Province of Canada, Legislative Council, 8th Parl, 4th Sess (22 August 1865)

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Date: 1865-08-22
By: Province of Canada (Parliament), The Quebec Daily Mercury
Citation: “Provincial “Parliament. Legislative Council. The Quebec Daily Mercury (23 August 1865).
Other formats: Click here to view the original document (PDF).
Note: All endnotes come from our recent publication, Charles Dumais & Michael Scott (ed.), The Confederation Debates in the Province of Canada (CCF, 2022).


TUESDAY, August 22, 1865[1]

Hon. Sir E.P. Taché

Narcisse F. Belleau [Canada East, appointed 1852, Premier and Receiver General] rising, said he proposed to offer a few remarks in relation to the decease of his late predecessor, Hon. Col. Sir Etienne Pascal Taché, which he proceeded to do as follows.

The profound grief which was felt throughout the country when the death of that hon. gentleman became known might be taken as the measure of the esteem and respect which was entertained for him by every order of society. This eminent citizen had fulfilled a useful and noble career and as a recompense he died full of honors, in fact of all the honors which his sovereign, Her representative in this country, and the people of Canada could confer upon him. It cannot be expected that on the present occasion I shall allude specifically to everything important act in which Sir E.P. Taché took a prominent part in the course of his public life. History will give the details, and place the impartial value upon them which it is not possible to do here—let it suffice to say that his labours always had for their basis an unimpeachable loyalty, a love of justice and the most perfect patriotism.

Sir E.P. Taché was born in 1795 and as early as 1812, at the call of his country, he went as a simple ensign with the 5th battalion to the frontier to meet the enemy, with whim he had the satisfaction to measure himself as a lieutenant in the Battalion of Canadian Chasseurs. After the war he returned home and there practiced medicine until 1841, when he entered Parliament as a member for L’Islet. He was then 47 years old. At that age how difficult it is to change the course of the speculative ideas of doctor, so diverse from the positive forms of the Legislature. Nevertheless these difficulties vanished before that natural aptitude for business which we must all have recognized in him while he sat among us in this House, and who will deny that Sir E.P. Taché invariably overcame both difficulties and embarrassments by his energy and good sense aided by the sympathetic eloquence of his oratory?

Indeed he was always ready for any impending political contest. It was in 1848 that he first sat in this honorable House, and 1857 that he elected to retire from public life after having occupied the most important positions in the various administrations which were formed subsequent to 1849. Distinguished as he was in the great Lower Canada party, and enjoying as he did the respect, esteem and sympathy of public men, could such a person remain in the shade? Could he do otherwise than take an active part in all the political events of the times, demanding as they did the aid of his intelligence and aptitude, impregnated as they were with the most delicate honor, a noble heart impulsiveness and a quick temperament, the latter softened nevertheless by extreme goodness, warmth of manner and language—sometimes impassioned—but always those of a gentleman and well born man?

In him the vigour and energy of speech were kept in subordination by innate courtesy. He retained his natural warmth and his strong convictions to the last, and you all know, honorable gentlemen, that they never failed to produce their appropriate effect. The rewards of merit in his case were not show for as early as 1858 for the country had then occasion to see him, one of her children, receive from the hands of his Sovereign the order of Knighthood and afterwards the rank of Colonel in the British army and Aide-de-Camp to Her Majesty Queen Victoria, and it was in the latter quality that he attended His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales in his visit to this country. The Sovereign Pontiff also thought proper to decorate him with the insignia of the military class of the noble Order of St. Gregory the Great.

From 1857 to 1864, Sir E.P. Taché continued to devote himself to the weal of his country by his regular attention upon the deliberations of this House, but in the latter year anarchy in the public affairs seemed almost inevitable, and in these circumstances as in others he saw that he would have new duties to discharge, but he did not long hesitate to answer the claims of his friends, and in accepting the high office of head of the Cabinet be prepared himself for new sacrifices. The toil and effort consequent upon the duties he assumed, we are well aware of, for we were witnesses to them and it is therefore unnecessary to dwell thereon. But from that moment his journey to the tomb was greatly accelerated.

Before that tomb now closes over his remains, we should express and do express our regret. Before it we record our esteem and respect for the memory of one who in private life was the friend of all, and who in respect of his public career must ever be regarded as a great citizen. In reverence then for the memory of the late Sir E.P. Taché, and of the two other deceased hon. members, I beg to move that this House do now adjourn. […][2]

The House then adjourned.


[1]      Source: “Provincial Parliament,” The Quebec Daily Mercury (Aug. 23, 1865).

[2]      Non-relevant material has been removed. To see the original document, please see the PDF.

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