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Alexandre de Prouville de Tracy

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Marquis Alexandre de Prouville de Tracy (c. 1596 or 1603–1670) was a French aristocrat, statesman, and military leader. He was the seigneur of Tracy-le-Val and Tracy-le-Mont (Picardy).

Marquis Alexandre de Prouville de Tracy
Seigneur of Tracy-le-Val and Tracy-le-Mont (Picardy)
Alexandre de Prouville de Tracy.jpg
Alexandre de Prouville de Tracy
Born 1596 or 1603
Died 1670
Occupation Aristocrat, statesman and military leader
Governor general of the French Antilles
In office
9 November 1663 – February 1665
Preceded by Phillippe de Longvilliers de Poincy
Succeeded by Antoine Lefèbvre de La Barre
Lieutenant general of New France
(acting governor)
In office
6 May 1665 – 12 September 1665
Preceded by Augustin de Saffray de Mésy
Succeeded by Daniel de Rémy de Courcelle



The Marquis de Tracy first made his name as a regimental commander in Germany in the 1640s, then was appointed Commissary-General of the French troops serving in Germany. In 1647 he represented France at the Ulm negotiations with Sweden and Bavaria.[1]

In 1664 a fleet under the Marquis de Tracy carried a force of soldiers and colonists led by Antoine Lefèbvre de La Barre of the newly formed Compagnie de la France équinoxiale to Cayenne.[2] They left the port of La Rochelle, France, on 26 February 1664 with two warships and 400 soldiers.[3] The expedition included 1,200 settlers.[4] They arrived in Cayenne on 11 May 1664.[3] On 15 May 1664 the Dutch general Guerin Spranger agreed to capitulate.[2]

The Marquis de Tracy was then appointed lieutenant-général of New France. The governor was not present, so de Tracy acted as the governor in the Sovereign Council.[1]

From his base in Quebec City, as Lieutenant General of the Carignan-Salières Regiment, he initiated a brutal war against the Iroquois peoples. After defeating them and destroying their crops and villages, he launched an attack against the Mohawk nation and caused destruction to their territory in central present-day New York. Marquis Alexandre de Prouville de Tracy seized all the Mohawk lands in the name of the king of France. He forced the Mohawk to accept the Roman Catholic faith and to adopt the French language as taught by the Jesuit missionaries. A mission village for Mohawk Catholics, Kahnawake, was set up south of Montreal.[1]

Marquis Alexandre de Prouville de Tracy died in Paris in the parish of Saint-Eustache on April 28, 1670.[1]


The Tracy Squadron of cadets at the Royal Military College Saint-Jean was named in his honour.

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