GARREAU, LÉONARD, priest, Jesuit, missionary; b. 11 Oct. 1609 (or in September 1610) at Aridieux (Saint-Yrieix) near Limoges; d. 2 Sept. 1656 at Montreal.
Léonard Garreau came from a noble family. He distinguished himself in his classical studies at Limoges and Bordeaux, before becoming a Jesuit at Bordeaux on 27 Sept. 1629. While training for the priesthood he taught at Poitiers, Pau, Agen, Bordeaux, and Rome, where he made repeated requests to the general of the Jesuits to be allowed to go to Canada.
He reached Quebec on 15 Aug 1643. After a year at Sillery he set out for the Huron country, where he exercised his ministry, especially among the Tobacco Nation, until 1649. From 1650 to 1654 he was responsible for the Huron mission on the Île d’Orléans, then he was sent to Trois-Rivières to serve as an interpreter and a missionary among the Algonkins. He was also a parish priest there for some time in 1656. That same year he set out with a large expedition of Ottawa braves to establish a mission in their territory. The group was attacked by the Mohawks near Montreal on 30 August, and Father Garreau was mortally wounded, perhaps by the Flemish Bastard. The latter, when accused of the assassination, vehemently denied his guilt. It is not impossible that Garreau was killed by an Indian or a French deserter.
ACSM, ff. 133, 229. JR (Thwaites), XXIII, 328. Perrot, Mémoire (Tailhan), 84ff. “Les ordonnances du Gouverneur de Lauzon,” APQ Rapport, 1924–25, 391. Campbell, Pioneer priests, II, 377. Rochemonteix, Les Jésuites et la Nouvelle-France au XVIIe siècle, II, 151.