Barbier, Gabriel Leminime (1657–1689)

By: John G. Johnson

Type: Biography

Published: 1952

Updated: September 30, 2020

Gabriel Barbier dit LeMinime, early explorer, was born in Montreal, Canada, on September 5, 1657. He was the son of Gilbert Barbier dit LeMinime and Catherine Delavaux. His father, a master carpenter, was one of the twelve founders of Montreal. Gabriel accompanied René Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle, on his trip down the Mississippi River in 1682. He was commissioned lieutenant for La Salle's 1684 voyage to the Gulf of Mexico. The party landed in Texas in February 1685 aboard the Joly. Barbier accompanied La Salle on his first expedition west of La Salle's Texas Settlement but was lamed on the journey and was unable to take part in later extended trips. He is believed to be the first European married in Texas, being married in June 1686 by Henri Joutel to a young woman who also had come on the expedition. Joutel had at first opposed the marriage, but relented believing "they might have anticipated upon matrimony." A child born to the couple in 1688 was the first White child known to have been born in Texas. In March 1686 Barbier and others were sent to find the bark Belle but were unsuccessful. In January 1687 he was left in charge of La Salle's Texas Settlement when La Salle left in an attempt to reach the Mississippi. Barbier was killed when the fort was destroyed by Karankawa Indians in 1689. One report states that his wife and three-month-old child were initially saved from the massacre at La Salle's Texas Settlement by Indian women but were later killed by warriors upon return to their village.

Carlos E. Castañeda, Our Catholic Heritage in Texas (7 vols., Austin: Von Boeckmann–Jones, 1936–1958; rpt., New York: Arno, 1976). Charles W. Hackett, ed., Pichardo's Treatise on the Limits of Louisiana and Texas (4 vols., Austin: University of Texas Press, 1931–46). Henri Joutel, Joutel's Journal of La Salle's Last Voyage (London: Lintot, 1719; rpt., New York: Franklin, 1968). Robert S. Weddle et al., eds., La Salle, the Mississippi, and the Gulf: Three Primary Documents (College Station: Texas A&M University Press, 1987).

  • Exploration
  • Explorers (French)
  • Peoples
  • French
Time Periods:
  • Spanish Texas

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

John G. Johnson, “Barbier, Gabriel Leminime,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed July 06, 2022,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

September 30, 2020

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