Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
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LAFONTAINE, Sir Louis Hypolite, bart., Canadian statesman, born in Boucherville, Lower Canada, in October, 1807; died in Montreal, 26 February, 1864. He studied and practised law, and when he had gained a competence became a follower, and afterward a rival, of Louis J. Papineau (q. v.), acting with the party of "La Jeune France." On 4 November, 1838, a warrant was issued for the arrest of Mr. Lafontaine on the charge of high treason. At that time he was about to proceed to England as the agent of his compatriots, and before his departure underwent an examination before a special tribunal on the charge that; had been preferred against him. On arriving in England he did not regard himself as safe, and, with the assistance of Edward Eilice, a wealthy Canadian, escaped into France. As no evidence incriminating him had been adduced, he returned to Canada. In 1841 he became a candidate for the representation of Terrebonne, but withdrew from the contest before its close, and was afterward elected for North York, Upper Canada. Under Sir Charles Bagot, Mr. Lafontaine in 1842 became a member of the administration. This was about the time of the inauguration of responsible government in Canada. On 28 November, 1844, he and his colleagues in office were compelled to resign, but in 1848 he again became a member of the government, and remained in office until October, 1851, when the Hincks-Tuche administration was formed. On 13 August, 1853, he was appointed chief justice of the court of queen's bench, and on 28 August, 1854, was created a baronet.
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