Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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CARTIER, Sir George Etienne, Bart., Canadian statesman, born in St. Antoine, Quebec, 6 September, 1814; died in England, 20 May, 1873. He was edu-eated at St. Sulpice College, Montreal, and admitted to the bar in 1835. He took part in the Lower Canada rebellion of 1837, and was under arms at the battle of St. Denis. He escaped to the United States, but shortly afterward was permitted to return to Canada without molestation. He entered parliament in 1848 as member for Vercheres, in the conservative interest, and in 1855 became provincial secretary in the McNab-Tache govermnent. On the resignation of Sir Allan McNab, in 1856, Mr. Cartier became attorney general for Lower Canada in the Tache-Macdonald ministry, and in this capacity effected the codification of the civil laws of Lower Canada and accomplished great ira-provements in the system of administering the criminal law. In 1857 he proposed to leave the solution of the question of a permanent seat of government to her majesty. At this time the legislative assembly had decided upon Quebec, and had authorized the erection of government buildings in that city; brat the legislative council had refused to vote the supplies. The queen decided that Ottawa should be the permanent seat of government. On 26 November, 1857, the cabinet was reorganized, John A. MacdOnald becoming premier and Mr. Cartier being the only Lower Canada minister retained. On 29 July, 1858, the Macdonald-Cartier ministry resigned, in consequence of the assembly's having passed a resolution that Ottawa ought not to be the seat of government. George Brown having formed a ministry, and resigned after an administration of two days, the so-called " double shuffle" was performed. Taking advantage of a clause of the independence of parliament act, which provided that a cabinet minister resigning one office might accept another within one month without forfeiting his seat in parliament, the Macdonald-Cartier ministry became the Cartier-Macdonald ministry. Cartier, who had resigned the portfolio of attorney general on 29 July, became inspector-general on 6 August On 7 August he was again sworn in as attorney general. In the interests of Lower Canada, Cartier was a determined opponent of the principle of representation by population demanded by Upper Canada, which had a population of 285,427 more than the sister province. The Cartier-Macdonald ministry fell in attempting to pass a militia bill in May, 1862. Cartier was one of the active promoters of confederation, and became minister of militia in the first Dominion cabinet in July, 1867. In August of the following year he was created a baronet.
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