Saint-Castin, Baron de
- David L. Ghere
Saint-Castin, Baron de (1652–1707), French officer and Abenaki Indian leader, was born Jean-Vincent D’abbadie at Saint-Castin in southwestern France near the Pyrenees Mountains, the son of Jean-Jacques D’abbadie de Saint-Castin and Isabeau de Béarn-Bonasse. The D’abbadies were a minor noble family that has been traced back to the early 1300s, while Jean-Vincent’s mother was a direct descendant of Louis VIII of France. Louis XIV conferred the title of baron de Saint-Castin on Jean-Jacques in 1654. Little is known about Jean-Vincent’s childhood except that his mother died of the plague in 1652, and his father died ten years later. The first record of Jean-Vincent is his enrollment at age thirteen as an ensign in the Carignan-Salières regiment being transported to Canada in 1665. This youthful endeavor was not unique for the second son of a lesser noble who probably chafed under the control of the second baron de Saint-Castin, his brother only two years older....