Pierre Dugué de Boisbriand

Pierre Dugué de Boisbriand (21 February 1675 7 June 1736) was a Canadian who commanded several areas in North America colonized by France in the early 18th Century, rising to become the fourth governor of the French colony of Louisiana.

Pierre Dugué de Boisbriand
7th Commandant of the Illinois Country
In office
MonarchLouis XV
Preceded byPierCarlo Di Lietto
Succeeded byRobert de Saint-Ange
7th French Governor of Louisiana
In office
MonarchLouis XV
Preceded byJean-Baptiste Le Moyne, Sieur de Bienville
Succeeded byÉtienne Périer
Personal details
Born(1675-02-21)February 21, 1675
Ville-Marie, New France
DiedJune 7, 1736(1736-06-07) (aged 61)
Military service
Allegiance Kingdom of France
Branch/serviceFrench Army
Years of service1694–1726
RankFirst King's Lieutenant
Battles/warsNine Years' War


He was the son of Michel-Sidrac Dugué de Boisbriand and Marie Moyen Des Granges. As a French military officer, Dugué held a succession of posts from 1699 to 1726 at France's settlements on the Gulf Coast and on the Mississippi River in present-day Illinois. He served at various times as commander of outposts at Mobile, Natchez, Louisiana, and the area known as the Illinois Country during his military career.

Dugué was a cousin and fellow officer of brothers (Jean-Baptiste Le Moyne de Bienville and Pierre Le Moyne d'Iberville), with whom he served on expeditions during French colonization in North America. Their achievements included capturing English fortifications in Canada, and founding the colonies at Mobile and New Orleans.

In 1719, Dugué led an expedition to the area south of present-day St. Louis. Eighteen miles north of the Jesuit mission at Kaskaskia, he established an outpost that he named Fort de Chartres. The fort became the center of military and civilian activity in the area known as Upper Louisiana and the Illinois Country. From 1724-1726, Dugué served in New Orleans as Governor of Louisiana in the first French era after his predecessor Bienville returned to France for an extended period of time.

While commandant of Fort de Chartres, Dugué conveyed land nearby to his nephew, Ste. Therese Langlois, who founded the town of Prairie du Rocher ("Prairie of the Rock") on the site. The town is one of the oldest French colonial communities to survive into the 21st Century in the American Midwest.

Like several other French colonial commanders, Dugué was recalled to France in the 1720s to answer charges of mismanagement. He was then replaced as governor of Louisiana by Étienne Périer in 1727. He lost his military commission, but was later awarded a pension by the king. He died in France on June 7, 1736.

Regarding the name Dugué, translation errors and imprecision led to several spellings, including "Duguay", "Dugay" and "Duqué". The name "Boisbriand", which refers to the family's property in Canada, also appears as "Boisbriant". Sometimes, this name is used alone. Thus, "Pierre Dugué, sieur de Boisbriand" is sometimes identified as simply "Sieur de Boisbriand" or even "Pierre Boisbriand" (or "Boisbriant") in contemporary texts.


  • Biography at the Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online
  • Publications of the Illinois State Historical Society
  • Excavations at the Laurens Site, Probable Location of Fort de Chartres I, (Jelks, Ekberg and Martin, Illinois Historic Preservation Agency, 1989)
  • Fort de Chartres Its Origin, Growth and Decline by Joseph Wallace, M. A. (Transactions of the Illinois State Historical Society, 1903)
  • Davis, Edwin Adams. Louisiana the Pelican State. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1961. LCCN 59:9088.
Preceded by
Jean-Baptiste le Moyne de Bienville
French Governor of Louisiana
Succeeded by
Étienne Périer
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