SARCEL DE (Du) PRÉVERT, JEAN, merchant of Saint-Malo; d. 22 April 1622 at Saint-Malo.
He had sailed up and down the coasts of New France in the early years of the 17th century, if not before. Prévert was in partnership with some Saint-Malo merchants; their ship was trading at the Île d’Orléans when, in 1600, some of their goods were carried off by the men serving under Pierre Chauvin de Tonnetuit. By a decree of the Conseil Privé on 21 Nov. 1601, Chauvin was ordered to compensate the merchants, and he complied on 23 Feb. 1602.
Prévert was probably one of those who gave Henri IV information about the Acadian region before Pierre Du Gua de Monts obtained his first commission. He claimed that he possessed a trading licence that was still valid on 13 March 1603, the date on which a captain from Saint-Malo was authorized to join him and François Gravé Du Pont for the explorations that were contemplated. Prévert reconnoitred the Acadian coasts as far as the Saint John River, and brought back to Champlain specimens taken from two mines. He seems to have played a part in the decision taken by Du Gua to establish settlements towards the south.
Prévert joined the first company of de Monts 19 Feb. 1604 and withdrew from it in 1607. On 17 January of this latter year, he had obtained a loan with the intention of fur-trading on his own account. The following year Sarcel de Prévert and his former partners fitted out two ships for Canseau (Canso) and Percé. But they were indicted by de Monts before the Admiralty of Rouen and came to terms with him on 20 December. The last thing we know of Prévert’s activity is that on 2 March 1609 he sold 200 beaver skins in advance to a Paris merchant.
In 1591 he had married Françoise Richomme at Saint-Malo. He was buried 22 April 1622 in that same city.
AN, V6, 5, pièce 237; Minutier, XV et XXXV (minutes de Cuvilier et Dournel). ASM, Tabellionage de Rouen. Champlain, Œuvres (Laverdière) and Works (Biggar). Biggar, Early trading companies. Paul Paris-Jalobert, Anciens registres paroissiaux de Bretagne (baptêmes–mariages–sépultures) (11v.), IX (Saint-Malo, 1898–1914), no 1, 375.