AILLEBOUST D’ARGENTEUIL, PIERRE D’, soldier; b. 19 June 1659 at Quebec, son of Charles-Joseph d’Ailleboust* Des Muceaux and Catherine Legardeur de Repentigny; d. 15 March 1711 at Montreal and was buried there the following day.
Argenteuil belonged to two of the most prominent families of New France. On 4 Nov. 1687 he married Marie-Louise, daughter of Pierre Denys de La Ronde, at Quebec and in the 1690s he obtained the seigneuries of the Îles Bourdon and of Argenteuil from his father. Argenteuil became a half-pay lieutenant in 1690, and in 1710 he reached his highest rank, captain of a company.
Throughout the 1690s Argenteuil made many trips to the Michilimackinac region. He led several fur trade convoys back to Montreal, and Buade* de Frontenac often praised his work. In the early 1700s Argenteuil was at the Detroit post, working closely with Cadillac [Laumet]. He also figured prominently in the Le Pesant affair of 1706–7 and its aftermath – the Miami troubles of 1708. Argenteuil went with his cousin Jean-Paul Legardeur de Saint-Pierre, from Detroit to Michilimackinac, where Le Pesant was apprehended and returned to Detroit for trial. In 1708, Argenteuil convinced the Saginaw of the Ottawa people to go to Cadillac’s aid at Detroit. The reports of this event disparage Cadillac’s role, but Argenteuil performed well and had the confidence of all the warring factions.
In 1709 Argenteuil was in the east, and played a prominent role in the assaults on the fort at St John’s, Newfoundland [see Lloyd]. In the summer of 1710, Argenteuil was back in Ottawa country, where he succeeded in making peace among the various Algonquin peoples. Rigaud de Vaudreuil was so impressed that in October of the same year he sent Argenteuil to Iroquois (Haudenosaunee) country on a peace mission.
Argenteuil’s most important assignment came in March 1711 when Vaudreuil appointed him leader of a major expedition that was to meet with the indigenous people in the western regions. His orders were to make contact with all the warriors, gather them at Detroit, and lead them east to fight against the English and the Iroquois. Argenteuil never went on this mission, as he died of apoplexy in Montreal on 15 March 1711, only days after he had received his orders.
Frontenac and Vaudreuil both entrusted Argenteuil with important missions. Even Clairambault d’Aigremont, who wrote damaging reports about Cadillac and his officers, several times wrote that Argenteuil “has as much influence over savages as anyone can have . . . but, in other ways, he has little discretion.”
Of Argenteuil’s 11 children, several were prominent in military and fur-trading affairs. His widow died in Montreal on 4 Nov. 1747.
AN, Col. C11A, 24, f.208v; 28, ff.165–73v. Charlevoix, History (Shea). “Correspondance de Frontenac (1689–99),” APQ Rapport, 1927–28, 159; 1928–29, 381. “Correspondance de Vaudreuil,” APQ Rapport, 1939–40, 389, 401; 1946–47, 390–91, 413, 444. Michigan Pioneer Coll., XXXIII, 342–46, 350–61, 374, 382, 385–86, 424–52, 487–91, 497–502, 534. NYCD (O’Callaghan and Fernow), IX, 676, 847–48, 855. Recensement du Canada, 1666 (APQ Rapport), 108. A. Roy, Inv. greffes not., VII, 46. P.-G Roy, “Ce que Callières pensait de nos officiers,” 321–33; Inv. Concessions. Wisconsin State Hist. Soc. Coll., XVI. Godbout, “Nos ancêtres,” APQ Rapport, 1951–53, 470–71. Tanguay, Dictionnaire, I, 152; III, 223.
Bibliography for the revised version:
Bibliothèque et Arch. Nationales du Québec, Centre d’arch. de Montréal, CE601-S51, 16 mars 1711, 5 nov. 1747; Centre d’arch. de Québec, CE301-S1, 21 juin 1659, 4 nov. 1687.