1 Aug. 1692, son of Dominique Thaumur de La Source, a surgeon, and Jeanne Bonhomme; d. 4 April 1731 at Quebec.
On 14 Aug. 1702 Thaumur de La Source entered the Petit Séminaire of Quebec, where he completed his classical studies and in 1713 took holy orders. Bishop Saint-Vallier [La Croix] bestowed the priesthood upon him on 20 Feb. 1717. A year later, on 10 May 1718, René Thaumur de La Source set out with two confrères, Abbés Goulven Calvarin and Jean-Pierre Mercier*, for the mission to the Tamaroas (Cahokia, Ill.), of which he became superior the following year. Near the mission was a small village which Canadian coureurs de bois and fur-traders had established some 15 years earlier. Thaumur lived for ten years in the Sainte-Famille mission to the Tamaroas. In this isolated place, among Indians whose moods were changeable, a missionary’s life was not without risks. In 1728 he decided to return to Quebec to obtain reinforcements. He intended to rejoin his mission as soon as possible, but illness prevented him from doing so.
Abbé Thaumur de La Source died 4 April 1731 at the Hôtel-Dieu of Quebec and was buried the next day in the, cathedral. Bertrand de Latour*, who met the missionary at Quebec, relates that at his death he had “such a reputation for holiness that all those present at his funeral went to touch his body with rosaries and tore off pieces of his clothes as relics.”
AAQ, Registres d’insinuation C, 10. ASQ, Lettres, M, 67; MSS, 6, p.22; Missions, 43, 73c; Polygraphie, IX, 26; Séminaire, I, 40. Louis Bertrand de Latour, Mémoires sur la vie de M de Laval, premier évêque de Québec (Cologne, 1761), 101. Charland, “Notre-Dame de Québec: le nécrologe de la crypte,” 205.