Michel Sarrazin

Michel Sarrazin, surgeon, physician, naturalist (b at Nuits-sous-Beaune, France 5 Sept 1659; d at Québec C 8 Sept 1734). He came to New France in 1685 and the following year was appointed surgeon-major to the colonial regular troops. He later studied medicine in France for 3 years and returned to Québec in 1697 as king's physician.

Keenly interested in natural history by this time - he had been introduced to botany by scientist Joseph Pitton de Tournefort - he spent the next 30-odd years collecting specimens of plants and minerals, and dissecting and reporting on Canadian animals and natural life to Tournefort and other members of the Académie royale des sciences of Paris.

Sarrazin became a corresponding member of the Académie in 1699. He was the first to collect and catalogue plant specimens systematically and his herbarium, which did not survive, may have reached 800 in number. Duplicates of most are found, however, in various collections in Paris.

See also Floras and Botanical Journals.