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Joseph Aubery

Jesuit missionary in Canada (1673-1755)

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Aubery, JOSEPH, Jesuit missionary in Canada, b. at Gisors in Normandy, May 10, 1673; d. at St. Francois, Canada, July 2, 1755. At the age of seventeen he entered the Society of Jesus, and for four years studied in Paris. He arrived in Canada in 1694 and completed his studies at Quebec, where he was also instructor for five years, and where he was ordained in 1700. Assigned to the Abnaki mission, he reestablished in 1701 the mission at Medoctec on the St. John River, which appears to have been abandoned by the Franciscans about a year earlier. In 1708 he was given charge of the Abnaki reduction at St. Francois, and exercised the apostolate in that single mission for nearly half a century. Aubery is said to have been an able linguist, but unfortunately his numerous MSS., with the mission registers, were destroyed by fire in 1759. He also wrote several memorials in opposition to the claims of the English in Acadia, and sent them to the French Government, urging that the boundaries between the French and English possessions should be determined by mutual agreement. To these memorials he added a map, giving the boundaries as defined by the treaty of Utrecht. His plan, however, was not accepted. These valuable documents are still preserved in the Paris archives. Chateaubriand reproduces the life story of Father Aubery in the character of the missionary in his “Atala”.


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