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 Alphonse De Tonty

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Alphonse De Tonty

Birth
Paris, City of Paris, Île-de-France, France
Death 10 Nov 1727 (aged 67–68)
Detroit, Wayne County, Michigan, USA
Burial Detroit, Wayne County, Michigan, USA
Memorial ID 128418771 View Source
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Also known a Alphonse de Tonty, Baron de Paludy. Son of Laurent (Lorenzo) de Tonti and Loretta de Lietto. Younger brother of Henri de Tonti.

In 1684, Tonty was recruited by Rene-Robert Cavilier, de La Salle who was in Paris to organize an expedition to explore the Gulf of Mexico area. The two men argued so violently over the proposed pay for Tonty that Alphonse backed out of the trip. His disagreeable nature had perhaps spared him from an early death.

In the early spring of 1685, Tonty arrived in New France. He initially settled in Montreal. He served here as lieutenant in the colonial regular troops. On February 17, 1689 he married Marie-Anne Picote, de Belestre. Thecouple would have 13 children by 1713. In 1693, he was promoted to half-pay captain and he moved from Rue Saint-Joseph to a larger home on Rue Notre-Dame. He also continued to make his own investments in the fur trade.

In 1697 Antoine Laumet, dit de Lamothe Cadillac was recalled from his posting as Commandant of Ft. DeBaude (St. Ignace, MI) to answer for his activities there. Governor Louis de Frontenac appointed Tonty to replace Cadillac. The assignment lasted from 1698 until 1699. Alphonse then returned to Montreal.



In 1701, when Cadillac led an expedition from Montreal to build Fort Ponchartrain (Detroit, MI),Tonty, who was now a full captain, accompanied him as second in command. As Cadillac's presence was frequently required in Montreal and Quebec, Tonty was often entrusted with the command over the next four years. He discharged his military duties well, but his trading operations began to take a sinister turn. He was replaced in 1705.

Within 12-months of his dismissal from Detroit, Alphonse was appointed commandant of Fort Frontenac (Kingston, Ontario). His two-year assignment proved similar to his previous assignment. In 1708 Tonty was removed from his position. In 1711, he was to carry the governors orders to Detroit, returning with a convoy of fur canoes and Indians. This he performed well. On September 11, 1714 Tonty's wife died. He was remarried to Marie-Anne de la Marque on May 3, 1717.

n June, 1717 Alphonse was reassigned to Ft. Ponchartrain as it's commandant. What occurred at Detroit over the next ten years was no surprise. In order to make the money he needed to settle his debts, Tonty behaved greedily and autocratically and he was detested by everyone. After many notarized complaints by soldiers, habitants and Huron Indians, Tonty was dismissed from his duties as commandant in 1727. He was to remain in-place until a reassignment could be made the following Spring. Unfortunately, Tonty died before the reassignment could be made or he could return to France.

Alphonse de Tonty was obviously a talented officer, but his trading techniques destroyed his career. His reputation proved to be the exact opposite of his brother Henri's.


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  • Created by: Phil Montroy
  • Added: 23 Apr 2014
  • Find a Grave Memorial 128418771
  • Find a Grave, database and images (www.findagrave.com/memorial/128418771/alphonse-de_tonty : accessed ), memorial page for Alphonse De Tonty (1659–10 Nov 1727), Find a Grave Memorial ID 128418771, citing Mount Elliott Cemetery, Detroit, Wayne County, Michigan, USA ; Maintained by Phil Montroy (contributor 48401446) .