Luc de la Corne

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Saint-Luc de la Corne

Luc de la Corne, (1711 – October 1, 1784) also known as Saint Luc, was the son of Jean-Louis de La Corne de Chaptes (1666-1732), King's Lieutenant at Montreal, and Marie Pécaudy de Contrecœur. Saint-Luc was an officer in the Compagnies Franches de la Marine with his brother of Louis de la Corne, Chevalier de la Corne, later becoming a very successful merchant at Montreal. Though relatively unknown, he played a major role in American and Canadian history. He is most famous for returning from the shipwreck of the Auguste off the coast of Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, at the age of fifty, during the dead of winter, to Quebec City - a trek of seventeen hundred miles.[1] He had a varied and courageous military career which earned him the cross of Saint Louis in 1759. He fought at both the Battle of Fort William Henry during the French and Indian War and at the Battle of Saratoga during the American Revolution.

He became a very successful merchant and was heavily involved in the Montreal end of the fur trade. His brother, Jean-Louis, was heavily involved in the fur trade and exploration and Luc controlled the eastern end of his activities. Another brother, François-Josué de La Corne was the commandant of Fort Kaministiquia for a time and large fur trade profits were realized. He was in partnership with Louis-Joseph Gaultier de La Vérendrye for three years south of Lake Superior. In the same period his brother, Louis de la Corne was commandant of the western forts founded mainly by La Vérendrye. Most of his ventures made large profits and, at the time of his death, he was one of the richest men in Canada.

French and Indian War

Luc de la Corne was an interpreter for Louis-Joseph de Montcalm at the Massacre of Fort William Henry.[2] Saint Luc was held partially responsible for the attack on the British troops and was dismissed.

In 1761, Luc was returning to France, when his ship Auguste ran into terrible weather and sank. The seven endured some terrible hardships but eventually found themselves back in Montreal. The feat made Saint Luc de la Corne famous in Quebec.[3]

American Revolution

During the American Revolution Saint Luc reappeared as an interpreter for John Burgoyne during his trek to Saratoga. During this campaign two natives of Saint Luc's detachment were found responsible for the killing of Jane McCrea.

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