Portrait of Louis-Joseph Papineau.
Louis-Joseph Papineau (October 7, 1786- September 23, 1871), born in Montreal, Quebec, Canada was politician, lawyer, and the landlord of the seigneurie de la Petite-Nation. His father was Joseph Papineau, also a famous politician in Quebec.
Early Involvement in Politics
He studied at the Collège de Montréal and later at the Petit Séminaire de Québec. Admitted to the bar in 1810, he exercised his profession sporadically because of his involvement in politics. Elected Member of Parliament in the riding of Kent in 1808, he gave his support to the Parti canadien. He served as captain of the militia during the War of 1812.
Arriving in the United States, he stayed at his friend judge Reuben Hyde Walworth's family house in Saratoga. He organised for his wife and his children to join him there. For some time, he attempted to gain the support of American President Martin Van Buren using all the diplomatic influence that himself and American supporters could provide. When the United States declared themselves neutral in the conflict between Britain and its Canadian colonies, he turned to Europe for support.
On February 8, 1839, he left New York City for Paris where he hoped to get France involved. In May, he published the Histoire de l'insurrection du Canada (History of the insurrection in Canada) in the magazine Progrès. Despite meeting with influential politicians such as Lamartine and Lamennais, the France of Louis-Philippe also remained neutral.
He left France and returned to Montreal in 1845. He had already been granted amnesty, but refused to return until all had been granted amnesty by the colonial governement.
Return to Politics
In 1848, he was elected member of the new united Parliament of Canada in the riding of Saint-Maurice. In severe disagreement with the emerging French Canadian liberal party, he became an independent MP. A convinced republican after a long exile in the United States and France, Papineau supported the Montreal Annexation Manifesto that called for Canada to join the United States of America.
Louis-Joseph Papineau, along with John Molson and Horatio Gates, served as the first Vice-Presidents of the Montreal Mechanics Institute. He participated in the creation of the Parti rouge. He was defeated in 1851, but elected in a by-election in 1852. He did not present himself again in the elections of 1854. He retired from public life and reappeared only once to hold a conference at the Institut canadien de Montréal in December of 1867. He passed away at his Manor of Montebello on September 23, 1871.
- National Assembly biography (http://www.assnat.qc.ca/fra/membres/notices/o-p/PAPILJ.htm) (in French)
- The Ninety-Two Resolutions of 1834 (http://www.canadiana.org/ECO/mtq?display=9_03428+0299)
- Les 92 Résolutions (http://jydupuis.apinc.org/pdf/92resolutions.pdf) (PDF in French)
- Unofficial English translation of the Political Testament of Louis-Joseph Papineau (http://english.republiquelibre.org/papineau/papineau-speech-institut.html)