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French adventurer marries Spanish official's daughter


On this day in 1719, Jean L'Archevêque married Manuela Roybal, the daughter of Ignacio de Roybal, the alcalde of Santa Fe. This was just one of many colorful episodes in L'Archevêque's storied life. He had been born in France in 1672, and had traveled to the New World with La Salle, whose activities in Texas kept the Spanish on edge for years. L'Archevêque was a member of the group that assassinated La Salle, after which he and five other Frenchmen stayed with the Hasinai Indians. With fellow Bayonnaise Jacques Grollet, L'Archevêque agreed to be "rescued" by the Spaniard Alonso De León. After thirty months in jail in Spain, the Frenchman agreed to serve the Spanish in America. He returned to Santa Fe, married, and had children. After his first wife died--and after having a daughter with a servant girl to add to his collection of illegitimate offspring--he married Doña Manuela, retired from the military, and become a successful trader. A year after his marriage, L'Archevêque joined an expedition against the Pawnees, who were led by a Frenchman; the expedition needed an envoy who could speak French. But on August 20, 1720, the Pawnees attacked the party by surprise, and L'Archevêque and most of the expedition were killed.

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