Skip to content

Father's Day 15% OFF - Shop Catholic

Pierre Le Moyne, Sieur d'Iberville

Free World Class Education
FREE Catholic Classes

Founder of the colony of Louisiana, b. at Villemarie, Montreal, 16 July, 1661; d. at Havana, 9 July, 1706. He was the third son of Charles Le Moyne, a native of Dieppe Sieur de Longueuil in Canada, and of Catharine Primot. Several of his brothers distinguished themselves greatly as explorers and sailors, viz., the Sieurs de Longueuil, Sainte-Helene, Maricourt, Serigny, Chateauguay, and Bienville. Iberville became a sailor at an early age and served as a volunteer under the Chevalier de Troyes in Hudson Bay. In 1686 he began a brilliant career as soldier and sailor, and took part in many expeditions against the English. In an attack against Fort Rupert, with his brother Maricourt and nine men in two bark canoes, he captured an English ship with fifteen men and the governor of Hudson Bay. In 1694 he took Fort Nelson in Hudson Bay, which he named Bourbon, and in 1696 Fort Pemaquid in Maine. In 1696 also he captured all the English settlements on the coast of Newfoundland, and in 1697 he led an expedition against the English on Hudson Bay. He had a squadron of four ships and a brigantine and commanded the "Pelican" (50 cannon). Separated by ice from his ships Iberville, on 5 Sept., 1697, attacked alone three English ships, sank the "Hampshire" (56 cannon), captured the "Hudson Bay" (32 cannon) and put to flight the "Derring" (36 cannon). He lost his ship and his prize near the mouth of the St. Teresa River, but on the arrival of three ships of his squadron he captured Fort Nelson (Bourbon).

Iberville sailed for France in November, 1697, and was chosen by the Minister of Marine to lead an expedition to rediscover the mouth of the Mississippi River, and to colonize Louisiana, which the English coveted. Iberville's fleet sailed from Brest on 24 October, 1698. It consisted of two small frigates, the "Badine," commanded by Iberville himself, and the "Marin," and two store-ships. At Santo Domingo the warship "Francois" joined the expedition and accompanied it to its destination. On 25 January, 1699, Iberville reached Santa Rosa Island in front of Pensacola, founded by the Spaniards ; he sailed from there to Mobile Bay and explored Massacre Island, later Dauphine. He cast anchor between Cat Island and Ship Island, and on 13 Feb., 1699, he went to the mainland, Biloxi, with his brother Bienville.

On 27 February he set out with two rowboats, two birch canoes and forty-eight men in search of the mouth of the Mississippi, which he discovered on 2 March, 1699. He sailed up as far as the mouth of Red River and returned to his ships through Bayou Ascantia and two lakes, which he named Maurepas and Pontchartrain. On 1 May, 1699, he completed a fort on the north-east side of the Bay of Biloxi, a little to the rear of what is now Ocean Springs. This fort was called Maurepas or Old Biloxi. On 4 May, 1699, Iberville sailed for France with the "Badine" and the "Marin," leaving Sauvole in command of the infant colony. He returned on 8 Dec., 1699, went up the Mississippi as far as Natchez, and ordered a fort to be built fifty-four miles from the mouth of the river, which was abandoned in 1705. On 28 May, 1700, Iberville returned to France, and came back to Louisiana on 18 Dec., 1701. He remained in the colony until 27 April, 1702, and sent Bienville to found Fort Louis of Mobile on Mobile River, 16 Jan., 1702. In 1706 Iberville captured the island of Nevis from the English, and went to Havana to obtain reinforcements from the Spaniards for an attack on the Carolinas. He died at Havana of yellow fever. He was capitaine de vaisseau in the French navy and was said to have been as "military as his sword." He was an able sailor, soldier, explorer, and colonizer.

We ask you, humbly: don't scroll away.

Hi readers, it seems you use Catholic Online a lot; that's great! It's a little awkward to ask, but we need your help. If you have already donated, we sincerely thank you. We're not salespeople, but we depend on donations averaging $14.76 and fewer than 1% of readers give. If you donate just $5.00, the price of your coffee, Catholic Online School could keep thriving. Thank you.

Help Now >

Never Miss any Updates!

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers.

Free Online Catholic Classes for Anyone, Anywhere - Click Here

Catholic Online Logo

Copyright 2021 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2021 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.

Catholic Online is a Project of Your Catholic Voice Foundation, a Not-for-Profit Corporation. Your Catholic Voice Foundation has been granted a recognition of tax exemption under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Federal Tax Identification Number: 81-0596847. Your gift is tax-deductible as allowed by law.

Subscribe to Our Newsletter!