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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





Report H E 15

Fortress of Louisbourg



The man holding the position of capitaine des portes went each morning and evening to get the keys for the various gates from the governor. After doing so, he would carry them to each gate, see to the opening or securing of the barriers, gates, posterns and casemates, and return the keys in the place in the governor's quarters where they were kept. Each fortified place head one or more capitaines des pontes depending on the size of the place and the number of gates to be locked.[1]

In 1742 Duquesnel informed the minister that with the completion of the fortifications Louisbourg would require the services of a capitaine des portes. For the post he suggested Hertel De Cornoyer who had been made an ensign a few months before. The son of Captain Cournoyer of Canada, Hertel had served as a soldier in Canada and Ile Royale for 26 years before being made a cadet in 1734. Much older than usual for a cadet, Hertel was 40 years of age when he finally reached the rank of ensign. Due to this, the governor wrote, he had little hope of further advancement .[2] After a second request for the creation of the position, the minister reluctantly agreed, saying that while he would prefer to have the functions of a capitaine des portes handled by other officers, he would allow the creation of the post if Duquesnel thought it necessary. By October of 1744 his decision had apparently not reached Louisbourg because Duquesnel and Bigot wrote again asking if the minister agreed to the establishment of the post with the rank of lieutenant and a salary of 900 livres. A month later, however, Bigot reported that Hertel was employed as capitaine des portes at the suggested rank and salary, a significant raise from, the 360 livres he had been receiving as enseigne en second.[3]