LAMALETIE, JEAN-ANDRÉ, merchant and clerk of the marshalcy of Quebec; baptized 8 Jan. 1718 at Bordeaux, France, son of Louis Lamaletie, merchant and consul of the consular jurisdiction of Bordeaux, and Marie-Anne Benet; m. 14 Nov. 1747 at Quebec, Marie-Thérèse, daughter of François Foucault*, member of the Conseil Supérieur; of their nine children only two or three survived infancy; d. after 1774 in France.
Conflicting sources have placed Jean-André Lamaletie’s first appearance in Canada in 1739 and 1741, but the articles of his partnership with the well-known La Rochelle outfitter, Joseph-Simon Desherbert de Lapointe, dated 14 June 1744, constitute the earliest document to provide significant information on his career. Lamaletie brought to the partnership only “his work, industry, and application.” Lapointe agreed to contribute trade goods worth 60,000 livres to the firm over a three-year period, taking three-quarters of the profits and bearing alone the risk of losses. Lamaletie, in addition to his one-quarter share of profits, was to receive 200 livres per year for handling an additional 8,000 livres of merchandise from a Louisbourg merchant named Delort (possibly Guillaume Delort*) and 500 livres per year for handling additional cargo as Lapointe’s agent. Lamaletie’s contract exemplifies the dependence of Quebec’s Lower Town traders, generally young men making their way in the world, upon metropolitan French capital and connections. Whether as salaried clerks, commission agents, or junior partners, they extended the reach of French traders into Canada by supplying manufactures to the community wholesale and retail and by outfitting the Montreal fur-traders. They then collected return cargoes, mostly furs and bills of exchange, remitting them to La Rochelle, Bordeaux, or Rouen, where they were received by the outfitters whose investment and patient extension of credit had made them the masters of the trade.
In 1746 Lamaletie’s contract with Lapointe was extended to December 1752 and his share of the profits increased to one-half. It was thus a successful young man in the ascendant phase of his career who married into the prominent Foucault family in 1747, although the marriage contract reveals that he still had no assets beyond his business. The distinguished signatures on the contract, including those of the governor, bishop, and intendant, indicate the social significance of the marriage. So too, in all probability, does Lamaletie’s appointment as clerk of the marshalcy, an office he held from July 1748 until 1758. A Catholic, Lamaletie did not suffer from the social and civil disabilities that circumscribed the lives of his many Huguenot confrères in the Lower Town.
In 1750, Lapointe died. Lamaletie spent the winter of 175.l–52 in France, making new business connections. He returned to Quebec secure in a new partnership with another La Rochelle outfitter, Pierre-Gabriel Admyrauld. At Quebec he became linked with Guillaume Estèbe and another trader, Jean Latuilière, who moved to Bordeaux in 1757. In the same year Lamaletie withdrew from his partnership with Admyrauld and in 1758 he too went to Bordeaux. The new firm name of Lamaletie, Latuilière et Cie appeared shortly thereafter. As Estèbe also made the move to Bordeaux in 1758, it is possible that in some manner he too was connected with the firm. It was probably through Estèbe that Lamaletie first became acquainted with the Canadian purveyor general, Joseph-Michel Cadet, a customer to whom Lamaletie, Latuilière et Cie sent many ships in the closing years of the Seven Years’ War. The breaking of links with La Rochelle and the transfer of the seat of operations to Bordeaux were undoubtedly intended to facilitate the handling of state contracts.
Although his accounts were seized, Lamaletie was never himself arrested for wartime profiteering and escaped the fate of Estèbe and Cadet. His profits suffered heavily when the state suspended payments on its bills of exchange. The war and the loss of Canada, which Lamaletie regarded as an “irreparable loss to the state & for which I will never console myself,” left him a much poorer man, but Lamaletie, Latuilière et Cie remained in business. In the 1760s Lamaletie acted on behalf of many Canadians who were winding up their affairs in France, particularly with regard to government drafts and other obligations. After 1774 no further references to his name can be found in Canadian sources.
AN, Col., B, 87, f.3; 110, f.76. ANQ-Q, Greffe de Claude Barolet, 16 sept., 11 nov. 1747, 11 juin 1748; Greffe de C.-H. Du Laurent, 26 oct. 1751; Greffe de Claude Louet, 24 oct. 1763, 9 août 1766; Greffe de J.-C. Panet, 28 avril 1749, 9, 14, 18, 21, 22, 23 oct., 4 nov. 1751, 19 oct. 1753, 23 sept. 1754, 28 févr., 16 déc. 1757, ler avril, 22, 28 mai, 23 août, 18 sept. 1758, 30 août, 3 sept. 1762, 28 oct. 1763, 9 mars, 8 juill. 1768; Greffe de J.-A. Saillant, 13 oct. 1755, 4 nov. 1756; Greffe de Simon Sanguinet, 7 juill. 1766; NF 25, 56, no.2119 PAC, MG 24, 13. Archives de la Bastille, documents inédits, François Ravaisson-Mollien, édit. (19v., Paris, 1866–1904), XVIII, 276, 362, 376. P.-G. Roy, Inv. ins. Cons. souv., 248, 277; Inv. jug. et délib., 1717–60, V, 20, 75, 150, 165; VI, 76, 135, 137; Inv. ord. int., III, 96. Tanguay, Dictionnaire, V, 105. Frégault, François Bigot, II, 138. Jean de Maupassant, Un grand armateur de Bordeaux, Abraham Gradis (1699?–1780) (Bordeaux, 1917), 53–54, 78. J. F. Bosher, “A Québec merchant’s trading circles in France and Canada: Jean-André Lamaletie before 1763,” Social History, IX (1977), 24–44.