Jean-François Gaultier

Jean-François Gaultier, king's physician, naturalist (b at La Croix-Avranchin, France 6 Oct 1708; d at Québec C 10 July 1756). Appointed king's physician of New France, he arrived in Québec in 1742. There he took over M.

Gaultier, Jean-François

Jean-François Gaultier, king's physician, naturalist (b at La Croix-Avranchin, France 6 Oct 1708; d at Québec C 10 July 1756). Appointed king's physician of New France, he arrived in Québec in 1742. There he took over M. SARRAZIN's medical and scientific duties, and became a corresponding member of the Académie royale des sciences in 1745.

In 1747, encouraged by LA GALISSONIÈRE, he arranged for the post commandants to collect plant specimens for him. In 1749 Gaultier and Pehr KALM botanized around Québec City and east to Les Éboulements, and Kalm named for him the genus Gaultheria, or WINTERGREEN.

Gaultier shipped plants to France each year. His 1749 manuscript lists 134 species, 61 first described by Sarrazin, to which he added detail, and 73 not mentioned by Sarrazin. Gaultier concentrated on the ligneous plants in his work and differentiated between 4 species of pines. He set up the first meteorological station in Canada and kept a log from 1742-56, as well as sending minerals and preserved specimens of animals to France. But botany, including the medical properties of plants, was his great interest. His history of MAPLE SUGAR was published in the memoirs of the Académie.