Roy & Pelletier: Frontier ‘Canadiens’


February 17, 2016 by LeVoyageur

Voyageur Heritage

by James LaForest
on estWho were these mysterious men, Roy & Pelletier? Attorneys at Law? NHL Hall-of-Famers? Québécois folk singers? You are not alone if you are unaware of these two men and their place in the history of Detroit. Recorded by 19th century writers such as François Rameau de Sainte-Père and Marie Hamlin as coureurs des bois living in the area of Detroit prior to its founding, Pierre Roy and François Pelletier have been the subject of debate and controversy for over 150 years. The questions about Roy & Pelletier range from, ‘Did they exist?’ to ‘What was their importance and did they indeed precede Cadillac in founding the settlement?’ In essence, the questions can often be distilled to ‘Was there life at Detroit before the agent of the King arrived?’

Jay Gitlin has shown how St. Paul, Minnesota founder Pierre Parrant has been cast as a “comic representative” providing…

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One thought on “Roy & Pelletier: Frontier ‘Canadiens’

  1. François Pelletier, if it’s the same individual, is one of my grandfathers. He is relatively well known in Quebec–having raised his family on the “Indian reserve” called Sillery. He made enough money in fur trading to buy a large tract of land along the St. Lawrence River.
    The Question is: Where did he travel to do business and to what extent was he responsible for helping to create a non-European Metis community?

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