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Germain Doucet - Biographical Sketch
Following is a short biographical sketch of Germain Doucet, Sieur de
Laverdure. It was printed in The Advertiser, page 8C, dated
10 August 1997, published in Lafayette, Louisiana (items in [ ] are
added from other sources to help clarify information):
Germain DOUCET dit Laverdure [born about 1595], native of Couperans-in-Brie,
France, arrived in Acadia in 1632 with the Commander Isaac de
Razilly and Charles de Menou d'Aulnay. The King of France gave
Razilly, a Knight in the Order of Malta, the task of retaking
possession of the colony of Acadia from the English following the
treaty of St-Germain-en-Laye, which returned Acadia to France. Two
ships, the St-Jehan and the L'Esperance-in-Dieu, left from d'Auray
in Brittany on the 23rd of July, 1632. Germain Doucet was an officer
[a Major (Captain of Arms)] among the small group of soldiers that
accompanied this mission.
Doucet apparently was accompanied by his wife, Marguerite [see note
below] and his son, Pierre, and his daughter, Louise-Marguerite [or
Marguerite-Louise-Judith]. The family landed first at La Heve [La
Have], where Germain assisted in the construction of Fort
Sainte-Marie-de-Grace. [Note: The name of Germain's wife is unknown.
See information about his wife in Generation I of the genealogical
months of their arrival, Razilly sent d'Aulnay to retake Port Royal,
which was still occupied by the English. Doucet, who would always be
d'Aulnay's faithful friend, accompanied him on this mission. At Port
Royal, those English colonists who wanted to leave the colony and
return to England were boarded on the St-Jehan and sent first
to La Heve. Germain Doucet then accompanied the St-Jehan to
England to return the English colonists. From there, Doucet returned
to France, where he met d'Aulnay aboard the Esperance- en-Dieu,
and they returned to Acadia with new French colonists.
Later, in 1635, d'Aulnay was ordered to retake possession of Fort
Pentagouet at the western limit of Acadia near the present day
Castin, Maine, from the British. Once again, Germain Doucet
accompanied d'Aulnay, this time with his family. D'Aulnay returned
to Port Royal after the fort was retaken and left Doucet in command
of a small garrison. The British soon sent a detachment from
Plymouth, Mass., to try to retake the fort, but the French under the
command of Germain Doucet, successfully repelled the attack.
Razilly was governor of but a part of Acadia. The rest of the colony
was governed by Charles de La Tour. La Tour and Razilly coexisted in
Acadia on peaceful terms, but in late 1635, Razilly died suddenly,
leaving his position as governor of his part of the colony to his
brother, Claude de Razilly. Unwilling to leave France, Claude de
Razilly delegated his powers to Charles de Menou d'Aulnay. Soon
after d'Aulnay succeeded to this post, relations with La Tour
deteriorated, in part due to a confusing geographic division of the
colony between the two governors by the King of France. By 1636,
this quarrel had degenerated to open warfare, and La Tour demanded
that d'Aulnay give up the post at Pentagouet, commanded by Doucet.
D'Aulnay and Doucet refused to do so, and proceeded to make plans to
reinforce the fort. A small party sent from Fort Pentagouet to Port
Royal for provisions, which very well may have included the
commander, Doucet, was captured by forces loyal to La Tour and held
prisoner. But soon after, La Tour is defeated and captured following
a naval engagement with the vessel of d'Aulnay.
In 1645, following the death of the commander, Isaac Pessely, Doucet
was named commander of the garrison at Port Royal. By 1647, the
forces loyal to d'Aulnay had consolidated their power over the
colony, and La Tour was forced to take refuge in Quebec. However, in
May 1650, d'Aulnay drowned when his canoe overturned in the Riviere
du Moulin. D'Aulnay's widow, Jeanne de Mottin, and Germain Doucet
executed d'Aulnay's possession.
In 1651, Jeanne de Mottin married her late husband's rival, Charles
de La Tour, and through this marriage, La Tour retook power in the
colony. Doucet signed as a witness to their marriage, and La Tour
left him in command of the garrison at Port Royal.
In July 1654, despite the fact that England and France were at
peace, Major Robert Sedgewick of Boston attacked and took La Tour's
fort at Pentagouet, and proceeded immediately to lay siege to Port
Royal. Doucet and his men resisted the attack for 16 days, however,
faced with an opponent superior in numbers and armament, Doucet was
finally forced to surrender Port Royal to Sedgewick and the English.
Doucet and his wife were taken prisoner and returned to France,
never to return to the New World.