|Birth: ||Oct. 4, 1733|
|Death: ||Oct. 6, 1820|
He was a Canadian businessman, militia officer, and politician.
François Baby was born in Montreal to Raymond Baby and Thérèse Le Compte Dupré. He came from a family of fur traders. His father was a fur trader who had been sufficiently successful before his death, four years after François's birth. His grandfather, Jacques Babie, had been successful in the business, and his eldest brother Jacques and other family members were active in the same business. He received his formal education at the Jesuit College at Quebec.
His mother's family being deeply involved in the fur trade, and his eldest brother Jacques Baby, being engaged in it by 1753, François too became active in what had become a family profession; another brother, Louis, was also a fur trader. By 1757 François was in partnership with Jacques and the youngest brother, Antoine, under the name of Baby Frères. His two brothers conducted the field operations while François ran the Montreal operation; importing trade goods and exporting furs and dealing with their contacts in France.
During the Seven Years' War François shared to some extent in his brothers' military glories. He may have been at the battle of the Monongahela (near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania) in 1755 under Daniel Liénard de Beaujeu, and he undoubtedly served under François de Lévis at the siege of Quebec in the spring of 1760. He thus merited with Jacques, Louis, and Antoine the applause of Governor Pierre de Rigaud Vaudreuil.
In February 1760, well before the capture of Montreal by the British, Simon Jauge of Bordeaux advised François by way of England, no doubt in response to queries from him, that he might make contact in London with the firm of Thomas, Thomas and Son, Jauge's correspondent there. Taken prisoner to England in September, François likely did call on the London firm before obtaining a passport to go to France.
He settled in La Rochelle, probably with the intention of remaining in France if Canada was not recovered, since, like Jacques, he had refused to swear allegiance to the king of Great Britain. The Babys, nevertheless, were selling their furs on the London market and importing English trade goods by 1762. From France, François endeavored to ensure the supply of trade goods to his brothers and maintained contacts with British and French trading houses. When it became clear that the conquered colony would remain a British possession, he liquidated most of the family's French assets and oversaw the transfer of commercial relations to London in order to be of consequence in the reconstituted trade. Through his French correspondents he was put in touch with a number of London firms, including Joseph and Henry Guinaud, which soon became his principal supplier.
Baby returned to Montreal late in 1763 and once again acted as intermediary for Antoine and Jacques, who were based at Detroit. However, he soon established his own wholesale business at Quebec, importing British spirits and manufactures; by 1765 he had taken up residence there.
Baby was appointed to the Legislative Council for the Province of Quebec in 1778 by Governor Haldimand who also made him part of his unconstitutional privy council around that time. (This appointment placed him on the Legislative Council of Lower Canada when it was formed in 1792.) His joining of the governing class lessened the time he spent on commercial activities.
In 1786, he married Marie-Anne Tarieu, the daughter of seigneur Charles-Gaspard Tarieu de Lanaudière.
He suffered from ill health later in life and became less active in politics. Baby died at Quebec City in 1820.
His son Charles François Xavier later served as a member of the legislative council for the Province of Canada. His daughter Monique-Ursule married Thomas Ainslie Young, a member of the legislative assembly.
Created by: SJ Corcoran
Record added: May 03, 2009
Find A Grave Memorial# 36676312
May You Rest In Eternal Peace, Francois Baby!|
Added: Nov. 19, 2009