TASCHEREAU, THOMAS-PIERRE-JOSEPH, army and militia officer, businessman, seigneur, politician, judge, and office holder; b. 19 April 1775 at Quebec, son of Gabriel-Elzéar Taschereau* and Marie-Louise-Élizabeth Bazin; m. 29 Jan. 1805 Françoise Boucher de La Bruère de Montarville at Boucherville, Lower Canada; d. 8 Oct. 1826 at Quebec and was buried four days later in the church of Sainte-Marie-de-la-Nouvelle-Beauce (Sainte-Marie), Lower Canada.
Thomas-Pierre-Joseph Taschereau was admitted to the Petit Séminaire de Québec as a boarder in 1784. After spending eight years there, three of them in a preparatory form, he gave up his studies at the end of the fourth form (Versification) in 1792. His father eventually secured him a place in the Royal Canadian Volunteer Regiment. Taschereau was more successful in military life; by 1797 he was serving as a lieutenant at Niagara (Niagara-on-the-Lake), Upper Canada. The regiment was disbanded in 1802.
Taschereau rejoined his family at Sainte-Marie-de-la-Nouvelle-Beauce. He had a house built for himself near the church, and on 1 Dec. 1804 he formed a partnership with his brother Jean-Thomas to engage in retail trade and to build a distillery on the family’s seigneurial domain. The partnership was dissolved on 6 Aug. 1808. The death of Taschereau’s father on 18 Sept. 1809 initiated a long process to reach agreement on the division of his estate between the widow and seven surviving descendants from two marriages, three of whom were still minors. Gabriel-Elzéar, who had been ordained priest in 1796, renounced his share and his rights as the eldest in return for a life annuity. Thomas-Pierre-Joseph then became the titular seigneur of Sainte-Marie and the owner of the manor-house. The movables and real estate, less the widow’s and minors’ rights, were apportioned amicably by drawing lots after being duly valued and divided by survey. Taschereau thenceforth gave his attention to his share of the estate. He made the house near the church over to Gabriel-Elzéar in 1813 and moved into a dwelling that he had recently built across from it, on the banks of the Rivière Chaudière.
By this juncture the War of 1812 had broken out and Taschereau had been recalled to military service. Lieutenant-colonel of the Sainte-Marie-de-la-Nouvelle-Beauce battalion of militia, he held that rank in the 4th Select Embodied Militia Battalion from 25 May 1812 and then in its 1st Battalion from 24 October. He went through the entire 1812–13 campaign with the last named battalion, and apparently used his own funds to pay several men who had not actually been called up but who had enlisted out of sheer patriotism. Not present at any pitched battle, the battalion did take part in a skirmish.
On 28 Jan. 1818 Taschereau became a member of the Legislative Council. Three years later he was appointed judge of the Commissioners Court of Sainte-Marie-de-la-Nouvelle-Beauce, a court authorized to hear small causes which was set up there that year. In 1823 he succeeded Jean-Baptiste-Philippe-Charles d’Estimauville as grand voyer (chief road commissioner) for the District of Quebec. Because of his duties he was frequently absent from Sainte-Marie. Consequently he bought a house on Rue Saint-François in Quebec and it was there that on Sunday 8 Oct. 1826 he died. A messenger was immediately dispatched on horseback and managed to reach Sainte-Marie before high mass was over to announce the news to the assembled people.
In his will Thomas-Pierre-Joseph Taschereau had bequeathed the usufruct of all his movables and real estate to his wife. His son Pierre-Elzéar inherited the seigneuries on condition that he pay his brothers and sisters annually half of the income from the real property. His widow returned to live at Sainte-Marie-de-la-Nouvelle-Beauce, where she died on 30 Sept. 1834. Five of his ten children, including Joseph-André*, survived him.
ANQ-Q, CE1-1, 19 avril 1775; CN1-230, 24, 29 nov. 1810; 1er, 22 mars 1811; ZQ6-45, 12 oct. 1826. Quebec Gazette, 29 April 1812, 14 Jan. 1813, 30 Nov. 1815, 13 Jan. 1819, 9 July 1821, 22 May 1823. F.-J. Audet, “Les législateurs du Bas-Canada.” Officers of British forces in Canada (Irving). P.-G. Roy, Fils de Québec, 2: 177–79. Turcotte, Le Conseil législatif, 85–87. Provost, Sainte-Marie; hist. civile; Sainte-Marie; hist. religieuse. P.-G. Roy, La famille Taschereau (Lévis, Qué., 1901).
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