LA BRETONNIÈRE, JACQUES-QUINTIN DE, priest, Jesuit, missionary; b. 5 May 1689 in Bayeux, France; d. 1 Aug. 1754 in Quebec.
Jacques-Quintin de La Bretonnière entered the noviciate of the Jesuits of the province of France in Paris on 20 Sept. 1710, after having done two years of philosophy. He taught the third and fourth forms at Eu, studied philosophy for a year at La Flèche, taught the third form and classics at Blois, did four years of philosophy, and left for Canada in 1721. He was sent immediately to the Sault-Saint-Louis (Caughnawaga, Que.) mission, where he was to spend several years.
In the spring of 1728 La Bretonnière accompanied the Iroquois from his mission who had joined the military expedition that Constant Le Marchand* de Lignery was leading against the Fox tribe. Four years later he was appointed superior of the Sault-Saint-Louis mission, succeeding Father Pierre de Lauzon, who was taking over as superior of the Jesuit missions in New France. In 1739 he again went with his warriors in the expedition against the formidable Chickasaws [see Pierre-Joseph Céloron de Blainville; Charles Le Moyne de Longueuil]. After that it is difficult to determine exactly where he carried on his ministry. In October 1740 he had not yet returned to the Sault-Saint-Louis mission; a document dated 1749 tells us that he was “among the Iroquois.” In 1750 Governor La Jonquière [Taffanel] mentioned him as the possible successor to Father Jean-Baptiste Tournois at the Sault-Saint-Louis mission, after the famous Desauniers-Tournois affair. Two years later La Bretonnière went to the Jesuit college in Quebec, where he served as confessor until his death on 1 Aug. 1754.
Father La Bretonnière did not leave any documents which might provide information concerning his ministry. Like a great number of missionaries, he knew how to devote himself zealously to evangelizing and teaching the “settled” Indians.
ASJCF, A-7-5, 8; Fonds Rochemonteix, 4018, 457, 461. JR (Thwaites), LXVIII, 233, 271–73, 277, 331; LXIX, 35, 39, 49, 77, 237. “Lettres du père Aulneau,” APQ Rapport, 1926–27, 268, 283, 285, 302, 306, 307, 314. Allaire, Dictionnaire. François de Dainville, La naissance de l’humanisme moderne (2v., Paris, 1940), I. E. J. Devine, Historic Caughnawaga (Montreal, 1922), 219–51. Rochemonteix, Les Jésuites et la N.-F. au XVIIIe siècle, I, 190–91; II, 17–50. J.-G. Forbes, “Saint-François-Xavier de Caughnawaga,” BRH, V (1899), 131–36. C. M. Lewis, “French priests in Western Pennsylvania, 1739–1759,” Mid-America (Chicago), XXIX (1947; new ser., XVIII), 92–98.