Pierre Gaultier de La Vérendrye

Pierre Gaultier de La Vérendrye (b November 17, 1685 – d September 13, 1755), an explorer and fur trader, was born at Sorel, New France. The second oldest son of Pierre Gaultier de Varennes et de la Vérendrye spent two years in the colonial regular troops as a cadet before he accompanied his father to the West in 1731. He often travelled with his father and is known to have visited Fort Maurepas (Canada) with him in 1737, as well as making a trip to Montreal and Quebec.

From August, 1738 until November, 1739, Pierre was in charge of Fort St. Charles while his father visited the Mandan country. He made a follow up trip to visit the Mandans and beyond in 1740-41 but returned to Fort La Reine because of lack of guides. He did bring with him two horses that he acquired. These are the first two horses of historical record in what is now Manitoba. In 1741 he built Fort Dauphin which was near to the present day town of Winnipegosis.

He was active as a fur-trader and explorer in the west until 1749 when he returned east and re-entered the army. He was active at Fort Beauséjour where he served until it was captured by the British in 1755. He died shortly after at Quebec.

He had three brothers who were also active in the west at the same time. They were François de La Vérendrye, Jean Baptiste de La Vérendrye, and Louis-Joseph Gaultier de La Vérendrye. Arguably, each in his own way was more famous than Pierre. The contributions of all four brothers were large and, had not the Seven Years' War happened at the time it did, the combined legacy would have been even greater.

External links

* [http://www.biographi.ca/009004-119.01-e.php?&id_nbr=1364 Biography at "the Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online"]


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