Stanislaus Francis Perry

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Stanislaus F. Perry
Source: Library and Archives Canada

Stanislaus Francis Perry (May 7, 1823 – February 24, 1898) was a farmer and politician in Prince Edward Island.

He represented 1st Prince in the Legislative Assembly of Prince Edward Island from 1854 to 1875 and from 1879 to 1887 and, in the Canadian House of Commons, represented Prince County from 1874 to 1878 and from 1887 to 1896 and West Prince from 1897 to 1898 as a Liberal member. Perry (Poirier) was the first Acadian to serve in both the provincial assembly and the House of Commons.

He was born Stanislas-François Poirier in Tignish, Prince Edward Island, the son of Pierre Poirier and Marie-Blanche Gaudet. Poirier was educated in Tignish and then was educated in English at St. Andrew's College in Charlottetown. On his return to Tignish in 1843, he taught school. Poirier anglicized his name around this time. In 1847, he married Margaret Carroll. He was named a justice of the peace in 1851.

In 1854, Perry left teaching, began farming to support his family and entered politics. As an Acadian, he supported the redistribution of land on the island from the landowners to the tenant farmers. In 1870, he supported a coalition conservative government because it supported grants to Catholic schools. Perry was speaker in the provincial assembly from 1873 to 1874. Perry was initially opposed to Confederation but ran unsuccessfully for a seat in the House of Commons in 1873 before being elected in 1874. He was also an unsuccessful federal candidate in 1878 and 1882. He was defeated in 1896 but won the subsequent by-election after the first election was declared invalid. Perry was a proponent of a tunnel to link the island to the mainland.

Perry helped organize the first and second Acadian national conventions in Memramcook, New Brunswick (1881) and Miscouche, Prince Edward Island (1884) although he boycotted the second event because he wanted the event to be held in Tignish.

He died in office in Ottawa in 1898 and was buried in Tignish. He's a direct ancestor of current PEI MLA Hal Perry.

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