LANDRY, ALEXIS, merchant; b. at Grand-Pré, Nova Scotia, and baptized 25 Aug. 1721, son of Jean Landry and Claire Le Blanc; d. 6 March 1798 at Caraquet, New Brunswick.
Alexis Landry left Grand-Pré in 1743 and went to live on the seigneury of Beaubassin at Aulac (N.B.), where he married Marie Terriot, the widow of Jean Cormier; they were to have at least 11 children. In 1755 he took part in the defence of Fort Beauséjour (near Sackville, N.B.); forced to leave Aulac after the fort’s surrender to Robert Monckton on 16 June, he and his compatriots took refuge at Cocagne on the Ruisseau des Malcontents, where they remained until the end of the winter. In the spring of 1756 Landry, along with many other Acadians, decided to go north to Miramichi, hoping to escape from British raids and to make a living by hunting and fishing. They went through a terrible winter of war, famine, and pestilence; more than 350 Acadians perished, including five of his own children. It is likely that in the spring of 1757 Landry made his way to Caraquet with three families. The date of their arrival is unknown, but the census taken by Pierre Du Calvet in July 1761 reports Landry’s presence there. In October 1761 Captain Roderick MacKenzie conducted a raid against the settlements on the Baie des Chaleurs. His Acadian prisoners were to be taken to Fort Cumberland (formerly Beauséjour), but 157 of them, including Landry and his family, were left behind because of lack of space in the boats. Shortly afterwards, probably for security, Landry left Caraquet for Miscou and settled at what is now called Landrys River.
In the spring of 1768 Landry brought his family back to Caraquet; on 13 March 1769 George Walker, the magistrate at Nepisiguit (Bathurst, N.B.), gave him official permission to settle on the land he had occupied in 1761, provided that it had not been granted to someone else. In 1784 Landry received title to this land and three years later Governor Thomas Carleton* granted him “the meadows and tidal flats located along the Rivière du Nord.” From 1766 on Landry had engaged in a lively trade in imported goods, which he obtained from traders in Nepisiguit and Bonaventure and Paspébiac (Que.) in exchange for cod. In 1775 he even became a shipbuilder; the following year he delivered to Walker’s company in Nepisiguit a brigantine intended for a London company.
In 1791 Landry took steps to have a chapel erected at Caraquet. The missionary Joseph-Mathurin Bourg wanted it built near the cemetery, and on 10 July 1793 Landry officially made over land for the purpose, with the condition that he and his heirs have the use without payment of a four-seat closed pew and that the cost of his funeral service and burial in the chapel be paid by the parish council. Two years later he wrote to Pierre Denaut*, coadjutor of the bishop of Quebec, expressing the hope that Bishop Hubert would remember the people of Caraquet and send them a resident priest; in the letter he mentioned that a fire had destroyed his barn and part of his grain. Landry was evidently much concerned about the spiritual welfare of his fellow citizens, for he took the place of a priest when necessary at baptisms, marriages, and burials. On 14 July 1794 he had been appointed tax assessor and road commissioner for the parish of Caraquet.
Alexis Landry died at Caraquet at 76 years of age and was buried in a small cemetery near the sanctuary of Sainte-Anne-du-Bocage. Since 1961 a monument has overlooked the grave of this Acadian, one of the few survivors of the deportation period whose exact place of burial is known.
AN, Section Outre-mer, G1, 466, no.30. Archives of the Archbishopric of Baton Rouge (Baton Rouge, La.), Registre des baptêmes, mariages et sépultures de Saint-Charles-des-Mines (Grand-Pré, N.-É.), 1707–42. Private archives, Laura Cormier (Caraquet, N.-B.), Coll. Livin Cormier (factures, états de compte, lettres, reçus, documents officiels sur Alexis Landry et sa famille). PRO, WO 34/239, ff.160–64. Soc. jersiaise (St Helier, Jersey), Journal de Charles Robin, 1767–84. [Transcripts or microfilm copies of archival materials are available at CÉA.]. “Papiers Amherst (1760–1763) concernant les Acadiens,” R.-S. Brun, édit., Soc. historique acadienne, Cahier (Moncton, N.-B.), III (1968–71), 257–320. Caraquet: quelques bribes de son histoire, 1967, année du centenaire, Corinne Albert-Blanchard, compil. ([Caraquet, N.-B.], [1967?]). W. F. Ganong, The history of Caraquet and Pokemouche, ed. S. B. Ganong (Saint John, N.B., 1948). Placide Gaudet, “Alexis Landry,” L’Évangéline (Moncton, N.-B.), 12, 19 mai, 9 juin, 19 juill. 1927 (p.11 in each issue).