LEMAÎTRE, dit Jugon, FRANÇOIS, sailor, merchant, ship outfitter; b. 1707, son of François Lemaître and Bertrane Michelle of “Lequouet” (Les Couettes, dept. of Ille-et-Vilaine), France; d. before 22 Nov. 1751.
Little is known about François Lemaître, dit Jugon, including when or where he became a sailor. He may have served on local Canadian ships that began to sail to the West Indies during the 1730s, or, just as likely, he came to Canada from the West Indies. He apparently brought his wife, Marie Collet, born in Guadeloupe, to live in New France before 1744 for he was then residing with her on Rue Sainte-Famille in Quebec. At that time he had a servant and two Negro slaves living with him. He probably was already co-owner with a Sieur Saint-Germain, apparently located in Martinique, of the 130-ton brigantine Saint Esprit, which left Quebec in the autumn of 1745 for Martinique with a cargo of cod, flour, and planks. The next year this ship returned to Quebec via La Rochelle. In October 1746 Gilles Hocquart* freighted the ship, armed with four guns and a crew of 18, and identified as belonging to Jugon et Cie; he sent it to Baie-Verte (N.B.) under the command of Michel de Sallaberry. Unfortunately the vessel ran aground below Quebec. The following season Hocquart made use of the ship to send 81 English prisoners to Louisbourg, Île Royale (Cape Breton Island). The ship probably sailed on to Martinique, whence it returned in the summer of 1748 with a cargo of tafia and syrup. The last mention of Jugon and his ship is in 1750 when the Saint Esprit left Martinique for Quebec with a mixed cargo of French wine, syrup, tafia, coffee, and sugar. He must have died not long after for on 22 Nov. 1751 Marie Collet married Jean-Louis Frémont, merchant and ship captain.
François Lemaître, dit Jugon, left no descendants. His younger brother Jean was at one time a servant of the cooper Simon Touchet, later became a cooper himself, and died at Quebec in 1781.
Louis Poulard, a metropolitan merchant who died at Jugon’s residence in 1746, apparently considered Jugon to be his confidential agent in Canada, which suggests that he had business connections in France as well as in the West Indies. Perhaps the significance of Jugon’s career lies in its brief indication of the degree of social mobility in the French colonies which permitted an illiterate member of the lower class to rise to modest circumstances as a merchant and shipowner.
AN, Col., C8B, 20, 22; C11A, 83, f.263; 86, ff.160–63; 88, f.192v; 121, ff.175v–77. ANQ, Greffe de R.-C. Barolet, 22 nov., 3 oct. 1751; Greffe de J.-N. Pinguet de Vaucour, 19 déc. 1746. “Recensement de Québec, 1744” (APQ Rapport). P.-G. Roy, Inv. ins. Prév. Québec, II, 152. Tanguay, Dictionnaire.