Olivier Le Jeune

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Olivier Le Jeune (buried 10 May 1654) was the first recorded slave purchased in New France.

Olivier was a young boy from Madagascar, believe to have been less than eight years of age when he was brought to the outpost of Quebec in New France, by British commander David Kirke when he captured the colony in 1629. Shortly after his arrival, the boy was sold to Olivier Le Baillif, a French clerk in the pay of the English.

When Quebec was handed back to the French in 1632, Le Baillif left the colony and gave his slave to a Quebec resident, Guillaume Couillard. The boy was educated in a school established by the Jesuit priest, Father Le Jeune and later baptised as Olivier Le Jeune, taking the first name of the colony's head clerk, Olivier Letardif, and the surname of the Jesuit priest.

Olivier Le Jeune died on May 10, 1654. It is believed that by the time of his death his official status was changed from that of slave to that of free "domestic servant".

Although he is often referred to as a black African from Madagascar, he also may have been of partial Malay ancestry, which would have been quite common owing to the fact that Madagascar had been originally settled by diverse peoples of both South-East Asia as well as Africa.

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