08 November 2013

Bellestre, The Last French Commandant In Detroit

Sketch Of French In The Detroit River

biography of  "Francois Marie Picote Sieur De Bellestre (or Belestre as he signed his name)" stated that he "was the last and in some respects the most conspicuous of the French commandants."

"He was appointed...in 1758, and retained his office until he surrendered Detroit and the entire northwest to that intrepid New England scout Major Robert Rogers in the fall of 1760." 

"In the latter part of this year [1747] Belestre was appointed commandant at St. Joseph and was instructed to return to Detroit with Father de la Richardie and remain at that place under orders of Longueuil the commandant, but Belestre had the right to go to St. Joseph and return as often as he pleased."

"In 1748 we find Belestre again in Detroit. He was detailed at Detroit to follow up and capture some Hurons who had been committing depredations. He conducted himself with so much bravery, promptness and precaution that he effected, without the loss of a man, the capture of the five who perpetrated the attack."

Francois and his sister are mentioned in the website, Metis Culture 1741-1742.

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