LE BOUTILLIER (Le Bouthillier), JOHN, businessman and politician; b. 1797 in the family home at La Chasse, on the Isle of Jersey; d. 31 July 1872 at Gaspé, Que.
After his arrival in the Gaspé peninsula, around 1815, John Le Boutillier worked for Charles Robin and Company, traders in fish, first as a clerk, then as a manager at Paspébiac and Percé. In 1830 he left the Robins to open his own business under the name of John Le Boutillier and Company. At the same period, he took up residence at Gaspé, where he was to spend the rest of his life.
His commercial activities consisted chiefly of exporting dried cod to different countries of Europe, the West Indies, and Brazil. He possessed establishments along the whole Gaspesian coast, from Paspébiac to Sainte-Anne-des Monts; in 1861 he owned 12 ships and 169 fishing boats, and had 2,500 employees settled along the coast. Soon after his death in 1872, his firm was, however, taken over by Charles Robin and Company.
John Le Boutillier devoted part of his life to politics. He represented Gaspé in the assembly from 1833 to 1838, and was then mla for Bonaventure County from 1844 to 1847 and for Gaspé County from 1854 to 1867. On 2 Nov. 1867 he was appointed legislative councillor for the division of the Gulf, and continued a councillor until his death.
A Protestant, but married to a Catholic, Elizabeth Robin, the daughter of one of his former employers, Le Boutillier was converted to Catholicism shortly before his death. He was survived by four children.
Archives paroissiales de Saint-Albert-de-Gaspé (Qué.), Registres des baptêmes, mariages et sépultures, 2 août 1872. Private Archives, Mlle Gertrude Sutton-Le Boutillier (Gaspé, Qué.), Papiers Charles Sutton-Le Boutillier. PAC, MG 30, D62 (Audet papers), 18, pp.130–32. Desjardins, Guide parlementaire. H. A. Innis, The cod fisheries; the history of an international economy (The relations of Canada and the United States series, New Haven, Toronto, and London, 1940). C.-E. Roy et Lucien Brault, Gaspé depuis Cartier (Québec, 1934). Firmin Létourneau, “La Côte Nord de Gaspé,” Revue d’histoire de la Gaspésie (Gaspé, Qué.), III (1965), 192, 203–4.