Joseph-Adolphe Chapleau

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The Right Honourable
Sir Joseph-Adolphe Chapleau
Joseph-Adolphe Chapleau.jpg
5th Premier of Quebec
In office
October 31, 1879 – July 29, 1882
Monarch Victoria
Lieutenant Governor Théodore Robitaille
Preceded by Henri-Gustave Joly de Lotbinière
Succeeded by Joseph-Alfred Mousseau
MLA for Terrebonne
In office
September 1, 1867 – July 29, 1882
Preceded by Provincial district created in 1867
Succeeded by Guillaume-Alphonse Nantel
Member of the Canadian Parliament
for Terrebonne
In office
July 29, 1882 – December 5, 1892
Preceded by Guillaume-Alphonse Nantel
Succeeded by Pierre-Julien Leclair
7th Lieutenant Governor of Quebec
In office
December 5, 1892 – January 20, 1898
Monarch Victoria
Governor General The Lord Stanley of Preston
The Earl of Aberdeen
Premier Charles Boucher de Boucherville
Louis-Olivier Taillon
Edmund James Flynn
Félix-Gabriel Marchand
Preceded by Auguste-Réal Angers
Succeeded by Louis-Amable Jetté
Personal details
Born (1840-11-09)November 9, 1840
Sainte-Thérèse, Lower Canada
Died June 13, 1898( 1898-06-13) (aged 57)
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Political party Conservative Party of Quebec
Other political
Marie-Louise King (m. 1874)
Cabinet Solicitor General (1873–1874)
Minister Without Portfolio (1876–1878)
Provincial Secretary (1876–1878)
Commissioner of Agriculture and Public Works (1879–1881)
Commissioner of Railways (1880–1881)
Secretary of State of Canada (1882–1892)
Minister of Customs (1892)

Sir Joseph-Adolphe Chapleau KCMG PC (November 9, 1840 – June 13, 1898), born in Sainte-Thérèse, Quebec, was a French-Canadian lawyer and politician.


As a lawyer, he defended Ambroise-Dydime Lépine against the charge of murdering Thomas Scott during the Red River Rebellion of 1869 – 1870.

He served as the fifth Premier of the Canadian province of Quebec, federal Cabinet minister, and the seventh Lieutenant Governor of Quebec.

After the 1878 Quebec election, he was the Leader of the Opposition. He became premier in 1879 after the fall of the minority government of Henri-Gustave Joly de Lotbinière. He won the 1881 election, but resigned on July 29, 1882 to seek election to the federal House of Commons. He won a by-election held on August 16, 1882.

Chapleau planned to quit politics in 1885 when Louis Riel was sentenced to be hanged but decided to stay, fearing it would only inflame the situation. After Riel was hanged, he was attacked by Quebecers who accused him of the death of Riel along with John A. Macdonald.

He served as Minister of Justice under prime ministers John A. Macdonald and John Abbott, but declined to serve under John Thompson. He resigned in 1892, and was appointed Lieutenant Governor of Quebec from December 1892 until January 1898. He died in June of that same year in Montreal, Quebec.

Elections as party leader

He won the 1881 election.


On 25 November 1874, he married Marie Louise, daughter of Lieutenant-colonel Charles King of Sherbrooke in the province of Quebec.[1]

See also



  • DUSSAULT, Roy. « Défense des intérêts des Canadiens français et unité de la Confédération canadienne : la pensée nationaliste de Joseph-Adolphe Chapleau, 1840-1898». Mémoire de maîtrise, Québec, Université Laval, 2018, 177 p.
  •  Carlyle, Edward Irving (1901). "Chapleau, Joseph Adolphe". In Lee, Sidney. Dictionary of National Biography, 1901 supplement​. London: Smith, Elder & Co.
  • "Biography". Dictionnaire des parlementaires du Québec de 1792 à nos jours (in French). National Assembly of Quebec.
  • Biography at the Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online
  • Joseph-Adolphe Chapleau – Parliament of Canada biography

External links

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