A Scattering of Seeds: The Creation of Canada
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Subject Profile: Martha Black
Henry de Puyjalon

Count Henry de Puyjalon was a French Breton aristocrat with a searing passion for nature and hunting. Lured by stories of the Canadian wilds, he arrived in Quebec in 1872. By 1880, he was the provincial Inspector-General of hunting and fishing and established himself on the North Shore. His love of solitude and adventure made him a perfect lighthouse keeper on Île aux Perroquets in 1888.

De Puyjalon was by turns a civil servant, naturalist, writer, huntsman and the first writer to give an exact description of the wildlife of northern Quebec. In his many books, (Récits du Labrador, Guide du Chasseur de pelletrie, etc.) the Count of Puyjalon offered far-sighted warnings about endangered species. He condemned bad hunting practices and poaching, and preached conservation.

In 1900, Henry de Puyjalon took up permanent residence in a camp he had built on Île de la Chasse - an aristocratic man settling into a hermit-like existence. He was buried on the island where, since 1955, a commemorative plaque reminds visitors of this unusual adventurer.

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