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Memorable Manitobans: Jean-Baptiste, Chevalier de Lorimier (c1786-1845)

Indian agent, interpreter.

He was born in Quebec into a family with a distinguished military history. His father was Indian agent at Caughnawaga, and his mother was a Caughnawaga Iroquois. He served as an interpreter on the Niagara frontier in 1812 and was taken prisoner in 1813. After exchange in 1814, he became captain in the Embodied Indian Warriors, who saw service in the Great Lakes area. He was seconded in 1816 by Lord Selkirk and was part of the force that captured Fort William in August of that year.

He accompanied the North West Company partners who were arrested by Selkirk back to Upper Canada, escaping their fate of drowning by a whisker. He was a witness in 1817 to the treaty between Selkirk and Peguis, and he escorted Roman Catholic missionaries J.-N. Provencher and S.-J.-N. Dumoulin to the colony in 1818. Provencher described him as a “gay, pleasant, polite, and honest man.” Lorimier became involved in the legal battles between the Hudson's Bay Company and NWC, but they did not affect his later career. He retired from the Indian Department in 1832.

More information:

Jean-Baptiste, Chevalier de Lorimier, Dictionary of Canadian Biography VII, 516-17.

Sources:

Dictionary of Manitoba Biography by J. M. Bumsted, Winnipeg: University of Manitoba Press, 1999.

Page revised: 25 March 2008

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

This is a collection of noteworthy Manitobans from the past, compiled by the Manitoba Historical Society.

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