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Sir George-Étienne Cartier National Historic Site of Canada

Did You Know That...

Sir George-Étienne Cartier Was Not Related to the Famous Navigator Jacques Cartier?

Portrait of George-Étienne Cartier's father Jacques Cartier III ( 1774-1841), father of George-Étienne
© National Archives of Canada / C-28025
Portrait of George-Étienne Cartier's mother Marguerite Paradis (1779-1848), mother of George-Étienne
© National Archives of Canada / C-28026

Although his father, grandfather, and great-grandfather all bore the first name of Jacques, George-Étienne Cartier was not a descendant of the explorer Jacques Cartier.

George-Étienne Cartier was born in Saint-Antoine-sur-le-Richelieu, Quebec, on September 6, 1814. His family had inhabited this village for three generations, and were shopkeepers. George-Étienne was given primary education at home by his mother. At the age of 10, he left his home town and began preparatory school at the Collège de Montréal, an institution directed by the Sulpician priests and frequented by the scions of the Montreal area elite. Upon leaving college, Cartier began his clerkship at the law offices of Patriote (rebel) Legislative Assembly Member Édouard Rodier, whose political ideals he also shared for a short time.