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Researching the Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site of Canada
  Recherche sur la Forteresse-de-Louisbourg Lieu historique national du Canada

The 300th Anniversary Of The Founding Of Louisbourg | Le 300e Anniversaire De La Fondation De Louisbourg




"St. Ovide de Brouillant was in France in the spring of 17I3 and received instructions to go at once to La Rochelle and embark on the Semslack, commanded by Lieut. Meschin, then a young officer whose service in the navy was to extend in all over sixty years. Ste. Ovide was to command the expedition. On her also were to embark the officers and men of the Acadian Companies who had been at Oleron near Rochelle since their surrender in 1700 at Port Royal.

In his course Pontchartrain gave some weight to the representations of Villien, an officer of long experience in garrison at Port Royal in Acadia, who represented that the troops from this place, familiar with local conditions, should form part of the garrison ; that some Acadians, for the same reason, should be sent, and that great care in choosing a site should be exercised, as mistakes had been made both in Canada and in Louisiana which had proved costly to the King and discouraging to the inhabitants ; a frank criticism which is not unique in correspondence of the Navy Department.

The officers who embarked in France were four in number, with two cadets, two servants, and fifteen soldiers. At Placentia the Semslack took on board L'Hermitte, de la Ronde Denys, de la Vallière, and twenty-five soldiers, some officials, women, and children, the meagre stores which the Minister had ordered to be sent, and sailed from Placentia on July 23. Pontchartrain ordered her to proceed after Placentia to Quebec. Vaudreuil the Governor, and d'Alogny, commander of the troops in Canada, had been ordered to select from the troops under their charge forty or fifty men, some of them skilled axemen, but all steady, strong, handy, and industrious. These men, under command of two officers who were serving in Canada, De Rouville and Péan, were to form part of the new garrison. The Semslack could not get to Quebec in time; Begon the Intendant therefore chartered from Boularderie - a name we shall continually meet - a vessel in which he, a retired naval officer, was trading, on which these troops and some provisions were carried to Cape Breton.

The ordinary sources do not give any account of the voyage of the Semslack, but the declaration of taking possession indicated generally their course, and that the Quebec detachment had joined them before they arrived."

[J.S. McLennan, Louisbourg from its foundation to its fall, 1713-1758 (Sydney: Fortress Press, 1969), pp. 10-11]