Timothée Franchère

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Timothée Franchère
Member of the Legislative Assembly of the Province of Canada for Rouville
In office
1843–1847
Children5 surviving at his death
OccupationMerchant; Canal commissioner
Military service
AllegianceFlag of the United Kingdom.svg  Britain
Branch/service Lower Canada militia
Years of service1812 to 1815
RankCaptain
Unit1st Battalion, Rouville Militia
Battles/wars War of 1812

Timothée Franchère (c. 1791 October 5, 1849) was a Canadien businessman and political figure in Lower Canada and then the Province of Canada. He participated in the Lower Canada Rebellion in 1837 and fled temporarily to the United States. Later, he was twice elected to the Legislative Assembly of the Province of Canada, sitting as a member of the French-Canadian Group.

Contents

Early life and family

Franchère was born around 1790, the son of Antoine Franchère and Marie-Josette Nicolas. His older brother Joseph Franchère was a member of the Legislative Assembly of Lower Canada in the early 1820s. Their sister Marguerite married Rémi-Séraphin Bourdages who represented the Rouville area in the Lower Canada Assembly from 1830 to 1832. Gabriel Franchère, a fur trader with the American Fur Company and author of a diary about the fur-trade in the Pacific North-west, was a cousin, as was the painter, Joseph-Charles Franchère. [1] [2]

He served in the local militia during the War of 1812 and became captain in 1821, as well as adjutant for the Rouville district. He also served as a school commissioner. [1] [2]

Business activities

House built by Franchere and his brother in Saint-Mathias in the 1820s Roy - Vieux manoirs, vieilles maisons, 1927 page 147.jpg
House built by Franchère and his brother in Saint-Mathias in the 1820s

Franchère became a merchant at Saint-Mathias, Lower Canada. In addition to a retail business, he developed a wholesale business in grains, which he sold to markets in Quebec City. He was also involved in the lumber trade and saw mills, and owned a barge for transporting goods on the Richelieu River. He later had shares in a steam-boat. He was involved in money-lending to residents in the Saint-Mathias area, and also engaged in land speculation. He was appointed commissioner in charge of construction of the Chambly Canal in 1832. [1] [2]

Lower Canada Rebellion

The Assembly of the Six Counties, October 1837, held at Saint-Charles-sur-Richelieu L'Assemblee des six comtes a Saint-Charles-sur-Richelieu, en 1837 by Charles Alexander 1891.tif
The Assembly of the Six Counties, October 1837, held at Saint-Charles-sur-Richelieu

In 1837, events were moving towards rebellion against the British colonial government. Franchère was a member of the Patriote movement and a supporter of Louis-Joseph Papineau. He attended the major revolutionary meeting of the Assembly of the Six Counties in October 1837. The Assembly passed a very strong resolution condemning the British colonial government. Franchère later said that he had remonstrated with Papineau over the wording of the resolution, arguing that it went too far. [1] [3]

When the Lower Canada Rebellion broke out in November 1837, an arrest warrant issued against him, with a reward of £500. Franchère fled to the United States with two other merchants from Saint-Mathias, Louis Marchand and Eustache Soupras. He was granted a pardon by the Governor late in 1837. He was a director of La Banque du Peuple, which was suspected of having financed arms for the Rebellion. [1] [2] [4] [5]

Province of Canada politics

Following the rebellion in Lower Canada, and the similar rebellion in 1837 in Upper Canada (now Ontario), the British government decided to merge the two provinces into a single province, as recommended by Lord Durham in the Durham Report. The Union Act, 1840, passed by the British Parliament, abolished the two provinces and their separate parliaments. It created the Province of Canada, with a single Parliament for the entire province, composed of an elected Legislative Assembly and an appointed Legislative Council. The Governor General initially retained a strong position in the government. [6] [7] [8]

The first general elections for the Legislative Assembly of the Province of Canada were held in 1841. Franchère stood for election in the Rouville constituency, and campaigned against the union. He was narrowly defeated by Melchior-Alphonse de Salaberry, who supported the union. The election was marred by violence, with one person killed. [1] [9] [10]

In 1843, there was a vacancy in the Rouville constituency. Franchère was a candidate in the by-election, and this time was elected. In the Assembly, he joined the French-Canadian Group of reformers, led by Louis-Hippolyte LaFontaine. He was re-elected in the 1844 general elections. He did not stand for election in the 1848 general elections. [1] [11] [12]

Later life and death

Monument to the Chambly Canal Monument Canal de Chambly 02.JPG
Monument to the Chambly Canal

Franchère was reinstated as commissioner for the Chambly Canal in 1840. He was appointed a justice of the peace in 1843, and elected the first mayor of Saint-Mathias in 1845. He continued his business activities. [1] [2]

Franchère died at Saint-Mathias in 1849. He left a large estate for his widow and five surviving children. The inventory of his property included two pianos and three portraits, of Pope Pius IX, Jacques Cartier, and Bishop Joseph-Octave Plessis. His widow reported that he had claimed £1,300 in compensation from the government for losses suffered during the Rebellion, and had received £837. [1] [2]

See also

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References

  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 "Biography of Timothée Franchère". Dictionnaire des parlementaires du Québec de 1792 à nos jours (in French). National Assembly of Quebec.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Société d'histoire de la seigneurie de Chambly : Famille Franchère.
  3. Fernand Ouellet, Lower Canada 1791–1840 — Social Change and Nationalism (Toronto: McClelland and Stewart, 1980), p. 295.
  4. Michel de Lorimier, "Marchand, Louis", Dictionary of Canadian Biography, vol. XI (1881–1890), University of Toronto / Université Laval.
  5. Fernand Ouellet and André Lefort, "Denis-Benjamin Viger", Dictionary of Canadian Biography, vol. IX (1861–1870), University of Toronto / Université Laval.
  6. J.M.S. Careless, The Union of the Canadas — The Growth of Canadian Institutions, 1841–1857 (Toronto: McClelland and Stewart, 1967), pp. 1–5.
  7. Paul Cornell, Alignment of Political Groups in Canada, 1841–67 (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1962; reprinted in paperback 2015), pp. 3–4.
  8. Union Act, 1840, 3 & 4 Vict., c. 35 (UK), s. 3.
  9. Pierre Gagnon, "Salaberry, Melchior-Alphonse de", Dictionary of Canadian Biography, vol. IX (1861–1870), University of Toronto / Université Laval.
  10. Cornell, Alignment of Political Groups, p. 5.
  11. J.O. Côté, Political Appointments and Elections in the Province of Canada, 1841 to 1860 (Quebec: St. Michel and Darveau, 1860), pp. 44, 47, 59 note (40).
  12. Cornell, Alignment of Political Groups, pp. 11, 15, 97–99.