TRÉMAUDAN, AUGUSTE-HENRI DE, teacher, lawyer, journalist, and man of letters; b. 14 July 1874 in Saint-Jean-Chrysostome (Saint-Chrysostome), Que., son of Auguste de Trémaudan, a farmer, and Jeanne Huet; m. 18 or 19 Feb. 1901 Madeleine Bastien in Montmartre (Sask.), and they had three sons and two daughters; d. 29 Oct. 1929 in Los Angeles.
Auguste-Henri de Trémaudan’s family came from Pipriac (dept of Ille-et-Vilaine) in France. His father had been a captain in the French army during the Franco-German war. In 1871 the Trémaudans emigrated to Saint-Jean-Chrysostome, in the province of Quebec, where Auguste-Henri was born three years later. After living there for about ten years, they went back to France and took up residence in Saint-Nazaire, near Nantes. Auguste-Henri attended the Petit Séminaire de Guérande, where he did his classical studies and acquired a good knowledge of English.
In 1893 the family signed a contract with the Société Foncière du Canada, which had been set up in Paris that year to establish a French colony at Montmartre in western Canada, where the Trémaudans settled. Unsuited for farming because of his delicate health, Auguste-Henri studied for a few months at the normal school in Regina. Soon he was giving English lessons to children in Montmartre, where he taught in the primary school until 1902. At the same time he worked as a clerk to familiarize himself with the law. Although not a formal member of the bar, he practised his new profession as a lawyer in Manor from 1902 to 1911, when he left Saskatchewan and moved to The Pas, in Manitoba. There he founded the Hudson’s Bay Herald, and he remained its editor until 1913, the year he became a member of the Manitoba bar. Around 1914 he moved to St Boniface (Winnipeg), where he would make his home until 1919. During these years, and probably until 1921, he worked for the Winnipeg Trustee Company and wrote for a number of newspapers, sometimes using the pseudonym Prosper Willaume. In October 1915 he also became an editor at Le Soleil de l’Ouest, a Liberal weekly published in Winnipeg. When it ceased publication on 2 March 1916, he immediately launched La Libre Parole in that city, and he continued to promote the policies of the federal Liberal party and the defence of the French language. He and Albert Dayen, a Frenchman by birth, were co-editors of this weekly until its demise in March 1919. In the period 1916 to 1918 he also gave a few lectures enlivened by history, and some of them were published. From 1919 to 1923 he lived and practised law in Sainte-Rose-du-Lac. He was back in St Boniface in 1923 for a short time, working in the real estate business.
At the beginning of 1924 Trémaudan moved to Los Angeles, where the milder climate was better suited to his failing health. For financial reasons, only one of his sons went with him; the rest of the family joined him a little later. In his new country of adoption, Trémaudan found employment in various places, in particular in law offices. He was also active in the Union Saint-Jean-Baptiste d’Amérique and numerous other organizations to defend the French language.
Although Trémaudan had begun publishing historical works early in the 1920s, his output increased after he moved to the United States. Between 1925 and 1930 (one piece would be published posthumously), he contributed many articles, especially on the history of the Métis, to the Canadian Historical Review in Toronto and Le Canada français at Quebec. He also wrote a novel and a number of plays, some of which were performed in Montreal and in Los Angeles.
Auguste-Henri de Trémaudan’s most important work, however, was probably the Histoire de la nation métisse dans l’Ouest canadien. On leaving Canada, he had sold his collection of books and documents on the history of the Canadian west to the Union Nationale Métisse Saint-Joseph du Manitoba. Shortly thereafter, the organization commissioned him to write (as the foreword would put it) “a simple account, as complete as possible, about the deeds of French-Canadian Métis.” Trémaudan’s collection was returned to him, and he began work in the spring of 1927. The author – who all his life had used his pen to support the cultural and language rights of western Canadian francophones – died of pleurisy before finishing his task. The Union Nationale Métisse Saint-Joseph du Manitoba undertook to write the last chapter, which would appear as an appendix to the volume when it was published at Montreal in 1935.
Auguste-Henri de Trémaudan is the author of several lectures published under the following titles: Pourquoi nous parlons français (Winnipeg, 1916); Les précurseurs ([s.l., 1916?]); Le sang français (Winnipeg, 1918). He also published articles in the CHR: “Louis Riel and the Fenian raid of 1871,” 4 (1923): 132–44; [Louis Riel], “The execution of Thomas Scott” (edited by Trémaudan), 6 (1925): 222–36; “Letter of Louis Riel and Ambroise Lépine to Lieutenant-Governor Morris, January 3, 1873” (translated and edited by Trémaudan), 7 (1926): 137–60; and a review of Manitoba (Paris, 1924) and La bourrasque (Paris 1925) by Maurice Constantin-Weyer, 7: 256–59. He contributed two articles as well to Le Canada français (Québec): “Les nôtres en Californie,” 2e sér., 18 (1930–31): 107–20, and “Une page de l’histoire de la nation métisse dans l’ouest du Canada,” 2e sér., 16 (1928–29): 7–16. In addition, Trémaudan wrote a novel, L’île au massacre: roman canadien inédit (Montréal, 1928), and five plays: De fil en aiguille: mélodrame canadien-français en 3 actes (Los Angeles, 1925); Quand même! pièce canadienne en trois actes (Montréal, 1928); Feu follet: comédie dramatique canadienne en quatre actes (Montréal, 1929); Petit-Baptiste: comédie héroïque en quatre actes (Montréal, 1929); and Pureté: pièce en un acte (Montréal, ). In addition to his Histoire de la nation métisse dans l’Ouest canadien, he published Hudson Bay road, 1498–1915 (London and Toronto, 1915); Riel et la naissance du Manitoba ([Winnipeg], 1921); and Une page de l’histoire de la nation métisse dans l’ouest du Canada ([Québec, 1928]).
AM, AVF, A.-H. de Trémaudan. ANQ-M, CE607-S6, 15 juill. 1874. Heritage Centre (Winnipeg), Soc. hist. métisse. LAC, MG 26, G. La Presse, 7 nov. 1929. Biblio. of the prairie prov. (Peel). Hélène Chaput, Donatien Frémont: journaliste de l’Ouest canadien (Saint-Boniface [Winnipeg], 1977). Cyclopædia of Canadian biog. (Rose and Charlesworth), vol.3. Dictionnaire de l’Amérique française; francophonie nord-américaine hors Québec, Charles Dufresne et al., édit. (Ottawa, 1988), 367. “Les disparus,” BRH, 36 (1930): 94. Jean Doat, Anthologie du théâtre québécois (Québec, 1973). DOLQ, vol.2. Lionel Dorge, Introduction à l’étude des Franco-Manitobains; essai historique et bibliographique (Saint-Boniface, 1973). Bernard Pénisson, Henri d’Hellencourt; un journaliste français au Manitoba (1898–1905) (Saint-Boniface, 1986).