The Organization of New France

Care Of Body And Soul


Wounded or sick soldiers were cared for in the colony hospitals, all founded and maintained by religious orders. In Quebec City, there was the Hôtel-Dieu des Soeurs Hospitalières de la Miséricorde de jésus; in Montreal, the hospital of the Soeurs Hospitalières de Saint-Joseph; in Trois-Rivières, the Hôpital des Ursulines; and in Louisbourg, the Frères Hospitaliers de Saint-Jean.

These institutions received grants from the king through the Ministry of the Navy, in exchange for which they provided free care, food and medicine to officers, soldiers and sailors. In 1731, nuns obtained the right to keep the clothing of the soldiers who died in hospitals, putting it to good use with their thrifty ways. However, the Ministry of the Navy revoked this privilege "once and for all" ten years later. The care extended in all these facilities is generally considered to have been adequate, in view of the state of medical knowledge at the time.