Person:Jacques LeTort (1)

Jacques LeTort
b.Abt. 1651 France
  • HJacques LeTortAbt 1651 - Bef 1715
  • WAnn UnknownEst 1655 to 1672 -
m. Est. 1685-1690
  1. Francis LeTortEst 1687 to 1693 -
  2. Ann Margaret LeTortEst 1690 to 1700 -
  3. James LeTortAbt 1700 - Aft 1765
Facts and Events
Name Jacques LeTort
Gender Male
Birth? Abt. 1651 France
Marriage Est. 1685-1690 France or Pennsylvaniato Ann Unknown
Death? Bef. November 1715 Killed Aboard a Ship Captured by Pirates Bound for England

About Jacques LeTort

From "Early Traders on the Upper Potomac", by Corinne Hanna:

Jacques LeTort has already been mentioned as among the traders who were evicted in 1707/8 from the area that is now Harper’s Ferry. He has been described as a French Canadian, who was in Pennsylvania as early as 1686. He and his wife Anne had two sons, James and Francis. Jacques Le Tort made a trip to England, and was aboard a ship that was captured by pirates. He was killed, but his widow Anne continued his trade in Pennsylvania. [58]

In 1693, Anne Le Tort was accused of ‘trafficking with strange Indians, and sympathizing with France.’ There was a hearing in 1694. [59] She was also accused of illegal trade with the Shallna-rooners (Shawnee) and with French Canadians. [60] In May 1696 Col. Casparus Augustin Hermann gave information concerning Peter Basilion and Le Tort… the latter does now live “back in the woods” about 30 miles away, where said Basilion formerly lived… [61]

The Le Tort family were the cause of the migration of the Shawnee from the Susquehanna River to Opessa’s Town (Old Town) on the upper Potomac. The son Francis was apprenticed to John Hans Steelman. In 1711 Francis stole trade goods. His employer went to Chief Opessa at Pequea Creek and made a plea to hunt down the runaway apprentice and the slaves he had taken away with him. [62] Steelman offered young Shawnee hunters a bounty if they would bring him back, dead or alive. Opessa spoke boldly against this—protesting the hunting of humans for money. Le Tort and the slaves were found and killed. Before the authorities, Opessa the Chief of the “Shawnois” through his translator Martin Chartier, spoke against this act. [63]

Opessa was so incensed by the behavior of these young hunters, that he split his tribe. Part of his band followed him to a settlement re-named Opessa’s Town where the north and south branch of the Potomac meet. [64] The split must have been traumatic. Three years later, in 1714, the Susquehannock chiefs reported to the Pennsylvania Governor that “Opessa the late king of their neighbors and friends the Shawnee had absented himself from his people for 3 years, and refused to return, though urged to do so; the Shawnee have finally elected a new king Cakundawanna” (aka Savannah). [65]

Anne Le Tort continued her trading activities. In a suit filed in 1712 in Cecil Co., Md., Andrew Friend and his partner Charles Mounts Anderson, bring suit against Anne LeTort, executrix of Nicholas Godin, another trader. [66]

James Le Tort continued to be licensed as a trader. In 1727 the Natives in Pennsylvania were protesting the encroachment of settlers. James Le Tort began leading some of the remaining Shawnee of Pequea Creek westward in 1728. [67] Both James Le Tort and Peter Bazaillon traveled frequently to the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers, on which trading trips they were sometimes absent for a year or two. [68] James Le Tort was alive as late as 1742.