Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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FORTIN, Pierre, Canadian statesman, born in Verch5res, Quebec, in December 1823. He was educated at Montreal seminary and at McGill College, where he was graduated in medicine in 1845. He served as a surgeon at Grosse Isle during the prevalence of the fever in 1847'8. In 1849 he aided in forming a special mounted constabulary force for quelling disturbances in Montreal and its vicinity, and commanded a troop of this force. In 1852 He was appointed stipendiary magistrate for the lower River and Gulf of St. Lawrence, and organized the service for the protection of the sea and River fisheries in that district. He was engaged in this service from 1852 till 1867, when he resigned, and had under his command the armed steamer "Doris" and the armed schooner "La Canadienne," in which latter vessel he was wrecked in November 1861.
In 1858 he was instructed by the Canadian government to visit officially the French colonies of St. Pierre Miquelon and Longlake, and that portion of the seaboard of Newfoundland known as the French coasts, and to report the conditions under which the French fisheries and fish trade were carried on. In 1859 he established on all the coasts and in the rivers of the province of Quebec a system of licenses for salmon fishing, and in 1862 he began a series of descriptions from nature of the marine animals, fishes, mollusca, and crustaceans of the lower River and the Gulf of St. Lawrence, which were printed in some of his annual reports to the government. He was a member of the executive council and commissioner of crown lands for the province of Quebec in 1873'4, and was elected speaker of the legislative assembly in November 1875, but resigned in 1876. While speaker he founded the marine library of the province of Quebec, and was also one of the founders of the Geographical society of Quebec and its first president. He represented Gaspe in the Canadian parliament from 1867 until the general election of 1874, when he retired in order to confine himself exclusively to the legislative assembly, in which he sat from 1867 until 1881. He was reelected to the Dominion parliament in 1878 and 1882. He is a Conservative.
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