Habitants played an essential role in creating a permanent, settled population along the St. Lawrence River. But it was not an easy life...
Habitants had to clear the land, build a homestead, and plant and harvest a crop. The first task was never-ending, while the last one was annual. Building and repairing the house and barn were continual tasks. So were cutting and hauling firewood. The habitants had to be largely self-reliant in looking after all routine tasks such as cooking, baking, making furniture, and repairing tools. They had to attend to the educational and medical needs of the family. They had to endure the harsh physical climate and rough terrain, largely unaided by government support. The habitants had to pay taxes to the seigneurs and the church.
Canada: The Story of Our Heritage
by Elspeth Deir, John Fielding, Nick Brune, Peter Grant, Stephanie Smith Abram
McGraw-Hill Ryerson School, 2000
Habitants by Cornelius Krieghoff (1852) wikipedia