LECLERC, JEAN-BAPTISTE, king’s carpenter at Trois-Rivières; baptized 23 Aug. 1681 at Quebec; eldest son of Robert Leclerc (1653–1731), the king’s carpenter at Quebec, and Marie Jallais; d. 17 June 1739 at Trois-Rivières.
Leclerc moved to Trois-Rivières as a young man and there married Marguerite Pepin of Champlain on 10 Nov. 1704. Leclerc lived in the lower town and worked as a joiner, barn-builder, and house-framer. He took care of his aged father and acted as the latter’s attorney. Like many craftsmen, both father and son were illiterate.
Jean-Baptiste Leclerc had been employed on crown projects before his appointment on 21 March 1739 by Intendant Hocquart* as king’s carpenter in the town of Trois-Rivières. His official duties were to include the construction and maintenance of canoes and the heavy supply transports called bateaux du cent. He was to oversee the boatyard and personally to tour the forests to select and cut timber for the king’s works. It was also understood that he would do general carpentry and, should the need arise, erect the carcan and gallows for the punishment of criminals. Leclerc died soon after his appointment and his son, Jean-Baptiste Le Clair (b. 1711, fl. 1743), who was a land surveyor and carpenter, was named as his father’s successor.
AJQ, Registres d’état civil de Notre-Dame de Québec, 1680–1685, f.100. AJTR, Greffe de Pierre Petit, 15 mars 1723, 7 juillet 1728; Greffe de J.-B. Pottier, 24 déc. 1703; Greffe d’Étienne Véron de Grandmesnil, 6 avril 1712; Registres d’état civil de Trois-Rivières, 1699–1727, 85f.; 1728–1740, 217. ASQ, Seigneuries, VII, 64. P.-G. Roy, Inv. ord. int., I, 235; II, 265, 297. A. J. E. Lunn, “Economic development in New France, 1713–1760,” unpublished Ph.D. thesis, McGill University, 1943, 278.