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Louis Hebert 1575-1627

Louis Hébert (c. 1575 – 25 January 1627) is widely considered to be the first Canadian apothecary as well as the first European to farm in Canada. He was born around 1575 at 129 de la rue Saint-Honoré in Paris to Nicolas Hébert and Jacqueline Pajot. He married Marie Rollet on 13 June 1602 at the Abbaye de Saint-Germain-des-Prés, Paris.
In 1606, he accompanied his cousin in law, Jean de Biencourt de Poutrincourt et de Saint-Just, to Acadia along with Samuel Champlain. He lived at Port-Royal (now Annapolis, in southern Nova Scotia) from 1606 to 1607 and from 1611 to 1613 when Port-Royal was destroyed by the English deputy governor of Virginia Samuel Argall.
In 1617, with his wife, Marie Rollet, and their three children, Guillaume (3 years old), Guillaumette (9 years old), and Anne (14 years old), he left Paris forever to live in Quebec City. He died there 10 years later because of an injury that occurred when he fell on a patch of ice.
Statues of Louis Hébert, Marie Rollet, and their children are prominent in Parc Montmorency overlooking the St. Lawrence River in Quebec City

Louis Hébert was born in Paris in 1575, the son of Nicolas Hébert and Jacqueline Pajot. Nicolas was an apothecary with a practice in Paris.[1] In the tradition of the day, Louis followed in his father's profession. Louis was trained in medical arts and science, becoming a specialist in pharmacology. It was from this that he developed what was to become a lifelong interest in plants and gardening. By 1600, Louis was established in Paris as an apothecary and spice merchant. In 1602, he married Marie Rollet.

Meeting with Champlain and Settling in New France
In 1604, Louis' cousin, Pierre de Gue, Sieur de Monts, led an expedition to L'Ile Sainte croix in hopes of making a fortune in the fur trade. The expedition's first winter was very hard. There was a shortage of fresh water and firewood, and 36 of the 80 expedition members died of scurvy. In the following summer of 1605, the expedition relocated across the bay at Port-Royal (today known as Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia).
Louis Hébert, apothecary at Port-Royal, Acadia, painted by C. W. Jefferys, collection of the National Historical site of Port-Royal.
In 1606, Louis joined the expedition, now located at Port-Royal. As a pharmacist, he was interested in plants and enjoyed horticulture, seeming to possess a "green thumb", growing hemp and other plants. He was highly regarded, and particular note was made of his knowledge and pleasure in cultivating the land. He participated in the construction of a grist-mill on the Allain River near present-day Annapolis Royal. Experimental farming activities were conducted, with various grains being seeded in the local fields. He looked after the health of the pioneers, and cultivated native drug plants introduced to him by the Micmac Indians. He returned to France in 1607, after the trade concession that had been granted to the de Monts expedition had expired.
In 1610, Louis Hébert returned to Port Royal with Jean de Biencourt de Poutrincourt. It has been claimed that a few months later his wife joined him and became one of the first French women to come to New France, but the claim has not been documented. Louis continued his agricultural interests, sowing wheat and planting vines. The colony at Port Royal seemed to take root, but in 1613 it was destroyed by the English coming up from Virginia. The French colonists returned to France, and Louis established a medical practice and apothecary shop (pharmacy) in Paris.
At this time, Quebec was a settlement of some fifty white men who were all transient soldiers, fur trappers, or missionaries. The economy of the settlement was dependent on some 20,000 beaver pelts that were annually returned to French merchants in exchange for supplies. The "Compagnie de Canada", made up of merchants from Rouen, St. Malo, and La Rochelle, had a trading monopoly that controlled the fur trade in Quebec.
Champlain, who founded Quebec in 1608, saw a desperate need for medical service and agricultural self-sufficiency for Quebec. Champlain had met Louis Hébert during the earlier expedition to Port Royal, and had recognized Louis' outstanding qualities. Champlain approached Louis with an offer from the "Compagnie de Canada". He had met Louis when they were both in Acadie. They mutually respected each other.
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Louis Hebert -
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