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Sir George-Étienne Cartier Was Not Related to the Famous Navigator Jacques Cartier?
© National Archives of Canada / C-28025
© 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.