Pierre Le Moyne d'Iberville

Pierre Le Moyne d'Iberville
Courtesy of the National Archives of Canada
Pierre Le Moyne d'Iberville was a French-Canadian naval hero and one of Britain's most difficult New World foes. Iberville, who grew up in Montreal, was sent to France as a young man to serve in the Navy. While there, the combination of his New World roots and French nationalism nurtured his growing anti-British sentiments.

In 1686, the French launched an attack on British military installations around James Bay in Canada. Iberville and his brothers were among those soldiers who made the brutal trek across mountains, waterways and cruel climatic patterns for the offensive attack.

The soldiers hoped to retain control of the region for its wealth of animal pelts. The attack was successful and became the first in a series against British holdings.

In 1690, Iberville captured a number of English sailing vessels, and returned to Quebec with prisoners and their stashes of furs. Six years later, the fighting intensified: Iberville battled the British at Acadia, the Bay of Fundy and Fort William Henry. Meanwhile, a battle at Newfoundland nearly ended all British presence in the area.

In later years, Iberville turned his efforts to the south, most notably to the southern Mississippi River region. In 1699, he explored the northern coast of the Gulf of Mexico and established Fort Maurepas, near present-day Ocean Springs, Mississippi. The following year, he established Fort La Boulaye, near present-day New Orleans. This area would remain under French influence until the Louisiana Purchase negotiated by American President Thomas Jefferson in 1803.

Iberville died suddenly in July of 1706 in Havana of an unknown illness, the day prior to a major expedition against the British in CarolinaMore Profiles


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