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Losses Incurred During the Fire

Some 45 houses, shops and stores were destroyed in the fire. As early as Monday, April 12, a few of the leading merchants began making their way to the registry on rue Notre-Dame in order to have their losses recorded. Much like the wealthy merchant Pierre de Lestage, they described to the clerk their experience of the fire, their losses and particularly the monetary value they placed on the merchandise and documents lost in the fire. Registering at the registry was of utmost importance to them, as this protected them against possible lawsuits by their associates in France or elsewhere on the vast territory of Nouvelle-France.

Public employees also had losses to declare. The notary Gaudron de Chèvremont wanted all to know that he had lost accounts, letters, invoices and other documents of this nature. The king’s prosecutor, François Foucher, registered the loss of documents relative to a lawsuit against a creditor. The king’s treasurer, Bérey des Essars, had lost a major portion of the funds used to finance the king’s work projects and expenses in the garrison city.

Of course, the poorest had lost everything, and were left with nothing to protect or declare. By contrast, a highborn lady was distressed over the fact that her daughters had lost all of their dresses and could no longer live according to their social status.

As for the hospitaller sisters–who had taken refuge in the Notre-Dame-de-Bon-Secours chapel–their losses were assessed by the engineer Gaspard-Joseph Chaussegros de Léry. He prepared a detailed list for the king of the contents of their hospital, their chapel and their convent, with an estimate of the costs of reconstruction.

Colonial Correspondence

Court Documents