Menou d'Aulnay, Charles de
Charles de Menou d'Aulnay, sea captain, governor of ACADIA
(b in France c 1604; d at Port-Royal [Annapolis Royal, NS] 1650). Although best known for his disputes with rival Acadian governor Charles de Saint-Étienne de LA TOUR
, d'Aulnay was a determined and resilient colonial promoter who grappled over a 15-year period with the intractable problems associated with the colonization of ACADIA
. Of noble descent, he saw naval service as lieutenant to his cousin Isaac de RAZILLY
, and went to Acadia in 1632 when Razilly became governor. On Razilly's death in 1635, d'Aulnay assumed his powers and was later formally commissioned to govern Acadia. La Tour claimed similar powers, and their rivalry was only ended by d'Aulnay's military victory on the Saint John River in 1645, in which he ruthlessly executed the defenders.
Military supremacy did not solve the problem of how to bring real social and economic stability to the colony for d'Aulnay. After his accidental death by drowning in 1650, Acadia lapsed again into internal strife. His most lasting achievement was the establishment of the Acadian people at PORT-ROYAL.
Port-Royal, Nova Scotia, established by Champlain in 1605, was the centre of Acadian life. This reconstruction is a national historic park (photo by Bill Brooks/Masterfile).
JOHN G. REID