Quebec History Marianopolis College

Date Published:
April 2005

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


Félix Poutré


Poutré, Félix (1816?-1885), patriot or spy, was born in Lower Canada about 1816, and is reputed to have taken some part in the patriot rebellion of 1837-8. He was imprisoned at Montreal, probably as a government agent employed to spy upon his fellow-prisoners, and he is said to have escaped punishment by feigning madness. He later published a pamphlet giving an account of his experiences, under the title Échappé de la potence (Montreal, 1862; 2nd ed., Montreal, 1884), and this was translated into English under the title Escaped from the gallows (Montreal, 1862). He became a popular hero; and Louis Préchette embodied his story in an historical drama entitled Félix Poutré. His claims to fame as a patriot have, however, been seriously questioned; and it is probable that he was an agent provocateur. See L. A. Lapointe, Documents inédit sur Félix Poutré (Bull. rech. hist., 1927), and G. Lanctot, La fin d'une légende (Revue Franco-Americaine, 1913).

[Consult Poutré's biography at the Dictionary of Canadian Biography site]

Source : W. Stewart Wallace, ed., The Encyclopedia of Canada, Vol. V, Toronto, University Associates of Canada, 1948, 401p., pp. 150-151.


© 2005 Claude Bélanger, Marianopolis College