Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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CHAUVEAU, Pierre Joseph Olivier, Canadian statesman, born in Quebec, 30 May, 1820. He was educated at the seminary of Quebec, studied law, and was called to the bar in 1841. In 1844 he entered parliament as a reform member for Quebec county ; in 1851 became solicitor-general for Lower Canada in the Hincks-Morin administration, in 1853 accepted the office of provincial secretary; became a member of the executive council in 1853, and superintendent of education for the province of Quebec in 1855. After the confederation in 1867, Mr. Chauveau was elected by Quebec county to both the Dominion house of commons and the Quebec house of assembly. He became premier of Quebec in 1867, and resigned in 1873, owing to differences with his cabinet. He was appointed speaker of the senate, 21 February, 1873, and remained in that office until the conservatives went out of power in 1874, when his commission was revoked by the Mackenzie administration. Mr. Chauveau resigned his seat in the senate in order to contest the representation of Charlevoix in the house of commons, but was defeated. In 1876 he became president of the Quebec harbor commission, and in 1877 sheriff of Montreal. In 1849 he moved for the appointment of a committee to investigate the subject of French-Canadian emigration to the United States, and, with a colleague, prepared the report of the committee, many of the recommendations of which have been carried out. During his term of office as superintendent of public instruction he established normal schools and French and English educational journals, and obtained the passing of important school acts. In 1866, commissioned by the government, he visited the schools and Colleges of Great Britain, France, Germany, Italy, and Belgium. In 1878 he was appointed professor of Roman law at Laval University, and he was subsequently elected dean of the faculty. He is a member of the Royal society of Canada, and has been its president, as well as president of several other learned societies in Canada. Mr. Chauveau has also had a brief military career. While superintendent of public instruction, and during the "Trent" difficulty in November, 1861, he raised among the officials of his department and the pupils of the Jacques Cartier normal school a company of chasseurs Canadiens, of which he was gazetted captain. This company formed the nucieus of one of three battalions formed in Montreal during the Fenian invasion, of which Mr. Chauveau became lieutenant colonel. At an early age he wrote poetry, which was favorably received. Among his most popular poems are "Joives naives," "Donnaconna," and "Epitre a M. de Puibusque." His best-known prose works are "Charles Guerin, Roman de Moeurs Canadiennes" (1852); "Voyage de S. A. le Priace de Galles en Amerique" (1861); "L'instruction publique au Canada" (1876); "Souvenirs et legendes," partly in prose and partly in verse (1877); "FranCois Xavier Garneau, sa vie et ses oeuvres" (1883); and "Notice sur le publication des registers du conseil souverain et du conseii superieur." He hasalso been a prolific contributor to current literature.
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