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AVAUGOUR, LOUIS D’, Jesuit priest, missionary; b. 1669 in France; d. 4 Feb. 1732 at Paris.

Louis d’Avaugour entered the Society of Jesus at Paris in 1696 when he was 27, an unusually advanced age for entrance, which generally took place about age 17. Avaugour completed his noviciate (1696–98), and then came to Quebec before receiving holy orders. He was tonsured and given minor orders by Bishop Saint-Vallier [La Croix] in the chapel of the Quebec seminary on 19 Sept. 1699. It is not known when he was raised to the priesthood.

Father Avaugour’s first active missionary work appears to have been done at Lorette where he was stationed some time before 1710. He soon acquired a penetrating insight into the character of the Huron Indians and in 1710 submitted a lengthy report on the state of that mission to Father Joseph Germain, superior of the Jesuits in Canada. This document describes in intimate detail the daily life of the Huron Christians at Lorette and inveighs with stinging asperity against those who debauched the Indians with spirits. Avaugour warned that drunkenness among the Indians would not only cause them to reject Christianity, but also in the long run cause the loss of the colony to France.

About 1720 Father Avaugour was sent to the Illinois mission where he laboured until shortly before 1726 when he was recalled to France to assume the office of procurator in Paris for the Jesuits in Canada and Louisiana. The post was a particularly difficult one during the years he held it. Towards the end of the 18th century the French Jesuits had been given charge of missions in China, Constantinople, Martinique, and Santo Domingo. These newly assigned fields drained off much of the Jesuit manpower which might otherwise have been sent to New France. The lack of adequate recruits was felt chiefly in the mission area of the present state of Maine, where the activity of the English tended to disrupt the Jesuits’ efforts among the Abenakis and other tribes which had been traditionally loyal to France.

In Louisiana the Jesuits became involved in a none too edifying controversy with the Capuchins Father Nicolas-Ignace de Beaubois*, Jesuit superior in the colony of Louisiana, quite imprudently offended Father Raphael, superior of the Capuchins, by officiating at religious functions at New Orleans without permission of Father Raphael, who was the vicar-general of the bishop of Quebec for that area. When the colonists took sides in the controversy, the matter was referred to France and Father Avaugour, as procurator in Paris for the French Jesuits in North America, was obliged to intervene. After continuing for several years, the rather undignified dispute was solved by the recall of Beaubois in 1728.

Father Avaugour died at Paris on 4 Feb. 1732.

Joseph P. Donnelly

Caron, “Inventaire de documents,” APQ Rapport, 1939–40, 348; 1940–41, 425, 428; 1941–42, 219, 226, 236, 245, 251, 259. JR (Thwaites), LXVI, 146–73. Delanglez, French Jesuits in Louisiana. O’Neill, Church and state in Louisiana. Rochemonteix, Les Jésuites et la N.-F. au XVIIe siècle, III, 678–87; Les Jésuites et la N.-F. au XVIIIe siècle, I, 133–39, 273–314.

General Bibliography

Cite This Article

Joseph P. Donnelly, “AVAUGOUR, LOUIS D’,” in Dictionary of Canadian Biography, vol. 2, University of Toronto/Université Laval, 2003–, accessed October 31, 2014, http://www.biographi.ca/en/bio/avaugour_louis_d_2E.html.

The citation above shows the format for footnotes and endnotes according to the Chicago manual of style (16th edition). Information to be used in other citation formats:

Permalink: http://www.biographi.ca/en/bio/avaugour_louis_d_2E.html
Author of Article: Joseph P. Donnelly
Title of Article: AVAUGOUR, LOUIS D’
Publication Name: Dictionary of Canadian Biography, vol. 2
Publisher: University of Toronto/Université Laval
Year of publication: 1969
Year of revision: 1969
Access Date: October 31, 2014