TACHÉ, PASCAL (baptized Paschal-Jacques), seigneur, jp, politician, and militia officer; b. 30 Aug. 1757 at Quebec, son of Jean Taché* and Marie-Anne Jolliet de Mingan; m. 25 Sept. 1785 Marie-Louise Decharnay, a widow, in Kamouraska, Que., and they had one son; d. there 5 June 1830.
After a career of some ten years as a clerk in the company that leased the king’s posts [see Thomas Dunn*], Pascal Taché settled down at Kamouraska in 1785, the year he married Marie-Louise Decharnay, the co-seigneur of this locality. Five years later his mother-in-law gave him her share in the seigneury. Like many Canadian seigneurs at the time, Taché displayed loyalty to the British crown and this is probably what earned him in 1794 the commission as a justice of the peace for the district of Quebec which was renewed periodically.
In March 1798 Taché ran for the House of Assembly in Cornwallis riding, to replace the late Pascal Sirois-Duplessis. He was elected, but the voting had taken place in bad weather and under an English-speaking electoral officer who was ill informed about voters’ rights. Consequently some of the constituents petitioned the assembly to have the election annulled, but their request was rejected. Taché held his seat until June 1800 and, although he normally lived in his seigneurial manor-house, for the period he served in the assembly he took up residence on Rue Sainte-Anne at Quebec. He was often absent from the house, and played little part in its deliberations, confining himself to voting. He served on a single committee, which was responsible for drawing up a bill on the production of maple sugar.
After this brief entry into Lower Canadian political life Taché devoted himself almost exclusively to managing the seigneury of Kamouraska, which was then developing at an extraordinary pace. In 1813, according to surveyor Joseph Bouchette*’s observations, it had about 5,500 inhabitants, who made their livelihood primarily from farming. Besides the church and the presbytery, the village contained some 60 houses, and it was much appreciated as a summer vacation centre. Two schools, one supported by the fabrique, the other by the Royal Institution for the Advancement of Learning, provided education for the children. In administering his fief, Taché took advantage of the rights attached to the seigneurial régime. He made land grants, claimed cens et rentes and lods et ventes, and protested when one censitaire showed his desire to build a grist-mill. He made money from renting out the communal mill and the lands that he owned, but especially from the fisheries, which were exploited on a large scale. For example, he rented, most often to residents, waterfront lots on the St Lawrence or on the approaches to Île aux Corneilles, Île aux Patins, Île de la Providence, and Île aux Harengs.
In 1813 Mme Taché died, leaving her share in the seigneury to their son Paschal, who from then on co-signed with his father all transactions concerning the fief. He too lived in the seigneurial manor-house and practised his profession of notary, albeit infrequently. Both father and son served in the Rivière-Ouelle battalion of militia during the War of 1812, the former as lieutenant-colonel and the latter as adjutant. Again following his father’s example, he belonged to the Agriculture Society and together they attended its meetings, which were held at Rivière-du-Loup or Kamouraska.
Although they were not rich, the Taché seigneurs lived comfortably, surrounded by servants. They gave sumptuous dinners, receptions, and picnics on the islands, and for many years Kamouraska was the undisputed centre of social life in the region. The salon of the parish priest, Jacques Varin, was frequented by some of the élite – the seigneurs, merchants Jean-Charles Chapais and Amable Dionne*, notaries Thomas Casault, François Letellier de Saint-Just, and Jean-Baptiste Taché, as well as lawyer Charles-Eusèbe Casgrain*.
Pascal Taché died on 5 June 1830, and his son did not live long after him, dying on 3 Jan. 1833. They were both buried at Kamouraska under the seigneurs’ pew in the church of Saint-Louis parish. On 14 May 1810 Taché’s son had married Julie Larue at Quebec, and they had had four children. In his will Paschal Taché bequeathed the usufruct and enjoyment of the seigneurial property to his wife. His two daughters each inherited £1,000, and his son Jacques-Vinceslas received the part of the fief that lay within the boundaries of Saint-Pascal parish. The elder son, Louis-Pascal-Achille, received a piece of land at Kamouraska and the part of the fief that makes up Saint-Louis parish.
ANQ-Q, CE1-1, 31 août 1757, 14 mai 1810; CE3-3, 26 sept. 1785, 7 juin 1830; CN3-10, 25, 28 avril, 7 nov., 5 déc. 1814; 14 janv., 23 févr., 4, 8 mars, 22 déc. 1815; 19 févr., 15 juill., 28 nov. 1816; 17 août 1818; 6 mars 1827; CN3-13, 25 sept. 1785; CN3-17, 23 juill., 29 août 1797; CN3-19, 9 août 1802; 8, 10 mars, 25 juill. 1804; 14 avril 1808; CN3-30, 15 nov. 1832. PAC, RG 68, General index, 1651–1841. “Les dénombrements de Québec” (Plessis), ANQ Rapport, 1948–49: 120. L.C., House of Assembly, Journals, 1798–1800. Quebec Gazette, 3 July 1794; 29 March 1798; 28 Sept. 1809; 8 April, 2, 16 Aug. 1819; 7 Sept. 1820. F.-J. Audet, “Les législateurs du Bas-Canada.” Desjardins, Guide parl. Officers of British forces in Canada (Irving). Alexandre Paradis, Kamouraska (1674–1948) (Québec, 1948). P.-G. Roy, La famille Taché (Lévis, Qué., 1904).