It's been awhile since I posted on here, but I've started drafting out my thesis and have lots of interesting things to post in the coming weeks.
This first blog post of 2014 recalls the devastating fire that struck the intendant's palace in January of 1713. Fire was a constant threat to urban projects in New France, so much so that wooden buildings were all but outlawed at various points during the French colonial regime. Colonial authorities encouraged stone construction, a fact underscored by surviving edifices that can be seen today in Old Québec.
Returning to the palace, a fire left burning quickly spread throughout the building in the night of 5-6 January 1713. Flames soon engulfed the palace, leaving just enough time for Intendant Michel Bégon de la Picardière and his wife Jeanne-Élisabeth de La Boische (sister to Intendant Dupuy's nemesis, Charles de La Boische, marquis de Beauharnois and governor-general) to escape. The intendant lost 40,000 livres' worth of goods, as well as three servants who died in the fire and one from exposure to the elements. A new palace appears on plans and views of Québec by 1718. In 1725, this residence was also struck by fire. Enough of this structure could be restored in time for Intendant's Dupuy's arrival in 1726.