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Etienne-Pascal Taché

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Statesman, b. at St. Thomas (Montmagny, Province of Quebec ), 5 Sept., 1795, son of Charles, and Geneviève Michon; d. 30 July, 1865. Through his grandmother, he was a descendant of Joliet, the discoverer of the Mississippi. He served in the war of 1812 as lieutenant of the "Chasseurs canadiens". He was a self-made man, who after a mere elementary course succeeded in graduating at Philadelphia as a physician, and later in taking the foremost rank among Canadian statesmen. After twenty-two years of successful medical practice, he entered politics as member of the Legislative Assembly at the first election following the Union (1841), which he had strenuously opposed. Re-elected in 1844, he accepted (1846) the post of adjutant-general of militia. In 1848 he became chief commissioner of public works in the Lafontaine-Balwin ministry, and helped to save the former's life during the violent sessions of 1849. M. Taché was a member of each successive Cabinet from 1848 to 1856. In 1858 he was knighted by Queen Victoria, and in 1860 appointed aide-de-camp to Her Majesty, with the rank of colonel in the regular army. In 1862 Pius IX bestowed on him the title of Commander of the Order of St. Gregory. He aided in reorganizing the militia at the time of the Trent affair. In 1864 he formed the Taché-MacDonald administration, and presided over the conference of the delegates of the British North American provinces preparatory to confederation. Taché was ever a loyal Catholic.

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