LECHASSEUR, JEAN, secretary of Louis Buade* de Frontenac and of Intendant de Meulles, lieutenant general of Trois-Rivières, seigneur of Rivière-du-Loup (Louiseville); b. c. 1633; d. 1 Sept. 1713, a bachelor.
Jean Lechasseur arrived in Canada in September 1672 with Frontenac, whom he served as a secretary for ten years. On 17 July 1683 Intendant de Meulles described him as the “former secretary to His Excellency the Comte de Frontenac, then governor of this country, and afterwards secretary to His Excellency the intendant,” and specified that he had served his first master “honourably and faithfully.”
The intendant retained his services until 1686. In the summer of that year, after Gilles de Boyvinet, the lieutenant general of Trois-Rivières, was drowned in the port of Quebec on his way back from France, Lechasseur was sent to Trois-Rivières to assume his office, according to Denonville [Brisay] (10 Nov. 1686). On 19 August he took the oath before the Conseil Souverain.
Talon* had granted to the Sieur de Mannereuil, who was an officer in the Carignan regiment, the seigneury of Rivière-du-Loup. But as the beneficiary had not fulfilled his obligations, the land had reverted to the king’s domain. On 20 April 1683 Le Febvre* de La Barre and de Meulles made it over to Lechasseur, adding two leagues to its depth, “considering that a large part of the said land grant is covered every spring by flood waters.”
Lechasseur took possession of his domain on 17 July 1683. On 15 May 1688 he sold his seigneury to the explorer Nicolas Perrot. The latter did not pay the purchase price, however, and Lechasseur went to court to obtain either the payment of what was owed him or the reconveyance of his property. On 11 Oct. 1700 the Conseil Souverain, to which Perrot appealed after losing his case in the court of first instance, sentenced the explorer to return the seigneury or to pay 1,400 livres in beaver furs, representing the interest for seven years on the purchase price of 4,000 livres, plus 385 livres, 10 sols, 3 deniers to cover costs of ploughing and sowing. Lechasseur took back the property, which he sold again in 1701, to Michel Trottier, dit Beaubien.
Perrot was not the only person whom Lechasseur summoned before the courts. When he left for France in 1682, the governor owed his secretary wages amounting to 4,157 livres. To discharge his debt, the proud but impecunious governor had handed over to Lechasseur a bill for 2,000 livres, which Frontenac held against Cavelier* de La Salle. The latter although he recognized the debt could not honour it. On 14 May 1699 Lechasseur again importuned the Conseil Souverain, desperately trying to have this old debt repaid.
The burial certificate entered in the registry of the parish of Trois-Rivières on 2 Sept. 1713 gives Lechasseur’s age as 80.
AJTR, Registres d’état civil de Trois-Rivières, 2 sept. 1713. AQ, NF, Foi et hommage, I, 128. Jug. et délib. P.-G. Roy, Inv. concessions, III, 61–64; IV, 248. Jouve, Les Franciscains et le Canada: aux Trois-Rivières. P.-G. Roy, La ville de Québec, I, 379–80, 393; II, 418. Sulte, Mélanges historiques (Malchelosse), X, 7–65. P.-G. Roy, “Biographies canadiennes,” BRH, XXI (1915), 284–85.