BADEAUX, JEAN-BAPTISTE, notary, justice of the peace, and diarist; b. 29 April 1741 at Quebec, son of Charles Badeaux, a tailor, and Catherine Loisy; d. 12 Nov. 1796 at Trois-Rivières (Que.).
Jean-Baptiste Badeaux came from a family that had been established in Canada since 1647. In that year Jacques Badeaux and his wife, Jeanne Ardouin, both natives of La Rochelle, arrived in Canada with their three children and settled at Beauport. When he was 13, their great-grandson Jean-Baptiste, the ninth in a family of ten children, was living with an aunt at Trois-Rivières, where he was a cantor in the church of L’Immaculée Conception. Later he became the master cantor, a post that he held with pride all his life but for which he was never remunerated.
On 20 March 1767 Badeaux obtained a commission as a notary, and he remained in practice for the rest of his life. His deeds, which reflect a whole period in the history of Trois-Rivières, are drawn up so meticulously that he could legitimately be called the perfect notary. Badeaux won the confidence of the governmental authorities, who on several occasions entrusted him with tasks that fell within the area of his expertise. In December 1778 he wrote to Governor Haldimand for permission to assume custody of the deeds of notary Paul Dielle, who was seriously ill. The governor assented. Badeaux came to have in his keeping all the notarial records of the former notaries of the District of Trois-Rivières. In 1795 he was given the responsibility of preparing the land roll for the properties being claimed by the Abenakis of Saint-François. As notary and attorney for the Ursulines of Trois-Rivières, he went to Quebec several times to render fealty and homage to the governor on their behalf for their seigneuries of Rivière-du-Loup-en-Haut and Saint-Jean. A contract dated October 1772 indicates that his services as attorney for these seigneuries entitled Badeaux to “two sous per livre of the sums [in seigneurial dues] that he shall receive at the aforementioned seigneuries, in money as well as in poultry and grain.”
At the time of the American invasion in 1775 Badeaux kept a diary in which he noted the events that took place in Trois-Rivières and the surrounding region. A convinced royalist, he commented, “I admit that although I find some virtues in several of the republicans, I find great defects in a republic in general; I see in it much more error and ostentation than true greatness of soul.” He distinguished himself during this period by encouraging his compatriots to enrol in the militia and by attempting to moderate the enthusiasm of those in sympathy with the American cause. Early in November 1775, foreseeing that their town would soon be captured by the Americans, the inhabitants of Trois-Rivières sent Badeaux and an English speaking citizen, William Morris, to present a petition to Richard Montgomery asking him to see that the lives and possessions of the citizens were respected. The general responded favourably to their request.
In 1781 Haldimand accorded Badeaux a commission as notary for the entire province of Quebec, probably as a reward for his loyalty and devotion during the American invasion. In July 1790 he was appointed justice of the peace for the District of Trois-Rivières. That same year merchant Aaron Hart, who wanted to obtain payment for the goods supplied the Americans during 1775–76, asked Badeaux to serve as his attorney in dealings with Congress. The Ursulines did the same in order to obtain reimbursement for the expenses incurring in nursing the American soldiers. Badeaux’s efforts met with no success, however.
On 29 Oct. 1764 Badeaux was married to Marguerite, daughter of wood-carver Gilles Bolvin*; on 10 Jan 1791 he took Marguerite Pratte as his second wife. He died “after a long and severe illness.” The Quebec Gazette rendered him the following homage: “His active and able conduct in the execution of his duty as a magistrate and a notary, always received the merited approbation of all those who knew him . . . the public have cause to lament the loss of a useful and respectable citizen.” His sons Antoine-Isidore and Joseph* took up the notarial profession; Joseph became a member of the assembly for the town of Trois-Rivières and the counties of Buckingham and Yamaska.
The manuscript journal of Jean-Baptiste Badeaux is held at PAC, MG 23, B35. The Revue canadienne (Montréal) published this manuscript in volume VII (1870) under the title “Journal des opérations de l’armée américaine, lors de l’invasion du Canada en 1775–76, par M. J. B. Badeaux, notaire de la ville des Trois-Rivières.” It was reprinted the following year by the Literary and Hist. Soc. of Quebec in its Hist. Docs, 3rd ser., no.2, and in 1873 by Abbé Hospice-Anthelme-Jean-Baptiste Verreau* in Invasion du Canada. The register of Jean-Baptiste Badeaux (1767–96) is held at ANQ-MBF.
ANQ-MBF, Greffe de Paul Dielle, 27 oct. 1772. ANQ-Q, État civil, Catholiques, Notre-Dame de Québec, 29 avril 1741. PAC, MG 23, B3, CC 35, pp.117–19. Quebec Gazette, 8 July 1790, 17 March 1796. F.-J. Audet, Les députés des Trois-Rivières (1808–1838) (Trois-Rivières, 1934), 5–6. Gabriel Debien, “Liste des engagés pour le Canada au XVIIe siècle (1634–1715),” RHAF, VI (1952–53), 378. Le Jeune, Dictionnaire, I, 111. P.-G. Roy, Fils de Québec, II, 70–71. Jouve, Les franciscains et le Canada: aux Trois-Rivières. J.-E. Roy, Hist. du notariat, II, 42, 47, 59, 66–67, 131. Sulte, Mélanges historiques (Malchelosse), III, 99; X, 51; XIX, 75. Les ursulines des Trois-Rivières depuis leur établissement jusqu’à nos jours (4v., Trois-Rivières, 1888–1911), I, 361. Raymond Douville, “La dette des États-Unis envers les ursulines de Trois-Rivières,” Cahiers des Dix, 22 (1957), 137–62.