Michel Chartier de Lotbinière (1723-1798)

Michel-Alain Chartier de Lotbinière, 1st Marquis de Lotbinière

Born at Quebec, he broke with family tradition by choosing a military career over taking a seat on the Sovereign Council. He trained in France and returned to Quebec with the title of King's Engineer, working under his father-in-law the Engineer-in-Chief of New France. In 1755, his cousin, the Marquis de Vaudreuil, commissioned him to build Fort Ticonderoga on Lake Champlain. During the Battle of Quebec, he served as Vaudreuil's Aide-de-Camp. After the British victory, his military career was damaged and instead he set out to become a landowner. He bought the Chateau Vaudreuil at Montreal and adding to his existing seigneuries he acquired several more until he owned 850,000-acres. He lost two valuable seigneuries in New York during the American Revolution and angered by the paltry recompense offered by the British he offered his services to the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In France, he successfully re-established his military career and clearly held favor at the Court of King Louis XVI. He was awarded the Grand Cross of the Order of Saint Louis and became a Chevalier. In 1784, he was created the Marquis de Lotbinière in recognition of the sacrifices he had made for France - the only Canadian-born subject to receive this honor.