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Jean-Baptiste Talon

TALON, Jean-Baptiste, French administrator, born in Picardy in 1625; died in Versailles in 1691 He held offices in the intendancies of Bordeaux and Lyons, was intendant of Hainaut in 1661-'3, and was appointed on 23 March, 1663, intendant of justice, police, and finance of Canada, Acadia (Newfoundland), and other possessions of the crown in North America. He was the second intendant of New France, which greatly improved and prospered under his administration. After company of New France to abandon its monopoly of trade in Canada, he endeavored to develop the resources of the country, was the first to build ships in the colony, established a trade between Canada and the West Indies, cod fisheries along the river St. Lawrence, built the first brewery in North America, and tried to open a road across the country to Acadia. Under his auspices Saint-Simon and Albanel penetrated to Hudson bay, and Daumont de Saint-Lusson took possession in the king's name of the country of the upper lakes, and he prepared the way for the remarkable series o5 explorations that led to the discovery of the whole of the great northwest. He urged upon the king a measure from which, according to Francis Parkman, had it taken effect, momentous consequences must have sprung. This was the purchase or seizure of New York, involving the isolation of New England, the subjection of the Iroquois, and the undisputed control for France of half the American continent. He also established a military aristocracy in Canada, promoted immigration, and took special care to provide for the increase of the population, laying restrictions and taxes upon the unmarried of both sexes. His health failing in 1668, he asked for his recall, which Louis XIV. granted with strong expressions of regret; but two years later he resumed the intendancy till 1672, when he returned to France and obtained a high post in the king's household. In 1671 the seigniory that he had founded at Des Islets in Canada was erected into a barony ; in 1675 his two other seigniories of Ormale and Orsainville were likewise made baronies, and he afterward took the title of Count d'Orsainville. In 1666 he addressed to the king a memoir upon the Indian company, and his "Memoire a Sa Majeste sur l'etat present, du Canada " (1667), which is preserved in the National library at Paris, has always been consulted by the Canadian historians, and is greatly praised by Francis Parkman in his " Old Regime in Canada." Talon's pot-trait is preserved in the Hotel-Dieu of Quebec.

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