LATERRIÈRE, MARC-PASCAL DE SALES, doctor, seigneur, and politician; b. 25 March 1792 at Baie-du-Febvre (Baieville, Yamaska County), L.C., son of Pierre Fabre, dit Laterrière, and Catherine Delzenne; married Eulalie-Antoinette, daughter of Claude Dénéchaud*, who bore him four boys and two girls; d. 29 March 1872 at Les Éboulements, Que.
Originally from Languedoc, Marc-Pascal’s father adopted the name of Jean-Pierre de Sales Laterrière after his arrival in Canada in 1766. Jean-Pierre practised medicine, engaged in commerce, and directed the ironworks at Saint-Maurice, before becoming seigneur of Les Éboulements. Concerned about his sons’ education, he obtained admission for them to the Petit Séminaire of Quebec. When Marc-Pascal left this institution, in 1807, he studied medicine at Philadelphia. He was back in Canada in 1812 and took up residence at Quebec; when the war came, he served as surgeon of the 6th Battalion of militia of Lower Canada. After the war he carried on his profession in Lower Town, Quebec, until he received from his mother, in 1816, half of the seigneury of Les Éboulements; in 1829 he acquired the whole of it. His manor-house was situated in Northumberland County, which Laterrière represented in the House of Assembly from 1824 to 1830. He then became the member for Saguenay County. He was not identified with the members of the Tory party, but was rather considered as a politician sympathetic to the claims of the Parti Canadien. In 1832 he entered the Legislative Council, and from 1838 to 1841 was part of the Special Council, but attended none of its meetings.
From then until 1845 he kept apart from political life. “I am against Union,” he explained to Louis-Hippolyte La Fontaine* on 29 Oct. 1842, “even with all the modifications that our enemies are today forced to concede.” He had no faith “in that problematic justice” that the French-speaking leader sought to establish. Notwithstanding his opposition to union, he returned to the political arena in 1845 as mla for Saguenay County. The debates on the seigneurial régime might have prompted him to take this decision. In 1851 he sat on the parliamentary committee responsible for defining the terms and conditions governing the abolition of seigneurial tenure in Canada East. Laterrière abandoned politics again during the period 1854 to 1856. In the latter year he was elected legislative councillor for the Laurentians. He was an anti-confederate candidate in the federal elections of 1867, and was defeated.
Laterrière showed less interest in military life than in political life. In 1830 he refused an appointment as major in the militia of Lower Canada, for fear that the obedience due to a superior might endanger the “great privileges” inherent in the profession of doctor. In 1848 he accepted the position of adjutant-general of the militia of Lower Canada, but rapidly dissociated himself from it.
He led a peaceful existence on his seigneury of Les Éboulements, and played a rather unobtrusive role in politics. The rare sources that make mention of his career do, however, give an indication of his nationalist convictions.
BNQ, Société historique de Montréal, Collection La Fontaine, Lettres, 212, 707, 710, 717 (copies in PAC). PAC, RG 1, L1, 43, p.644; L3L, 121, pp.59135–36, 59138; RG 4, A1, 131, pp.41955–57; 190/2, p.108; 216, p.26; 247, p.1; 248, pp.114, 133; 266 (1831), pp.121-125A; 275/1 (1832), p.35; 392, p.396; 399, p.4; 4:0, p.26. Journaux du Conseil spécial de la province du Bas-Canada, 1838–1840. Turcotte, Conseil législatif de Québec, 233–34. Ahern, Notes pour l’histoire de la médecine, 351–52. H.-R. Casgrain, La famille de Sales Laterrière (Québec, 1870). Gérard Malchelosse, “Mémoires romancés,” Cahiers des Dix, XXV (1960), 103–46.