Standardbearers of Acadian Identity
Stanislas Poirier, known as Perry
1823-1898, 19th century
9.8 x 6.4 cm
This artefact belongs to: © Centre d'études acadiennes
Keys to History
Stanislas-François Poirier, known as Perry, a schoolmaster, farmer, justice of the peace and politician, was born May 7, 1823, at Tignish, PEI. He died in 1898.
Poirier graduated from St. Andrew's College, an English school in the Catholic diocese of Charlottetown. In 1854 he gave up teaching to enter politics, becoming the first Acadian to win a seat in Prince Edward Island's legislative assembly and in the federal Parliament.
First elected to the Prince Edward Island legislature in 1854, he sat almost uninterrupted until 1874. He started out a Liberal, then crossed the floor to the Conservatives for a while in the 1870s, over the matter of funding for Catholic schools.
Poirier was also active in the Acadian nationalist movement in the late 19th century. He was a delegate to a conference organized in 1880 by the Société Saint-Jean-Baptiste in Quebec City, and was a member of the organizing committee for the first Acadian national convention, held in Memramcook in 1881.
According to some historians, Stanislas-François Poirier anglicized his name (to Stanislaus Francis Perry) in the 1840s in order to fit in better with the majority English-speaking population of the island.
A member of the organizing committee for the Acadian national convention of 1884, he nonetheless encouraged the people of his riding to boycott the event because he would have liked it to be held in Tignish.
Stanislas-F. Poirier, known as Perry, died February 24, 1898, in Ottawa. He was buried in the village where he was born.
Stanislas-F. Poirier, known as Perry, was the son of Pierre Poirier and Marie-Blanche Gaudet. He married Margaret Carroll in Tignish, PEI, on April 11, 1847. They had 10 children.