DESDEVENS DE GLANDONS, MAURICE, surveyor; b. 1742 in France, son of Joseph Desdevens de Glandons and Gabrielle Avet Forel; m. 29 Jan. 1767 Marie-Thérèse Mathon at Sainte-Geneviève-de-Batiscan (Batiscan, Que.); d. 23 Aug. 1799 in the parish of Saint-Antoine (at Lavaltrie, Que.) and was buried in the parish cemetery two days later.
The date of Maurice Desdevens de Glandons’ arrival in Canada is not known, nor is the date of his first commission. He did, however, work as a surveyor from 1767 until 1799, except for a ten-year period of exile in the United States. He had to take refuge there because he had helped the American invaders of Canada in 1775–76.
Desdevens de Glandons officially enlisted as a militia captain in 1775 with the approval of the American commander, Richard Montgomery. During the siege of Quebec he transported munitions and foiled attempts at desertion. On 1 Jan. 1776 Benedict Arnold* ordered him to recruit as many men as possible to help form a company, and on 12 March he named him a notary and surveyor under the senior engineering officer, Edward Antill.
On 7 Aug. 1776 Desdevens de Glandons was at Albany, New York; until September 1781 he worked there with Canadian refugees who were not attached to any specific regiment. On 18 Oct. 1781 the pension and food rations he had been receiving since 10 Aug. 1776 were cut off. To supplement his now inadequate income, he worked illegally as a pedlar and innkeeper, having been refused a licence. His right to rations was reinstated on 6 May 1782, but these were quite inadequate for his family, which at that time included only two children, two daughters having starved to death at Albany in 1776. Each year until 1786 he vainly petitioned to have his pension restored. Finally, tired of it all, Desdevens de Glandons returned to Canada, probably that year; his surveying reports indicate he was working at Lake Champlain in 1786 and at Nicolet the following year.
On 8 May 1787 the governor general, Lord Dorchester [Carleton*], pardoned him, but a new commission as a surveyor was not issued to him. In March 1788 Desdevens de Glandons again requested a commission, apparently with success. It is known that he practised his profession until the end of his life, for he was described in his burial record as a surveyor.
ANQ-M, État civil, Catholiques, Saint-François-Xavier (Verchères), 6 mai 1799; Procès-verbaux des arpenteurs, Maurice Desdevens de Glandons, 1767–99 (there is a gap from 6 Nov. 1775 to September 1786). Archives paroissiales, Sainte-Geneviève-de-Batiscan (Qué.), Registre des baptêmes, mariages et sépultures, 29 janv. 1767. PAC, MG 23, B3, CC35, pp.74–118; B45; MG 30, D1, 10, pp.571–87. Corinne Rocheleau-Rouleau, “Maurice Desdevens de Glandon et l’invasion américaine, 1775–1776,” BRH, XLI (1945), 372.
Revisions based on:
Bibliothèque et Arch. Nationales du Québec, Centre d’arch. du Vieux-Montréal, CE605-S6, 25 août 1799.