Fort La Jonquière
|Fort La Jonquière|
|Somewhere on the Saskatchewan River.|
|Controlled by||New France|
|In use||Abandoned 1760|
Fort La Jonquière was one of the two French forts established on the Saskatchewan River in the 20 years between the end of La Vérendrye's push west from Lake Superior in 1731-1743 and the fall of New France in 1763. The other was Fort de la Corne built two years later. It was the westernmost French fort in Canada and was named after Jacques-Pierre de Taffanel de la Jonquière, Marquis de la Jonquière who was the Governor General of New France at the time.
The second of the four western commanders who followed La Vérendrye was Jacques Legardeur de Saint-Pierre (1750–53). Saint-Pierre ordered Niverville at Fort Paskoya to build a fort 300 leagues up the Saskatchewan which was thought to be near the sources of the Missouri and streams running west to the Pacific. In the spring of 1751 ten Frenchmen in two canoes left Fort Paskoya to build the fort (Niverville was too ill to travel). The following November Saint-Pierre left Fort La Reine to visit the new fort. Morton says that he was prevented from reaching it because of a war among the Indians. A less reliable source says he was at the fort in February 1752 when 200 Assiniboins tried to plunder it. The source claims that drove them off by holding a fire brand over the power magazine and threatening to blow everyone up. After that the sources seem to be silent.
The problem is where was it?
- Saskatchewan River Forks. This the more prevalent wisdom .
- "At the Rocky Mountains". This phrase comes from a report by Saint-Pierre who may never have seen it.
- Calgary, Alberta
- Edmonton. This is said to come from a guess made by a North-West Mounted Police officer based on the remains of an American Fur Company post of 1833 found when the police built a post there.
- Nipawin, Saskatchewan. east of the forks.
- The Elbow of the South Saskatchewan River at most. (Morton's guess)
- Remains of an unknown post 200 yards west of Fort de la Corne (also Morton)
Arthur Morton, A History of the Canadian West, page 237.
- Claiborne A Skinner, "The Upper Country",2008, page 153, citing Joseph L Peyser, "Jacques Legurdeur de Saint Pierre", page 186-187. The present writer has seen the same story about another fort, but can no longer find the source
- Biography at the Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online
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