Quebec History Marianopolis College

Date Published:
March 2005

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


Pierre François-Xavier de Charlevoix


Charlevoix, Pierre François Xavier de (1682-1761), historian, was born at St. Quentin, France , on October 24, 1682, the son of François de Charlevoix, deputy attorney-general, and Antoinette Forestier. In 1698 he became a novice of the Society of Jesus in Paris, and in 1705 he was sent to Canada. He reached Quebec in September, and taught grammar in the college at Quebec until 1709, when he returned to France and became a professor in the college of Louis-le-Grand at Paris. In 1720 he again came to Canada, commissioned by the French government to seek a route to the western sea. He journeyed to lake Superior and descended the Mississippi, visiting the posts of what was then the extreme western frontier of New France. He returned to France in 1723. His report of this journey is printed in P. Margry (ed.), Mémoires et documents, ( Paris, 1888). In 1733 he became one of the editors of Mémoires de Trévoux, a monthly journal published by the Jesuits from 1701 to 1762. The later years of his life were occupied with various literary work, and he died at La Flèche on February 1, 1761. His published works include Histoire de l'établissement, des progrès et de la décadence du christianisme dans l'empire du japon (Paris, 1715), La vie de la Mère Marie de l'Incarnation (Paris, 1724), Histoire de l'Isle Espagnole ou de Saint-Domingue (Paris, 1730), Histoire et description générale du japon (Paris, 1736), Histoire et description générale de la Nouvelle-France (3 vols., Paris, 1744), and Histoire du Paraguay (Paris, 1756). His history of New France, which was the first general history of Canada to be published, was translated into English by J. G. Shea (6 vols., New York, 1866-72; new ed., New York, 1900);. and his journal has been translated by Louise P. Kellogg (Chicago, Caxton Club, 1923). See J. E. Roy, Essai sur Charlevoix (Trans. Roy. Soc. Can:, 1907) ; Louise P. Kellogg, introduction to journal ( Chicago , 1923); and N. F. Morrison, memoir and bibliography in J. G. Shea, History (New York, 1900).

Source  : W. Stewart WALLACE, ed., The Encyclopedia of Canada, Vol. II, Toronto, University Associates of Canada, 1948, 411p., p. 36.


© 2005 Claude Bélanger, Marianopolis College