Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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LAURIER, Wilfrid, Canadian statesman, born in St. tin, Quebec, 20 November, 1841. He was educated at L'Assomption college, graduated in law at McGill university in 1864, and admitted to the bar of Lower Canada in 1865. He represented Drummond and Arthabaska in the Quebec assembly from 1871 till January, 1874, when he resigned, and was elected to the Dominion parliament. He was appointed minister of inland revenue in the Mackenzie government in September, 1877, which place he held till the resignation of the government in 1878. He was defeated in Drummond and Arthabaska upon appealing to his constituents, but was elected immediately afterward for Quebec, East. He was re-elected in 1878, 1882, and at the last general election, 22 February, 1887. Soon after this election Edward Blake retired from the leadership of the Liberal party in Canada, and M. Laurier was chosen to succeed him. The choice did not prove satisfactory to many of the Liberals, and by the majority of the party it was regarded as merely temporary. He was violently outspoken in his denunciation of the execution of Louis Riel, and demanded the latters exemption from punishment, not upon the plea of his innocence or irresponsibility, but simply on the ground of his nationality. M. Laurier is the leader of the "Rouge " or French Canadian section of the Liberal party in the Dominion. He at one time edited "Le Defricheur," is an earnest advocate of temperance, trod was a delegate to the Dominion prohibitory convention at Montreal in 1875.
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