Maillard, Pierre

Pierre Maillard, priest of the Séminaire des missions étrangères, missionary (b in the diocese of Chartres, France c 1710; d at Halifax 12 Aug 1762). Missionary to the MICMAC, Maillard was a brilliant linguist who perfected a system of written symbols for the Micmac language. He was sent to Île Royale [Cape Breton I] in 1735, and during the winter of 1737-38 worked out his system of hieroglyphics. In subsequent years he compiled a Micmac grammar and dictionary. Although (unknown to Maillard) there had been 2 earlier attempts to put Micmac in written form, Maillard's system alone had lasting impact. During the WAR OF THE AUSTRIAN SUCCESSION, he urged the Micmac to support the French cause. He was captured in 1745 and sent to France, but returned in 1746. In 1759 Maillard made peace with the British and, from 1760 until his death, lived in Halifax.