A French Canadian in the Seven Years War


My site will include discussions about my gggggg grandfather, Jacques Philippe Farly, who was a fur trader and diplomat at Fort Michilimackinac in the 1750s and was instrumental in aiding in the fight to keep the French forts under French control during the French and Indian Wars (the name generally given to the conflict in North America between the English and the French). Not long after, the fighting began which was associated with the Seven Year's War in Europe between France and England.

Jacques Philippe Farly was born in Montreal in 1710. He married Marie-Josephte Dumouchel ("Josette") in 1739. Josette was a descendent of Jeanne Juin, one of the "filles du roi" - the young women from France who were sponsored by the French Crown to come to New France to marry the young men and settle the colony. Jacques and Josette had a total of nine children, at least three of whom died during the first year of their life.

Jacques and Josette moved to Fort Michilimackinac in about 1753, three years before the start of the conflict between the English and the French. Jacques Philippe was an interpreter for the French with the Indians; in this capacity, he would have had to speak French, English and Ojibwe. The Hurons were the prevalent tribe in the early 1600s, but after European contact, their population loss was dramatic. By 1640, epidemics and war had reduced their numbers to less than 10,000. After their dispersal by the Iroquois, only 300 Huron were able to relocate safely to an area near Quebec. A number were adopted into the Iroquois League, and others relocated to the west end of Lake Erie. Thereafter, the Algonquin groups, the Ottawa and Ojibwa, became the main traders. The courier-de-bois travelled to "pay d'en haut" (upper country) for furs; this area had previously been closed to them by the Huron and Iroquois. In the following years, the Iroquois were continually at conflict with the French.

Jacques Philippe was a fur trader and voyageur (French Canadian engaged in western trade). He had obtained licenses from the government in Montreal, which were required to travel to the fur country and trade for furs. The licenses were detailed according to the type of canoe and number of men. These canoes were up to 10 metres long, and held 8 men. Brigades of these canoes left Montreal in the spring, their goal being Fort Michilimackinac and Detroit, and they usually returned to Montreal in the fall. Some journeys were longer - over one to two winters. During these long journeys, the men often married native women and settled in the west. Some came to Fort Michilimackinac and Detroit with their families, and others even had homes as far away as Montreal.

Jacques Philippe was a successful man financially. This was demonstrated by his ownership of slaves. It is rumoured that Jacques married an Indian girl after Josette died, but this cannot be true because Josette died after Jacques died. Josette died and was buried on 1799-04-18 at age 87. She is buried in L'Ile-Dupas, Quebec - according to archival records obtained by the PRDH, University of Montreal.

Map of Canada Quebec-New France Quebec

New France

Years in Fort Michilimackinac

Jacques Philippe's Legacy



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