PÉAN DE LIVAUDIÈRE, JACQUES-HUGUES, seigneur, officer in the colonial regular troops; b. in Paris, France, in 1682, son of Jean-Pierre Péan and Anne de Corbarboineau; d. in Quebec on 25 Jan. 1747.
At the age of 16, Jacques-Hugues Péan joined the colonial regular troops of New France as a cadet, drawing a regular soldier’s annual pay of 108 livres. In his 30th year he was raised to an ensignship, and in 1714 left the colony to serve on Île Royale (Cape Breton Island). Three years later he was promoted lieutenant and returned to Canada; on 11 Feb. 1721 he received command of a company with a salary of 1,080 livres. The following year, on 25 June, he married Marie-Françoise, daughter of François-Antoine Pécaudy de Contrecœur and Jeanne de Saint-Ours, in Montreal. By his marriage Péan became an integral part of the colony’s élite.
In September 1722 Vaudreuil [Rigaud*] sent Péan to command at Fort Frontenac (Kingston, Ont.), where he served until 1725. Two years later he was named commandant of Fort Chambly (south of Montreal) where his father-in-law succeeded him in 1729. On 4 April 1730 he was made a knight of the order of Saint-Louis, with a minimum pension of 800 livres per year. Péan was appointed to the command of Detroit in 1733, but on 1 April he was made town major of Quebec and did not leave for Detroit until 1735. In the meantime Ignace Gamelin* the younger handled Péan’s affairs at the post.
From 1733 until his death, Péan acquired, by grant and by purchase, a financial interest in a number of seigneuries in New France. On 10 April 1733 he was granted a fief of six square leagues, called Livaudière, on Lake Champlain, but the undeveloped property reverted to the crown in 1741. In 1735 Péan and his wife bought the Saint-Joseph or Lespinay fief, which they kept until 1744. On 14 April 1736, the Péans were awarded the fief of Saint-Michel, which covered half of the seigneury of La Durantaye. Péan, between 1741 and 1744, bought a large number of the shares and rights to the seigneury of Beaumont, adjoining the Saint-Michel fief, and on 20 Sept. 1744 he had himself granted a piece of land, which he called the Livaudière fief, situated west of the seigneuries of Beaumont and La Durantaye. The following year he rendered homage and fealty for the fiefs of Saint-Michel and Livaudière which formed one seigneury. Despite the fact that he acquired all these properties, it seems that Péan, like many seigneurs at the time, was more interested in speculation and in the prestige his seigneuries gave him than in improving them.
Jacques-Hugues Péan died on 25 Jan. 1747 and was buried in the crypt of Notre-Dame de Québec. He had served himself and the colony well. He had risen from cadet to commandant, received the highest military award, and had been town major of Quebec. Of his four children only two lived beyond infancy; it is unfortunate that the career of Jacques-Hugues was eclipsed by that of one of his surviving children, the infamous Michel-Jean-Hugues Péan*.
AN, Col., D2C, 47. ANQ, Greffe de R.-C. Barolet, 21 déc. 1735; Greffe de C.-H. Du Laurent, 29 févr. 1744. ANQ-M, Greffe de C.-R. Gaudron de Chevremont, 27 mai 1733; Greffe de J.-C. Raimbault, 1er août 1728. Royal Fort Frontenac (Preston and Lamontagne). P.-V. Charland, “Notre-Dame de Québec, le nécrologe de la crypte,” BRH, XX (1914), 212, 216. Fauteux, Les chevaliers de Saint-Louis, 125. Le Jeune, Dictionnaire. A. Roy, Inv. greffes not., IV, 268, 269; V, 58–59. P.-G. Roy, Inv. concessions; Les officiers d’état-major, 200–2. C. J. Russ, “Les troupes de la marine, 1683–1713” (unpublished ma thesis, McGill University, Montreal, 1971).