Philippe-Joseph Aubert de Gaspé
- For other members of the family, see Aubert de Gaspé.
|Philippe-Joseph Aubert de Gaspé|
|Born||30 October 1786|
|Died||29 January 1871|
|Occupation||writer and seigneur.|
He was born at Quebec City in 1786, the son of seigneur Pierre-Ignace Aubert de Gaspé and Catherine Tarieu de Lanaudière, the daughter of seigneur Charles-François Tarieu de La Naudière. The Aubert de Gaspé family was distinguished, ennobled by Louis XIV in 1693. Philippe-Joseph's grandfather, Ignace-Philippe Aubert de Gaspé, fought under Louis-Joseph de Montcalm at Carillon (Ticonderoga). Philippe-Joseph studied at the Séminaire de Québec. He studied law with Jonathan Sewell and then with Jean-Baptiste-Olivier Perrault and was called to the bar in 1811. Aubert de Gaspé served in the local militia, becoming captain. After practising law until 1816, he was appointed sheriff for Quebec district.
He became involved in debt, for which he was imprisoned four years, and when released he retired to his ancestral home at Saint-Jean-Port-Joli, Quebec, on the St. Lawrence. Aubert de Gaspé spent thirty years in study there. At the ripe age of seventy-five, he completed a novel entitled, Les Anciens Canadiens (Old-Time Canadians, Quebec, 1863). Almost entirely based on fact, the story illustrates Canadian national tradition, character and manners. The author interwove events of his own chequered life with the tragic tale of the struggles and fall of New France and of the change of regime, the eyewitnesses of which he had known personally. At that time, it was perhaps the most popular book ever published in the province of Quebec.
In 1866, Aubert de Gaspé published his Mémoires, which continue and amplify the precious historical notes contained in his other works. Less brilliant and attractive than his novel, the Mémoires are an excellent specimen of anecdotal history. The author's standing and experience, the latter embracing directly or indirectly the space of a century dating from the Conquest, constitute him an authentic chronicler of an obscure yet eventful period of history.
Aubert de Gaspé was the last seigneur of Saint-Jean-Port-Joli. He died at Quebec City in 1871.
Several of his daughters married political figures:
- Zoé married Charles Joseph Alleyn, who was also mayor of Quebec City
- Suzanne married William Power, a member of the legislative assembly
- Adélaïde married Georges-René Saveuse de Beaujeu
Charlotte-Elmire married Andrew Stuart, a judge and seigneur.
- This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Lionel Lindsay (1913). "Philippe-Aubert de Gaspe". In Herbermann, Charles. Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Company.