TROTTIER DESRIVIÈRES BEAUBIEN, EUSTACHE-IGNACE, businessman, seigneur, militia officer, and office holder; b. 10 Feb. 1761 in Montreal (Que.), son of Eustache Trottier Desrivières Beaubien, a merchant, and Marguerite Malhiot; d. 3 Oct. 1816 in Varennes, Lower Canada.
Eustache-Ignace Trottier Desrivières Beaubien came from a family that had been in business and the fur trade since the 17th century. During the 1780s his father, who was a merchant in Montreal and then at the Lac-des-Deux-Montagnes mission (Oka), engaged in fur trading, particularly on lakes Abitibi and Timiskaming, but stiff competition from British merchants had forced him to abandon this activity and to concentrate almost exclusively on his retail business at Lac-des-Deux-Montagnes. It seems then that Desrivières Beaubien did his apprenticeship in the business world alongside his father.
On 7 Oct. 1783, at Varennes, Desrivières Beaubien married Marie-Appolline Bailly de Messein, who came from one of the leading merchant families of the locality. As dowry she brought her share in the estate of her father, François-Augustin Bailly de Messein; for his part Desrivières Beaubien benefited from a 9,000-livre advance on his inheritance. The young couple took up residence in Varennes, where Desrivières Beaubien opened a general store. His wife died on 29 Oct. 1793, a year after their sixth child was born. In 1794, in addition to his store, which was inventoried at 14,415 livres 18 sous, Desrivières Beaubien owned at Varennes two houses, two lots, and a meadow, as well as the animals that he leased to habitants living on the seigneury. Since the debts owed to him exceeded his liabilities, his net worth was 16,706 livres.
On 7 Aug. 1796, having been a widower for several years, Desrivières Beaubien married Charlotte Boucher de La Bruère, daughter of René Boucher de La Bruère, at Boucherville. The bride, who had a large dowry, added to his fortune by bringing into the community of property two farms and a lot in the seigneury of Boucherville, a third of the seigneury of Montarville, and 8,000 livres.
During the next two decades Desrivières Beaubien invested in real estate. He bought farms in the seigneuries of Varennes, Belœil, Boucherville, and Montarville, as well as in the barony of Longueuil. In 1816 he owned 26 farms or sections of land in these various places, which he leased with a view to selling the crops in his store at Varennes, or in Montreal. In addition he operated a potashery and a bakery and owned half of a carding-mill.
Like many of his compatriots Desrivières Beaubien suffered under Governor Craig’s administration. In May 1810, with no explanation, the governor withdrew his commissions as justice of the peace for the District of Montreal, an office he had filled since 1791, and as major in the Boucherville militia, a post he had held for two years. Desrivières Beaubien protested, claiming that the authorities had listened to false information and slanderous complaints. In July 1812 he sent a petition to the new governor, Sir George Prevost, asking him to investigate the grounds for his dismissal. A military court presided over by Louis Guy* was set up that month.
Desrivières Beaubien must have won his case, for in the autumn of 1813 he took part in an action at the head of a militia battalion at Châteauguay. He was also reinstated as a justice of the peace.
It seems that his war service was too hard on his health. After a long and painful illness, Desrivières Beaubien died on 3 Oct. 1816. As lieutenant-colonel in the Verchères militia he was buried with full military honours. In addition to his farms and lots he left an estate valued at 22,568 livres to his surviving children, Henri* and Édouard Desrivières-Beaubien, who were both minors.
ANQ-M, CE1-10, 7 oct. 1783, 29 oct. 1793, 11 mai 1810; CE1-22, 7 août 1796, 5 oct. 1816; CE1-51, 11 févr. 1761; CN1-117, 21 oct. 1806; CN1-121, 14 juill. 1794, 15 août 1795; CN1-150, 6 oct. 1783; CN1-167, 7 août 1796; 15 sept., 30 oct., 4 nov. 1816; CN1-269, 31 Jan. 1798; CN1-313, 7 mai 1795, 14 févr. 1800, 9–12 févr. 1801, 24 sept. 1807, 26 sept. 1809; P-10, octobre 1806, cause no.267. Arch. du séminaire de Trois-Rivières (Trois-Rivières, Qué.), Coll. Montarville Boucher de La Bruère. ASQ, Fonds Viger-Verreau, Carton 18, no.67. AUM, P 58, P2/191, 195, 198; U, Desrivières-Beaubien à Jordan, 16 août 1802. Montreal Gazette, 14 Oct. 1816. Quebec Gazette, 11 Aug. 1791; 3, 17 May 1810. Tanguay, Dictionnaire, 7: 359. “La loyauté des Canadiens en 1775,” BRH, 31 (1925): 370–75. “Le ‘Royal Canadien’ ou ‘Royal Canadian Volunteers,’” BRH, 7 (1901): 372.