Vaudreuil, Pierre de Rigaud de Vaudreuil de Cavagnial, Marquis de
Pierre de Rigaud de Vaudreuil de Cavagnial, Marquis de Vaudreuil, (sometimes Vaudreuil-Cavagnial), officer, last governor general of New France 1755-60 (b at Québec C 22 Nov 1698; d at Paris, France 4 Aug 1778), son of Philippe de Rigaud de VAUDREUIL
. He followed his father into the TROUPES DE LA MARINE
and the colonial service. After rising through the ranks, he was governor of Trois-Rivières 1733-42. He then succeeded BIENVILLE
as governor of Louisiana 1742-53, where his governorship brought a degree of economic stability to the colony. In 1755 he was appointed to succeed DUQUESNE
as governor general of New France - the only Canadian-born to hold that position. His overall responsibility for military affairs during the SEVEN YEARS' WAR
was complicated by the decision to reinforce the Marine troops and militia in New France with 6 regular army infantry battalions, commanded in succession by Baron Dieskau, MONTCALM
. This split command seriously impeded French efforts to pursue the war: Vaudreuil advocated Canadian-style guerrilla warfare on the frontiers while Montcalm preferred a defensive stance concentrating on the centre of the colony and the European-style battle. After Montcalm's defeat in the Battle of the PLAINS OF ABRAHAM
, Vaudreuil left instructions with J.B.N.R. de RAMEZAY
to surrender the town under certain conditions, orders he was later unable to countermand in time to stop the action. Vaudreuil planned the 1760 operations with Lévis, but despite the latter's successful defeat of the British at the Battle of STE-FOY
, the arrival of the English fleet in the spring forced withdrawal again to Montréal. Unable to see any alternative that would not bring suffering to the population, Vaudreuil surrendered the colony at Montréal on Sept 8 after negotiating terms that protected the Canadians in their property, laws and religion but did not allow the troops the honours of war. He was strongly criticized for his action by the French military and the court. He was arrested a few months after Intendant François BIGOT
and tried in the famous affaire du Canada, but was completely exonerated in Dec 1763.
Pierre-Francois de Rigaud, Marquis de Vaudreuil (1703-1779) (courtesy Library and Archives Canada/C11243).
MARY MCDOUGALL MAUDE
Links to Other Sites
Montcalm, Louis-Joseph de, Marquis de Montcalm
A biography of Louis-Joseph de Montcalm, Marquis de Montcalm from the "Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online."