Chauveau, Pierre-Joseph-Olivier

Pierre-Joseph-Olivier Chauveau, lawyer, educator, politician, premier of Québec 1867-73 (b at Charlesbourg, LC 30 May 1820; d at Québec 4 Apr 1890). Elected to the Assembly of the Province of Canada in 1844, he later held several Cabinet posts. He resigned from the Assembly in 1855 to become superintendent of education, a post he held until 1867, during which time the 15-member Council of Public Instruction was set up to supervise the school system. Conservatives John A. MACDONALD and George-Étienne CARTIER chose him to become the first premier of Québec, replacing J.É. Cauchon in 1867, and Chauveau sat in both the provincial and federal houses. He was not a memorable premier and was persuaded to resign in 1873 to sit in the Senate. The following year, however, he unsuccessfully sought re-election to the Commons. In 1878 he began to teach in Laval's law faculty in Montréal and was its dean 1884-90. A man of letters, Chauveau was in demand as a lecturer, wrote extensively on education and other subjects and wrote a novel, Charles Guérin, roman de moeurs canadiennes (1853, serialized 1846-47).