Quebec History Marianopolis College

Date Published:
March 2005

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


Joseph Edouard Cauchon


Cauchon, Joseph Edouard (1816-1885), journalist, politician, and lieutenant-governor of Manitoba (1877-82), was born at St. Roch, Quebec, on December 31, 1816, the son of Joseph Ange Cauchon and Marguerite Vallée. He was educated at the Quebec Seminary, and was called to the bar of Lower Canada in 1843, but never practised. In 1841, he succeeded Etienne Parent as editor of Le Canadien, and during the following year he founded the Journal de Québec. In 1844 he was elected to the Legislative Assembly of Canada for Montmorency, and he continued to sit in this House and in the Canadian House of Commons without interruption until 1872. On the reorganization of the MacNab-Morin government in 1855, he became commissioner of crown lands, but he resigned in 1857. In the Cartier-Macdonald government he held the post of commissioner of public works from 1861 to 1862. He supported Confederation, and in 1867 became speaker of the Senate; but in 1872 he resigned his seat in the Senate, and was elected once more to the House of Commons, as an independent member for Quebec Centre. Meanwhile, he had been also member for Montmorency in the Legislative Assembly of Quebec, and in 1872 charges of political corruption were made against him which brought about his resignation from this House. He was re-elected by his constituents; but the charges were not disproved, and there was some surprise when Alexander Mackenzie, whom he had been supporting in the federal house, included him in the Dominion cabinet in 1875 as president of the council. In June, 1877, he was transferred to the department of inland revenue; but Mackenzie found that his usefulness had gone, and in October, 1877, he was appointed lieutenant-governor of Manitoba. He administered the government until 1882, and then retired from public life. He died at Whitewood, near Qu'Appelle, N.W.T., on February 23, 1885. He was thrice married: first, to Julie (d. 1864), eldest daughter of Charles Lemieux, of Quebec ; secondly, to Maria (d. 1877), daughter of Martin Nolan, of Quebec ; and thirdly, to Emma, daughter of Robert LeMoine, clerk of the Senate. His chief publication was L'union des provinces de l'Amérique Britannique du Nord (Quebec, 1865), a book which had an influence in disposing the French Canadians favourably toward Confederation.

Source  : W. Stewart WALLACE, ed., The Encyclopedia of Canada, Vol. II, Toronto, University Associates of Canada, 1948, 411p., pp. 14-15.


© 2005 Claude Bélanger, Marianopolis College