DESDAMES, THIERRY, deputy representative of the Compagnie de Montmorency and captain of Miscou; fl. 1622–46.
Desdames arrived in New France in 1622 and the following year brought Father Nicolas Viel and Brother Gabriel Sagard from Tadoussac to Quebec. He was still in the colony in 1624, since in January he acted as godfather to Marguerite, Abraham Martin’s daughter. In 1628 it was he who brought to Quebec the news of the arrival of Claude Roquemont de Brison at Gaspé; he feared a disaster, however, as he had heard the sound of cannon shortly after passing Tadoussac. In a state of suspense, Champlain entrusted him with finding out what had happened to Roquemont and with obtaining provisions for the starving settlement. After a perilous journey that lasted more than a month, Desdames returned to Quebec and brought confirmation of the defeat of the French flotilla. He was instrumental in obtaining from Juan Chou, First Nations chief at Gaspé, an offer to shelter some of the French for the winter. Twenty settlers accepted this offer, but they were captured by the English, except for Desdames who succeeded in returning to France on Captain Joubert’s ship.
Desdames returned to New France. In appreciation of his qualities as a sailor and confidential agent, he was appointed captain of Miscou and held this office from 1639 to at least 1646.