LIÉNARD DE BEAUJEU, LOUIS, officer in the colonial regular troops; b. in Paris, France, 16 April 1683, son of Philippe Liénard de Beaujeu, officer in charge of the king’s cellar and pantry and standard bearer in the company of light horse of the king’s guard, and Catherine Gobert; d. 27 Dec. 1750.
Born into a noble family with access to the court, Louis Liénard de Beaujeu was on 11 June 1691, at the age of eight, appointed to succeed his father as officer in charge of the king’s cellar and pantry. He occupied this position until 1697, when he went to New France to seek his fortune, but continued to draw the salary attached to it until 1706. He sought advancement through the military and proved a competent officer, though his connections at court were of utmost importance. He was commissioned ensign in a detachment of the colonial regular troops on 1 April 1702, lieutenant in 1704, and captain on 30 June 1711. On 6 Sept. 1706 Beaujeu married Thérèse-Denise, daughter of Jean-Baptiste Migeon* de Branssat, and widow of Charles Juchereau* de Saint-Denys, lieutenant general of the royal jurisdiction of Montreal and prominent fur-trader. Eleven children were born of the marriage.
Beaujeu went to France in 1712 on family business and was also entrusted with the official dispatches by Philippe de Rigaud* de Vaudreuil, who considered him a judicious officer, “exact in carrying out orders,” and strongly “attached to the service and very zealous to maintain good order. . . .” A few years later Beaujeu went to the western Great Lakes with Constant Le Marchand* de Lignery, and by 1719 had replaced his superior as commandant at the newly constructed fort at Michilimackinac. He served there until 1722. He attempted to curtail the trade in brandy which was so devastating to the Indian culture. Like other officers at the western posts, Beaujeu engaged in the fur trade, occasionally importing merchandise from François Poulin* de Francheville. His ill health was a problem at this post, and indeed throughout his life.
He left Michilimackinac in 1722 and returned to Montreal to try to restore his health. At this time he requested the cross of Saint-Louis, an honour he received in 1726. In June 1728 Beaujeu returned to the upper lakes as second in command of Le Marchand de Lignery’s ill-fated expedition against the Foxes in Wisconsin. Lignery was sick much of the time, yet refused to turn command of the 450 French and 1,000 Indians over to Beaujeu. The Foxes eluded pursuit, and the large French force returned in September having accomplished nothing except to earn recriminations.
Nevertheless Beaujeu was not discredited, and the following year he was promoted. No openings were available until April 1733 when he succeeded Pierre de Rigaud* de Vaudreuil as garrison adjutant of New France and took his place on the council of war. At this time he was also given a seigneury on Lake Champlain. This was an eventful year for in October his daughter Charlotte married Jean-Victor Varin* de La Marre, member of the Conseil Supérieur.
In 1742 Beaujeu again went to France. He was appointed on 31 May 1743 as king’s lieutenant at Trois-Rivières. Because of ill health he remained in France and in 1746 asked for retirement. He was refused, and returned to New France, where war was in progress. At a meeting in July at the Château Saint-Louis he voted to continue strengthening the fortifications of Quebec.
Retirement with a pension of 2,000 livres per year was finally granted to Beaujeu in March 1748. He died on 27 Dec. 1750. Three sons survived him: the scholarly Louis-Joseph*, the officer Daniel-Hyacinthe-Marie, and Louis Liénard* de Beaujeu de Villemomble, the last French commandant at Michilimackinac, who distinguished himself during the American revolution.
AN, Col, B, 44, f.521; C11A, 44, ff.45, 46; Marine, C7, 20. “Cadillac papers,” Michigan Pioneer Coll., XXXIII (1903), 482, 534, 567, 704; XXXIV (1904), 13, 186. “Canadian documents,” Wis. State Hist. Soc. Coll., V, 92–95. “Correspondance de Vaudreuil,” APQ Rapport, 1946–47, 373, 403, 417; 1947–48, 172, 186, 211. French regime in Wis., 1634–1727 (Thwaites), 386. French regime in Wis., 1727–48 (Thwaites), 71–72. “Liste des officiers de guerre qui servent en Canada (octobre 1722) dressée par le gouverneur de Vaudreuil,” BRH, XXXVI (1930), 209. PAC Report, 1899, supp., 143, 156; 1904, app. K; 1905, I, pt.vi, 13, 14, 48, 71, 77, 104, 106. Dictionnaire national des Canadiens français (1608–1760) (2v., Montréal, 1958). Le Jeune, Dictionnaire. É.-Z. Massicotte, “Congés et permis déposés ou enregistrés à Montréal sous le régime français,” APQ Rapport, 1921–22, 193, 194, 198, 199, 203. P.-G. Roy, Les officiers d’état-major, 28–30. Tanguay, Dictionnaire. Emmanuel de Cathelineau, “Les Liénard Sieurs de Beaujeu, Saveuse et Villemomble,” Nova Francia, III (1927–28), 327–54.