Crozat's company

Louis XIV knew that exploration of this immense new territory would be long and costly. Europe, at peace once again, began to invest in colonial businesses, while a number of French families who had been ruined by the war requested expatriation.

Type of frigate used for trade with America
Gueroult-Dupas, Recueil de vues de tous les différents bâtiments de la Méditerranée et de l’Océan, Paris, 1710
BNF, Cartes et Plans
Type of frigate used for trade with America
Gueroult-Dupas, Recueil de vues de tous les différents bâtiments de la Méditerranée et de l’Océan, Paris, 1710
BNF, Cartes et Plans

Lamothe-Cadillac, the colony's governor, who had founded the town of Detroit in 1702, convinced Antoine Crozat, a banker, to suggest to the king that a company be created which would have the monopoly on trade with Louisiana.

Letter patents granting trading rights with Louisiana to the banker Antoine Crozat 
CAOM, A23, f° 1, 24 septembre 1712 In September 1712, Crozat was granted this privilege for a period of fifteen years. In order to keep loggers and dealers in Canadian furs happy, the territory of Illinois was attached to New France. But Crozat did not invest enough in the new company, emigration was discouraged by the Ministry of Finance, and the men who ran the new colony were incompetent at best, and sometimes dishonest. Despite some progress which was made under the Regency, Crozat's monopoly was, at his request, transferred to a new company belonging to Law.
Letter patents granting trading rights with Louisiana to the banker Antoine Crozat
CAOM, A23, f° 1, 24 septembre 1712


Frontispiece of the Western Company
BNF, Estampes, Qb 1717

Frontispiece of the Western Company

BNF, Estampes, Qb 1717