Quebec History Marianopolis College

Date Published:
July 2007

L’Encyclopédie de l’histoire du Québec / The Quebec History Encyclopedia


Joseph-Frederick Wallet DesBarres


DesBarres, Joseph Frederic Wallet (1722-1824), lieutenant-governor of Cape Breton (1784-7), and of Prince Edward island (1804-12), was born in 1722, of Huguenot descent. He was educated at Basel, Switzerland, and at the Royal Military College, Woolwich, England. He then entered the British army, and came to America at the beginning of the Seven Years' War. He was present at Ticonderoga in 1757, at the second capture of Louisbourg in 1758, and at Quebec in 1759. From 1763 to 1773 he was engaged in surveying the coast of Nova Scotia and Cape Breton; and he published the result of his surveys in a magnificent collection of charts, plans, and views, entitled The Atlantic Neptune (4 vols., London, 1777). When Cape Breton was erected into a separate government in 1784, he was appointed its first lieutenant-governor; but he was relieved of his post in 1787. In 1804 he was appointed lieutenant-governor of Prince Edward Island, and his term of office there lasted until 1812. He then returned to Halifax, Nova Scotia, and he died thereon October 24, 1824, in the one hundred and third year of his age. See his biography by J. C. Webster (Shediac, N.B., 1933).

Source: W. Stewart WALLACE, The Encyclopedia of Canada, Vol. II, Toronto, University Associates of Canada, 1948, 411p., pp. 200-201.


© 2007 Claude Bélanger, Marianopolis College