LARTIGUE, JOSEPH, fisherman, merchant, councillor, judge; b. c. 1683 in the province of Armagnac, France; d. 28 May 1743 at Louisbourg, Île Royale (Cape Breton Island). He married Jeanne Dhiarse (d’Hiarse, Dihars), the daughter of a fisherman from Plaisance (Placentia, Nfld.), and they had four sons and five daughters. One of his daughters married Léon Fautoux and another, Michel Rodrigue.
We do not know when Joseph Lartigue immigrated to Plaisance, perhaps as a hired hand. His name appears for the first time in the records of the colony in 1708, the year he was awarded the contract for supplying the expedition led by Saint-Ovide [Monbeton] against the English forts at St John’s, Newfoundland. Securing payment involved Lartigue in many years of painful litigation, and although he eventually received a substantial sum from the crown, as late as 1752 his widow was trying to recover 2,800 livres apparently still owing from Saint-Ovide.
Lartigue claimed to have been “without doubt one of the best established [settlers at Plaisance].” His situation at Île Royale, where he went with the Plaisance colony in 1714, confirms his prominence. His principal property in Louisbourg was in a choice location at the foot of the interior glacis of the King’s bastion and was considered to be “the finest in the town.” With six shallops and 20 men in his employ in 1719, he figured among the town’s most important fishermen, but from the early 1720s he appears to have abandoned the fishery in favour of trade. In 1726 he employed 12 men and two vessels in trade. He also rented two warehouses to the crown, as well as space for the admiralty court.
After acquiring some legal experience as a clerk from 1715, he was appointed a councillor in the Conseil Supérieur in 1723 and keeper of the colony’s seals in 1731. In 1734 he became the first (and only) judge of the Louisbourg bailiff court on the recommendation of the governor, Saint-Ovide, and the financial commissary, Sébastien-François-Ange Le Normant* de Mézy, who described him, perhaps a little flatteringly, as a “very steady fellow, honest and straightforward.” Throughout his Louisbourg career Lartigue showed a remarkable propensity for building in areas about to be expropriated in the interests of the king’s service. Although the crown replaced his expropriated property with comparable land in other areas, he nevertheless complained of losses and it may be that his offices were given him in partial compensation. Indeed, most of the source material we have on Lartigue is his voluminous correspondence with the ministry of Marine seeking redress for his grievances in connection with these expropriations and complaining of his victimization at the hands of Saint-Ovide and Philippe Pastour* de Costebelle at the time of the St John’s expedition in 1709.
AN, Col., B, 55, f.557v; 61, ff.602–2v; 89, f.320; C11B, 1, ff.514–17; 6, f.158; 14, ff.398–99v, 400–1v; 15, ff.52–59; 17, ff.289–90; 18, ff.332–35; 19, ff.64–66v, 265–68; 20, ff.288–89; E, 258 (dossier Lartigue); Section Outre-Mer, G1, 407 (29 mai 1743); G3, 2038, 2039, 2041, 2043, 2046, 2055–58. Robert Le Blant, Un colonial sous Louis XIV: Philippe de Pastour de Costebelle, gouverneur de Terre-Neuve puis de l’île Royale, 1661–1717 (Paris, Dax, 1935), 227–30.