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Title Legal documents concerning the inventory of the estate of Jean Nicollet [manuscript]: Fort St. Louis [Québec, Québec], 1642 Nov. 27-1643 April 30
Document Type Official Record
Description From the Newberry Library Catalogue: Documents, dated between Nov. 27, 1642 and April 30, 1643 at Fort St. Louis, concerning appraisal, storage, and division of Nicollet’s assets. Following Nicollet’s death, and in the absence of his brother, Pierre Nicollet, a seaman in the service of the Compagnie, property of the deceased was inventoried, appraised, and stored in the Compagnie’s warehouse. Parties to the dispute, whose signatures and marks appear throughout the documents, include Pierre Nicollet, legal guardian for Jean Nicollet’s infant daughter, Marguerite; Nicollet’s widow, Marguerite Couillard, her brother, Guillaume Couillard, and two representatives of the Compagnie, Jean Guitot and Martin Prevost. The widow protests that she was never allowed to see the inventory, although her brother-in-law did so, and claims the inventory to be null and void for the false signatures used by Nicollet and Couillard. The documents include an inventory of 48 items of clothing, furniture, and housewares, along with estimated values; a list of six additional items of silverplate and jewelry omitted from the initial inventory; and finally an itemization of land titles, including a grant of May 23, 1637 of 160 arpents of land outside Québec in co-ownership with his brother-in-law, Olivier Letardif; a marriage contract with Marguerite Couillard from Oct. 1637; contracts for service, including one with Champlain; and outstanding debts owed the deceased. Also signing was notary clerk, Martial Piraube.
Names Nicollet, Jean; Nicollet, Pierre; Nicollet, Marguerite; Couillard, Marguerite; Couillard, Guillaume; Guitot, Jean; Prevost, Martin; Letardif, Olivier; Champlain, Samuel de; Piraube, Martial
Places Fort St Louis, Quebec, Canada
Keywords family life, law, clothing, inheritance, inventory, property, contract, fort, landowner, New France, Compagnie de la Nouvelle France
Theme Trade and Indian Economies
Culture Area Northeast
Language French
Additional Information Interpreter and clerk for the Compagnie de la Nouvelle France, explorer, and liaison officer between the French and the Indians. Nicollet arrived in Canada in 1618, and, at the request of Samuel de Champlain, spent two years at Allumette Island in the Ottawa River, learning the Huron and Algonkin languages. After nine years among the Nipissings, and four years in Huron country, he settled in Trois-Rivières and Québec in 1633 as a clerk of the Compagnie. Between 1634 and 1635, he explored the Ottawa and French Rivers to Lake Huron, Michilimackinac, and Green Bay, and the Fox River to Mascoutens. Until his death by drowning in 1642, Nicollet lived in Trois-Rivières, well-respected for his services to the colony, and for his knowledge of Indian languages and customs.
Library The Newberry Library
Copyright The Newberry Library
Collection The Edward E. Ayer Collection
Reference VAULT box Ayer MS 651
Catalogue Link The Newberry Library Catalogue