Louis Caron

This is a sculpture of Hyacinthe Bellerose, the hero of Louis Caron's novel, Le canard de bois (The Wooden Duck), published in Paris, in 1981. In 1835, Hyacinthe left Port Saint-François, near Nicolet, to clear a piece of land in the Bois-Francs region of Québec. There he met with many trials and tribulations : his first child was stillborn, his wife was a victim of cholera and he was evicted from his land for lack of funds.

Here we find a dejected Hyacinthe as he stops for a rest on the long journey home. The hardships he leaves behind him have made him intolerant to further injustice. A world of turmoil and change lies before him. Little does he suspect that he will soon be swept up in the Patriots' rebellion of 1837-38.

Following the case brought against him for murder and high treason, a journalist would thus sum up what was at stake : "He was righteous among rebels. The Governor made the right decision in condemning him to exile. Had he let him rot in prison, he would have spoiled the others. And hanging him would have made a martyr of him, still talked about 200 years from now."

The journalist was not far from the truth. Hyacinthe Bellerose would indeed still be talked about 200 years later. He became a mythical character personifying Quebeckers' path towards their destiny. The novel about Hyacinthe Bellerose has been adapted for television audiences in France as well as Québec. Upon seeing the program, some parents have chosen to name a child Hyacinthe. We are pleased to have one living here in Nicolet.

This steel and brass sculpture was created by Nicolet artists Pierre and Sébastien Brassard, based on an idea by Pierre Chatillon. The final coat was applied by Trois-Rivières artist Pierre Landry.

It was donated to the Literary Park in 1998 by the local chapter of the Société Saint-Jean-Baptiste and by the Fondation Monseigneur Parenteau.

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