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CAMPOT (Campau), JACQUES, trader, blacksmith, merchant; baptized 31 May 1677 at Montreal; son of Étienne Campot and Catherine Paulo; m. Jeanne-Cécile Catin 1 Dec. 1699 at Montreal; buried 14 May 1751 at Detroit.

Jacques Campot was one of the early arrivals in Detroit, travelling there for the Compagnie de la Colonie in 1703 and 1704. Apparently caught up in the internecine rivalries of the post, he falsely accused Pierre Rocquant, dit La Ville, a soldier from the garrison, of setting the fire which in 1703 destroyed the granary and nearly all the buildings of the fort. It had in fact been set by a Delaware Indian. The Conseil Supérieur ordered Campot to pay damages to Rocquant and a fine; it also condemned him to appear before the Quebec cathedral wearing only a tunic and there on his knees to proclaim the harm he had done and beg pardon.

In 1708 Campot brought his family to Detroit and the following year was granted a lot in the fort by Cadillac (Laumet*], the commandant. Although they later made several trips back to Montreal, the Campots settled permanently in Detroit. Jacques engaged in trade and also worked as a blacksmith, supplying the Detroit garrison and residents with metal work such as hinges and gun parts.

The decades after Cadillac’s departure in 1710 were difficult for Detroit. Pontchartrain, the minister of Marine, hoped that the discredited settlement might collapse if neglected sufficiently. Alphonse Tonty*, commandant from 1717 to 1727, levied excessive rents and taxes. Campot appears in a petition of 1721 as one of the substantial residents aggrieved by his extortionate practices.

In 1734 Campot was granted a lot of four by 40 arpents east of the fort. By the 1740s he had, in addition to his blacksmithing, developed one of the best all-purpose merchant houses in Detroit, buying and selling wheat, corn, bread, and furs. Towards 1750 he became too ill to work, and he died the next year. In the following century, his numerous descendants played leading roles in the commerce of the region.

Donald Chaput

AN, Col., B, 29, f.311v; C11A, 117, f.91ff.; 118, ff.51, 54, 60. DPL, Burton hist. coll., Macdonald papers, Extrait des registres d’intendance et du Conseil supérieur. “Cadillac papers,” Michigan Pioneer Coll., XXXIII (1903), 312, 378, 707. JR (Thwaites), LXIX, LXX. The John Askin papers, ed. M. M. Quaife (Burton Hist. Records, 2v., Detroit, 1928–31), I: 1747–1795, 31–37. Jug. et délib., V, 457–61, 510–12. The siege of Detroit in 1763: the journal of Pontiac’s conspiracy, and John Rutherfurd’s narrative of a captivity, ed. M. M. Quaife (Chicago, 1958). Massicotte, “Répertoire des engagements pour l’Ouest,” APQ Rapport, 1929–30. The city of Detroit, Michigan, 1701–1922, ed. C. M. Burton (5v., Detroit, 1922), II, 1362–64. Télesphore St-Pierre, Histoire des Canadiens du Michigan et du comté d’Essex, Ontario (Montréal, 1895), 145–46.

General Bibliography

Cite This Article

Donald Chaput, “CAMPOT, JACQUES,” in Dictionary of Canadian Biography, vol. 3, University of Toronto/Université Laval, 2003–, accessed October 30, 2014, http://www.biographi.ca/en/bio/campot_jacques_3E.html.

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Permalink: http://www.biographi.ca/en/bio/campot_jacques_3E.html
Author of Article: Donald Chaput
Title of Article: CAMPOT, JACQUES
Publication Name: Dictionary of Canadian Biography, vol. 3
Publisher: University of Toronto/Université Laval
Year of publication: 1974
Year of revision: 1974
Access Date: October 30, 2014