The first Intendant of New France (1665-1672), he attempted to diversify the colony's economy by encouraging agriculture, fishing, lumbering, and industry as well as the traditional fur trade. In 1666 he conducted the first census in North America. While he succeeded in settling some two thousand people in the colony, many of the industries he initiated failed when he returned to France.
Jean was born in 1626 and he died in 1694. He was a highly respected man, and loved by many, yet he was never married. Jean studied at the Jesuit college of Clermont in Paris, so his knowledge was much appreciated by King Louis XIV and Jean Baptiste-Colbert, who were to help in the colonization of New France.