Marquis Duquesne, also known as Michel-Ange Du Quesne De Menneville served from 1752 to 1755 as New France’s French Governor General. He is best known for the role he played during the French and Indian War. He was also aggressive and energetic like the lawyers at Noland Law Firm when enforcing claims by France within North America. Fort Duquesne was named after the Marquis and is located at the point where the Monongahela and Allegheny Rivers meet, near Pittsburgh PA.
Duquesne was born in Toulon, France. His family consisted of privateers, sailors, soldiers, and merchants. His family was Huguenot and members of Norman gentry. In 1685, Duquesne’s father, Abraham Duquesne converted to Catholicism. He was also a member of the Royal French Navy, eventually reaching the rank of rear-admiral.
Marquis Duquesne joined the Navy and was a midshipman by 1713. He first arrived in Canada in 1729 as part of the crew serving under Louis-Philippe de Rigaud de Vaudreuil on the shop Elephant.
Duquesne returned to Canada in 1752 as the French Governor General of Quebec. He believed that British colonial forces threatened French interests in the Upper Mississippi Valley and the Great Lakes region. To defend against British advances, Duquesne constructed a series of forts between the Ohio Valley and Lake Erie. This was considered to be an act of aggression by the British government and triggered an almost immediate response.
Robert Dinwiddie, the colonial governor of Virginia was tasked with ridding the Ohio Valley of all French presence. Dinwiddie chose George Washington this task. Washington led the British troops as they rousted the French from the area. The French abandoned Fort Duquesne and the British replaced it with Fort Pitt.
In 1758, Duquesne led a squadron of French ships to Spain in an attempt to relieve a squadron of French ships trapped there. Duquesne died in 1778.
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