Louis COUC dit MONTOUR     1659-1709


LOUIS COUC [MONTOUR] AND MADELEINE
History of the Cooper-Matheny-Hewitt Family by Don Rivara
Louis Couc, the half French and half Algonquin son of Pierre Couc, was born in 1659. About 1681 Couc married a Sokakis (Saco) Indian girl, whose Christian name was Madeleine. The Dictionnaire Senealogique des Familles Canadiennes, Troisieme Volume, [Eusebe Senecal et Fils (publisher), Montreal, 1887], lists only one of the children of Louis Couc: Francois, born 30 October 1682 at Sorel, a city on the south bank of the St. Lawrence River southwest of Trois Rivieres; After leaving Sorel, Louis "Couc de Montour" spent some years at St.Francois-du-Lac, a short distance east of Sorel. No other children are listed for Louis with Madeleine. Apparently she died sometime after the birth of Francois and before 1688. On January 7, 1688 at St.Francois-du-Lac, Louis married a second time, to Jeanne Quigesigokoe (sp ?). Jeanne had probably been married previously also because her birth date is listed as 1656. Louis lived among the Hurons and Wyandots, also Algonquin-speaking tribes. French missionaries recorded events in Couc's life, referring to him as "Louis Couc surnomme Montour" and later simply as "Louis Montour." Louis worked at least part of his life as a voyageur [traveling fur trader with the Indians]. In Rapport de L'Archiviste de la Province de Quebec, pp. 198 & 200 are two contracts Montour to work as a voyageur. On October 8, 1688, he contracted with a Mr. Boisguillot, and on October 19, 1692, he contracted with Etude Adhemar. Living in the portion of Quebec directly north of today's New York State, Montour, perhaps trading furs with Indians, got too close to the territory of the Iroquois League, deadly enemies of the Algonquins. In 1694 near Fort Motte on Lake Champlain (in New York just below the Canadian border), his party was attacked by Mohawks of the Iroquois League. In the attack Montour was wounded and his ten- year-old daughter taken captive. The girl very probably was reared by the Mohawks, where she learned the Iroquois tongues in addition to the French and Algonquin tongues she already spoke. Perhaps at Iroquois conferences at Onondaga, she met the Oneida or Seneca chief, Carondowanna, whom she married. (Sources vary as to which Iroquois tribe Carondowanna belonged.) It would seem that Louis Montour had made contact with his daughter again, because in 1709 he was in the pay of the British, enemies of the French, and was trying to coax the Upper Nations (northern Iroquois-speaking tribes) into the English camp. That spring Sieur de Joncaire, a lieutenant in the French army, was sent to the Seneca villages on a similar mission. While there, he encountered Montour attempting to turn the Senecas against the French. Joncaire ordered his men to kill Montour, who was armed, although Joncaire would have preferred to hang the man he regarded as a traitor. On July 14, 1709, the lieutenant governor of New York and "ye Jerseys" attempted to use Montour's death at the hands of the French to press the Iroquois to side with the British and partake in an expedition against the French: BRETHREN It having pleased Almighty God to take to himSelf his late Excellency John Lord Lovelace (New York governor who had just died) whom the Great Queen of Great Brittain (Anne) my mistresse had been pleased to Constitute Governor of these Colonies, the Care and Government are by her Majestie Lodged in me, I was therefor willing to take ye first opportunity Possible to meet you to Renew the Covenant Chain on the behalf of all her Majes: Subjects on ye N: continent of america which I think ought to be for ever kept bright, as it hitherto hath on our Part BRETHREN I have sent for you upon an Extraordinary occasion to assist in an Expedition (military) for ye Reducing Canada, wh. you have So much Long'd for, That neighbourhood you know hath been of a long time Very Troublesome to you, & may of here Majesties good Subjects in these Parts We will not now Enumerate the many Perfidious and base actions they have been guilty off, we have whole Volumes full of Complaints which you have made to us of their Treacherous dealings. The French of Canada have killd Imprison'd, Carried away, and Transported your People, burnt your Castles, and us'd all means which lay in their power to Impoverish you, and bring you to a low and miserable Condition... Their treacherously murthering of Montour one of your Brethren before your Faces, in your own Country this Summer is an Evident mark of their Insolence and how they Intend to use you Most of these and other things having been truly represented to ye Greate Queen of Great Britain (who is victorious over ye French King in Europe) she hath taken them into her Royall Consideration and has been Graciously Pleased to Send over at a great Charge a Considerable Fleet, with men, Ammuniton...... (Pennsylvania History Vol 23, p.206-207, 1956) Besides Madame Montour, Louis left behind a son Jean or John Montour. In 1728 frontiersman James Logan sent him a blanket as a present from the government of Pennsylvania, and in 1729 he was sent by the governor as a messenger to the Six Nations. That same year James Logan submitted a bill to the Pennsylvania Assembly for molasses, rum, "bisket" and cheese purchased from Jean Montour's wife. (Pennsylvania Magazine of History, Vol.18, p.43) On August 22, 1733, Logan gave Montour a letter to Governor Thomas Penn, his is the last we know of him. Another child of Louis Montour was the sister of Madame Montour's who lived among the Miami Indians. The French used this sister to try to persuade Montour to leave the British service and join the French. Louis' son Francois, like his father, went by Montour. Dictionnaire Genealogique lists a son for Francois, Maurice, born 1703, married 27 July 1729 at Trois Rivieres to Therese-Veronique Petit, born in 1710. Maurice died 13 May 1749 at Pointe-du-Lac. He had sons Charles and Pierre, who are listed in Dictionnaire Genealogique with their families. Probably another son of Louis was Joseph Montour, who married a Huron, Elizabeth ______. Joseph had a son Joseph July 23, 1714, in Montreal.