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Pierre Le Moyne d'Iberville: Wikis


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Pierre Le Moyne d'Iberville
Born 16 July 1661(1661-07-16)
Died 9 July 1706 (aged 44)
Occupation Explorer, Soldier, Trader

Pierre Le Moyne d'Iberville [pronounced as described in note[1]] (born 16 July 1661 — died, probably, on 9 July 1706),[2][3] was a soldier, ship captain, explorer, colonial administrator, knight of the order of Saint-Louis, adventurer, privateer, trader, and founder of the French colony of Louisiana.[3] He was born at Ville-Marie, (now Montreal, Canada) on 16 July 1661. He died at Havana, Cuba, probably on 9 July 1706.[2] He was the third son[2] of Charles Le Moyne, a native of Dieppe in France and lord of Longueuil in Canada, and of Catherine Primot.[2] He is also known as Sieur d'Iberville[1][2] or Sieur d'Iberville et d'Ardillières. [3]


Life and career

Iberville became a sailor at an early age, and he served as a volunteer under the Chevalier de Troyes in the waters of Hudson Bay.[2][3] In 1686, he began a career as soldier and sailor, and he took part in many expeditions against the English. Fort Severn, located at the mouth of the Severn River on Hudson Bay was established as a trading post in 1689 by the Hudson's Bay Company. Iberville captured it in 1690. The post, rebuilt in 1759, has been in continuous operation to this day making the community one of the oldest European settlements in Ontario.[2]

The New England Campaign

In 1695, during King William's War, Iberville was called upon to attack English stations along the Atlantic coast from the disputed New England-Acadia boundary, to St John’s, Newfoundland, the fortified English settlement.[2] Iberville destroyed Fort William Henry (near what is now Bristol, Maine, at the tip of the Pemaquid peninsula, commanding the entrance to Muscongus Bay) in the spring of 1696. (Note that this fort bore the same name, Fort William Henry, as another fort built sixty years later near Lake George, New York; they are not one and the same.) After his victory in Maine, Iberville sailed his three vessels to Placentia (Plaisance), the French capital of Newfoundland.

The Newfoundland Campaign

Under the terms of the treaty of 1687, both English and French fishermen were permitted to exploit the Grand Banks fishery from their respective settlements on Newfoundland. Nonetheless, the object of the French expedition of 1696 was to expel the English from Newfoundland. Iberville and his men left Placentia on November 1, 1696 and marched overland to Ferryland, fifty miles south of St John’s. Nine days later, Iberville encountered additional French naval forces, and both detachments began the march north to the English capital, which surrendered on November 30, 1696 following a brief siege. After setting fire to St. John's, Iberville’s Canadians almost totally destroyed the English fishery along the eastern shore of Newfoundland. Small raiding parties terrorized the hamlets hidden away in remote bays and inlets, burning, looting, and taking prisoners. By the end of March 1697, only Bonavista and Carbonear Island remained in English hands. On September 4th, 1697, Iberville aboard his ship the Pelican, arrives at Fort Nelson in the Hudson Bay. The next day, he encounters three British ships, the Hudson Bay, Hampshire and the Dering. Iberville sunk the first two ships, and the Dering escaped. He won the battle, even though his cannons were outnumbered 114 to 44. On September 13th, Fort York fell as well.

During four months of raids, Iberville was responsible for the destruction of thirty-six settlements. The Newfoundland campaign was the cruelest and most destructive of Iberville’s career.


For French Louisiana

Iberville sailed for France in 1697 and, shortly after his arrival, he was chosen by Louis Phélypeaux, count of Pontchartrain, the Secrétaire d'État de la Marine, (that is, Secretary of State for the Navy, an office roughly equivalent to that of the First Sea Lord in the UK or the Secretary of the Navy in the US) to lead an expedition to rediscover the mouth of the Mississippi River and to colonize Louisiane (the French name for Louisiana),[2] which the English coveted.

Iberville's fleet sailed from Brest on 24 October 1698.[3] On January 25, 1699, Iberville reached Santa Rosa Island immediately south of Pensacola,[2] founded by the Spanish; he sailed from there to Mobile Bay and explored Massacre Island, later renamed Dauphine (see: Dauphin Island).[2] He anchored between Cat Island and Ship Island, and on February 13, 1699, he landed at Biloxi with his brother, Jean-Baptiste Le Moyne de Bienville.[2]

On May 1, 1699, he completed a fort on the northeastern side of the Bay of Biloxi, a short distance inland from what is now Ocean Springs, Mississippi. This fort was known as Fort Maurepas or Old Biloxi.[2][3] A few days later, on May 4, Pierre Le Moyne sailed for France,[2] leaving his teenaged brother, Jean-Baptiste Le Moyne, as second-in-command to the French commandant, Sauvolle.

After Nevis

In 1706, Iberville captured the Caribbean island of Nevis from the British, by taking the main stronghold, Fort Charles, and disabling most of the cannon on the island.[2] He then traveled to Havana, Cuba to obtain reinforcements from the Spanish for an attack on the English Province of Carolina, but he contracted what is believed to be yellow fever and died near Havana on or about July 9, 1706.[2][3] He was buried the same day at Havana, in the Church of San Cristóbal, just a few days before his forty-fifth birthday.[3]


Statue of Pierre LeMoyne d'Iberville at the Valiants Memorial, in Ottawa

He was a knight of the Order of Saint-Louis.[3]

Many sites and landmarks were named to honor Pierre Le Moyne d'Iberville. They include:

See also


  1. ^ a b The name Pierre Le Moyne d'Iberville is pronounced, in the French manner, as "Pe-air Luh Mwan Dee-bair-Veel" or "Vill" depending on regional accent in Canada/America. The title "Sieur" is pronounced "soor".
    However, residents of the Mississippi Gulf Coast pronounce his last name as "Dee-EYE-burr-Vill", and the city of D'Iberville, MS, is also pronounced that way.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p "Pierre Le Moyne, Sieur d'Iberville" (biography), Catholic Encyclopedia, 1907, webpage: CathEnc-7614b: gives dates (16 July 1661; d. at Havana, 9 July 1706) and mentions surnames of 6 brothers.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Le Moyne d'Iberville", Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online, 2009 (see below: References).


  • "Le Moyne d'Iberville", Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online, Univ. of Toronto, Canada, 2009, webpage: bio-ca-940.

External links


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