Louis Joseph Papineau, a great but enigmatic figure in Canadian history, is remembered as a leading spokesman of French Canadian aspirations. Elected to the Legislative Assembly of Lower Canada in 1809, Papineau early took a prominent role, becoming Speaker in 1815, a post which he held for the greater part of the next twenty years. He led the parti canadien in a battle of constitutional reform that was to last until the Rebellions of 1837. To Louis Joseph Papineau politics was a painful duty, a burden that separated him from his family and seclusion at Montebello, his seigniory. Born in 1786, he chose to become a lawyer but soon left the profession and was at loose ends until asked to run for the legislature. Papineau inspired the famous Ninety-Two Resolution of 1834, an extreme presentation of grievances coupled with the demand for elective institutions. The Resolutions were Papineau's last attempts to gain reform constitutionally before 1837. That year he began a tour of the rural counties to drum up popular support and to promote a boycott of imported products. Events moved too rapidly for the boycott to work and the ensuing armed rebellion failed. His effective political career was over, although he did return to public life in 1847. Encouraged by his wife and former supporters he entered the assembly and sat as an isolated oppositionist until retirement in 1854. He died in 1871, having fathered a tradition of political leadership that was carried on by his grandson Henri Bourassa.