[FRENCH & INDIAN WAR]. DUQUESNE DE MENNEVILLE, Ange, Marquis DUQUESNE, (ca.1700-1778), Governor-General of New France. Document endorsed ("Duquesne") as Governor, at bottom of a letter addressed by Captain Jean-Daniel Dumas (1721-1794), to the Marquis, Montreal, 17 November 1753. 1 full page, 4to. In French. Fine.
GOVERNOR DUQUESNE APPROVES THE TRIAL OF TWO DESERTERS. A document signed less than a year and a half after the Marquis took up the post of Governor-General, during his advance preparations for an aggressive spring campaign in the Ohio Valley. Dumas has recently returned from Niagara, one of the critical French outposts on the route into the Ohio Valley. Dumas formally informs "Mr. Le Marquis Duquesne, Governor-General of New France," that during the voyage which he has just completed, "from Niagara to this city, commanding a convoy of nineteen ships and three birch-bark canoes laden with the sick and convalescents," two soldiers. Grenoble and Robichau "deserted by passing over to Chouaguen [Fort Oswego]." Dumas accordingly requests the men be tried in absentia, "in conformance with the King's ordinances..." At the bottom, Duquesne records his assent with a bold signature.
Duquesne had been appointed Governor-General in April 1752 and arrived at Quebec in July 1752. His instructions were to drive English traders from the Ohio Valley, cement alliances with the Indians and to strengthen the scattered chain of frontier outposts in that coveted region, already in contention between the two powers. At this date, Duquesne was actively planning an expedition against Fort Oswego. A young Virginia soldier, George Washington, as a representive of the governor of Virginia, had requested the French to leave Fort de la Riviere au Boeuf, and, in response, in the Spring of 1753, Duquesne sent another strong detachment commanded by Pécaudy de Contrecoeur into the Ohio Valley. This force secured the Fort de la Riviere au Boeuf (present-day Waterford, Pennsylvania), and drove the English from the strategic forks of the Ohio, constructing a stockade which was christened Fort Duquesne, in the Governor-General's honor.
Documents signed by the Marquis are decidedly uncommon.