Français English

Lordship Pachot Métis

History: The Parc de la Rivère Métis
Canadian Heritage

Lordship of Métis
René Lepage, Sieur de Sainte-Claire
Joseph Drapeau

Colonization in the region of the St. Lawrence estuary has long been an unfulfilled fact. It was not until the end of the 18th century that development began to be significant. The development of the region of La Mitis began around 1800.

It was to François Vienney Pachot, a prosperous merchant settled in Quebec in the 1670s, that on January 7, 1689, the Métis seigneury was conceded with a league in front, to be taken on either side of the river, on a league deep. Seen as one of the directors of the Compagnie du Nord, Pachot initially had commercial intentions for his seigneury since he set up a post there to fish for cod, whales and seals and to trap with the Amerindians.

The first lord of Métis died in 1698. His widow then sold the seigneury to Mr. René Lepage for 300 pounds, who already owned the seigneuries of Sainte-Claire and Rimouski. The latter obtains, at the same time as the seigneury, the fishing and trapping rights attached to it. So he, too, exploited the land for commercial purposes rather than settling.

Following the death of René Lepage, his children took possession of the land and bequeathed it to themselves for several generations. No development took place in the Pachot stronghold. One hundred years after Pachot obtained it, the territory still has neither mill nor inhabitant. Remoteness is one of the causes that explains the slow development. Until the middle of the 19th century, it took several days of navigation to reach the region. It was not until 1827 that the road between Quebec and Métis became passable by cart or carriage.

In 1790, Joseph Drapeau of Quebec prepared to acquire the Lepage estates, because the latter owed him money. After some political debates started by some of the heirs, the LePages claiming their share of the income from the properties, Joseph Drapeau became Lord of Rimouski and Métis after having obtained the remaining rights in the Pachot fief. Like Pachot and Lepage, he acquired these lands for commercial purposes rather than for colonization.

The territory remained very sparsely populated until 1820. Towards the end of the decade, it began to earn income for its owners because there was intense forestry activity there. William Price and Michel Larivée are the two concessionaires to establish themselves there and start logging. Until 1836, logging took priority over colonization. It is after this time that we really begin to colonize the fiefdom.

In 1830, the Drapeau sisters signed a contract with William Price for the exclusive cutting of pine and spruce on the ungranted lands of the seigneury. He will renew his lease for 10 years. With all this exploitation, Métis became a mandatory stopover for sailboats transporting timber to Great Britain and North America. It was then that settlers came to settle and formed the various villages that we know today.

Print E-mail