LARUE, FRANÇOIS-XAVIER, farmer, notary, office holder, politician, militia officer, and justice of the peace; baptized 29 Oct. 1763 in Pointe-aux-Trembles (Neuville), Que., son of Augustin Larue and Thérèse Delisle; m. 4 Oct. 1790 Marie-Magdeleine Hainse (Hains) (d. 1812), and they had 17 children, 11 of whom survived infancy; d. 13 July 1855 in Pointe-aux-Trembles.
François-Xavier Larue inherited farmland in the seigneury of Neuville, but in 1783 he entered into apprenticeship with Pierre-Louis Deschenaux*, a Quebec notary. He trained for the five-year term stipulated in an ordinance of 1785, the first law to regulate notarial practice under the British régime. Commissioned on 10 May 1788, he established his practice in Pointe-aux-Trembles, where he resumed farming and expanded his land holdings. In 1792 he served as returning officer for Hampshire County, which included Neuville, in the first provincial general election. Eight years later he was commissioned to receive affidavits in that county.
Between 1810 and 1814 Larue and François Huot* represented Hampshire in the House of Assembly. There, Larue, Louis Bourdages*, Joseph Papineau*, and Thomas Lee, all notaries, represented a professional group whose increasingly important political profile and influence were condemned by Governor James Henry Craig*. The electoral campaign of 1810 was dominated by the fervent nationalism of the Canadian party, by debates over provincial or imperial control of civil expenditure, and by Craig’s grotesque fears of Napoleonic plots and Canadian democracy as well as his desperate repressive measures. A political moderate, Larue supported the Canadian party on critical partisan issues, notably the disqualification of judges as members of the assembly (a lingering issue directed originally against former member Pierre-Amable De Bonne*), local control of civil expenditure, and the unprecedented 1814 action of impeachment instituted by James Stuart against two leading opponents of the party, chief justices Jonathan Sewell* and James Monk*.
Like many of his political associates, Larue participated actively in the War of 1812, serving as major in the Cap-Santé battalion of militia. During the war years he was a commissioner for the administration of oaths of allegiance. In 1815 Larue was appointed a justice of the peace for the district of Quebec. Four years later he also became parochial agent for the agriculture society in the region. During the 1820s and 1830s he continued to farm and to hold local offices, including census commissioner, parish commissioner for summary trial of small causes, roads and bridges commissioner, and school inspector. Between about 1832 and 1845 he acted as administrative and financial agent for the seigneur of Neuville, his grandson Édouard-Wilbrod Larue.
He was returned to the provincial assembly for Hampshire in the by-election of 1826 and represented that riding, renamed Portneuf in 1829, until 1838. In his nationalistic opposition to the administration, the Patriote political leader, Louis-Joseph Papineau*, relied heavily upon the support of such rural French Canadian constituencies. In 1834 Larue supported the assembly’s overt bid to secure control of civil expenditure and voted to uphold the famous 92 Resolutions. With the Patriotes moving towards extremes of radical rhetoric and armed resistance, Larue and other members of the assembly from the Quebec area nevertheless urged the recall of the prorogued legislature in December 1837, in a failing effort to stem rebellion. During the same month, in the midst of the uprisings, Larue was appointed a commissioner for the administration of oaths of allegiance.
Following his retirement from politics, Larue continued to practise as a notary. He was to take an interest in the Association des Notaires du District de Québec, formed by 25 notaries on 7 July 1840 after previous unsuccessful attempts to organize the profession dating from 1824. Larue was not a founding member, but, as the district’s senior notary, he was named president. He declined to assume the position because of his advanced age. Regarded as the “doyen” of the profession in the province and “one of the best notaries in the country,” Larue performed his last notarial act on 20 Oct. 1843 but continued to oversee his farm until his death. He was buried at the parish church at Pointe-aux-Trembles on 16 July 1855.
[The author wishes to thank Alice LaRue Grenier and the late Louis-Philippe Grenier of Neuville, Que., for information on François-Xavier Larue. d.r.]
François-Xavier Larue’s minute-book for 1788–1843 is at ANQ-Q, CN1-147.
AP, Saint-Augustin (Saint-Augustin-de-Desmaures), Reg. des baptêmes, mariages et sépultures, 29 oct. 1763, 4 oct. 1790; Saint-François-de-Sales (Neuville), Reg. des baptêmes, mariages et sépultures, 25 nov. 1812, 16 juill. 1855. PAC, MG 24, B1, 32; B2, 2; RG 4, A1, 234: 134; 477: 158; 527: 87; B8, 1: 185–89; RG 9, I, A5, 4: 23; RG 31, A1, 1825, 1831, 1842, 1851, Pointe-aux-Trembles. L.C., House of Assembly, Journals, 1810–37. “Ordonnances édictées pour la province de Québec par le gouverneur et le conseil de celle-ci, de 1768–1791 . . . ,” PAC Rapport, 1914–15: 168–72. Quebec Gazette, 24 May 1792; 11 Jan., 19 April, 3 May 1810; 27 April 1812; 30 Nov. 1815; 8 April 1819; 5, 9 July 1821; 3 April 1823. Desjardins, Guide parl. Ouellet, Bas-Canada. J.-E. Roy, Hist. du notariat, vols.2–3. Taft Manning, Revolt of French Canada. André Vachon, Histoire du notariat canadien, 1621–1960 (Québec, 1962). Mason Wade, The French Canadians, 1760–1967 (rev. ed., 2v., Toronto, 1968). P.-G. Roy, “La famille Larue,” BRH, 45 (1939): 65–71.