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ÉLIE, JACQUES, fifth official executioner in Canada; b. c. 1682 in the village of Parcoul, in the province of Saintonge; d. 23 May 1710 on the shores of the Duchesne River, in the seigneury of Deschaillons.

the arrived in New France when quite young and lived first in Acadia, where he was condemned to death at Port-Royal. As there was no executioner in Acadia, he was sent to Quebec to be hanged. In November 1705 he was in the prison of the Conciergerie when, Canada having been without an executioner for two years, the Conseil Souverain asked him to fill the office of hangman. He accepted, on condition that his life be spared.

Jacques Élie was a rogue of the worst sort, and as soon as he was released he started stealing again and continued to do so despite frequent stays in prison.

On 7 Oct. 1707 he married Marie-Joseph Maréchal at Quebec. She bore him two sons. Provoked beyond measure by the insults which the inhabitants of Quebec heaped upon them, the £lies decided to flee to New England. They entrusted their fate to the Pawnee Indian Nicolas, who undertook to serve as their guide. But after one day’s travelling, during the night of 23 May 1710 while Jacques Élie, his wife, and two children were sleeping, the Pawnee murdered them, robbed them, and fled. The hangman Élie and his family were buried on the site of the crime.

André  Lâchance

AHDQ, Registres des malades, 1709–12. AJQ, Registre d’état civil de Notre-Dame de Québec. AQ, NF, Coll. de pièces jud. et not., 377, 447; NF, Dossiers du Cons. sup., Mat. crim., III, 193ff. Jug. et délib., V, 192. André Lachance, Le bourreau au Canada sous le régime français (SHQ Cahiers d’histoire, XVIII, 1966), 67–72. Marcel Trudel, Lesclavage au Canada français; histoire et conditions de lesclavage (Québec, 1960), 225.

General Bibliography

Cite This Article

André Lâchance, “ÉLIE, JACQUES,” in Dictionary of Canadian Biography, vol. 2, University of Toronto/Université Laval, 2003–, accessed November 30, 2023, http://www.biographi.ca/en/bio/elie_jacques_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/elie_jacques_2E.html
Author of Article:   André Lâchance
Title of Article:   ÉLIE, JACQUES
Publication Name:   Dictionary of Canadian Biography, vol. 2
Publisher:   University of Toronto/Université Laval
Year of publication:   1969
Year of revision:   1982
Access Date:   November 30, 2023