Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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CARDINAL, Joseph Narcisse, Canadian revolutionist, born in St. Constant, Canada, in 1808; died in Montreal, 20 December, 1838. He was sent to the College of Montreal in 1818, and continued there five years. He then studied law, and was admitted to practice in 1829. In 1834 he threw himself into the electoral struggle then going on in Canada, and, as he took the side of his compatriots, he was elected to the legislature. He at once took a leading part and supported vigorously the measures of Papineau. But he did not approve of the insurrectionary attempt of 183'7. He was exposed to so much persecution from his political opponents that he left Canada in December of that year and settled in Covington, New York While here he made preparations for a general insurrection with other Canadian exiles, having had promises of support from a large body of Americans. In 1838, at the head of 200 Canadians, he took up a position in a wood a mile from the Indian village of Caughnawauga. Cardinal and a companion named Duquet entered the village, but were attacked by the Indians, and fled to the woods. Meanwhile the 200 Canadians grew weary of waiting for them, and dispersed. Some days later Cardinal and Duquet were captured and surrendered to the British authorities. They were tried for high treason, and on 28 November, with Lepail-leur, another compatriot, were condemned to die, a sentence which was executed on the two former. The last named was transported to Australia.
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