Quebec History Marianopolis College

Date Published:
November 2006

L’Encyclopédie de l’histoire du Québec / The Quebec History Encyclopedia


Sir Hector Louis Langevin


Langevin, Sir Hector Louis (1826-1906), minister of public works for Canada (1869-73 and 1879-91), was born at Quebec, Lower Canada, on August 25, 1826, the son of Lieut.-Col. Jean Langevin and Sophie Scholastique La Force. He was educated at the Quebec Seminary and studied law in Montreal in the office of George Etienne Cartier, whose political successor he became. He was called to the bar of Lower Canada in 1850 (Q.C., 1864), and practised law in Quebec. From 1857 to 1867 he represented Dorchester in the Legislative Assembly of Canada; and from 1864 to 1866 he was solicitor-general for Lower Canada in the "Great Coalition" and from 1866 to 1867 post­master-general. After Confederation he represented Dorchester in the Canadian House of Commons from 1867 to 1874, and Three Rivers from 1878 to 1896. In the first Dominion government he filled the offices of secretary of state (1867-9) and minister of public works (1869-73); on the death of Sir George Cartier in 1873, he became the recognized leader of the French-Canadian Conservatives; and on the return of the Conservatives to power in 1878, he first became postmaster-general (1878-9), and then he resumed the portfolio of public works (1879-91). In 1891 he was impelled to resign from the government as the result of charges of corruption made against his department; he was personally exonerated from the charges, but was found guilty of negligence. He retired from public life in 1896, and he died at Quebec on June 11, 1906. In 1854 he married Marie Justine (d. 1882), daughter of Lieut.-Col. Charles H. Têtu, of Quebec; and by her he had nine children. He was created a C.B. in 1868, and a K.C.M.G. in 1881; and he was an honorary LL.D. of Laval University (1882).

Source: W. Stewart WALLACE, ed., "Sir Hector Louis Langevin", in The Encyclopedia of Canada, Vol. III, Toronto, University Associates of Canada, 1948, 396p., p. 382.

© 2006 Claude Bélanger, Marianopolis College