DAMOURS (d’Amours) DE CLIGNANCOUR, RENÉ, seigneur, and fur-trader; baptized 9 Aug. 1660 at Quebec, the son of Mathieu Damours* de Chauffours and Marie Marsolet; fl. 1684–1710.
On 20 Sept. 1684, René Damours received a grant of land in Acadia extending along both banks of the Saint John River from Medoctec (Meductic) to Grand-Sault (Grand Falls), a distance of over ninety miles. He devoted less attention than his brothers to farming, clearing only 15 acres in a dozen years. He seems to have preferred trade with the Indians, and it is believed that he kept retainers for this purpose at Medoctec, the largest Indian village on the Saint John. Some of the charges of licentiousness and failure to clear land, levelled by Governor Robinau* de Villebon against the Damours brothers, may have been true in René’s case during his first years on the Saint John, but positive proof is lacking.
On 13 Oct. 1689 at Quebec, Damours married Françoise-Charlotte, daughter of Charles Legardeur* de Tilly. They journeyed to Acadia where they took up residence, not on René’s own property but on Cléoncoré Island (now Eccles Island), which belonged to his brother, Louis. Indications are that, while remaining an active fur-trader, he gradually devoted more attention to farming. A census of 1698 shows that he, his wife, and four children were still living on Cléoncoré Island, where he was raising cattle, hogs, and poultry, and growing some grain.
When Hathorne attacked Fort Saint-Joseph (Nashwaak) on 18 Oct. 1696, Damours was given joint command, along with the privateer Pierre Maisonnat, dit Baptiste, of the force of Indians participating in its defence. The next day, when ordered to harry the New England force then withdrawing, he and Baptiste found it impossible to persuade the Indians to follow.
It seems that he moved his family to Port-Royal shortly after the evacuation of Fort Saint-Joseph by Villebon in 1698. However, he continued to participate in Indian raids on New England settlements. He was present when Port-Royal was captured by English and colonial forces under Nicholson in the fall of 1710. Later, he was sent to Governor Vaudreuil [Rigaud] by the Acadian settlers living in the Port-Royal area with a letter (dated 13 Nov. 1710) in which they complained of harsh treatment by Vetch, then commander at Port-Royal. This is the last record we have of René Damours.
AN, Col., C11D, 2, ff.244, 244v, 246, 278; 3, f.18; 7, f.98. Charlevoix, History (Shea), V, 235. Coll. de manuscrits relatifs à la N.-F., I, 386; II, 244. Jug. et délib., III, 399. P.-G. Roy, Inv. concessions, IV, 1; VI, 65; Inv. contrats de mariage, II, 119. Webster, Acadia, 94, 106, 110, 170. Tanguay, Dictionnaire, I, 154. Arsenault, Hist. et généal. des Acadiens, I, 59: 66, 381. Murdoch, History of Nova-Scotia, I, 321. W. O. Raymond, Glimpses of the past; history of the river St John, A.D. 1604–1784 (Saint John, N.B., 1905). Ganong, “Historic sites in New Brunswick,” 312.