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RAYMOND, JEAN-MOÏSE (Jean-Moyse), merchant, manufacturer, militia officer, politician, jp, and office holder; b. 5 Jan. 1787 in La Tortue (Saint-Mathieu), Que., son of Jean-Baptiste Raymond* and Marie-Clotilde Girardin; d. 8 Feb. 1843 in Saint-Jacques-de-l’Achigan (Saint-Jacques), Lower Canada, and was buried in L’Assomption.

Jean-Moïse Raymond grew up in La Tortue and around the turn of the century moved with his family to La Prairie.He attended the Collège Saint-Raphaël in Montreal from 1798 to 1805, and some time before 1810 he became a partner in his father’s mercantile business. On 20 Nov. 1810 he married 16-year-old Archange Denaut, daughter of a La Prairie merchant, and through the marriage he strengthened his business connections and social ties in the community. Tragedy soon struck: their only child, a daughter, died in 1812 at age three months and was followed to the grave by Archange herself in January 1813.

On 7 Oct. 1813 Raymond was appointed a major commanding two companies of the Boucherville battalion of militia, which were held in reserve at the battle of Châteauguay later that month. The following year, back in La Prairie, he received from his father a commercial establishment opposite the parish church as an advance on his inheritance. The only surviving son, Jean-Moïse was heavily involved in the land transactions of his crippled and chronically ill father and in the growing business of Jean-Baptiste Raymond et Fils, which conducted the processing of potash, sawmilling, and the sale of household and manufactured goods to local farmers in return for wheat. His second marriage, on 5 June 1815 to 18-year-old Angélique (Marie des Anges) Leroux d’Esneval, was as advantageous as the first; her father was Laurent Leroux*, a merchant of L’Assomption and an increasingly prominent local official. They would have 13 children, 9 of whom survived to adulthood.

Well connected and prosperous, Raymond, like his father, took an interest in politics. In 1822 he was active in a movement, organized in part by the Canadian party under Louis-Joseph Papineau*, to abort a projected union of the Canadas. Two years later he was elected to the Lower Canadian House of Assembly for Huntingdon County, which his father had represented from 1800 to 1808. From 1830 to 1838 Jean-Moïse held Laprairie County, which had been created from Huntingdon in 1829. A conscientious back-bencher, in regular attendance (thanks to his prosperity in business) at a time when absenteeism was high, he was active in standing and select committees on trade. He was a faithful supporter of Papineau and voted with the Patriote party (formerly the Canadian party) on major issues leading up to, and including, the 92 Resolutions in 1834. He was not a radical, however, and he scandalized more extreme Patriotes in 1832 when he subscribed to a new conservative newspaper, L’Ami du peuple, de lordre et des lois (Montréal), controlled by the Sulpicians [see Alfred-Xavier Rambau*]. Although a member of the legislature from one of the province’s more volatile areas, Raymond seems not to have participated in any of the inflammatory local meetings held by the Patriotes in the autumn of 1837, and he probably discouraged violence. In 1830 he had been given a commission of the peace for the district of Montreal and in 1831 had been appointed a school inspector for Laprairie County.

Raymond had taken over the family firm on his father’s death in 1825, and he maintained it in La Prairie until the end of the 1830s. However, poor harvests due to disease, tight credit, and the destruction consequent on the rebellions of 1837–38 brought heavy losses; in 1839 he liquidated the business and moved his family to L’Assomption, where he had obtained land from Leroux. The same year he opened a whisky distillery, probably at Saint-Jacques-de-l’Achigan. Credit still being tight, he had trouble meeting his bills; a brother-in-law, Joseph Masson, protested non-payment of promissory notes in 1839 and 1840 and refused him any further advances. The following year Raymond was returned by acclamation for Leinster County in the first elections held under the new union constitution [see Charles Edward Poulett Thomson]. With Austin Cuvillier, John Neilson, Augustin-Norbert Morin*, Frédéric-Auguste Quesnel*, and Denis-Benjamin Viger* among others, he consistently denounced the union. In January 1842, however, perhaps for financial reasons, he resigned to accept the remunerated post of registrar of Leinster County.

A little more than a year after his appointment Raymond died following a “short but violent illness,” and was buried in the parish church of L’Assomption. Over time his mother’s remarriage and the marriages of some of his sisters had connected him with a number of leading figures in the La Prairie region and elsewhere in the colony, including Masson, Edme Henry, Paul-Théophile Pinsonaut*, a notary and businessman, Pierre-Joseph Godefroy de Tonnancour, a lawyer and assemblyman for Trois-Rivières, and John William McCallum, a lawyer and major in the militia. Raymond’s life, in its remarkable continuity with that of his father, exhibits many of the characteristics of the Lower Canadian local and regional élite. Through their careers and marriages Raymond’s children maintained and even reinforced the family’s social position: two sons became merchants and another a lawyer; of his daughters, one married a notary and another the lawyer Magloire Lanctôt*, while a third became a nun in the Hôtel-Dieu in Montreal.

Alan Dever

ANQ-M, CE1-2, 20 nov. 1810; CE1-54, 5 janv. 1787; CE5-14, 5 juin 1815, 11 févr. 1843; CN1-32, 1837–40; CN1-134, 1828–40; CN1-199, 1832; CN1-299, 1836; CN1-380, 1840; CN1-394, 1833–36. Can., Prov. of, Legislative Assembly, App. to the journals, 1843, app.F. Debates of the Legislative Assembly of United Canada (Abbott Gibbs et al.), vols.1–2. L.C., House of Assembly, Journals, 1825–37. LAurore des Canadas, 16 févr. 1843. La Minerve, 13 févr. 1843. F.-J. Audet, “Les législateurs du Bas-Canada.” Caron, “Papiers Duvernay,” ANQ Rapport, 1926–27: 145–258. Desjardins, Guide parl. Inventaire des actes notariés du village de Laprairie, 1670–1860, Michel Aubin, compil. (s.l., 1975). Mariages de Laprairie (Notre-Dame-de-la-Prairie-de-la-Madeleine), 1670–1968, Irenée Jeté et Benoît Pontbriand, compil. (Québec, 1970). Mariages du comté de LAssomption (du début des paroisses à 1960 inclusivement) (3v., Montréal, 1962). Quebec almanac, 1814–25. P. G. Cornell, The alignment of political groups in Canada, 1841–1867 (Toronto, 1962), 5. Henri Masson, Joseph Masson, dernier seigneur de Terrebonne, 1791–1847 (Montréal, 1972). Benjamin Sulte, La bataille de Châteauguay (Québec, 1899). J.-J. Lefebvre, “Jean-Baptiste Raymond (1757–1825), député de Huntingdon (Laprairie), 1800–1808,” BRH, 58 (1952): 59–72; “Jean-Moïse Raymond (1787–1843), premier député de Laprairie (1824–1838), natif du comté,” BRH, 60 (1954): 109–20.

General Bibliography

Cite This Article

Alan Dever, “RAYMOND, JEAN-MOÏSE,” in Dictionary of Canadian Biography, vol. 7, University of Toronto/Université Laval, 2003–, accessed July 29, 2014, http://www.biographi.ca/en/bio/raymond_jean_moise_7E.html.

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Permalink: http://www.biographi.ca/en/bio/raymond_jean_moise_7E.html
Author of Article: Alan Dever
Title of Article: RAYMOND, JEAN-MOÏSE
Publication Name: Dictionary of Canadian Biography, vol. 7
Publisher: University of Toronto/Université Laval
Year of publication: 1988
Year of revision: 1988
Access Date: July 29, 2014