A Blupete Biography Page


Louis Hebert
(1575-1627):

Hebert is best known as the first settler to come to Canada. In 1617, Hebert "sold his house and garden in Paris and took his wife Marie and three children" to the new world, to Quebec (DCB). Up to this time and for a number of years after there was no family, as such, in New France. Hebert went about taking deliberate steps to settle in: to build a home for his family, to fence land off, and to make a garden. But Hebert was no stranger to the new world, for he came out to Acadia in 1607, and our interest in him comes about as a result of this earlier connection.

Louis Hebert was of Paris and followed, as sons did in those days, the profession of his father, that of an apothecary (and thus his life long interest in plants and in gardening). Hebert became related by marriage to Poutrincourt which explains why he eventually became connected to the de Monts expedition that had set out for Acadia in 1604.

It would not appear that Hebert came out originally with de Monts; but rather at a later point, in 1606. It was with the arrival of Hebert (likely in conjunction with Lescarbot) that the social affairs of the infant settlement took a definite turn for the better. A number of improvements to the living arrangements at the habitation were made. (See Hannay at p. 83.) And, it was during the winter of 1606/07 that we see that the ordre de bon temps was formed, its principal members being: Poutrincourt, Champlain; Pontgrave; Champdore, the carpenter; Daniel Hay, the surgeon; young Biencourt, L'Escarbot, lawyer; and, of course, Hebert. (Calnek, p. 9.)

Hebert continued with his productive activities at Port Royal during 1607, a year which saw the construction of a grist-mill. [This grist-mill was built, in 1607, on the Allain River, situated near by the present day Annapolis Royal. (Calnek, p. 9.)] Experimental farming activities, undoubtedly under the direction of Hebert, continued to be carried on with various grains being seeded in the natural fields surrounding the lower part of the Annapolis River. However, as one will see from our narrative, because of the continuing financial difficulties of the de Monts' company, the occupants of Port Royal including Hebert, giving up their colonization, sailed back to France during September of 1607.

As previously stated, Hebert and his family went to Quebec in 1617. Ten years after that, in the winter of 1627, within weeks of a bad fall on ice, Louis Hebert died there, at Quebec, at the age of 52.

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Peter Landry
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