TRULLIER, dit Lacombe, JACQUES, businessman, jp, militia officer, and politician; b. c. 1763, probably in Boucherville, Que., son of Jacques Trullier, dit Lacombe, and Marie-Anne Levasseur; m. 28 July 1788 Angélique Laurent, daughter of merchant Silvain Laurent, dit Bérichon, in Montreal, and they had four children; d. 5 Dec. 1821 in L’Assomption, Lower Canada.
Little is known about the youth of Jacques Trullier, dit Lacombe. He apparently studied and lived in Montreal, since in 1785 he was one of those who signed a petition aimed at exposing the misuse of statute labour in that town. Some time between 1788 and 1794 he settled in L’Assomption as a merchant. Around 1798 he bought a two-storey warehouse and from it carried on a trade in grain, which he shipped to Montreal via the Rivière L’Assomption, and an enterprise producing potash. In addition he and Laurent Leroux* had jointly received from the North West Company a monopoly on the manufacture and sale of sashes with an arrow design, a major activity in the region around L’Assomption. As a sideline to trading, he had ten or so houses built after 1815 and ran an inn. When he died, his enterprises were taken over by Urgel Archambault.
Trullier, dit Lacombe, had been named a justice of the peace for the District of Montreal in 1810, and during the War of 1812 he held the rank of major in the Lavaltrie battalion of militia. Having already shown his acceptance of the 1791 constitution and his sympathies for the Canadian party, he decided to go into politics; his career in this field was a highly chequered one. Although he received a majority in Leinster riding in 1814, his election was contested by Barthélemy Joliette*, who had also been a candidate; Joliette accused him of having threatened to sue his debtors if they did not vote for him and of having bought some votes. The complaint was brought before the House of Assembly, which decided to have an investigation. On 15 Feb. 1815 a commission chaired by Louis-René Chaussegros de Léry, and including Jean-Marie Mondelet* and Jean-Philippe Leprohon, heard the witnesses at the presbytery in the parish of Saint-Pierre-du-Portage (Assomption-de-la-Sainte-Vierge) at L’Assomption. On 21 March the commissioners “satisfactorily proved to the House, that Jacques Lacombe, Esquire, did at his own cost and expense open and keep up, and did cause to be opened and kept up a House of Public Entertainment” during the elections. On that account he was declared disqualified to sit in the assembly and had to pay Joliette 181 livres expenses. His seat was taken by Michel Prévost on 10 June 1815. He returned to political life, however, securing election in the same riding in 1816, and he remained a member until his death. Even though elections were frequently contested at the time, Lacombe was the first Lower Canadian politician to lose his seat on such a charge.
Jacques Trullier, dit Lacombe, who was considered by his contemporaries to be a rich merchant, understood how to turn to account the economic and geographical advantages of his region, which was experiencing the stimulus of the intense trading activity going on in Montreal. He was active in his own milieu and he promoted the growth of L’Assomption by building houses. On three occasions, in 1806, 1811, and 1812, he petitioned for the construction of a toll-bridge over the Rivière L’Assomption. It would be interesting to pursue study of his career to bring out the relations that could develop between the Canadian merchants in an outlying region and the Montreal firms involved in trade with Great Britain, and then to judge the means open to these merchants of attaining freedom from their narrow local beginnings.
ANQ-M, CE1-51, 27 juill. 1788; CE5-14, 7 déc. 1821; CN1-158, 28 juill. 1788. L.C., House of Assembly, Journals, 1807, 1815–22. Quebec Gazette, 19 May 1785, 22 Jan. 1789, 19 June 1794, 9 May 1811, 26 March 1812. F.-J. Audet, “Les législateurs du Bas-Canada.” Officers of British forces in Canada (Irving). Raymond Boyer, Les crimes et les châtiments au Canada français du XVIIe au XXe siècle (Montréal, 1966), 383. Marcel Fournier, La représentation parlementaire de la région de Joliette (Joliette, Qué., 1977). Pierre Poulin, Légendes du portage, Réjean Olivier, édit. (L’Assomption, Qué., 1975). Christian Roy, Histoire de L’Assomption (L’Assomption, 1967).