PLANTÉ, JOSEPH-BERNARD, notary, politician, militia officer, office holder, and jp; b. 19 Dec. 1768 in Pointe-aux-Trembles (Neuville), Que., son of Dominique-Bernard Planté, a notary, and Marie-Josephte Faucher; m. 20 May 1794 Marie-Louise Berthelot at Quebec, and they had six children; d. there 13 Feb. 1826 and was buried three days later at Sainte-Foy, Lower Canada.
Joseph-Bernard Planté attended the Petit Séminaire de Québec and then began his notarial training in the office of Jean-Antoine Panet*, continuing it with Olivier Perrault. He received his commission on 11 Nov. 1788 and practised as a notary until his death. He had a large clientele: his minute-book contains 9,693 acts.
On 20 July 1796 Planté was elected to the House of Assembly for Hampshire, which he represented with François Huot. In the July 1804 elections he won that riding, along with Antoine-Louis Juchereau Duchesnay, after Huot withdrew in his favour. Planté was elected for Kent on 18 June 1808, as was Louis-Joseph Papineau*, and he retained the seat until 2 Oct. 1809. He was an assiduous and active member, belonged to numerous committees of the house, and primarily supported the Canadian party.
At the time he was engaged in political activity, Planté, who had signed the declaration of loyalty to the British crown in 1794, benefited from government patronage. On 1 June 1801, for example, like John Craigie*, Michel-Amable Berthelot* Dartigny, James Fisher, and George Longmore*, he became a commissioner for the relief of the insane and foundlings, and his commission was renewed in 1804, 1808, and 1814. In 1802 he replaced Philippe-François Rastel de Rocheblave as clerk of the land roll, and the following year he was appointed inspector general of the royal domain. In 1808 he lost the last two posts as a result of differences with Governor Sir James Henry Craig*, who reproached him for having taken part in the founding of the newspaper Le Canadien. Having renounced his affiliation with Le Canadien and made due apology, he was reinstated in these offices. In 1810 he obtained a commission as justice of the peace for the district of Quebec. Five years later he was made responsible for receiving the oath of allegiance from members of the Legislative Council. In 1815 he was appointed commissioner to oversee the demolition of the old market at Quebec. On 11 May 1818 he was entrusted with supervising new construction and repairs at the Hôpital Général in Quebec.
In addition to his numerous professional occupations Planté was a member of the town’s Fire Society from 1795. He held the rank of captain and was adjutant in the militia as of 10 May 1797. On 20 May 1809 he became a major, and on 16 April 1812 he was promoted lieutenant-colonel of Quebec’s 1st Militia Battalion, subsequently serving as lieutenant-colonel of the 4th Battalion. He became a member of the board of directors of the Union Company of Quebec in 1806. Seven years later he was induced to serve as secretary of the Quebec section of the Loyal and Patriotic Society of the Province of Lower Canada. Vice-president of the Agriculture Society in the district of Quebec in 1817, he held the office of president from 1818 to 1821. In 1818 he was elected vice-president of the Quebec Fire Assurance Company, and in 1821 he exercised the same function for the Quebec Savings Bank. That year he was elected to the first board of the Quebec Education Society, which had been founded by a group of citizens under the leadership of Joseph-François Perrault*.
Planté died suddenly on 13 Feb. 1826. His close friend, Pierre-Stanislas Bédard, was to observe that “the cares and anxieties which he assumed in [all his] affairs and of which I have been a witness certainly contributed . . . to weakening him physically. He was a noble soul in a frail body.”
ANQ-Q, CE1-1, 20 mai 1794; CE1-15, 19 déc. 1768; CE1-20, 16 févr. 1826. PAC, RG 68, General index, 1651–1841. L.C., House of Assembly, Journals, 1796–1809. Quebec Gazette, 26 Nov. 1793; 10 July 1794; 18 June 1795; 6 Feb. 1806; 5 Feb. 1807; 29 May 1817; 6, 12, 23 April 1818; 13 April, 26 Oct. 1820; 2, 16 April, 10 May 1821. Desjardins, Guide parl. Hare et Wallot, Les imprimés dans le Bas-Canada. Officers of British forces in Canada (Irving), 150. Jolois, J.-F. Perrault. Wallot, Un Quebec qui bougeait. F.-J. Audet, “François Huot,” BRH, 37 (1931): 695–702; “Joseph-Bernard Planté, étude historique et biographie,” RSC Trans., 3rd ser., 27 (1933), sect.i: 133–59. P.-G. Roy, “La famille Planté,” BRH, 40 (1934): 193–96.