CUNY DAUTERIVE (Auterive), PHILIPPE-ANTOINE DE, writer in the Marine and cashier at Montreal for the treasurers general of the Marine and Colonies; b. 9 May 1709 at Langres, France, son of Philippe-Antoine Cuny, directeur des étapes in charge of army provisioning in Langres, and Élisabeth Dupont; m. 25 Aug. 1749 at Quebec Madeleine-Thérèse, daughter of Louis-Thomas Chabert* de Joncaire; d. 1 July 1779 in the parish of Saint-Diez, Loches, France.
Philippe-Antoine de Cuny Dauterive arrived in Canada as a secretary with Commandant General La Galissonière [Barrin*] and remained in the Marine bureaux after La Galissonière’s departure in 1749. In 1753 he was appointed cashier in Montreal for the treasurers general of the Marine and Colonies under Jacques Imbert*, their agent; Mme de Cuny in 1770 claimed in letters to the French government that her husband had been sent to Montreal even earlier “to keep a closer watch over the administration of the crown’s finances in which some embezzlement had already been suspected by Monsieur le comte de la Galissonière. After this general’s departure, Sieur Dauterive was obliged to accept the post of [Montreal cashier to the] treasurers on the pretext [that he merited] greater confidence and usefulness, and orders were given for the treasury to remain at the house of the financial commissary [Jean-Victor Varin de La Marre].” That house was destroyed by fire in 1754 along with the Cunys’ own and they lost all their belongings worth, she claimed in 1770, some 300,000 livres, including 200,000 livres’ worth of goods recently imported from France. Various officers in Montreal certified in 1769 that Cuny had sacrificed his own property in order to save property belonging to the crown and he applied for a pension on the strength of this sacrifice.
The loss of imported merchandise in the fire suggests, as was the case, that Cuny had an importing business on the side. We know from the records of a legal case that in 1759 Cuny and an army officer, Laurent-François Lenoir de Rouvray, brother of a Paris notary, received 16 barrels of wine and as many half-barrels of brandy from Bordeaux through the agency of the Quebec firm of François Mounier* and Thomas Lee. These goods had been shipped to Quebec that spring by the Bordeaux firm of Lamaletie, Latuilière et Cie [see Jean-André Lamaletie], which eventually had to go to law to make Cuny and Lenoir pay their bills. By a ruling of 10 July 1760 the parlement of Paris ordered them to pay principal and interest totalling 6,000 livres.
Some time late in 1758 Cuny suddenly quit his post to return to France and was replaced by Jean-Simon Imbert, nephew of Jacques Imbert. The minister, Berryer, regarded Cuny’s hasty departure as a proof of dishonesty, as he remarked in January 1759 in one of his angry letters to the intendant, Bigot. Whether Cuny made profits in trade or by fraud, he was wealthy enough once back in France to invest in an office of lawyer in the Paris parlement, in various annuities on the Hôtel de Ville and the royal tax farms, and in some “inventions and enterprises of Monsieur Darles de Lignières.” During the affaire du Canada he was arrested along with other officials from Canada, possibly early in 1762 at the same time as his brother-in-law, Daniel-Marie Chabert de Joncaire de Clausonne, but he was discharged after only a brief imprisonment in the Bastille, perhaps because of some powerful friends, and granted a pension of 300 livres on 1 July 1765. Cuny and his wife complained to their friends about the difficulty of living on that pension; it was soon raised to 600 livres “and let us hear no more about it,” the minister scribbled with the royal “Bon” on a memorandum of 30 June 1768. The Cunys nevertheless did not give up their financial appeals. Meanwhile, to reduce expenses and to be near friends and relations, they went to live at Henrichemont near Bourges, and then in Tours; finally they settled near Loches.
AN, Col., E, 111 (dossier Dauterive); Minutier central, Minutes Semillard, 21 avril 1763, 11 févr. 1765; Minutes Le Noir, le jeune, 25 oct. 1759; Minutes Prignot de Beauregard, 15 sept. 1761 (all notaries of Paris). NYCD (O’Callaghan and Fernow), X, 937–39 (Berryer to Bigot, January 1759).