NAVARRE, ROBERT, notary and subdelegate of the intendant; said to have been b. 1709 at Villeroy (dept of Seine-et-Marne), France, youngest son of Antoine-Marie-François de Navarre and Jeanne Plugette (Pluiette); m. 10 Feb. 1734 Marie Lothman de Barrois at Detroit (Mich.), and six of their children grew to adulthood; d. 22 Nov. 1791 at Detroit.
A descendant of the kings of Navarre, Robert Navarre was educated in Paris. When he came to Canada is not known. He signed notarial acts at Detroit as early as 24 Nov. 1729, and in 1734, when he reached the age of majority, he received his commission as a royal notary. In 1736 he was appointed receiver of dues for the Domaine d’Occident at Detroit, a position which made him responsible for collecting the taxes levied by the intendant. He was commissioned subdelegate of the intendant in 1743 and again in 1749. The office, mainly a judicial one, empowered him to deal with personal and property matters and the selection of guardians at Detroit and “in general to execute all the instruments which permanent judges are empowered to draw up, and which, require immediate attention.” In 1749 Navarre was also made storekeeper at the post. His duty in this capacity was to keep records of the goods in the royal storehouses. He was replaced as subdelegate of the intendant by Jean-Marie Landriève Des Bordes in 1752, but in 1754 he was reappointed when Landriève was recalled to Quebec. This time Navarre held the office until 1759. During his years at Detroit he acquired a familiarity with the local Indian languages and occasionally acted as an interpreter.
After British rule was established at Detroit in 1760, Navarre continued as a notary. He may have been the author of the “Journal ou dictation d’une conspiration,” an account of Pontiac*’s uprising of 1763 which served as the historical basis for Francis Parkman’s The conspiracy of Pontiac. In his later years Navarre lived west of the fort on land which had been granted to him in 1747. He was buried at Detroit on 24 Nov. 1791.
DPL, Burton hist. coll., Journal ou dictation d’une conspiration; Registres des baptêmes, mariages et sépultures de Sainte-Anne (Detroit, Mich.), 2 Feb. 1704–30 Dec. 1848 (5v. in 7, ms copy), I, II; Francis Navarre papers, 23 Nov. 1791; Robert Navarre papers, 7 May 1734. City of Detroit, Michigan, 1701–1922, ed. C. M. Burton et al. (5v., Detroit, 1922), I, 165–66. John Askin papers (Quaife), I, 37. Navarre, or researches after the descendants of Robert Navarre, whose ancestors are the noble Bourbons of France . . . , comp. Christian Denissen (Detroit, 1897). PAC Report, 1904, app.K, 238. “Recensement de Détroit, 1779,” 581–85. Christian Denissen, Genealogy of the French families of the Detroit River region, 1701–1911, ed. H. F. Powell (2v., Detroit, 1976). Massicotte, “Répertoire des engagements pour l’Ouest,” ANQ Rapport, 1929–30, 276. P.-G. Roy, Inv. coll. pièces jud. et not., III, 106, 218, 226; Inv. ord. int., II, 165, 197, 208–9, 277, 293; III, 9, 40, 124, 169–70, 185, 211. Francis Parkman, The conspiracy of Pontiac and the Indian war after the conquest of Canada (2v., Boston, 1910). M. Trudel, L’esclavage au Canada français, 146–47. [P.-]P.-B. Casgrain, “Landrieffe,” BRH, II (1896), 45–46.