Born at Notre-Dame de Lévis, P.Q., Canada, 16 November, 1839; died 30 May, 1908. He attended the schools of his native town, and completed his studies at the Seminary of Nicolet, after which he chose the profession of law, and in 1864 was admitted to the Bar at Quebec. As clients did not come as quickly as he desired he decided to go to Chicago, where for seven years he worked as a journalist, and became corresponding secretary of the land department of the Illinois Central Railroad. In 1871 Fréchette returned to Canada, and in 1874 was elected a deputy in the House of Commons by the Liberal party. Defeated in the general elections of 1878 and 1882, he abandoned public life and returned to journalism, the products of his pen appearing in the "Journal de Québec", the "Journal de Lévis", the "Patrie" of Montreal, the "Opinion Publique", "The Forum", "Harper's Monthly", and "The Arena". Meanwhile his poetry won him fame abroad and admiration at home. The list of his poetical works is somewhat lengthy. The following are given in their chronological order: "Mes Loisirs", 1863: "La Voix d'un Exilé", 1866 — first part published at Chicago. Another complete edition appeared at Montreal in 1874. "Pêle-Mêle; Fantaisies et souvenirs poétiques", 1877; "Les Fleurs Boré ales, and Les Oiseaux de Neige, Poésies Canadiennes", a work crowned by the French Academy, 1879; "La Légende d'un Peuple — Poésies Canadiennes", 1887-1890; "Les Feuilles Volantes", 1891. Fréchette wrote also much in prose, notably: "Félix Poutré" (an historical drama ), 1871; "Lettres à Basile à propos des causeries du Dimanche", 1872; "Le retour de l'Exilé" (a drama in five acts and eight tableaux), 1880; "Le drapeau fantôme" (historical episode), 1884; "Episode de l'insurrection Canadienne de 1837", 1885; "Originaux et Détraqués", 1892; "Lettres à l'abbé Baillargé sur l'éducation", 1893; "Christmas in French Canada" (in English), 1900. He translated into French, Howell's "Chance Acquaintance" and George W. Cable's "Old Creole Days". Fréchette became a member of the Royal Society of Canada at its foundation in 1882; he was named Companion of the Order of St. Michael and St. George in 1897, on the occasion of the Jubilee of Queen Victoria. The University of Laval, McGill University, and Queen's University conferred on him the degree of Doctor of Letters. From 1889 Fréchette occupied the position of clerk of the Council in the legislature of Quebec. In 1876 he married Emma Beaudry, second daughter of J.-B. Beaudry, a banker of Montreal, by whom he had two children. He has been called the "Lamartine of Canada ". He certainly elevated the poetry of Canada, and his work will rank with that of Crémazie.
The Catholic Encyclopedia is the most comprehensive resource on Catholic teaching, history, and information ever gathered in all of human history. This easy-to-search online version was originally printed between 1907 and 1912 in fifteen hard copy volumes.
Designed to present its readers with the full body of Catholic teaching, the Encyclopedia contains not only precise statements of what the Church has defined, but also an impartial record of different views of acknowledged authority on all disputed questions, national, political or factional. In the determination of the truth the most recent and acknowledged scientific methods are employed, and the results of the latest research in theology, philosophy, history, apologetics, archaeology, and other sciences are given careful consideration.
No one who is interested in human history, past and present, can ignore the Catholic Church, either as an institution which has been the central figure in the civilized world for nearly two thousand years, decisively affecting its destinies, religious, literary, scientific, social and political, or as an existing power whose influence and activity extend to every part of the globe. In the past century the Church has grown both extensively and intensively among English-speaking peoples. Their living interests demand that they should have the means of informing themselves about this vast institution, which, whether they are Catholics or not, affects their fortunes and their destiny.
Copyright © Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Company New York, NY. Volume 1: 1907; Volume 2: 1907; Volume 3: 1908; Volume 4: 1908; Volume 5: 1909; Volume 6: 1909; Volume 7: 1910; Volume 8: 1910; Volume 9: 1910; Volume 10: 1911; Volume 11: - 1911; Volume 12: - 1911; Volume 13: - 1912; Volume 14: 1912; Volume 15: 1912
Catholic Online Catholic Encyclopedia Digital version Compiled and Copyright © Catholic Online