Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography/Saint Castin, Jean Vincent de l'Abadie, Baron de

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Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography
Saint Castin, Jean Vincent de l'Abadie, Baron de
Edition of 1900. See also Jean-Vincent d'Abbadie de Saint-Castin on Wikipedia, and our Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography disclaimer.

SAINT CASTIN, Jean Vincent de l'Abadie (san-cas-tang), Baron de, French colonist, b. in Lescar, Bearn, in 1650; d. in Acadia in 1712. He came to Canada in 1665 as an ensign, took part in the expedition of De Coureelles, and, when his regiment was disbanded in 1668, was among the few officers that chose to remain in the colony, and was sent to Acadia to command for the king under Chambly. In 1675 Dutchmen from Santo Domingo made the latter prisoner, but Saint Castin escaped and afterward roamed the woods with the Indians, and gained much influence over them. He also made a fortune of about 400,000 crowns by dealing in beaver-skins with his neighbors of New England. His trading-house was at Pentagoet (now Castine), in the old fort, which he occupied or abandoned by turns, according to the needs of the time. But his trade involved him in difficulties with the royal governors, and in 1688 the king required him to establish a permanent settlement and cease all trade with the English. About this time Saint Castin married the daughter of Madockawando, chief of the Penobscots, and in the same year war was renewed, mainly through Saint Castin's efforts. He attacked the English posts at Port Royal, at the head of 250 Indians, and continued for years to plunder the English settlements. The authorities of Boston set a price upon his head, as they regarded him as their most insidious enemy, and employed deserters to kidnap him; but the plot was discovered, and the deserters were shot at Mount Desert. With his Indians, Saint Castin landed in 1696 at New Harbor, near Fort Pemaquid, and, co-operating with the troops of Iberville, obliged the governor to surrender, and destroyed the fortress. The French dominions were thus extended over a large part of Maine. The remainder of his history is intimately connected with the struggles for the possession of Acadia. He defended Port Royal in 1706, and again in 1707, when he was wounded, he saved the fort. He is said to have gone to France in 1709, but he was in Acadia, again soon afterward, where he fought to the last for the French cause, and was killed in an engagement in 1712. — His son, Joseph, a half-breed, was a leader of the eastern Indians in their later difficulties with the English. In December, 1721, he was surprised at Pentagoet and carried a prisoner to Boston. After five months he was released on account of the hostile feelings that his detention provoked among the Abenakis.