SECRET DE GABRIELLE RECIT (French Edition)
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The practical uses of plants merit significant space: their medicinal applications, their possible uses in cooking, and innovations in the making of goods are part of a brand of knowledge that incorporated experience and observation. Yet scientific knowledge interpreted nature differently than did religion. Perhaps this was the greatest of Charlevoix's dilemmas, because abandoning his religious precepts and knowledge based on analogy would not mesh with his scientific and personalist endeavor, which he wanted to advance at any price.
Thus, "the most ancient texts still bear witness to an older modality of knowledge through analogy" and "similarity between things," whose results were palpable and thus justifiable in Charlevoix's mind, unlike other procedures, which "were more concerned with exact measures and geometric configuration" Gagnon, , p. Without this knowledge, which was justified by observation, "it is useless to go no further than the skin or bark of plants if you wish to know their nature; you must go straight to their marks" Foucault, , p.
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The contribution of the Jesuit physician Cornuti - Canadensium plantarum - pleased Charlevoix for a number of reasons Figure 2. In addition to appreciating the compilation itself, there is the fact that this author reconstructed, at a distance, a botanical history of transmigrated species that could be found in the main French gardens of the day. In these studies, description and artistic representation seem to move in one same direction - that is, they are characterized by observation and detailing. The priest Charles Plumier also appreciated the pioneering study that Cornuti conducted "in the gardens of Vespesiano and Jean Robin," so much so that he paid tribute to him in the botanical classification of a genus of plants Cornutia of the family of Verbenaceae Dictionnaire des Sciences Cornuti recognized the value of travel texts and commentaries produced from the tenth through the twelfth centuries, as well as the classic texts that marked botanical knowledge from Antiquity through the Renaissance.
In fact, we find knowledge that was incorporated and expanded by a number of cultures, including the Greek, Roman, and Byzantine in all of the following: the empirical and philosophical studies of Theophrastus Tirtamas - B. Addressing the origins of pharmacology in classic and medieval cultures, Martos , p. Each culture added its discoveries, descriptions, and experiences, expanding the original treatise with other studies on different types of medicine, not only from plants but also animals.
The work eventually reached the Middle Ages in the form of a manuscript of ancient medicine known as the Codex Vindobonensis Martos, , p. Cornuti and Charlevoix complied with the demands both of the apostolate and of scientific observation.
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Derived from the classic period, their understanding of botany was that it entailed observation, description, collection, and comparison. Nevertheless, based on these reference texts, it was possible to verify the occurrence of species in climates different from those described and also to describe ones that had not been catalogued. The iconographic representations required a correspondence between the text per se and the nature it endeavored to detail.
The emphasis was on leaves and roots: "Cornuti especially shows the plant system that encompasses the aboveground and underground parts of the plant The reproductive system - to wit, the flowers - occupies a good space in the images, although the illustrator does not portray all their parts accurately" Doyon, , p. The recognition of the field of botanical illustration coincided with scientific advances from the seventeenth to eighteenth centuries that enabled the field to be transformed into a tool of science.
The valorization of the life sciences was accompanied by advances in observation microscopy , in the rationality of the earth sciences, and in interest in the exoticism of plants and animals from all around the globe and, especially, "the ethical valorization of nature, together with the whole of that movement, ambiguous in its principle, by means of which It is in this context, according to Foucault, that games of reconstruction commenced, and if the contenders did not relinquish their own convictions, these conflicts would remain pressing.
However, as we take into account the bloody field of the 'battle-ideas' and the influence of classic authors on the works of Charlevoix, we will come to understand some of his perceptions of nature and his inner conflicts. The topics of these books are varied and their ideas encompass a gamut of situations and contexts that are hard to capture. However, this analysis allows us to better understand Charlevoix's thinking and the way that his knowledge spread through scientific circles. He also mentions a history project for the New World and lists the main commemorative dates from to Further on, he devotes himself to Canadian history from to What is particularly important is the roll of authors he consulted, which allows the reader to trace Charlevoix's reading itinerary.
In volume III - whose title brings to mind the account of a journey that is to be revealed: "Journal Historique d'un Voyage" Charlevoix, - Charlevoix presents the cartographic contributions of M. This was a valuable narrative, as it afforded a means of disseminating information on an array of subjects, among them botany, but without the scientific and philosophical formalism found in the other books.
Let us examine these spaces where Charlevoix established his ideas and curiosities. Hernandes , Gaspard Bauhin , J. Tennent In this work we soon detect an absence of originality, in detriment of a narrative that revolves around French identity in the Americas. To some extent, this reliance on other authors implied the use of a methodology that some critics deemed outdated.
The organization of the text can also be considered a response to the resistance to the French presence in America and to the criticisms that had opened up fissures in the majestic religious edifice of the Jesuit order. Charlevoix's work was also a way of reacting to the discrediting of the Society of Jesus and repeated attacks on it, "until it was suppressed by Pope Clement XIX, in " Kobelinski, , p. Charlevoix was not the only one to visit the French colony in North America, nor is there any lack of examples to be cited.
Michel Sarrazin, royal physician and correspondent to the Royal Academy of Science, settled in Canada and wrote about species of plants, which he sent to France. His unpublished work, with no illustrations, later reached the hands of Tournefort. The Jesuit Lafitau, who lived among the Iroquois, spared no effort in writing about ginseng, a plant that was found in New France and China.
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These textual and image references allowed Charlevoix to compose an invaluable living picture of the botanical curiosities of the New World, integrating it with his historical, missionary, and personal projects: "This is the third work that I present to the public. My intention is to report all that I can discover that is curious, useful, and interesting in each part of the New World" Charlevoix, , p.
As Le Pan , p. In practical terms, the knowledge revealed some of the Amerindian secrets about plant manipulation, for purposes of both treatment and food consumption. And this was pertinent to the very tenuous line between life and death in a country with a harsh climate. His iconographic representation of plants and his descriptive texts reveal the molds of the classification system used by Charlevoix.
In the opinion of Doyon , his study concentrates on the aboveground and underground parts of the plants - of the 96 plant species listed, 96 were classified according to their leaves, 69 in terms of their fruit, 56 in terms of flowers, 52 in terms of roots, 15 in terms of the inside of the fruit, and 1 each in terms of the inside of the flower, the bush, and the tree. We can state that this iconography approaches microscopy in that it values details, while the personal correspondence pertains to recollections of the American forest landscape, as a product of the author's constructs and imagination.
Hence the emphasis on plant shape, colors, and dimensions, a method that a number of authors adopted in their own work.
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While Charlevoix was interested in flowers, he did not detail them like Marcello Malpighi in Anatome plantarum , dated So there are differences in the plant classifications. While Linnaeus focused on the reproductive system, Tournefort separated botanical knowledge from medical. Charlevoix eschewed both, employing an old system in which the description was accompanied by the plant's therapeutic properties, which was an early seventeenth-century model. Notably, Linnaeus' binominal classification made it possible to rigorously order plants and animals, and to definitively add botany to the list of the sciences of nature.
What we see here are fierce games of reconstructing and interpreting nature. According to Doyon , what stands out in Charlevoix's text is the narrative. Each one in fact has a different type of reader in mind.
In the latter case, the Jesuit apparently did not verify these properties in the field. Charlevoix decided instead to translate and insert the Latin text by Cornuti in his own work a censurable action that breaches scientific principles, with Charlevoix casting aside his own observations for someone else's. Charlevoix's iconographic foundations do not stand up to verification. As if this were not enough, we find iconographic imitation as well Table 1. We thus see that Charlevoix borrowed summaries and iconographic sources from Tournefort, Catesby, and others.
Cornuti's classification is significant, particularly when medical and botanical practices began to approach each other. In this regard, the search for plant properties and the characterization of the leaf shapes, roots, colors, and taste are vital to classification. It is possible that his talents as a historian are thus better known than his talent as a botanist strongly inspired by Cornuti and Catesby" , p.
Despite this blemish on his image, Charlevoix advanced Cornuti's studies, since his eye was not focused solely on Parisian gardens. Perhaps he wanted the plants to become reference points in the memory, which would somehow bring to mind the landscapes traveled in the immense territory of the French colony in America. Catesby's Natural History figures among major botanical works. The method used by this British naturalist resembles that of John Ray , which relies on the figure of the flowers, the number of petals, and the plant's form and structure.
Although Catesby is not concerned with detailing all flower parts, his method served as the basis for Linnaeus' binary model.
Likewise, Charlevoix applies the method of compilation and summary to 41 parts of Catesby's text. The work presents a broad scope of French and English literary and iconographic sources, with a notable merging of botanical knowledge and iconographic plant art.
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In Prince Albert a river-lot survey was done in and the surveyors started on the South Branch as well, completing about one-fifth of the work before the season ended. For reasons that have defied the efforts of historians to determine, the job was not finished the following year. Instead, the remaining parts of the South Branch were surveyed under the square system. After several years of delay in publishing the plans of the survey, the government offered a cumbersome and difficult-to-understand method of registering existing river lots by legal subdivision. Gabriel Dumont was not one to suffer frustration quietly.
To the 30 who attended Dumont recounted his failed attempts to move the government and suggested that Riel was the only one who could organize the kind of pressure necessary. The meeting agreed that an invitation to Riel would carry more weight if it was made on behalf of the whole community. Dumont and Charles Nolin would take the document to Ottawa after consulting Riel on the way and asking him to come to the South Branch.
By February he and Riel had both concluded that negotiations with Ottawa had failed irrevocably. Dumont played a crucial role at this point. At the beginning of March, when Riel proposed forming a provisional government, support from the English-speaking settlers and the church vanished. Gabriel Dumont was a signatory along with four other Dumont kin.
This report set off the first overt action of the rebellion.