Charlevoix, Pierre Francois Xavier De
CHARLEVOIX, PIERRE FRANCOIS XAVIER DE (1682-1761), French Jesuit traveller and historian, was born at St Quentin on the 29th of October 1682. At the age of sixteen he entered the Society of Jesus; and at the age of twenty-three was sent to Canada, where he remained for four years as professor at Quebec. He then returned and became professor of belles lettres at home, and travelled on the errands of his society in various countries. In 1720-1722, under orders from the regent, he visited America for the second time, and went along the Great Lakes and down the Mississippi. In later years (1733-1755) he was one of the directors of the Journal de Trévoux. He died at La Flèche on the 1st of February 1761. His works, enumerated in the Bibliographie des Prèrs de la Compagnie de Jesus (by Carlos Sommervogel), fall into two groups. The first contains his Histoire de l'établissement, du progrès et de la décadence du Christianisme dans l'empire du Japon (Rouen, 1715; English trans. History of the Church of Japan, 1715), and his Histoire et description générale du Japon (1736), a compilation chiefly from Kämpfer. The second group includes his historical work on America: Histoire de l'Isle Espagnole ou de Saint Domingue (1730), based on manuscript memoirs of P. Jean-Baptiste Le Pers and original sources; Histoire de Paraguay (1756); Vie de la Mère Marie de l'Incarnation, institutrice et première supérieure des Urselines de la Nouvelle-France (1724); Histoire et description générale de la Nouvelle-France (1744; in English 1769; tr. J.G. Shea, 1866-1872), a work of capital importance for Canadian history.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)