Frontenac Jails Perrot

In early Canada, and probably in many countries it sometimes paid to be a big criminal, but not to be a petty thief. People might, for example be hanged for stealing food. As late as 1824, an eighteen-year-old boy was hanged in Saint John, N.B., for stealing twenty-five cents from his employer's till.

In the years 1672 to 1674, one of the biggest racketeers was François Perrot, Governor of Montreal. He established a base on an island between Lake St. Louis and Lake of Two Mountains, above Lachine Rapids. Indians bringing their furs to furs to Montreal were induced to stop there and, having been plied with brandy, usually left without part of their valuable cargo.

As in most criminal operations, there was a flaw. The drunken Indians would go on sprees in Montreal and terrify the inhabitants. A delegation of leading citizens, including Charles Le Moyne, called on Perrot and protested to no avail. In fact, the Governor put one of them in prison. Protests were then made to Governor Frontenac in Quebec, who had supreme authority, and he sent an officer to Montreal to investigate. Perrot put him in prison. Fortunately, La Salle saw what happened and brought word to Frontenac by secretly leaving Montreal.

Frontenac then played a trick on Perrot. He wrote to him and Abbé Fénelon, who supported Perrot, inviting them to come to Quebec to clear up their misunderstandings. As it was winter, they had to walk most of the way on snowshoes. When they arrived on January 26, Frontenac immediately had

Perrot arrested and put in jail. Abbé Fénelon was allowed to return to Montreal, but he created such an agitation in favour of Perrot that Frontenac brought him back to Quebec. Eventually Perrot and Fénelon were sent to France to face the King. Fénelon was forbidden to return to Canada, and Perrot was put in the Bastille for three months. However, on his release the governorship of Montreal was restored to him, and, in 1684, he even became Governor of Acadia!



-1604    Biencourt sailed for Port Royal with Jesuit missionaries.

-1657    The Viscount d’Argenson was made Governor of new France.

-1679    The keel of La Salle's ship Griffon was laid. It was the first ship built above Niagara Falls.

-1911    A Reciprocity Agreement with the United States was made public. It was ratified by the American Senate in July, but in the Canadian general election of September, the Liberals were defeated on the issue and reciprocity was dropped.

-1917    The biggest electric steel plant in the world opened in Toronto.

-1924    The Canadian Red Ensign was approved as the official flag for government buildings at home and abroad.

-1951    General Eisenhower, Supreme Commander of NATO, visited Ottawa.