business since 1996
ERIC KRAUSE REPORTS
MY HISTORICAL REPORTS
François-Marie de Goutin
GOUTIN (Degoutin, Desgoutins; he signed de Goutin), FRANÇOIS-MARIE DE, officer in the colonial regular troops, subdelegate of the financial commissionary on Ile Royale (Cape Breton Island) and Ile Saint-Jean (Prince Edward Island); b. c. 1690, probably at Port-Royal (Annapolis royal, N.S.), son of Mathieu de Goutin* and Jeanne tibaudeau; m. 20 May 1719 in Louisbourg, Ile Royale, Marie-Angélique Aubert de La Chesnaye (d.1729), by whom he had one daughter and four sons; m.9 April 1736, in Louisbourg, Marie-Angélique Puyperoux de La Fosse, by whom he had three daughters and three sons; d. 5 Jan. 1752 on Ile Saint-Jean.
The date of François-Marie de Goutin's entry into the colonial regular troops is uncertain. As a cadet he took part in the struggle against the Anglo-Americans in Acadia and Governor Daniel d'Auger* de Subercase considered recommending his promotion to second ensign. But the capture of Port-Royal by Francis Nicholson* in 1710 ended his career in Acadia. He went to France with his family and later moved to Ile Royale, sometime after the establishment of the French colony there in 1714. Little is known of his military career on the island; he is referred to as an adjutant in 1717 and served in that capacity at Port-Dauphin (Englishtown).
By 5 June 1717 Goutin had been appointed agent of the treasurer-general of the Marine at Ile Royale, a position which involved responsibility for the payment of bills approved by the financial commissary and for the preparation of an annual accounting to the ministry of the Marine for the receipts and expenditures of royal funds. Later, following a joint recommendation by the governor, Saint-Ovide [MONBETON], and the financial commissary, Pierre-Auguste de Soubras*, he received a titular appointment, at 300 livres a year, to the recently established Conseil Supérieur of Louisbourg.
In 1727 an investigation begun by Saint-Ovide led to a controversy which threatened Goutin's career and nearly terminated that of the financial commissary, Jacques-Ange LE NORMANT de Mézy. Ignoring warnings given in 1718 and 1724 to keep fortification funds separate from those for other projects and to employ them only for their stated purpose, Mézy had borrowed from them illegally and had otherwise allowed the colony's finances to fall into disorder. The inquiry into his accounting practices also revealed that Goutin was badly in debt. Treasury agents frequently invested royal funds for their own benefit, and the practice was tolerated. But Goutin appears to have invested unwisely. By 1727 he had allowed the shortage in the fortifications account to reach 48,936 livres, highly imprudent at a time when the ministry was concerned about their cost. As a result, in 1730 he was dismissed from his post by the treasurer general and ordered to make restitution. Maurepas, the minister of Marine, believed Mézy's disorderly administration to be largely responsible for the trouble, however, and Goutin was somewhat vindicated by minister's reprimand to Mézy. He continued to sit on the Conseil Supérieur. In 1733 he claimed that he was head of the council; in 1739 he was referred to as senior councillor and in 1740 as first councillor.
Goutin enjoyed the favour of Mézy's son and successor as financial commissary, Sébastien-François-Ange Le Normant* de Mézy. Appointed subdelegate of the financial commissary, he often visited such outposts as La Baleine (Baleine Cove) and Lorembec (Lorraine) to uphold the prolific ordinances of the commissary. He was responsible for enforcing the fishing regulations and fining those who contravened them, and he ruled on lawsuits and arguments between merchants, partners, and inhabitants.
From his various appointments Goutin enjoyed an annual income of 1,200 livres. He acquired two properties in Louisbourg, and took an early interest in the coastal trade. In 1729 he mad a mortgage payment on the 24-ton Union and by 1730 he had acquired half-ownership of the 35-ton Meriane Charlotte. But after Louisbourg fell to Anglo-American troops under William PEPPERELL in 1745, Goutin landed, apparently poverty stricken, at the refugee port of Saint-Malo, France. In 1746, burdened by his large family, he was granted a gratuity of 300 livres.
On 12 Aug. 1749 Goutin received a commission as subdelegate of the financial commissary and storekeeper on Ile Saint-Jean. For the general responsibility of enforcing the civil regulations of the island he received a salary of 600 livres. Though he was no longer a member of the Conseil Supérieur of Louisbourg, Goutin's new role was still attractive and important; working with the commandant, Claude-Élisabeth DENYS de Bonnaventure, he was to help create an agricultural colony. After taking stock of the storehouse, he was to make a census of the inhabitants and provide for their welfare. He was also to protect former land grants and to encourage farming in the fertile areas. Pasture was to be made available to settlers, but codfishing discouraged so as to safeguard the new agricultural base. He was ordered especially to promote settlement by the Acadians.
Goutin took up his new residence at Port-La-Joie (Fort Amherst) in poorly constructed quarters. The severity of the winter of 1750-51 was aggravated by a shortage of meat; Goutin fell ill in November 1751 and died the following January. [ERIC R. KRAUSE - Historian, Fortress of Louisbourg, National Historic Park, Government of Canada] ... [Dictionary of Canadian Biography, 1741-1770 , Volume 3 (Toronto, University of Toronto Press, 1974), pp. 264-265)]