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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




September 1971
(Revised 1978)

(Fortress of Louisbourg
Report Number H D 17 R)


Block 2 faces the Quay and is bounded to the east by the Rue Saint Louis, to the south by the Rue Royalle, and to the west by the Rue Toulouse. Because of its location on the waterfront, it was one of the earliest blocks to be settled. The value of its properties is demonstrated by two major disputes over ownership, the chief of which centered around the ordinance of 1723 and spanned a period of 15 years.

Unlike most town blocks in Louisbourg which were divided into an average of five or six properties, there were 12 properties in Block 2. Its structures included the three principal Louisbourg building types. Its inhabitants represented a cross-section of the population which included merchants, fishermen, blacksmiths, locksmiths, inn keepers, a carpenter, a baker, an officer, the keeper of the king's storehouse and the chief civil official, the commissaire-ordonnateur. The latter had a private and later official residence in Lot G and gradually expanded into Lots H, F and E, monopolizing the east side of the block. The history of Lot C and Lots H, F and E after their incorporation into the commissaire-ordonnateur's establishment is discussed in my previous report, Block 2, Lot G, Property Of The Commissaire-Ordonnateur.

The lettering of the properties is taken from Plan 1734-5 which has been adopted as the key to Louisbourg town properties. A fold-out copy of the plan is found at the back of Volume 1. The Block 2 properties are not discussed in alphabetical order, however, but start at H, proceed along the Quay to M and up the Rue Toulouse and the Rue Royalle from A to F. Lot H is discussed first because it was the focus of several events which affected the rest of the block, such as the 1737 fire and the dispute over the ordinance of 1723. This also was the order necessary to coincide with the archaeological excavation carried out by Richard Cox in the summer of 1969.

Bernard Pothier wrote a brief report, Preliminary Study on Blocks 2 and 17, in April of 1966. The report and notes were read prior to the researching and writing of the present report.

This report is the product of the Town Inhabitants File made by Henri-Paul Thibault and myself; the research for Block 2 was done concurrently with the research and compilation of the file in the winter of 1969. The first draft was written in the summer of that year, the historian keeping one property ahead of the archaeologist who was excavating in the field. Following a brief period of revision, the report was put aside for work in the Domestic Architecture and Parish Record Files, and was drafted in final form in the summer of 1971.

The major aim in writing was to assist the excavation, reconstruction and interpretation of Block 2. To facilitate design, the report concentrates on the structural details of the buildings and attempts to analyze the available information as fully as possible. Only thumb-nail sketches of the Block 2 inhabitants, as they pertain to the chronology of the properties, have been included. Unfortunately, after the research was completed, several new people connected with Block 2 appeared and require more research, as is indicated in the text.

Archaeological information has not been considered, and the report is written entirely from primary historical sources. The documents have been either typed on index cards or reader-printed and are bound together in the archives while the plans and views are appended at the back of the report.

Acknowledgements must be given to all those who helped in the preparation of this report. Special thanks are extended to John Fortier, Head of Research, and John Dunn, Senior Historian, for reading the final draft and making helpful suggestions.

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