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Charles-Joseph Coursol (1871-1873)

Charles-Joseph Coursol was born 3 October 1819 in Fort Malden, Upper Canada. Lawyer and businessman, he was mayor of Montréal from 1871 to 1873. He died 4 August 1888 in Montmagny, Québec.

He was educated at the Petit Séminaire de Montréal, studied law with Côme-Séraphin Cherrier, and was called to the bar on February 1841. He was known for the major demonstration of French-speaking people of America he organized in Montréal in 1874. Some 20 000 people from the United States, Acadie, Manitoba and Ontario converged on Montréal for a demonstration of solidarity and identification with French culture. The procession was stretched on 4 km.

Coursol was interested in municipal politics. He was councillor of Saint-Antoine ward from 1853 to 1855. In 1856, he was appointed inspector and superintendent of the police department in Montréal. During the 1860s, he took an active part in the cultural, social and commercial life of Montréal. He drew a great popularity from it. For example, in 1866, he commanded a regiment of militia, the Canadian Hunters, along the American border to prevent the invasion of Fenians.

When he was mayor of Montréal from 1871 to 1873, he was especially concerned about sanitation. He contributed to the creation of public parks, which he considered necessary for the working class. That was the beginning of public parks: Mount Royal, La Fontaine, Île Sainte-Helène, Dominion Square. His administration was unfortunately marked by actions for his personal benefit.

See : Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online

 


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