Biography of Chapleau, J. A. (Joseph Adolphe), 1840-1898

Sir Joseph-Adolphe Chapleau (1840-1898) came from an old French Canadian family. He became a lawyer in 1861 and entered politics to support Confederation. He sat in the Legislative Assembly of Quebec from 1867 to 1882, served in parliament from 1883 to 1892, and from 1892 he was lieutenant governor. While serving in the assembly, Chapleau opposed the school legislation that granted the Protestant minority in Quebec control over their schools and better financing. There were other times as well when Chapleau became involved in events that demonstrated his strong French Canadian nationalism. In 1874 he defended Amboise Dydime Lépine and the other Métis who had been arrested for the shooting of Thomas Scott. Chapleau would not accept payment for this service because he believed that French culture and the Catholic faith had to be defended in the west. Chapleau had also known Louis Riel in Montreal. While secretary of state in 1891, during the controversy of the Manitoba School Question, Chapleau was sent to speak with with Archbishop Alexandre-Antonin Taché and he gave a written promise that French-speaking Manitobans would be treated fairly.

Mentioned in:


  1. Lettre du 20 septembre 1890 de Alexandre Antonin Taché à Joseph Adolphe Chapleau
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