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LABADIE, LOUIS – Volume VI (1821-1835)

d. 19 June 1824 in Verchères, Lower Canada


Responsible Government

Sir John A. Macdonald

From the Red River Settlement to Manitoba (1812–70)

Sir Wilfrid Laurier

Sir George-Étienne Cartier


The Fenians

Women in the DCB/DBC

The Charlottetown and Quebec Conferences of 1864

Introductory Essays of the DCB/DBC

The Acadians

For Educators

The War of 1812 

Canada’s Wartime Prime Ministers

The First World War

Robert Baldwin and Sir Louis-Hippolyte La Fontaine
Original title:  Institute for Canadian Citizenship | Institut pour la citoyenneté canadienne

Source: Link


To the journalist and politician Francis HINCKS, the union of Lower and Upper Canada offered political possibilities for the reform-minded in both colonies, and he worked towards that end. An alliance of reformers was made possible by the friendship between Louis-Hippolyte LA FONTAINE and Robert BALDWIN, as recounted in Hincks’s biography:

“Through the Examiner Hincks soon became recognized as the principal political spokesman and strategist of the Upper Canadian Reformers although Baldwin was the acknowledged leader. Hincks perceived immediately that if Upper Canadian Reformers joined forces with their French Canadian counterparts the united party might be wellnigh invincible.… Hincks constantly stressed two basic ideas: responsible government was the means by which any desirable reform could be attained; and a union of the Canadas offered the best opportunity to obtain responsible government because it would enable the Reformers of the two provinces to cooperate in achieving their aims.… But in spite of his most persuasive arguments he failed in his attempt at having the Reformers work together; the French Canadian Reformers did not believe they could rely on the support of their counterparts in Upper Canada. It remained for Baldwin and La Fontaine to consummate an alliance on the basis of personal friendship in the early 1840s, although Hincks had contributed greatly to the understanding that made the alliance possible.”


The political relations between the two men who were at the heart of the struggle for responsible government in the Province of Canada were strengthened by their close friendship, as recalled in La Fontaine’s biography:

“On learning of La Fontaine’s defeat, [Baldwin] resigned his York seat and offered it to the Lower Canadian leader. La Fontaine was elected easily on 23 Sept. 1841, after spending three weeks among the Torontonians, accompanied by Étienne Parent. Ties of deep friendship linked him from then on with Baldwin. He was to consult him on all matters bearing on politics and the constitution and to tell him all the events of his personal life. The relationship lasted until Baldwin’s death in 1858. Apart from Joseph-Amable Berthelot, La Fontaine’s papers reveal no one else with whom he had such intimate personal relations.”


The following biographies provide further information about the relationship between the two men and their lives before they were first elected (Baldwin in 1829, La Fontaine the following year) and after they resigned their posts as joint premiers in 1851.

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