"JAMES BABY 1763 - 1833" ~ Windsor
N 42° 18.148 W 083° 04.621
17T E 328799 N 4685448
Quick Description: Located at the corner of Mill Street and Russell Street in Windsor.
Location: Ontario, Canada
Date Posted: 7/26/2010 9:07:49 AM
Waymark Code: WM9B9M
JAMES BABY 1763 - 1833
The first member of Upper Canada's French community to gain prominence in government circles, Baby was born in British-controlled Detroit, the son of a well-established trader. He was educated in Quebec and, after returning to this area, he entered the mercantile business. In 1792, through his family's influence, he received lifetime appointments to the Executive and Legislative councils, Upper Canada's pre-eminent political bodies. Three years later, Baby moved from Detroit to the south shore and in 1807 took up residence in this commodious, 18th century house. For his long and loyal government service, he was granted the post of Inspector-General of Public Accounts in 1815. To attend to the duties of this position Baby moved to York (Toronto) where he lived until his death.
James Baby (August 25, 1763 – February 19, 1833) was a judge and political figure in Upper Canada.
He was born Jacques Bâby, the son of Jacques Baby, to a prosperous family in Detroit in 1763 and educated in Upper Canada, then part of the province of Quebec, where his uncle, François Baby, lived. In 1792, he was appointed to the Executive Council and Legislative Council of Upper Canada and became lieutenant for Kent County. In 1793, he was appointed judge in the Western District.
After the Jay Treaty in 1795, the Baby family left the Detroit area and moved to Sandwich (now Windsor). (Today his house is owned by the Ontario Heritage Trust and currently houses government offices.) Over the years, the family acquired large amounts of land in the western region of Upper Canada. Baby was put in charge of the 1st Kent militia. During the War of 1812, Sandwich was seized by the Americans and Baby was later taken prisoner at the Battle of the Thames. During the American occupation, his property suffered extensive damage.
In 1815, he was appointed Inspector General and moved to York (Toronto), where he was part of the ruling clique known as the Family Compact. In 1823 he represented Upper Canada in resolving a dispute with Lower Canada over the sharing of customs revenues. A Roman Catholic, he helped establish the first Catholic church at York, St. Paul's.
He died at York in 1833.