Page:Richard - Acadie, reconstitution d'un chapitre perdu de l'histoire d'Amérique, Tome I, 1916.djvu/434

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(Cf. Chapitre Dixième)

(Extrait de Knox’s Historical Journal. Appendice XXV).


[See vol. i. p. 275. The editor is indebted to Mr. Placide Gaudet, Genealogist of the Canadian Archives, for the interesting information contained in this note. If the Acadians had had more advisers of the type of the Abbé Desenclaves, they might have been spared much of the suffering which fell to their lot. It seems incredible that the English should have neglected a man who rendered them such signal service.]

The Abbé Jean Baptiste Gay Desenclaves was born, January 29, 1702, in the parish of Saint Leonard-de-Limoges, France. He was ordained priest June 15, 1726, was admitted to the order of Saint Sulpice a few months after his ordination, and, two years later, was sent to Canada. On September 1, 1728, he arrived at Montreal, and spent the next nine years in missionary work in the parishes of Notre Dame de Montréal, Sainte Anne du Bout-de-l’ile, Repentigny, Longue Pointe, and Sault au Récollet. After a visit to France he came to Louisbourg with the Abbé Nicolas Vauquelin in September, 1739. The Abbé Vauquelin was appointed parish priest of Annapolis Royal by Lieutenant-Governor Armstrong, and Desenclaves was sent successively to Cobequit (now Truro), Grand Pré, and Rivière aux Canards (now Canning). In June, 1742, Desenclaves became parish priest of Annapolis Royal, and for twelve years lived on good terms with the Governor and the principal ofîicers of that place. When Du Vivier failed to capture Annapolis in 1744, he attributed his want of success to the missionary priests in Acadia, and reported to the Comte de Maurepas that the priests had not encouraged the Acadians to support him. That minister, writing to the Bishop of Quebec on May 12, 1745, said :

« [His Majesty] is far from being satisfied with the conduct displayed during the past year by some of the missionaries in Acadia, on the occasion of the expedition undertaken in that country. He has, indeed, been informed that the Sieurs Maillart, La Goudalie, Laboret and Le Loutre alone endeavoured to obtain assistance for the French who had been sent there, and that the Sieur