Quebec History Marianopolis College

Date Published:
July 2005

L’Encyclopédie de l’histoire du Québec / The Quebec History Encyclopedia


Joseph Michel Cadet


Cadet, Joseph Michel (1719-1781), purveyor-general to the French forces in Canada, was born in or near Quebec on December 24, 1719, the son of a butcher. He began life as a cattle-dealer; and in 1748 he was appointed purveyor-general for the French forces in Canada. He played a dominant part in the economic life of New France in its last years, and after 1756 practically discharged the function of commissary-general of the colony. He has been regarded as one of those who bled New France to death; and after its fall he was condemned at Paris to make restitution and was banished. Recent investigations, however, have tended to clear his name of the charges made against him; and it is significant that he was pardoned in 1764, and was allowed to return to Canada to settle his affairs. He embarked in France on a career of land speculation which ended in disaster, and he died in France in 1781.

[Consult the biography of Cadet at the Dictionary of Canadian Biography]

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Source: W. Stewart WALLACE, ed., The Encyclopedia of Canada, Vol. I, Toronto, University Associates of Canada, 1948, 398p., p. 336.

© 2005 Claude Bélanger, Marianopolis College