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Madeleine Jarret de Verchères, The Canadian Encyclopedia


Descendants du Régiment de Carignan-Salières
Louis Coulon de Villiers (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Some filles du roi/roy married disbanded soldiers of the Régiment de Carignan-Salières. These soldiers were offered a seigneurie and could defend their seigneurie and the colony. Madeleine de Verchères was born to a soldier of the Régiment de Carignan-Salières.

Madeleine de Verchères

Madeleine Jarret de Verchères was the daughter of François Jarret de Verchères, who remained in Canada after his tour of duty was over. He was given a seigneurie and married 12-year-old Marie Perrot. They lived in a fort. On October 22, 1692, when François and Marie were away getting supplies for the winter, 14-year-old Madeleine Jarret de Verchères, the couple’s fourth daughter, defended the fort. She was working outside the fort when an Iroquois grabbed her by her scarf, which she untied. Madeleine fled to safety and held the fort for eight days. She is a Canadian heroïne. At the foot of this post, you will find an article on Madeleine Jarret de Verchères.

Life in Canada was complicated. For instance, when the soldiers first arrived, they had no snowshoes (des raquettes). Many died frozen, and scurvy remained a plight. Yet, among the soldiers who survived, several accepted the King’s offer. They stayed behind, and most married. The King sent hundreds of women to New France. These women have been described as “filles de Joie,” which they were not. They were women who did not have a dowry and lived in convents and orphanages. The future looked grim, so they crossed the Atlantic, often packed like sardines. None were coerced into leaving for Canada, but some had little choice. There were deaths, but the survivors did not spend a long time learning to be housekeepers. Orders were to marry as soon as possible. They quickly found a husband and turned to one another for help managing a home.

Joseph Coulon de Villers de Jumonville 

Interestingly, French captain, Joseph Coulon de Villiers de Jumonville[1] (Joseph Coulon de Jumonville) was born in the Verchères seigneurie. He was the son of Nicolas-Antoine Coulon de Villiers de Jumonville[2] and married Angélique de Jarret de Verchères, Madeleine de Verchères‘s sister. (See Joseph Coulon de Villiers de Jumonville , Dictionary of Canadian Biography.) Two families had blended: the Jarret de Verchères and the Coulon de Villiers de Jumonville.

We have met Joseph Coulon de Villiers de Jumonville. He and his half-brother, Louis, were born at the Verchères seigneurie. Both were soldiers. The two were sent to Ohio country to chase the British away. Joseph was killed at the Battle of Jumonville Glen, a suspicious death.

The Battle of Jumonville Glen took place on May 28, 1754, in Ohio country. Jumonville Glen wasn’t a battle but an ambush. Yet, it is considered by many as the first battle in the Seven Years’ War, a global conflict. The North American theatre of the Seven Year’s War was called the French and Indian War, and hostilities lasted nine years. It is believed that Joseph Coulon de Villiers de Jumonville was killed at Jumonville Glen by Tanacharison, the Half King. Still, Tanacharison was with George Washington, a young officer, and the two were alone.

We may never know whether the Half King, Tanacharison, was ordered to kill Jumonville or acted singly. Suspicion was cast on George Washington, who was with Tanacharison when Joseph Coulon de Villiers de Jumonville died. The incident is known as the “Jumonville Affair,” which may be the event that started the Seven Years’ War.

Louis Coulon de Villiers,[3] Joseph Coulon de Villiers de Jumonville’s half-brother, was convinced Joseph had been murdered. Louis avenged Joseph’s death by defeating Washington at the Battle of Fort Necessity on July 3, 1754. George Washington, who could not read French, surrendered to Louis Coulon de Villiers, signing a document according to which Joseph Coulon de Villiers de Jumonville’s death was an assassination.

The terms of Washington's surrender included a statement (written in French, a language Washington did not read) admitting that Jumonville was "assassinated."(See Battle of Jumonville Glen, Battle of Fort Necessity and George Washington, Wikipedia) 
"It was in the Ohio Country where George Washington lost the Battle of Fort Necessity to Louis Coulon de Villiers in 1754, and the subsequent Battle of the Monongahela to Charles Michel de Langlade and Jean-Daniel Dumas to retake the country [in] 1755. The Treaty of Paris ceded the country to Great Britain in 1763." (History of Ohio)


We will never know whether Joseph Coulon de Villiers de Jumonville was assassinated. No one witnessed his death, and it seems that George Washington could not read French.

The fact remains that the “Jumonville affair” was described by Horace Walpole as:

a volley fired by a young Virginian in the backwoods of America [that] set the world on fire.” It proved to be the opening shot in the Seven Years’ War.

(See Joseph Coulon de Villiers de Jumonville, Dictionary of Canadian Biography.)

We also know that Joseph Coulon de Villiers de Jumonville was the son of Nicolas-Antoine Coulon de Villiers who married Angélique Jarret de Verchères, Madeleine Jarret de Verchères‘s sister. Both are daughters of François Jarret de Verchères who was a member of the Régiment de Carignan-Salières.

A few years later, when New France fell to Britain, the Thirteen Colonies‘ citizens rushed into Ohio, hoping they would occupy new land. Chief Pontiac fought back as Amerindians had lived undisturbed in this part of North America. New York governor Jeffery Amherst attempted to poison North American Indians, giving them smallpox-infected blankets. Landrushes were not rare in what became the United States. Settlers wanted a better life. George III’s Royal Proclamation of 1763 created a reserve protecting Amerindians, but restraining immigrants was difficult.


François Jarret de Verchères, Régiment de Carignan-Salières, and Marie Perrot are Madeleine de Verchère’s parents. Angélique Jarret de Verchères is Madeleine Jarret de Verchères‘s sister.
Nicolas-Antoine Coulon de Villiers married Angélique Jarret de Verchères. They are the parents of
Joseph Coulon de Villiers de Jumonville and Louis Coulon de Villiers.



Battle of Jumonville Glen (May 28, 1754)
Battle of Fort Necessity (July 3, 1754)

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[1] W. J. Eccles, “COULON DE VILLIERS DE JUMONVILLE, JOSEPH,” in Dictionary of Canadian Biography, vol. 3, University of Toronto/Université Laval, 2003–, accessed July 18, 2022, http://www.biographi.ca/en/bio/coulon_de_villiers_de_jumonville_joseph_3E.htm

[2] Jean-Guy Pelletier, “COULON DE VILLIERS, NICOLAS-ANTOINE (1683-1733),” in Dictionary of Canadian Biography, vol. 2, University of Toronto/Université Laval, 2003–, accessed July 18, 2022, http://www.biographi.ca/en/bio/coulon_de_villiers_nicolas_antoine_1683_1733_2E.html.

[3] W. J. Eccles, « COULON DE VILLIERS, LOUIS », dans Dictionnaire biographique du Canada, vol. 3, Université Laval/University of Toronto, 2003– , consulté le 18 juill. 2022, http://www.biographi.ca/fr/bio/coulon_de_villiers_louis_3F.html.

George Washington in the French & Indian War on Vimeo

George Washington, by Charles Willson Peale, 1772

© Micheline Walker
July 18, 2022