The Online Encyclopedia and Dictionary






Jean Talon

Jean Talon, comte d'Orsainville (1625-1694) was a French colonial administrator who was the first and most highly regarded Intendant of New France. His parents were Philippe Talon and Anne Bury. He was very entrepreneurial and may have had ancestors from Ireland.

Jean Talon

As Intendent during 1665-1672, he attempted to diversify the colony's economy by encouraging agriculture, fishing, lumbering, and industry as well as the traditional fur trade. In 1666 he conducted the first census in North America. While he succeeded in settling some two thousand people in the colony, many of the industries he initiated failed when he returned to France.

Jean was born in 1625 and he died in 1694. He was a highly respected man, and loved by many, yet he was never married. Jean studied at the Jesuit college of Clermont in Paris, so his knowledge was much appreciated by King Louis XIV and Jean-Baptiste Colbert, who were to help in the colonization of New France.

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Last updated: 05-15-2005 21:43:21