SOUMANDE, LOUIS, priest, canon of the chapter of Quebec, director of the school at Saint-Joachim; b. 14 May 1652 at Quebec, son of Pierre Soumande, master maker of edge tools, and of Simone Côté; brother of Louise Soumande de Saint-Augustin, the first superior of the Hôpital Général of Quebec; d. 19 April 1706 at Quebec.
Louis Soumande studied at the Jesuit college, and in 1663, when the seminary of Quebec was founded, he was one of the first students to be admitted to it. He received the tonsure at the age of 16; Bishop Laval conferred the major orders upon him in December 1677 and the priesthood on the 21st of the same month.
He spent his first years as a priest at the seminary of Quebec. In 1683 he served the missions of Sainte-Anne de Beaupré, Cap Tourmente, Petite-Rivière, and Baie-Saint-Paul. The following year, when the chapter of Quebec was established, he was appointed a canon, and took possession of his canonry on 18 Jan. 1685.
From 1685 on, he devoted himself entirely to the Saint-Joachim and Cap Tourmente missions. It seems that he stayed there until his death, with the dual responsibility of managing the two farms belonging to the seminary and of serving the parish church which Bishop Laval and the seminary had had built at Grande-Ferme. He concerned himself more particularly with the school of arts and crafts that the bishop of Quebec had founded in 1679. He was its director and benefactor. In l 693 he set up a fund of 8,000 livres, the income from which served to pay the board for three pupils, “in consideration of the spiritual and temporal good that results for the poor children of this country for whom the seminary of Quebec provides training on its property at Cap Tourmente.” In 1695 he added 4,000 livres to this fund, and in 1701, 8,000 livres.
Abbé Soumande was also a builder. He concerned himself with the reconstruction of the Ursuline convent, which had been burned down in 1686. Furthermore, around 1695 he began to build a stone wall at Grande-Ferme, which was 600 feet long and 2 feet thick; it was never finished.
Since 1692 he had been a member of the community of the seminary. He died on 14 April 1706 at Quebec, and was buried in the cathedral.
AAQ, Registres d’insinuation A, 63, 104; Registres d’insinuation B, 118. ASQ, Fonds Brouillard, 1705–11, 102, 106. Lettres, N, 100; R, 11; Séminaire, I, 40, 67–68. Mandements des évêques (Têtu et Gagnon), I, 116. Provost, Le Séminaire de Québec: documents et biographies, 424f. Gérard Morisset, Coup d’oeil sur les arts en Nouvelle-France (Québec, 1941), 15. P.-G. Roy, La ville de Québec, I, 287. Les Ursulines de Québec (1866–78), I, 411.